1.905.604.4622 info@upperyorkschool.ca

Staff & Faculty

Administrators, Faculty, and Staff

Ms. Lydia Gao

(Ph.D, M.Sc., B.Eng)

  • 20+ years experience in Educational Management
  • Awarded Special Allowance by State Council of People’s Republic of China
  • Outstanding Teacher of Beijing City



Ms. Jenna Johnston

Assistant to Head of School
(Bachelor of Arts – Child and Youth Care)

  • Experience working with children of all ages






Ms. Rainen Zhang

Administrative Assistant

  • Nanjing University of Science and Technology
  • Major in Environment, Minor in International Trade
  • Muitiple years of working experience in multinational companies
  • Patient and meticulous

Ms. Ritu Chawla

Math, Science and History Teacher 

  • OCT certified teacher with more than 16 years of teaching experience in Canada and Internationally. I hold a Mater’s degree in English, a Bachelor’s degree in Education and currently pursuing TESOL from The University of Toronto.
  • I believe that learning is a never-ending process for an educator.  We grow, learn and empower ourselves with every moment spent in the classroom with our students and our job as teachers is to make learning as authentic as possible for them. I have taught a range of Ontario courses both in-class and online.


Ms. Taraneh Ganjavi

English and Health Studies Teacher
(B.Sc., M.A., B.Ed, OCT)

Over 10 years of experience teaching and tutoring students of different ages and background. TESOL certified

Mr. Dave Bird

Vice Principal
(M.Ed., J.D.)

  • 25+ years in educational teaching and administrative leadership
  • “The secret of success in education is respecting the students.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)



Mr. Charlie Li

Director of College Counselling 

  • Bachelor of science from Beijing Forestory University, Bachelor of science from Michigan State Universtiy, AACSB MBA from Lakehead University
  • Multiple years of working experience in Canada, farmiliar with company management system, fund of knowledge in finance, accounting trading and management



Ms. Saba Farrokh

English and Humanities Teacher

  • 8 years of teaching experience (ESL, IELTS, English, Human science)
  • Master in Linguistics, Bachelor in French Language, TESL Ontario, TESL Canada, Cambridge Teaching Certificates: KAL,CLIL, TKT, YLE 




Mr. Mohammad Tavalla

Mathematics & Physics Teacher
( Ph.D candidate, York University, MSc. Pure Mathematics)

“I strive to enhance student learning by bringing technology and experiential learning into the science classroom.”

  • 20 years teaching experience, taught internationally.







Ms. Xudan Xie

Chinese Language Teacher

  • Bachelor degree in Chinese Language and Literature from Harbin Normal University Chinese Department.
  • Worked in the affiliated middle school of Harbin Medical University in China and the president’s office of Harbin Medical University.
  • Taught Chinese courses in public schools in Singapore and the York Education Bureau in Canada.
  • Published 9 student books (Singapore Victoria Press) in Singapore and obtained ISO quality certificate.




Calendar of events at Upper York School, the best private school for anyone in Markham, Richmond Hill or Thornhill looking for a private school near me.