Sayaka Yamanouchi-Perry

Sayaka Yamanouchi-Perry, a Visual Art Teacher with BRAA, graduated from Sheridan College with a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Animation and as a certified Medical Administrator, as well as from York University with a Bachelor of Education.

With professional experience as an instructor for youth groups, Sayaka brings experience for various visual mediums, including animation, visual arts, film, and drawing (both by hand and through computer programs).

Sayaka brings a passion not only for art education, but also for the physical and emotional wellbeing of children. Understanding the struggles for learning and educating, as well as applying to and preparing for university, Sayaka brings a dedication to enriching the lives of her students.


Cynthia Zhao

Cynthia was raised in a teacher’s family and she graduated from Nanjing Normal University, China in 1993. She immigrated to Canada together with her husband in 2001. Before she came to Canada, she was an high school ESL teacher in Nanjing Foreign Language School in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province. Cynthia and her husband currently have two daughters, Grace and Michelle. Grace is a Grade 10 student in a Burlington High School and Michelle is in Grade 4 in an elementary school.

After working in the financial industry for over 10 years, Cynthia realized her passion was still in educational field. She resigned from her pervious company and became actively involved in working with international students. She hopes to use her past experience as an educator to help the international students who come to Canada to succeed and achieve their goals on their paths to higher level of education. 

So far, Cynthia has helped many students successfully enter various universities across Ontario and other provinces in Canada. She provides high-quality guardianship and homestay services to international students. Her patience, enthusiasm and intensive care to the students are an asset to our BRAA students.


Youngling Fu

After graduating from one of the best teaching universities in China (BSc. Nanjing Normal University), Yongling began his teaching career at the same university in 1982. Upon receiving a Visa Scholarship from the University of Guelph in 1988, he moved to Canada to pursue graduate studies in physics (MSc. Physics). Later he studied at the University of Toronto to become an Ontario Certified Teacher in 1992 (B.Ed. Honor Specialist of Physics). Before his retirement from the public board in 2016, Yongling had taught math and physics for several Ontario public and private schools, including Appleby College for twenty four years. In addition, Yongling taught Mandarin part-time with the Waterloo District School Board for ten years. Throughout the years, many of his students continued their education at top universities in Canada and the USA.

His teaching style has been described as rigorous, yet reasonable and methodical. He is a patient, compassionate, open-minded, and wise individual – a rare teacher and true friend for our students.

His own daughter is a graduate from Harvard University. “Teaching is my passion and academic excellence is my strength”, Yongling reflected his teacher career. Excited to return to education, Yongling joined the BRAA staff in 2017.


Rebekka Gondosch

Rebekka is an actor, theatre arts educator, and proud Hamiltonian. She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin’s M.Phil. in Theatre and Performance program, has a B.A. in Dramatic Arts and English Language and Literature from Brock University, and a B.Ed. from Redeemer University College. While living in Ireland she focused her research on the works of contemporary Canadian and Irish female playwrights and continues to find inspiration from feminist discourse. She has performed professionally in independent theatre productions and festivals in Hamilton, in the Hamilton Fringe Festival, in film and web series, and in community theatre productions in Toronto and Ancaster. From 2018-2019 she was selected for Hamilton’s ALERT program (Artistic Leadership and Entrepreneurial Training Program) where she co-produced Hamilton’s site-specific winter performance festival. She has also directed several theatre productions for young performers.

Rebekka has taught for three years in the private school system, teaching grades 9-12 English and grades 9-11 Dramatic Arts. She is an Ontario Certified Teacher with basic qualifications in Junior, Intermediate, and Senior English. She has worked with students from Canada, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, and the United States, and strives to provide strong inclusivity and representation in her classes.


Chris Thornborrow

Chris is a composer, musician, and teacher who is passionate about collaborating with creative people of all ages. He received a Bachelor of Music from Wilfrid Laurier University, and completed his Masters of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Toronto. He taught a number of courses at U of T including Musicianship, Music Theory, and Composing for Film, and has taught piano privately for over fifteen years.

Not only has Chris established himself as an innovative composer of opera, film-score, and concert music, he is also a leading arts educator, spear-heading a number of collaboration-based programs. He has over ten years of experience teaching music, musical theatre, and opera at summer camps in Canada and in Switzerland. For the last four years, he has led the After-School Opera Program and Summer Camp for the Canadian Opera Company where students from ages 8 to 18 create an opera from scratch. He also facilitated a technology-based composition and soundscape unit for students from grade 3 to 8 with Continuum Ensemble and the Toronto District School Board.

Chris premiered a new orchestra piece called ‘Trompe d’œil’ on January 24th at Koerner Hall by Esprit Orchestra! If you would like to learn more about Chris, here he is in action, click here!


Rupert Price

After 5 Years in Her Majesty’s Grenadier Guards Band, Mr. Rupert Price studied music and performance at the Royal College of Music in London UK, one of the world’s most prestigious and greatest Conservatories of Music.

After many performances with Top Orchestras and Ensembles across the world including the BBC Concert Orchestra and The London Philharmonic Orchestra, Rupert Price resides now in Burlington and dedicates his career to performing, directing, and educating youth and adults in music and ensembles across Canada leading to Gold standards and many National Awards in Youth Ensemble Performance at the Canadian Nationals ‘MusicFest Canada’ held annually by invitation.


Heidi Feldner

I am delighted to welcome you to the Burlington Royal Arts Academy website. Our private academic high school is located in the heart of Burlington, Ontario.  BRAA is unique in its concentrated focus on Arts education.  Each of our students is provided with an individually tailored education plan and can look forward to small class sizes and an outstanding faculty.  We have spent a great deal of time and energy renovating our facility with a new science lab, dance studio and private music practice rooms.

During recent challenging times, BRAA has responded by providing uninterrupted support and live virtual classes for our students.  At present, our skilled and devoted staff are already planning and preparing for the fall semester.  We are currently registering new families, ordering needed materials and preparing curriculum. This year our students will have more options through our ‘new’ Media Arts program with courses in Animation, Film & Video and Photography. BRAA will be the first to offer a unique animation course for credit. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have or to schedule a private tour.

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