Our Board of Directors

The Choice School for Gifted Children Society is a non-profit organization charged with the operation of Choice School for the Gifted and Exceptional. The Society is governed by a Board of Directors whose members are as follows:

Jonathan Weisman, Chair

Jonathan’s son is a recent addition to Choice’s student body, and Choice has quickly impressed them both.  Jonathan practices law with Dolden Wallace Folick LLP in Vancouver and has long been committed to community volunteering.  He joins Choice’s board after chairing the boards of two other organizations and while continuing to serve as Director and Secretary to the Canadian Club of Vancouver and the Dunbar Community Centre Association.  He has also coached little league and helps lead his son’s Beaver Scout colony.  Jonathan hopes to make a positive contribution to the Board’s work, and, through that, to the valuable role Choice plays in its students’ lives.

Vladimir Martinak, Treasurer

Vlad’s two kids started attending Choice School in 2018, and he joined the Board of Directors a year later. Vlad grew up in Slovakia, where he got Masters Degree in Actuarial Science and Statistics, and moved to Canada in 2002. He has been working as an Actuary for Richmond travel insurance company, TuGo, for over 15 years, he volunteers for Canadian Institute of Actuaries, and daily learns about the nuances of parenting 2E kids. In his spare time he enjoys hiking and cycling, whether with his family (the kids are becoming experts on Mt. Seymour backcountry, confidently guiding their friends off the beaten path there), or his mountaineering friends on trips around SWBC.

Maureen McDermid, Secretary

Maureen’s career in education has spanned elementary, secondary and post-secondary teaching. While with SD38, Richmond, she also worked on District Staff in support of gifted learners. She currently works as an education consultant focusing on curriculum designed for critical thinking, makes presentations and provides in-service on programming for gifted learners, curriculum planning, literacy, social studies and critical thinking. Maureen lives in Richmond with her husband Gary, where they successfully parented gifted twin boys and now have 5 grandchildren, the 2 oldest also assessed as gifted. The experience gained viewing giftedness through the 2 lenses, parent and educator, has helped her support parents and build understanding with teachers about the challenges and rewards of working with gifted individuals.

Jason Beaven, Director

Jason is the father of a student who began attending Choice in 2014. After the  seeing the positive difference that the school had made for his son’s academic enjoyment and success Jason wanted to contribute and become more involved in the wonderful community of staff and parents at Choice. As of 2016, Jason volunteered to chair the Choice School PAC for 2 years and joined the Board of Directors in 2018. He works as the Engineering Specialist at Canada Place for the Port of Vancouver where he is responsible for the building’s automation systems and utility metering and is a proud member of the of the power engineering team in the building’s central plant.

Manpreet Gosal, Director

Manpreet is the parent of two children attending Choice School.  She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Engineering from Simon Fraser University and has worked at various high-tech companies as an embedded software developer in the field of communication and networking technologies.  She has enjoyed sharing her passion for technology with Choice students as a robotics and programming instructor.  Manpreet regularly volunteers with various community organizations and was a co-founder and Director for the Seva Food Bank in Mississauga.  She has been an active parent volunteer at Choice School since 2017 as library coordinator and currently as PAC treasurer.  In her spare time, Manpreet enjoys gardening, running, hiking, and making crafts with her daughters.

Grace Lanuza, Director

Grace is a parent of a child at Choice School, and brings over 18 years of experience in business specializing in brand strategy, shopper marketing, employment branding, and large-scale events. Some of her notable work includes: Procter & Gamble Beauty’s Olay For You digital space, Atlantic Canada House at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and the Indigenous Communities for Leadership and Development (ICLD) where she led the Key To Employment Program initiative in both urban and remote Indigenous communities.

Aside from serving as a mentor in various organizations such as Young Women In Business and Forum for Women Entrepreneurs,  she helps welcome refugees and immigrants to Canada by being a Board Member at Neighbor Next Door, a local initiative to help people make Canada home. Most recently she has been appointed as Advisory Board Member with the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization in collaboration with the United Nations. Additionally, she serves as a Board Member for Amplifir, an innovative agency that’s the future of investor relations management.

Tara Nelson, PAC Chair

Tara Nelson is a Vancouver parent with a child who has been at Choice School since 2017. She is also married to a Choice School Alumnus. She has previously worked in the film and television industry. Tara is happy to be helping the Choice Parents Association with their work for the students of Choice.