Elementary School Faculty


René MacQuillin

Elementary and ECC Principal 

Highest Degree B.Ed (Hons)
Years (teaching experience) 30 years

I have been in Education in South Africa and Myanmar for 30 years of which I have been Principal of four schools for the last 13 years before relocating to Myanmar with my husband in 2016.
I hold a teaching qualification, majoring in teaching subjects Engineering Graphics 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.
My educational experiences have afforded me the opportunities to collaborate with a diverse group of people to meet a common goal of increasing student achievement and well-being.
My educational philosophy is based on an uncompromising belief that all students can learn, given a positive learning environment, strong and knowledgeable leadership, a committed and focused educational team and a supporting family. All of which, YAIS process.
I am happy to be part of the faculty of Yangon Academy.                                                


Jeff Brickus 

Elementary Assistant Principal

Highest Degree M.A. Educational Leadership
Years (teaching experience) 14

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 2020 – 2021 school year!

Teresa Fowler

Kindergarten Teacher 

Highest Degree Bachelor of Science – Masters in Early childhood 
Years (teaching experience) 17

I am Teresa and I am originally from Aiken, South Carolina. My first degree was in Psychology from the University of South Carolina. My interest in teaching came when my 2 children were in international schools in South Korea. I loved the learning community and diversity of my children’s school so much that I decided to go back to school after returning to the states and there received my Masters in Education from Piedmont College in Georgia. I taught kindergarten through second grade in America for 11 years before taking the plunge to fulfill my dream of teaching overseas. I have taught for the last 6 years in India, Egypt, and Kazakhstan. It has been a wonderful ride and dream come true. I started my teaching career in kindergarten, so I am excited to be returning to this delightful age group. I look forward to seeing the world through their eyes and seeing them grow as readers, explorers, artists, and mathematicians. It is going to be a fun year of getting to know each other and finding out new things about ourselves. I can’t wait to meet my sweet students, be a vital part of Yangon Academy, embrace the Yangon community, and explore the beautiful country of Myanmar.     


Jonah Mari Vanilla Villafuerte

Kindergarten Teacher 

Highest Degree Bachelor of Ed, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Arts in Education
Years (teaching experience) 9

Hi! My students called me Teacher Vanilla and it’s my great privilege to be a faculty member of our school. I graduated with a 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 9 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 make for exemplary models when teaching students with varied and creative academic activities.
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 Master’s in Education Early childhood Development
Years (teaching experience) 16

My name is Ms. Victoria and I am from the U.K. This is my second year at YAIS. After graduating from Nottingham Trent University with a BA Honours in Business, I worked within the education and training sector in England for a few years. I soon realized my true vocation, which was to teach overseas. I feel very fortunate to have lived and worked in quite a few countries over the last 16 years. 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 taught Kindergarten to Grade 2 for the last 15 years, spending around 5 years in each grade level. I have post graduate education degrees from the U.K, U.S and South Africa. I have recently completed my Master’s in Education, specializing in Early Childhood Education.
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. 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 another wonderful year at Yangon Academy.


Ami Lutz

1st Grade Teacher 

Highest Degree Bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a multiple subject teaching credential both from California State Dominguez Hills

Special education specialist credential from San Jose State Univeersity in California

Years (teaching experience) 24

I am beyond thrilled to become part of the teaching faculty at Yangon Academy. I grew up in Wichita, Kansas, but have lived and taught in southern and northern CA for the last 24 years.
In June 2018-2019 during a 16 months time span, I traveled to 14 countries on 4 different continents and taught kindergarten for 10 months in Southern Thailand.
Prior to traveling, I have been a general education teacher, special education teacher, one-to-one aide, reading support instructor, long-term substitute, and behavior therapist. My student teaching experience in New Zealand, teaching 7th and 8th grade, provided me invaluable insight to education from a different perspective. I have a multi-faceted range of experiences thus far in my career but feel that my true gifts and talents can be used best serving children with all abilities and different cultural backgrounds.
I believe all good teachers must explore every possible teaching strategy in order to reach the needs of all learners. I am devoted to instilling a love of learning within every student, supporting them to reach all of their learning and social goals, and pushing them in reaching their highest potential.
I am looking forward to meeting my new students, families, colleagues and sharing a fantastic school year ahead!

