Our teachers are experienced, dedicated, and passionate educators. They are determined to help each student reach their academic potential while building a life-long love of learning. The teachers work together to ensure continuity throughout the curriculum from Junior Kindergarten through Grade Eight.
At Pythagoras Academy the teachers and management staff work in partnership with both parents and students to create a school environment that is comfortable and welcoming for everyone. We strive to create strong relationships and open dialogue with parents, as we believe that they are crucial to a child’s progress and success.
Additionally, teachers provide a solid foundation for enhancing students’ learning through well-developed, inspiring educational programs tailored to each child’s interests, skills, and needs. Teachers work to encourage students to develop friendships and positive attitudes while promoting independence. On a daily basis, teachers look forward to both learning from their students, and to being inspired by them in return.
What you can expect from Pythagoras Academy Teachers:
- Hard work, discipline, and an extraordinary work ethic
- Passion for teaching, profound knowledge of one’s teaching subjects, and extensive professional experience
- Fine Arts instructors that are masters in their own field
- Nurturing and warm individuals who seek to truly connect with one another and with their students, and who care profoundly not only for their students’ academic success, but also for their overall well-being
Senior Administration Team
Michael Bouchard Principal
Mr. Bouchard holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Victoria. Mr. Bouchard teaching experience ranges from three year olds through to the university level. He has over twenty years of teaching experience in the public and independent school systems. As a principal, he has a decade of experience leading innovative schools in concept-based and arts-infused learning. He believes that all students have great potential for academic, social, and creative learning. Mr. Bouchard attributes his success to the collaborative partnerships he builds with teachers, parents and students. When learning communities come together to support students, Mr. Bouchard believes, the sky is the limit.
Leanne Ho Vice Principal of curriculum
Mrs. Ho is originally from Australia, she studied Bachelor of Primary Education at Avondale College in Cooranbong, NSW. She taught in Perth, Western Australia, for 3 years before moving to Canada with her Canadian husband. Mrs. Ho enjoys encouraging students to be the best they can be and to flourish in a fun and safe learning environment through play based learning activities. Mrs. Ho enjoys the great outdoors bike riding, hiking, snowboarding, soaking up the sun in summer time and exploring the local area. She also loves to travel and cook in her spare time.
Una Miljevic Vice Principal of Student Life
Ms. Miljevic attended Simon Fraser University, in Burnaby, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. As a young girl, she always dreamt of becoming a teacher and through her teaching hopes to inspire, discover and create alongside her students. Ms. Miljevic strives to help her students become critical and creative thinkers, have a resilient and courageous mindset, and to instill curiosity and wonder in her classroom. In her free time, Ms. Miljevic enjoys attending yoga and fitness classes and going for walks along the White Rock pier.
Leah Zeballos Director of Early Learning
Ms. Zeballos completed her Early Childhood Education at Douglas College. She brings over 10 years of experience, mainly with children between the ages of 3-5 years. Ms. Zeballos has taught in various public and independent school settings including within Montessori settings. Ms. Zeballos is dedicated and inspired to creating a learning environment that allows children to think independently and to enhance their creativity. In her spare time, Ms. Zeballos enjoys spending quality time with her two teenage daughters and 3 pets alike. Ms. Zeballos also takes pride in her commitment to a healthy lifestyle and ongoing yoga practice. She is excited for an amazing future within the Pythagoras Academy community!
Linda Yan Business Manager, Marketing Director
Linda Yan has a Master’s degree in Education and Linguistics, as well as a PMP International Certification in Project Management and is an advanced trainer in Microsoft Office Excel and other software. She joined Pythagoras Academy in 2017, after teaching at a university for 10 years and then working as a project manager for multinational companies for 5 years. Her years of experience in the education industry and business management have made her a perfect fit in her current role. Under her leadership, the front office, admissions, finance, kitchen, janitors, marketing and IT departments of Pythagoras Academy are constantly optimizing their processes and improving efficiency, so that all the students, teachers and parents are satisfied with the services and support they receive. In her spare time, she enjoys good food, traveling, reading and spending time with her family.
