Meet the Wise Owls team

Managerial team


Catherine is the co-founder, owner and manager of Wise Owls. She has worked with children for as long as she can remember. The past 25 years of being a speech and language therapist has taken her to many nurseries in different countries and specialising in language development in the early years gives her a unique insight into what makes an excellent early learning and childcare setting


Mark is the co-founder and owner of Wise Owls. Having been house-dad for most of our kids’ lives, Mark is the best person to know what makes kids tick! He’s also as handy with a drill as he is with a whisk and will love getting the children involved with whatever he is doing around the nursery! These days, Mark mostly keeps the nursery renovations ticking over – which is no mean feat in an 100 year old building!


Vicky has been with Wise Owls since before it even opened, donning paintbrush and siliconing sinks in preparation for our grand opening. She briefly left but we missed each other too much so we are delighted that she came back and is now the manager in our Out of School Club at Moffat Academy. She loves all ages of children but schoolies have always been her passion! “During my free time I love walking, photography, music and singing. Most of these I have transferred to the nursery with being outdoors with children as much as possible, taking the Christmas photos the past two years and bursting into song at any given time…. Which has proved an ideal distraction technique when things get a little lively!”


Amy joined the Wise Owls team in June 2019 having just finished her HNC qualification in Childhood Studies. She is the Room Lead for the Branchers (2 year olds) Room. In her spare time, Amy helps on her family’s farm, looking after the horses.


Kimberley joined us in the baby room in July 2021, having had four years in a nursery in Surrey, she has decided to return to her hometown of Moffat. Kimberley is the Room Lead for the baby room as from August 2022


Kim has joined us in the office in October 2022 to whip us and our admin into shape. 

Qualified Practitioners


“My name is Fiona Engel and I moved to Moffat from Edinburgh almost 2 years ago. I have 23 years of experience in childcare and have worked with all age groups during that time. In my spare time you can find me sitting at my sewing machine creating a new wardrobe, making greeting cards for family and friends, and doing many other crafty projects. Of course, I also like to go for walks through the beautiful countryside.”


Koren graduated from Drama school in Edinburgh in 2017 where she then went on to working in Italy for 8 months doing Panto style shows for children ages 2-16. She then set up her own princess party business – Once Upon Your Princess Party – where she has loved entertaining children across Dumfries and Galloway ever since. She joined us in July 2021 and gained her Qualification in July 2022. “Working with children is something I love doing and have ample experience in and working at Wise Owls Nursery is the icing on the cake for my career. I also have a puppy who I like to go on walks with and I love going to the theatre!” Koren is currently on maternity leave, having become a mummy in March 2023


Jamie Acres comes from a background in Hospitality, working in kitchens in and out of Moffat for a number of years. He was our nursery cook, but completed his qualification in Social Work with Children and Young People in July 2022. He now works as a practitioner in the Fledgling room. “Outside of work, my interests include walking, reading, motorbikes and of course cooking.“


Sam has been with us since 2020 and as a qualified member of staff in the Fledgling Room, she is happiest when outdoors, especially at Forest School. Sam enjoys going to the gym and walking her dog when she is not at Wise Owls, and of course looking after her grandson too! 


Aimee started with us in 2022 and has completed her Modern Apprenticeship in record time. We are excited to welcome her to the team way ahead of schedule! She now works alongside Kimberley in the baby room.


Claire joined us in March 2022 as a Modern Apprentice, qualifying within the year. As a mother of three herself, she has plenty of experience with young children and enjoys getting out and about with the kids. We look forward to having another Modern Apprentice join our qualified team!


Maya joined us in June 2021, having gained an MA (Hons) in psychology from Aberdeen University. She has since started her Modern Apprenticeship in Social Work with Children and Young People and works mainly in all areas of the nursery, with all groups! 


Brooke started with us as a cleaner in 2021 and is working towards her Modern Apprenticeship in Social Work with Children and Young People. We look forward to having her join our childcare team! She predominantly works with the out of school club children.

Modern Apprentices


Skye joined us as a Modern Apprentice in January 2022. She will be helping out with the Branchers (2 years and under). In her spare time she enjoys riding and caring for her horses.


Lesley joined us in April 2022. She is responsible for keeping our setting clean and tidy so that the children can play safely.
Lesley has also started her Level 3 qualification in Social Services (Children and Young People) She works both in the out of school club and with the Fledglings.

Support Staff

Mo - Cleaner

Mo left Wise Owls, but missed us so much she came back! She also keeps the setting clean and tidy. She’s the one who will be most likely caught steaming in the nursery! 

Fiona - Nursery Cook

Fiona joined us in July 2022 to take over Jamie’s role in the kitchen once he moved to the Fledgings room. She came to us from her last job as a catering manager at a high school and before that, cook at Bankfoot care home. Having worked with the elderly and with teens, she has decided to try her hand with our young ones! Thankfully she loves both cooking and kids, but outside of work she also enjoys exercising. football and Formula 1.