Urban Academy Board of Directors

A visionary board is made up of a wide variety of people from all walks of life with a rich and diverse skill set. With backgrounds ranging from finance and business to the arts and service, the Urban Academy Board is no exception. Our passionate Board of Directors are committed to upholding our commitment to innovation and excellence. Through strategic guidance and expertise, our board ensures that Urban Academy has a strong, stable leadership group behind it.

board of directors

Abigail Shu

Abigail Shu is a physician dedicated to the development and growth of Urban Academy. She has a strong passion for childhood education and has been committed to various school initiatives including the Gala Committee and Parent Auxiliary.

Children at UA: 2

Kate Begent-Connors
Vice Chair

Kate is a public sector leader with a background in law and expertise in property management and development, strategic policy and affordable housing solutions. She is a committed advocate for marginalized voices and has a range of volunteer experience, including with UA’s Gala Committee.

Children at UA: 1

Joanne Ward

Joanne Ward is a successful business consultant with over 20 years experience in management and executive roles. She has served as a Director, CFO and Corporate Secretary of both public and private corporations.

Joanne is passionate about volunteering in the Urban Academy community, having served on PAX, and as Volunteer Coordinator.

Children at UA: 1

Steve Chen

Steve is the head of a national debt and equity capital group and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He is passionate about volunteerism, creating a strong community at UA, and currently holds a number of Board positions.

Children at UA: 2

Hafeez Merani
Member at Large

Hafeez Merani is a chiropractor and is both grateful and enthusiastic to serve as a leader at Urban Academy. He is committed to seeing the school execute its vision and mission over the coming years.

Children at UA: 1

Harry Parmar
Member at Large

Harry Parmar has over 15 years of corporate experience for both public and private companies in the health care, technology, and real estate sectors. He obtained a Bachelor of Technology in Technology Management in 2008 from the British Columbia Institute of Technology and is committed to bringing his love of education to the next generation.

Children at UA: 2

Hui Chye Grégoire
Member at Large

Hui Chye Grégoire is a seasoned CPA, CA professional with over 25 years of financial and risk management experience. She is newly retired and filling her time with volunteerism, fitness goals, and enjoying the local mountains with friends and family.

Children at UA: 1

Jaki Laga
Member at Large

Jaki has 20 years experience in sales and marketing. She is currently responsible for sales and marketing at LAGA Sports, a Canadian manufacturer of custom team wear located in Burnaby, BC.

Jaki has been involved in volunteerism at Urban Academy in various capacities since 2012.

Children at UA: 2

Karim Merali
Member at Large

Karim graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology (SFU) and Occupational Therapy (UBC). After working in the pharmaceutical industry for a number of years, he found his passion in the education field, where he currently owns and operates a number of supplemental learning centre’s in the Lower Mainland.

Children at UA: 2

Kimberly Grant
Member at Large

Kimberly is a business lawyer with a focus on the solicitors’ side of corporate, commercial and real estate matters. She strongly believes that the giving of one’s time and effort is important and has been involved in various volunteer opportunities at UA since joining in 2016, as well as volunteering and sitting on a number of boards in the New Westminster community.

Children at UA: 1

Sunny Ghataurah
Member at Large

Sunny Ghataurah practices as an Engineer in the design and construction of the built environment. He is passionate about leveraging advancements in technology and innovation to improve people’s lives. Having served on various boards, he is looking to bring his passion to help advance UA with its vision and mission.

Children at UA: 1

Wade Carson
Member at Large

Wade is CEO of a large naval architecture company. He has previous board experience with two companies and is passionate about strategic development and systems management. Wade believes strongly in Urban Academy’s values of empowered learning, community involvement, and innovative leadership and is committed to supporting their success in the Urban Academy community.

Children at UA: 2

building the board

Board Nominations Invitation

At Urban Academy we’re always seeking innovative, motivated, and community minded individuals to be appointed to our Board of Directors for a renewable two-year term.

All Candidates must:
  • Understand and support the Urban Academy Vision, Mission and Values
  • Be prepared to contribute 10 – 15 hours per month in Board and committee work
  • Be prepared to sign a confidentiality and Board Commitment Agreement upon appointment to the Board.
Ideally candidates will possess skills or experience in one or more of the following areas:
  • Board or Executive Director roles
  • Business Development experience in an Independent School or non-profit environment, either as a volunteer or paid employee
  • Community Engagement/Communications
  • Financial Management or Accounting
  • Fundraising/Advancement work
  • Legal or Strategic Management
  • Marketing/Public Relations work

Individuals may nominate themselves, or be nominated by another person providing that person has the prior consent of the prospective candidate.

To get started, email pax@urbanacademy.ca.

The right education takes your child from remembering and reciting to knowing and understanding.

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Staff Directory

Our diverse team is comprised of thinkers, innovators, movers and shakers.

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Welcome Message

We would like to welcome you to explore the school and learn about what is possible in education.

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Parent Auxiliary

Parent involvement is a cornerstone of our success.

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Advancement Plan

Our advancement plans help us develop facilities and programs for our students.

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Donate to UA

We strive to create a place that is inclusive and dynamic, your donations help us make it happen.

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Our team works hard to make the application process easy, guiding you and determining if Urban Academy is the right fit.

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