Faculty and Staff

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
― Sir William Arthur Ward

Successful education is about the long term growth and development of the student; not short term gain.  Our goal is to enable our children to become true life-long learners striving to be the best that they can be, inspired by teachers, parents and experts who themselves are scholars.

The unique and fundamental relationship between student and teacher is central to successful learning. In smaller tutorial groups, under the personal and expert guidance of a master teacher, students are skillfully guided into developing analytic and creative skills; challenged to think critically, to reflect, to speak and to write with logic and concision.  It might have become cliche, but it remains fundamentally true that students are not vessels to be filled with knowledge (or with skills), but are lamps to be lit.  This is our project.

Stella Ablett
Head of School, Master Teacher (Mathematics)

Stella_web_ACAn experienced mathematics and science educator, her qualifications include Bachelor degrees (B Sc and B Ed – University of British Columbia) and a Masters degree in Mathematics Education (Simon Fraser University).

Stella taught with the Vancouver School Board for 14 years before joining Mulgrave School in 2004.  Her administrative experience includes responsibilities as Principal of the Senior School and Assistant Head, Academics with overview of the three IB programmes from Kindergarten through to grade 12.

Stella has also worked with the BC Ministry of Education on various curriculum and assessment committees and has co-authored several mathematics textbooks in use across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  Stella is the co-founder of Alcuin College and the Head of School.  You can follow Stella on Twitter @saeducat3.

Todd Ablett
Master Teacher (Robotics)

Todd_web_ACHonoured with a Prime Minister’s Teaching Excellence Award in October 2011, Todd taught Engineering, Electronics, Animation and Technology courses with the Vancouver School Board for 17 years.  He currently leads the Robotics program at West Vancouver Secondary School, as well as leading the Mechatronics Robotics Academy (West Vancouver School District).  He coached two teams to first and second place at the 2012 VEX World Robotics championships – a truly remarkable achievement.  A major part of his curriculum, Todd’s robotics program is an expression of his passion for teaching.  By putting students of all levels together, he creates a mentoring program where students learn to work as a team while gaining useful skills for the knowledge economy.  He has also previously coached students in building and racing electrathon vehicles, winning 12 competitions over five seasons.

“Mr Ablett taught me the most important skill of engineering: problem solving. I changed my thinking from simply ‘It does not work’ to ‘Why doesn’t it work?’ Now I am in my fourth year of engineering. Without this set of problem solving skills, I could not have made it this far.”
Former student 

Sergio Barbosa
Teacher (Grade 3 – 4)

Sergio_web_ACCombining his love of teaching, traveling and challenges, Sergio completed his Bachelor of Education degree (SFU, 2013) with a specialization in international and global education. Within his program, he had the opportunity to teach in Qu-jiang No.1 High School in Xi’an (China) as well as in Vancouver. After graduating from the PDP, Sergio spent two years in England, teaching at both independent and public schools, before returning to Canada to teach in Richmond. Sergio is elated to be joining the community at Alcuin College and is looking forward to challenging his students and developing lifelong learners. He is passionate about teaching and believes the classroom should be a place that promotes self-growth, exploration, and creativity.

Grace Chen
Teacher (Science, Biology, Mathematics)

Grace_web_AC Grace has had a lifelong passion for learning and the natural world, which led her to pursue a degree in biology before deciding to go into the teaching profession. Grace recently completed her Bachelor of Education degree at the University of British Columbia and is a trained International Baccalaureate teacher. Having interned at St. John’s School in Vancouver, Grace is looking forward to sharing her love for science and discovery with the students of Alcuin College.

Outside of teaching, Grace enjoys reading, writing, and trying out new fitness classes and sports with her friends.

Eddie de Beer

Deputy Head, Master Teacher (English, Creative Writing, Social Media)

Eddie_web_ACAn English and Latin teacher by training, his qualifications include a Bachelors and Masters degree (General Linguistics – University of Stellenbosch, South Africa), Higher Education Diploma (University of South Africa) and Diploma in Educational Leadership (CAIS Leadership Institute).

Eddie was a Senior English teacher and a Senior Examiner in English and Sesotho for the National Certificate Examinations.  He was also a provincial representative on the National Committee for Foreign Language Learning of South Africa.

He served for several years as an Administrator; both in his native South Africa and in Canada.  As Principal Education Specialist in South Africa, he was responsible for a number of secondary schools and adult centres during the time of transition to a post-apartheid education system.  He joined Mulgrave School in 1999, directed the development of the Middle and Senior Schools, and led the school through the implementation of the IB Diploma Programme.  He was the Deputy Head of Mulgrave School, Director of Education Technology and Global Outreach Coordinator until September 2011.  Eddie, the Head of Think3R® Educationis the co-founder of Alcuin College and the Chair of the Board of Directors.  You can follow @edteach3r on Twitter.

Jan de Beer
Teacher (Latin)

Born with a love of languages, Jan pursued a degree in Classics (majoring in Latin and Ancient Greek, including studies in French, English and History) in the bilingual city of Ottawa.  He completed his Bachelor of Arts magna cum lauda in 2014.  In his spare time, he enjoys reading, drawing and walking, as well as tweeting in Latin (@africulus).  As Jan continues his studies in French and Social Studies, he leads Alcuin’s Latin and debate programs on a part-time basis.

Janet Martin
Master Teacher (Mathematics)

Janet_web_ACJanet has been teaching mathematics for 20 years. A trained International Baccalaureate teacher, she taught in Bahrain and in the Philippines before returning to Canada, where she worked at Rockridge Secondary and at Mulgrave School. Janet holds Bachelors degrees (BSc, University of Ottawa and BEd, Queens) and a Masters degree in Mathematics Education (UBC).

Janet is an examiner for IBDP Math Studies and a leader with the Girl Guides of Canada. In her spare time, she enjoys camping and exploring the North Shore with her young family.

Lori McPhail
Learning Support Teacher (K – Grade 12)

Lori_web_ACLori comes to Alcuin with 20 years of experience providing learning support for children in educational settings.  Her previous schools include those in the North Vancouver School District, REACH Learning Centre, Lion’s Gate Christian Academy and most recently, Mulgrave School.  Having a strong understanding of learning differences and how they can impact learning, she works closely with students and families to adapt and enhance programs to assist students in reaching their goals.  Lori holds a BA in Psychology and Rehabilitation Services (York University) and a Special Education Diploma (UBC).  In her spare time, Lori enjoys hiking, gardening, birding, and hanging out with her boys and numerous pets.

Chantelle Menzies
Teacher (maternity leave)

Chantelle_web_ACChantelle has spent a great deal of time travelling and sharing her passion for cultures with others. A former radio broadcaster, Chantelle moved into teaching after completing a BA in History from the University of British Columbia and a BEd from Simon Fraser University.

Chantelle’s love for the Spanish language began in high school and continued into her University education. After a trip backpacking through South America, she knew Spanish and Latin American culture was something she wanted to incorporate into her future career as a teacher. A strong believer in leadership and community, Chantelle has been a youth mentor with at-risk youth for several years. She believes that building meaningful and positive relationships with her students is the key to authentic education.

Chantelle has run marathons and triathlons and inspires her students to get outside, be active, and live healthy. With high expectations for herself and others, Chantelle’s energy and enthusiasm is welcomed by her students.