Teacher Profiles

Administration

Keith Corpus
Principal
B.A., English, Swarthmore College
M.A., Education, Brown University

 

Mr. Corpus has over twenty years experience as a high-school teacher, administrator and coach. He worked at St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in New Jersey from 1989 to 2006, where he chaired the English Department and was the Dean of Faculty. Prior to his work at St. Benedict’s, he taught and coached for two years at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. In 1994-95, he also taught English at East China University of Science and Technology (Hua Dong Li Gong Da Xue) in Shanghai.

Jonathan Norton
Assistant Principal/Math Dept. Chair
Single Subject Teaching Credential, Mathematics
B.S. Mathematics - Pure Option

(California State Polytechnic University, Pomona)
A.A. Natural Sciences and Mathematics (Mount San Antonio College)
A.A. Language Arts and Communication (Mount San Antonio College)
Product Engineer (Teledyne Technologies, Hudson, NH

 

Mr. Norton, who taught mathematics for the Rowland Unified School District, has a former career as a Product Engineer for Teledyne Technologies. This gives him a unique and practical approach to teaching. He delivers simplified explanations of complicated mathematical concepts, improves understanding by connecting mathematics to everyday life, and is trained in instructing English Language Learners.

Faculty

Chris Bonneau

Director of Counseling Services
B.S., Communications, Boston University

After graduating from Boston University with a degree in Communications, Mr. Bonneau moved to Southern California where he became an award-winning writer (of screenplays and educational texts) and a teacher at a number of highly regarded Academies throughout the Los Angeles area. After writing courses for both SAT Writing and College Essay Writing, he took on the role of adviser and has since helped more than 2,000 students with the college selection and application process. During this time frame, he has guided students through more than 4,000 college statements. Many of the students that he has counseled have gone on to Ivy League and other prestigious universities.

Angell Beckwith

Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management

B.S., Business Management, University of Phoenix

M.S., Entertainment Business/Sports Management,

Full Sail University

Angell Beckwith has over 20 years working in education and admissions  in various capacities for many colleges.  Her experience includes recruiting international students from around the world, particularly from China.  Angell enjoys speaking with students and their families to help them with their educational goals and to guide them to their path to higher education. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and spending time entertaining her family.  Angell is very excited to be a part of the Pacific Academy family and to have the opportunity to help new families be a part of the Academy as well.

Jasmine Hsu

English & ESL Teacher/Executive Assistant
Single Subject Teaching Credential (English),

Cal State Fullerton
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certificate
B.S., Psychology and Social Behavior, UC Irvine

Having tutored international students since her college days at UC Irvine, Ms. Hsu brings linguistic expertise and boundless enthusiasm to the classroom. With over two hundred hours of training in the methods, theories, and practice of teaching English as a foreign language, Ms. Hsu employs the latest techniques in English instruction with her international students.

Ben Chen

Math Teacher
SAT Mathematics Specialist

B.A., Economics, UC Irvine

More than 50% of Mr. Chen’s students have achieved perfect SAT II Math scores. Mr. Chen is an expert in all levels of high school Mathematics (through AP Calculus and AP Statistics), as well as on the curriculum and textbooks used at every high school in Irvine. He teaches problem-analyzing strategies and test-taking skills to his students to help them solve every type of question. His students commend his friendly and fun, yet very effective, teaching style.

Roseanne Greenfield

Sheltered English Literature/History
Ed.D., Education/TESOL, Leicester University
M.A. TESOL, United States International University
M.A. American Studies/History,

California State University, Fullerton
B.A. American Studies/Communications,

California State University, Fullerton

Dr. Greenfield has over 15 years of experience teaching and developing English, ESL and History programs for K – 12th grade students in the USA and in Asia.  She has taught college English Writing, Reading, Speaking and Communication Skills at Hong Kong University SPACE, Hong Kong City University, Feng Chia University and National Taiwan Normal University.  Roseanne is also an award-winning writer, who specializes in Asian Children’s Literature and short fiction.  She has authored over 20 children’s books and educational materials, and has written for the Register, Orange County News and Huntington Beach Independent.  

Kelly Corwin

English Teacher
Ph.D. Candidate, English & Feminist Emphasis,

UC Irvine
M.A., English, UC Irvine
B.A., English, SUNY - Buffalo 

After a few years away to further her own education, Ms. Corwin returns to the Academy to enlighten the minds of its students with her vast insight into the English language and English literature. Ms. Corwin has accumulated countless hours of classroom experience as a teaching assistant at UC Irvine where she led classes on poetry analysis, literary criticism, writing, and women’s studies. Students seeking to master the nuances of understanding the English language find the instruction they desire in Ms. Corwin’s classes.

