Janet, Belle & Rachel

Our teachers are excited to work with your child and are always striving to provide the best possible care.  Please let them know if you have any questions or concerns and they will be happy to discuss them with you. 

Playschool: 867-873-3231


Maribel (Belle):


Janet St. Pierre

Head Teacher

Now, this is a story all about Janet
And her 30 (or more) years on this planet
And she’d like to take a minute, just sit right there
Tell you how she became the teacher here (Playschool)

Outport, Newfoundland born and raised
On the beaches and oceans was where I spent most of my days
Fishing and biking is what I liked to do.
Then before I knew it, I was done high school.

Out into the world to figure out what to do
And finally, my mom said ‘this is the program for you.’                                                                                      Learning about development and importance of play 
I knew this is what I wanted to do every day.

Meet a nice fellow
Soon became a wife
We wanted a new adventure
So we moved to Yellowknife.

Hey, my name is Janet St. Pierre. I have been lucky enough to be the teacher here at the Playschool since 2017.  I’m originally from Newfoundland (and yes, I still have a bit of an accent), but I moved to Yellowknife in 2017.  I’m a fun loving, outgoing person who loves being outside, biking, skiing, and just having fun. I also don’t mind being inside reading, sewing or cooking. I’ve worked in the childcare centres for over 15 years, and completed my Early Child and Youth Care program in 2006. I love the variety and joy that working with young children brings.  I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know all our Playschool families. Hope to see you soon.

Maribel Dela Cruz

Teacher Assistant

My name is Maribel Dela Cruz, and I have been working as an Assistant Teacher in Yellowknife Playschool for 10 years. My family and I moved to Canada back in February 2010. I have been married for 25 years with three wonderful children. I graduated with a Degree in Education in 1987, and I have been in the Education field for 33 years. I have also received some awards such as Outstanding Teacher and Outstanding Coach. I was a gymnastics coach back when I lived in the Philippines. Working with children gives me joy, laughter and contentment. I love seeing the smiles of my students faces as well as creating a bond with the parents. I treat children as my own and nurture them with the knowledge that I have. I find this career to be rewarding, seeing them grow to be mighty learners and I grow alongside them. During my free time I love spending time with my family most and especially with my grandson.

” Caring for children and their families, you take on many roles while keeping in mind: an image of the child: a strong, capable, and resourceful learner and citizen” (Play, Participation and Possibilities) 

Rachel Vander Veen

Executive Director/Teacher

My name is Rachel Vander Veen. I am very excited to join the Playschool team. I have a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education.  I taught for several years in Seoul, South Korea and then in Fort Providence, NT. I haven’t taught since moving to Yellowknife in 2016 because I have been at home playing and learning alongside my two boys. 

I love exploring the world as a co-learner with my students through inquiry based learning and play based learning. I love finding ways to engage children’s imagination through play and discovery. I will be leading music classes and yoga lessons to promote musical literacy and mindfulness. 

In November, I took the Forest and Nature School Training and am very excited to implement what I have learned and am learning as I continue to work on my coursework. Through this work, I hope to encourage a of love of place, the land and an enjoyment of being outdoors in the children I work with. 

I look forward to getting to know all of the Playschool families in the coming year. Thank you, Merci, Mahsi Cho.

Faith Bueckert

Substitute Teacher

My name is Faith Bueckert. I was born in the Philippines but we moved to Yellowknife back in February 2010. I will be the Summer Camp Coordinator this year, and I am excited to be part of the team. This will be my 2nd time being a summer camp coordinator for the Yellowknife Playschool. 

I graduated with an Early Learning and Child Care Diploma and have been in this field for the past 7 years. 

I enjoy working with children and watching them grow and learn new things. Every day is a fun and new adventure. I find this career to be rewarding as we co-learn with the children and build relationships with families. 

During my freetime, I like being outdoors and enjoy spending time with my husband and son. I also like to do puzzles and watch my favourite shows.

I believe that being an Early Childhood educator is a vital job because we guide and nurture and facilitate their learnings. 

“When you engage in a practice of relationships, you create places of vitality in early childhood communities with children – as mighty learners and citizens – and their families” (Play, Participation and Possibilities)

“ When you participate with children and families as co -learners, co-researchers, and co-imaginers of possibilities, you create responsive environments for children’s care, play, learning and development that reflect an image of the child as mighty learner and citizen-strong, resourceful, and capable.” (Play, Participation, and Possibilities)