Academy

Ashmita Gupta

Head of Foundation Academy

Ashmita has an unparalleled passion for education. The opportunity to teach and nurture young minds drives her work. She has a wide array of experience in building impactful programs with a child's best interests at heart.As Deputy Head of Foundation Academy, she works with a talented team to create engaging curriculum using creativity as a the platform to build confidence and skills. Her warm and approachable smile is why everyone seeks her opinion and count on her for great advice. When not working you will most likely find her playing the guitar or performing theatre.

Ashmita has an unparalleled passion for education. The opportunity to teach and nurture young minds drives her work. She has a wide array of experience in building impactful programs with a child's best interests at heart.As Deputy Head of Foundation Academy, she works with a talented team to create engaging curriculum using creativity as a the platform to build confidence and skills. Her warm and approachable smile is why everyone seeks her opinion and count on her for great advice. When not working you will most likely find her playing the guitar or performing theatre.

Phan Hoang

Senior Education Counselor

Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Phan joined the US military shortly after high school to help pay for college. He later attended the University of California, Berkeley majoring in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations. After graduating and finishing his military service, he received his teaching certificate in Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and began teaching across the world. His first 2 years of teaching was in Honduras, where he developed an after-school SAT course and also helped get 13 students into top 50 US Universities with full scholarships. Next, he spent a year lecturing and course development at a University in Shanghai where he had over 400 students. After that, he took a teaching and consulting position in an international high school in Shenzhen, where he helped all 27 of his students get into top 100 US Universities, such as Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern, Amherst College, Case Western Reserve, and even his alma mater UC Berkeley. Phan’s passion for education continues to help his students’ unlock their full potential, and hopes he may help them reach their dreams.

Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Phan joined the US military shortly after high school to help pay for college. He later attended the University of California, Berkeley majoring in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations. After graduating and finishing his military service, he received his teaching certificate in Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and began teaching across the world. His first 2 years of teaching was in Honduras, where he developed an after-school SAT course and also helped get 13 students into top 50 US Universities with full scholarships. Next, he spent a year lecturing and course development at a University in Shanghai where he had over 400 students. After that, he took a teaching and consulting position in an international high school in Shenzhen, where he helped all 27 of his students get into top 100 US Universities, such as Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern, Amherst College, Case Western Reserve, and even his alma mater UC Berkeley. Phan’s passion for education continues to help his students’ unlock their full potential, and hopes he may help them reach their dreams.

Gerardo Zepeda

Education Counselor

After graduating from high school, Gerardo attended Cornell University, where he studied Biology, Natural Resources, and Environmental Studies. While at Cornell, he strengthened his passion for outreach when he became a team leader and coordinator for service learning projects in the U.S. and abroad.

Soon enough, Gerardo obtained his Master’s degree from Columbia University. He studied Sustainability Management with an emphasis in environmental and social sciences, and economics. During and after Columbia University, thanks to his multidisciplinary academic and professional background, Gerardo became a mentor and education consultant for high school and college students in the U.S. and in China.

After 8+ years in education, consulting, and outreach projects, Gerardo is still passionate about empowering the young and promising generations of high school students that he still identifies with. He encourages them to aim ever upward and always forward. He values cultural diversity, and enjoys constantly learning something new while blogging about leadership, psychology, and education.

After graduating from high school, Gerardo attended Cornell University, where he studied Biology, Natural Resources, and Environmental Studies. While at Cornell, he strengthened his passion for outreach when he became a team leader and coordinator for service learning projects in the U.S. and abroad.

Soon enough, Gerardo obtained his Master’s degree from Columbia University. He studied Sustainability Management with an emphasis in environmental and social sciences, and economics. During and after Columbia University, thanks to his multidisciplinary academic and professional background, Gerardo became a mentor and education consultant for high school and college students in the U.S. and in China.

After 8+ years in education, consulting, and outreach projects, Gerardo is still passionate about empowering the young and promising generations of high school students that he still identifies with. He encourages them to aim ever upward and always forward. He values cultural diversity, and enjoys constantly learning something new while blogging about leadership, psychology, and education.

Karen Chau

Academic Programs Assistant

Karen graduated from University of South Australia. She studied Applied Finance as her major and enrolled as a Vice President in the International Student Association. She used to be a part time tutor when she was studying in Hong Kong. She loves interacting with kids and discovering their unique potential. She has worked as Customer Relationship Manager Assistant in the banking industry for two years after graduating. Karen enjoys the way of communication which helps to break boundaries between people. She is an outgoing person who likes to explore new things. When she isn’t working, she likes to play the piano and listen to music. She can’t live without coffee.

Karen graduated from University of South Australia. She studied Applied Finance as her major and enrolled as a Vice President in the International Student Association. She used to be a part time tutor when she was studying in Hong Kong. She loves interacting with kids and discovering their unique potential. She has worked as Customer Relationship Manager Assistant in the banking industry for two years after graduating. Karen enjoys the way of communication which helps to break boundaries between people. She is an outgoing person who likes to explore new things. When she isn’t working, she likes to play the piano and listen to music. She can’t live without coffee.

