YHS Presents Long Service Awards

York House School would not be the amazing place it is without the hard work and dedication of our outstanding faculty and staff. This year, together with students at assembly, we were delighted to recognize 15 individuals in the Junior School and Senior School for their years of service at York House School.


Kathy Kealey, Director of Junior School (19 years):
Kathy Kealey has worn many hats in addition to her role as Director of Junior School. For many years, Kathy held a dual role as Director of Junior School and Assistant Head of School before coming over to the Senior School as Deputy Head and returning as the Director of Junior School and Deputy Head this year. In each of these roles, she has always been recognized as a caring community builder with a great love of the school as well as students, faculty, and staff. Her tireless service to our community, for the past 19 years, has been outstanding and commendable.

Wendy Shore, Grade 3 Teacher (19 years):
Over the past 19 years at York House School, Wendy Shore has made her classroom a magical place of learning where the individual needs of each student are met. Whether it is through their artwork that is displayed or through their writing of stories, Wendy encourages each of her students to explore their creativity and to make their learning visible. Her students have also benefited from Wendy’s clever sense of humour. For many years, Wendy has shared her creative energy with students beyond the classroom as a co-sponsor of the Art Club.

Madeleine Abbott, Grade 4 Teacher (18 years):
Madeleine Abbott has been teaching at York House School for 18 years. During that time not only has she made learning so joyful and engaging for all her students, she has also given so much to our community through her coaching of the Tigers Volleyball, Cross Country and Track & Field and even as a very enthusiastic cheerleader on the sidelines in her Tigers costume!

Lela Ling, Science Teacher (18 years):
Lela Ling has been with York House School for the past 18 years. Lela has been instrumental in creating a truly excellent science program in the Junior School and for sparking the curiosity and engagement of so many young Yorkie Scientists. Outside of the classroom, Lela has been a very dedicated coach to our Tigers as a Cross-country and Track & Field coach.

Brent Jackson, Athletics Coordinator (18 years):
Brent Jackson has done a tremendous job over the past 18 years coordinating so many activities for our students. Not only has he been an outstanding PE teacher, he has also put his organizational talents to great use by helping to organize the ISEA Cross-country and Track & Field events over the years. A voice of support and encouragement for our students, he has coached many of our Tigers in both the Junior School and Senior School.

Susan Sobieski, Junior School Counsellor  (18 years):
Susan Sobieski is someone who has provided tremendous support and comfort not only to students and their parents, but has also been such a great resource for her colleagues. In the 18 years that she has been a counsellor in our Junior School, she has been responsible for introducing many new programs to the school that support our students and their well being such as Second Step and Mindfulness. In addition, Ms. Sobieski has also encouraged our students to tap into their inner artist in Art Club.

(L-R) Neil Menzies, Board Chair; Clint Robertson, Fine Arts Teacher; Marianne Chang, Math Teacher; Tanya Boteju, English Teacher; Pat Lewis, Accountant; Alison Waterhouse, Science Teacher; Zosia Dorcey, Social Studies Teacher; Mong Xuan Ha, Director of Finance; Priscilla Clark, Associate Director, Alumnae Relations; Myriam Le May, French Teacher; and Julie Rousseau, Head of School.


Marianne Chang, Math Teacher (21 years):
Marianne Chang has been with York House School for 21 years and in that time, has had tremendous impact on her students’ learning by creating an engaging classroom environment and fostering love of math in her students. In fact, she introduced the AP BC Calculus course to YHS. More recently, she was instrumental in designing and teaching an AP Statistics course together with Saint George’s and Crofton House School. She has also made many contributions outside of the classroom as a cross country coach, as a chaperone on Outdoor Education and art trips, as well as teacher sponsor for the Grad Dinner Dance. Marianne cares deeply for her students’ success and we are truly grateful for all her hard work and contributions to our students’ learning.

Myriam LeMay, French Teacher (19 years):
Marianne LeMay has dedicated incredible time and energy to the ongoing development of French as part of our Modern Languages Program at YHS. Before we introduced the AIM program, she also taught in the Junior School where she supported the development of our bilingual program. In her aim to provide rich language and cultural experiences in French over the years she has led many trips to both France as well as more recently to Quebec. Un gros merci pour votre passion Mme Lemay!

Mong Xuan Ha, Director of Finance (18 years):
Mong Xuan Ha is someone who continually makes sure that our school is financially stable and runs smoothly. Mong Xuan has been overseeing the many responsibilities of our finance department for 18 years – making sure that our bills are paid, budgets are balanced, and that our endowment for scholarships continues to grow. In addition to the work that she does to support everyone in the school, she also works to support the financial operations of our Board, the Parents’ Association, the Alumnae Association, and the YHS Foundation. She has a deep devotion for the school and her colleagues and she is highly skilled at what she does. We are very thankful for her many years of service.