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) 18

My name is Aarthi Dawson. As I am stepping into my 18th 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 11 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 also 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.
In my personal life I’m and 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 and Myanmar.


Tim Castle

3rd Grade Teacher

Highest Degree Bachelor of Arts in International Relations,     Bachelor of Education — University of Windsor
Years (teaching experience) 19

I am a teacher from Canada who is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers. 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, on and off, for much of the time since then. Altogether, I have been teaching for seventeen 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 eight years in Myanmar. I am especially excited to be teaching third grade at Yangon Academy for my 6th year.


Catherine Kean

3rd Grade Teacher 

Highest Degree Diploma of Teaching (Primary)
Years (teaching experience) 28


My name is Catherine Kean and I am from a picturesque and unique town called Macedon, about one hour out of Melbourne, Australia. It is a special part of Australia where you regularly see huge mobs of kangaroos and cute fluffy koalas. It’s not unusual to see a large strong kangaroo bouncing down the road or feeding on the grass in our garden.
I have taught elementary students from KG to 5th Grade including 8 years of Physical Education over the last 28 years. In my classroom, I aim to create a community of learners who show respect and empathy towards others. It’s a classroom where students learn from each other and everyone contributes to a positive learning environment. I started my international teaching in Yangon 2 years ago, teaching secondary English and I then moved to elementary school teaching for another year.
My first trip to Myanmar was in 2008. Since then, my family and I have travelled to Myanmar many times. I have 3 adult children, one of them has lived and worked here for 12 years. I love to travel inside Myanmar, one of my favorite trips was to Dawai, where I was able to explore the pristine, untouched and remote beaches. My other favorites are Ngapali beach and of course, the world heritage site of ancient Bagan. In my spare time I keep myself fit by swimming, playing tennis and walking. As this will be my third year in Yangon, I am really looking forward to exploring more remote parts of the country to learn about the unique culture and history of Myanmar.
I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to teach at Yangon Academy and I’m looking forward to meeting my new students and parents.

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 ready to work with Student Council another year and looking forward to teach third grade.


Jacquie Bean 

4th Grade Teacher

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

My name is Jacquie Bean. I am 58 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.

Louis Courtois

5th Grade Teacher 

Highest Degree Bachelor of Education, Honours
Years (teaching experience) 15

I am so excited to teach fifth grade at Yangon Academy! Coming from the beautiful island of Mauritius. In 2013, I graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa and also hold a Teachers’ Licentiate in Performing Arts.
Before my move to Yangon I taught in South Africa, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and China. I have taught Music/Performing Arts Kindergarten to Grade 6 and as grade 2, 4, 5 and 6 as a homeroom teacher. I am really looking forward to experience the culture and getting to explore Myanmar.
In my classroom, students will be engaged and challenged through hands-on activities and by way of exploration. Students will feel a sense of community and respect as members of our classroom within a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

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 is my fifth 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.
For the last 4 years, I have helped our Model United Nations program grow. I’m confident that Model UN at YA will continue to develop in the year ahead.
In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, traveling, and reading.


Cheryl Courtois

EAL Teacher

Highest Degree Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature Education
Years (teaching experience) 9

I am looking forward to introducing the English Acquisition (EAL) program to the students at Yangon Academy!
Coming from the sub-tropical city of Durban, South Africa, I have an inbred love of the sea and sunshine, and Mauritius is now my home. I thrive on being outdoors and am happy participating in any activity that involves getting in touch with nature, and being active. What I love most, is being a mom. I am a proud mother of 2 young men and my daughter who has just completed her final year at high school. I attained a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature Education and an Advanced TEFL Diploma. My International teaching experience began in the State of Qatar and then went onto Saudi Arabia prior to teaching in Beijing. I am passionate about teaching English and enjoy seeing my students gain confidence and become global learners through their language acquisition.



