i-Immersion attracts the most dedicated and committed team that comes from a wide array of professional disciplines- theatre & dance, child psychology, photography, fitness, etc. All of them have one thing in common- the love for children and languages. We train and certify our teachers in the i-Immersion methods and child development principles.
Most Admired Qualities of i-Immersion Teachers
Why choose i-Immersion teachers as your school’s preferred educators?
i-Immersions teachers encounter situations all the time that could be considered setbacks, but they laugh off mistakes, shrug and go on about the lesson, and even joke about the mess up. Our teachers know they are human and mistakes happen. They don’t take things personally and let problems get them upset.
i-Immersion’s teachers are willing to keep explaining, to wait until a distraction calmed students down, or abandon a lesson entirely if it was clear material needed to be revisited. Our teachers are willing to do what it takes, no matter how long it would be for a child to learn his or her first word in a foreign language.
Our teachers care about your child as an individual and want to help him/her. They are trained to sense when your child needs extra attention and would give it gladly. The most fun part of teaching an i-Immersion class for most of our teachers is the extra flexibility given to discuss subjects outside the lesson plan, knowing that sometimes great concepts can be taught without following the textbook. Our teachers care about children beyond the walls of their classroom.
The best teachers aren’t just interested in teaching languages, but they are passionate about it; they are also passionate about many other things. i-Immersion teachers praise good weather and smile when they take a few minutes to discuss with students last night’s episode of a popular TV show. They have an energy that almost make them glow and that your child would want to emulate as much as possible. They approach tasks with a sense of challenge rather than routine. Simply put, our i-Immersion teachers live a fulfilling life that we want to build within your child’s future community.
The Backbone of i-Immersion
Alice Kuo, Executive Director
Alice began her education career in 2004 as a Program Coordinator and Curriculum Developer for the UC Berkeley Taiwanese Language Program. She has held various leadership positions including mentoring for the San Mateo Youth Foundation, and partnering with the Taiwanese Education Bureau in promoting the Taiwanese language abroad. Alice graduated UC Berkeley with triple majors in Legal Studies, Chinese Studies, and Asian Studies, and she will receive her California Site Supervisor Permit in January 2011. She is an active after school trainer at the CalSAC organization (California School-Age Consortium). Alice enjoys singing and has won several first place awards in the Bay Area! She loves singing to the children in class and is gratified when they praise her angelic voice.
Benjamin Chiu, Board Member
A graduate from University of Illinois, Urbana Champagne, Ben founded the i-Immersion Institute with a vision to provide a comprehensive immersion education for children and their families. With a background in engineering, intellectual property, and finance, Ben enjoys working with entrepreneurs to refine and develop their business ideas. He serves on the Board as the Finance and Business Adviser for i-Immersion. Ben is working on becoming a professional biker who tours the world on his bikes!
Brigette Iarrusso, Education Consultant
Brigette learned Spanish in a natural and immersive environment while spending time with her Puerto Rican grandmother as a child. She perfected her near-native fluency throughout the years she spent living and working in Latin America. Brigette is well on her way to California certification as a Single Subject Spanish teacher and has passed all of her state exams. She has designed programs and curricula for several language companies and schools including Lango, i-Immersion, Serendipity and Berkwood Hedge where she is a part-time language specialist. In addition to working with students of all ages for the past ten years, Brigette has a background in adult education and conflict resolution. She has had the privilege of working with diverse organizations from The United Nations Association to small non-profits in Guatemala and Peru. Brigette strongly believes that communication is the foundation for developing deeper connections between diverse cultures.
Daisy Zhao, Education Coordinator
Daisy is a trilingual speaker of Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. She is from Guangzhou, China, where she received her formal Mandarin instruction training and worked as an afterschool instructor in elementary schools. Daisy has taken classes in Early Childhood Education and Child Development from College of San Mateo in United States. She has over 3 years of experience in teaching Mandarin Chinese, developing curriculum and training other teachers. Daisy believes learning a second language should be fun and natural for children. She encourages students to explore the Chinese language and culture, and to build interest in the Mandarin language through music and games.
Robert Lee, Marketing Assistant
Robert is currently studying marketing at Cal Poly State University, SLO. Also minoring in Economics and Statistics, he is interested in strategic and quantitative marketing. Before moving to the US at age of 15, Robert was educated in Hong Kong, allowing him to be a proud trilingual speaker of Cantonese, Mandarin and English. Robert also enjoys climbing and is an addict to badminton!
Helen Hung, Director of Nihao! Huilin Preschool & Daycare
Helen runs the Nihao! Preschool & Daycare Center and has been a Mandarin teacher in the United States for more than 15 years. She received her university degrees from Taiwan and is currently working on her Master’s in Chinese Alternative Medicine while coordinating the preschool and after school program in San Mateo. Helen is one of our most popular teachers because of her caring, maternal, and hardworking characters. Helen specializes in toddler group teaching and private one-on-one lessons for students of all ages and levels. She loves to teach students who want to travel to Mandarin-speaking countries so that they can put her teaching to practical use!
LeAnna Sharp, Head Teacher
LeAnna Sharp was born in Los Angeles, CA and is El Salvadoran and German American. She learned Spanish from her mother’s family, and received more formal Spanish education at SFSU and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She received her two bachelors degrees in Classical Music, Dance Choreography and a Minor in Multicultural Theatre. Apart from teaching Spanish with i-Immersion for the past three years, LeAnna is a performing artist and teacher. She teaches private voice & piano, dance including Salsa, Merengue, Hip Hop and Musical Theatre, acting improvisation, and Zumba. LeAnna highly values self-expression, creativity and education that embraces respect for others, their language and cultures.
Miuson Chi, Program Manager
A native of Hong Kong, Miuson received his BA degree in Media Studies with a focus on Marketing from University of California at Berkeley. Living in two drastically different cultures has given him a fairly good understanding of both the Chinese and American societies. He has always been interested in bi-lingual and bi-cultural education and has taught Chinese to students in the UC Berkeley Cantonese Language Program. He has held various leadership positions including President of the Hong Kong Student Association, Senior Designer for the Daily California, and Public Relations of East Asian Union. He loves marketing and promoting i-Immersion Language Program because the service helps children to enrich their learning experience and become more competitive. Actually, he doesn’t consider this a job, he has way too much fun. When he isn’t wokring, you can find Miuson experimenting with his internet marketing on Facebook and Tumblr, snowboarding in Lake Tahoe and screenwriting for stage performances.
Tessa Kwan, Curriculum Specialist
Tessa is a professional educator and brings a wealth of teaching experiences and administrative skills to the table. As Principal Administrator of Challenge School, she had responsibilities for day to day operations of the Belmont campus. During her tenure, she dealt with marketing, admissions, account receivables and training. She saw to the opening of Belmont Campus and brought the enrollment to a 100% within 3 months. She guided her teachers, who were trained in China, to be effective teachers. She held events and presentations for parents.
Tessa holds a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from the Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Australia and has certifications in Montessori Preschool/Kindergarten (3–6) Education as well as in teaching English as a second language. She is a trained teacher from the Singapore public school system which is recognized internationally for high standards and innovative teaching methods. She communicates effectively in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.