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

    Ed.D (in progress), 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. She recently been accepted into UBC’s Doctorate of Education degree program.

    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 SFU. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts from UBC.

  • Bonnie

    Bonnie Yuen

    Grade K-1 classroom 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 nearing completion of her 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 previously taught for 3 years in both public and private schools, in Canada and internationally. Across the her diverse employment positions, Bonnie gained experience in some of the approaches used by Pear Tree Elementary.

  • Lisa

    Lisa Folk

    Grade 2-3 classroom teacher

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

    Lisa has strong background in teaching grades 1-3 in combined class environments. She has developed a broad skillset that enables her to teach to a wide spectrum of learners and to foster growth mindsets in her students.

    Lisa was part of the Indigenous Cohort for her Bachelor of Education degree, and has a degree in Geography & Environmental Studies. She is halfway through her Masters Degree in Education in Educational Leadership. Through her education and professional experience, Lisa has developed a passion for holistic learning and community-based learning.

    In addition to joining Pear Tree Elementary as our Community 2 (grade 2-3) teacher, Lisa has worked with us at our spring and summer camps.

  • Katelyn

    Katelyn Jmaeff

    Grade 6-7 classroom teacher

    M.Ed., 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 experience with the opening of Pear Tree Secondary!

    Katelyn has a B.A. in Environmental Geography and a B.Ed. from University of British Columbia. Her Masters of Education degree is in Education for Sustainability. She also has a CEFR level B1 French Language qualification.

    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.

  • Camron

    Camron Edwards

    P.E. Teacher

    BOR, Dipl RLS

    Camron is the Physical Education teacher for all grades at Pear Tree Elementary.

    His exciting personal, professional and academic background perfectly fit the unique qualities offered by Pear Tree’s P.E. program. Camron has a Bachelor’s Degree in Outdoor Recreation & Education and a Diploma in Recreation and Leisure Studies. He has competed at a high level in various sporting events including five years of Junior A hockey and bouldering (rock climbing)!

    He is passionate about physical and outdoor education whether its being in a typical gym or on the school fields.

    Camron has taught internationally both in physical education and more traditional education settings. In Dubai, he was responsible for educational and recreational activities for international student groups, ranging in age from 6 to 18. The activities included, rock climbing, zip-lining, and basic survival and first aid skills.

  • Chelsea

    Chelsea Mageau

    French Teacher

    B.Ed., B.A.

    Chelsea has a broad French-language background. She comes from a bilingual school education, and did her Bachelor of Arts in French before doing her Bachelor of Education. She then went on to do a French as a Second Language course while still living in Ontario.

    More recently at Pear Tree, Chelsea has been extending her study and application of the AIM Language Learning approach.

    As a qualified school teacher, Chelsea has several years of experience working with elementary school-aged children as both a French teacher and homeroom teacher. As such, Chelsea also leads many of our Pro-D and spring/summer camps, and after-school enrichment classes.

  • Christina

    Christina Gnoato

    Classroom Assistant

    B.A. (in progress)

    Christina is in the last term of her bachelor’s degree at SFU. She is taking a major in Psychology and a minor in Counselling & Human Development.

    Christina volunteered at Pear Tree’s 2021 summer camps in East Van, and made such a great impression on us that we had to ask her to join our school’s team.

    As a classroom assistant at Pear Tree Elementary, Christina is preparing to take her Bachelor of Education degree – gaining practical in-class experience in our unique educational setting.

    Christina is also an amazing baker and has her own baking business called A Spoonful of Vanilla!

  • Nancy

    Nancy Huang

    Classroom Assistant


    Nancy has a major in Psychology and minor English Language from UBC.

    Nancy volunteered at Pear Tree’s 2021 summer camps in East Van, and made such a great impression on us that we had to ask her to join our school’s team.

    As a classroom assistant at Pear Tree Elementary, Nancy is preparing to take her Bachelor of Education degree – gaining practical in-class experience in our unique educational setting.

  • Private Schools Vancouver

    Borja Serrano

    School Chef

    Professional Cook Level 3, FoodSafe Level 2, B.B.A.

    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 achieve his Red Seal Level 3 (Professional Cook Level 3) status.

    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 recognises 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

© 2021 Pear Tree Elementary