Join us in welcoming some of our new Southridge faculty and staff members. We asked them to tell us a bit about themselves, what they enjoy doing in their spare time, and what they're looking forward to about being a part of the Southridge community. If you see them around campus, be sure to say hello, and stay tuned for more profiles later this week!
English Teacher - Senior School
I taught in the United Kingdom for 6 years in both the private and public sectors before relocating back to BC. I had the privilege of teaching subjects such as English, Media Studies, and Physical Education. During my time teaching locally at Collingwood, I had the opportunity to work with various age groups in Humanities, New Media, Creative Writing, and AP Seminar/Composition.
I am a former Canadian National Field Hockey Team member and a current International Elite Field Hockey Umpire. I have been lucky enough to participate in two Commonwealth Games as well as several international events all over the world in such places as Argentina, New Zealand, South Korea, and Ireland. For 6 years, I umpired in the English Women’s Premier League where I also received the Top Premier Female Umpire Award in 2019.
I have a 20 month old son, Arthur, who I am sure you will see around the field hockey pitch from time to time! I also love to bake chocolate chip cookies and eat them while I watch movies or read a good book.
I'm super excited to be joining the Southridge community! As a former field hockey coach of the Southridge Field Hockey Team, I am looking forward to working again with all students both within and outside the classroom. I love learning from not only colleagues, but students as well, and I cannot wait to see what new things I learn!
Music Teacher (teaching for Mr. Burrage while on leave)
I love music, music teaching, and music learning! I started my teaching career in 2011 at Kelowna Christian School, where with the support of the school community and leadership, I built a comprehensive instrumental, vocal, contemporary music, and music technology education program. I left that position in 2020 to complete my Masters at Western University. Over the last two years I've been teaching on-call in the Surrey and Langley districts, at the Sarah McLachlan School of Music, and working on freelance songwriting and composing. I enjoyed playing jazz trombone in two university jazz ensembles and playing lead trombone for Kelowna's Dreamland Jazz Band for many years.
I enjoy spending quality time with my wife and two children (Cian, 4 and Clara, 10 months), playing soccer with friends, playing musical instruments, going to live music shows (seeing Jacob Collier a few months ago was a highlight!), writing and producing songs and music at home, and cooking for friends and family. Our family loves any lake or ocean beach, the forest, the mountains, and our favourite sushi, ramen, or pho restaurants.
I'm really looking forward to being part of a creative and collaborative music team with your amazing music teachers and students. I'm excited to learn from the students and other faculty, and to bring my own perspectives and experiences to help Southridge's students achieve their own personal potential through music.
Jaya Van Praagh
Grade 3 Teacher
I have taught in Ontario and British Columbia, as well as international schools in Hong Kong and Singapore. My varied experiences include teaching homeroom classes from Grades 1-7, and in the role of Teacher Librarian. I have been an IB educator for 15 years, including the role of PYP Coordinator for 5 years.
My husband and I love living by the ocean, and taking our 2 dogs for long walks. Our daughter is in her second year in the Faculty of Forestry at UBC. I also enjoy water sports such as sailing, kayaking, and scuba diving.
I am very excited to be joining the Southridge community and look forward to a wonderful year of learning together!
Physical Education Teacher - Senior School
For the past three years, I taught physical education and science in southern Ontario. Prior to that, I taught for a year in Australia while also exploring the amazing Australian outback. I also had the opportunity to teach in Hangzhou, China during a brief teaching internship.
Having just moved to BC, I am super excited to explore my new home! I love camping and hiking so I can’t wait to visit some of the beautiful BC parks. Hopefully this winter, I will also learn how to ski. If you have any outdoor recommendations or skiing tips, please let me know!
I am really looking forward to getting to know the Southridge community! I also can’t wait for the start of school athletics and to help coach some of the Southridge teams. Go Storm!