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

    Alexis Birner

    Co-Founder / Principal

    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

    Co-Founder / Director

    M.Ed., 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 has a Masters of Education degree in Educational Technology and Learning Design from 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
  • Andrea Page

    Andrea Page

    Community 2 Teacher

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

    Andrea holds a Masters of Education (M.Ed), specializing in Social Emotional Learning (SEL), from the University of British Columbia. Leveraging her strong academic background, Andrea 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, Andrea worked at Crofton House School (CHS) teaching grades K-2, and acting as Admissions Coordinator. She also 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 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
  • Louisa Chan

    Louisa Chan

    Community 3 Teacher

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

    Louisa joined the staff at Pear Tree Elementary after she finished her M.Ed in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development from the University of Toronto. Passionate, dedicated, and resourceful, Louisa brings forth a strong commitment to developing the academic, social, and emotional skills of all students. She believes that inquiry and play-based learning can foster a child’s natural curiosity and love for learning. As a holistic educator, her educational philosophy is built on community, collaboration, innovation, and motivation. Louisa has proved herself to be a versatile and innovative leader with the talent for developing differentiated lessons using modern technologies in the classroom such as Google Classroom, iPads, and FreshGrade.

    Prior to Louisa’s role at Pear Tree Elementary, she taught for 3 years at a private school in Richmond Hill, Ontario. While teaching K-4, Louisa also organized and taught after school co-curricular programs, including Visual Arts K-1, Cooperative Games K-2, Build-It K-2, and outdoor play. Additionally, she created and implemented the school’s first K-1 summer literacy program.

    As a lifelong learner, Louisa strives to develop her profession through taking part in teacher education programs. She has obtained her Level 1 Google Educator and Apple Teacher Certification. She believes that teachers should ideally be lifelong learners themselves in order to inspire students to adopt this invaluable trait.

    At the heart of Louisa’s educational philosophy is her devout commitment to both ongoing research and teaching, as well as developing a strong sense of community among her students and colleagues. In order to accomplish this, she utilizes differentiated learning plans to promote students’ desire to learn. Having a solid foundation in leadership, inquiry-based learning, and inclusive teaching, Louisa enables students to achieve their goals and become contributing members to their communities.

    Louisa’s love for art can also be seen inside and outside of the classroom. She has obtained her level 9 piano through the Royal Conservatory of Music and enjoys playing classical and contemporary music for herself and her students.

    LinkedIn
  • Nicole Malcomson

    Nicole Malcomson

    Teacher Intern

    B.A., B.Ed.

    Nicole brings valuable experience in outdoor and experiential education gained from her Bachelor of Education degree and accompanying teacher service positions, as well as from experience working at traditional Canadian camps.

    As a newly-qualified elementary school teacher from Ontario, Nicole is very passionate about outdoor learning, learning beyond the classroom, and being in contact with nature. She applies inquiry-based and play-based approaches in order to spark children’s interests in exploring the world around them. She brings compassion, enthusiasm, and dedication to teaching. Her goal as an educator is to develop resilient children who have a love of learning and are truly life-long learners.

    For the 2017/18 school year, Nicole will lead many of our non-specialist physical education programs and will provide in-class support for all of our K-7 classrooms.

    LinkedIn
  • JR Kline

    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

  • Marcella Morelli Cruz

    Marcela Morelli Cruz

    School Chef

    B.A., B.Ed., Diploma in Culinary Arts

    Marcela is both an experienced chef and a qualified school teacher from Brazil.

    Prior to joining Pear Tree, Marcela worked as a cook at a local elementary school, as well as various restaurants, resorts and catering organisations.

    Marcela has a Diploma in Culinary Arts from the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Vancouver, and FoodSafe Level 1 & 2 qualifications.

    Sharing our passion for healthy food for children, Marcela is helping to evolve Pear Tree’s school menu to ensure that it continues to be the healthiest school lunch menu in Vancouver!

    Marcela’s background in education also makes it even easier to educate students about food ingredients, preparation and nutrition.

  • Laura Teichert

    Laura Teichert

    Substitute Teacher

    PhD, M.Ed., B.A.

    Laura Teichert has a PhD from UBC’s Department of Language and Literacy Education. She received her Hons. BA and M.Ed at the University of Western Ontario.

    Her doctoral study examines how young children use digital tools, and their engagement in digital literacy practices in their family lives before, and as they transition into, kindergarten.

    Laura specialises in family literacy and early literacy in early childhood education (ECE) and early primary education settings.

    Before starting her PhD, Laura worked as an Early Literacy Specialist in Southwestern Ontario. She has continued to teach at a Pear Tree both in our year-round programs, as well as at our school, throughout her studies.

     

    LinkedIn
  • 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!”

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

© 2017 Pear Tree Elementary