JK and Elementary Teachers
Lois Powell Director of Literacy and Teacher Librarian
Mrs. Powell brings over 25 years of classroom experience, leadership and the love of children and teaching. Originally from Winnipeg, she has lived and taught in international schools in Cyprus, China and Malaysia, and has also taught in independent schools in BC throughout her teaching career. With an extensive background in literacy, she also works within the school library and coaches the staff on assessment and instructional strategies. Mrs. Powell models effective leadership and provides challenging and engaging learning opportunities for her students.
Dawn Cleveland Kindergarten Teacher
Ms. Cleveland has recently returned to British Columbia from Saskatchewan. She is a passionate teacher who excels at creating a learning environment that is risk-free as well as emotionally safe for all students. Ms. Cleveland is a kind and caring person which allows her to quickly build positive relationships with her students. She is a team player and is more than willing to help-out wherever needed. With her 20 years of teaching experience, we know she will be an asset to our school.
Polly Tang Kindergarten Teacher
Ms. Tang completed both her Bachelor of Arts degree and her Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia. After completing her studies, she ventured off to explore and teach in Japan, Hong Kong and Korea. It was a wonderful experience, as she was able to teach children of all ages and she is enthusiastic about learning new cultures and new languages.
Ms. Tang has recently moved back to Canada and is excited to be part of the teaching team at Pythagoras Academy!
Briana Bolt Director of Instructional Innovation and Digital Marketing
Ms. Bolt holds a Bachelor of Education (K-12) Majoring in Visual Art, Minoring in Literature and a Bachelor of Arts with a focus in Visual Arts. In addition to this, she holds numerous certificates focusing on Inquiry, English Language Learning, Technology, Leadership and effective Classroom Management techniques. She has experience teaching children from three years old to ELL university, graduate students. Ms. Bolt has held team lead positions and division wide team lead positions, where she has traveled internationally to explore impactful learning and leadership techniques. Ms. Bolt believes that learning opportunities flourish in a positive and safe environment, where a sense of belonging and a feeling of being understood takes place. Ms. Bolt believes in global teaching philosophies and collaborative connections, while maintaining connections that create meaningful learning experiences for educators and students alike. Ms. Bolt strives for instances that promote authentic, collaborative, inquiry- based, and self-guided learning opportunities.
Julia Malone Elementary Teacher
Ms. Malone is originally from Ontario and graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts (English major) and a Bachelor of Education (Primary/Junior). During her time in university, she tutored children in math and language arts. She moved to British Columbia in September 2017 and joined Pythagoras Academy as a TOC. Ms. Malone is passionate about performing and language arts. She is excited to teach a cross-curricular education that encourages students to explore their learning in a creative setting. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, traveling and exploring beautiful British Columbia.
Nikki Verma Elementary Teacher
Ms.Verma got her passion for teaching from her Mom who was also a teacher. Ms.Verma was born in India and moved over to Canada in 2009 with her family. Ms.Verma holds a Bachelor of Science (Biology and Chemistry with honours) degree from Trent University in Ontario. She moved to Vancouver, to pursue her Bachelors of Education from the University of British Columbia. In her past, she was lucky enough to travel and teach grades 7-12 in China and the United Kingdom. Her goal is to inspire and make a lasting impact on the lives of each student. Outside of her classroom, Ms.Verma likes travelling, outdoor sports, and adventures. Ms. Verma also loves to paint. She has a passion for riding motorcycles and named her motorcycle “BEAST”. She loves going for long rides on weekends.
Natalie Palombo Elementary Teacher
Palombo is a warm and welcoming individual. She is of Italian descent and originally from Ontario where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Media and Film in 2012. In 2013, she earned another degree in Education from the University of Windsor. Palombo has experience working with children since she herself was a child, working in various settings such as camps, day cares, religious institutions, and schools. She is the kind of teacher who looks for the potential in each child and seeks to grow their abilities, knowledge and talents.
