29 Aug 2016

Jessie Claudio

Jessie Claudio has the distinction of growing up in the “Northern Capital of BC.” Not sure where this is? Prince George, the largest city in Northern BC, has a population of 71,000 inhabitants and was home to Ms. Claudio until her entire family moved to Greater Vancouver when her eldest sibling began university. They first settled in White Rock, then in Richmond and now Ms. Claudio lives in Ladner with her husband and young daughter, Gia.

Armed with a B.A. in Sociology from UBC and a B.Ed. in Critical Thinking and Technology from the same institution, Ms. Claudio has spent her entire teaching career in private and faith-based independent schools. She is passionate about education and is still active at UBC conducting research for the faculty of education. In the past, her extracurricular studies focused on poverty and homelessness; more recently, Ms. Claudio has directed her attention to teacher professional development. She is also a regular guest speaker at UBC’s teacher’s college.

Holidays will find Ms. Claudio and her family enjoying the beaches of Tofino and indulging in healthy, organic food. Next year, Jessie Claudio will be making a special visit back to Prince George as she is 1 of 75 Time Keepers of that city. In 2015, Prince George will dig up a time capsule buried 25 years ago, a project in which Ms. Claudio was a participant.

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25 Aug 2016

Etti Kaplan

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 her teaching degree from Shein College in Petah Tikvah Israel after she completed her service in the IDF. She continued her professional education while a teacher at Talmud Torah earning a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership in 2004.

Morah Etti believes that the secret to the generational success of Talmud Torah is dedicated teachers, involved loving parents and students who learn and practice the Jewish values of learning, collegiality, and mutual respect. She says those values have been nurtured and have thrived at Talmud Torah since she first started teaching here.

But Morah Etti has a special, now famous, secret of her own. We all learned this secret one year from one of her students who told the whole school at one of our year-end assemblies about the magical secret that Morah Etti has had for years and years. She told us that in Morah Etti’s class there is a special angel that lives behind the clock. This angel makes the time in Morah Etti’s class fly by as fast as anything. Today that angel is living behind a new clock–one given to Morah Etti by a student who wanted to make sure that the angel had a shiny new home and would never leave Morah Etti’s classroom. Time is “flying” in Morah Etti’s classroom as students work and laugh, and laugh and work, and learn the about Judaism’s beautiful teachings and what it means to grow into loving, responsible, giving members of our community.

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29 Jul 2016

Joshua Leonard

A Vancouver native, Joshua Leonard spent his early years of schooling at Talmud Torah and Eric Hamber Secondary. He holds bachelor’s degrees in history and education from UBC and a Master’s of Museum Studies from the University of Toronto. After completing his Master’s, Joshua worked as a project manager at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei, Taiwan. While at the museum, he started giving guided English tours of the collections to students of all ages and in the process discovered his enthusiasm for teaching. This led to Joshua opening an English language school in Taiwan, where he taught elementary and high school aged children for 14 years. Looking for a better environment for his two children, Joshua decided to return to his hometown.

Joshua is excited to be back in Vancouver and feels lucky to be in a familiar environment in which he holds many fond memories.  He also has the good fortune of working on staff with “Ms. Shannon,” his sister.

Joshua is committed to creating a student-centred and collaborative classroom environment.

In his free time, he enjoys travel, cooking, cycling, reading and organizing his ever growing collection of vinyl records.

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23 Jun 2016

Ashley Maronik

Ashley Maronik has recently moved to Vancouver and is happy to be joining the VTT community. Ashley was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario where she completed her educational degrees with a specialization in Aboriginal Studies and teaching students with special needs. Right after university, Ashley moved to Calgary where she spent nine years teaching full-time. Her various teaching roles have included grades 5-9 where she has been a generalist and humanities teacher. Ashley creates an inclusive classroom environment where students are encouraged to think creatively and critically.

When Ashley isn’t teaching you’ll see this creative being either painting, drawing, photographing urban life portraits, and exploring Vancouver’s outdoor west coast lifestyle.

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31 May 2016

Myra Michaelson

A dedicated and passionate Jewish educator, Myra is presently a member of the Grade 4 teaching team and of the “Learning Resource Specialist” team. This year marks her 30th year teaching at VTT where she has worked in varying capacities as teacher, administrator and mentor.

Myra holds a Master’s of Education degree from University of British Columbia in Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelor of Education degree from McGill University. Her passion for professional growth have continued throughout the years with the completion of online coursework at Hebrew College, Siegel College, Hebrew University, Yad VaShem International School for Holocaust Studies and Project SuLaM, a RAVSAK initiative to develop leadership skills and advancement in Jewish learning.

Morah Michaelson began her teaching career while living in Israel. Her innovative teaching skills led her to successfully develop and teach the unique “Shorashim” program at VTT. A long-standing Jewish educational leader in our community, Myra worked as Principal of the Beth Israel afternoon school and taught Hebrew to the adult conversion class at Beth Israel. Over the years, she has volunteered her time and knowledge for “Jewish Women International,” “Jewish National Fund,” and chaired and chaperoned students on the “March of the Living” journey to Poland and Israel for high school students.

In her spare time, Myra can be seen cycling the seawall, enjoying a game of Mahjong, and spending time with her five grandchildren.
















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2 Apr 2013

Tamsin Morrell

Tamsin Morrell may be a fourth grade teacher, but that doesn’t stop her from nurturing her thrill-seeking and fearless spirit. An outdoor enthusiast who eagerly moved to Vancouver in 2008 to be close to the ocean and mountains, Ms. Morrell scuba dives, swims, hikes, bikes and has even jumped out of a plane! Her more sedentary pursuits include reading contemporary fiction, cooking, attending live concerts (not quite so sedentary), and sampling the city’s many culinary offerings.

Born in Toronto but raised in Quebec, Ms. Morrell is completely bilingual. After earning a Bachelor of Education from McGill University, she spent two years teaching Kindergarten to Grade 6 in Birmingham, England. It was there that Ms. Morrell met fellow VTT faculty member, Abbie Loomer, the person ultimately responsible for introducing Ms. Morrell to Talmud Torah a few years later. Before joining VTT, however, Ms. Morrell spent a challenging year teaching Grade 3 and a Grade 1-2 split—all in French—at a public school in Quebec.

Ms. Morrell still considers herself a Montrealer at heart, especially when bagels, poutine and east coast architecture are the topics for discussion.

In addition to her fourth grade instructional responsibilities, Ms. Morrell was a member of our school’s Teacher-Leader cohort and was a main contributor to our “Yachad” social responsibility initiative. When reflecting on her time at VTT, Ms. Morrell expresses a deep appreciation for VTT’s strong sense of community.

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24 Mar 2005

Shula Talmaciu

Although born and raised in Israel, Shula has the good fortune to speak Hebrew, Romanian and English fluently. A literature lover, Shula graduated from Bar Ilan University with a degree English literature and has been a teacher for over 17 years.

Shula has taught English as a second language in Israel in both elementary and high school settings. She worked for many years with students who had difficulty acquiring the language and loved helping them appreciate the beauty of acquiring a new language. Shula has also worked with newcomers to Israel (olim hadashim) and helped them adjust to their new environment.

As an educator, Shula has been involved in many projects, including joining her students on a learning journey to Poland to explore Jewish life during WWII and visiting concentration camps.

Recently, Morah Shula fulfilled a lifelong dream by moving to Canada with her family. Shula is a proud mom of Lior, Roi and Romi (who will be attending VTT this year) and enjoys spending every possible minute with them.

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