Alison Waterhouse, Science Teacher  (18 years):
Alison  Waterhouse, an alum from the Class of 1991, has been sparking her students passion for science for the past 18 years. Her passion for science and her devotion to her student’s success is evident. Alison is not only dedicated to her students’ growth she has also been a great mentor to her colleagues. She has been incredibly supportive of both her colleagues and the science department and her knowledge, skills, and experience are truly invaluable. She has also been a dedicated Class President Teacher Sponsor where she has helped our grads plan the Grad Banquet, Grad Sleepover, and various other Grad fundraising events.

Clint Robertson, Fine Arts Teacher (17 years):
Mr. Rob, as he is affectionately known, has done so much to support the development of our many young artists at YHS over the past 17 years including working with students on their portfolios and ensuring that student work is beautifully displayed throughout the school. For several years he has run Art Week at the school in cooperation with other ISABC schools, he has been the district coordinator for Fine Arts, led art trips to New York and participated in many Outdoor Education activities. Thank you, Mr. Rob, for your passion for the arts and for helping our Yorkies develop their beautiful skills of creative self-expression.

Pat Lewis, Accountant (17 years):
For the past 17 years, Pat Lewis, an integral member of the finance department, has helped student, staff, and parents with anything and everything related to ensuring that invoices are processed and bills are paid. Her interest in learning Spanish led her to attend Spanish classes with our senior students and also travel on a service trip to support Project Somos in Guatemala. We thank you, Pat, for your love of the school and your dedication to your work for the past 17 years.

Tanya Boteju, English Teacher (15 years):
Tanya Boteju started at YHS as a TOC almost 18 years ago and has been a full-time teacher at the school for 15 years now. In addition to teaching creative writing to our senior students, Tanya has fostered our students’ capacity for leadership as a teacher sponsor of our student executive and student government. As well, as a strong teacher ally, she has sponsored our GSA club for many years ensuring that our school is a safe, caring and respectful place for all students. Many years ago, she started the recitation competition, the Cat’s Meow, and ran our public speaking club. At one point, she coordinated an International Debating Tournament at YHS which was hugely successful. She also leads our Teacher Advisor Committee. With all that she does, she somehow found time to write her own book, Kings, Queens, and In-betweens. Thank you, Tanya, for developing in your students a true love for creative writing.

Priscilla Clark, Associate Director Alumnae Relations (15 years):
For the past 15 years, Ms. Clark has worked closely with our alumnae from the classes of 1989 and above to ensure that they maintain their close connection to the school. Each year she helps to organize key events that create lasting connections for our alumnae community such as Founders’ Day, Alumnae Day, and our Golden Alumnae Luncheon. She was instrumental in creating our Museum & Archives and also supports the work of our YHS Legacy Society which is celebrating its 20th year this year. Priscilla is an incredibly strong advocate of our school and her tireless efforts helps our alumnae stay connected to the school that they love.

Zosia Dorcey, Social Studies Teacher (15 years):
Zosia Dorcey, an alum from the Class of 1993, joined York House School 15 years ago as a Resource Teacher. Later she began to teach Social Studies to our senior students and developed the current ethics course. Zosia’s passion and love for her students is evident as she cares deeply for their success both in and out of school. Zosia is also deeply appreciated by her colleagues. She has participated in the development of amazing learning opportunities and projects and her passion for her students’ learning has led her to create many experiential learning opportunities that take her students into the community. For many years she was a teacher sponsor for the Debate Club. Her commitment to our motto, Not for Ourselves Alone, also led her to become a teacher sponsor for our longstanding support of Munroe House.

Long Service Awards: June 2018

This school would not be the amazing place it is without the hard work and dedication of our outstanding faculty and staff. This year, we recognized a number of York House School staff who have been with us for 25 years and the many contributions they have made to our community: Anita Irani, Director of University Admissions; David Prissinotti, Athletics Director; and Jerome Yeung, Library Technician.

In the lead up to the awards, we reached out to staff and students and asked them to share their fondest memories of these remarkable individuals. Thank you to all who shared!

Anita Irani
Director of University Admissions

Anita Irani with Head of School, Julie Rousseau.

It is safe to say that Ms. Anita Irani is someone who wears many hats at York House School and that is exactly how her career at YHS started. She began in 1993 where she was responsible for everything from school supervision and switchboard coverage to technology support and network back-ups followed by a position as an administrative assistant in the counselling department.

It didn’t take long before her natural ability to work with students and families was evident and in 1998, she became the school Registrar and in 1999 she became our Director of Admissions. As Director of University Admissions, a role she has held since 2002, Ms. Irani not only ensures that all of our students have everything they need to make successful scholarship and university applications, but she also is also our Advanced Placement Coordinator and Graduation and Awards Program Coordinator.

