Maple Bear schools offer full Canadian programs utilizing Canadian methodology and curriculum developed by our own experts from the ground up for preschool, elementary, and high school.
We take our responsibility to our students and their parents very seriously. Strict quality controls ensure we deliver the very best Canadian practices in education.
There are currently more than 51,000 students in 526 Maple Bear Early Childhood, Elementary, and High Schools operating in Albania, Angola, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Brazil, China (Mainland and Hong Kong SAR), Guatemala, India, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, USA, and Vietnam.
We will be opening soon in Australia, Canada, Ghana, Paraguay, Portugal, Spain, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
With its founding roots in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Maple Bear Global Schools team members and faculty work and live in many different provinces across Canada. We have offices in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Toronto, as well as subsidiary offices on all continents.
The Story of Maple Bear
The idea to develop Maple Bear Canadian schools grew out of the work of the Canadian Education Centre Network (CECN), a non-profit organization supported by the Government of Canada and the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada which was mandated to market Canadian education abroad to attract foreign students to study in Canada.
Maple Bear was born after CECN managers overseas recognized there was a domestic demand for high quality, bilingual Canadian education from emerging middle class parents, many of whom had studied outside of their own countries in general and in Canada in particular.
The first Maple Bear Canadian School to open was in Indirapuram (New Delhi), India in 2005.
In 2007, Maple Bear became a privately owned company with a dozen schools operating in Korea, Brazil and India. Those numbers quickly changed as news of the excellence of Canadian immersion and bilingual education spread, especially among parents who could see the positive outcomes in language, learning and behavior of their children.
Today, there are 526 schools in 35 countries with more than 51,000 students studying at Maple Bear schools worldwide.
We invite you to join the Maple Bear global family as an owner, a student, a parent, a teacher or a member of the Canadian faculty.
Co-Founder & Board Chairman
A graduate of the University of Manitoba with an MA in Political Science, Rodney served as a Canadian diplomat from 1981 to 1996 with postings to Canada's Permanent Mission to the United Nations, the Kingdom of Thailand, the People's Republic of China, and the Republic of Korea. He also served as President of the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers.
In 1996, he joined the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada as the Vice-President responsible for the Canadian Education Centre Network project and in 1997 became the first President of the newly-formed non-profit company, the Canadian Education Centre Network. In this capacity he was responsible for building the network from three centres in the Asia-Pacific region into an entity with a presence in 17 countries spanning the globe. While with the CEC Network, Rodney conceived and developed the Maple Bear education system. In March 2007, he purchased Maple Bear from the CEC Network.
As President of Maple Bear Global Schools he traveled extensively, expanding Maple Bear’s global footprint to over twenty countries.
In March 2021, Rodney retired from his operating role as President & CEO of Maple Bear Global Schools. He remains active as Board Chair and a shareholder in the company.
Gerald Macleod held both a B.A. and B.Ed from the University of Saskatchewan, a Masters degree from Carleton University in Ottawa, and a Masters of Education (second language and immersion specialization) from the University of Manitoba. In addition he held a Diplôme d’études françaises from the Université de Poitiers, and a Diplôme d’études internationales et du développement from the Université de Toulouse, France. He also received numerous academic awards, including the Government of France scholarship for Graduate Study in France.
His education credentials were extensive, beginning as a teacher in Montreal, Saskatoon and Winnipeg; as Vice-Principal and Principal at all levels of the Winnipeg school system and as a university professor of Education Administration at the Collège universitaire de Saint Boniface, Manitoba.
Gerald served as School District Director of International Education in Winnipeg; Director of International Education in the Department of Advanced Education for the Province of Manitoba, and as a consultant in international education globally. He frequently presented on international education topics to teachers, principals and school boards.
Gerald passed away in early 2021.
Maple Bear Global Team
Holding a BSc in Law, a Post Grad in Administration, two Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in Logistics and in Franchising, as well as many certificates such as Disruptive Strategies, Global Business and Leading Management in Education from Harvard Business School, Arno has served in many executive roles and companies including ALL Logistics, AB Inbev, Pearson PLC, Wall Street English and most recently as CEO of Maple Bear in Latin America.
Arno is responsible for the operations side of the company. He oversees company structures, budgets, KPI management and financial sustainability. He also supports growth in the numbers of global schools and students by working closely with our existing joint venture partners and new partners to come, as well as building new strategic relationships.
Vice-President, Global Marketing and Communications
Michelle holds a BA in International Relations from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from Canada’s prestigious Ivey Business School at Western University. Michelle has over 25 years of broad-ranging communications, marketing and sales experience in corporate, education, non-profit and entrepreneurial environments.