Yves Roland Agnero

Physical Education

Highest Degree Bachelor of Computer Science – University of Bangalore
Years (teaching experience) 2

I am so excited to teach another year at Yangon Academy! I am from the Ivory Coast and in 2014; I graduated from the University of Bangalore in India with a degree in Computer Science. As a former soccer player, my love and passion for physical well-being drove me to coach Soccer at Saint Paul American School in the Philippines before my move to Yangon Academy. Although I was sad to say goodbye to my team and friends, I was thrilled to meet my new students here at YA. We had a very fun, challenging and enriching school year and I have really loved my new life here in Yangon. I am thrilled to immerse myself further in the culture of Myanmar’s people and continue travelling around this beautiful country.
In my classroom, students will be engaged and challenged through hands-on activities, which seek to enhance children’s fine and gross motor skills, as well as to promote physical well-being and sportsmanship. I will differentiate instruction and provide individualized support, ensuring that all students are able to succeed in the classroom.

Yu Ma Ma Aung

Physical Education

Highest Degree Level 2 coaching certificate from FIBA
Years (teaching experience) 7

Hello, my name is Yu Ma Ma Aung and I am the Physical Education teacher. In 2011, I was selected to represent in a Burma selection of basketball at the 26th Sea games in Indonesia. I have 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 for 3 years at Pride International School Myanmar (PISM). This is my fourth year at Yangon Academy. I look forward to many more years teaching at the Yangon Academy.


Smile @ Pyone Pyone Khin

Computer Studies

Highest Degree Bachelor of Art in Business Management
Years (teaching experience) 8+

I am 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 have a Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from SIS ELT Institute.

I have 12years’ experience in Computer Field. I worked at TOTAL Learning Academy. I have over 8 years teaching experience at Primary level. I will again be teaching computer classes for Elementary students, as a computer teacher at Yangon Academy. My goal as a teacher is to improve my student’s education and help them grow knowledgably. I am committed to helping my students succeed, achieve more, and continue onto higher education. I motivate students to do their best and extend their own personal limits. 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) 7 years

My name is Ms. Cherry Lwin. I have worked as a Preschool Teacher at Teacher’s Dorithey’s Early Childhood Center from 2012 to 2014. Then I moved to Yangon Academy International School and started working as a Teaching Assistant for Kindergarten for two academic years. In the academic year of 2016-17, I was appointed as a Myanmar Studies Beginner Class Teacher. This is my fourth year being Myanmar Studies Beginner Class Teacher.
I have a BA degree (Myanmar) from the Yangon University. I graduated in 1996 in Myanmar Subject. It really helped me in teaching the students Myanmar studies effectively.
In addition, I attained the Diploma in Teaching Myanmar as a Foreign Language from the SIS Education Service in 2020.
My goal for this year is to help the beginner students learning Myanmar studies to be able to speak and write in Myanmar so that they can express themselves.


Myat Thiri Nyein

Music Teacher

Highest Degree Master of Arts (Music) – College of Music, Mahidol University, Thailand
Years (teaching experience) 14 years

I feel it is a really good opportunity to teach as a music teacher in elementary school at Yangon Academy. I am from Yangon, Myanmar and graduated from the College of Music, Mahidol University, Thailand with Master Degree in Music Education in 2017. Since 2006, I have been working as a violin assistance teacher and performer for string chamber and teaching for private violin lesson from 2008 in Myanmar. After all I have got a scholarship to study in College of Music, Mahidol University in 2010 and worked as a part time violin teacher at Suketta Creative Music Academy in Bangkok and performed in concert, gig and studio recording as well. After finishing my master degree, I came back to Myanmar and worked for music education programs in Myanmar with NGO groups; Art It Forward (ARTIF) – 2018, Music for One (MFO) – 2019 and Myanmar Music Association (MMA) – 2020. Moreover, I found a music school – Gita Pyoe Khin (Music Arboretum) in Tharkayta Township and working there since 2019 till now. I’m excited to start as an elementary music teacher in Yangon Academy and it will be a new experience and exploration to learn more about young students. In my classroom, the students will be able to get the multiple intelligence skills through the music and musical activities. I look forward to an enjoyable, productive and grateful year.



