Elementary School Faculty


René MacQuillin

Elementary and ECC Principal 

Highest Degree B.Ed (Hons)
Years (teaching experience) 28 years

I am looking forward to my 4th year in Yangon and at Yangon Academy. I have been in Education in South Africa for 2 8 years of which I have been Principal of two schools for the last 1 1 years before relocating to Myanmar with my husband. I hold a teaching qualification, majoring in teaching subjects Engineering raphics Design, Art and Geography,  as well as a Further Diploma in Education in Computer Science. I have an Advance Certificate in Principalship and also holds an honours degree, B.Ed (Hons), in Educational Management. I am happy to again be part of the faculty of Yangon Academy and is looking forward to a productive year  interacting with our staff, students and parents. I am  passionate about education and love witnessing the growth of our students as they progress through the grades.                                                  


Jeff Brickus 

Elementary Assistant Principal

Highest Degree M.A. Educational Leadership
Years (teaching experience) 13

It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that I take the helm as the new elementary school assistant principal of Yangon Academy International School! I bring with me 13 years of experience from U.S.A., China, and Egypt, both as a teacher and an assistant principal. My experience as a teacher and assistant principal has fully prepared me for this most wonderful opportunity! And as a parent of two YAIS students, I know firsthand how important a rigorous and quality education is for all students.YAIS is a school that has many things to be proud of. I thank you in advance for welcoming me as a part of this great community and look forward to a great 20192020 school year!

Priyanka Sharma 

Kindergarten Teacher

Highest Degree Post Graduate -Human resource management Diploma – Early childhood education
Years (teaching experience) 8

I have an overall teaching experience of about 8 years and have taught different age groups in pre-school and the elementary environment. My expertise lies in multiple teaching methodologies focused on facilitating interesting & effective learning like problem solving, inductive -deductive, roleplay etc. In past, I have demonstrated quick learning abilities and have leveraged effective tools sets for teaching variety of age groups. I have been fortunate to work with children with     special needs at Shiv Nadar School in India. I am passionate about understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder and have attended multiple seminars and workshops. It has made me aware of several ways to educate children with special needs and I intend I’d like to put my knowledge to use, if given a chance. I was born and raised in New Delhi, capital of India and currently living in Yangon with two daughters and my husband. I love listening to music and reading scriptures in my free time. This is my fifth year of teaching in Myanmar and have thoroughly enjoyed my tenure at Yangon International School. I look forward to creating an everlasting impact in the lives of students.      


Joni Barker

Kindergarten Teacher 

Highest Degree M.Ed.
Years (teaching experience) 39

 I am easing into full retirement after teaching America’s children for 38 years in the US, Japan, South Korea, and Germany. Throughout my career I have been heavily influenced by the work of Maria Montessori I believe that children learn by doing. In addition to a Montessori teaching credential, I have an M.Ed. in Reading Education and a B.S. in Early Childhood Education. I am so excited to meet my newest students… With high hopes for a wonderful kindergarten year!             


Jonah Mari Vanilla Villafuerte 

1st Grade Teacher

Highest Degree Bachelor of Secondary Education, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Arts in Education      
Years (teaching experience)

Hi! My students called me Teacher Vanilla. I graduated Bachelor of    Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in Biological Science. I also earned 18 units in Master of Arts in Education Major in Educational Administration. I am a Licensed Professional Teacher (LPT) under the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) in the Philippines.  As an educator with a noble profession in the field of education, I have been teaching Kindergarten, Elementary and High School in Private and International Schools in the Philippines and Myanmar for 8 years.     Teaching has always been my passion, as it reveals my inner desire to develop students’ cognitive, sensory and affective skills in teaching and learning processes. My skills in painting & drawing and my talent in dancing and teaching students with varied and creative academic activitiesake for exemplary models when. With my educational qualifications and teaching experiences  mentioned, I believe that I can impart my professional teaching    skills efficiently and effectively to my students so that they may achieve their level of competencies in various academic areas.   


