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James Kelley

AP Biology

M.Ed., Milligan College
B.S., East Tennessee State University

James "Kendall" Kelley has been teaching since 2013. Kendall started his teaching career in Tennessee at Morristown-Hamblen High School East where he taught Biology and AP Psychology and was the boys and girls soccer coach. Prior to coming to NCPA, he taught AP Biology, Biology, AP Environmental Science, and Earth Science at Big Bridge Academy in Wuxi, China. Kendall is a Tennessee native who briefly lived in Atlanta before moving overseas.


Liza Fagan

AP Chemistry

M.A.T., American University
B.A., Scripps College

Liza Fagan began teaching chemistry in 2006. A native of Massachusetts, Liza graduated from Scripps College in California in 2007 with a B.A. in Chemistry and earned a Masters in the Art of Teaching from American University in 2009. She joined Teach for America after college and was placed in Washington, DC, where she has taught for the past eleven years. Liza taught Chemistry 1, Chemistry Honors, and Advanced Placement Chemistry. She was a finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2015.


Patricia Merewether

AP Physics

M.A., B.S., University of New Mexico

Trish Merewether has taught science and math since 2011. Trish started her career teaching Biology, Archaeology and Math at a small charter school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For the past three years, Trish has taught Chemistry, Physics, AP Physics, and Newcomer Science, a class specific to refugees and new-to-USA students, at Denver South High School in Denver, Colorado. Trish has been a sponsor for math, science, and engineering clubs since she began in the profession.

Nina Gross

Integrated Science

M.A., Lewis & Clark College
B.A., the University of Vermont

Nina Gross has been teaching science for the past three years in Vancouver, Washington. She has taught Earth Science, Biology, Integrated Science, and Environmental Science. Nina has been involved in extracurricular activities including MESA (math, engineering, science, and achievement) which involved women and minorities in the STEM fields, and also led chess club. This year, she is coaching middle school soccer.
Her husband, Collin Peterson-vanKanegan, is a teacher in the English department at NCPA.

Sandra Lanphear


M.S., Lesley University
B.S., Concordia University

Sandra Lanphear is looking forward to using her veteran teaching skills in the great country of China. Her 20 years of teaching has been split between High School and Middle School where she has taught Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Environmental Science and Horticulture. Her “English as a Second Language” skills have been built over the last five years with classes and practice. She has tutored several subjects and use a variety of approaches to insure understating. At NCPA, she teaches Chemistry and supervises Golf.

Aaron Foster

Biology, AP Environmental Science

M.Ed., the University of Nebraska at Kearney
B.S., Culver-Stockton College

Aaron Foster has been teaching science for the past four years, all of which has been overseas. For the past three years he was in Taichung, Taiwan where he taught AP Environmental Science and Biology at Ivy Collegiate Academy. Aaron was also involved in extracurricular activities, coaching Track & Field as well as Triathlon.
His wife is the 9th grade EAL specialist and English teacher, Katie Foster.


Dr. Dana Van Tilborg

AP Human Geography, Model United Nations

Ph.D., M.A., University of New Mexico
B.A., University of Florida

Dana Van Tilborg has taught high school Social Studies including Economics, Government, Human Geography, Model United Nations, US History, and World History since 2005. She has taught both regular and AP classes. Prior to coming to NCPA, Dana taught in New Mexico and Colorado and internationally at the American School Foundation of Guadalajara, Mexico and in Bogota, Colombia. She has worked with Model United Nations and Debate Clubs and hopes to share her love of learning, current events, history, discussion and debate with NCPA students and community.


Mayra Palacios

Grade 9,10 Social Studies

M.A., Columbia University
B.A., University of California, Berkeley

Mayra began teaching in 2013. She is originally from Los Angeles, California, but has lived in New York City for the past six years. Mayra began her career at Unity Preparatory Charter School of Brooklyn, New York where she taught 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grade American history over the course of five years. Prior to coming to NCPA, she taught 9th grade American history, including a 10th grade Global Regents prep course; she also served as her school's 6-10th History Department Chair. In this role, she created history curriculum for grades 6-9 and coached teachers on lesson planning. Additionally, Palacios has leadership experience as a grade level leader and culture committee chair. She has facilitated various student clubs such as Boxing, Yearbook, and Superhero: A Community Service Initiative.

Gregory Elsen

Ancient Civilizations

B.A., History, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Greg Elsen taught Social Studies and English as a Second Language in the United States for six years before coming to China in 2017 with his wife, Katrina. He taught geography and American history for two years in middle school and American history and Government for four years at the high school level. Prior to coming to China, he completed his Certificate in International Education from Bethel University. During his time in university, he also studied and taught internationally at Discovery School in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
His wife, Katrina Elsen is currently teaching Drama in NCPA.

David Stanciu

Global Issues

M.A., University of Idaho
B.A., Boise State University

David Stanciu began his teaching career in the jungles of Ecuador where he taught general English in a small village nestled at the feet of the Andes Mountains. He went on to teach at the University of Idaho, a Canadian international high school in China, and now at NCPA. In his 5 years of teaching, David has taught English for Academic Purposes, Academic Writing, EFL/ESL/EAL, North American History/Government, Modern Problems, and Global Issues. Outside of the classroom, David is a strong proponent of student mentoring and engagement via academic clubs and competitive sports.
David Stanciu’s wife, Ann Beebe, is an EAL Specialist at NCPA.