Originally from Vancouver, Michelle has lived, worked and studied in many different countries, including Denmark, Germany, France, Belarus, Ukraine and USA, as well as other parts of Canada. She is also fluent in German and has a working knowledge of French.
Director of Program and Innovation
Bradford Burns has been an educator for more than 30 years. The majority of his career has been spent working in bilingual education (French Immersion) as a teacher and a school principal. His experience includes leadership positions at elementary, middle, and high school. Brad has a Masters in School Administration and Bachelor of Arts in Economics. He is fluent in English and French.
One of Brad's main focus areas is the application of innovative technology in the classroom and in school administration. He has presented at provincial and international conferences sharing his technological innovation experiences with school administrators and teachers.
Brad is fervent believer in life-long learning and professional development. When he is not working as Maple Bear’s Manager of Academic Resources, he volunteers with the Manitoba chapter of ASCD (Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development), an organization that supports excellence in leadership and learning in education.
Brad loves to travel and has worked in Portugal and France.
Brad is based in Winnipeg, Canada.
Lilian Hanson Zirk
Director of Academic Projects
Lilian started with Maple Bear as a trainer in 2018. She is excited to expand her role leading special academic projects for Maple Bear Global Schools.
Lilian worked with the Toronto District School Board for over 30 years, as an Elementary Teacher, Guidance Counsellor, Principal, and Staff Development Consultant assigned to lead policy implementation, program delivery and other system initiatives. Lilian’s experiences in school administration included inner city, alternative school, and several specialized programs (i.e., Special Ed; Extended French; ELL/Newcomers).
Lilian is fluent in Portuguese, as well as English. She currently works closely with the Brazilian Consulate in Toronto, as an elected member of the Brazilian Citizenship Council of Ontario.
Throughout her career, Lilian has always sought opportunities to impact student achievement and has completed an array of additional qualifications, such as: Math Leadership Cadre; Polarity Management; Assessment and Evaluation Data Analysis; Second Step; Tribes (Master Trainer); Cognitive Coaching (Facilitators’ Training); Appreciative Inquiry; Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Facilitator qualifications); Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Administrator’s training); Facilitation Skills for School Improvement; among others.
Director of Global Franchise Expansion
Nancy Criconet is an experienced franchise professional who has held senior positions in franchise development, sales, marketing and operations for close to 20 years. She has worked in many diverse industries in Canada, the U.S. and internationally. Nancy enjoys public speaking and has been invited to speak at various professional events to discuss the business of franchising.
Nancy has a Bachelor of Arts degree from York University in Ontario, Canada with a major in Psychology and completed her graduate studies in the International M.B.A. program at the Schulich School of Business. Nancy is fluent in Spanish and has a working knowledge of French. She has lived and worked in Mexico, Venezuela and Argentina.
Director of Global Operations
Rebecca's career in education has spanned 14 years and included experience as an English Language Trainer, Academic Coordinator, Academic Manager, and National Service Manager. She has lived and worked in South Korea, Hungary, Japan, Russia, and Brazil. In 2017, she opened the Canadian office of Maple Bear Latin America in the city of Toronto, where she now works as Operations Manager for Maple Bear Global Schools.
Rebecca holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Guelph, with a minor in Mathematical Science. She completed her Human Resources Management Certificate with the Sprott School of Business and holds the designations of Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP) in the province of Ontario and Certified Talent Management Practitioner (CTMP) with the Canadian HR Academy. Additionally, Rebecca has a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA). She is currently working towards certificates in Business Innovation and Data Science with the University of Toronto.
Rebecca speaks English and has a working knowledge of Brazilian Portuguese.
Financial Process Manager
Michelle is the Financial Process Manager for Maple Bear Global Schools. She holds a BA in Economics and two Post Grads, one in Finance & Controlling and another one in Business Economics. With over 15 years of experience in corporate, her work focuses on improving business process management, implementing and monitoring financial policies and procedures. Born and raised in Brazil, Michelle moved to Canada in 2016, and has joined Maple Bear Global Schools in 2020, collaborating on the financial reports, development of strategies and goals, as well as giving support and working closely with the joint venture partners.
Joint Venture Lead Director
Holding a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, with two MBAs in management and an executive certificate from MIT, Paulo has served in many executive roles and companies including AB Inbev, Votorantim, Yduqs and Cogna.
Paulo has been working in the education for 14 years. During this period he led higher education businesses, K-12, publishing and language franchises. He also participated in boards of directors linked to the education sector, in for-profit and non-profit entities. During his career, he worked in the leadership and support of operations throughout Latin America, having participated in projects in the United States and Europe.