May Thet

Myanmar Studies Teacher (Elementary)

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

I am May Thet. I was born in 1965 in Nay Pyi Taw (Pyinmana), Myanamar. I had worked as Primary School Teacher and Secondary School Teacher in Myanmar government schools for 17 years.
I have a BA degree in Geography. I graduated in 1993. In addition, I have a certificate of Completion of the Primary Teachership Training and Middle Teachership Training.
I also have a “Level 7 Diploma in Teaching to Speakers of Other Language” having completed a TQUK endorse course of learning, in Singapore in 2017.
I was appointed as Myanmar Studies (Foreigner) in the 2019-20 academic year, this is my second year at Yangon Academy. I enjoyed working with my colleagues.


Lwin Lwin Khine

Myanmar Studies Teacher 

Highest Degree Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) Yangon Institute of Economics
Years (teaching experience) 13

Hello! I am very glad and excited to be a Myanmar Studies Teacher at Yangon Academy this year! In 2005, I graduated from Yangon Institute of Economics with a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.) I also received an International Advanced Diploma in Business Administration, IDBA, NCC (UK) from Thames and Informatics Management School. In 2012, I attended an Early Childhood, Care and Development Course at the Ministry of Education. In 2014, I was awarded a Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Landon Teacher Training College. I am a naturalist and I love to do community service. In the past I worked with Helping Hands Community Service Group, (Schooling Project) the project helped poor Myanmar families send their children to school. I also spent my summer holidays teaching English to students at Monastic schools. In addition, I am a TExT Program trainer. This program helps give Teaching Training to the teachers from Monastic and Nunnery Schools.
I have been working at Yangon Academy for over ten years as an Assistant Teacher in Kindergarten, Grade 2, Grade 4, Grade 5 and Middle School. I am very happy to work at Yangon Academy and look forward to do so for many more years. I would like to be part of the team that supports our Yangon Academy students achieve their brightest future.


Chit Phu Ngon Nyunt

Myanmar Studies Teacher 

Highest Degree Bachelor of Art with Economic – University of Yangon,
Years (teaching experience) 13

Hello, I am Chit Phu Ngon Nyunt. I’m a Myanmar Studies teacher in the Elementary school. In 2010, I graduated from the University of Yangonwith B.A in Economics. I have a diploma in TESOL, Global English, and SEAMEO English. I am very proud to teach my language at Yangon Academy, and this is going to be my thirteenth years in YA.I also have teaching experience with TexT (The Teacher Exchange and Training Program) in preparation for nunnery and monastic school teachers and consult to various native school teachers within Yangon Region for the development in the education system and school reform. My favorite part about my job is that every day brings something new, and no two days are the same. Therefore I am committed to have differentiated instruction in my class with a variety of opportunities for my students’ to achieve their goals. Nevertheless, learning a language involves repetition, constant work, and memorization skills. I love knowing that my job is to help children achieve their full potential and strive for greatness. However, not only do I teach them, they teach me every day, too; therefore, I take advantage of all experiences to implement my teaching methods. When I am not at work, you can find me spending quality time with my friends and family, enjoying my new love for a workout at the gym, and traveling.


Tin Tin Khaing

Art Teacher 

Highest Degree Art BA (Painting)Q 2003-2003
Years (teaching experience) 13 years

I am the Elementary Art teacher at Yangon Academy International school.
I have a Bachelor degree in Art from National University of Art and Culture, Yangon, Myanmar.
I have been teaching art for 13 years. I taught primary school art at Basic Education Primary School (Insein) from 2007-2015. I then taught primary and secondary art school at Crane International School Myanmar (CISM) from 2016-2019.This is my second academic year at YAIS.I am VERY excited to teach here.