Nataša Sirotić, BSc, BEd, MSc, PhD
Dr. Sirotić believes that through inspired teaching and mentorship, anyone can succeed in mathematics and develop the confidence, creativity, and critical-thinking skills that are essential in life. She is an experienced educator with 20+ years of teaching experience in both public and independent schools where she has taught mathematics from Kindergarten to Calculus, and acted as Head of the Mathematics Department at two independent schools. In her classes, high expectations are blended with guidance and encouragement. She co-founded Math Potentials with the mission to help young people discover the meaning, purpose, and joy that are inherent in mathematics, which in turn will open opportunities and equip them for success in life. Dr. Sirotić is also active in the fields of mathematics education research and teacher education. She has worked as a Lecturer and Faculty Advisor at the University of British Columbia, where she instructed courses for preservice elementary and secondary mathematics teachers and mentored new teachers into the profession.
Klaus Hoechsmann, PhD, Professor Emeritus, UBC
Using the principles he teaches, "mathematics, like singing, is for everyone – not only the three tenors", Klaus Hoechsmann inspires teachers to love and understand mathematics. He is a devoted scholar of mathematics who went from research mathematician to a trainer of math teachers, to play-wright and public disseminator of mathematics. He is co-founder of the elementary grades math contest (ELMACON) and the author of the PIMS math-posters that were seen on busses throughout the year 2000.
Diana Kovac, BSc
Diana is a graduate of the Math Cirlces program, and has been involved ever since, first as an instructor and now as Vice President. She has an Actuarial Mathematics degree from SFU and is working toward becoming an actuary. Having a strong math background has definitely helped her in her studies and she works hard to pass that math knowledge and confidence on to her students. She enjoys attending conferences and workshops on math education to continuously improve herself as a teacher.
Luna Nuhic, BA
Luna takes on multiple duties at Math Potentials, acting as administrator, coordinator, and substitute teacher. She recently completed a BA at SFU with a minor in mathematics, and is entering the PDP Education program this January. When she is not answering your emails, she is tutoring, cooking, or playing music.
Ali Seyedfarshi, BSc, MSc, BEd
After graduating from high school in Iran, Ali Seyedfarshi travelled to UK for higher education. He completed General Certificate of Education in London and attended Thames University to complete his degree in Engineering. Ali continued his education obtaining his M.Sc. degree in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics. In 1990, Ali Immigrated to Canada, and ever since then pursued his old passion in teaching. He worked at Collingwood for 16 years teaching AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, and AP Statistics. In 2005 Ali was awarded teacher fellowship from prestigious University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Ali continued his teaching career at Southpointe Academy in Delta, BC.
Ali is very passionate about teaching and he says he finds himself at home in Math Potentials, where our younger generations are offered the ultimate challenge in education, specifically in Mathematics education.
Amanda Turcato, BA, BEd
Amanda graduated at Brock University in Ontario with an Integrated Studies degree in Mathematics and Education. Amanda has a passion for the outdoors and mathematics. After graduating, she worked as a TOC at Southpointe Academy. She now works as an associate teacher at North Vancouver School District and is an IB private tutor. Amanda is eager to inspire children in mathematics through hands-on activities and through a collaborative working environment. When Amanda is not teaching, she finds herself in the wilderness exploring new places and making new memories.
Bianca Ungurean, BSc, BEd, MEd
Bianca has completed a 5 year Degree in Mathematics in Romania, where she also taught for five years before moving to Canada. In 1999 she came to Vancouver where she obtained her teaching degree (2001) and Master Degree (2004) from Simon Fraser University. Throughout her teaching career, Bianca has taught full time at various public secondary schools. Bianca currently teaches grades 8-12 including Calculus. Occasionally, she tutors IB kids in the SL and HL streams. Outside school, Bianca enjoys cooking for her family, reading and hiking.
Branka Bajgoric, BSc, MA
Branka is committed to Early Childhood Education. As a psychologist she has a profound understanding of how young children learn. She was the founding head and director of an independent school for gifted children of Grades 1 - 4 in Slovenia. For many years, Branka was a college instructor in Vancouver in the Early Childhood Education program (ECE), where she mentored future early childhood educators into their profession. At Math Potentials she teaches and acts as a program developer fostering pre-math skills with the preschool children through Early Math Matters.
Calin A. Lucus, MFSc, BEd, MSc, PhD
Calin is a certified mathematics teacher in the Province of British Columbia, as well as in his home country of Romania. He currently teaches mathematics to students ranging from Kindergarten to University. His passion for learning and teaching of mathematics shapes his lifelong engagement with this field, from the time he was a high school student himself through his accomplishment in earning his doctorate in the field for Mathematics Education, to his present day engagements as a Head of Mathematics Department at Sullivan Heights Secondary School and instructor at Math Potentials. Calin is involved in training students for a wide range of mathematics contests, and he promotes competitive mathematics. As a student in middle and high school he participated in numerous mathematics contests, from regional level competitions to national level Olympiads. In High School he used to publish for “Gazeta Matematica”, a Romanian journal for mathematics teachers and students.Outside of mathematics, Calin used to swim competitively, and played professional water polo. Currently he is a Canadian National Level Referee.