Thomas Wan  

Math/Physics Teacher
M.S. and Ph. D., Mechanical Engineering,

State University of New York at Buffalo
B. S., Mechanical Engineering, National Taiwan University

Dr. Wan received his Master and Ph. D. degrees in four years. He spent the first ten years of his careers in research and development in emissions and performance of Diesel engines. After moving to California in 1996 to be close to their family, Dr. Wan and his wife started their own educational materials business.  Long before the sale of their business in 2005, Dr. Wan had been asked to help many students in Irvine and nearby cities on AP Physics and math at different levels. This activity has been continued until today. Dr. Wan’s philosophy of teaching is not just to produce an A+ student, but more importantly to help students develop their interest and confidence in the subjects they study.

Erika Saito

ELD/Sheltered Programs Department Chair

Multiple Subject, Professional Clear Credential

Supplementary Authorized Credential,

English Reading Certificate

Ph.D. Education, Emphasis on Teaching, Learning, & Culture, Claremont Graduate University

M.A. Education, Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education & Psychology

B.A., Humanities & English, Minor, Ethnic Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder

For more than a decade, Dr. Saito has worked within a variety of roles in the field of education. Most notable are her K-6 grade experiences where she served as a classroom teacher and a language arts intervention teacher in the Los Angeles Unified and Anaheim City School Districts. She is also an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education & Psychology and University of Redlands working with graduate students pursuing their teaching credential and Masters in Education/TESOL. 

 

In addition to teaching, Dr. Saito has also co-published research articles in academic journals, and presented her work at numerous education and research conferences on Asian Americans in education, co-ethnic communities, identity, transnationalism, and generational status.

Kevin Tran

Math and Science Teacher

Director of Activities

Multiple Subjects Clear Credential, UC Irvine

M.A., Candidate, Education, UC Irvine

B.A., Social Ecology, Education, UC Irvine

Mr. Tran’s love for teaching has not only allowed his students to be successful, but also to enjoy learning. His effectiveness in his teaching has allowed his students to score in the top 5% of the state. In addition to teaching academic classes, Mr. Tran also teaches physical education and health. Students who have taken his PE and health class have found it to be beneficial to their physical and mental well-being.

Steven Jang

Science Teacher
M.S., Computer Engineering / Science, USC
B.S., Electrical Engineering, CSULA 
Community College Teaching Credentials: Computers

& Electronic Technology

Mr. Jang began his college career exploring Math Education before entering into the high tech world of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He has been involved in several large biotechnology companies in Orange county developing blood analyzers, cataract surgical products and an implantable heart defibrillator. Today he returns to Education and brings his enthusiasm of Computer Science, Math and Science with him. As a Computer Science instructor at ACI, Steve shares ideas and techniques from industry: "this is how professional programmers design a product".

 

At Northwood High School, Steve is a Science Olympiad coach for the past four years. Spanning from youth to adults, he volunteers at two Irvine organizations providing computer literacy training to the community.

 

After hours, Steve bikes, is involved in photography, PhotoShop editing, travels several times during the year and writes about his experiences in a private photo-blog.

Alexandros Vassilakis

Social Studies Teacher

B.A., International Politics, Middlesex University

Alexandros (Lex) is an experienced educator with a passion for project-based learning aimed at helping students develop empathy and global mindfulness. Lex is a southern California native who has spent seventeen years of his life living abroad, first as a university student in London and Wales, and then as an international school educator in his adopted country of Taiwan. In addition to his twelve years as a history teacher with a specialty in Chinese and East Asian history, Lex has also spent a large part of his career overseeing debate and public speaking programs from Model United Nations to competitive high school forensics and Mock Trial. 

Lei Chen Zhang

ELD and English Teacher
California Multiple Subject Credential, Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education & Psychology
M.A., Education, Pepperdine University Graduate

School of Education & Psychology
B.A., Communications, University of Illinois at

Urbana-Champaign

Ethnically Chinese but born and raised in Spain, Ms. Chen was an EL student herself since kindergarten and has experienced a varied number of educational approaches and EL/ESL programs both in Spain and in the United States. As a result of her experiences, Ms. Chen discovered her passion for teaching and devoted all her efforts to become an effective and understanding educator to all her students. During her free time, she also enjoys tutoring, traveling and cooking/sampling food from around the world.

