Our Teachers and Staff

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Ms. Lynn Chartres, Principal

Lynn joined Choice School as principal in 2014. She comes to us from West Vancouver School District where she taught gifted students at the elementary and secondary level for many years. For the past several years, Lynn has also been part of the Faculty of Education at UBC, writing courses and teaching in the Department of Educational Counselling, Psychology and Special Education. She continues to learn about the rapidly growing fields of creativity, neuroscience and giftedness.

Lynn has a passion for people, learning, and anything to do with nature and the outdoors. Weekends and holidays find her kayaking or camping near the ocean and hiking in the mountains with her dog, Scout. She reads voraciously, and delights in spending time with her husband, daughter and son, and friends.

Lynn is pleased to be a part of Choice where students have the opportunity to find adventure and excitement in their learning.

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Mr. Daryl Thomas, Vice Principal

Mr. Thomas believes his role as a teacher involves guiding students to answers by asking questions and challenging the students to expand the level of thinking through critical thinking challenges. He has taught in Fort St. John, Korea, Abbotsford, Langley and now in Richmond. Daryl attended Simon Fraser University where he completed the Alaska Highway Consortium on Teacher Education program while working on a General Studies degree. He has extensive teaching experience and prior to coming to Choice he served as vice principal and virtual head of the Science department for 36 school campuses across North America. He is a dedicated father of two children, Dryden and Eva. When he has free time, Daryl enjoys golf, hockey and carpentry and woodworking projects. He loves teaching at Choice School because of the commitment from staff and parents to providing a unique place where students can be themselves and learn through experiences not offered anywhere else.

Teaching Staff

Lauren Walter

Ms. Lauren Jacobs

Lauren Jacobs is thrilled to have recently joined the Choice School Team. She moved to Vancouver in August of 2015 from Jamestown, NY. Lauren taught both elementary and special education in New York State. Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education and a Masters Degree in Reading Education as a Reading Specialist.

Lauren is very passionate and dedicated to teaching. She believes in a student-centered classroom where all students feel appreciated. Lauren is a life-long learner, always looking to improve her teaching practices to best meet the needs of her students. She thoroughly enjoys working at Choice with students who have such a unique spark and love of learning.

In her spare time, Lauren enjoys the outdoors, traveling, reading and enjoying life as a newlywed with her husband in the beautiful city of Vancouver!

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Ms. Tasha King

Tasha is very happy to have recently joined the Choice team. She has an extensive background working with children with a variety of exceptionalities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADD/ADHD, as well as other learning and behavioural challenges. Tasha believes in the potential of children and enjoys watching them thrive.

She has a BA in Psychology from the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Education from Tyndale University. Tasha is currently completing a diploma in Special Education at UBC.

For fun, she plays field hockey with the VRC Jokers as a goalie.

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Ms. Dorota Malinowska

Ms. Malinowska firmly believes that every child possesses different strengths and unique learning styles which need to be discovered and nurtured for an effective education to take place. She is passionate about her chosen career and loves the continued professional growth at Choice School. Educated in Poland where she taught Slavic languages, Dorota is a veteran of the Richmond School District, and has been involved with gifted education at Choice School for five years. Her education is ongoing with a continued passion for learning new languages, and meeting interesting people from all walks of life. She enjoys yoga, discovering new places, reading, and spending time with her family and dog, Bilbo. Dorota loves working with the passionate team at Choice School and its talented pupils. At Choice she is offered the opportunity to develop her students’ potential who then go on to make a positive impact on our society. Choice School’s emphasis on professional development also allows her to foster new ideas and techniques to create the best learning environment possible for each one of her students.

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Ms. Shaireen Walli

Mrs. Walli believes that students learn better when their learning is relevant to their lives as well as when they are actively involved in their learning. She has taught IB English as well as the Cambridge curriculum at an international school in the UAE and mentored local UAE teachers in a local school. Prior to that, Shaireen taught at a private school in Surrey and at Choice School. Shaireen attended York University where she completed her Bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in French. She then attended teacher’s college in Australia and continues to take courses at Simon Fraser University. During her free time, Shaireen enjoys working on her blog as well as reading a variety of books. She also tutors a range of children outside of school. Shaireen is happy to be back at Choice as she enjoys working with the unique and creative students who attend Choice School.

Specialist Staff

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Ms. Cathy Kluthe, Art

Ms. Kluthe always pushes the boundaries in art, thoroughly enjoys working with children and encourages creative expression. She enjoys introducing a variety of art materials and techniques and is committed to creating a classroom atmosphere that is stimulating, thus encouraging students to reach their “creative best”.

Ms.Kluthe graduated from Red Deer College, Alberta College of Art and has also studied art at Guangzhou Academy of Art in China and studied Japanese Calligraphy in Japan. She also instructs at various art studios in Richmond. Cathy is also an accomplished painter and has had several gallery shows in BC through the Federation of Canadian Artists and an upcoming show in Alberta. She is also a multimedia artisan and juried member of the Crafts Council of BC and member of the British Columbia Art Teachers Association.