Dawna McIver Elementary Teacher
Ms. McIver is originally from Richmond, and is pleased to return to the community to teach in the Success Centre at Pythagoras Academy. Ms. McIver earned a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education in Ontario; she taught there for several years before moving back to British Columbia and obtaining BC certification. For over ten years, Ms. McIver taught in various alternative education programs in the lower mainland, with an emphasis on individualized and student-centred learning. A language learner herself, Ms. McIver particularly enjoys working with English language learners, helping them to explore the connections between their languages as the learners journey toward being multilingual.
When she is not in the classroom, Ms. McIver likes to spend time with her family, and also enjoys gardening, cooking, home renovation, and studying Mandarin. On the weekend, you may spot her in a red shirt at the local pool, refereeing a swim meet.
Cornelius Williams Physical Education Specialist
Mr. Williams is originally from Ontario. He obtained his Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology at Lakehead University. He then completed his Bachelor of Education with a specialization in Health & Physical Education at Nipissing University. After that, Mr. Williams went to South Korea and taught ESL for three years before moving back to Canada. For the last six years, he has taught Health & P.E. in Saskatchewan for grades K-12. During his time in Saskatchewan, he coached several sports like basketball, soccer, and track.
Mr. Williams is a sports and fitness enthusiast. In his spare time, he loves to work out and spend time with his family. Mr. Williams is excited to be a part of the Pythagoras Academy team!
Dipa Mondal Elementary Teacher
Ms. Mondal completed her Masters degree in Teaching English as an Additional Language from Simon Fraser University, BC. She believes that all children are unique and have something special to bring to their own education. She likes to assist children in finding their potential which could help them engage their creative thought. She has five years of teaching experience in different levels in Bangladesh. In addition to this, she also worked as a Core Skill Teachers’ Trainer and Material Developer in the British Council, Bangladesh. Besides her studies in Canada she has worked as a volunteer ESL Teaching Assistant and Peer Leaders in different organizations.
Ms. Mondal is passionate about creating an inclusive learning environment. She is excited to join the teaching team at Pythagoras Academy.
Angela Shudo Elementary Teacher
Mrs. Shudo is a former teacher returning to her true passion of working with children. For the past 10 years she has been a federal public servant and in the past 16 months she worked as a part time tutor for the Vancouver Learning Disabilities Society. She will be the in-house substitute teacher and Success Centre teacher at Pythagoras Academy, where she looks forward to delving back into classroom teaching. She holds a Masters’ Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix and received her teaching certificate and Bachelors’ Degree in English from Simon Fraser University. As well, she has been trained in the Orton Gillingham and SRSD (Self-Regulated Strategy Development) methods for teaching students with learning disabilities.
Yanina Vihovska Information Technology Specialist
Mrs.Vihovska was born in Ukraine and moved to Canada in 2002. She graduated from the University of Alberta with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in 2009. Mrs.Vihovska is an award-winning elementary educator, who enjoys sharing her passion for educational technology with teachers and students. Before moving to Vancouver in March 2019 from Edmonton, AB, she taught for over 8 years in the Edmonton Catholic School District. Mrs. Vihovska was a homeroom teacher and a Technology Coach, who coached students and supported staff in using educational technology. She developed digital resources, presented and taught at multiple conferences and Professional Development days in Canada and overseas.
Mrs. Vihovska is a proud mother of two, who spends her free time exploring all the wonderful playgrounds and parks in Vancouver and surrounding areas. Finally, she is always in search of a perfect latte.