To students and colleagues alike, she is known for her kindness and generosity as well as her witty sense of humour. And when the stakes are high and the pressure is on – when students are preparing for exams and submitting their university applications – she knows exactly what to do to make sure our students have the support that they need. Her kindness and generosity (and undoubtedly her sense of humour) have helped to guide the career paths of so many of our alumnae, who she remains so proud of their many accomplishments beyond our doors.

We asked a few students from Ms. Irani’s Teacher Advisor Group who are graduating this year to share their thoughts:

“Ms. Irani always sticks out to me as someone who is calm no matter what, especially when dealing with university applications and big questions about the future.”  – Maya, Grade 12

“Ms. Irani is one of the most caring, kind-hearted, and hilarious people I have ever had the chance to know. I am so incredibly lucky that she is my TAG teacher because she is the reason why those 15 minutes are the highlight of my day. She has taught me so much as a person, and I’ve learned way more than just applying to universities from her. I hope she knows how much she means to all of us and how much we care about her and that we will never forget our Great Supreme Leader (don’t worry, she’ll get that joke).” – Miranda, Grade 12

“Ms. Irani is generous with her time, her thoughts, her empathy, and in her efforts – and I am sure that all of us in this theatre can attest to that. Without her patience, wisdom, and kindness – I don’t know what the sixty-one of us graduating this year (the 24 graduating classes that preceded us) would do. Ms. Irani has done so much more than just touch our lives and futures, she has shaped them. And I can only hope that she knows how grateful we are for that.” – Rosa, Grade 12

Thank you Ms. Irani for being a champion for the girls, for supporting your colleagues, and for truly enriching our school community for the past 25 years.

David Prissinotti
Athletics Director

David Prissinotti with Head of School, Julie Rousseau.

It is hard to believe that our Athletics Director, Mr. David Prissinotti (who most students affectionately refer to as “Mr. P.”), started at York House School 25-years ago. In 1993, he joined York House and just three years later, in 1996, he became the Athletics Director where he has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the support of our students’ pursuit of athletics excellence and sportsmanship.

He has achieved some tremendous results with our Yorkies on the court. As Head Coach and Varsity Basketball Coach from 1995-2005, he helped lead YHS to four AA Basketball Championships. In 2005, he was awarded High School Coach of the Year by Basketball BC and in 2010, he was awarded the HSBC Class Tom Tagami Coaching Excellence Award.

Although we all know Mr. P. as our sports ambassador, he is proud to say that he is also an academic with a passion for teaching and the work he does with his students in the classroom.

He has has taught Social Studies, Business Education, and Human Geography 12 was  also a teacher sponsor for Model United Nations over the years. Outside of the school, he has also taken on roles with the Independent School Association (ISA) and the Lower Mainland Independent Schools Athletic Association (LMISSAA) where he was involved with girl’s basketball, soccer, volleyball, and field hockey leagues.

Whether in the role of coach, athletics director, TOC Coordinator, or teacher (or even just the one selling Tigers athletics gear in that small closet next to his office), his contribution to our community is recognized by students and colleagues alike.

When reaching out to our Athletics’ Heads this year (Camryn, Kyra, Aley, Justine) they shared: “Mr. P’s calming, motivational yet humble personality has allowed students to bridge strong, long lasting friendships; he is so easy to talk to and genuinely cares so much about his students. As proven by the countless alumnae that walk through the front doors and immediately head towards the fitness room. He is someone that you can constantly depend on, no matter what. Words can’t describe the gratitude we have for you, but from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you, Mr. P, for your endless efforts in making York House School a better place.”

Mr. P., your colleagues and students have all benefited from your kindness, loyalty, your supportive nature, and your willingness to be there at the drop of a hat. We all wish to thank you for your commitment to excellence in education and athletics at York House School.

Jerome Yeung
Library Technician

Jerome Yeung with Head of School, Julie Rousseau.

Jerome Yeung, our Library Technician, is someone who is well-known by staff and students alike for his thoughtfulness, positive attitude, calm demeanor, and gentle ways. What many people will not know that when Mr. Yueng was first hired, in addition to his responsibilities as a Library Technician, he was responsible for much of our technology in the school. In fact, during the early 90s, before the Nerds were hired at YHS (Rent-a-Nerd) and when YHS had only five computers (all PCs), he was our resident IT support. When anyone had an issue he was right there to help you solve the problem. He was extremely patient, meticulous, hardworking, and a truly passionate computer whiz.

As our Library Technician, Mr. Yeung has earned great respect from the students over the years in both the Junior and Senior Libraries. For 25 years, he has kept our libraries organized and our inventory records kept up-to-date and has been a constant for all students from the Junior School through to the Senior School.

Thank you Jerome for going above and beyond the call of duty during your time at York House School. We truly appreciate your 25 years of outstanding service and dedication.