Victoria Winstock

1st Grade Teacher 

Highest Degree BA (Hons) Post Graduate Certificate of    Education Foundation Phase and early childhood Development
Years (teaching experience) 15

My name is Ms .  Victoria and I am from the U.K. I was born in Cardiff, Wales and grew up in the beautiful county of Wiltshire, England. I graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a BA Honours in Business. After working within the education and training sector in the U.K for a few years, I soon realized my true vocation which was to teach overseas. Fifteen years later, I am very happy to say that I still      have the most rewarding job in the world! I feel very fortunate to have lived and worked in quite a few countries over the last decade and a half. I started my journey in South Korea, before spending 11 wonderful years in Taipei, Taiwan. More recently, I have taught in Mallorca, Spain and Bahrain. I have always taught Kindergarten to Grade 2, spending about 5 years in each grade level. I have two Post Graduate degrees in Education, one in Foundation Phase and Early Childhood Development and one in International Education. I am currently studying for my Masters in Education. My lovely family are also quite international, with my parents living in Spain, my younger brother in Australia and my eldest brother back home in England. I have shared my travelling ways for the last 9 years with my little cat Nala. I love to explore and meet new people! As a teacher, I believe that learning occurs fully when children are active in the learning process, and when they are intrinsically motivated. For me, learning takes place best when it is connected to what is genuinely a component of the world around the student.  Every child is unique, and therefore will learn and grow in his or her own way. I aim to create a learning space that is autonomous, and where the learners feel that they have a role in their own education. I believe that to be a good teacher, you must aim to bring an open mind, a positive attitude, and achievable learning goals to the classroom every day. I encourage the children in my classroom to think critically, collaboratively and creatively. I look forward to a wonderful year ahead at Yangon Academy.


Dhorie Peraz

2nd Grade Teacher

Highest Degree Bachelor of Elementary Education
Years (teaching experience) 17

My name is Dhorie Peraz, and I graduated in Elementary Education, majoring in English. Since leaving the Philippines, I have gained fifteen years teaching experience at a number of different primary levels in  both Thailand and here in Myanmar. My first encounter with this beautiful country, which I must note was rather different back then (a lot less honking cars congesting             the roads), was at YIEC (now ISM), teaching first graders. I joined Yangon Academy back in 2008, and have witnessed many positive changes. I am a keen traveller, who enjoys meeting different people and experiencing their culture. As a life-long learner, I believe that the best education comes from experience. One of my more recent and memorable journeys took me to the rooftop of the world,Tibet,  where faith surpassed my experiences. Helping to develop the next generation is truly rewarding. As a teacher, I encourage my students to be resourceful and to question freely, that way creating an environment where children desire knowledge.                     


Aarthi Dawson

 2nd Grade Teacher

Highest Degree Bachelor of Ed, Bachelor of  Science, MA in    Psychology
Years (teaching experience) 19

My name is Aarthi Dawson. As I am stepping into my 19th teaching year I’m really excited to meet my students and their families. I’m sure it’s going to be an exciting year of being creative, innovative and exploring new things and have some great learning experiences. I have been an international educator for the last 13 years.Teaching and living in a different culture and country than your  own is a very rich and rewarding experience. I have taught in the UK, India and Vietnam and travelled to many other places which has made me a positive global citizen.     I have a Masters in Psychology and a Bachelors in General Education. I’m a passionate learner so I enjoy studying and have   completed my Certification in Educational Technology. SUNY, US. I am certified practitioner in the British Dyslexia Association. Surrey, UK. I also hold a Certificate in English Language Teaching.    University of Cambridge, ESOL Examinations Center, UK and certified in teaching ESL students in the mainstream classrooms. Govt. of South Australia, Post graduate Certificate in Inclusive Special Education.    In my personal life I’m a mother of two beautiful children. In my spare time I listen to music and read books. I’m looking forward to this new school year.


Tim Castle

3rd Grade Teacher

Highest Degree Bachelor of Arts in International Relations,     Bachelor of Education — University of Windsor
Years (teaching experience) 18

I am a teacher from Canada. I received both of my Bachelor’s degrees a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a Bachelor of Education – from the University of Windsor. In addition, I hold a Certificate in Second Language Teaching from the University of Western Ontario. I began my first full-time teaching position in China in 1997, and I have been teaching for much of the time since then. Altogether, I have been teaching for eighteen years, most of which has been at the early primary level. A large part of my teaching career has           been spent outside my home country and includes ten years in Myanmar. I am especially excited to be teaching third grade at Yangon Academy for my 6th year.