His responsibility at MBGS is to ensure alignment with our partners in JV's, seeking the sustainable growth of our business around the world.
Diego Léo Braz
Originally from Brazil, Diego has lived, worked and studied in many different countries, including Portugal, Spain and France as well as different parts of Brazil.
Diego holds a BSc in Law, a Post Grad in Administration, a Master in Business Administration (MBA) in Corporate Law, a Post Grad in International Law from University Complutense of Madrid - Spain, a Post Grad in Corporate International Law from Lisbon University, and a Law Master Degree (LL.M) in Corporate Law from a consortium between Universite de Rouen Normandie - France and Lisbon University.
With over 20 years of corporate experience, Diego has served as a legal manager throughout Latin America and Europe and most recently as Legal Counsel of Maple Bear Latin America.
Diego is responsible for supporting and structuring new partnerships with MBGS, providing counsel to Joint Ventures, as well as guiding and leading the company with best practices and ensuring its compliance with MBGS directives.
Maple Bear Faculty
The University of Winnipeg Faculty of Education and Maple Bear Global Schools have been in academic cooperation since 2014. The Faculty of Education at The University of Winnipeg delivers General Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Education (PBDE) courses online and in-person to students who have been admitted to programs offered in collaboration with Maple Bear schools. A number of Maple Bear teachers have graduated with a PBDE through The University of Winnipeg Satellite Teacher Education Program offered in various schools throughout Brazil.
Manager of Academics, Training and Quality Assurance
Tamara has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing that she received at the University of Victoria. Throughout her career she has gained a comprehensive working background involved with teaching and training by working in the health educational field. Working in the High Risk Antepartum and Post-Partum units, was a great opportunity for her to teach patients in all areas of recovery, parenting and autonomy. Tamara completed a Masters program at Western Illinois University which trained her on the core concepts of administrative systems, program planning and working with evaluative platforms. Tamara has had the amazing opportunity to work in many health care and education systems in Minnesota, Illinois and Louisiana.
Tamara has worked with Maple Bear since 2018 in the Academic department where she works closely with faculty training and quality assurance.
Tamara and her family have lived in Vancouver as well as in the United States. In 2018, they finally settled back in Winnipeg.
Senior Advisor, Academics
Lenna Glade has been an educator for more than 40 years. She has been a teacher, a school administrator, a Department of Education coordinator and is currently a Faculty Member at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada. For the past ten years, Lenna has initiated and implemented several international education projects in her role as Faculty Member. In addition to practicum programs in Thailand and China, Lenna implemented a Bachelor of Education program in Asia and a Post Baccalaureate program in Brazil.
Lenna Glade is a former VP Academic of Maple Bear Global Schools as well as an Academic Director of Maple Bear Brazil. For the past 6 years she has trained teachers and administrators and presented to parents of Maple Bear Schools in Brazil, India, China, Korea, Vietnam and Singapore. Also, Lenna has coordinated the annual Maple Bear Owner’s Convention in Brazil.
Canadian Partnerships Consultant
Peter's professional career spanned thirty years with the Halton Catholic District School Board as both an elementary and secondary teacher and Principal. Additional educational activities included teaching the Ontario Principal Certification courses, serving as President of the Ontario Education Research Council and instructing at Fanshawe College. In "retirement", he continued his involvement in education as a teacher and Principal in Kuwait at the American Creativity Academy.
Peter has worked with Maple Bear since July 2016 in the positions of Principal (Maple Bear Belo Horizonte 2016-17) and Academic Director of Brazil (Sao Paulo 2018-19). Currently, Peter works in Canadian and global partnerships with the Maple Bear Global Schools office.
Canadian Partnerships Consultant
Joe Sheik holds an MA in Canadian History from the University of Western Ontario and a B Ed from the University of Toronto. He holds certificates as a Primary, Junior and Intermediate specialist and dual specialist in History and Dramatic Arts. Before becoming a Principal, Joe has worked as a secondary teacher and department head, elementary teacher, teacher of gifted students and a School District Consultant in Curriculum and School Improvement. Joe is the recipient of the Award of Distinction for outstanding contributions to education in London, Ontario. Joe has had a very successful 22 year career as a Principal and Vice Principal of elementary Schools in Ontario, Canada. Joe taught history for two years in the faculty of History and worked for three years as an instructor at the Faculty of Education, both at Western University. Joe has published a number of history books, textbooks - his proudest a CIDA-sponsored work on teaching Canada its World Connections and Social Justice. Joe is past Director of UNESCO’s Time Project. He has lead workshops for teachers of all grade levels world wide both in person and online. Joe has presented at UNESCO conferences in the Netherlands, and Time Project Conferences in Greece, Taiwan, Croatia, Turkey and Canada. Joe is thrilled be part of the Maple Bear academic team in Canada and is currently one of the two project leads on the Trent project.