Namrata Bindra

Academic Programs Executive and Creative Arts Teacher

Namrata has lived in India, London, Mexico City, and the US, but considers Hong Kong her home. Graduating from Trinity College in Connecticut, US with a double major in Psychology and Theatre & Dance, Namrata worked as a Drug Addiction Counselor in New York City, before returning to the Performing Arts at New York’s Michael Howard Studios where she trained in Theatre, Film, and TV.

Namrata has lived in India, London, Mexico City, and the US, but considers Hong Kong her home. Graduating from Trinity College in Connecticut, US with a double major in Psychology and Theatre & Dance, Namrata worked as a Drug Addiction Counselor in New York City, before returning to the Performing Arts at New York’s Michael Howard Studios where she trained in Theatre, Film, and TV.

Nigel Hoffman

Education Counselor

Nigel Hoffman was born and raised in Northern California, where he spent most of his youth playing soccer, as well as training in the martial arts. He studied philosophy at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he developed a passion for international relations and diplomacy. After graduation, he spent some time as a personal trainer, before deciding to get his TEFL certification from the University of Toronto. He has spent the last three years as an English teacher in Hong Kong, where he has thoroughly enjoyed interacting with a large variety of cultures and backgrounds. Nigel has played the guitar since he was five years old, and has studied styles ranging from classical and flamenco, to jazz and heavy metal. In his free time, Nigel trains in olympic weightlifting, and enjoys reading good books and going to the cinema.

Nigel Hoffman was born and raised in Northern California, where he spent most of his youth playing soccer, as well as training in the martial arts. He studied philosophy at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he developed a passion for international relations and diplomacy. After graduation, he spent some time as a personal trainer, before deciding to get his TEFL certification from the University of Toronto. He has spent the last three years as an English teacher in Hong Kong, where he has thoroughly enjoyed interacting with a large variety of cultures and backgrounds. Nigel has played the guitar since he was five years old, and has studied styles ranging from classical and flamenco, to jazz and heavy metal. In his free time, Nigel trains in olympic weightlifting, and enjoys reading good books and going to the cinema.

Olivia Zhou

Education Counselor

Olivia Zhou was born in Shanghai and moved to Vancouver at the age of seven. Her Bachelor of Arts was finished in 2014 at Simon Fraser University. She completed a major in Linguistics, a minor in Education (Curriculum and Instruction), and certificates in both Teaching ESL and Speech Science. She has had experience teaching and tutoring English in Canada, China, and South Korea. She enjoys helping and encouraging students of all ages by using English as a bridge to close the gap between different cultures. She currently works in Shanghai, sharing her international experience with her students. She is an avid traveler and an active blogger of architecture and gastronomy.

Olivia Zhou was born in Shanghai and moved to Vancouver at the age of seven. Her Bachelor of Arts was finished in 2014 at Simon Fraser University. She completed a major in Linguistics, a minor in Education (Curriculum and Instruction), and certificates in both Teaching ESL and Speech Science. She has had experience teaching and tutoring English in Canada, China, and South Korea. She enjoys helping and encouraging students of all ages by using English as a bridge to close the gap between different cultures. She currently works in Shanghai, sharing her international experience with her students. She is an avid traveler and an active blogger of architecture and gastronomy.

Sean Huang

Education Counselor

Sean Huang is a full-time New Yorker and a part-time Texan. She attended Smith College for her B.A. in Psychology and Education, and obtained her M.S. in Counseling at the Johns Hopkins University. Sean is a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC, a professional certification from the National Board of Certified Counselors) and has provided clinical counseling services at schools in Baltimore City. These counseling interventions include working with students with learning disabilities and social/behavioral difficulties. Passionate about higher education, Sean hopes to instill the spirit of lifelong learning in each of her students. In her spare time, Sean enjoys reading the DSM-5, hiking, swimming, learning about the latest technology, and wandering around town.

Sean Huang is a full-time New Yorker and a part-time Texan. She attended Smith College for her B.A. in Psychology and Education, and obtained her M.S. in Counseling at the Johns Hopkins University. Sean is a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC, a professional certification from the National Board of Certified Counselors) and has provided clinical counseling services at schools in Baltimore City. These counseling interventions include working with students with learning disabilities and social/behavioral difficulties. Passionate about higher education, Sean hopes to instill the spirit of lifelong learning in each of her students. In her spare time, Sean enjoys reading the DSM-5, hiking, swimming, learning about the latest technology, and wandering around town.

Kevin Ma

Education Counselor

Born and raised in New York, Kevin has a very good understanding of US boarding school education having attended Milton Academy. Later on, he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree at Bowdoin College, focusing on Economics and Asian Studies while studying Education on the side.

While at Milton, Kevin embraced the boarding community as well as the greater Milton family. He took full advantage of what the school had to offer and participated in various activities such as dormitory leadership, a cappella, lacrosse, acting, and multicultural student clubs. He was also a seasoned tour guide. His Milton career culminated in receiving the prestigious Head of School award for his commitment to serving the community. At Bowdoin, Kevin continued to build upon what he took away from Milton and pursued his interests on campus making sure he is always creating opportunities for himself and others. More recently, he has worked as a café barista, a tutor, and a senior interviewer with the Bowdoin College Admissions Office.

