Our Staff

We are a licensed facility under Early Childhood Development Services, The Early Years Branch, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. All of our teachers are fully qualified and have either an Early Childhood Education (ECE) or a Bachelor of Education background.

Staff Members

Sara Lordly

(ECE Level 2, 2016-17 Recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education)
Coordinating Director / Preschool Teacher

Miss Sara Lordly recently celebrated her 39th year teaching at Halifax Early Childhood School. Miss Lordly was educated in Ontario, receiving her Early Childhood Education Diploma from Centennial College.  In the early 1980s, Miss Lordly returned to the preschool she had attended as a child, this time as a teacher, and she assumed the Coordinating Director position in 1999. Miss Lordly loves music and drama and believes these arts facilitate connections between both teachers and students and students with each other. She is also passionate about the importance of language arts activities as a foundation for students’ subsequent learning. Miss Lordly’s dedication to early childhood learning and development for over three decades has positively influenced generations of Halifax children. She is fully committed to seeing each child reach their potential, as evidenced by the commendable feedback given by parents about HECS, year after year.

Jane Hamilton

Assistant  Director / Preschool Teacher

Miss Jane Dodge is a level III Early Childhood Educator having graduated from Mount St. Vincent University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Child and Youth Study. During school, Miss Jane developed an academic understanding of childhood behaviours while gaining experience with children as a nanny. Since graduating she has worked as a lead teacher in childcare centres, continuing to follow a passion for the nuances of child development and the joy children bring to her career. Miss Jane enjoys working in a field that continuously provides new learning opportunities. Sharing a love of literature, music, and the outdoors has been an integral part of her practice.

Sher Bailly


For years, Mrs. Bailly has been involved in the field of child development and fostered new learning experiences for young children. She is mother of three children and a former Child Life Specialist at the IWK Children’s Hospital. Like other members of the staff at HECS, Mrs. Bailly’s first experience with the school was as a parent who watched her three children develop and flourish from the nurturing and supportive programming offered at HECS. When, a few years later, Mrs. Bailly joined the HECS teaching staff, she discovered that HECS provided the perfect environment to combine her strong skill set in childhood development, early education and advocacy-support for children with an inclusive educational-developmental setting. Mrs. Bailly is an energetic, compassionate, enthusiastic, champion of all children and their ability to grow and develop while expressing their own individuality.

Sheena Loder

(ECE Level II)

Mrs. Sheena Loder graduated from Algonquin College in her native Pembroke, Ontario in 2006. She relocated to Halifax from the Annapolis Valley in the summer of 2022. Since her college graduation, Mrs. Sheena has worked in childcare centres and school environments as an Early Childhood Educator. She also has an extensive background working with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder as a Behaviour Interventionist.

Mrs. Sheena believes in play-based learning and loves to create inclusive learning environments while using behaviour management, adaptive teaching, and clinical skills to work with children of all cultural, social, and developmental needs. She looks forward to working closely with the children, families and staff of the Halifax Early Childhood School as well as getting to know the region that she now calls home.

Emma McManus

(ECE Level III)

Miss Emma McManus graduated with distinction from the University of Guelph, Ontario with a Bachelor’s degree in Child, Youth, and Family Studies. Born and raised here in Nova Scotia, Miss Emma has known she wanted to work with children her whole life, gaining invaluable experience through the years as a camp counsellor, nanny, and lead teacher in licensed childcare facilities. Her patient, gentle demeanor puts children and families at ease and brings a comfortable warmth to her classroom.

Miss Emma’s personal pedagogy is one rooted in the concepts of emergent curriculum and open-ended play, as well as the notion that children deserve to be active participants in their own learning experiences. She believes in a holistic approach that supports healthy child development in all areas. Miss Emma is also an avid visual artist, passionate about fostering her students’ creativity and imagination. Miss Emma is delighted to be joining the wonderful team of educators at HECS and looks forward to becoming a partner in your children’s development and education.

Mary Ann Collins

Ms. Mary Ann holds a BSc degree from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and worked in the healthcare field for over 15 years. She moved to Montreal, where she and her husband raised their family. Their girls attended a wonderful parent/teacher run co-operative preschool, much like HECS, where she volunteered in the classroom and participated on the executive committee. A few years later she was approached by the school to join the staff, and so her love affair with early childhood education began! There she followed her new passion working with with fellow teachers on planning and delivering curriculum, themes and educational programming. Additionally, Ms. Mary Ann gained experience working with older children as an animator/educator at a robotics camp, and after school programs, as well as starting a Green Club for the junior grades at her children’s primary school.

Ms. Mary Ann considers herself to be a positive, kind, caring and enthusiastic person, and these traits are brought to the classroom to help contribute to an environment that promotes curiosity and a love of learning, as well as a safe environment for free expression and self-discovery. She is a firm believer in play-based learning and enjoys providing many different ways for her students to work on important social skills like sharing, conflict resolution /feelings and planting the seeds of empathy. She is a lover of art, music and the outdoors and loves fostering opportunities for creativity and movement both in and out of the classroom.

Ms. Mary Ann and her family recently moved here from Montreal, and they are loving the laid back Atlantic coast vibes,  all the wonderful places they have explored and all the very friendly people they have met since they arrived. She is thrilled to join the staff at HECS and is excited about working at this “little gem” with you and little ones.


Halifax Early Childhood School is a non-profit organization that is committed to providing a learning environment of the highest quality for all children. HECS is guided by a volunteer Board of Directors and managed by a Coordinating Director. All parents and children at HECS are members of our community and the involvement of parents is always welcomed. Two individual parent-teacher meetings during the year offer the opportunity to discuss individual students and their development. Our Annual General Meeting is held each September and Parent Committee meetings are held twice a year. ‘HECS highlights’, a weekly summary including photos, stories and lyrics of new songs, is sent to all families every Friday.