Our Amazing Alexandrian Teachers

Written by Alexander Academy in Blog on October 25, 2021

At Alexander Academy we are blessed and fortunate to have such an amazing staff of highly educated and knowable Teachers. We are delighted to let you know a little more about the teachers on our Amazing Alexandrian team. Their energy for teaching students and expanding their passions makes each of our teachers simply amazing! We have no doubt about the difference each of these teachers will make in the lives of our learners and to the field of education.

Meet Our Teachers

Mark Lappan

Mark Lappan

Social Studies Teacher

I received my MSc in History with merit from the University of Edinburgh. Before being welcomed to the Alexander Academy community I had studied in Greece and taught in Japan and West Vancouver. I am excited to work with students from around the world, and I encourage them to bring their unique perspectives to discussions and debates on complex topics. 


Subjects – Social Studies 8/9 – In Social Studies 8/9 we focus on the development of investigative and communicative skills. Each unit centres around a historical thinking skill rather than a body of content. This demonstrates the universal applicableness of Social Studies skills.

Human Geography 12 – In Human Geography we examine the many relationships human-beings have with communities, cultures, economies, and environmental interaction. Human Geography blends research and data processing with hands-on-learning and utilizes the many tools’ geographers use to expand their understanding. 

Law Studies 12 – Students in Law Studies examine not only the body of laws all Canadians are bound by, but also discuss and debate the philosophical concepts that underly our legal traditions. Morality, justice, right and wrong – all topics that provide fantastic fuel for deep conversations and reflection. 

Student Success – The best advice I can give to my students is to strive to be an active learner. Participate in discussion with your peers, both in person and online. Ask questions, and do not fear mistakes. If we already knew all the answers we wouldn’t need to go to school!


Stacey Franklin

ELL/English Teacher

Hello students! It is a pleasure to meet you all and have you in my English and ELL classes this semester. My goal this semester is to foster a love of reading and language, as well as critical thinking and analytical skills. In my classes, we will reflect on and interrogate questions of identity and perspective and the ways in which they are inextricably connected to the texts we consume and produce.


Grace Chen

Teacher Librarian

This year, Alexander Academy is excited to offer its new library space and services to students. The library is managed by Grace Chen, who holds a Master of Library and Information Studies from the University of British Columbia. She will be building up the library collection to aid in student research, improve student literacy, and to stimulate a joy for reading. Additionally, students will be able to access printing services, computers, digital databases, study space, and research assistance through the Alexander Academy library. Students who may be interested in a career working in libraries can also obtain valuable experience volunteering with the Alexander Academy library to gain knowledge in library practices such as material classification, circulation and curation. 


Daniel Lai

Physics Teacher

Welcome to Alexander Academy! I am Mr. Lai. This is my seventh-year teaching Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry at the academy. I like to help my students to enjoy their learning, develop their full potentials and reach their highest academic achievement. 

Come to my interactive classes and prepare yourselves to explore the world with us. You will not be disappointed. 

Pre-Calculus 11 is designed to provide students with the mathematical understanding and critical thinking skill identified for entry to university level mathematics, science, engineering, or other mathematically intensive fields of study. Students are expected to have a solid foundation of Mathematics, think critically and work hard to successfully complete this course. 

Physics 11: This course is an introductory physics course that focuses on principles and theories, which encourages investigation of physical relationships, and illustrates the relationship between theory and application. The application of physics to everyday situations will be emphasized throughout the course. It is intended that the skills and knowledge gained will provide a solid base for further study. Students are expected to be inquirers, open-minded thinkers, and risk-takers. Their learning attitude and commitment define their levels of achievement.

Chemistry 11: This course provides students an opportunity to demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the role of Chemistry in society. Students will be encouraged to develop the skills and methods employed by scientists. They are expected to be inquirers, think reflectively, learn attentively, and work carefully to succeed this course. However, students will also be surprised and excited by their findings in Chemical science in this course.


Cliff Hidebrand

Business & Science Teacher

My name is Mr. Hildebrand. I have been teaching at Alexander Academy for 5 years. I love working with young people. I am a Canadian Football enthusiast. I am here to help my students as much as I can. 

