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Teacher Profiles

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Teresa Tseng

Principal

B.A., Chinese Literature,

National Chung-Hsing University

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

For the past nineteen 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 K-6 Director of the Irvine Campus, she has established and implemented effective and engaging courses blending trilingual education delivered in project-based learning method. 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.

Ilenia Chen

Director of Admissions

B.A.Diplomacy and Political Science

National Chengchi University Taiwan & Seoul National University

M.A., International Relations, New York University

Ilenia Chen received a Masters in International Relations from New York University, and a B.A. in Diplomacy and Political Science from National Chengchi University in Taiwan and Seoul National University. Before moving to the west coast, she worked at the United Nations Headquarters as a diplomat stationed in a Permanent Mission in New York. There she participated in national policy decision-making and drafting resolutions for crises. She also previously worked with the British Council, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan, and Supervisor Campaign Office for San Bernardino County. Aside from government work, Ilenia has experience in both international and domestic non-profit organizations prior to joining Pacific Academy Foundation. She has also volunteered at a youth care foundation in Taiwan for almost a decade to assist students in need to complete secondary to undergraduate educations. Ilenia is ecstatic to be the latest member of the Pacific Academy family and to continue her passion and dedication to service.

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Allie Chen

K-6 Chinese Teacher

B.A., Linguistics, University of California, San Diego

M.A., Education, San Diego State University

As a progressive Mandarin immersion educator for more than seven years, Ms. Chen has gained rich experience of teaching Chinese language and culture with project-based and inquiry-based approaches. Throughout the years, Ms. Chen has been embracing the philosophy of teaching students to be creative, life-long learners and independent thinkers. She strongly believes that students not only need to be equipped with academic knowledge but also socio-emotional well-being. By providing ownership for students to grow and reach their best potentials, Ms. Chen supports and challenges students with scaffolded and individualized curriculum. To ensure learning by doing, she is passionate about creating theme-based and interdisciplinary activities, in order to foster a joyful learning classroom environment for students. During her free time, she enjoys singing and exploring new food and travel spots.

Jessica Kimi Karatsu

K-6 English Teacher

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

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

Multiple Subject Teaching Credential,

University of California, Irvine

Ms. Karatsu has spent over ten 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 her students to high expectations, seeing the potential within every young individual. Outside of class, she enjoys the quest for new foods and confections. Her interests include traveling, cooking, and reading. 

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Trevor von Winckelmann 

4-6 English and Social Studies Teacher 

B.A., Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles 

Multiple Subject Teaching Credential,

California State University Fullerton  

Mr. von Winckelmann graduated with his Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in 2019 and has been in the classroom ever since. Teaching at multiple locations across Orange County and Irvine, in addition to teaching English in South Korea, Mr. V continues to realize his goal of inspiring others.  Above all else, he strives to create safe, inclusive, and collaborative learning environments to drive self-discovery and innovation.  Mr. V seeks to build independence and intrinsic motivation in all students, so that they may become lifelong learners and feel comfortable pushing themselves to greater heights.  When he’s not in the classroom, you can find Mr. V playing tennis, snowboarding, or spoiling his two dogs!  

Karen Yu

K-6 Chinese Teacher

B.A., M.A. Chinese Language and Literature,

National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan

M.A. East Asian Languages and Cultures,

University of Southern California

Ph. D. Candidate, East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Southern California

California Single Subject Teaching credential in Mandarin

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Ms. Yu is a certified Chinese Teacher and received her Master of Arts specialized in second language acquisition from the University of Southern California (USC). Prior to teaching at PA, she has worked with students at various levels and in different Chinese immersion settings such as Middlebury College summer language immersion program and STARTALK. Ms. Yu was also a language lecturer at USC. Ms. Yu is an expert in Chinese teaching with functional language development, student-centered learning, and enhancement of learning strategies. She has extensive experience in augmenting students’ motivation of learning and ability of thinking independently through project-based teaching methods. In addition, Ms. Yu is also a certified Oral Proficiency Interviewer through The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and she can help students with their Mandarin Chinese oral proficiency skill. She enjoys guiding her students to be successful and making her students become life-long learners in an educational environment.

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Kelley Goodale

K-6 English Teacher

B.A., Liberal Studies, Cal State Fullerton

Multiple Subject Teaching Credential

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Ms. Goodale has been working with students in Irvine and throughout Orange County for the past 9 years. Her roles include elementary teacher and summer camp coordinator. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with her BA in Liberal Studies, and has a Multiple Subject teaching credential from CSUF. Ms. Goodale loves working with children and getting to learn about them. Her warm and friendly personality makes every student feel special and welcomed. She is honored and excited to be the Language Arts teacher in the K-6 Chinese Immersion Program.