Edgar Raygoza Early Childhood Educator
Mr. Raygoza was a Spanish teacher in Mexico for years. He has his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Instituto Jaime Torres Bodet school in Mexico. He also completed his Early Childhood Education at Vancouver Community College. Mr. Raygoza loves working with children. He was a TOC for the Junior Kindergarten program at Pythagoras Academy before joining full time to teach our Davinci class. Before joining Pythagoras academy, Mr. Raygoza worked at a Japanese school in Vancouver as an administrator. He is great with the children and they love learning from him!
Jean Huang Early Childhood Educator
Ms. Huang is a passionate early childhood educator who enjoys teaching children aged 2.5-5 years old in a creative, interactive and fun way. She has worked in various preschools and daycares in Richmond and has used her knowledge and talents for many years at Pythagoras Academy. Ms. Huang recently completed her Infant and Toddler Certificate, and holds a Master’s degree from Tufts University’s SMFA (School of Museum of Fine Arts) in Boston. She is a licensed Music Rhapsody teacher in USA. Ms. Huang holds a first-class RCM Piano Certificate and an Early Childhood Music Certificate, and was awarded the Lois Birkenshaw-Fleming Creative Teaching Fellowship at the Oscar Peterson School of Music in 2021. When not teaching, she enjoys creating/painting, snowboarding and traveling with her family.
Alice Gallagher Kindergarten Teacher
Ms. Gallagher is originally from Ireland. She graduated from the University of Limerick with a Bachelor of Education degree. She worked as a teacher in Dublin for 2 years before moving to Vancouver. She spent her first year working as a Learning Support Teacher, then went on to work as a Kindergarten Teacher. Ms. Gallagher is a passionate teacher, with a big love for teaching and learning. She is excited to create a positive, happy, and safe classroom environment where children feel motivated and encouraged to become creative thinkers.
Dale Cope Success Center Teacher
Mr. Cope has joined PA as part of the Success Centre team. He has completed post-secondary studies at the University of Victoria, University of British Columbia, and the University of New Brunswick. In addition to his Bachelor of Education from UBC, Mr. Cope has received a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma of Applied Linguistics from the UVic and a Masters of Education from UNB. Mr. Cope started teaching ELL, high school science, economics, and history in New Westminster before moving to Prince George to teach grades 2 and 3. He then taught grades 4 and 5 in Surrey and Abbotsford before accepting the role of head teacher at an elementary school in Surrey. Mr. Cope has an exceptional love for utilizing technology and inquiry to deepen learning and connect learning to the outside world.
Eliana Claman Elementary Teacher
Ms. Claman earned her Masters degree in Child Study and Education in the applied psychology department at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, under the University of Toronto. Ms. Claman is a born and raised Vancouverite and after living in Montreal, Israel, and Toronto, is thrilled to be back in beautiful British Columbia as of 2021. During her time in University, Ms. Claman tutored both elementary students and high school students in English, whilst doing both in-person and virtual teaching in Internship placements. Ms Claman has also worked as an elementary Education Assistant, a Preschool teacher, and as an extra-curricular coordinator at a local high school. Ms. Claman believes building a strong bond with students it vital for creating a successful learning environment and strives to connect and engage students through relationship building and having a fun learning space. Ms. Claman loves inquiry-based learning where students take ownership over their own learning, and using their wonderful, creative and unique minds, find beauty and sense in the world around them. In her free time, Ms. Claman enjoys reading, spending time with family, exploring cities fitness, and being near the ocean, whether on the beach or in a kayak.
Nathan Purcell Musical Theatre Specialist
Mr. Purcell is joining us as our Drama/Musical Theatre Specialist Teacher for the 2021-2022 school year. Mr. Purcell has studied at the University of Victoria (Bachelor of Fine Arts, Theatre) and the University of British Columbia (Bachelor of Education). Mr Purcell spent the first year of his teaching career working for the Vancouver School Board teaching English, Social Studies, and Drama, as well as working as a substitute and the second year as a grade 2/3 teacher. Looking forward to this year, Mr. Purcell is excited to share his love and passion of theatre with Pythagoras Academy and hopes that he can create a safe, inclusive, and fun classroom for all PA students to feel welcomed and inspired.
