A School Is Only As Good As Its Teachers

At Pear Tree Elementary, our masters-qualified teachers possess a passion for educating with a natural ability to mentor, challenge, and inspire students to excel. Each Pear Tree teacher embodies the values, beliefs, and philosophy we promote in our progressive school.

Meet our team



  • Alexis Birner

    Principal / 2-4 Teacher

    M.Ed., B.Ed, B.A.

    Alexis Birner is the Co-Founder, Principal and Teacher at Pear Tree Elementary.

    A seasoned educator with a decade of experience in both public and private elementary schools, Alexis combines exceptional credentials with a deep understanding of the learning process to deliver a meaningful education experience to her students. She is dedicated to helping each child cultivate their individuality, and achieve not only academic, but lifelong success.

    Alexis is a passionate advocate for progressive methods of education and meaningful integration of technology in the classroom. She uses theme and project-based learning – two of the most advanced methods of education – which puts knowledge into context so that children are both challenged and excited to learn.

    In her previous role, Alexis taught for 6 years at Crofton House School (CHS) in British Columbia. In addition to teaching in Grades K-4, she also piloted the school’s first 1-to-1 iPad learning program. Further, Alexis help CHS pilot the ‘Freshgrade’ system, which incorporated digital portfolio and assessment methods into her daily teaching practice.

    A highly respected expert in her field, Alexis is a published researcher on the topic of ‘critical literacy theory’. Her article on Deconstructing gender representations in an elementary school classroom was published in the Canadian Journal for New Scholars in Education in 2016. Her work has also appeared in the Australian Review of Applied Linguistics.

    In addition to her published research, Alexis is also a recognized speaker, most recently speaking at the Vancouver EdTech Team Summit featuring Google for Education.

    Alexis holds a Masters of Education, Bachelor of Education, and Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia. She is also currently in the process of becoming an Apple Distinguished Educator.

    In her free time, Alexis enjoys cooking and exploring fitness and physical activity options within the city. She delights in sharing these passions with her students to enhance their education at Pear Tree Elementary.

    LinkedIn
  • Paul Romani

    Paul Romani

    Founder / Director

    M.Ed. (in progress), B.A.

    Paul Romani is the co-founder and director of Pear Tree Elementary. In this role, Paul delivers an innovative, technology-enriched, and research-backed approach to education, helping both students and teachers achieve meaningful success.

    A proponent of 21st century learning, Paul believes strongly in equipping students with real-world skills and abilities that will help them develop the confidence to excel both in and out of the classroom.

    In his role as director, Paul also spearheads Pear Tree’s YouTube channel, a highly sought after resource on the topic of 21st century education. His videos have some of the top views on this topic and are used by American, British, and other international universities in their teaching training programs.

    Paul began his career in education in 2001 after achieving great success as a computer engineer, receiving multiple accolades from such respected publications as PC Magazine. His background in education is exceptionally diverse, spanning a range of institutions, students, and countries, which provides him with a unique perspective on education and the learning process.

    Over the past 15 years, Paul has gained extensive experience in English as a Second Language (ESL), career and vocational training, and education management. Most notably, he directed six summer residential language schools at the ISIS Royal Holloway Summer School in the United Kingdom. In this role, Paul oversaw more than 1,000 students and 70 staff, making it one of the UK’s largest and most successful summer schools.

    Paul is on the verge of completing his Masters of Education in Educational Technology and Learning Design at Simon Fraser University. He is a Level 1 Google Educator and Microsoft Certified Educator. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia.

    Paul’s vision for Pear Tree Elementary is to offer the most advanced learning experience – with highly qualified teachers, integrated use of technology, and progressive teaching methods – to deliver a well-rounded and inspired education for students.

    LinkedIn
  • brittany-kozak

    Brittany Kozak

    Grade K-1 / French Teacher

    M.Ed., B.Ed., B.A.

    Brittany joined the staff at Pear Tree Elementary after a distinguished career in the Toronto private school sector, where she taught elementary students across all grade levels. Her teaching there included stops at the Institute of Child Study – the University of Toronto’s Lab school – and a Montessori institute.

    A devout commitment to both ongoing research and teaching, as well as developing a strong sense of community among her students and colleagues, lie at the heart of her educational philosophy. Her masters in Child Study and Education – specializing in the early years and French as a Second Language (FSL) – provides her with the tools and prowess to lead our Early Years and French programs in the classroom.

    Brittany aims to help Pear Tree’s youngest students become life-long and intrinsically motivated learners, as well as models of curiosity, respect, and enthusiasm. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys cooking – a love she will no doubt share with her students – playing sports, reading, and enjoying the outdoors with her dog. She brings an unbridled and contagious joy that sets the tone for kindergarten and beyond.

