Staff e-mail addresses

  • Jessica Asp
  • Morgan Boenke
  • Madelaine Elia
  • Jeff Hopkins
  • Morgan Sargent
  • Tristan Powell
  • Jake West


A bit about the staff…..

Jessica Asp

Holding a Biochemistry degree from McGill University and a second degree in Education from the University of Victoria, I have always been looking for ways to answer the question “how?”. My passion for figuring out how things work extends beyond cell biology (cellular communication, genetic mutations, cell aging (and how to prevent this!)) and chemistry into other facets of life. I approach learning and teaching through a creative, cross-curricular approach and am intensely excited about the opportunity to work at the Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry. My previous experiences in education have included teaching origami to elementary school students in Benin, West Africa, high school Science and English in Kenya, delivering workshops on the immune system to home learning students and supporting home learning families by distance education, teaching chemistry through continuing education to adult learners, coordinating science summer camps, as well as teaching a variety of science, math, and fibre arts classes at a small multi-aged alternative school.
I have spent time living in a variety of cultures both in and outside of this country. Places I have lived include: Switzerland, Kenya, Montreal, the Galapagos Islands, isolated communities in Northern British Columbia, and Vancouver Island. I currently live in Victoria with my husband and two sons.


Morgan Boenke

I came to education through science. A love of flora, fauna and the outdoors naturally led me to seek out work in conservation biology. After supporting field work at academic institutions and regional and provincial government agencies I transitioned into developing my own research as a graduate student at McGill in the Department of Biology. My lifelong love of learning metamorphosed into a love of teaching while working as a graduate student teaching assistant and a curriculum developer. Shortly after finishing my Master of Biology I began my teaching certification through McGill’s Master of Teaching and Learning in 2014.

Aside from my scientific and pedagogical interests I am passionate about creating music. I have been a student of the guitar for more than twenty years and during that time have collaborated with numerous other songwriters and musicians across Canada. I also love languages and travel, and have lived and worked in South East Asia and Central America as a volunteer and as a teacher.


Madelaine Elia

Madelaine is an Interdisciplinary Artist and Educator originally from Fernie B.C. She attended Art School at Emily Carr University of Art and Design where she discovered that Art could be more than just pretty and more than just a picture. Although Madelaine is skilled in many traditional Fine Art media, she is keen to uncover the boundaries of ‘Art’. Her personal work is interdisciplinary, collaborative, and conceptual in nature. She often co-opts artistic conventions as tools to explore ideas. She has come to understand Art as a place where everyone is an Artist with active creative licence. She found herself ‘drawing’ nearer to the world of education through her desire to discover this expanded Art world with others. Madelaine has since added a BEd from UVic to her repertoire as an important tool for exploration. Madelaine is thrilled to be on board at PSII and is looking forward to exploring the farthest reaches of the uncharted creative universe with the crew.


Jeff Hopkins

Jeff is the founder and principal educator at PSII. He was formerly the Superintendent of School District No. 64 (Gulf Islands) in southern British Columbia. As of April 1st, 2013, he began working full time on PSII. The school opened in September, 2013.
Jeff has been an educator since 1993. He has experience as a teacher of English, English Literature, Social Studies, History, Psychology, Physics, Math, and Independent Directed Studies in almost every discipline. He has been a school counsellor and has a Masters in Counselling from UNBC, where he studied the relationship between perceived locus-of-control and overt aggression in adolescents. Jeff was BC’s first Safe Schools Coordinator, working to address issues of intimidation, harassment, marginalization through strategies that support inclusion, equity, restorative practices, and welcoming school environments.Jeff has been both vice-principal and principal of several high schools in BC. He was UVic’s first Educator in Residence in 2013-14, hosting conversations about the evolution and revolution in education. He is interested in the philosophy of consciousness, the quantum enigma, writing music, lyrics, stories and screenplays, and transforming education. He hosted a punk rock radio show for just over two years. Husband and father, he enjoys spending time with his family.

Morgan Sargent

I have been a certified teacher since 2006.  I have a Bachelor of Arts (University of Victoria, 2005,)  a Bachelor of Education (Trent University, 2006,) with qualifications and experience in both English and Mathematics, and a Masters of Adult Education with a concentration in Community Development (St. Francis Xavier University and the Coady Institute, 2014). I have an ongoing interest in understanding Aboriginal social and educational issues in Canada. Not unrelated, I also have an ongoing interest in issues related to men, masculinity, and education. (For more on this, see my Master’s work)

For nearly nine years I taught with the Community Learning Partnerships department, in the School of Access, Camosun College, Victoria, BC. I taught English, Computers and Mathematics in the Indigenous College Preparatory program, as a guest and visitor on the traditional territories of the WSÁNEĆ peoples (Tsartlip Tsawout Tseycum Pauquachin.), and the Songhees First Nation, as well as at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre,  and at Our Place Society, and Literacy Victoria.


I love learning, even though I have not always enjoyed school. I have been formally trained in theatre, and I have worked professionally in that environment. I explored the possibility of a degree in Sociology, and even started down that road, before discovering that it is not considered a teachable subject for high school.  I have studied ancient and modern history, art history, and I have special and abiding interest in the history of Canada and First Nations.  I am well versed in Canadian politics.  For the past 20 years, I have continued to explore archetypal psychology.  I have a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English, and I came up one course short of my minor in Mathematics.  I am certified and trained to teach both English and Math at any intermediate or senior high school level or equivalent.  I can write poetry and prose, fiction or non-fiction.  I have written and produced plays.  I have run my own business, and I have worked for other people.  I used to dance, and I completed my Silver Level in competitive ballroom dancing.  I am an only child, a husband, and a father of four.  I am a reader of comic books.

It took me a long time to get my teacher certification because I have been involved in learning many different things.  I started teaching in high schools, and then found myself teaching adults for almost nine years years.  I continue to learn how to be a better teacher.  To this end, I draw on my varied past and present in order to better address the needs of my students, not only in their school life, but also in their lives at large.  I am the first to acknowledge that not everything taught in a school, or a program, or a course is relevant to everyone’s life; sometimes, a student is just trying to get a class done, and out of the way. However, there is a joy in learning for the sake of learning. As a teacher, part of my job is to help students discover that joy.

You can find out more about my work at


Tristan Powell

Tristan will be re-joining PSII in January 2017.


Jake West

Jake’s life’s work is divided into 3 fields – all of equal importance.
1. Performing
“I have to do it. It is in the very fiber of my being. I tried to stop doing it once and my soul couldn’t take it.”
With 11+ years experience on many diverse stages, Jake has created highly engaging, energetic, interactive performances and presentations which include comedy/clown/character and prop manipulation. Intensely physical, Jake brings a dynamic presence to the stage. He has been invited to audition for Cirque du Soleil. Sample list of past performances: Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, BMW, Pepsi, Maytag, Cenovus, Vancouver Circus School, Children’s Cancer Foundation, and hundreds more street shows, festivals, special events and theaters.
2. Education
Jake is wholeheartedly committed to education. Arguably one of the most explosive fields to be in going forward. Massive, radical change is about to happen and our education system will be forced to adapt. It is an incredibly exciting time for those who are prepared for it. He has 8+ years of experience teaching ESL, Circus, BC High School Academics, Digital Media, Japanese, First Nations, Film, Theater, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Emergent Curriculum and Interdisciplinary Inquiry.
3. Solopreneurship
Jake has spent 5+ years investing/speculating in precious metals and TSX Venture, with 11 years in sales. He is a monetary historian, market analyst, and marketer. Jake is a well-read, inquisitive, highly motivated creative thinker, artist and educator.