Kevin is passionate about mentoring students and peers. More importantly, for him, it is all about forming close relationships and getting to know people– personally. Empower people to do more than they think they can. Based in Shanghai, he hopes with his background to support families with trusted guidance and first-hand experience.

Born and raised in New York, Kevin has a very good understanding of US boarding school education having attended Milton Academy. Later on, he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree at Bowdoin College, focusing on Economics and Asian Studies while studying Education on the side.

While at Milton, Kevin embraced the boarding community as well as the greater Milton family. He took full advantage of what the school had to offer and participated in various activities such as dormitory leadership, a cappella, lacrosse, acting, and multicultural student clubs. He was also a seasoned tour guide. His Milton career culminated in receiving the prestigious Head of School award for his commitment to serving the community. At Bowdoin, Kevin continued to build upon what he took away from Milton and pursued his interests on campus making sure he is always creating opportunities for himself and others. More recently, he has worked as a café barista, a tutor, and a senior interviewer with the Bowdoin College Admissions Office.

Kevin is passionate about mentoring students and peers. More importantly, for him, it is all about forming close relationships and getting to know people– personally. Empower people to do more than they think they can. Based in Shanghai, he hopes with his background to support families with trusted guidance and first-hand experience.

Oscar Vela

Education Counselor

Oscar was born in New York City and raised in both Miami and Orlando, FL. He attended undergrad at Florida International University where he dual majored in International Relations and Geography with a minor in French. During his time at FIU he also worked as a Peer Educator and studied abroad in France. Later, he completed his Master of Management Studies at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and worked in business development with Oracle at their headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area.

After studying abroad in China with Duke University, Oscar developed a deep appreciation for Chinese culture and wished to return in a professional capacity. Now, he looks forward to applying his diverse undergraduate and graduate school experience to counseling Chinese students on the process of studying abroad.

In his spare time, Oscar enjoys reading car magazines, baking overly complicated cakes, watching as many movies as possible, as well as traveling and meeting diverse new people.

Oscar was born in New York City and raised in both Miami and Orlando, FL. He attended undergrad at Florida International University where he dual majored in International Relations and Geography with a minor in French. During his time at FIU he also worked as a Peer Educator and studied abroad in France. Later, he completed his Master of Management Studies at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and worked in business development with Oracle at their headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area.

After studying abroad in China with Duke University, Oscar developed a deep appreciation for Chinese culture and wished to return in a professional capacity. Now, he looks forward to applying his diverse undergraduate and graduate school experience to counseling Chinese students on the process of studying abroad.

In his spare time, Oscar enjoys reading car magazines, baking overly complicated cakes, watching as many movies as possible, as well as traveling and meeting diverse new people.

Maggie Schierling

Education Counselor

Maggie grew up in the United States, in Florida, and then Virginia, where she discovered her passion for working with kids through her love of soccer and basketball. She attended university at Virginia Tech, where she majored in chemistry. Shortly after graduating, she moved to Beijing and has since made the city her home. Maggie has worked as an English teacher at schools throughout Beijing, as well as privately tutoring both children and adults. She finds it most rewarding to help her students find the pride and courage they need to follow their dreams. Maggie has an active lifestyle and enjoys sports, traveling, and all kinds of aquatics.

Maggie grew up in the United States, in Florida, and then Virginia, where she discovered her passion for working with kids through her love of soccer and basketball. She attended university at Virginia Tech, where she majored in chemistry. Shortly after graduating, she moved to Beijing and has since made the city her home. Maggie has worked as an English teacher at schools throughout Beijing, as well as privately tutoring both children and adults. She finds it most rewarding to help her students find the pride and courage they need to follow their dreams. Maggie has an active lifestyle and enjoys sports, traveling, and all kinds of aquatics.

Robert Maclaren

Education Counselor

Robert was born in the south east of England, close to London, and lived there until attending the University of Central Lancashire in the north of England where he studied English Literature.

He has been teaching English in Shenzhen, especially in the areas of English speaking and writing and thus has a good understanding of Asian students’ challenges in learning English. He is an experienced writer and has extensive experience in developing English writing curriculum for Chinese students. He hopes to put his instinct for dissecting and analyzing language to good use in helping the students.

Robert enjoys reading poetry and history books. Searching for the world’s best Mexican and Indian food. Coffee and sleeping. Music, and is a big lover of film. However, he is happiest playing and watching football.

Robert was born in the south east of England, close to London, and lived there until attending the University of Central Lancashire in the north of England where he studied English Literature.

He has been teaching English in Shenzhen, especially in the areas of English speaking and writing and thus has a good understanding of Asian students’ challenges in learning English. He is an experienced writer and has extensive experience in developing English writing curriculum for Chinese students. He hopes to put his instinct for dissecting and analyzing language to good use in helping the students.

Robert enjoys reading poetry and history books. Searching for the world’s best Mexican and Indian food. Coffee and sleeping. Music, and is a big lover of film. However, he is happiest playing and watching football.