Lanxin Mi

K-6 Chinese Teacher

B.S.,Child Development, Colby-Sawyer College

Multiple Subject Teaching Credential

Ms. Mi received her Bachelor of Science in Child development major in Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire. She is certified in the state of New Hampshire with a K-3 Grade teaching credential. Prior to teaching at PA, Ms. Mi was a mandarin immersion preschool teacher. Ms. Mi enjoys her time in the classroom with students with their everyday learning journey. In her leisure time, she enjoys running and traveling with her family.

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Leyla Aguad

K-6 Spanish 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. 

Susana Arciniega

Spanish Teacher

Associates of Arts in Spanish

Sra. Arciniega started working with young children when she was in high school. After exploring different career paths and attending human development classes, she set her heart in teaching. Sra.  Arciniega received her AA in Spanish teaching and as an Early Childhood Assistant teacher.  Since then, Sra. Arciniega has worked as a head Spanish teacher in preschool and elementary school for the past 6 years.  Sra. Arciniega loves to teach children about the cultures of all Spanish spoken countries. During her free time, Sra. Arciniega enjoys cooking, reading, watching movies, and exploring nature and cultural food with her daughters.

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Vera Wu

K-6 Chinese Teacher

B.A., Chinese Instruction,

Zhejiang University of Technology, China

M.A., Education, The University of York, U.K

Ms. Wu has an international education background and has received her Bachelor’s degrees and teaching credentials in China, England and the U.S. She started her teaching career in public education in North Carolina then transitioned to international, private and charter schools in both the U.S. and U.K. Ms. Wu believes that every student is unique, and each has the potential to make big achievements. She not only teaches student’s academic knowledge but also helps them build healthy, warm and strong hearts for enjoying beautiful moments in their lives as well as facing challenges. In her leisure time, she enjoys jogging, gardening, cooking and exploring nature.

Sarah Shi

K-6 Teacher 

Ed.D. Candidate, University of Bristol

Postgraduate Diploma in Education,

Chinese Language and Literature,

The Education University of Hong Kong

M.A., Chinese Linguistics and Language Acquisition, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

B.A., Chinese Language and Literature, Lanzhou University

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Sarah Shi is a dedicated educator with a passion for positive discipline and facilitating students’ agency and leadership. With 7 years of full-time teaching experience under the IB curriculum in Hong Kong international schools, Sarah has taught students ranging from Grade two to College. She has participated in over ten professional development workshops from the International Baccalaureate Organization and has extensive experience in concept-based approaches and inquiry-based learning.

 

In addition to her full-time teaching experience, Sarah has also taught in a Summer language program for Columbia University in New York City and worked as a territory-wide system assessment marker for the Hong Kong Education Bureau. Her hobbies include reading, cooking, and cleaning.

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Jackie (Yudai) Hu

K-6 Chinese Teacher

B.A., Sociology, University of California, San Diego

Ms. Hu graduated from the University of California, San Diego, majoring in sociology. During her college years, Ms. Hu developed a strong interest in education and started pursuing a career in teaching. She has six years of experience in curriculum planning, with two of those years spent working in the classroom. Students often describe Ms. Jackie as a good friend; she is kind and firm, with a sense of humor and a teacher's voice that emanates from her instinct. She incorporates real-life examples into the curriculum to make the lessons relatable and interesting. One can clearly see Ms. Jackie's passion for teaching when she is in class with her students. In her leisure time, Ms. Hu enjoys traveling and handcrafting. She looks forward to bringing her travel experiences and crafting talent into her classes.

Cheryl Chen

K-6 Teache

M.A. in Management, Claremont Graduate University

B.A. in Art Design, Shanghai Maritime University

Cheryl has worked in the field of education at Fudan Middle School in Shanghai, China, and has spent many years teaching at an immersion school. Cheryl has a strong background in fine arts and enjoys integrating her artistic background into her teaching. She believes that learning can be both fun and creative. Cheryl is passionate about encouraging her students to use creativity to tackle and solve real-world problems and school tasks. She also enjoys helping kids explore science through a variety of multimedia activities. In her free time, Cheryl loves to explore different forms of art by visiting various museums, traveling, and practicing interior design.

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Wendy Serrano

K-6 Teacher

 

B.S., in Child and Adolescent Development 

A.A in Liberal Studies 

A.A in Human Sciences

Ms. Wendy was born and raised in Mexico and moved to the U.S at the age of seven. She pursued a career in primary education, with a focus on family and community studies. Throughout her career she has worked at non-profit organizations and has worked in the Tustin Unified school district and some private schools. Ms. Wendy has a passion for teaching and nurturing young minds. She believes that children succeed when they have a supportive community by their side, this includes parents, family members and a great team of teachers. Ms. Wendy is excited to begin her new journey and growth at Pacific Academy teaching in elementary school and preschool. 

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