Our teaching teams and their supervisors are highly qualified and share a passion for helping students of all ages reach their academic goals. Our founder and senior psychologist, Dr. Geraldine Schwartz, supervises and directs the programs, and our principal and head teacher, Dr. Andrew Taylor, leads them on the floor. We also have a great team of highly educated teachers who are experienced in working with kids of all ages and with a variety of learning needs.
Dr. Schwartz’s training at McGill University includes a BA in psychology and English Literature, Professional Teacher Certification, and MA in Educational Psychology, and research and practice based interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Psychology and Education.
Dr. Schwartz is an experienced Registered Psychologist (#228) in BC, a member of the Canadian Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and a life member of the Canadian and American Psychology Associations.
Dr. Schwartz has decades of experience in the direct delivery of service in clinical psychology, and psycho-educational and neuropsychological assessment and analysis; as well as the creation and design of teaching programs using a neuropsychological lens on the data that emerges from the analysis of the assessment.
Her work experience also includes guidance counselling at the high school level; Department Chair Administrative experience; University post-graduate teaching in child and youth psychological and academic assessment.
Gerri has created a warm, dynamic, positive, professional and safe education experience for hundreds of learners and scores of faculty for almost four decades.
Dr. Schwartz’s scientific research was focused on the effects of strategic neurocognitive and academic training on performance based on neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to improve in skills and function) Article in Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis: ‘College Students as Contingency Managers for Adolescents in a Program to Develop Reading Skills’ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1311242/
When I first came to VLC I was 8 years old and couldn't read or write and was struggling with learning disabilities that had severely eroded my self-confidence. The school system told my mom that it was unlikely I would make it past grade nine. Under your brilliant guidance and direction, I transformed all learning outcomes. Not only did I learn to read and write, but I succeeded in graduating from my high school in the top 5% of my class resulting in acceptance into an honors program at the University of British Columbia. From there my educational life blossomed as I completed an Interdisciplinary Arts Degree from UBC and went on to study political science at Sciences Po in Paris and get a music diploma in jazz voice and piano.
VLC gave me more than just an education, it set me free to discover one of my greatest passions, which is a profound and deep love of reading and writing. I've become a poet, writer and singer/songwriter and could not have succeeded at these things without VLC and the genius of Gerri Schwartz.
Thank you for your belief in me, Gerri, and for all the VLC staff for your inspiring teaching!
I spoke with Andrew this morning and he is as lovely and eloquent as you are. Thank you with all my heart for your TIME, INSIGHT, EXPERTISE, WARMTH, BRILLIANCE and DEEP COMPASSION.
I am deeply touched and moved by who you are.
When I walked into your office six years ago feeling completely overwhelmed, you confirmed for me that there is, indeed, something special and unique about my baby girl. I'll never forget the feeling of relief. VLC changed our lives, and we will miss it enormously. Thank you so much for everything you've done for our family.
- T., D., E.
Andrew Taylor has an honours degree in English from the University of Alberta and a Masters from the University of Guelph.
He has worked in the field of special education for over 20 years and in that time has contributed to the development the Vancouver Learning Centre’s programs in gifted education, senior level academic training, university preparation programs, early childhood learning and others. He spent 1999 - 2006 in the classroom teaching at post-secondary levels, and has worked successfully with a wide variety of learners of all ages and abilities.
The VLC regularly receives feedback regarding Andrew’s ability as a teacher and his ability to develop strong and successful relationships wherein his students feel empowered, capable and respected.
Thank you for another jam-packed year of learning. AZ is so incredibly fortunate to have you has her teacher. You really are the finest teacher I have ever encountered. As AZ says, “Andrew is the man.”
As principal, Andrew is committed to the individual success of each of the VLC’s students and faculty, building teaching teams designed specially to meet the needs of all participants.
Thank you so much for everything you’ve taught me. I had an amazing time working here at the VLC. And I see you as an incredible and supportive mentor... Your patience, kindness and leadership have not gone unnoticed. You are honestly one of the most consistently positive people I’ve ever met.
