Saint John Paul II Academy Society

The Saint John Paul II Academy Society is an incorporated entity under the Societies Act of British Columbia in July 2020. It is the legal entity responsible for the day-to-day operation of the school. Its constitution and bylaws can be found at the links below. The Society is overseen by a board of directors and represents the authority for the school. The board is made up of parent representatives, wider school supporters and those appointed by the Archbishop of Vancouver.

The school operates using a president-principal model where the board vests in the position of the president the overall responsibility for the school as its chief executive. The principal is responsible for the delivery of the educational program and reports directly to the president.

The Saint John Paul II Academy Board of Directors are: Chairperson: Mr. Ben Sears; Board Members: Fr. Lawrence Donnelly, Mrs. Dallas Parsons, Mrs. Christiane Ahpin, Mr. James Borkowksi, Mr. Chris Formosa, Mrs. Jenae Kassam, Mr. Dan Moric, Mr. Jose Vargas, Mr. Troy Van Vliet.

Society’s Constitution and By-laws

Your Society Board of Directors

Ben Sears

Benjamin Sears is President of Morgan Creek Communications. He is a resident of South Surrey, a parishioner at Good Shepard Church, a 3rd degree Knight of Columbus, and a proud parent of a daughter at Star of the Sea Elementary School.

Darren Watt

Vice Chair
Darren is Chief Legal Officer of RB Global (formerly known as Ritchie Bros) and is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia. Darren lives in South Surrey with his wife Samantha and five children, three of whom are current students at Saint John Paul II Academy. They are active parishioners at Good Shepherd Church.

Theo Vanden Hoven

Theo is the Chief Financial Officer of CMP Group Ltd. and holds a CPA, CGA accreditation. CMP is a global marine manufacturer and distributor of pleasurecraft and dock products. As CFO, Theo is responsible for Finance, HR, IT and Customer Service. He is a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus, the Vice President of Columbus Charities Association (CCA) dba Columbus Homes, a seniors housing society, and serves on a number of committees in leadership roles. Theo and his wife Linda reside in New Westminster and are parishioners of Holy Spirit Parish.

Jose Vargas

Jose has one daughter studying at the Academy who joined the school in grade 8 during the second year of operation of the school in September 2019. He and his family are members of Sacred Heart Parish in Ladner. Jose is a Director at OSI Maritime Systems in Burnaby, BC. In addition to his board responsibilities he also acts as a brand ambassador for the school at Sacred Heart parish.

Dan Moric

Board Member
Has a passion for Catholic Education and brings over 30 years of experience as a leader and educator in the Archdiocese of Vancouver. He recently retired from his position as Superintendent for the Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA); a position that he held from 2015-2018. Prior to this, he served 4 years as the Archbishop’s Delegate for Administration for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver (RCAV). Mr. Moric has held key educational and administrative roles in CISVA as Associate Superintendent, Principal, Vice-Principal, Department Head and Classroom Teacher. He has taught in three CISVA schools and is now keen to share in the growth and development of St. John Paul II Academy as a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Moric and his family are active members of Holy Trinity Parish in North Vancouver

Jenae Kassam

Board Member
Jenae and her husband Salim have a daughter, Isabella, who is currently a grade 9 student at the Academy. Jenae and her family are parishioners at Star of the Sea parish in South Surrey. She is the co-owner and a consultant at Kadence Hospitality and Development Inc. where she leads the Retail Operations and Customer Experience practice. Her background encompasses Marketing, Retail, Event Production and Television Production. Previously Jenae owned and operated a retail clothing company. Her board responsibilities include assisting with school fundraising initiatives as well as marketing and communications.

Troy Van Vliet

Board Member
Troy Van Vliet has played a pivotal role in the establishment of Saint John Paul II Academy. Alongside his lifelong partner, Lisa Van Vliet, Troy takes great pride in being the parent of two wonderful daughters, Tayla and Annika, both of whom are enrolled at the academy.

Both Troy and Lisa are deeply involved in various aspects of the school. While Lisa usually prefers to work behind the scenes, she has been actively engaged as the Vice President of the parent association for many years. Her dedication and talent have been instrumental in organizing successful events.

As the founder of Saint John Paul II Academy, Troy Van Vliet brings his entrepreneurial spirit and expertise as the Principal of Tavan Group of Companies. His vision and leadership have been the driving force behind the academy’s success. Troy’s business acumen and ability to bring people together have been instrumental in establishing a boutique private school in White Rock and the ongoing development of a new campus in South Surrey.

In addition to his role as Chairman of the Foundation Board, Troy also serves as one of the Directors on the Society board. He spearheads the Building Committee and works closely with project managers and general contractors to ensure the smooth progress of the new campus construction.

Troy Van Vliet’s unwavering commitment and multifaceted involvement have been invaluable to the growth and development of Saint John Paul II Academy.

Fr. Lawrence Donnelly

Board Member
Fr. Donnelly is pastor of Sts. Joachim and Ann parish in Aldergrove. He served with distinction as the Archbishop’s Representative on the Academy’s education committee (the precursor to the Society Board) and currently is on the board of Catholic independent School of Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA). Fr. Donnelly is a graduate in music from UBC, classics from the University of Ottawa, and theology at the Pontifical Beda College in Rome.

Thorsten Gutsche

Board Member
Thorsten is the VP of IT Technical Operations at First West Credit Union and responsible for the operation for all enterprise application and technical infrastructure. He is a solution driven senior executive with a progressive 20+ year career worked in national and international IT Organizations. Instrumental in developing and then implementing the operational efficiencies. He developed and implemented multi-year strategic plans to build future-proof digital solutions for services, processes, customers experience and budgeting.

A Campus for 21st Century Learning

Our New Campus

Work is now underway to build the school’s new campus. Join us in this great endeavour to expand Catholic education in South Surrey. Guarantee your spot today for a future place at the school.

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