Educators

We are lucky to have been able to choose from Ontario’s finest educators in order to amass a faculty that is truly talented and exceptional. TCA’s educators are passionate and dedicated individuals who seek to inspire our students through creative and effective teaching techniques. They are experienced in providing individualized, inquiry based education that raise our academic standards and push our students to be the best they can be.

George Vanderkuur, Principal/Director

It is my pleasure to be a part of Toronto Central Academy family. TCA’s educational philosophy is one that I helped to shape and one that I deeply believe will help elevate the level and quality of the education that our students receive.

By individualizing each student’s learning plan and providing them with a positive, safe, and challenging environment, we enable our students to think outside the box and develop the necessary skills they need to succeed in the future, whether at university or in their future career.

Here is where our wonderful faculty and staff really shine. We have gathered a group of truly talented and dedicated OCT educators, and passionate and experienced staff who are able educate, empower, and encourage while providing the right kinds of targeted guidance that our students need. What makes our faculty and staff unique is that they do not wait for the student to come to them; through closely monitoring our students’ academic performance and behaviours and meeting with our students regularly, our educators and staff work together to solve problems and offer help as soon as possible. And they do this without compromising the student’s independence and ability to work things out for themselves. TCA is a place where students are able to discover, develop, and perfect their abilities while growing as successful members of our society. Welcome to Toronto Central Academy!”...

 George Vanderkuur has more than 30 years of rich experience in teaching, education consultation, and education management. He has a distinguished reputation and many exceptional qualifications in education in Ontario. In the past, George was the Headmaster (Principal) of the Holy Trinity School and a Curriculum Consultant for the Toronto District School Board. He was also a Chief Scientist at the Ontario Science Centre and later, an Associate Director. He was also the President of the Royal Canadian Institute for the Advancement of Science. In 2002 He received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal and in 2010 became a member of the Old Brigade of the Royal Military College.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Greeting to George
Physics with George: An Authentic Learning Approach

Downhill racers where Minimum rotational inertia wins the race
https://youtu.be/BYPQhU-BwmM

Conservation of Angular Momentum of a spinning bicycle wheel
https://youtu.be/E4r5q69LDek

Rotation about the centre of mass of a system like the Moon- Earth
https://youtu.be/Rpxm3d6kYlg

Changing Rotational Velocity through a change in Moment of Inertia
https://youtu.be/3FTv0V_HRS4

Centripetal acceleration prevents water spilling out of upside down glass
https://youtu.be/_bSx766jqfg


George is portrayed as a scientist in the 1990 documentary 'In Search of the Edge,' which examines Flat Earth theories.
https://youtu.be/FtNpztbNiAk

Paul Pu, Director and Doctoral Candidate in Educational Leadership

Paul Pu serves as the Director of Erindale Academy and the President of The Global Youth Challenge (GYC), a non-profit organization (https://theglobalyouth.org/).

Paul's research interests encompass educational leadership, transitional education for international students, and the intersection of AI and education. His leadership philosophy is structured around two core dimensions: the 6C Interaction Dimension, comprising Communication, Connection, Community, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity, and the VIA Success Dimension, which focuses on Vision, Innovation, and Action. In acknowledgment of his contributions to education, the University of Toronto established the Paul Pu Educational Leadership Award (https://tacademy.ca/UP/our-partners.jsp).

Paul possesses extensive teaching experience across various educational levels, including universities,colleges, and high schools in Canada, the USA, and China. His notable assignments include positions at the State University of New York, USA, and Humber College, Canada....

Paul is a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership at OISE, University of Toronto, specializing in Leadership, AI, and educational research. His educational background includes a certificate in Advanced Educational Leadership from Harvard University, a certificate in Value Investing from Columbia University, a master's degree in Computer Science and a master's degree in Geography, both from the State University of New York at Binghamton, a master's degree in Regional Planning from Beijing Normal University, and a bachelor's degree in Geography from Yunnan Normal University.

Guided by the credo “to add value to people by helping them reach their potential“, Paul continues to make significant contributions to the field of education. Learn more about Paul at: www.paulpu.com

Here are some endorsements Paul received for his leadership practice: https://theglobalyouth.org/distinguished-messages.

Philip Desjardins

Philip has a Bachelor of Education and is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers since 1987. He is a graduate of the University of Montreal's Teachers College with additional training in special needs education at McGill University. He is also a certified TESL teacher. In addition to having taught at the secondary school levels in both Quebec and Ontario, Phil was, for many years, the creator of distance education courses and educational films for TvOntario.

Nancy Ping, Manager of Recruitment

Nancy graduated from the University of Toronto, Canada with a Bachelor of Arts, specializing in studio arts and art history. She was a high school graduate of Toronto Central Academy. As an international student, Nancy understands firsthand what it is like to transition from one educational system and culture to another. Therefore, she is a strong support to our students who are making the transition to Canada. She is a well-known young artist in Toronto whose works won various awards in Ontario Art Exhibitions.

Amparo Contreras, Manager of Recruitment

Amparo Contreras is at the forefront of Erindale Academy's student marketing and recruitment initiatives for Latin America. Prior to her role at Erindale, Amparo owned an educational agency, assisting numerous students in realizing their dreams of studying in Canada.

