Board of Governors

Photo top left to right: Frazer Elliott, Jun Wang, Michael Florendo, Travis Beals, Joseph Cooke, Park Heffelfinger and Raghu Raghavendra

Over the years, the Island Pacific School Society has been very fortunate to continually attract a diverse range of Board members who bring strong qualifications, a wide range of skills and experience, and most importantly, a deep interest in education and student development.

Our passionate Board ensures that IPS is focused on the Big Picture, while still delivering exceptional learning experiences through a strong school administration and faculty foundation. We are as dynamic and innovative today as we were the day we started, 28 years ago. Read the Executive Summary of our Strategic Plan. 

Mission

Island Pacific School is an independent middle school that equips and inspires students to cultivate their humanity at this pivotal point in their lives. We are an education community that fosters intellectual engagement, citizenship, leadership, and self-confidence.

Vision

Island Pacific School is widely recognized as a distinctly different, innovative leader of program excellence in middle school education.

Board Members 2023-24

Michael Florendo — Board Chair

Michael and his wife moved to Bowen Island in 2005 and have had the privilege to send both of their children, Hannah (now in Grade 10 at WVSS) and Abbie (currently in Grade 8), to IPS. The school’s focus on fostering intellectual engagement, citizenship, leadership, and self-confidence were key reasons their children attend IPS.

Born in the Philippines and raised on the North Shore, Michael is an alumni of UBC Engineering. As a licensed Professional Engineer with over 20 years of experience, he has delivered community infrastructure projects across western Canada and the USA for various levels of government and First Nation communities. His focus is on resilient and sustainable infrastructure design for projects for the Province of BC and Metro Vancouver.

He currently serves as a National Director for the Canadian Water Resources Association and as a committee chair for the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of British Columbia.

Joseph Cooke — Treasurer

Joseph and his family have been Bowen Island residents for 10 years. He is currently the president of a multinational technology firm with operations across APAC and a headcount in excess of 400.

Joseph has been recognized as CIBC’s Top Entrepreneur, EY’s 2021 Entrepreneur of the Year finalist and a recipient of BIV’s 40 under 40 in 2021.

As an active member of the Bowen Island community, Joseph has served on numerous boards including the Bowen Children’s Centre (BCC), the Community School Association (CSA), and is the current Chair of the Bowen Island Gymnastics Club. 

Joseph’s eldest daughter currently attends IPS in grade seven and his youngest daughter, in grade three will attend IPS in grade six.

Travis Beals — Governance Committee
Travis and his wife Kathryn both grew up in small island communities in British Columbia. They wanted the same for their three kids, and moved to Bowen Island in 2020. Their eldest two kids (Max and Storm) currently attend Island Pacific Sschool, and their youngest is at Bowen Island Community School. They were drawn to IPS by its focus on integrity, curiosity and engagement with the community and nature. They are also both passionate about science; at their kids’ prior school, they started an after-school science club with experiences ranging from liquid nitrogen ice cream to air-pressure rockets.

Travis is Senior Director of Business Operations & Strategy at Google, where he focuses on issues related to the intersection of technology and society, such as AI and sustainability. Travis holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, and is an alumni of UBC physics and computer science.

Frazer Elliott — Risk Committee

Frazer moved to Bowen Island in 1988, attended Bowen Island Community School and commuted to West Vancouver for high school. Frazer holds a Bachelor Of Arts (History) from UVic, and a Bachelor Of Education (Social Studies/Social Sciences) from UBC.

A former high school teacher, he made the switch into real estate in 2014, and enjoys running his business on the island.

He strongly believes that our little island community cannot sustain itself without dedicated volunteer work. As such, he was co-chair of the Bowen Island Community School Association for six years, and has sat on – or continues to sit on – the boards of Theatre On The Isle, the Bowen Island Museum and Archives, and the Bowen Island Football Club.

Park Heffelfinger — Development Committee

Park is originally from the prairies, born in Winnipeg and now living on Bowen Island. His background is Sociology and Hospitality Management. He also has the distinction as a Sommelier and is a former Director of the Vancouver Wine Academy. He’s the founder and former owner of Memphis Blues BBQ House. He retired to tend his small community-based microgreens business with his wife Charmaine and to help on the family farm. His daughter Franny graduated from IPS in 2019 and his 11 year old, Ema, is at IPS in grade seven.

Raghu Raghavendra — Director

Raghavendra is a visual artist originally from Bangalore, India. He has built a multidisciplinary art practice that integrates public art, multi-media work, painting and graphic design.

Prior to that, he gained fifteen years of full-time teaching experience at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore one of the top design Institutes in India, from 1997 till 2012. As a co-founder and Artistic Director of the South Asian Canadian Histories Association (2016-2020), he has been involved in a number of public art and multi-disciplinary arts projects.

He most recently held a solo show at The Hearth Gallery on Bowen island, BC titled Mending Cracks; Beyond exploring his research on trauma and healing and at present is working on a project Viewing Dissents; Dissenting Views on a Canada Council for the Arts research and Creation grant.

He moved to Bowen Island in 2020 with his family and his son is currently in grade 6 at Island Pacific School.

Jun Wang — Development Committee

Jun has a Master’s Degree in Information Technology from the University of Nottingham in the UK. She has worked in many different countries including the UK, US and China, and also worked for many Global companies, such as HP, TCS and Capgemini.

She is now a partner of a big data company and one of the founders of WingChun Kongfu Academy. She is also the director of Enhance West Van. She has lived in West Vancouver with her husband and three children for the past eight years.

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30 Students from Off Island

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36 Students from Bowen Island

Our independent middle school is a not-for-profit organization, which is different from a private middle school. We embrace the opportunities we have as an independent school with an arms-length Board of Governors dedicated to supporting an innovative and evolving middle school program.  Not all independent schools or private schools meet rigorous and defined education standards.  Our school is an accredited CAIS school and International Baccalaureate (IB) Global School teaching the Middle Years Programme (MYP). We’ve been accredited since 2009.