We founded AVRO Academy in 2010 to provide individualized high school education to youth looking to be engaged in their learning. Youth who want to find their way, and engage using their own strengths.  We recognize that each student learns through a unique combination of support, structure and guidance.



AVRO recognizes that each student needs a unique combination of support, structure, and guidance to learn effectively. Through individualized education, mentorship, and counselling we tailor our environment to ensure all students feel comfortable and cared for, so they stay actively engaged on their educational journey.

  • AVRO helps students learn how to learn, by teaching them to recognize and rely on their own strengths.

  • AVRO empowers students to commit to their study schedules, by requiring them to participate in their course selections and the design of its delivery.

  • AVRO promotes a community atmosphere where students are encouraged to develop collaborative partnerships to work with peers and teachers.

  • AVRO offers students individualized courses, consisting of personalized assignment plans and curricula to meet each student’s unique schedule, interests, and learning style - ensuring credit completion can occur beyond class time.

  • AVRO encourages students to develop environmental awareness and responsible attitudes that extend beyond school to reinforce their self confidence through involvement within the larger community.  

  • AVRO provides mental health resources and wellness activities ranging from mindfulness practices to individualized therapy. 

  • AVRO creates a therapeutic milieu in which on-site professional counseling for individuals and family members are available within our educational setting.



AVRO teachers and counsellors have specialized training and years of experience working with students with a wide variety of challenges on their educational path. Through AVRO’s support and guidance, students develop the confidence to explore their full potential.

 Our Founders  

David Aubrey Berger, B.A., M.E.S.


David is passionate about educating teachers and consulting to private schools on alternative methods of education. David taught in the Critical Skills department at York University and has worked with numerous private schools, corporate groups, and individuals delivering workshops on alternative education, teacher training, and personal development courses. His self-published book Eco Leadership: The Power of the Circle was released in 2006.

Jason Shaul Ellenbogen, B.A., M.S.W., R.S.W.  

Founder, Clinical Director

Jason is a registered social worker and psychotherapist with extensive clinical experience working with teenagers and their families. Jason was a member of the pioneering therapeutic team at The Pine River Institute, one of Canada’s premier adolescent therapeutic boarding schools, and he specializes in adolescent development and related behavioural issues such as school anxiety, social anxiety, and addiction. 

 Our Teachers & Supports 

Chirasree Sen-Varma.jpg

Chirasree Sen-Varma, Ph.D., PG-Cert APSET, Member CAP

Academic Coordinator & Director of International Programs

With nearly two decades of experience teaching at the GCE Advanced Level Program (University of Cambridge, U.K.,) under the Ministry of Education, Seychelles, including years of experience working as a physicist, Chirasree brings a fresh approach to learning the fundamentals of science and helps students develop a keen appreciation of the subject matter. She is also the Examination Officer for the Edexcel examinations (UK) for our centre.

Rayan Islam, B.Eng.

Head of Mathematics

Rayan brings an advanced level of understanding and instruction of university preparation level courses. He is on the road to completing his M.Sc in Electrical Engineering while exploring the rich world of science and mathematics.


Efrat Shapir, MA (Philosophy), MA (History)

Interim Principal, Head of Humanities

Efrat has been teaching for the last two decades. Reading and discussing ideas are her main passions. She loves to learn and teach in different ways. From years of yoga and mindfulness experiences, Efrat recognizes that there are many forms of expression. Students are invited to share their preferences to help develop an especially engaging and positive learning environment.

Mendel Ellenbogen,  B.Eng., B.Ed., OCT

Math & Computer Science Teacher

"As I reflect on all I have learned and the teaching values which I have formed as a teacher of STEM subjects. I have become aware of the important role that productive struggle plays in student learning. Creating opportunities for students to develop skills in navigating the mindset of “being stuck” is an important lifelong skill that I strive to help students become more comfortable with. The richest learning experiences often arise from giving students activities that require a struggle and promote inquiry and self-agency to complete."

Mindy Alexander,  B.Ed., OCT, M.Ed Arts & Sustainability Education

Teacher, Academic Coordinator for International Programs

Mental health and sustainability are two of the most important issues of our times, especially for younger generations who are facing an increasingly complex world. AVRO Academy strives to center these two goals by helping students develop the skills to cope, thrive, and make a positive impact within their own academic lives and beyond. I like to focus on critical thinking skills to help make sense of the cacophony of voices that surround us, self-reflection to make personal meaning from the class content and make connections beyond academics, and creativity as a powerful tool for problem-solving and self-expression.

Chaya Mushka Diamond   

Teaching Assistant & Student Support

Through daily meetings, Mushkie finds unique ways to support and assist students in learning class material. She creates a positive learning environment by working with students to strengthen learning skills, and improve social-emotional well-being. Her experience includes assisting in multiple Spec-Ed, and ESL classrooms at YRDSB. Trained in mindfulness and meditation with iBme (Inward Bound Mindfulness Education) she uses these techniques to facilitate a patient and positive approach.



  • Small class sizes allow for reduced stress and distraction, as well as increased peer support.

  • Student-Teacher ratios of 5:1, 2:1 and 1:1

  • Environment is cooperative, supportive and nonjudgmental, free from bullying and discrimination.

  • Independent learning, peer mentorship, and on-site academic tutoring both in-person and online.


​AVRO believes that encouraging students to reduce their environmental footprint empowers students, improves self-confidence and academic capabilities. Incorporating this philosophy into the school structure, students are encouraged to participate in the Eco-Health Carbon Challenge whereby students are paid to travel to school in an ecologically minded fashion such as walking, roller-blading, skateboarding, or bicycling. Students are encouraged to participate in AVRO’s plastic bottle deterrence program and litterless lunch program.