Mindi Greenburg

3rd Grade Teacher 

Highest Degree B.S.ED
Years (teaching experience) 19

Hi, I’m Mindi Greenberg, and I spent most of my life living and working in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaUSA where I graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education (K-6). While in the States, I taught Kindergarten, Pre-School and 3-6 year old children with special needs at an Early Intervention Center. I began my international teaching career in 2006 in Bogota, Colombia where I taught Kindergarten for three years. It was in Bogota where I learned how may     international schools there were around the world, and I decided to do some exploring while doing what I love, teaching. I then spent six years in Dubai where I taught    Kindergarten for three years, Grade 4 for one year and K-2 ELL (English Language Learners) for two years. After saying  good-bye to the friends I made in Dubai, I spent one year  in Dhaka, Bangladesh teaching Kindergarten and from there    I moved to Tirana, Albania for two years where I taught  Grade Five and indergarten. This is my second year living  in Yangon and working at the Yangon Academy  International School. Last year I taught Grade One and am looking forward to teaching Grade Three this year. In my free time I enjoy the beach, swimming laps, traveling and spending time with friends and family. I love to laugh,     have fun and of course , I love to travel! I can’t wait to  explore Yangon and the beaches and temples in Myanmar. I also hope to try new things in the upcoming years while in Yangon like yoga which is something I have wanted to do for a long time!

Leigh Brelsford 

4th Grade Teacher

Highest Degree Post Graduate Diploma -Education     
Years (teaching experience) 12

My name is Leigh Brelsford. I am from the United States. My hometown of Austin is in the great state of Texas where “Howdy” means “Hello”. And, in case you are wondering, I do know how to ride a horse and have owned three of them in my lifetime. After graduating from Texas A&M University, I spent 17 years working in client services/tech support in the financial services industry. Looking for    something new, I packed my bags for South Korea to work in corporate training.  While working in Suwon, I was recruited to work in the public schools as an ESL teacher for the city of Asian.  It was there that I discovered how much I enjoyed working with elementary school students and decided to become an elementary school teacher. Since training as an elementary school teacher, I     have developed a passion for literacy and language arts as success in literacy -no matter the language is the foundation for an education. There is nothing  quite like seeing students make progress in their  reading skills and developing a love of books. Cycling, travel, music and reading are what I truly enjoy. I am looking forward to a great year in  fourth grade at Yangon Academy.

Jacquie Bean 

4th Grade Teacher

Highest Degree Master Degree in Elementary Education
Years (teaching experience) 31

My name is Jacquie Bean.  I am 57 years old. I am from the small state of Indiana in the United States. My degrees, both Bachelor and Masters are in    Elementary Education from Ball State University and Indiana University. I love reading, writing, and crafts. Drama club here at the elementary has taken a lot of my time. Most of all I love my students. Teaching here at Yangon Academy International School has been the best experience of my life.


Shea Coughlin

5th Grade Teacher 

Highest Degree Bachelor of Science – Master of Education, Olivet Nazarene University
Years (teaching experience) 6

I am very excited to return to Yangon Academy for my  fourth year. In 2013, I graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education. In June 2019, I completed my online Masters degree in   curriculum and instruction with an endorsement in teacher leadership.     Before moving to Yangon, I taught in the U.S. in my hometown of Chicago for three years. Here at YA, I taught first grade for the first two years and fifth grade for the 2018-19 academic year. In my classroom, students are engaged and challenged through hands-on activities and learning that targets the various needs of our diverse group of learners. Students feel a sense of community and mutual respect as members of the classroom. This school year should be a great one!

John Tucker

5th Grade Teacher

Highest Degree Bachelor of Science — University of California, Berkeley
Years (teaching experience) 20

I am from the U.S.A.   I was born and raised in a small town in the center of California.  I taught grades 3-5 for 10 years in California before moving to China in 2010. For my first 4 years in China I taught grade 4 at a small international school. Then for two years I taught English as Foreign Language at a large Chinese school. This will be my fourth year at Yangon Academy. I am a teacher because I enjoy working with students and providing them with a great environment for learning and growing.  It is so rewarding to help students develop their language while building their knowledge in all of the different subjects. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, traveling, and reading.                                            


Yu Ma Ma Aung

Physical Education

Highest Degree Level 2 coaching certificate from FIBA
Years (teaching experience) 5

Hello, my name is Yu Ma Ma Aung and I am the  Physical Education teacher. In 2011, I was a Burma  selection of basketball on 26th Seagames in  Indonesia. I managed to get a level 2 coaching certificate from FIBA – Asia Development Plan of Coaching clinic, which is under the International Basketball Federation.  As a Physical Education  teacher, I have worked 3 years for the Pride International School Myanmar (PISM). This is my third year at Yangon Academy. I look forward to many more years teaching in the Yangon Academy.


