Yariv has worked in education for 14 years as a teacher, advisor, coach, mathematics specialist, digital literacy coordinator and Head of Junior School. He completed his undergraduate degree at Seton Hall University, his graduate degree at Mercy College and is currently completing his MEd in Curriculum and Instruction. Yariv is proud of his international background: an Israeli-American, he has taught at an all-girls school in New York City, at the American School of Paris and St. Andrew's International School of the Bahamas. Prior to becoming a teacher, Yariv was employed as a radio DJ/talk-show host and financial advisor at Morgan Stanley. We’re happy to report that he finds education the most rewarding profession!
Britney Lyn Neagle - KG Homeroom Teacher
Britney was born in Canada where she completed her Bachelor of Education in Primary/Junior Education at York University in Toronto. Britney has previous experience working with children from Reception (KG2) to grade 6. She has taught within an inner-city school setting, as well as internationally in both Tanzania and Taiwan. These experiences have taught her that a student’s desire to learn is more profound than geography and language barriers. She is passionate about traveling and incorporating diversity into her classroom.
Samantha Pelstring - KG Homeroom Teacher
Samantha is from the state of Virginia in the United States. She completed her undergraduate degree from Christopher Newport University and a graduate degree at The University of Northern Iowa. Samantha is in her 10th year as a teacher and has experience with Pre-Reception (KG2), Reception (KG2), and Grade 1 in Ukraine, Egypt, and Dubai. Samantha loves the color green, chocolate, The Muppets, and her favorite book is Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel!
Michelle Murdock - Grade 1 Homeroom Teacher
Michelle Murdock joined ASHK after working for 4 years in China, most recently at Buena Vista Concordia International School in Shenzhen where she taught Grade 1. Michelle was born in Michigan and moved from the USA to China in 2012 after graduating from Michigan State University. When Michelle is not teaching, she enjoys reading, hiking, and writing short stories.
Corinn Randolph - Grade 2 Homeroom Teacher
Corinn is excited to be returning to ASHK this year as a Grade 2 teacher. This will be Corinn’s 2nd year in Hong Kong and her 12th year of teaching. Corinn has taught many different grade levels including Reception (KG2), Grade 3, and Grade 4. She has worked in the USA, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, most recently at American International School in Egypt, which is an Esol Education school. Corinn obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Iowa. In her spare time she enjoys reading, cooking, and traveling. She is looking forward to all of the wonderful opportunities that are in store for her this year at ASHK with a fantastic group of students, parents, and school community!
Erin Spring - Grade 3 Homeroom Teacher
Erin is excited to be starting her second year at ASHK. She began teaching ELL in South Korea after graduating from Dalhousie University in Canada in 1997. Over the next 5 years Erin taught in Thailand and Japan. After realizing that both teaching and travelling were her absolute passions, she decided to return home to Canada to obtain her Masters Degree in Childhood Education. Upon graduating, Erin was hired by ESOL to work at Universal American School in Dubai. During her six years at UAS she taught KG and Grade 4 - 5 Learning Support but she reports that her heart lies in being a Grade 3 Classroom Teacher where she was the Team Leader at UAS. Erin loves to explore new and exciting places, camping and finding places to eat that are favorites among the locals. She is also an avid runner and hopes to complete her next half marathon in Hong Kong.
Thomas Murdock - Grade 4 Homeroom Teacher
Thomas is married to Michelle and is also a graduate of Michigan State University. He has been teaching primary school since 2012, specifically Grades 2 and 4. Tommy worked previously at Yaohua School in Suzhou and at Buena Vista International School in Shenzhen. Other than education, Tommy’s interests include ice hockey (Go Wings!), travelling, and hiking. He is very excited to explore the trails of Hong Kong.
Lakisha James - Grade 5 Homeroom Teacher
Lakisha was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. She completed both her undergraduate and teaching degrees at the University of Nevada. She is in her fifth year of teaching. Lakisha’s first two years were spent teaching Grade 2 in Las Vegas. For the next two years, she was the Elementary STEM specialist at Somerset Academy Losee. As a STEM specialist, Lakisha taught the full range of primary school-aged students from Reception (KG2) through Grade 5. When not in the classroom, you will find Lakisha hiking, reading, traveling, enjoying the arts, or spending time with friends and family. She is excited to begin her journey with ASHK and is looking forward to learning Cantonese.
