Meet Our Faculty & Staff

Administration

Ian Mills - Principal & Operations Manager

Mr. Ian Mills

Principal & Operations Manager

Mr. Mills has a Bachelor of Arts from McMaster University, a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of British Columbia, and is presently in an education graduate program at Simon Fraser University. A son of two teachers, Mr. Mills learned of his passion for teaching on the ski hill which ultimately led to him to move to Vancouver in 2011. With the exception of one year teaching abroad in Australia in 2015, all of his teaching experience has been in the lower mainland working for King David, the North Vancouver School District, and most recently as principal at Shalhevet Girls High School.

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Rivki Yeshayahu - Head of Judaic Studies

Mrs. Rivki Yeshayahu

Head of Judaic Studies, Grade 6/7 Girls

Rivki Yeshayahu is office administrator, teacher, and leader at The Kollel. She grew up in Vancouver and attended schools in Chicago and Israel before returning to Vancouver in 1999. She loves the mountains and enjoys hiking during the spring, summer, and fall.

Rivki taught Judaism and led multi-faith clubs for teens at St Georges, Collingwood, Prince of Wales, and Point Grey. She taught Jewish studies at Maimonides and KDHS, in addition to teaching adults at The Kollel.

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Mrs. Shannon Brodie

Principal of General Studies

Mrs. Brodie is a mother of two amazing children who loves to travel. She had the opportunity to live and teach in Tokyo, London, Halifax, The Greater Toronto Area, and now Vancouver. Mrs. Brodie enjoys cooking, reading, theatre, and hiking. She is very much looking forward to exploring the trails of her new city and province. Mrs. Brodie is absolutely thrilled to have been given the opportunity to become a member of the VHA community and she is looking forward to meeting, working, and learning with this amazing team!

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General Studies

Mrs. Dikla Mizrachi

Daycare

Israeli born, Dikla Mizrachi served in the IDF as a teacher, and continued to peruse her passion in education at Beit Berl College in Kfar Saba. After immigrating to Canada 18 years ago, she has worked as a Hebrew and pre-school teacher at VHA, at the JCC’s Bagel Club which is a social program for adults with different abilities.

Dikla enjoys hiking and camping with her husband and four kids. Dikla is looking forward to another amazing year with the Daycare team!

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Mrs. Vida Shahghabi

Daycare

With the experience of working with children and families as an Early Childhood Educator for over 20 years, Vida is very excited to be a part of the VHA team. She has taught ECE courses and facilitated practicum students as an ECE college instructor for over 10 years. She has a strong philosophy regarding the importance of a child’s healthy development in their early years and its impact on their life. At the present, Vida is also teaching ECE courses part-time in Vancouver Community College.

Vida has two grown up children, and enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, listening to music, and writing poetry in Farsi.

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Sivan Dinur - Teacher

Ms. Sivan Dinur

Kindergarten

Sivan is very excited to be teaching Kindergarten at VHA. Born and raised in Vancouver, Sivan completed her BEd at UBC with a focus on inquiry-based learning. She has taught in both in the public system and overseas. Sivan loves incorporating her love for art, stories and the outdoors into her lessons. She is looking forward to a great year as part of the the VHA team!

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Ms. Darlene Wilson

Grade 1/2 and 3

Ms. Wilson is delighted to be a part of the VHA family for her tenth year as the Grade 2 and 3 teacher. After obtaining her Bachelor of Education degree from Brandon University in Manitoba, Ms. Wilson began her teaching career and has done so with great enjoyment for the past twenty-three years. She taught for 9 years in the public school system in Manitoba, then upon moving to B.C. in 2009, she taught at Richmond Jewish Day School for 3 years before joining VHA. Throughout her teaching career she has been on numerous committees at the school, district and provincial level. Ms. Wilson had always wanted to teach ever since she was a young child. Once her own children started school, she took the opportunity to go to university and pursue her desire to become a teacher.

Ms. Wilson resides in Richmond and enjoys reading, walking, biking, crocheting, spending time with  family and friends, and almost anything that involves being outdoors.

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Mrs. Lisa Altow

Grade 4/5 and PE

Mrs. Altow is thrilled to be the Grade 4/5 and Physical Education teacher. This is her 13th year at VHA. She also taught at West Point Grey Academy, York House and public school in the states.

She grew up in Bellevue, Washington and got her Psychology and teaching certificate from University of Washington.

She resided in Richmond, BC. She loves to spend time with her husband and and four children, walk and hike, bake, and read.

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Mrs. Preet Toor

Grade 6/7 Boys & Support

Mrs. Toor grew up in Penticton, BC and later moved to the lower mainland to pursue post secondary education. She graduated with her Bsc and a minor in education at Simon Fraser University. She later went on to pursue ABA training, focusing on children on the Autism Spectrum as a Behavioral Interventionist.

