Our Teachers

With four years of preschool experience already under her belt, Shaylene Saxton’s passion for teaching children is undeniable. And with her training in child psychology, she understands the intricacies of child development, and how to motivate each individual child towards their full potential.

Shaylene Saxton

Rio Terrace Community Preschool teacher

Shay Saxton, head preschool teacher

My name is Shaylene Saxton and I am so excited to be living this wonderful adventure, teaching at Rio Terrace Preschool!  I have a husband, John, and 3 children.  Ben is 14, Sam is 12, and Sophie is 7.  I am so proud of my family; they are pretty fantastic!

I graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.  I have my Child Development Worker certification along with level 1 and 2 American Sign Language.  I have been teaching preschool for the last 4 years.

I am passionate about early childhood education and the important role that play has in early learning.  I believe in strength-based teaching, focusing on a child’s many strengths and reinforcing their successes.  By engaging children in relevant and meaningful play experiences, we are ultimately strengthening their cognitive, physical, social and emotional development!

I look forward to a strong partnership with parents in an environment where children are encouraged to create, discuss, sing, move, observe and play!

Be silly.  Be honest.  Be kind.  — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Playfully Yours,

Ms. Shay



Introducing a fantastic new Teaching Assistant…

While working with Community Options as an Educational Assistant, Naoko had the opportunity to contribute to a number of different preschools, and experience a diverse range of teaching styles. The style she believes in most? Learning through play.

Naoko Henkel

Rio Terrace Community Preschool Teaching Assistant


Hello! My name is Naoko Henkel, and I am looking forward to being a part of the Rio Terrace Community Preschool. I have a husband, two boys (Tristan is 9 and Skai is 8) and two dogs.

I have been working with preschool children for the past 2 years, and previous to that, have volunteered extensively at the school my boys attend.

I love being actively involved with younger children, and helping them to learn through playful interactions. I am excited to start my new adventure with you!

Let’s Play!

Ms. Naoko


Ms. Emma Says Goodbye


Dear Parents of Rio Terrace Community Preschool,

I will not be returning to Rio Terrace Preschool as Teaching Assistant next year. My partner, Jason, has been offered an exciting promotion with his company in Victoria, and we have decided to leave Edmonton for BC this July. This is an amazing opportunity for me to focus on completing my education, as well as be closer to my family.

I want to thank all our preschool families for their exceptional support this year. The sense of community present at our preschool is a beautiful thing and something I am so proud to have been a part of. Working alongside you, Shay, and our wonderful board has been an experience for which I am very grateful, and from which I have learned so much. It is hard to be leaving just as I feel I am getting started. I have truly loved this job. Thank you for letting me into your children’s lives – it has been an absolute joy.

Ms. Emma



We were looking for a west Edmonton preschool when we discovered Rio Terrace. I can’t express how happy we are with the school, the teachers and the overall experience. My son loves going to school and is always excited to tell us about his day. Being able to spend the day in class with him on his “special day” was likely more of a treat for me than it was for him. First class experience all around!

Bruce R- Edmonton

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