Yeh Pei Lu

Chinese Teacher
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Ming Hsin Taiwan Engineering College

Ms. Lu has over 20 years of experience teaching Mandarin Chinese and Culture to high school-level students. She currently teaches at Irvine Chinese School and Tzu Chi Academy. In 2006, she received a certification to teach Advanced Placement Chinese Language & Culture from the College Board, and has been teaching AP Chinese since then. Outside of the classroom, she has facilitated teacher training courses and attended national Chinese teacher conferences, where she has shared her experiences with students. She often uses events and topics students would be familiar with to make connections between Chinese and English culture. When she is not teaching, shei enjoys traveling to different countries to explore their culture.

Therese Conte

Art Teacher
M.F.A., Painting, Laguna College of Art and Design
M.A., Studio Art, Painting/Drawing, CSU Northridge
B.A., Studio Art, Painting/Drawing, CSU Northridge

Ms. Conte has also studied at at the prestigious Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, and the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art, Los Angeles. Ms. Conte’s exhibits nationally and is the recipient of numerous grants and awards. She has an extensive background as an arts educator teaching art for the Los Angeles Unified and La Canada Unified School Districts, Columbia College Hollywood and most recently The Orange County School of the Arts. She maintains a studio in Laguna Beach and continues to work with the figure and related subjects in her paintings.

Anice Bradley

English Teacher
B.A., Communications, Cal State Fullerton

After spending a few years living in South Texas, Ms. Bradley moved back to California with her family to teach at Pacific Academy. She has taught English to students in 3rd-12th grades at several schools in both states, and has had the privilege of coaching cheerleading where her teams have won many national titles. She enjoys utilizing technology and project-based learning to help her students master the skills needed to excel in college and beyond. Ms. Bradley believes in the value of hard work, and is determined to help her students reach their academic goals.

Alice Kennedy

ELD and English Teacher
Single Subject Teacher Credential, English,

Chapman University 

M.A. Education, Chapman University
B.A., Sociology/Political Science, Chapman University

Ms. Kennedy, originally from Ireland but a long-time resident of Orange County, spent a decade working exclusively with English language learners, both in California and abroad. Ms. Kennedy first taught English at a local private high school where she discovered her passion for working with international students. This teaching experience motivated her to attend Chapman University, where she completed her graduate studies in education and focused her graduate research on international comparative education. After graduate school, Ms. Kennedy moved to Seoul, South Korea, where she lived for almost five years. While there, she taught English first at Seoul Digitech High School and then later at Ewha Girls’ High School. Besides working with international students, Ms. Kennedy’s other passion is debate. She has previously taught debate at Fairmont Preparatory Academy, Ewha Girls’ High School, and Yeouido High School, and she has led her debate students to prestigious competitions around the world. Ms. Kennedy is thrilled to be a member of the Pacific Academy family.

Christie Stroupe

Social Studies Teacher
Multiple Subject Credential,

California State Fullerton
M.A., History, University of Texas at AustinB.A., History, University of Texas at Austin
B.A., History, University of Texas at Austin

Mrs. Stroupe received her M.A. and B.A. with high honors from the University of Texas at Austin. She holds California multiple subject and social studies credentials. Previously Mrs. Stroupe taught English and World History at Mater Dei High School and AP Language and Rhetoric at JSerra High School. In her spare time, she loves to read, swim, and travel. She has lived and studied in France and Germany and speaks fluent German.

Joyce Chu

Chinese Teacher
B.A., Chinese, UC Los Angeles

Ms. Chu received her B.A. in Chinese from the University of California, Los Angeles. She also teaches Mandarin at the Irvine Chinese School and EFCI Chinese School on the weekends. In addition, she is a teacher of Digital Huayu Learning Center in Orange County. Ms. Chu is a big fan of CI (Comprehensible Input). She likes to attend the conferences and workshops for Foreign Language Teachers and Educational Technology.

Andy Fang

Music Teacher
M. Div., Biola University
B.A., Cognitive Psychology, Education,

University of California, Irvine 

Mr. Fang has always been passionate about teaching music. Having grown up in a very musical home, he was taught to love music and to embrace it. At an early age, he picked up classical violin and has since become multi-instrumental. Able to play six instruments, he loves to compose, arrange, and play contemporary music.

Catherine Chu

Math Teacher
M.S., Computer Science and mathematics,

Cal State Long Beach
B.S., Health and Nutrition, Taipei Medical University

While in school, Ms. Chu always enjoyed helping classmates in various fields. She has had the privilege and pleasure of working with students for 10 years as a teacher and an administrator. She loves to help students build a successful future.