Diana Hristova, BEd, MSc, PBD
Diana was very fortunate to complete a high school with advanced mathematics and physics in Bulgaria, which made her passionate about learning math in a conceptual way. She graduated from Sofia University with a Masters in Physics. She has obtained her teaching degree and Post-Baccalaureate Diploma from Simon Fraser University. Throughout her various teaching experiences in both Bulgaria and Canada, Diana has learned to employ tailored full-class, small-group, and one-on-one teaching strategies to effectively engage and include diverse learners and foster a supportive and motivating learning environment.
Hee jin Hyun, BEd
Hee jin Hyun is a new member of the Math Potentials team. She has a degree in Mathematics from UBC, and just completed her B.Ed. Program at UBC. She is currently working as a TOC in the Coquitlam District and as a private tutor. She would like to reinvent the image of a Mathematics classroom through the use of innovative teaching methodologies and varied assessment. Her goal is to encourage students to take an active and engaging role in their learning by facilitating opportunities for inquiry, collaboration and reflection. Outside of teaching, she loves camping and travelling around the world.
Jelena Pecelj, BSc, BEd, MEd
Jelena graduated with B.Sc. in Math from SFU, then continued at San Jose State University, where she obtained teaching certificate. She taught in California for several years before moving back to Vancouver to teach a mixture of Pre-IB math, IB math and regular math courses. Throughout her 16 years of teaching, she has taken graduate courses in math and math education at San Jose State University and has completed M.Ed. Program at SFU. Jelena enjoys the elegance and beauty of math and hopes that her students will appreciate it as well.
Max Sterelyukhin, BSc, MSc, BEd
Max Sterelyukhin teaches Senior Mathematics at Southridge School. He holds a BSc in Mathematics, BEd in Mathematics Education, MSc in Mathematics Education from Simon Fraser University. He is also currently pursuing a PhD in Mathematics Education at Simon Fraser. Mr. Sterelyukhin is very passionate about mathematics and teaching of mathematics. He is particularly involved in studying the effect and relationships students develop with mathematics as they are learning it.
Mario Sirotic, BSc
Teacher & Instructor of the Online Homework Tutorials
Having completed the Math Circles program himself, Mario has a unique perspective on the program which allows him to communicate with and teach his students effectively. Mario recently earned his Bachelors Degree in Mining Engineering from UBC and is working towards becoming a mining engineer.
Mike Shen, BSE, MSc, MBA, PhD
Mike is a new member of the Math Circles Program. His background is in electrical engineering, and had worked at the university level as instructor and in the student affairs. Mike is currently working towards his teaching certificate to fulfill his childhood dream of teaching math at the secondary school level. In his spare time, he volunteers as community basketball coach in south Surrey.
Pawel Chrzastowski, BSc, BEd, MEd
Pawel graduated from Warsaw University with Masters Degree in Applied Mathematics. After graduation, he worked in a prestigious high school in Warsaw for four years teaching mathematics and computer science. When he moved to Canada he obtained his BEd Degree at the University of Calgary in 1995 and then a Masters Degree from Simon Fraser University in 2004 with a specialty in high school math education. This lead him to teach highschool math in Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver.
Pawel now lives in Vancouver with his family. He loves playing logical games such as Chess, GO and Bridge; he enjoys classical music, especially the piano; and he loves to take advantage of the outdoors, including weekly hikes, skiing adventures, swimming sessions and bike rides.
Sachiko Noguchi, BSc, BEd, MMT
Sachiko believes that math is as beautiful as music. However, to cultivate the ability to appreciate the beauty of math we need to learn the subject. She hopes that her classroom is filled with the joy of learning math. She takes on different roles as a math teacher, such as a TOC in private schools, a private tutor, a facilitator in workshops, and a classroom teacher. Sachiko has also earned her MMT (Master of Mathematics Teaching) from the University of Waterloo.
Teresa Galido, BSc, MEd
Teresa was hired as a Math teacher immediately after graduating from a Bachelor of Science with Major in Math, in the Philippines. After teaching for a year, she was granted a scholarship to finish a Master of Education with Major in Mathematics, which she completed in three years. After teaching for five years in the Philippines, she won the coveted ‘Teacher of the Year’ award from her school which was based on students and peer evaluation, teaching observations, extra-curricular involvement and a rigorous interview with a panel of distinguished educators. In 2005, and for the next three years, she found an opportunity to be a visitor teacher in South Carolina, during which she applied to immigrate to Canada to continue her passion for mathematics education teaching at several independent schools in BC. She is currently a Senior School Math teacher at an independent school in Delta. Her interest in mathematics stems from a high school teacher who said: “Do not let the numbers manipulate you, you must manipulate the numbers,” a quote she always shares with her students.