23 Aug 2017

Hayley Bongard

After a trip to BC, from Toronto, Ontario, in 2008, Hayley Bongard instantly fell in love with the salty air and mountainous coast.  Later in 2012, upon the completion of her undergrad degree and Bachelor of Education at Western University, Hayley decided it was time to fuse her two interests, and spent a summer in Vancouver teaching at Saint George’s Summer Camp. Before officially making the move back west this year, Hayley’s teaching experience ranged from substitute teaching Kindergarten to Grade 6 classes, coaching a track and field team, and working as a kindergarten teaching assistant.  Most recently, Hayley worked at Bialik Hebrew Day School as a teaching assistant in a Grade One class.

Outside of school you can find Hayley skiing in Whistler, cruising around local coffee shops, reading, or scouring the Internet looking to book her next vacation adventure.

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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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3 Oct 2015

Hila Granot

Morah Hila was born and raised in Israel, a country for which she maintains strong roots and a strong love. She immigrated to Vancouver in 2009 with her husband where they are raising their two daughters, the eldest of whom is starting Kindergarten at VTT this September.

Passionate about working with children, Morah Hila joined VTT as a Kindergarten Aide before beginning her Bachelor of Education studies at the University of British Columbia. Morah Hila completed her degree with a focus and passion for primary (K to Grade 3) students. After graduating with an outstanding practicum award, she is excited and ready to pursue her dream of becoming an elementary school teacher. She recently completed the Tal Am training program and is very excited to return back to her family at VTT.

Morah Hila’s teaching philosophy and her passion includes creating a safe and loving classroom for her students. She believes such an environment will allow her students to learn and to flourish while working collaboratively and treating each other with respect.

In her free time, Morah Hila loves baking and eating everything that is sweet! She also enjoys hiking and travelling on the weekends with her family and Buffy, their beloved dog.

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28 Aug 2014

Josh Knight

Originally from Sydney, Australia, Josh decided to do some travelling after completing a Bachelor of Arts in Stage and Screen acting at the University of New England. On a recommendation from a friend, he ended up in Vancouver in 2009 and immediately loved the place. After teaching acting privately to students at Tarlington Training, Josh decided he wanted to be a teacher full-time so he began a Graduate Diploma of Education in Australia. After going back and forth between Australia and Canada while completing his studies part time, Josh graduated as a teacher at the start of 2015 and immediately secured a full-time position teaching the 3rd grade at Oatley Public School in Sydney’s southern suburbs. Although he had secured a permanent position in his hometown, deep down Josh knew he missed being back in beautiful British Columbia. So, at the end of 2015, he moved back to Vancouver and became a permanent resident of Canada. Josh started as a TOC at VTT in 2016 and joined our faculty in 2017.

In his spare time Josh is an avid Rugby Union player. He is also a major Rugby League fan and coach of the men’s team here in Vancouver.

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29 Jul 2014

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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31 May 2013

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 2012

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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29 Aug 2000

Morah Anna Zeldis

To date, Morah Anna Zeldis’s life consists of three chapters. Chapter I: Born and raised in Ukraine, where she studied education and taught in elementary schools. Chapter II: Immigration to Israel where she continued her career as a teacher. Chapter III: Second immigration, this time to Canada, in 1994. Morah Anna spent many years as the Hebrew and Judaic studies teacher at RJDS and joined VTT, in the same capacity, in 2005. She is also completing a Master’s degree in education this year.

When not studying and moving cross-continent, Morah Anna enjoys spending time with her children, grandchildren, swimming, entertaining, and—you guessed it—travelling!

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