Mrs. Toor loves doing arts and crafts, playing all kinds of sports, and working with the children at VHA.

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Mr. Daniel Wong

Grade 6/7 Girls and Grade 8/9 Boys

Daniel Wong has recently joined VHA and is looking forward to supporting students in making personal connections with education and discovering opportunities to demonstrate their ability.

He has had the opportunity to experience many different grade levels; (G3&4) Douglas Road Elementary and (G10-12) Lowell High School, and various offshore schools in China (G10-12) and South Korea (G1-6), which helped inform his philosophy of education: learning is not a one-size-fits-all model, and he strives to give students a sense of agency, and show them that they have a real effect on their education and, conversely, their education has a real effect on them.

When he is not teaching, he likes to keep up with advancements in computer technology; mostly by reading, watching videos, or trying online tutorials. He finds it especially important to be sensitive of information management and safety concepts in order to become acute “netizens,” who are aware of digital rights, digital privacy and who will also understand modern digital businesses, products and practices.

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Judaic Studies

Mrs. Adela Heffes

Kindergarten

Morah Heffes is thrilled to be teaching the Kindergarten class at VHA this year. Morah Heffes taught for over 20 years in Mexico City, at an Elementary school as well at a High school. She moved with her family from Mexico to Canada more than ten years ago. Morah Heffes graduated with a Masters of Education from the Hebrew University of Mexico. She also has a specialty in New Techniques and Methodology to teach the Tanach in Elementary and High School from the University of Jerusalem. She worked for three years at VHA as a Teacher’s Aid and was the Kindergarten teacher for the last five years. She loves working with children as a group, as well as one-on-one.

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Nechama Gurevitz - Teacher

Mrs. Nechama Gurevitz

Grade 1/2

Bio will be added soon!

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Einat Gotlib - Teacher

Mrs. Einat Gotlib

Grade 3

Mrs. Einat Gotlib was born and raised in Bnei Brak, Israel, and came to Vancouver in the Fall of 2022.

She had the opportunity to live and teach in San Francisco, Sweden, and Israel.

Einat loves to travel and enjoys going on long journeys with her family. She has two bachelor’s degrees in Life science and Pharmacy and a master’s degree in health management.

She is passionate about “Shlichut”, and it’s her 3rd time on the road.

Einat has five children, and four of them are learning in VHA.

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Rabbi Shlomo Estrin

Grade 4/5 and Grade 6/7 Boys

Rabbi Shlomo Estrin grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from Cal State University Northridge with a degree in film-writing. He moved to Eretz Yisrael and learned in Yeshivat Ohr Sameach and in kollel for ten years. He received smicha as well as a diploma for teaching Judaic studies, and moved to the Vancouver community in the year 2000. Rabbi Estrin and his wife, Leah have seven children, all of them VHA graduates, and his two eldest children just had children of their own in Eretz Yisrael. He has been an active part of the Jewish community from the time he arrived. Besides his love of teaching and storytelling, he also enjoys camping, frisbee, and sushi making. He is excited to rejoin the VHA team.

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Henia Wineberg - Teacher

Mrs. Henia Wineberg

Grade 6/7 Girls
Bio will be added soon!
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Rabbi Mordechai Gurevitz - Teacher

Rabbi Mordechai Gurevitz

Grade 8/9 Boys

Rabbi Gurevitz is thrilled to join the VHA family. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, the youngest of 13 siblings, he had the opportunity to learn in top Jewish institutions, spanning the globe from Los Angeles to Israel. He received his bachelor’s in rabbinic studies, and went on to study in Kollel.  Rabbi Gurevitz spent this past year mentoring students in Yeshivas Chovivei Torah. In his free time, Rabbi Gurevitz enjoys hiking, learning, and connecting with people. Rabbi Gurevitz, his wife Nechama, and adorable son Menachem made the move to Vancouver this fall and look forward to meeting you!

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Gal Naftalovich - Teacher

Ms. Gal Naftalovich

Ivrit

Gal Naftalovich was born and raised in Israel. She lived in Tel Aviv for the last 10 years, before moving to Vancouver in January 2020. She has a Bachelor of Social work, M.A of School Counseling and a teaching license from Tel Aviv university. Gal worked as a school counselor for elementary schools in Tel Aviv. She loves working with children in school environments and she is very happy for the opportunity to be a part of the amazing VHA stuff.

Gal loves hiking and enjoys the incredible views of BC. She also enjoys reading, cooking and spending time with her friends and family.

