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."

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.”

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."


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!”

Kia Krause

Kia Krause

B.A. (TWU), TESOL Canada Certificate (TWU), B.Ed (UBC)

Areas of Expertise:
ELL, English

“In the winter of 2008 I had the opportunity to spend a few months volunteering in Krakow, Poland at an EFL school. It was here that I first discovered a passion for working with English language learners. This experience led me to pursue a degree in Applied Linguistics and work towards a TESOL certificate. Following my graduation from University in 2012 I moved to Tottori, Japan and began my teaching career at an academic senior high school. It was a rewarding experience, and taught me so much about the Asian education system."

"As an educator, I hope to instill a growth mindset in my students. I want to challenge learners to take risks to overcome obstacles and to recognize that learning is a life long journey. I am looking forward to working with the students who will study at Columbia Academy!"

dave vandervelde

Dave Vandervelde

B.S ( UBC); B.Ed ( The Concordia University College)

Areas of Expertise:
Physics and Math

“I graduated from UBC in 2000 with an Astrophysics degree, and then received a Bachelor of Education from the Concordia University College of Alberta in 2004. After my Education degree, I was an on-call teacher in Calgary and also worked at the Calgary Science Centre for two years, before heading to Nepal in 2006 for volunteer work as a teacher. After coming back I got a full time teaching position in Brooks, Alberta, where I taught Physics and Math for nine years.”

“After relocating to Vancouver, I taught Physics part-time last semester, and am very excited to be joining Columbia Academy for the upcoming year. I try to incorporate as many real world examples as I can into my class, and try to keep things interesting. I encourage "thinking" as much as I can, as problem solving and understanding a problem go much further than simply trying to memorize the steps to get to an answer.”

peter spangler

Peter Spangler

B.A (University of Missouri),B.Ed (Chicago State University)

Areas of Expertise:
Social Studies, History, Economics, Political Science, Planning 10

"Having previously taught in the United States, I am excited to continue my educational career in Vancouver. I am invigorated by the chance to instruct in Canada.”

"As a teacher, I aspire to be a positive influence on my students by emboldening them to be good citizens, strong academic achievers, hard workers, and better for being in my classroom. In pursuit of those goals, I have been successful at teaching a diverse set of learners through the use of culturally relevant curricula and utilizing technology when appropriate. I will continue to be adaptable, through the development of relationships with my students by integrating relatable aspects of their lives into my lesson plans as an avenue to teach in a way they best comprehend. When I reflect on my time in high school, I realize how important that time was in my life development and how dramatic an impact that a teacher can have; I wish for an opportunity to make such a difference. "

Dale Craniford

Dale Craniford

B.Ed (MUN of NL), TESL

Areas of Expertise:
English/ESL, Business Marketing, and Social Studies

“I graduated from Memorial University in 1992 with a major in English and a minor in Business Administration. I relocated to Vancouver in 1995 for new opportunities and to enjoy the climate and spectacular beauty. I spent some time in employment services, and also taught writing and editing for a financial magazine. More recently, my focus has been on teaching English, ESL, and Business. I have also enjoyed tutoring high school students, helping them develop reading and writing skills, which are crucial to success in today's workworld."

"As a sidelight, I am a former professional musician, and currently enjoy volunteering as a piano player at hospitals. I have enjoyed teaching international students, who have interesting backgrounds and experiences. It is an opportunity to learn about them, and also help them to see what Canada has to offer. I endeavour to help students develop critical thinking and research skills, while enjoying learning, and gaining more confidence in their abilities to succeed. Life is all about learning and building character, I believe. Challenges can become opportunities. I appreciate the opportunity of being a teacher, a profession which can be rewarding, both personally and professionally."

Gordon Laffin

Gordon Laffin

B. Ed. (Trent), B. A. (Trent)

Areas of Expertise:
Economics, History, Geography, English, and ELL

“Having obtained my Bachelor of Education from Trent University in 2006 I embarked on an international teaching career that landed me in Jiangmen City, China, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Upon returning to Canada I relocated to Vancouver where I have been teaching now for one and a half years.

“Being a life long learner is something that I model for my students as I am currently studying my Masters of Education at Queen’s University with a focus on International Education and Culture, with an expected graduation date of August 2018."

“My passion for extra curricular activities is evident by my love of sport. Previously I have coached high school girl’s and boy’s basketball teams. As well, I have a strong passion for service learning and putting my students in positions to learn from and work with those less fortunate than themselves in order to create a better society for everyone to live in."