UHill Faculty

"Of all of the wonderful attributes of University Hill Preschool, our teachers are our school’s greatest asset."

Our Faculty:

At "Uhill" we boast professional, caring, kind, exceptional teachers. All of our teachers are Canadian Certified Early Childhood Educators. All of our teachers have many years of teaching experience and long relationships with University Hill Preschool. They each bring a unique perspective from their independent educational backgrounds and work together to create a well-balanced program.


Maria Rodrigues

"My image of a child reflects a belief that each child is unique, strong and beautiful, each with their own ambitions desires and needs. My responsibility as an educator is to foster these ambitions by promoting each child’s self-esteem and sense of awareness. Each child needs to feel important and needs to be listened to."

Maria has been with "Uhill" since 1996 and been supervisor since 2005. In 2014, she won the Prime Minister's Awards (PMA) for Excellence in Early Childhood Education. Furthermore, in 2012, Maria won the Child Care Award of Excellence in Early Childhood Education Coast Fraser Region. Maria received her early education at St. Joseph Convent School and holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Karachi, Pakistan. Before coming to "Uhill" Maria researched and worked in Montessori programs and earned her Montessori Certificate from the Association Montessori International. Maria speaks English, Urdu (Pakistan) and Hindi(India). She has found educating young children both rewarding and challenging and continues to pursue her teaching path by attending workshops and keeping abreast of new philosophies and ideas. She loves to sing and incorporates song into daily classroom activities as simple as washing hands or getting ready for snack.


"Children have potential, curiosity and a desire to learn. The teacher’s role is to provide the children with a range of possibilities and provocations. The wider the range of possibilities, the richer the children's experiences."

Atoussa Kashani

Atoussa has been teaching since 1988 and came to University Hill Preschool in 1991. She served as supervisor from 1997-2003. Atoussa graduated from Simon Fraser University with a B.A. in French Literature and Early Childhood Education (ECE). Atoussa is an active participant of the Reggio Network and attended the North American Tour to Reggio Emilia, Italy, in March 2009. She is presently upgrading her training to include the popular Reggio Emilia program and has already brought many aspects of this program into our curriculum. Atoussa speaks English, French, and Farsi.


Aya Ruttan

"I believe that all children are unique in their own way and that they learn though their play. A child is exposed to daily experiences, which will help grow the child's potential abilities. As a teacher I believe in providing these opportunities to children based on their ideas and interests ... Let's play!"

Aya has been with University Hill Preschool from 1999 to 2004, and returned as a part-time teacher in 2008. In addition to her Canadian Early Childhood Education and Infant/Toddler Certificates, she also holds an Early Education License from Japan. In class, Aya introduces our clay projects, and will often play her famous blue guitar or our class piano, as she enjoys music-oriented circle-time with the children. She strongly believes in the strength of childhood lessons obtained through daily practical life activities and for this reason enjoys cooking in class with the students.