Andrew’s versatile array of teaching skills are a fitting complement to the specialized individualized programs undertaken by VLC teams. He brings an appreciation for excellence and pride in learning to all his classes
Shannon holds an honours degree in mathematics from Acadia University, an MSc from McMaster University and a Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia.
Before joining the Vancouver Learning Centre team in 2011 Shannon had 5 years of experience as a tutor and teaching assistant in calculus and statistics, and had also been a sessional faculty member at McMaster University, teaching introductory calculus.
Shannon is the Vancouver Learning Centre specialist in higher mathematics at high school, college and university levels. She is also a part of the administrative team and is in charge of scheduling classes.
Shannon firmly believes that anyone can learn and succeed given the right circumstances and loves helping others gain the knowledge, understanding and abilities that they need for success in life. She also has a keen interest in educational psychology and enjoys being able to learn more and incorporate this VLC expertise into her teaching practice.
Patricia has a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta and Graphic Design Certification from Emily Carr University.
As a senior member of the Vancouver Learning Centre teaching team for more than two decades, Patricia is passionate about imparting the knowledge and skills to her students which can enhance their abilities, and, in turn, teach them how to interact with their rapidly changing world. For the young students this learning can be as simple as being able to read, to write, and to count. For senior students success extends to being able to ask questions, to effectively research, to understand vocabulary, and to think – critically and inferentially.
Patricia believes education is all this and more. It defines us as people. She is committed to the VLC goals of producing life changing outcomes for all of its learners.
Hussein's training at the University of British Columbia includes a BSc in Integrated Sciences, a custom degree from UBC that involves the approval of an Integrated Sciences board and personal mentor. His degree integrated Neurosciences and Human Physiology with a focus on the neurophysiological correlates of mindfulness meditation with respect to frontal lobe neuroplasticity. His degree involved an array of interdisciplinary courses in the arts and sciences ranging from neurophysiological research areas to game theory and conventional psychology.
Hussein has years of work experience with kids on the spectrum, his career began early in his 2nd year at the University of British Columbia working as a Behavioural Interventionist he then designed, wrote, and helped run non-for-profit computer science workshops for kids on the spectrum in conjunction with his ABA work, gaining experience with a wide variety of kids of all ages and cognitive ability. Frustrated with some of the conventional methods of behavioural intervention and management, Hussein started work at the VLC, implementing personalized psychoeducational programs under the supervision of neuroscientist Dr. Geraldine Schwartz.
Ryan has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of British Columbia with a major in Geography, and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science from York University.
Prior to joining the Vancouver Learning Centre, Ryan has had years of experience working with children of all ages. His experience began volunteering with Growing Chefs, teaching children to grow and cook their own food. Since then, he has been trained in teaching reading to children and helping them learn to read and spell. Ryan enjoys engaging with students one and one and gearing his teachings to their interests. He believes that reading and writing should and can be fun for everyone, and he is committed to helping all of his students find this joy and reach their full potential.
Alba has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia with a double major in Spanish and English Literature, completing an exchange program at the University of Salamanca. They also have a Bachelor of Education from Simon Fraser University with a minor in Instruction and Curriculum Development.
Prior to joining the Vancouver Learning Centre, Alba has had years of experience working with students in a variety of settings. They have worked as an English tutor with ELL students in Vancouver and Spain, as well as with refugees recently arrived in Canada through the BC Newcomer Camp. They have given poetry workshops in schools across the Lower Mainland, and completed the Professional Development Program with a teaching practicum through SFU. At the core of Alba's teaching practice is their ability to forge a connection with students and their infectious passion for learning.
Madi completed a Bachelor of Education in 2015 in Australia at Edith Cowan University.
Madi has worked in education from the age of 16, she started with work experience during high school in a pre primary classroom; this gave her the learning bug! She then completed her bachelor's degree and started working in a local primary school in her hometown; Geographe Primary School in Busselton. After moving to Canada, Madi has worked as a tutor with a range of age groups and ability levels. She believes in a love of reading and making sure we have our fundamentals in place for our spelling, grammar, and reading skills; through explicit teaching of these. Madi loves working with students to give them confidence in their abilities and hopes for a lifelong love of learning.