Luke Harris

AP Economics, Global Issues

M.Ed., South Dakota State University
B.S., Political Science, Ball State University

Luke Harris is in his 9th year of teaching. He has taught in Texas, Hawai'i, Xi'an, and Malaysia. He has taught social studies, mathematics, and English courses to students ranging from grade 6 to grade 12. He has experience teaching AP Economics, AP World History, and AP English Composition. He recently earned his secondary principal licensure from the State of South Dakota.

Nathaniel Cooper

AP Economics

M.S., B.Ed., the University of Wyoming

Nathaniel Cooper has been teaching Social Studies for the past five years at the high school and collegiate level. In Arizona and Wyoming, he taught Comparative Government, American Government, Economics, and Political Science courses. He was a coach for multiple sports including Track and Field, Cross Country and Wrestling.


Jacob Wines

English Language Arts/Music Language Specialization

M.A., University of Maryland Baltimore County
B.A., St. Mary's College of Maryland

Jacob Wines first began teaching in 2014 when he traveled to Peru to teach English as a second language. After another teaching assignment in Colombia, he began attending the University of Maryland Baltimore County to earn his Master's degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. While completing his graduate courses, Jake taught English to international students in UMBC's English Language Institute. After graduating in 2017, Jake became certified to teach in the United States public schools, where he accepted a position as an elementary school ESL teacher in his home state of Maryland. Jacob is extremely excited to join the EAL team at NCPA and to continue his professional career in China.


Monica Kerr

English Language Arts/Social Studies Language Specialization

M.Ed., B.A., Mount Saint Vincent University
B.S., University of Maine - Fort Kent

Monica began her teaching career at Victoria Educational Organisation in Hong Kong where she taught ESL kindergarten classes. After her experience in Hong Kong, she decided to obtain her CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) and a teaching qualification. Monica then taught at Wagmatcookewey School, a First Nations school in Nova Scotia, Canada. In 2011, she moved to Jilin City, China to work at Jilin No. 1 High School in its Sino-Canadian Program. During her seven years there, she taught 10th -12th grade English, Drama, Canadian History, Global Geography, and Language Support. She formed a yoga club at her previous school to help students de-stress. Monica is a Nova Scotia native.


William Arnold

Math/Technical Language Specialization

M.Ed., University of New England
B.A., University of Newcastle

Will Arnold is an Australian teacher of EAL in the international school context. Originally trained as a German teacher, he taught German at high school and university in Australia. Will taught English in Germany, and Turkey before moving to China and then Malaysia in 2012. In each of these countries he has embarked on a study of the local language, with Cantonese rivaling Turkish and Hungarian for difficulty. Will’s professional interests include translanguaging, qualitative data, co-teaching, and bilingualism.

Ann Beebe

Science Language Specialization

M.A., University of Idaho
B.A., Boise State University

Ann Beebe has just begun her fifth year of teaching. She started her teaching career at the British School of Language in Guayaquil, Ecuador where she taught EFL to students of varying ages and proficiency levels. Her courses ranged from Beginner English to Advanced Exam Preparation. After spending a year in Ecuador, Ann returned to the United States where she piloted a program for ESL specific sections of Freshman Composition at the University of Idaho. Ann spent two years at the University of Idaho before moving to Qingdao, China where she taught middle school ESL at a Canadian international school before coming to NCPA. Ann is originally from Boise, Idaho. She loves teaching language, reading, travelling, and spoiling her Boston Terrier, Stanford.
Ann Beebe’s spouse, David Stanciu, teaches in NCPA’s social studies department.

Jane Thomas

Math/Technical Language Specialization

M.A., Sheffield Hallam University
B.A., Oxford Brookes University

Jane Thomas is an EAL specialist. Jane started her educational career in language schools in Europe –working in both Portugal and Greece where she spent three years. She then spent ten years as one of a team of ESL coordinators managing and teaching academic English in a large college in Bristol in the UK. Prior to joining NCPA, Jane taught ESL and Vocational English in another large college, taught short university courses in Academic and Maritime English at MARJOM university and most recently spent five years as a mainstream middle and high school English teacher in a bilingual school in Brunei. Last year, Jane completed her MA TESOL during which she researched strategies for teaching inference in ESL reading classes and set up an extensive reading project linked to making improvements in ESL writing. Jane enjoys yoga, hiking, reading, and travel.

Katherine Foster

Arts/Music Languages Specialization

B.S., University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point

Katherine Foster has been teaching English and English as an Additional Language for the past four years. She began her overseas teaching career at Ivy Collegiate Academy in Taichung, Taiwan where she taught 8th through 10th grade English Language Arts and Literature classes. She also spent a year co-teaching with the Chemistry and History teacher providing EAL assistance. She is a licensed English teacher as well as a licensed English as a Second Language teacher. She is the EAL Specialist for English grades 7-9, Music grades 7-8, and Band grade 9.

Lionel Meng

Math/Technical Language Specialization

M.A., the School for International Training (SIT) Graduate Institute
B.A., Northwestern University

Lionel Meng was an assistant language teacher at the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program in Yawatahama City, Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku, Japan. In this capacity he collaborated with colleagues to design, implement and lead a yearlong English immersion syllabus for elementary school students. Lionel Meng's overseas experience began as a primary school student in Singapore.

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