grant petersen

Grant Petersen

B.Ed. (SFU), B.A. (SFU)

Areas of Expertise:
Math, Physics, English, Social Studies, Biology, Law, Planning 10, Foods, Guitar, Sustainable Resources

"I’ve worked with students from all over the world. At the start of my eight year career in education, many of these students were refugees from Uzbekistan, Syria, and Bhutan. I then did my high school teaching practicum in China (Xi’an, Shanghai), and I’ve taught student populations with a high majority of First Nations students, as well as teaching in Islamic Madrassas."

"In each of these widely different cultural contexts, one thing remained the same: each student is different – each student is an individual."

"My goal is to find what will engage each individual student, not only to reach their academic potential, but also to show the student that following their passion and connecting with the world around them will lead them to a happier and more fulfilled life."

David Truman

David Truman

B.Ed (U of A), B.A. (U of A)

Areas of Expertise:
English, ELL, and Social Studies

“I graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Arts with a major in English literature in 2006 and then taught English as a second language in South Korea for 4 years.After returning to Canada, I earned a Bachelor of Education at the University of Alberta in 2014."

"I like teaching international students, as the experiences I had in Korea taught me many things about teaching and what it means to have an influence in a young person’s life. Also, my wife is from Korea, so I understand many of the difficulties those from other cultures face when moving to and living in a different country and environment. I am truly grateful for my experiences in the field of education thus far, and it excites me to know that I can be a positive influence on the mind of another."

Ashley Slade

Ashley Slade

B.Ed. (UBC), B.A. (UVic)

Areas of Expertise:
ELL, English, Social Studies, History, Law, Psychology, Fine Arts and Applied Skills, and Creative Writing

“Born and raised on Vancouver Island, I completed my first degree in British Columbia’s capital city at the University of Victoria. I spent much of my free time there volunteering in schools and participating in various extra-curricular clubs. I also spent two years studying French as a second language. I believe this experience makes me more aware of the experiences being faced by our international students and those who are having difficulty understanding course material; patience, practice, and persistence are key values in learning environments."

"Upon my acceptance to UBC, I moved to Vancouver. During my coursework, I received recognition by faculty for my incorporation of social justice awareness and equitable teaching methodologies. Throughout my instructional classroom experiences, I have worked with students from various socio-cultural and ethnic backgrounds - most of whom have been from other countries."

“My hopes as an educator are not only to provide my students with the academic skill sets that will be beneficial to them as they enter, and prosper in, highly ranked post-secondary institutions but also to ingrain in them the self-confidence and perseverance needed as they set out on their journeys to become future global leaders. I firmly believe that each student has the potential to succeed.”

Eric Double

Eric Double

B. Ed. (UBC) ; B.A. Hons. Theatre and Drama (U of T)

Areas of Expertise:
Drama, English, Creative Arts and Social Studies

“I have been teaching Drama, English, and the Creative Arts, for 7 years. I made the transition to teaching full time after a busy, professional,15 year theatre career, which also involved teaching, and performing theatre in schools all over Ontario. I love working with youth, using Drama to teach literacy skills, communication, public speaking, and important life-skills."

"My passion for teaching comes from making connections with students, and helping them make a personal learning journey. I believe in guiding students to be confident, well-rounded, and inquisitive life-long learners.I have previously worked with international youth from many different countries, am very excited to start teaching in a diverse community at Columbia Academy."


Ying Ting Lu

B.Math (uWaterloo), B.Ed (UBC)

Areas of Expertise:
Mathematics, Science, English, ELL, Mandarin, General Studies

“I graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2015 with a Bachelor of Mathematics, Minor in English Language and Literature. After graduating, I migrated to the West Coast and successfully obtained a degree in Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia. Prior to and during my academic pursuits, I have gained many rewarding experiences teaching courses such as mathematics, math finance, and English in high schools, colleges, and learning centres across Canada. I have experiences teaching in both small to large classroom settings and in online learning environment.”

“As a teacher, I believe that valuable learning can happen two ways and is to be shared between teachers and students. My teaching philosophy also focuses on creating student-centred learning that allow students the opportunities to make independent, critical, and creative thinking and learning curves that go beyond the traditional methods of learning. In joining Columbia Academy, I hope to share my passion for teaching and to explore more on the unique learning experiences that the students at this school can offer!”


Ryan Premack

B. Ed. (UBC), B. A. (UBC)

Areas of Expertise:
English, ELL, Music and Drama

“For the past ten years I have taught and performed music across the central and western regions of Canada. I came to Vancouver two years ago from Manitoba, where I completed my Bachelor of Music with studies in jazz, classical music, world music, and English literature.."

"For the past two years I have been teaching in an independent school setting in Vancouver. In my teaching I value the unique voice of every student in the classroom and I emphasize the role we all have to play in supporting each other. I believe that the highest levels of achievement are reached in a community of high expectations, open communication, and commitment to one another."

Eric Joel

Alireza Taghikhani (Ali)


Areas of Expertise:
English Language and Literature

“I have worked as an ESL teacher for 16 years at various colleges and language schools both in my home country and Canada. I got my CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) from the University of Cambridge and my Bachelor Degree from Azad University back home. Teaching ESL to international students, tourists, refugees, school students and immigrants has given me a chance to increase my life experiences and be a good counselor for different communities.”

“My areas of interest are as follows: IELTS, TOEFL, Essay Writing, Letter Writing, Conversation, Grammar and CELPIP.”

“My goal as a teacher is to help, motivate and encourage my students to succeed in their exams and increase their language proficiency. Additionally, achieving a better understanding of their future objectives has always been my top priority in all my classes.”