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Meet Our Team



1701291343342.pngAnna-Maria Karout (she/her) has been a long-standing researcher in Surrey School District’s Research and Evaluation Department. She has been responsible for ensuring that research conducted in the district aligns with the department’s regulations and policies and has helped lead the administration and scoring of the Foundation Skills Assessment. Since 2016, Anna-Maria has applied her quantitative and qualitative research skills for numerous initiative across the district, including her evaluation of the impacts of the district’s numeracy initiatives, after school programs, and blended learning model.

As an adept knowledge translator, Anna-Maria enjoys data exploration and creating infographics and other data visualization products. She has been significantly involved in creating PowerBI reports that are featured in the district’s data portal, which are used for school planning and decision-making purposes.

Anna-Maria holds a B.SC. from UBC, with a major in Chemistry and minor in Psychology. She has conducted quantitative and qualitative analytical chemistry research, including instrumentation optimization, as well as quality control within the environmental analytical chemistry field.


1701283710237.pngAsma Afreen (আসমা আফরীন) graduated with a Ph.D. in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) from the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia (UBC). During her Ph.D., Asma worked collaboratively and reflexively with Bangla heritage language teachers and students who are visible minorities in Canada to enact pedagogies that value and acknowledge teachers’ and students’ transcultural identities, ideologies, and diverse linguistic, cultural, and multimodal practices.

Asma is a strong advocate for children’s rights and multilingual literacy. Prior to joining the Surrey School District, Asma actively worked with communities in Bangladesh and Canada to create educational spaces that acknowledge children’s rich multilingual literacies and the identities they bring to the classroom. She is a UBC Global Storybooks team member and helped develop Storybooks Bangladesh, a free online literacy resource for learners of Bangla. She works with the Greater Vancouver Bangladeshi community and volunteers at the community-based Bangla school to promote children’s Bangla heritage language learning. She is also a Sessional Lecturer at UBC and teaches undergraduate courses in TESL, Teacher Education, and UBC-Ritsumeikan Academic Exchange Programs. 

Asma’s research addresses identity and language learning, multilingual and multimodal education, minority and heritage language education, translanguaging, and translation. As a member of the Research and Evaluation Department, Asma is directly involved in several collaborative projects, including an evaluation of the impacts of the district’s literacy initiatives on student’s reading development and teachers’ literacy instruction. 



Kate Morrison holds an MA in Human Development, Learning, and Culture from the University of British Columbia. Since joining the Research and Evaluation Department in 2022, Kate has been involved in various research projects, including reporting on the Numeracy Initiatives, as well as an evaluation of French Immersion programming.

Prior to joining Surrey Schools, Kate has worked on a number of research projects that have explored topics such as student wellness, bullying, and the impact of technology-facilitated violence on victims. More recently, Kate’s own research work has focused on the development of healthy relationships among adolescents, how adolescents perceive and respond to dating violence, and contextual factors that impact discriminatory beliefs.

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1701292042220.pngMatthew Waugh earned his Ph.D. in Human Development, Learning, and Culture from the University of British Columbia. As an experienced researcher and program evaluator, Matthew has led or collaborated on more than 70 research projects and program evaluations with non-profits, local governments, provincial ministries, and international organizations in the education, healthcare, justice, legal, victim services, and anti-violence sectors.

Prior to joining the Surrey School District, Matthew was a dual-licensure teacher (K-12 special education and K-8 general education) in the state of New Mexico. Matthew took his passion for teaching to the post-secondary level, having taught close to 1,000 UBC Faculty of Education students. He has taught undergraduate and graduate-level courses in the Early Childhood Education Program, Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education Department, and Department of Educational Studies on topics related to human development and diversity, cultivating supportive school and classroom environments, family-school-community partnerships, typical and atypical development in infants and children, and assessment and learning in the classroom.

Matthew’s research interests include family-school relationships, educational programming and evaluation, and the development and experiences of racialized and marginalized children, youth, and families. Matthew is dedicated to advancing equitable and just services, neighbourhoods, systems, and societies that meet the needs of all children and their families. Having established a Research and Evaluation Department, the Surrey School District has provided the opportunities for Matthew to continue dedicating his career to meet these equitable ends. 

To view Matthew's research, publications, and teaching experience, click here.



Sajjid Budhwani holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Denver, Colorado, USA. His work undertakes a transdisciplinary approach by leveraging traditional research methods and statistics, innovative geospatial research methods (GIS), and environmental factors to understand PK-12 and the higher education system. His leadership, research, and practice included several projects related to program evaluation, adult learning and teaching, youth empowerment, social enterprise development, access to quality education, early childhood education, school improvement, and community partnership.

Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., he owned and managed Montessori preschools in India. He also provided educational consultancy to other educational institutions and non-profit organizations for more than a decade. 

At Surrey School District, Dr. Budhwani has been actively involved in several collaborative projects related to data visualization through geospatial mapping and research. His research examines school facets through surrounding factors, interrogating spatial equity in the distribution of social capital resources within neighbourhoods, and school communities.

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The Research and Evaluation Department works closely with Kathy Puharich (Director of Instruction, Priority Practices) and Christy Northway (Assistant Superintendent), while collaborating on initiatives with District Principals and Assistant and Deputy Superintendents. 

The Research and Evaluation Department also recognizes the important contributions of those researchers who have left a lasting legacy on the work we do, including: Kathryn Peterson, Dr. Harini Rajagopal, and Dr. Megan Giroux.

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