Instructors & Mentors

Our award winning instructors and mentors are dedicated to ensuring you have an excellent learning experience and a smooth transition into your teaching careers.


Kate McCabe, BEd., MA (UBC)
Practicum and Program Director, Faculty

Kate completed an MA in Curriculum and Instruction from UBC. Kate’s thesis showed how sustained, structured conversation helps teachers be genuine in their practice and grow professionally. It is this work and methodology, combined with the expertise of the other members of Living Language, that form the basis for learning in the ECE program. Kate also holds certification as an International Baccalaureate teacher and practices inquiry learning in her work with children. She founded Creative Minds Early Learning Centre in Vancouver in 1982 and this is one of the sites for practicum. Kate in currently pursuing a doctorate in educational practice  and brings this study to her work with the ECE students.

Kate is the recipient of the 2012 Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in ECE (Certificate of Achievement).


Fleurette Sweeney, ARCT (Toronto), BA (UBC), MA (College Holy Names, Oakland, California), PhD (UBC)
Senior Administrative Officer, Faculty

Fleurette has spent the past 43 years researching the connection between singing and speaking. From 1967 until 1991 she collaborated with Mary Helen Richards in the development of Education Through Music and taught courses in ETM at universities and school districts throughout the US, Canada and Japan. Upon retiring Fleurette completed doctoral studies at UBC in 2002. Her dissertation From Sound to Symbol:The Whole Song as Curriculum; The Whole Child as Pedagogue; Observation as Methodology is the basis for her continuing work with children of all abilities, families, teachers. As founder and president of the Living Language Institute Foundation (1987), Fleurette and collaborators developed the program Singing English. Originally Singing English addressed the needs of children learning in the multi-lingual classrooms of Metro Vancouver. Lately it has been used with great success with parents whose children fall within the autistic spectrum, with librarians, and as the basis of a co-lingual project involving families living in the multi-lingual neighbourhoods of Vancouver.

Publications: Singing in the Education of Children: Implications for Teachers of the English Language 


Deb Grant

Advanced B.A. University of Saskatchewan 1989
ECE Pacific Rim ECE 2010
International Baccalaureate Level 1 2008
International Baccalaureate Level 2 2011
Sound to Symbol Methodology 2008
Food Safe 2005
First Aid

Deb Grant has a Bachelor of Arts degree and recently completed her Early Childhood Education Diploma. Her love of children and the joy of teaching led her to this field.  Being at Creative Minds has provided Deb with an enriched learning environment and invaluable support from co-workers.  Deb is also actively involved with her children’s elementary school with committee work and volunteering.  Deb’s greatest love is family.

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Kathryn Dula

Associate Degree (Arts) 2002 Focus: Peace and Conflict Studies, International Studies
ECE Diploma Langara College 2004
Special Education Diploma Langara 2006
ABA/Mand Training (Autism Spectrum) 2008
International Baccalaureate Level 1 2008
International Baccalaureate Level 2 2011
Sound to Symbol Methodology 2008
Kids Yoga Training 2010
First Aid

Kathryn completed her Early Childhood Education Certificate and Diploma at Langara College. Prior to that, she also completed her Associate in Arts Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies. Growing up in the Philippines and moving to Canada in her teens, Kathryn developed a keen interest in internationalism and global awareness. She is currently working on her Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies at SFU and also volunteers her time with the Western Canada Access to Justice. She believes in empowering the children to become not just thinkers but also cooperative and caring individuals in the community and the world. She enjoys long walks in the forest, hiking and adventure traveling. Music and dramatic plays are some areas she likes to explore with the children. Working at Creative Minds allows her to share her passions as well as discover new interests with the children.

Kathryn was awarded the 2011 Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in ECE: Certificate of Achievement

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Mary Fai

Early Childhood Education VEMC 2007
Montessori 2007
Business Management Langara 2005
International Baccalaureate Level 1 2008
International Baccalaureate Level 2 2011
Song Games Development Training 2008
Grade 8 RCM piano
First Aid

After hearing many positive things about the “Montessori method” Mary decided to complete her Montessori and Early Childhood Education training at Vancouver ECE and Montessori College. Through her study and research Mary has come to see the child as a curious and unique individual. With proper guidance, and tools to discover the world, children explore and experience the excitement of learning. Furthermore, Mary has a strong interest in languages. Other than Mandarin and Cantonese, she studied French and Japanese for many years. During her free time, she enjoys cooking, strolling on sandy beaches during the summers and experiencing the healing effects of yoga.

Mary was awarded the 2011 Prime Minister’s Award fro Excellence in ECE: Certificate of Achievement