    Aside from her role as our grade K-1 classroom teacher, Brittany is also responsible for our French program for students in our primary and intermediate classes. Brittany’s approach to French teaching employs the Accelerative Integrated Methodology (AIM) language method: “Authentic learning is achieved through scaffolding techniques which use story-telling, gestures, active collaboration and repetition. This use of high-frequency vocabulary, introduced with gestures and contextualized in stories, drama, songs and dance, allows students to rapidly achieve levels of oral and written proficiency rarely seen with conventional methods.” Aim Language Learning. This approach complements Pear Tree’s approach to authentic and multi-modal learning.

  • Andrea Page

    Andrea Page

    Grade 2-4 Teacher

    M.Ed., B.Ed, B.A.

    Andrea Page is the teacher for Grades 2 to 4 at Pear Tree Elementary. Leveraging her strong academic background, she delivers a whole-child approach to education, helping students become not only proficient learners, but exceptional people. Andrea believes that developing well-rounded students through academics, athletics, the arts, and an awareness of their local and global community, supports children in reaching their full potential.

    An expert in Social Emotional Learning, Andrea brings proficiency in teaching soft skills, such as executive function, social, emotional, and interpersonal attributes, giving her students the 21st century knowledge and tools they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

    Prior to joining Pear Tree Elementary in 2017, Andrea worked at Crofton House School (CHS) teaching grades K-2, and acting as Admissions Coordinator. At CHS, Andrea introduced the ‘Free to Be’ program, a positive-based social emotional program to educate adolescents about body image and provide them with tools to critically and objectively view media coverage. Andrea previously worked at West Point Grey Academy (WPGA) where she taught Grade 1.

    Andrea is passionate about the seamless integration of technology in education. While at CHS, she advocated for providing a parental portal for Seesaw, an online student portfolio and self-reflection system, and socio-emotional development through the Mind Yeti app. These tools have resulted in students communicating more effectively, focusing more clearly on tasks, and having a deeper understanding of what it means to be part of a community.

    A lifelong learner, Andrea embodies the Pear Tree Elementary philosophy with her ongoing pursuit of academic, socio-emotional, and physical development. She believes that Pear Tree Elementary’s progressive approach delivers best-in-class education to its students, nourishing their curiosity, compassion, creativity and critical thinking skills.

    Andrea holds a Masters of Education (M.Ed), specializing in Social Emotional Learning (SEL), from the University of British Columbia.

    Andrea is a role model for her students both in and out of the classroom. A fitness enthusiast who demonstrates perseverance and tenacity, she has completed six full marathons and eight half marathons. She has also worked in fundraising and community partnerships with Canuck Place, which provides palliative and respite care services for sick children in BC Canada.

    LinkedIn
  • Raphael

    Raphael Crickmay

    Teacher Intern

    B.A., B.Ed.

    Raphael is an elementary school teacher from Melbourne, Australia, with an Australian-Canadian heritage. He brings 3 years’ experience classroom teaching in differentiated classrooms ranging from grades 3-6. In fact, he is very accustomed to combined grades classes.

    Complementing Pear Tree’s progressive educational approach, Raphael has experience in inquiry-based curriculum development, problem-based learning, the effective use of 1:1 iPad programs, and the integration of ICT for blended learning. Raphael is adept with using Google Apps for Education.

    Raphael’s personal educational background is a combination of Waldorf (AKA Steiner) and State pedagogical approaches, offering him a broader perspective on education. This, combined with his professional experience, drew Raphael to Pear Tree Elementary and our progressive education approach.

    Raphael is also a music lover and technology-enthusiast.

    Raphael’s role at Pear Tree will be to act a support within the classroom, as well as leading our P.E. program. With a strong professional teaching background already, Pear Tree makes every effort to embrace his knowledge, skills and passion for teaching.

  • Music Teacher

    JR Kline @ Mink Studios

    Music Teacher

    Musician / Band Member

    JR Kline from Mink Studios provide Pear Tree’s students with the most amazing music lessons!

    JR works with our Grade 2-7 students on learning the guitar, composing songs, singing, and concert preparation.

    In line with Pear Tree’s educational philosophy, all of JR’s classes will be focused on the themes and topics that we’re currently working on, which will provide natural and meaningful inspiration for music. JR’s songwriting, music producing and live performance experience are all great tools for this amazing process.

    At the same time, JR also trains our staff to better integrate music into our regular theme and project-based classes.

    JR is a very busy and in-demand teacher, working in various parts of Metro Vancouver from the North Shore to Richmond with students from K-12. He also works for “Deep Cove Music” as their head instructor and has been running Group Guitar/Voice classes for the Squamish Nation and The North Shore Neighborhood House for 16 years.

    Additionally, JR has been running his own Artist Development School in North Vancouver for over 25 years. He manages 15 teachers and have produced 20 years of Artist festivals, showcases and student concerts at Capilano University.