Tristane Nicholas - Grade 6 Homeroom Teacher
Tristane been teaching internationally for 5 years and reports that it has been a “wonderful opportunity and experience.” Most recently, Tristane worked in an international school in Shanghai teaching Grade 2 and 3. She was born in Phoenix, Arizona and lived there her entire life before moving to Asia. Tristane completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona and her Post Baccalaureate in Elementary Education from Rio Salado College. She has also completed her Master of Education from Northcentral University. Since coming to Asia, she loves to travel, meet new people, see new things, and try out the different foods and cuisines available!
Lucy McEntire - Special Education Needs (SEN) and Chinese Studies Teacher
Lucy has served as a Speech Therapist, private consultant, and Mandarin teacher with over 20 years experience in education in the USA and Hong Kong. As a mother of five she values differentiation and the individualized support children need to reach their full potential. In particular she is sensitive to the needs of “Third Culture Kids” in our learning communities since she learned Mandarin as a child while attending public school in northern China. She thrives on the challenge to customize instruction so that the learning needs of each child are met. Lucy is originally from North Carolina. She has completed degrees at Western Carolina University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong Baptist University.
Breck grew up in Wisconsin, USA, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and School Health Education from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Throughout Breck’s time in college, he created an activity-based program to teach community members how to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Breck has taught Physical Education at each grade level at Hamilton Early Learning Center in Wisconsin, La Crescent High School in Minnesota, and Edgar School District in Wisconsin. When not active with his students, Breck enjoys being outdoors, hiking, trying new foods, visiting new places, and playing all types of sports, especially volleyball and basketball.
Ada Niermeier - Music Teacher
Over the past 13 years, Ada taught K1 to Grade 12 Music at Victoria Children Center, Canadian International School of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong International School. In addition, over the last few years, she has also provided an early childhood music education teacher preparation workshop in Hong Kong. Ada is a certified IB PYP Instructor. She grew up in Victoria in Canada and is a graduate of the University of Victoria where she earned her undergraduate Music degree and Masters in Music Education. Her first instrument is piano and second is voice. Her husband is also a Music/Band teacher and together they enjoy playing all band instruments. Ada embarked on a Doctoral study in Music Education in 2013 and has entered the dissertation period. Although petite, she was once heavily involved in lacrosse leagues playing attack in both Victoria and Hong Kong!
Lauren Cook - Grade 2 Homeroom Teacher
Lauren is very excited to begin her second year in Hong Kong at ASHK. She completed her undergraduate degree at Ithaca College and her teaching degree from the University of West Florida. She has spent the past three years teaching ESL, two of which were in South Korea. A lifelong learner, Lauren is an avid reader and traveler who wants to experience new cultures and gain new perspectives. A native New Yorker, she loves sports and all NY teams. Lauren spends her free time running, hiking, and exploring Hong Kong.
Bryant McEntire - Teacher Librarian
Bryant completed his master’s degree in Library and Information Science at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, USA in 2000. Prior to this he achieved state licensure K-12 teaching Spanish in primary, middle, and high school. In 2009 he achieved National Board Certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. He is experienced in private, public, and K-12 through schools having taught Geography, ICT, serving as a Director of Teaching and Learning for Library Services, and as a basketball coach. His most recent appointment was as a Teacher Librarian at an IGCSE and IB World School in the Diploma Program. In 2001 he founded Hong Kong Battle of the Books (HKBOB) and in 2013 International Battle of the Books (IBOB). Bryant brings to the ASHK Library Learning Center a combination of skills, experience, and passion to support teaching and learning that engages students in authentic enquiry based learning.
Joanne Jalsevac - Visual Arts Teacher
Joanne Jalsevac was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and has been a teacher for 35 years. Joanne is a graduate from the University of Toronto and has specialist qualifications in Visual Arts and Library Science. Prior to coming to Hong Kong in 2004, Joanne taught at Senator O'Connor College School in Toronto as a Visual Arts Teacher and Department Head and a Teacher Librarian. She also taught Visual Arts in France at the Lycee Canadien en France. Most recently, Joanne was Head of the Library at the Canadian International School of Hong Kong. She has experience with students of all ages. Her interests include reading, drawing and painting. Joanne is married to our School Director, John Jalsevac.