Arpan Dhaliwal Art Specialist
Arpan Dhaliwal graduated from the University of Calgary last year where she received her Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Fine Arts. She is thrilled to provide a well rounded Art education to the students of Pythagoras and is excited to meet everyone very soon! In her spare time she enjoys watching dramas, reading fantasy books, spending time with her dogs and indulging in a few too many oreo ice cream sandwiches.
Brian Lee Music Specialist
Mr.Lee came to Canada during his high school years and attended the University of Victoria for his Bachelor of Education specializing in concert band music. He also studied piano at UBC with a renowned pianist and professor for two years. Mr. Lee has taught high school and elementary school bands for the past five years and finished many festivals with excellent standings. He has training in both Orff and Kodaly’s music pedagogy and has used creative ideas to make an enjoyable learning environment for his students.In the past, Mr.Lee was a member of a traditional Korean drum team, rock band, and concert choir. As his side job, he teaches piano, drum, and vocal, and he occasionally composes music for a game company. When he is not teaching, Mr.Lee enjoys playing basketball, playing with his dog and singing in karaoke. He is looking forward to teaching the concert band at Pythagoras Academy!
Meelin Charlton Elementary Teacher
Mrs. Charlton is a true Vancouverite; she has lived in Vancouver since she was a baby. She graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education. Once she received her teaching certification, she went overseas to teach. Though she loved working abroad, after two and a half years of teaching English in South Korea, she returned to Canada to continue her teaching career. She has now taught for a total of 11 years. She is passionate about teaching, and cannot think of anything she would rather do than teach. When she is not teaching, she is busy shopping at grocery stores, visiting her nephews, and travelling with her husband. Last but not least, she loves eating and loves a variety of food except for spicy ones.
Jason Kwan Elementary Teacher
Mr. Kwan is excited to join the Pythagoras community this coming school year. He has taught in Vancouver, London and Hong Kong. Mr. Kwan’s goal in education is to motivate all children to be engaged and enthusiastic about learning and to become independent, principled and open-minded global citizens. Mr. Kwan is a life-long learner and aims to support the Pythagoras family to the best of his abilities. Jason also loves aquariums, oranges and spicy food.
Fatima Shareef Elementary Teacher
Ms.Shareef graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Education. Her major is biological sciences, and her minor is the Arabic language. Ms. Shareef has taught high school sciences for a year. She has also taught grade 5 for two years. Ms.Shareef’s teaching philosophy is having a welcoming and comfortable class environment where her students are engaged and motivated. She loves education and teaching. Her favorite part is watching her students’ positive growth in their learning journey. Ms.Shareef enjoys inquiry-based learning, where students take responsibility for their learning. It inspires them to show their creativity and thought processes. In her free time, Ms.Shareef likes to go on nature walks and enjoys cooking.
Anna Bourak Elementary Teacher
Anna Bourak has been teaching children and youth for the last 15 years, allowing her to develop her own unique pedagogy and teaching methods. She teaches her students using the foundation of Growth Mindset and Mindfulness, implementing lifelong concepts and strategies within every subject. Anna prioritizes a student-centered approach to learning, and makes sure that each student receives the differentiated attention that they require. When she is not teaching, you can find her engaged in art, yoga, meditation and nature during her own personal life.
Melissa Elder Early Childhood Educator
Mrs. Elder is excited to be returning to Pythagoras Academy and to have the opportunity to share her enthusiasm and joy for learning with children and families here at Pythagoras Academy. She holds a Diploma in Early Childhood Education from Langara College and is obtaining her Bachelor of Early Childhood Care and Education from Capilano University. Mrs. Elder finds inspiration in learning alongside children and is dedicated to creating a learning environment that encourages children to explore their ideas and think creatively. In her spare time, you can find her running, riding her bike, creating art, hiking, or playing with her cat.