I teach a variety of subjects including Math, Environmental Science, and Economic Theory. In every class I teach I tell students right away that there are somethings they should do in my class, no matter the subject. All of these will help them to succeed. First, pay attention in class. If you are listening and following along with the lessons, you will do well. Second, do your homework and hand it in on time. This will prevent you from being rushed to finish things later in the year. When that happens, you will often rush and not perform well. Finally, it is important to ask questions and seek help when you don’t understand what is going on. This is the only way to make sure that you can succeed in the work. I always do my best to help my students succeed. Welcome to my class. 

Spencer Todd

Spencer Todd

Head Teacher

My name is Mr. Todd and this is my 6th year at the Academy. As an educator, my favourite things are working through difficult topics with students and helping them develop their critical thinking skills, as well as helping develop their ability to express themselves in both verbal and written form. Outside of school, I like reading about history, listening to music, watching the Miami Dolphins, and spending time with my family. 

Currently, I am teaching English Studies 12 for two blocks in addition to my other duties as Head Teacher. ES12 is my favourite course to teach because we get to talk about the most important subject – life! This semester our focus will be on how writers discuss identity. If I could give any advice to students learning a language, I would say the most important thing for them to do is to have fun with the language outside of class by reading books about subjects they enjoy, going to movies that they are interested in, and listening to music that moves them. The students that develop the best language skills, whether it is in ELL or ES12, are the ones who truly enjoy the language and make it part of their everyday personal life. 

Ryan Spencer

Ryan Spencer

English Teacher

Hey students! My name is Mr. Spencer and I am an English and Business teacher here at Alexander Academy. In my class I encourage students to try new things and take ownership over their own education. Planning, growth, and measurable development are key components to my approach to teaching alongside fun, creativity and an unending amount of what can best be called ‘teacher’ jokes. I am also a big fan of Alexander’s after school clubs and activities and it is my hope that the students in my class will challenge themselves to learning new things, pursue new experiences, and become engaged members of the wider school community. 

Classes – In English 10 students can expect to learn all manner of skills and to cover a wide variety of literary and not quite so literary topics. Here in British Colombia English 10 is split into two modules and here at our school we have chosen Composition and Literature Studies. The two courses put emphasis on creativity, writing, presenting, and being able to support a position. What sets this course apart from other English 10 classes you might find is the number of choices you have when it comes to completing assignment. Outside of our purely written activities most projects and group work assignments you will see will give you a number of options for completion. Whether they be making a play, performing a rap, or create Adobe flash movie, it’s all up to you. Due date depending of course… To do well in English 10 students must be willing to take steps to meaningfully improve upon the things they are good at and those they struggle with.

About ELL Foundation

ELL Foundations is a course to designed to help students work on their reading & writing, listening & speaking, communication, and technological skills. This course will cover a wide variety of topics from ‘how to get organized’ to ‘making a multi-media presentation about something you like.’ To do well in ELL Foundations you have to be willing to authentically engage, to challenge yourself, and to be willing to make (and learn from) your mistakes. One of the unique features of this course is the incorporation of the Microsoft Office Suite into most of the students’ activities whether they be PowerPoints, Video Editing, Newspaper making or sound editing. Entrepreneurship is a unique class because of how much input the students have over the direction it takes. The basic topics we will be covering are identifying the characteristics of an entrepreneur, the product development cycle, ethics and good business practices, pitching, marketing and how to manage your finances. The rest is up to the students; whether that be which fieldtrips we go on; what product they want to create; what people, groups, or charities they want to partner with; etc. In Entrepreneurship you have to be willing to take chances, make mistakes, and to look at the world from an additive perspective. A perspective where, ‘what could I add or change to make things better’ is only the beginning. 