Possessing a rich background in both information technology and electrical engineering, Amparo has lent her expertise to industry giants such as Siemens and IBM over the years.

She is an esteemed alumna of Sheridan College, where she graduated with honors from the Project Management Postgraduate Certificate program. Furthermore, she holds an Electrical Engineering degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Occidente in Colombia.

Daryl Bergman

Daryl Bergman is an Ontario Certified teacher for grades 10-12 Social Sciences as well as ESL. He has a B.A. (Geography / International Studies) and a B. Ed. from the University of Toronto. For nearly 12 years he taught ESL in South Korea to secondary level and university students. I have learned that in order to be a great teacher, one has to be an excellent learner. 'A teacher is a learner, and a learner is a teacher'.

Alex Chen

Passionate about using business to better the world, Alex Chen teaches a variety of business courses at the school. He got his Bachelor's in Business Administration from the Ivey Business School, and he often uses Ivey case studies in his courses. Alex had two years of experience teaching Business English at the Shanghai Business School, where he learned how to better teach English learners from China. He strives to bring out the best in all his students so that they bring honor to their family and society!

Gillian Matthews

Gillian is an OCT teacher and has taught elementary and secondary students for more than 20 years. She has her OCT, New York and Florida State Teaching Certificate and a Master of Education from OISE/UT in Educational Administration. Gillian specializes in English Language/Literature courses, ESL and Social Sciences and enjoys guiding ESL and international students to achieve their academic and personal goals. Gillian has taught in several private schools in the Toronto Area and encourages students to build on their knowledge, language and comprehension skills while making meaningful personal connections to the material that they are learning.

Ella Hou

Ella earned her Bachelor degree in honors of Biochemistry at McMaster University with strong science knowledge-based background and excellent Mathematics application skills. She is well qualified but not limited to teach wide range of senior high school Mathematics including Function, Calculus and Data Management, as well as has much experience on working with groups of students to support them in Chemistry, physics, and biology studies in private schools and tutor centers. Majority of students received a dramatic improvement not only on marks but also the enthusiasm on the studying of related filed.

Simon Yiu

Simon Yiu is a graduate from Ryerson University from the Architectural Science program and Fashion co-ordinate program. He has studied art extensively since the late 90's hoping one day he can use his art to change the world. Throughout the years, he has worked as an art and fashion teacher, a painting studio, a book cover illustrator and a medical blog illustrator. He believes Art is a way of communication and should be able to be enjoyed by everyone. Currently, Simon is teaching at Toronto Central Academy which he offers fashion design and Visual art courses.

Hakan Oztunc, Ph.D. in Statistics and Econometrics

Dr. Hakan has a Ph.D. in Statistics and Econometrics. For nearly 6 years he taught math in US to secondary level and for five years he taught math and statistics in Turkey to university students. Dr. Hakan has worked in the field of education for more than 20 years in several countries. In addition to having taught at the secondary school and university levels, he is the author of math and statistics books. The greatest chance of a person is to meet a great teacher when he/she was young."

Julie Bamford

I am an OCT certified teacher. I first graduated from York University with my Bachelor of Arts in History and English and my Bachelor of Education for intermediate and senior grades. I went on to complete my Master of Education with York University. I have furthered my own education by completing professional development courses with Queen's University. I have taught History, English, and Careers & Civics since joining the school in the summer of 2021. I believe that a school should be a place for students to flourish and grow both academically and personally."

IShaheer Akram

I completed my Master's in Business administration (MBA) Major Finance and Accounting, Bachelors in Business and Commerce, from Karachi, and then moved on to complete 3 levels of the Cost and Management Accountancy (ACMA). I completed a certificate course for teaching ESL students from USA. I have 7 years of teaching experience in Ontario, Canada and 1 year outside Ontario, including an online institute in China. I consider myself a creative and thoughtful person. I love nature and travelling. Teaching is one of my passions. My goal as a teacher is to help my students relate their knowledge with the real world around them in order to benefit them in their future endeavors. Cooperative learning is one of the most important skills I want to develop in my students. We can achieve endless possibilities by collaboration.

Fauzia Akhter

Fauzia Akhter graduated from the University of Toronto with an M Sc. In Env. Science and a diploma of Environmental Technician from Seneca College, Toronto, Canada. She also holds a Master of Science in Zoology and a B. Ed from the University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh. Having over eight years of biology/science teaching experience, she joins TCA. Teaching is her passion, and she believes in engaging in teaching and hands-on experience in learning science, which includes Lab work or field study. She thinks that if knowledge is not shared, it is wasted. She also loves to learn new concepts/ new techniques from her students. In her spare time, exploring nature, watching the Travel & Food channel, and knowing people are one of her many hobbies.

Cigdem Bahar

I have been teaching Mathematics for over 20 years. I began my career in education as a high school math teacher in 1998 in a private school. I hold a bachelor's degree in Mathematics and a post graduate degree in Accounting and Finance. Throughout my career I taught students from grade 6 to university level. I am committed and passionate about teaching students through building strong relationships with students and their families. I also believe that my job is to fill the need for learning by creating engaging and relevant learning experience every day. I have been teaching in TCA for three years and enjoying a part of the team.