Team Profiles

Sharon Leigh Auri

Sharon Auri is the Managing director of the International Childcare and Education Centre (ICEC). She is from England and came over to Finland 30 years ago and founded the company in 1989 with her husband Mikko Auri who is Finnish. Sharon is an Early years Educator qualified in England and has spent her career working in the multi cultural environment of the ICEC. The ICEC has 8 centres in the greater Helsinki area and over 400 children. There are around 40 different Nationalities represented by the families and staff at the ICEC.

Many of the children she works with are bilingual and from very diverse family backgrounds over the years she has worked with teachers, parents and other professionals in some of the issues facing these families when living and working in Finland. In 1996 Sharon started the Early Years Educator programme (an early years teacher training programme). She became a qualified assessor of this qualification which is an English National Vocational Qualification (NVQ). This has grown and now the ICEC has become a registered centre for qualifying early years professionals.

Sharon Leigh Auri

 

Alexander Bloom

Teaching, to Alex, is not only the most worthwhile profession, but has also became his vocation. The practical implementation of his theoretical knowledge has guided him in his professional life to strive to teach based on research and experience, and also to challenge the existing conditions. He feels like the Erasmus research program is designed to draw upon accepted principles, but taking it a step further, disrupting the status quo to see how we can even better understand early childhood education in an international setting and help to create a curriculum that is tailored to children’s multilingual development.

Alex studied at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, USA. He has a major in Psychology and Education with a focus on early childhood education for children ages 5-8. Alex moved to Berlin in October 2013 and started working at the Berlin Cosmopolitan School in January 2014. He works as a group teacher for children ages 1 to 6 as well as being the year group coordinator, here he organizes curriculum, talks to parents, and other tasks that may need to be carried out to make sure the groups in his year group are running smoothly.

Alexander Bloom

Angeles Bueno Villaverde

Professor at the University Camilo José Cela and counselor in the schools SEK-Atlántico and SEK-El Castillo. She holds a PhD and a Master in International Education and Bilingualism.

She has done research in the field of education, emphasizing “

Study on the Educational Participation of Families and Students in the Centers of the Community of Madrid” financed by the School Board of the Community of Madrid, “Impact of cooperative learning in the inclusion of gifted students in the Community of Madrid” (Minitry of Education), “Theoretical and instructional bases of the Professional Didactic Campus” (University of Camilo José Cela), “Evaluation, assessment and differentiated teaching for gifted students” (Pryconsa Foundation), "Additional language teaching and learning in International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program schools" financed by the IB, the International Project "Giftedness and minorities: Problems and young people" funded by the Socrates National Agency (2002-04), participated in the Projects: Intervention Program aimed for high ability students (2011) financed by Pryconsa and “Creative Learning Method” in the field of Mathematics and Social Sciences in Primary Education (2010). She received an Award by the SEK institution for her "Counseling and Tutorial Plan" in 1998.

She has supervised three Thesis “Analysis and Feasibility of Primary Years Programme Implementation” (Steffen, 2015) and “Training needs in the videogame sector” (Gonzalo Martínez, 2015) and “Case studies of managers of government teams in the Spanish university: Conditioning and leadership styles” (San Juan, 2017)

Angeles Bueno Villaverde

Matt Carlyle

As a young child in primary school, Matthew always knew that he wanted to become a teacher. Upon high school graduation, Matthew attended East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina where he completed his B.S. in Elementary Education and Reading Education and a Master of Arts in Education, with aspirations to become a Principal/Head of School. Matthew worked for three years as a public school teacher in Raleigh, North Carolina where he was an early years teacher followed by a career growth opportunity to work in educational leadership in both Raleigh, North Carolina and Orlando, Florida.

He has now has been residing in Berlin, Germany as the Head of Kindergarten and Preschool for Berlin Cosmopolitan School since July, 2016. Matthew is beyond grateful to lead such a dynamic and diverse team of educators from all around the globe and to also be afforded the chance to serve such a diverse population of children with familial roots and ties to over 45 nations around the world. Matthew is extremely excited to be a part of the unique opportunity that this Erasmus grant provides for him to work alongside educational colleagues at BCS and with international partners to equip and empower internationally-minded and immersed teachers, parents and children in our forever changing and evolving world.

Matt Carlyle

Hilary Carter

Hilary Collard spent her childhood traveling around the world, her passion for education and nature finally leading her to settle in Finland. She has a Human Geography degree from the United Kingdom, and a Kindergarten Teacher degree from Finland, with certificates in Steiner Waldorf education. After over 10 years experience in childcare she now manages at the International Childcare and Education Centre in Herttoniemi. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her dogs and continues to travel, exploring new countries and cultures.