Flora Hui - Chinese Studies Department Head
Flora is originally from GuangZhou, China. She moved with her family to Hong Kong when she was 10 years old. Flora also lived in and attended school in Canada for a few years. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Wales and her teaching degrees at the University of Hong Kong.
Recently Flora has completed the Master of Education (Chinese Language and Literature) from University of Hong Kong.
Before joining ASHK, Flora worked at York International Reception (KG2), Island Christian Academy and Canadian International School of Hong Kong. Flora reports that she “thoroughly enjoy the wonders brought to me by each child who never stop amazing me with their passion and curiosity.” Flora has many hobbies including hiking, yoga, ballet, Chinese painting, piano, guzeng and of course traveling!
Christine Chen - Chinese Studies Teacher
Christine was born and raised in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China. She is a fluent speaker of Mandarin, English and Cantonese. She completed her undergraduate degree at Beihua University and her teaching degree at Hong Kong Institute of Education. Prior to joining ASHK, Christine was a PYP Chinese teacher and a Year 1 Co-Teacher at Zhuhai International School. Outside the classroom, Christine enjoys arts and crafts, reading, decoration and going to the theatre and cinema. She is also a risk taker and wants to explore and see more of the great opportunities available in Hong Kong!
Penelope Hou - Chinese Studies Teacher
Penelope has been an educator for 6 years. Prior to joining ASHK, Penelope was employed at Chinese International School in Hong Kong (CIS) in the Primary Division. She completed her professional internships at two renowned secondary schools in Shenzhen and Xi’an respectively. Penelope obtained both her Master’s Degree and teaching degree from the University of Hong Kong. Born in Xi’an, a city with a time-honored history and culture, Penelope speaks fluent Chinese and English. She loves life, art and literature!
Joanne Mallary- Assistant Principal
Joanne is an experienced educator who has served school communities as a Teacher, Assistant Principal, Assessment Coordinator, University Supervisor, Curriculum Coordinator, Principal and Head of School in the United States, Germany, South Korea, Italy and Ukraine. Born and raised in the United Kingdom and educated in universities in the United States, Joanne has a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems, Masters of Education in Educational Leadership, and an Education Specialist Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Joanne is certified in Elementary Education and Educational Leadership from the state of Florida (USA). As a mother herself, Joanne welcomes and appreciates parental involvement to support and celebrate learning. Joanne understands the unique nuances of different educational systems and the importance of adjusting the instruction to meet the learning needs of all students. Joanne is very excited to join the ASHK family to build upon the amazing first year that has just been completed!
Jennifer Peters- Guidance / Literacy Coach
Jennifer is originally from the state of Missouri in the United States and has been a classroom teacher for 20 years. Jennifer completed her undergraduate degree from Missouri State University and her graduate degrees from Southwest Baptist University and University of Missouri-Kansas City. Prior to moving to Hong Kong, Jennifer taught in Missouri, Colorado, Egypt, and Thailand with experiences in Reception (KG2) through fifth grade. Jennifer has coached volleyball, basketball, and swimming at a variety of levels. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and exploring new places, playing volleyball, hiking, and reading. Jennifer is excited to join the ASHK team and begin a new adventure in Hong Kong.
Michael Mallary- EAL Teacher
Using technology as one of the key tools to engage learners, Michael has taught Math, Science, PSHE, World History, American History, Human Geography and EAL. He has worked in international schools around the world including the United States, South Korea, Italy, and Ukraine. Michael is a proud graduate of the Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. Michael also enjoys working with children outside of the classroom - coaching soccer and rugby, leading boy scout groups, and in after school clubs.When not at school, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife, Joanne, exploring, travelling, and relaxing. Michael enjoys playing soccer, rugby, sailing, hiking, and biking as well as cooking.
Lauren O’Brien- Grade 1A Teacher
Lauren was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri and her education degree from the University of West Florida. She discovered her love for education while teaching ESL in South Korea for 2 years. She most recently returned to St. Louis to teach grade 1 at KIPP Wisdom Academy, an inner city, college preparatory school. From these experiences, she has witnessed the power education can have on all aspects of a community. Lauren loves to travel and be immersed in new cultures and experiences. She is excited to discover new adventures in Hong Kong.