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Support Staff

Suzanne Ferera

School Counselor

Suzanne Ferera is a registered Occupational Therapist with over 25 years of experience in mental health and trained as a certified Calmer,Easier,Happier parenting practitioner with a private practice. She goes into family’s homes to help children who have behavioural difficulties. She also goes into schools and teaches classroom management. She has worked as a Family Counsellor for the Vancouver Family Preservation and Reunification services working with families who are at risk. Her work is informed by a deep understanding of using brain science and compassion to understand and solve children’s behavioural challenges. She also explores the impact of triggers and how that impacts relationships particularly parent/child relationships. Her work often involves facilitating parents building awareness around their own triggers and bringing that understanding to their interactions with their children to avoid reactivity and maintain a close relationship. She helps parents, teachers and professionals who work with children, explore ways of understanding and working with these triggers, using the Calmer, Easier, Happier parenting and teaching strategies and trauma informed modalities.

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Ms. Sarah Friedman

Support Staff

Ms. Sarah began her career eight years ago as a special education tutor and student advocate. This then led to opportunities for Ms. Sarah to work as a Behavioral Interventionist. She has supported students of all ages, with a focus on developing their social emotional learning.

She spends most of her time with her many animals, reading any book she can get her hands on and playing Rummikub. She is currently pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies. Sarah has a passion for integrating her knowledge of nature and the environment into the activities that she shares with her students. She is very excited to start her new journey with the amazing staff and students at VHA.

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Ms. Emily Shelley

Support Staff

Ms. Shelley has joined the VHA team as a Resource Teacher specializing in IEP creation and will be working with students on their individual student plans. She attended the University of Toronto for a Bachelor of Arts and Science with Honours, and then attended Queen’s University for her Bachelor of Education.  Previously, Ms. Shelley worked for the Cree School Board and has taught Grades 1, 2 and 3.  Ms. Shelley is excited to be a part of the VHA teaching team!

Ms. Shelley enjoys playing a variety of board games, and is always looking for new games to learn. She also enjoys journalling, exploring trails around Vancouver and she is an avid reader.

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Krista Nidoy - Support Staff

Krista Nidoy

Support Staff

Krista is thrilled to join as a new member of VHA this year. She is friendly and emits positivity. She recently graduated at Vancouver Community College as an Early Childhood Education Assistant and naturally promotes wellness, security and vitally commits towards a standard safety environment for children of VHA.

Outside of work, she likes spending time with her family going out on recreational activities. She enjoys cultural food, reading and listening to music as a way of understanding and learning more about the Universe.

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Margaret Zag - Support Staff

Ms. Margaret Zag

Support Staff

Margaret is thrilled to join the VHA team this year. She was born in Poland, but is a long time resident of Vancouver.  Margaret has worked in childcare for many years, and has her Certification as an Education Assistant. Having grown up with a sibling who has different learning abilities has allowed Margaret to foster her innate compassion and love for supporting all children.

Margaret loves to unwind with meditation, walks in nature, and spending time with those closest to her.
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Cindy Zhou - Support Staff

Ms. Cindy Zhou

Support Staff

Ms. Cindy is from China and has been in Canada since 2006. In China, she worked as an automation instrument engineer, publisher, and worked in the education sector for 5 years. Ms. Cindy finished the Early Childhood Education Assistant program and received a certificate from Vancouver Community College. Now she is continuing the Early Childhood Education program at VCC. Ms. Cindy likes working with children and loves supporting children. She is very happy for the opportunity to be a part of the amazing VHA staff.

Ms. Cindy has one daughter. She loves cooking, reading, hiking and skiing. She also enjoys planting flowers and vegetables.

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Office Staff

Mrs. Jolene Marston

Admin Coordinator

Mrs. Jolene is excited for her 4th year as an Administrative Secretary and she’s so happy to be part of the VHA family!

Mrs. Jolene lives with her husband, Kayle, and their three pets: their well-fed cats, Gomi and Isis, and their Shiba Inu dog, Kyoko. In her free time she loves reading, playing board games, camping and hiking with Kayle and Kyoko.

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Ms. Vanessa Marks

Financial Secretary

Ms. Vanessa is excited to be a part of the VHA community!

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Tamara Feigelstock - Project Coordinator

Mrs. Tamara Feigelstock

Project Coordinator

Mrs. Tamara is excited to be part of the spectacular VHA staff. She is passionate about Jewish education and has previously worked in several educational institutions.

She recently moved from New York to Vancouver. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband, joining community events and playing video games.
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Mrs. Teagan Horowitz

Project Coordinator

Mrs. Teagan grew up in Montreal and moved to Vancouver six years ago to pursue her degree in Graphic Design at Emily Carr University. Prior to that, she obtained her certificate for Professional Photography at Dawson College in Montreal. Mrs. Teagan loves being a part of the VHA team as the Project Coordinator. She loves giving band-aids and ice to all the students and truly believes that they are the best part of the job!

While Mrs. Teagan isn’t at VHA, she loves spending time with her little one, Raphael Avraham and her husband Elmar. Either they will be at the park, the sand box, Cafe41 (Raph loves pizza), or going for walks!

Mrs. Teagan is currently on maternity leave.

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