Karen Barker

Executive Director

Karen first joined the Children’s Centre team in 2003 as Administrative Assistant. She took some time off to stay home and raise her children and came back to work as our Program Administrator in 2016. Born and raised in Newfoundland she moved to Fort McMurray in 2003 and has been an active member of supporting Wood Buffalo’s community.

Thankful for being part of a great work family!

Sue Goudie

Program Administrator

Sue has been with The Children’s Centre since 2002. She started in the position of Administrative Assistant, moving into the role of Program Administrator a couple of years later and has been in the position of Executive Director for the past two years.

Sue moved to Fort McMurray in 1980 & raised three children over the years. This has been home for a long time & will continue to be. When she’s not working, you will find her spending time with her “awesome” grandchildren and meeting up with friends?

Melinda Ash

Administrative Assistant

Melinda Ash has been a full-time employee at The Children’s Centre since September 2019 but has been involved in volunteering and programs since 2002. She was born and raised in Fort McMurray, so she has seen many changes over the years. Melinda has a young family of her own and has recently rejoined the workforce after being a stay-at-home mom for six years. Her own children attended the programs hosted by The Children’s Centre so she couldn’t be more pleased to work for an organization that she has been a part of for so long. She looks forward to meeting new faces and becoming even more hands-on with our programs.

Linda Lynch

Program Manager/Pre-Postnatal Coordinator

Linda has been the Food For Two Pre/Postnatal Coordinator since 1999.  In addition to coordinating a successful prenatal program, Linda is also responsible for the postnatal component of the program.  This program is open to all pre/postnatal women in our city who could benefit from this service.

Linda was born in Dublin, Ireland.  For the past 30+ years, Linda has resided in Fort McMurray with her family.

With courses In Early Childhood from Keyano College and her certification in Childbirth Education from Douglas College along with numerous related training and various other courses, Linda continues to expand her repertoire of skills by attending conferences and training sessions throughout Alberta, Canada, and the United States.

The Food For Two Pre/Postnatal program is a joint partnership between Alberta Health Services, United Way, and The Children’s Centre.  For more information on these programs please call the centre at 780-743-3309 and ask to speak to Linda.

Desirae Jarvis

Early Childhood Supervisor

Desirae has been working with the Children’s Centre for 11 years. She worked as a teacher in our preschool for 10 years and has just recently moved up to Preschool Supervisor. Desirae was born and raised in Fort McMurray, and she truly enjoys getting to see so many families making this their home as well. Desirae has her Diploma in Early Learning and childcare which she obtained from Keyano College. She is also a mother of two beautiful children who are the light of her life! Outside of work Desirae is a huge family person who enjoys spending all her free time with them, she also loves to travel and see new places in the world! Desirae is very grateful to work for such a wonderful organization and excited for her new role as preschool supervisor! Fun fact, Desirae attended the Children’s Centre preschool as a child back in 1996! Who knew all these years later she would be working at the same place!

Ashley Pelley

Preschool Teacher

Ashley moved to Fort McMurray from Deer Lake Newfoundland in 2010. During her time here she has had the opportunity to experience different work environment but, always felt something was missing until the completion of her Early Learning and childcare certificate in 2016.

Ashley joined The Children Centre family shortly after in 2016 and has been one of our preschool teachers for the last four years. She not only adores children and teaching them but she also enjoys learning from them, listening to their silly, yet interesting stories, and seeing the excitement on their faces when they learn something new.

Outside of work Ashley enjoys sending time with her significant other, their two dogs, and traveling to Newfoundland to visit family. She has a passion for being outdoors, whether it’s camping or quading in the summer or snowmobiling and ice fishing in the winters.

Ashley is excited for each new year to start as she gets the opportunity to meet and engage with new children and their families.

Tiffany Cullimore

Preschool Teacher

Tiffany was born in Newfoundland and moved to Fort McMurray in 2017. Tiffany lives with her young daughter and her Fiancé. She attended Keyin college in St John’s Newfoundland and has a diploma in Child and Youth Care, with Addiction. Tiffany found she loved working in a pre-school setting and that’s when she became a team member working at The Children Center. She is really enjoying meeting all the new families and children that attend the preschool each year. In the classroom Tiffany likes to plan fun activities for the children and loves messy play!
In Tiffany’s spare time you could find her outdoors with her family or friends camping and out for drives.

Megan Wikins

Parent Toddler Facilitator

Megan was born and raised in Fort McMurray. She went to Keyano College in 2011 for the Early Learning and Childhood program. She has worked with the school board, a program for children with disabilities in Spruce Grove, and various preschools in Fort McMurray, including our Preschool a few years ago. This will be her first year as Parent Toddler Facilitator and she is very excited for her new role. Megan enjoys planning various activities for her classroom. She is thrilled to meet the children and their caregivers.

In her spare time, you can find Megan planning activities for her son, walking her dog, and hanging out with her husband. As a family they enjoy going to the local dirtbike track and drives down tower road. Megan’s hobbies include knitting and crafting.

Ella LeDrew

Nutritional Facilitator

Ella joined The Children’s Centre team in 2006. It was Ella’s love of cooking that drew her to the Centre, however, her genuine fondness for the children very soon won her heart.

In the span of a year, Ella makes countless meals for preschool children. Monday to Thursday, twice a day, Ella is in the kitchen preparing healthy nutritious snacks that are greatly appreciated by our little ones. On a number of occasions, moms have come to the center to ask how a particular snack was prepared because they’d been told what they had served wasn’t like Ellas at school.

Every Tuesday and Thursday Ella prepares wonderful meals for our pre and postnatal families, much to their delight. Ella strives to provide all children/families with wholesome nutritious snacks/meals daily, her reward is the appreciation shown by everyone.

Sandra Gill

Bus Driver

Sandra has been a long-term resident of Fort McMurray since 1981.  She is married and has two girls and 3 wonderful grandchildren.  Sandra worked for Sparksman for 9 years. After she left Sparksman she drove as a fill in driver for The Children’s Centre for 8 years until 2021 when Iona the previous driver retired and Sandra became the full time bus driver.

When Sandra is not working you will find her spending time with her family and friends.