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

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    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, as well as in public schools Richmond and Vancouver.

    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.

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    Ali Mohamed

    Community 2 Teacher

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

    Having experienced first-hand the joys of progressive educational approaches, Ali has endeavored to provide his students with similar experienced since becoming a teacher in 2010. Since then, Ali has gained considerable experience, both in the public and private sectors, in Canada and internationally, having taught in England, Australia, Spain, and China.

    Ali pursued a M.Ed. in Developmental Psychology and Education at OISE – University of Toronto after having developed his own interest in this area. Ali has always thoughts that teaching goes well beyond a curriculum – to prepare children with the knowledge and tools that they need to flourish and become well-balanced, articulate, and productive members of society. Further, he considers socioemotional learning as integral to any form of learning, and often employ elements of mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, and functional analysis to help children build resilience in the face of hardship, academic or otherwise.

    What is more, Ali has a jaw-dropping proficiency of French, Spanish, Italian, and Gujarati! He also speaks basic German, Hindi, and Portuguese.

    Additionally, Ali is well verse in the use of educational technology, both devices and software applications; he was a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert during 2016-2017.

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    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

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    Elaine Au

    School Coordinator


    Elaine is the School Coordinator for Pear Tree Elementary.

    Her degree from UBC in Life Sciences led Elaine to developing administrative, research and sales experience in a number of health and nutrition businesses before joining Pear Tree.

    Elaine’s role is both front of house, as well as administrative. She helps ensure that Pear Tree’s runs smoothly and efficiently.

    In her spare time, Elaine in pursuing a Human Resources diploma through BCIT.

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    Borja Serrano

    School Chef


    Originally from San Sebastian, Spain, Borja decided to move to Canada to pursue his dream of becoming a cook. Borja received his Culinary Management Diploma at Vancouver Island University in a 2-year program, during which he developed my cooking and baking skills. He has progressed to acquire 3 years’ of experience working in commercial kitchens.

    Borja previously worked in investment banking in Madrid for 7 years, which has equipped him with skills that are useful in any kitchen. He has a 5-year Business Administration degree.

    Borja is passionate not just about cooking, but about healthy and adventurous eating for children. He recognise the importance of food education at any early age, which is why becoming Pear Tree’s school chef was such a natural decision for him and for us!

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    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

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

© 2020 Pear Tree Elementary