    Mink Studios

  • brightstars

    Jordan Thompson @ BrightStars Performing Arts

    Dance Instructor

    B.A., Grad. Dipl. Broadcast Journalism

    Jordan brings 30 plus years of dance education, music and performance experience and qualifications as founder of BrightStars Performing Arts.

    She has been teaching internationally for the past 14 years and has taught over 700 tiny tots and hundreds of children.

    Jordan has undertaken study in the teaching of early childhood education and development and has spent her lifetime training in accredited dance syllabi (Royal Academy of Dance, Al Gilbert, American Jazz Dance Affiliation International).

    Professionally, Jordan has appeared in numerous productions including the Nutcracker and worked in broadcasting for Bill Good, Raif Mair, Global and the Beat 94.5. She has choreographed for industry giants including Gillete, RM Williams, the Tap Dogs, Ford Modelling Agency, Powerhouse Museum and countless International Women’s Day and Children’s Week Festivals.

    She has discovered her ultimate love in teaching children and knows a parent’s joy in seeing their child discover and learn new life skills, experience self awareness and ultimately having a wonderful time participating in a caring, inspiring and nurturing environment!

    BrightStars Performing Arts

  • yogabuttons

    Carolyn Lundie @ YogaButtons

    Yoga Instructor

    B.A., B.Ed.

    Pear Tree Elementary is delighted to be working with Carolyn Lundie of YogaButtons to provide our students with a superior quality of yoga classes than any P.E. teacher could provide.

    Carolyn is not only the owner of YogaButtons, but is also a licensed elementary school teacher with 13 years’ classroom experience.

    YogaButtons

    Here’s a message from Carolyn:

    “Hi, I’m Carolyn!

    I believe in fort building, tree climbing, pillow fighting, monster cookies, and playing games outside with neighborhood pals until the street lights come on.

    I have delighted in learning and growing with my students as a primary education teacher for the past 15 years in the elementary school system. I treasure playing a part in children’s learning and activating their minds in creative ways. We have so much to learn from our children.

    I wanted to create a happy community space to bring children and families together through yoga. I created YogaButtons Studio for my son Jack and his buddies, and for all the adorable little buttons out there. A studio for kids; young and old, big and small; to discover how good it feels to move their bodies, breathe and ignite their imaginations. My dream is to share my love of children and yoga with my community.

    The name YogaButtons comes from my father. As a little girl, my dad nicknamed me “Buttoni” – his way of saying: Little Button. The studio is for all the little and big Buttonis (adults too!) out there. Let’s open our bodies, minds and hearts together through playful yoga.

    Be prepared for fun and creativity at YogaButtons Studio. You never know what may magically appear in our classes… Poof! Behold: bubbles, ribbon dancing, parachute games, face painting, puppet play, drumming, crafts, games, storybooks, dancing, singing and more.

    I am excited to meet you soon!”

  • phoenix

    Alejandra Mendoza @ Phoenix Gymnastics

    Gymnastics Instructor

    Vancouver Phoenix Gymnastics was founded by Sev Heiberg in 1969. Sev built the club on traditions and values of generosity, sportsmanship, work ethic, honour and love of gymnastics.

    VPG continue to embody these characteristics in their day-to-day work, and by following their Phoenix Values. This has led graduates of the Phoenix program to continue in the sport of gymnastics into high school and beyond. Today, such students remain at VPG as coaches, judges, administrators, volunteers, and positive members of the community. They often return with their children — the next generation of the Phoenix family.

    VPG was also built on the spirit of volunteerism by our families. Events such as family day, fundraising activities, parent education nights, competition hosting, year-end celebrations and cleanups are some of the many ways the Phoenix family has come together. It is this united effort that has allowed the Phoenix Family to attain such achievements as the fundraising to build our Millennium Sports Facility, which has become our home since 2005. Today, they are proud to say that they have grown into one of the largest, highly respected clubs in Western Canada.

    Pear Tree Elementary has had the fortune of having Alejandra Mendoza as their VPG coach. Alejanda was the winner of PLAY Gymnastics Coaches of the Year in 2013. She is an amazing coach who has a wonderful rapport with our students.

    Vancouver Phoenix Gymnastics

  • k-fitness

    Farhad Dordar @ K-Fitness

    Martial Arts Instructor

    Licensed martial arts coach

    Pear Tree Elementary is delighted to be working with Master Farhad of K-Fitness to provide our students with a level of martial arts instruction than no P.E. teacher could provide.

    Master Farhad has taught thousands of children and youth for around 40 years, and is a well-known international kickboxing coach. His specialty is helping students to understand the details of good technique and form, as well as understanding the logic behind the moves.

    K-Fitness

Pear Tree Elementary,
215-2678 West Broadway,
Vancouver, B.C.,
V6K 2G3

© 2017 Pear Tree Elementary