Art Wong- EAL Teacher
Art was raised in Hong Kong and is a graduate of Hong Kong International School. After receiving a bachelor's degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Union University, he spent 10 years teaching ESL in Maryland public schools to students at all levels from Reception (KG2) to 12th grade. He has a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from National University and achieved National Board Certification in the area of English as a New Language. Though he is passionate about teaching, he also enjoys making music, running, and exploring new places with his wife and 3 children. He is excited to join the ASHK staff and return to Hong Kong with his family after many years overseas in the United States.
Ken Chinn- Art Teacher
Ken grew up in Toronto, Canada, and graduated with a diploma in Illustration from Sheridan College and a Bachelor of Graphic Design (Hons) from the University of Huddersfield. Before completing his PGCE at the University of Sunderland to become a certified educator, he worked as an Art and Creative Director in the design industry. For the past 6 years, Ken has worked with different age groups of students at international school settings, and has previously taught IB PYP Visual Arts and IB MYP Design in Hong Kong. In his spare time, Ken enjoys playing basketball, tennis, hiking, travelling and playing with his dog and cat.
Stephanie Lai- Grade 1C Teacher
Stephanie was raised in Vancouver, Canada where she completed her Bachelor of Science at the University of British Columbia and later completed her Bachelor of Education at the University of Toronto. After getting her degree in Education, Stephanie decided to teach in Hong Kong and has been working at Victoria Shanghai Academy for 5 years, teaching students from grades 1 to 4. This year, her goal is to continue with her studies and attain her Masters of Education from the University of Hong Kong. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys wake-boarding and hiking. She's definitely a foodie and loves trying new restaurants around Hong Kong!
Camesha McKenzie- PE Teacher
Camesha grew up in Toronto, Canada and earned a Bachelor of Human Kinetics and Bachelor of Education from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada. As a physical education teacher not only does she impart knowledge, but she also helps her students build fundamental movement skills in a positive, fun and motivating environment. Camesha is in her 5th year of teaching physical education and has taught at the Canadian International School of Beijing and Chadwick International in South Korea. She played basketball for her university and used her determination, discipline, sense of community, competitive nature and love for health and wellness to propel her into the field of education. Camesha loves to play sports and looks forward to exploring the many exciting cultural and travel opportunities afforded by her international experience here in Hong Kong.
Kristine Schill- KG2C Teacher
Kristine was raised in Wisconsin and moved to Hong Kong in 2016 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. She completed her undergraduate degree in School Health Education and later completed her certification in Elementary Education. She spent the last year teaching at a Reception (KG2) in Hong Kong where she had the opportunity to teach enthusiastic 3, 4, and 5 year olds. When Kristine is out of the classroom, she enjoys traveling, hiking, being with friends, and exploring Hong Kong. Kristine is eager to begin her new journey at ASHK!
Eva Qin- Chinese Studies Teacher
Eva was born in Wenzhou and grew up in Shenzhen, China. She completed her master’s degree in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She also studied at Daejeon University in South Korea for one year and can speak fluent Korean. Eva has 5 years of teaching experience and has taught many different grade levels. Before joining ASHK, she was a Chinese teacher and class teacher at Rosaryhill School. In her spare time she enjoys learning new languages, reading and traveling. This year, her goal is to speak Spanish fluently!
Laura Li- Chinese Studies Teacher
Originally from China, Laura received her Bachelor Degree from Beijing Normal University and a Master’s Degree from Hong Kong University (Teaching Chinese as a Second Language). After graduating from HKU, Laura worked at Canadian International School of Hong Kong (CDNIS) and Island Christian Academy. Being with children is where her heart is. She loves watching them grow, learn and play. Laura also enjoys travelling, playing badminton, watching movies and playing different instruments including guitar, Chinese flute, yangqin and hulusi(Chinese instruments).
American School Hong Kong (ASHK) is a non-profit, non-denominational college preparatory school offering a holistic American education taught by North American teachers. The school is operated by Esol Education, a leading education organization with 40 years of experience in establishing and operating K-12 international schools, currently educating 11,000 pupils in nine schools across three continents. ASHK will deliver a rigorous curriculum, focused on developing well-rounded, motivated, and thoughtful global citizens. It will equip students with the academic, social, and entrepreneurial skills required for success in the 21st century. ASHK is incorporated as Universal American School Hong Kong Limited.