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

  • Private Schools Vancouver

    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 over 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.

    In her previous role, Alexis taught for 6 years at a private school, as well as in public schools Richmond and Vancouver.

    Alexis holds a Masters of Education, Bachelor of Education, and Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia.

    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.

    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.

    For 15 years, Paul gained extensive experience in ESL, career and vocational training, and education management. Most notably, he directed six summer residential language schools at the Oxford International Royal Holloway Summer School in the UK. 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 also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia.

  • Bonnie

    Bonnie Yuen

    Community 3 Teacher

    M.Ed., B.Ed., B.Sc.

    Bonnie has a Master of Arts in Child Study and Education (from Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study, O.I.S.E.) and is currently working on a second masters degree, this time a Master of Education in Behaviour Analysis. Bonnie’s previously studied at UBC to acquire her Bachelor of Science in Psychology.

    Bonnie has been teaching for 3 years in both public and private schools, in Canada and internationally. Across the her diverse employment positions, Bonnie has gained experience in some of the approaches used by Pear Tree Elementary. More recently she has been working with our team to ensure a smooth transition into the 2020/21 school year.

  • Katelyn

    Katelyn Jmaeff

    Community 2 Teacher

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

    Before joining Pear Tree Elementary, Katelyn taught for 3 years for a private school in North Vancouver. Her middle and high school teaching experience (grades 8-10) provides Pear Tree with valuable insight into its transition into opening its middle school in 2021.

    Katelyn has a B.A. and B.Ed. from University of British Columbia. She is also halfway through her Masters of Education degree with a specialisation in Education for Sustainability.

    As with all teachers that join the Pear Tree team, Katelyn’s philosophy and experience are strongly inline with that of Pear Tree’s. At the core of Katelyn’s personal teaching philosophy are differentiation, social innovation, experiential and place-based learning, and competency-based assessment.

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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

  • Jason

    Jason Abelson

    Operations Assistant


    Jason joins Pear Tree Elementary as our new Operations Assistant and one of the first faces you’ll meet when you visit us!

    Jason is a UBC graduate with a degree in Kinesiology. He has worked in the retail, fitness and recruitment industries. Through these positions, Jason has acquired excellent customer service and operational skills. He also has a strong background and interest in fitness.

    As Pear Tree expands as an education company and a private school, Jason will play a vital role in ensuring that our operations and customer service not only do not suffer, but continue to improve!

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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!


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

© 2020 Pear Tree Elementary