Academic Director, Maple Bear Brazil
Phyllis Hildebrandt is the Academic Director for Maple Bear Brazil. She is from Manitoba and has over 30 years leadership experience. She semi-retired as a Superintendent in Manitoba and has spent the past 12 years working in international settings. Her appointment as the Academic Director in Brazil took place in January 2020. Phyllis has a Master’s in Education and is currently completing her PhD in Literacy Leadership. She is the holder of a School Clinician’s Certificate (READING), Professional Teaching Certificate and Administrator’s Certificate.
In addition to her experience in public and private school systems, Phyllis has taught at the University of Manitoba as a sessional instructor and has conducted literacy training worldwide for organizations such as USAID, UNESCO, Canadian Teachers’ Federation and ChildFund. Her work in Manitoba on the Middle Years Language Arts Framework, Assessment, and Distance Learning program is of benefit to her supportive role in Brazil.
Academic Director, Maple Bear South Asia
Shalini Jaiswal has been an educator for more than 20 years. She has been a teacher, administrator, and a consultant for various education companies and helped them develop programs for different age groups. She has a Masters from Mumbai University and a Bachelors in Education from CCS University, Meerut.
Shalini Jaiswal is currently the Academic Director, Maple Bear South Asia. Her journey with Maple Bear started with opening her own preschool which happened to be the first worldwide in India. She is a part of the Academic Advisory committee and the curriculum committee of Global Schools. She is responsible for the implementation of the Maple Bear program which includes teacher training and quality assurance in all the Maple Bear schools in South Asia region. She is also responsible for developing and implementing the ECE teacher training program in India.
Academic Director, Maple Bear Central and Eastern Europe
Irena Korbabicz-Putko has been a Canadian educator for over 30 years. She began her teaching career as an elementary school teacher in Toronto, Canada, advancing to the position of principal and curriculum leader with the Toronto Catholic District School Board.
Her many years in the Canadian school system were most recently used In the leading curriculum design and administration at Novopecherska School (K-11), a recently launched private school in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Her life and experience have equipped her with a deep expertise in education reform in Eastern Europe, especially Ukraine and Poland, and in Canadian curriculum integration.
Beyond her time in the school setting, Irena has worked as a primary basic qualification course instructor at Queen’s University’s Faculty of Education, servicing teachers in the international market.
Irena holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Education.
Virtual Academic Director, Maple Bear Asia
Pamela has 40 years of service in the Canadian education system. She has worked as a teacher and as an administrator both at the elementary and senior years levels. Pamela has a wide range of experience from Nursery to Grade 12, including resource, counselling, off-campus programs and working with students at risk. She also has experience working in multi-age classrooms. Pamela has delivered professional development on several topics including literacy, numeracy, learning strategies, differentiated instruction, behavioural management, character education and assessment.
Pamela joined Maple Bear three years ago allowing her to continue to do the work she loves -- training teachers and working with children.
Virtual Academic Director, Maple Bear Gulf
Beverley Bennett’s introduction to Maple Bear was as acting principal to assist with a school opening in Brasilia in 2010. Since then, she has had the opportunity to visit ten Maple Bear countries, providing a wide range of services from initial training, classroom support, to training and quality assurance. A highlight for Beverley has been developing and delivering literacy instruction workshops.
On top of her training work, she has also worked in Sao Paulo in the central office and teaches University of Winnipeg courses to Maple Bear teachers in Brazil as well as to Canadian education students in Thailand and China. She especially enjoys her role in preparing new Canadian expert trainers for their first assignments. Beverley holds a Master of Education from McGill University. For her, Maple Bear has been a fulfilling second career in education.
Virtual Academic Director, Maple Bear Turkey
Brendene Barkley has taught for 37 years. She served as a Math/ Science Consultant in her school division in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada. She served as vice-principal then principal before retiring. Brendene was also a writer and team leader for the Kindergarten to Grade 4 Science curriculum for the Manitoba Department of Education. She was a writer for the Science Everywhere and Math Everywhere science textbooks published by Harcourt Canada. Brendene began working with Maple Bear Global Schools in 2013 as a curriculum writer and trainer (Nursery, Jr K., and IK). Aside from education, Brendene loves spending time with her grandchildren, painting, music and travelling.