Hilary Collard

Christina Domurath

After studying for four years to become a State-Qualified Early-Years Educator in Celle, Germany, Tina worked in a Rehabilitation Center for children requiring additional support on Norderney, Germany. Following her aspirations to travel and live abroad, Tina relocated to Los Altos Hills, California in 2010 to work as an Au Pair for a Swedish-American family. In March, 2012, Tina transitioned back to Germany and has been working as a teacher at Berlin Cosmopolitan School where she led a group of children entirely from year one to preschool.

Currently, Tina is a preschool teacher and preschool coordinator where she has the opportunity to lead colleagues with new and innovative initiatives grounded in best practice principles and trending early years research. As preschool coordinator, Tina is involved in organisational projects e.g. field trips, staff meetings, and various other duties. Organisation, team work, and communication are her strongest attributes which align well with the goals of the Erasmus partnership.

Tina is excited to collaborate with international partners sharing a vision to promote early years best practices in regards to language acquisition and its implications on young children’s social and emotional development.

For Tina it is imperative to cultivate a classroom that fosters socio-emotional development e.g. via classroom organisation, daily rituals and expectations. In this surrounding, Tina forms a natural bond with children and a trusting relationship parents, through which she creates a positive learning environment. Tina is sure that this will be an enriching experience for everybody involved and she is grateful to be part of this process.

Christina Domurath

Katharina Ehrenfried

Katharina is the Head of BCS Kindergarden and Preschool. Katharina holds an university degree in Cultural & Educational Science (University of Hildesheim) and Management of Social Institution (Berlin). She is also a trained Systemic Coach.

She lived and worked in the USA, France; Colombia and UK. Katharina worked in kindergartens, public schools, Montessori and Waldorf Schools with children with additional needs and capabilities, elderly people, adults as well as juveniles.

Katharina loves the idea of creating books and materials teachers truly enjoy and want to read - they should be easy get useful help out of. She is passionate about professionalising the diversity sensitive approach in Early Years Education. She has worked for over 10 years with internationally minded families at BCS. This experience has led hear to develop new ideas in the field of diversity sensitive differentiation in partnership with parents and children.

Katharina Ehrenfried

Miriam Fernández-Pacheco Laguna

Miriam is a dedicated, outgoing and self-motivated person who came to Finland to work in a bilingual kindergarten due to being granted with a Leonardo da Vinci scholarship. She holds Bachelor degrees in Primary Education Teaching and Preschool Education teaching from the Faculty of Education in Ciudad Real, Spain. She has been working as a kindergarten teacher at I.C.E.C Helsinki for four years. During that time she has achieved certain personal objectives, for instance, she acquired the Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) by University of Cambridge and completed a Jolly Phonics teaching program course. All her working experience comprehends children from different age groups, involving a variety of professions such as youth activities monitor and private lessons teacher amongst others.

Miriam Fernández-Pacheco Laguna

Kate Habben

Kate received a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Western Illinois University in the United States before moving to Berlin in 2012. She came as an Au pair, but transitioned into the role of Native English Kindergarten teacher in 2013 at various bilingual institutions before joining the Berlin Cosmopolitan School Kindergarten team in 2016 as a group teacher.

Working with young children in a multicultural setting with many different languages available to them is special and unique, but building a bond with children in such a setting can be challenging. Providing materials to aide teachers and parents to navigate these waters successfully, allowing children to feel secure enough to grow and learn in multiple languages, makes this project worthwhile.

She looks forward to working, learning, and creating with this diverse and international team.

Kate Habben

Michael Habekost

As a teacher, having a close bond with the children is integral to help them grow and being able to support them fully in their development. A strong child – teacher bond and the strengthening of socio-emotional competences is of utmost importance for a child's development.

For Michael it is exciting to be part of this project, as he is able to share his resources and knowledge as a pedagogue, through research in the educational field and create material others may learn from.

Michael did his B.A. in education science with focus on social pedagogy & -management at Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena, Germany. After moving to Berlin, he was trained as a pedagogical specialist for pre-schools.

Since 2013, he is working at Berlin Cosmopolitan School, taking care of children from age 1 to 7. In addition, he is occupying the position as Administrative Coordinator.

Michael Habekost

Marja Kemppainen

Marja Kemppainen has an Early Years Educator qualification from Finland and has spent the last 24 years working at the International Childcare and Education Centre ( ICEC). She is the Deputy Managing Director and also works in the adult training department of the ICEC. Her specialty is working with children with special educational needs. Marja is bilingual in Finnish and English as she is Finnish by birth but grew up in London

Marja Kemppainen

Carolin Hermes

Carolin sees this project as a chance to make a change and participate in an innovative and lasting collaboration of a diverse group of experts in order to contribute to research in the field of early years and in particular shed light into and improve the practice around settling ins in Kindergarten/Kita for bilingual children around the world.

Carolin studied English studies and Education, worked as an integration assisent for disabled children, started at BCS as a Springer and now works full time as a group teacher with children age 1-2.