Smile @ Pyone Pyone Khin

Computer Studies

Highest Degree Bachelor of Art in Business Management
Years (teaching experience) 7+

This is Pyone Pyone [email protected] Smile. I have a bachelor’s degree in BA (Business Management) from Dagon University, Diploma in Computer Studies (International Diploma in Computer Studies (IDCS), and the International Advanced Diploma in Computer Studies (IADCS)), UK. In addition, I hold a Diploma in Business Administration, UK from Themes Management Centre. Addition that, I have a Diploma in Business English Course and Diploma in Human Resource Management Course IQN, UK from Myanmar Management Institute. I have completed an accountant course MYOB Level 2 & Level 3 (UK) from the KMD Computer Centre. Moreover, I am attending the Diploma in TESOL. I have 12 years’ experience in Computer Field.  I worked with TOTAL Learning Academy. I have over 7 years teaching experience at Primary level. I will again be teaching computer   classes for Elementary students, as a computer teacher at Yangon Academy. As a teacher, my main goal is to motivate students to do their best and extend their own personal limits. My desire to impart my knowledge and love of learning for children lead them for completion of their Primary Education. I am a teacher because I enjoy hard work and helping others in finding success. I feel that one of my greatest strengths as a teacher is the ability to meet each student unique needs by having an in-depth understanding of their abilities and needs. I enjoy watching movies, reading books and travelling.



Kyawt Kyawt Zan @ Cherry Lwin

Myanmar Studies Teacher (Elementary)

Highest Degree BA. Myanmar
Years (teaching experience) 6 years

I have worked as the Preschool Teacher at Teacher  Dorilthey’s Early Childhood Center in 2012 to 2014. Then I moved to Yangon Academy International School and started working here as a teaching assistant for Kindergarten for two academic years. In the academic year of 2016-2017 I got promoted as the Myanmar Studies teacher. So this is my second year being a Myanmar Studies teacher. As I was graduated majoring in Myanmar, it is really helping me find it easy and effective in teaching the students the Myanmar Studies. My goal for this year is to help the beginner students learn Myanmar Studies better than last year and to be able to express what they want to talk in Myanmar.


Brang Seng

Music Teacher

Highest Degree Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies
Years (teaching experience) 4 years

Hi! I am Brang Seng. I am a music teacher with solid fouryear experience in the classroom. Teaching music has always been my passion. I have taught music in the BARS (Bachelor of Arts in Religious study) for three years as a Music Major student. I am comfortable teaching musical concepts, as well as performance, reading and listening skills. I possess a strong understanding of these concepts and skills in context of various musical periods and genres. I have been worked at Brain Works integrated school and Total Learning Academy as a music teacher for two and half years. When I was a music major student, I have been teaching at Hpa Kant, Seng Tawng Baptists church for music class at the summer time and also volunteered in Larying  IDPs Camp at the border of China as a music teacher. In  School and in our church, I also participate in Choir team. I strongly believe that music can change everything.  I am very much excited to be a part of the Yangon Academy International School family!



May Thet

Myanmar Studies Teacher (Elementary)

Highest Degree Bachelor of Arts in Geography
Years (teaching experience) 17 

 I am May Thet and I was appointed as Myanmar Studies-Beginner at Yangon Academy International School. I had worked  as Primary School Teacher and Middle School Teacher in  Myanmar government schools for 17 years. I got a degree of BA. Geography in 1993. In addition, I have a Certificate of Completion of the Primary Teachership and Middle Teachership Training. And I also have “ Level 7 Diploma in Teaching to Speakers of Other Languages “ having completed a TQUK endorsed course of learning ,Singapore in 2017.


Hkawn Tawng

Myanmar Subject Curriculum Coordinator

Highest Degree MA English
Years (teaching experience) 20+ 

My name is Hkawn Tawng and I am very excited to join Yangon Academy International School this academic year. I have worked over 20 years as a lecturer and served in different universities around the country. My goal for this year is to work together with the faculty members and work towards a stronger host culture studies program for our students using the current one (which is already strong) as a base so that our students will understand their cultural heritage to the best of their ability and can have a variety of opportunities to experience actively about the beautiful aspects of Myanmar language in its many forms.


Tin Tin Khaing

Art Teacher 

Highest Degree Art BA (Painting)
Years (teaching experience) 12 years

My name is Tin Tin Khaaing and I am the Elementary art teacher at Yangon Academy International School. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Art from National University of Art and  Culture, Yangon.         I have been teaching art for 11 years. I was teaching primary school art at Basic Education Primary  School ( Insein ) in 2007 -2015.Then I taught primary and secondary school art at Crane International school Myanmar(CISM) in 2016-2019. This is my first New Academic year at YAIS and I am VERY excited to be teaching here! I am excited to be able to teach many of my Elementary students. If you have any question or would like to meet with me, please email me at [email protected]. I look forward to a great year!