Cherie Tuan Early Childhood Educator
Cherie is passionate educator who is committed to working and learning alongside children. She is dedicated to providing a fun and enriching learning environment. Cherie has an ECE diploma from Vancouver Community College and currently pursuing her Early Childhood Education degree at Capilano University. She loves travelling and spending time with her family and dog Biscuit.
Julie Tempan Excellerator Program
As Julie is passionate about the development of strong literacy and numeracy skills in learners, she is thrilled to join Pythagoras Academy in the role of Teacher of the Excellerator Program! Julie has over 30 years experience in teaching that includes several types of teaching assignments with a focus on differentiated instruction. In addition, she is proud to be the long-term foster mother of five elephants who were orphaned as calves in Kenya. Julie’s favourite children’s book is Tusk Tusk, by David McKee.
Debra Wilde Executive Assistant of the Head of School
Debra was born and raised in Richmond, BC, graduating from Steveston High school. Her career has spanned over four decades, starting as the Executive Secretary for Richmond Addiction Services. Her journey has taken her on many paths, including a brief stint in the library of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and another as Head Administrator of a school for autistic children. Debra is an animal lover and volunteers for Rabbitats Rescue Society. She’s an avid sports lover and was trained as a BCRPA fitness instructor in aerobics in 1995 (and still loves fitness). Debra’s a huge Canucks’ fan and has been a moderator on the team’s official website for ten years. In her free time, Debra enjoys being with her family, attending hockey games, reading and bike riding.
Yen Hao Chao Accountant
Yen Chao was born in a medical-professional family where his father is a doctor and his mother is an anesthetist. Yen Chao pursues his professional as a CPA, CGA because he is excellent in mathematics and numbers. He has managed the school-related financial performances and documents for more than 7 years. He has strong senses in numbers and financial analysis. He has also developed passions in corporation tax and personal income tax consultation. His hobby is to browse and analyze the real estate market and self develop his renovation skills. His leadership in finance has guided his staff members to reach high levels of professionalism. His life is full of laughter and humour. He has a new born boy at home with his wife. He enjoys talking with parents and staff. His calm personality and open-mindedness make the financial office at Pythagoras one of the best.
Jsen Song Student Advisor & Advancement officer
Over the past 10 years, Jsen has worked in private schools as Student Service of Academic Assessment (AP/SSAT) Manager. He evaluates students’ abilities through aptitude assessments, interviews and individual planning from the Foundation Year Program (FYP) to the Secondary Diploma Program (SDP). As a Student Advisor and Advancement Officer at Pythagoras Academy, his job primarily focuses on providing counseling services to students and parents based on academic needs. He really enjoys working with students to facilitate their academic skills, such as organizational and time management abilities and effective study habits. He also helps students construct plans to achieve academic goals by collaborating with other teachers and administrators. Jsen proposes, recommends or advises on project or program ideas that are tailored to the specific needs of Pythagoras Academy’s students including Academic activities/Sports, Arts or Voluntary opportunities. Jsen is excited about leading the annual Milestone project!
Vivian Chen Admission Officer
Vivian Chen was born in a traditional educational-background family in Taiwan where her grandfather was a famous Head of School in a Taiwanese local elementary school for 40 years and her father was a high school mathematics teacher. Vivian has followed her family’s path and completed a bachelor’s degree in Education, as well as a Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate in Canada. She used to serve in the administration team in the Faculty of Education at National Taiwan Normal University for four years, as well as worked as a teacher in secondary schools in Taiwan. She immigrated to Canada in 2015. She has strong interpersonal communication skills. She is proud of supporting an atmosphere of trust and openness among teachers, students and parents, as well as assisting parents and students to go through the admissions process. She enjoys seeing parents, students and staff working as a big family and supporting each other.
Kyra Wang Purchasing, HR
Crystal Zhang TOC, Administration
Saige Chen Administration
Roena Ong Administration
Angela Omelcenco Administration
Gena Huang Administration