Specialist Faculty - Vancouver Talmud Torah

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Danica Burpee
Director of Athletics

Danica Burpee joined VTT in 2015, and was very excited to join the Athletics department. Previously, Ms. Burpee taught at West Point Grey Academy (WPGA) for five years in many different roles: primary support, Grade 3 Homeroom, Grades 6/7 French, and Volleyball and Track & Field Coach.  Prior to WPGA, Ms. Burpee taught…

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Pat Girling
Learning Enrichment

As a third generation educator, following in the footsteps of her beloved grandmother and mother, Pat Girling has always known teaching was a “natural fit.” “The children bring me incredible joy and positive energy. I love what I do.” Born in Daysland, Alberta, Mrs. Girling and her three siblings grew…

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Jim Hopson
Band Specialist

Jim Hopson is the Band specialist at VTT elementary. He holds a Bachelor of Music Degree (with distinction) from the University of Victoria, and has been a freelance musician (trombone, low brass) in the Vancouver area since 2007. An active performer, he has played concerts all over the world (Australia,…

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Etti Kaplan
Judaics Resource

Morah Etti has been teaching Judaic Studies at Talmud Torah for over 37 years! She is now teaching the children of her former students and inspiring these children with a love of Judaism and a menschlekeit as much today as when their parents graced our school’s hallowed halls. Morah Etti received…

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Colette Leisen
Art Specialist

Ms. Leisen, originally from Alberta, moved to Vancouver in 1987 and was hired to teach at Talmud Torah later that year. She graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in Special Education and a minor in French Revolutionary Art and Printmaking. She also attended Emily Carr College of…

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Gerrald Lotzkar
Physical Education Specialist

Mr. Lotzkar is one of those rare breeds having been born and raised in Vancouver (not too far from our school). He is even a VTT graduate, sort of. That is, he attended Talmud Torah afternoon school on Wednesdays and Sundays, and attended Eric Hamber High School with many VTT…

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Sylvester Noel
Physical Education Specialist

Sylvester Noel has been destined for his career as a Physical Education Specialist since his early elementary school years. Whether engaged in softball, football, basketball or track and field, Mr. Noel has always excelled in sports and has felt most invigorated when physically active. Born in Trinidad but raised in…

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Boaz Rotaro
IT Support Specialist

“For me, technology is a means to interact and work with people,” says VTT’s IT Support Specialist, Boaz Rotaro. Israel-born, he came to Canada in 1997 and has been working in tech support ever since. “I enjoy helping teachers and students by trying to make their digital lives better and easier,…

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Monica Schwartzman
Music Specialist (Early Years & Primary)

Monica, a singer-songwriter, was born and raised in Mexico City.  She attended Jewish day school from preschool to high school and was an active member of the school choir, performing not only at assemblies, but also for several years at the Yom Yerushalayim Festival at the Jewish Community Centre in Mexico.  Monica…

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Susan Stiller
Learning Assistance

Born and raised in South Africa, Susan Stiller completed a degree specializing in special education. After teaching for a few years, she set off first to Israel for a six-month ulpan in Israel and then continued on to Europe and the UK for another half year of travels. Upon returning…

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Cathy Wilmot
Music & Drama Specialist

Cathy Wilmot is an interdisciplinary theatre artist, director and educator specializing in musical theatre and performance art and has been working professionally for twenty years in musicals, plays, concerts and benefits. She has won multiple awards for her work in the arts and has recently completed her MFA from The…

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Jessica Wright
Library Technician

Jessica Wright is thrilled to be joining the VTT community as the Library Technician. Jessica is a graduate of Simon Fraser University. She is currently working on her Teacher Librarianship Certificate at UBC. Her school experience includes working in several primary classrooms in Vancouver, Burnaby and West Vancouver. Mrs. Wright loves…

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