Carolin Hermes

Zsuszanna Libertiny

Zsuzsanna Libertiny, Executive Pedagogue of the Pikler Daycare Center, Pikler Trainer, completed her studies (M.Ed) of education at ELTE University Budapest and became closely acquainted with the Piklerian ideas with the birth of her first child (1994). An employee of the Pikler Institute in 2002, Libertiny was responsible for parent education and parent-child groups. She left Lóczy for a few years to work in Canada supporting newly immigrated parents with young children. After her return to the Lóczy team, she resumed her previous role, as well as joining the daycare center as part of the direction and the methodological team. Since 2009, Libertiny regularly participates as a lecturer both in Hungary and abroad. Her topics encompass the everyday work with children, the support for families, day-care centers.

Zsuzsanna Libertiny

Julia Mariacher

Julia has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University at Buffalo in New York and has recently completed a Masters degree in Childhood Studies and Children's Rights at the Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany.

She has previously worked in the United States as a 1:1 aide for children with Autism and is currently an Early Years English teacher at Berlin Cosmopolitan School.

Julia is passionate about helping to foster learning environments in which every child’s individual needs and desires are met.

Julia Mariacher

Pilar Ester Mariñoso

Doctor in Psychology with specialization in teaching and learning Mathematics in early childhood and Primary. MSC in guidance, education and vocational training. Primary teacher with a specialization in special educational needs. She is a Montessori guide and assistant. She is a collaborating researcher with University of Arizona and nowadays she is carrying out a research concerning how to solve modelling problems at kindergarten and primary education stages. She has been working in public and private schools for 20 years. Simultaneously, she has also worked at University of Zaragoza for the last 8 years. She is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education and Health at UCJC, training future teachers and instructing them in teaching and learning Maths, development of logic-mathematical reasoning. She is also a member of executive teams at Montessori school of Zaragoza. She is a very active person, and specially in loves outdoor activities such as mountain skiing. She feels love for a good book and travelling to know other people and different cultures.

Pilar Ester Mariñoso

Lilla Márkus

Lilla Márkus is one of the Psychologists of Lóczy Foundation for Children, which supports the professional work of Pikler Daycare Center. She completed her M.A. in psychology at PPCU Budapest. At first she met with the Pikler method during her university studies, a few years later she became acquainted with the work of the Daycare Center, when she was attending a postgraduate training in Parent-Infant Relational Assessmment and Consultation. She joined the Pikler team in 2017 after she has been working as a kintergarden psychologist for 3 years. She participates in taking programmes for children and parents, and works in the current research programme of Pikler Research Team. Her own research and practical interest concerns the protective and risk factors in the development of early parent-infant relational and regulation patterns, and the treatment of regulation disorders of infancy and ealy childhood.

Lilla Márkus

Isabel Morales Jareño

Faculty of Education, Universidad Camilo José Cela

She has been a teacher for more than 20 years and holds a PhD. in Education. She has long been teaching English to a great diversity of students in different fields at the University dealing with different aspects of the English language, both in the Faculty of Computer Engineering and the Faculty of Political Sciences of the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca (1988-2007). She was particularly involved in teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP) in the field of ICTs, and also Spanish for Specific Purposes (SSP) at the University of Economics in Bratislava (Slovak Republic) (1995-1996). Later, she started to teach at the Universidad Camilo Jose Cela (Villafranca del Castillo, Madrid), and it is now 9 years since she started to teach in the Faculty of Education both in the Master of International Education and Bilingualism, and in the Degree of Infant and Primary Education. She is passionate about EFL/ESL teaching in multicultural and multilingual environments matters such as Early Teaching of a Second Language, Reading and Writing in English and Games and Rhymes Workshop.

She has also lectured in International Conferences such in AEDEAN, IBACS and HELAAS. She has also published in international Journals such as Women in Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal dealing with women spaces in literature. She is a Member of the research group, GRIMM on Multiculturalism, Multilingualism y Literature. She is also secretary and member of the Editorial Board of Verbeia (Journal of English and Spanish Studies), and also member of the editorial board of the Journal of Formative Design in Learning.

She has been involved and collaborated in different International projects, such as Choice, Signs in the city, DigitalExtra, financed by the European Union as Grundtvig and Leonardo da Vinci programmes. She has also a long and extensive experience as a translator, backed up by several publications such as the translation of the Dictionary of Computing (Freedman, A. 1993) as well as text books and other materials related to Software Engineering and ICTs, Business for publishers such as McGraw-Hill and Prentice House among others.

Isabel Morales Jareño

Heidi Schuchenegg

Heidi Schuchenegg is an educator from Finland. She has worked in ICEC Play ’n’ Learn since 2013 as a key teacher. Heidi’s own group is toddlers, but she is also the bilingual teacher in ICEC’s Meilahti branch working with all the groups from 2-6 years old. Heidi has worked with children since 2006. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education and Family Welfare.