Mihaela Negoita

Mihaela Negoita

French/Drama Teacher

Bonjour à tous! Je m’appelle Mme Negoita and I am originally from Dracula’s country and are specialized in French linguistic and teaching with more than 25 years’ experience studying this beautiful language. I am very glad that I have joined Alexander Academy to help students with French and Drama. My advice to students is to always strive to learn and grow, be open to learning, as knowledge is power, and to never stop believing in yourself even in times of ups and downs. I encourage students to learn to unleash the creativity from within, and although it takes time, you can do it, and continue to be unique!

What makes my French and Drama classes unique is the small classroom sizes and the diversity of my student’s nationalities, personalities, and learning/ life experiences. Students can succeed in my class by getting involved in our classroom learning, being punctual and disciplined, and by being responsible academically. This includes attending class on time, participating, asking questions, and keeping up with homework. My students need to know that I am confident in their success and that they are already successful if they have a great mindset and put the required amount of effort! 


Ramina Sandu

Biology and Chemistry Teacher

I have been at the Academy for 2 years now and I love being here. I come from a family of educators and teaching to me is not just a profession, it’s a part of who I am. I have a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Queen Mary, University of London. I find my joy in my Science classroom.

“If the child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn” 

Ignacio Estrada – This is what I believe in, and this is what makes my classroom unique. I observe, assess and modify my lesson plans according to the needs of my students. Learning is always fun in my Science class! 

I expect the students to come to my class with an open mind. Individual attention during and after class helps student get the grades that they need. Hands-on activities, lab experiments, class discussions/debates and presentations help students develop excellent communication skills. We use the engineering design process to approach and solve scientific design challenges. Collaborative planning lies at the center our teaching-learning process. 

Ryan cook

Ryan Cook

Social Studies and ICT Teacher

Hello everyone. I’m Mr. Cook and I teach Social Studies and Computer Science. I’m from Toronto and am a big hockey fan. I’ve taught in BC schools in China and South Korea. I look forward to meeting new students at Alexander Academy. 

Class Summary: In my computer science classes students learn web development, coding languages, animation, and photo-manipulation. My classes are very hands on with project-based learning where students take the initiative in their own education. The computer lab is available to students on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school where students can seek help and continue their studies. 


Jenny Guan

Student Services Manager

I’m the Student Services Manager at the school. In the past 5 years at Alexander Academy, I’ve had the pleasure to work with amazing colleagues and wonderful students. Every student and family comes to Alexander Academy with individual needs and goals. I do my best in providing guidance and support at the school so that students can make informed decisions to achieve their goals. It is my absolute honour to be able to touch students’ lives along their academic journeys. 

This semester, I am teaching Career Life Education. This course enables students to develop the skills they need to become self-directed individuals who set goals, make thoughtful decisions, and takes responsibility for pursuing your goals throughout life. 

Here are some school norms you will see when you walk through the halls at Alexander Academy 

Open Door Policy
Our teachers let everyone know what is happening in the classroom. When you walk into any classroom you will see the risks, rewards, failures, and successes our teachers and students take on. The atmosphere is welcoming and engaging. When an administrator or colleague walks by, they are often waved in. We all know that we learn from each other’s wisdom while sharing ours.  

Our Values – Empathy, Integrity, Engagement, and Respect 
These four unlock the door to a passion-driven learning environment. Our teachers live by our school values and bring these to all our students. Our scholars will grow in all facets of life because of the relationship you they have around these values.  

Students as Leaders
Becoming a student leader is the key to success. You are a leader, and your voice is critical. Be that leader. Speak to as many teachers as possible. Learn from them. They have so much wisdom, but they too often go untapped. Be the one that honors them and celebrates them by carrying on their success stories with your actions.

Our teachers challenge themselves, and their student as they take risks together. There is a natural creativity that flows from our teachers and students. There will be restrictions, roadblocks, and hurdles; however, we see out teachers overcoming these and aspire to do what is best for student learning.

Keep Moving Forward with every thought and action!
A final quote, and challenge you to keep learning, keep playing, and keep growing. 

We warmly welcome you to stop by and see our teachers perfecting the art of teaching in person, with energy and passion! Please contact admissions@alexanderacademy.ca for more information.

Looking to start the application process? Apply to Alexander Academy here
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