Long-time Bettye Hyde educator to leave

Christine Aubry

Even if you or your children have not attended Bettye Hyde Early Learning Centre, if you are a resident of Sandy Hill, you likely know of Lisa Lajoie. Lajoie has been a registered early childhood educator with Bettye Hyde for just over 23 years. Sadly, her time with Bettye Hyde is coming to an end soon, but that’s only because she is embarking on another exciting adventure.

Bettye Hyde became part of the Andrew Fleck Children’s Services family in October and, as Lajoie explained to me, part of the advantage of this merger is that staff have access to other opportunities. When Andrew Fleck announced they were opening a nature-based licensed early learning and care program at Wesley Clover Parks for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, Lajoie knew this was an opportunity she could not pass up.

“I’m at my best when I’m in nature,” she said, adding “I’ve always loved that Bettye Hyde has so much emphasis on outdoor play and visiting parks; the move to this new forest explorer program is really a natural fit for me.” Another important reason for the move is that the new workplace will be much closer to Lajoie’s new home in Perth, where she moved with her husband last year after living in Sandy Hill for 16 years.

With tears in her eyes, Lajoie told me that she is not only going to miss the Bettye Hyde family (in particular her friend and colleague Janet LeBlanc, with whom she has lived through many of the ups and downs of Bettye Hyde). “I have close ties with so many families and alumni,” she explained. “I now have a co-worker whom I taught at Bettye Hyde, and I am even teaching a second generation!” But she is also really going to miss this neighbourhood and community. “This is a pretty special neighbourhood,” said Lajoie. “Sandy Hill is so full of community-minded people.”

Among her favourite memories, in addition to Bettye Hyde’s exciting move to its current home in the “Carriage House,” are the many Trivia Nights and Spring Fairs.

Lajoie is not certain of the exact date of her departure — likely to be sometime in January. But she is glad that she will remain a part of the Andrew Fleck family, which means retaining ties to Bettye Hyde, where her heart will always belong.

Lisa Lajoie, registered early childhood educator at the Bettye Hyde Early Learning Centre for the last 23 years
Photo: C. Bégin