Heidi Schuchenegg

Jessica Moreno Pizarro

Professor at the University Camilo José Cela.

She has a Master in Secondary Education in the specialty of Educational Orientacion. She got her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and also graduated in Psychopedagogy. She began her professional teaching and research career in Lausanne (Switzerland) as a collaborator and teacher of early childhood education in a nursery school financed by Spanish funds in 2008.

She worked and took part of different projects in a Kindergarden in the Autonomous Community of Madrid, concerned with Indirect Management of Kindergardens in the same community and responsible their management.

She joined the Department of Mathematics of the Faculty of Education at the University Camilo José Cela and conducting research into the development of thinking in Early Childhood Education. She is an expert in the area of mathematic reasoning and has lectured subjects such as: Development of mathematical thinking in Early Childhood Education, Education in its National and International context, Mathematics, The Curriculum in Early Childhood Education. She has also tutored students carrying out their Final Degree Projects.

She has also researched into multiple Intelligences and their development in Education from the first years to Higher Education. In 2016, she participated in the IV International Conference of Research and Innovation in Infant and Primary Education. Her main lines of research are Development of logical mathematical thinking in Early Childhood Education; Acquisition and development of first language and additional as well as High Capacity, Talent and Creativity.

Jessica Moreno Pizarro

Andrew Watson is originally from Australia but has been living in Finland and working at ICEC since 2014. He has a passion for teaching children through dramatic play and storytelling and see these as the key to bridging language and cultural differences. He strives to make his classroom an environment where children feel confident and secure and have the opportunity to express themselves in a variety of creative ways.

Andrew Watson

Mihaela Nyyssönen

Mihaela Nyyssönen has a Bachelor’s degree in Romanian philology from the University of Bucharest and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Services from Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Finland. She has worked as kindergarten teacher for 4 years in Romania and for over 11 years in Finland, in ICEC. For the past 4 years, Mihaela has also been a coordinator for a Romanian language playgroup in Helsinki. During this time, she planned and implemented activities, events and workshops for preschool age children and their families. To Mihaela, the most rewarding part of her work is being able to be a part of a multicultural environment, which enriches her on a personal and professional level. Working with bilingual children and their families is her main area of expertise, where she brings a socio-pedagogical approach. She truly believes that working in close partnership with the parents and teaching according to the children’s interests are the keys to a successful early childhood upbringing.

Mihaela Nyyssönen

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Szidonia Barakso

Lauren Piper

Lauren recently joined the BCS team and was very excited to learn that she could further her own education and development as an early childhood educator through this project. Lauren is constantly striving to improve herself as a teacher and question methodology and pedagogy when working towards young children. It is an amazing opportunity to be involved in helping to better the settling in process of young children in multi-lingual settings.

In New York City, Lauren received a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Special Education and taught in early childhood, Reggio Emilia-inspired schools for eight years. In undergraduate school, Lauren studied writing, literature and publishing with a minor in American Sign Language and Music.

Lauren now works as a collaborate teacher in a two-year-old classroom at BCS and can't wait to learn and grow more with both this school as well as this project.

Lauren Piper

Nora’s mom was a caregiver in the Pikler Infants’ Home back in the 1980’s, so she and her siblings were raised based on the Pikler ideologies. It felt like it was her path to work in the Pikler Environment. She started to work in the Pikler House (the so called ’Lóczy’) right after she graduated high school. Nora studied, trained, worked there for a year (both in the Infants’ Home and the Daycare Center), then left the institute and studied sociology at ELTE University Budapest. In 2015, she returned and started to work in the Daycare Center as a caregiver. In 2017, her daughter was born which inspired her to lead parent-child groups, and help in the coordination of workhsops for parents. Nora has found that she loves to work with parents.

Nora’s mom was a caregiver in the Pikler Infants’ Home back in the 1980’s, so she and her siblings were raised based on the Pikler ideologies. It felt like it was her path to work in the Pikler Environment. She started to work in the Pikler House (the so called ’Lóczy’) right after she graduated high school. Nora studied, trained, worked there for a year (both in the Infants’ Home and the Daycare Center), then left the institute and studied sociology at ELTE University Budapest. In 2015, she returned and started to work in the Daycare Center as a caregiver. In 2017, her daughter was born which inspired her to lead parent-child groups, and help in the coordination of workhsops for parents. Nora has found that she loves to work with parents.

Nóra Máté-Féniász


 

As a team, we will:

- Communicate openly and honestly in order to build on one another’s ideas.
- Respect each other’s differences, but keep the goal clear (for the children).
- Encourage and motivate each other to enjoy the process through humor and positivity.
- Use flexibility and critical thinking to collaborate on shared goals.