David Wen

Math and Science Teacher

B.S. Electrical Engineering,

Georgia Institute of Technology

TOEFL Certificate

Although Mr. Wen originally pursued engineering with a degree from Georgia Tech, he quickly discovered he enjoyed working with people even more.  During a lucrative career in business, rising to the rank of CEO of SE Distribution, Inc., Mr. Wen realized that one aspect of his business life he enjoyed the most was training or teaching new personnel.  Therefore, he moved into education, where he found his life’s true reward. Mr. Wen comes to Southern California having been a Math and Science teacher at Pacific American School in Taiwan for the previous five years. In classes like AP Chemistry and AP Calculus, Mr. Wen has not only thoroughly enjoyed working with his students and colleagues, he has been blessed with terrific success in their results.  A very active member of his church, Mr. Wen also enjoys golfing and watching sports with his sons.

Don Rutti

Science Teacher
Science teaching credential, California State University, Fullerton 
M.E., Education, Concordia University Irvine, Graduating 2017
B.S., Biology, California State University, Fullerton

Since he was a young boy Mr. Rutti has had a passion for the life sciences. Don studied at California State University Fullerton where he received both his BS in Biology and his secondary teaching credential in science. Ecology, biodiversity and conservation are his particular areas of expertise. Over the past four years he has been using his passion for science to teach anatomy, biology, AP environmental science and zoology to underprivileged students in Santa Ana. Mr. Ruttie considers himself a lifelong learner and earned his Masters in Education at Concordia University Irvine in 2017. Excited to be part of the Pacific Academy team, Don engages his students through hands-on activities and authentic learning opportunities.

Ainur Zabenova

Chamber Orchestra Teacher
D.M.A., Eastman School of Music,

Violin Performance and Literature
M.M., Eastman School of Music,

Violin Performance and Literature
B.M., Almaty State Conservatory, Violin Performance

A native of Kazakhstan, Ms. Zabenova has been winning awards and accolades since the age of 11. She has taught violin at many levels, including at the University of Rochester, the University at Buffalo and the Eastman School of Music. The winner of several international violin competitions, such as Best Performance at the First Tchaikovsky Youth International Competition in Moscow, Ms. Zabenova’s performance experience includes stints with Monroe County orchestras and the Eastman Chamber Music Society. She has performed extensively as a guest soloist throughout the U.S. and Europe, and is happy to be in southern California to continue her music career.

Ashlee Riddle

Science Teacher
California Single Subject Teacher Credential, Science, Concordia University, Irvine
M.Ed., Concordia University, Irvine
B.S., Biology, Loyola Marymount University,

Los Angeles

Ms. Riddle was born and raised in Orange County, California. While studying Biology at Loyola Marymount University she also worked as both a Lab Assistant for the Chemistry Department and a Teaching Assistant in Animal Behavior for the Biology Department. After college she worked for six years as a Certified Trainer at a Biopharmaceutical/Genetics Lab in Los Angeles in which she trained new hires in operating procedures for mass-testing robotic instruments. Before coming to Pacific Academy, she earned her Masters in Education at Concordia University. Ms. Riddle truly has a passion for Science and for passing that passion on to her students. She has worked in several different fields of Science and brings knowledge from her different experiences to her teaching. She believes in engaging students through hands-on activities and interesting labs that solidify learning of scientific concepts.

Francesca Santoro

Foreign Language Teacher
Fellow of the American Academy in Rome
Phd., History, University of Missouri-Columbia
M.A., Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology, University of California, Berkeley
B.A., Classics; BA History, UC Irvine

Francesca Santoro L’hoir is the author of two academic books on rhetoric and tragedy in ancient Roman historiography. She was a Fulbright Scholar, and in 1996 the Congress of the United States awarded her the NEH/Archaeological Institute of America Rome Prize in Classical Studies at the American Academy in Rome, a city where she lived for many years. At Macalester College, where she was a Visiting Assistant Professor in Classics, 1991-97, she organized and taught month-long onsite study tours in art history and archeology to undergraduates. She was also a Visiting Associate Professor at Claremont McKenna College and an adjunct lecturer at the University of California, both at Santa Cruz and at Irvine. Dr. Santoro can teach many languages: Italian, French, German, Dutch, Latin and Greek. Her interests include literary analysis, British history and politics.

Vanessa Green

English Teacher
California Single Subject Teacher Credential, English 
M.A., English, UC Irvine 
B.A., English with an Honors Minor, Chapman University 

After almost seven years at two universities and a private high school in Los Angeles, Vanessa is excited to work with the students of Pacific Academy. Ever since her first tutoring job in grade school, Vanessa has wanted to empower students to pursue their dreams and become lifelong learners. She brings with her a passion for literature and language, as well as a love of student-driven education.