Virtual Academic Director, Maple Bear Hong Kong and Australia
Deborah Burnside has been an educator for over 40 years! She taught all grades K-12, in English and French. Deborah has been a sessional instructor with Brandon University for the past 11 years. She was principal at a K-6 School and retired in Dec. 2019 as Student Services Coordinator with Swan Valley School Division. She obtained a Master in Educational Administration degree, as well as a Master in Special Education degree. Both Master degrees were completed through BU. Besides graduate studies, Deborah has a B.Ed., a B.A. and a Graduate Diploma in Ed. Admin. As you can see she spent most of her life in education! In the past three years, Deborah completed Maple Bear training with schools, teachers, and coordinators in Brazil. It was an amazing experience working with the children! She also hosted a couple of webinars for Maple Bear Global Schools on Transitioning Students with Special Needs Back to School and she hosted a Central Office Training Session on the Maple Bear Handbook for Students with Special Needs.
Deborah has two children. Her son is a doctor and her daughter is a registered professional forester. She has two grand-daughters, Charlie and Blair. Being a Grandma is the best job of all!! Her most recent hobby has been quilting. It is a relaxing way to spend some quiet time constructing comfy quilts. Most quilts have been given away as gifts. She also enjoys gardening, reading, and travelling. When she travels, her favourite part is visiting schools.
Virtual Academic Director, Maple Bear Morocco
Angela Quinn has over 35 years of experience teaching from Kindergarten to Grade 12 as well as adults. She has a Master's degree from the University of Ottawa as well as Specialist Certification in Second Language Learning and Special Education. Angela has worked as a classroom teacher, an Elementary School Principal and Second Language Curriculum Consultant. She has presented workshops on the following topics: literacy strategies (read aloud, shared reading, guided reading and independent reading), writing, organizing and implementing learning centres, comprehension strategies, differentiated learning, classroom management, assessment and evaluation, planning and delivery of curriculum.
Angela has worked as a trainer in Brazil, Mexico and Morocco before her current role as Virtual Academic Director of Maple Bear Morocco.
Virtual Academic Director, Maple Bear USA
Judy served in Manitoba schools for over thirty years at the Kindergarten – Grade 6 level. She valued her experiences as a classroom teacher, resource teacher, vice-principal and principal. Judy holds a Masters in Education (Administration), Post-Baccalaureate (Special Education) and a Bachelor of Education.
Excited to continue engaging her passion for education, she joined the Maple Bear team in Fall 2017. Judy is presently a trainer in Brazil and a Virtual Academic Director for Maple Bear Global Schools. Her experience has been exciting, challenging and very rewarding.
Judy believes that meaningful relationships are the building blocks for a positive learning environment and that curiosity and creativity are essential to the learning experience. She also recognizes that ensuring learning for children is best achieved through facilitating teamwork and providing professional development for all teachers and staff.
Judy lives in Steinbach, Manitoba with her husband, a professor of sociology. Their two adult sons and daughter-in-law bring much joy to her life. Her avocational interests include hiking, swimming, reading, gardening, and travelling.
Virtual Academic Director, Maple Bear East Africa - Kenya
Kerry’s educational career included teaching at every grade level from Kindergarten to Grade 12, before becoming a Principal at both the Elementary and Secondary levels. He has always had a strong interest in the individual needs of his students and obtained his Specialist qualifications in Special Education in order to develop greater expertise in meeting those needs through differentiated instructional practices.
During his career as Principal, he became the School Board Lead related to the Ontario School Effectiveness Framework, working collaboratively for a number of years with all of the Principals and their staff, in the development and implementation of School Improvement Planning. The focus of this process was to build capacity within the school community, with the priority goals of building the best learning environment, while assisting each student to achieve the greatest success possible.
For the past 6 years, Kerry has been a Principal Coach, working with Secondary Principals in Toronto and Northern Ontario. In this role he supported the principals, as they developed capacity as Instructional Leaders in the areas of Literacy and Numeracy, while collaborating with them and their academic teams in further developing their evidence-based instructional strategies.
Kerry lives in the growing community of Russell, southeast of Ottawa.
As part of this commitment, Maple Bear also believes in giving back in the countries in which we operate by donating charitable funds to local education initiatives impacting on children and families.
In addition to funding projects, the Maple Bear curriculum incorporates themes of social responsibility and community service so that students at Maple Bear schools are exposed to the concept and undertake age appropriate activities. The goal is to turn a whole generation of students on to the joy of giving back.