Ms. Kluthe enjoys spending time with her family, skiing, camping and cycling. She also spends many hours cheering on her son Connor and daughter Erin who play hockey. She enjoys long walks with her dog Lulu.

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Mr. Iain McLaren, Music

Mr. McLaren is the Choice School music teacher. He believes that all children are musical and creative beings. He strives to provide the students with as many possibilities of writing, improvising and recording their own musical creations as possible. Mr. McLaren also believes that each student’s musical sensibility needs to be nurtured, so that they are able to grow as musicians, performers, and proud supporters of the arts in their communities. With this belief as a guiding principal to his teachings, Mr. McLaren regularly creates opportunities for the students to share and learn their favourite songs, and to share their own musical skill in both the classroom, and in performances.

Mr. McLaren has vast experience in the musical world from composing, performing, and recording, to movie making, acting and script writing. He plays the guitar, piano, bass, drums, trombone, bass recorder, omniharp, and is now trying to tackle the accordion. He has performed and played in many groups that cover a wide range of music styles: from jazz bands, symphonic winds and choirs, to children’s music, folk, heavy metal, classical and pop. He is also a member of Artstarts In Schools and regularly performs musical theatre with Gogo Bonkers in elementary schools across the lower mainland.

Mr. McLaren studied Music Therapy at Capilano University in Vancouver and also studied voice and composition at Red Deer College. He has facilitated music groups and recording projects for elementary schools, preschools, daycares, community centres, the ministry of children and families, senior centers, and private functions.

In his spare time he loves to go for long walks in the forest, hang out with his family, play the piano, nap, and ride his bike.

Support Staff

Shaheen Allibhai

Shaheen Allibhai, Administrative Assistant

Shaheen is the Administrative Assistant at Choice School. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations and History, and is working towards a career as a Teacher. She was recently accepted into the University of Calgary’s Bachelor of Education program, which she will begin in September 2017. Shaheen is passionate about education, health and nutrition, and hopes to work with vulnerable populations within Canada and around the world to improve access to education and global health, particularly for girls and women.

Prior to Choice School, Shaheen also spent a semester working in rural Uganda at the Kitengesa Community Library. Her focus was exploring the roles of community libraries in developing countries and how they can help improve literacy, health, and education outcomes.

In her free time, Shaheen loves to run, hike, read, and travel. Her favourite part of working at Choice School is seeing the smiles of the students every morning and sharing in their excitement for learning!

Tori Harker

Ms. Tori Harker, Special Education Assistant

Tori is a Special Educational Assistant at Choice School.  She enjoys working with the students on an individual basis and tailors her methods to the individual needs of each student. Tori is a recent grad from Stenberg College’s Special Education Assistant program. She has recently completed training and is looking forward to supporting students with the Orton-Gillingham method.

Tori loves education. She has received a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Victoria and continues to take distance courses for fun. Tori is a certified yoga teacher and has graduated from YYoga’s 200-hour teacher training program.

When Tori is not working she enjoys spending time with her family, running, reading and of course, practising yoga.​

Doug Sargeant

Mr. Doug Sargeant, Special Education Assistant and PE Specialist

Doug joined Choice School in September 2014 as a Special Education Assistant. He comes to us from the Richmond School District where he worked with students of varying needs at the elementary and secondary level for over eight years. Doug has a Diploma in Special Education from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and a Diploma in Recreation from Langara College.

During his free time, Doug enjoys spending time with his two children, Hudson and Fynnagin, engaging in physical activities from bike riding to hockey. He likes to putter at make-work projects and enjoys reading.

Doug is excited to be a part of Choice School where he has the opportunity to teach children the love of all types of recreational activities and the benefits they will provide in their lives.

Kim Scraper

Ms. Kim Scraper, Special Education Assistant and Teacher-on-call

Ms. K is a Teacher-on-call and Special Education Assistant at Choice School. Kim graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Asian Language and Culture, along with a Bachelor of Education degree, and specializes in teaching English language learners through a cross-curricular inquiry approach to education. She believes that experiential and personalized learning is the best way to inspire students to work to their potential and pursue their talents.

Kim was a carded athlete with the Canadian National field hockey program and has competed internationally in the USA, Ireland, Argentina, Belgium, Germany, Mexico, and the Netherlands.

Kim has a passion for teaching and nurturing children and is currently completing her Diploma of Special Education at UBC. In her spare time, she loves exploring the beaches and mountains of Vancouver while spending time with friends.

Mr. Majid Qiyam, Maintenance and Bus Driver

Mr. Qiyam has enjoyed working at Choice School for the last seven years. Majid looks after the school grounds and maintains the school building, as well as being our friendly and professional school bus driver. He was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and graduated as a journalist from Kabul University. He is a musician and he likes to sing and play a variety of instruments.

Majid likes to spend time with his family when he is not helping out at school.