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 toward 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 50,000 students in over 560 Maple Bear Early Childhood, Elementary, and High Schools. We are present in 35+ countries: Korea, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, UAE, Oman, Türkiye, Morocco, Brazil, Mexico, Hong Kong, Romania, Bulgaria, Nepal, Thailand, the USA and Peru. Currently, we are expanding out network in Poland, the Czech Republic and Greece.
The head office of Maple Bear Global Schools Ltd. is located in North Vancouver, Canada.
The economies of Eastern and Central European countries have been developing at a rapid rate for the past decades. Local companies have expanded into international markets and international corporations are setting up offices locally. This dynamic has enhanced the cultural identity of the region and increased the demand for educated, locally-based global citizens who are fluent in English.
Maple Bear CEE leaders believe that education is the cornerstone institution that will have the most positive impact on the future of the region – not only from an economical point of view but with regard to addressing the main challenges humanity faces as well.
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 behaviour of their children.
Today, there are more than 560 schools in over 35 countries with more than 50,000 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.
Maple Bear Faculty
Maple Bear Central & Eastern Europe Team
Yann Bidan has over 12 years of experience in entrepreneurship in Eastern Europe. He has built and led multi-site organization of over 1200 team members in Romania. His focus currently is in Impact Entrepreneurship.
"Impact Entrepreneurs are inspired to direct their energy and skills to disrupt the status quo and make a difference, through creating start-up or investing into organizations with the intention to generate a significant beneficial social, societal or environmental impact alongside a financial return.
When facing the opportunity to bring Maple Bear school to Central & Eastern Europe I did not hesitate a second. I am confident Maple Bear will contribute positively to the education of thousands of children in Central & Eastern Europe and will grow in the region at a rapid speed.”
Yann holds a bachelor degree in International Business and a masters degree in Financial Engineering. He has had significant multicultural exposure. He has studied in Sweden, UK and France and has worked in New York, London, Barcelona. He spent the last 5 years as a top executive for a large Canadian company subdivision in Eastern Europe.
Director of Communications
Virginia Momtchilova has over 15 years of experience working for various corporations in Eastern Europe. She has developed an extensive range of skills having been an Operations Leader of 300 team members, Quality and Security Auditor and Business Project Manager in a large Canadian company subdivision in Eastern Europe. For the last 4 years she was responsible for the recruitment and branding activities in the region as a Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding Director. She holds a masters degree in Finance and Accounting and profound experience in cross countries management.
“I genuinely believe in the Maple Bear statement that every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfill their potential."
In her role of Director of Communications & Operations, Virginia works with the Maple Bear Global Communications team and supports local school owners and the Maple Bear Eastern Europe team on all communication and operational matters.
Director Implementation and Operations
Andreea has more than 15 years of experience in training and coaching working for various corporations in Romania. She coordinated training and development programs in a multilingual and multicultural business environment. As Director of the Training and Coaching Department in a large Canadian company subdivision in Eastern Europe, she was in charge of the training and development strategy for the region and supported large teams of trainers and quality coaches in their professional development.
She believes that at Maple Bear, children benefit from the best of Canadian education. Being guided with kindness and care through a process of discovery of the world, in a safe environment, learning by doing, being surrounded by amazingly beautiful and meaningful books is the best possible start in life.
In her role as Director for Academic Coordination for Maple Bear Central and Eastern Europe, Andreea supports the local partners on all academic matters and facilitates the communication with the global Canadian teams.
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 Honors Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Education.
Denis has a broad experience, over 15 years in the franchising industry in different fields. He has held senior positions in franchise development, sales, marketing and operations and he was leading multinational teams and complex cross countries operations. He has worked in different countries, including Poland.
Denis holds a Master`s degree in Finance from SKEMA Business school.
Denis speaks French, English and Polish and German.
Franchise Expansion Director
Mateo is an executive with significant international experience in expansion, business development and strategic sales in educational franchised companies and technology companies in Europe and Latin America.
Before joining MB CEE as Franchise Expansion Director, Mateo lived and worked in different countries of Latin America for 18 years, holding management positions in company growth, business development and expansion. The last four years he was Head of Expansion for Maple Bear LATAM where he served franchises in México, Perú, Guatemala and Paraguay.
“I have always considered myself a professional of education with teaching and business experience. I graduated in English Language and Literature in Barcelona, started my professional career as a teacher of kids and adults; then worked for a British educational publisher, an international chain of franchised language schools and finally for Maple Bear, bringing first quality education to make an impact in the region.”
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
José Henrique del Castillo Melo
José has invaluable experience in the education sector that spans over three decades. With a proven track record of excellence and achievement, Jose’s career encompasses a comprehensive history in education, from classroom teaching to holding various senior management positions in renowned organizations, in countries like Brazil, Canada and Spain, where he played a pivotal role in expanding global presence and establishing companies as prominent players in the industry.
Chief Academic Officer
Martine is an accomplished leader with over 30 years’ experience in education, curriculum implementation, change management and strategic operations. She holds a Master of Education and a PhD in Educational Leadership and has dedicated the last 20 years to leading the Ontario Catholic District School Board in a variety of roles, the most recent being Superintendent of Schools. As an educational leader, she is committed to building trust, developing relationships and fostering a culture of collaboration while upholding equitable and inclusive values.
Chief Operations Officer
With a remarkable track record spanning over 25 years, Sunil brings extensive expertise working with globally recognized brands, achieving substantial growth on a global scale, and in various locations, such as Dubai, US and most recently in Vancouver and Toronto.
His strategic thinking consistently delivered outstanding results in various areas such as sales, profit, people development and customer satisfaction. He understands the intricate dynamics of managing both multi-unit operations and pan-regional scopes encompassing both business management and development.
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 Finance and Human Resources
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.
Director of Global Marketing
With over 20 years of management experience in marketing and communication, Rafael brings a wealth of expertise from leading companies in Brazil. For almost 10 years he was instrumental in the rapid growth of Maple Bear schools in Brazil and Latin America as Marketing Director. With a focus on brand management, product development, and attracting and retaining families, he is passionate about delivering outstanding marketing and communication strategies that will drive Maple Bear’s growth, brand visibility, and success.
Director of Operations
Rebecca's career in education has spanned 15 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 Director 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 an Executive MBA candidate with Kellogg-Schulich.
Rebecca speaks English and Portuguese.
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.
As part of this commitment, Maple Bear Global Schools also believes in giving back to the countries in which we operate by donating charitable funds to local education initiatives that impact 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.