Jennifer Kile

Math Teacherr
Single Subject Teaching Credential, Mathematics,

Cal State Fullerton
B.A., Mathematics, Cal State Fullerton
A.A., Liberal Arts, Saddleback Community College

Ms. Kile has been fortunate to teach and tutor students in mathematics for six years prior to joining Pacific Academy. Her passion and excitement for the subject helps her students enjoy the subject as well as gets them excited to learn. She empathizes with students who struggle in Mathematics, which allows her to approach the subject in a manner that helps her students feel confident when approaching new concepts.

Teresa Tseng

K-6 Immersion Program Director

B.A., Chinese Literature,

National Chung-Hsing University

M.S., Education, California State University, Fullerton

For the past fourteen years, Ms. Teresa has been the backbone of the school. She served in multiple positions: from teacher to school administrator, utilizing her knowledge and passion in education. As the former assistant director of PA College Prep, she has established and implemented effective and engaging courses. Ms. Tseng enjoys her daily collaboration with teachers and students, discovering and implementing new methods that spark creativity, critical thinking, and interactivity in the classroom. In her leisure time, she loves gardening, exploring nature, and learning about new technology.

Shu Zhang Frazier

K-6 Immersion Teacher

B.S., Resources and Environment Urban and Rural Planning, Chengdu University of Technology

Postgraduate Education of Administration in Southwest Jiaotong University

Senior Grade, Certificate of Teaching Chinese as A Foreign Language, International Chinese Language Teachers Association

National Putonghua Proficiency - Level 1

Education Training Program for Oversea Chinese Teachers, College of Chinese Language and Culture, Jinan University 2017; Beijing Chinese Language and Culture College 2019

Ms. Zhang is an experienced Chinese teacher with a unique background in Business, Media, and Teaching. Prior to relocating to California, she was the Mandarin Master Teacher in The Westwood School, a Montessori and IB K-12 school in Dallas, Texas. There she was trained to teach multi-age classes with individual pacings. She was also the Master Mandarin Teacher for students at Chinese After School and Weekend Schools in Dallas. She has tutored students from kindergarten to grade 12, and has prepared high school and adult students for the HSK (Chinese Proficiency Tests), SAT Subject Test, and AP test.

Jessica Kimi Karatsu

K-6 Immersion Teacher

B.A., European Studies, University of California, Irvine

M.A., Teaching, University of California, Irvine

Multiple Subject Teaching Credential,

University of California, Irvine

Kimi has spent the past eight years working with students throughout Orange County. After graduating with Multiple Subject Credential and a Masters in Teaching, she became well-acquainted with Irvine schools and students. Her goal is to foster independence and persistence in students. She holds my students to high expectations, seeing the potential that within every young individual. Outside of class, she enjoys the quest for new foods and confections. Her interests include traveling the world and expanding her knowledge of foreign languages.   

Leyla Aguad

K-6 Immersion Teacher

M.S., Psychopedagogy, Universidad de los Andes
B.S., Psychopedagogy, , Universidad de los Andes

Before moving to the U.S. in 2019, Ms. Aguad was the head teacher of a private school in Chile for the past 6 years. She demonstrates strong adaptability working with students with diverse cultural backgrounds and educational needs. She enjoys creating teaching materials and projects to motivate her students. Ms. Aguad also implements classroom games and outdoor recreational activities to promote physical, mental and social health of pupils. In the leisure time, she enjoys travel, outdoor activities, and movies. 

Chi-Shan Wu

K-6 Immersion Teacher

M.S., Psychology, National Taiwan University
B.S., Psychology, National Taiwan University

Chi-Shan is a highly creative and passionate teacher. She taught middle school math and science for four years in Taiwan, and elementary after school Chinese for five years in Irvine. She believes in experiential education and enjoys making every lesson interesting for her students. She is passionate in teaching science, math, and Mandarin Chinese, which makes her an ideal teacher for our Chinese Immersion Program. When she is not teaching, she loves traveling and educating her own two daughters. 

Ruby Mar

College Counselor

M.A., Education, School Counseling, Point Loma Nazarene University
B.A., Psychology, University of Guam

Ms. Mar has always known that she wanted to be a counselor. She realized early on how much she enjoyed listening to people. After graduate school she realized her passion for talking about colleges and working with high school students. Having worked in education for more than 10 years prior coming to PA, Ms. Mar enjoys getting to know her students and helping them through the college process. She also aspires to find the best in her students and guides them to a college or career that is a good fit for who they are and what they want to be. 

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