Ms Leanne Hillier
Acting Head of Secondary (Academic)
Secondary English Teacher
Ms Leanne Hillier was raised in a small village on the south-east coast of England. She studied English and Psychology at the University of Leicester before completing a PGCE at the University of Chichester. She has also recently completed a master's degree in Psychology. She taught English, Psychology and Media studies for nine years in the UK before moving to Hanoi, Vietnam where she helped write the English curriculum for a newly opened school. Whilst in Hanoi she completed a CELTA course to enable her to support her students’ language learning further. She has worked at Yew Wah for four years and in this time has taught both Lower and Upper Secondary students. She is currently teaching English and Psychology. Additionally, she is Head of English and EAL so oversees all the language teaching and support in Secondary. She is passionate about supporting students and helping them develop their English skills and confidence, but she also recognises the importance of their first language and utilises this to further their knowledge and understanding of different concepts. Her classrooms are active learning environments where students are encouraged to take risks and seek new challenges. She very much enjoys living and working in Yantai.
Mr Ferdinand Els
Head of Secondary
Mr Ferdinand Els grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. He completed his B.A. in Performance at the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance and later completed his M.Ed. in International Education at Framingham State University, US. For the past ten years he has been teaching drama at schools across Asia. He believes that drama is a very powerful subject that not only helps students to develop confidence, discipline, co-operative skills, and empathy, but also aids in their academic development across different subjects. Through studying drama, his students not only improve their linguistic abilities, but they also have the opportunity to express their individuality and showcase their creative skills through theatre and film.
Ms Sarah Zhang
Secondary EAL Teacher
Ms Sarah Zhang majored in English for her bachelor's degree. She has been teaching in YWIES Yantai for the past eight years. Currently, she teaches IGCSE EAL. She explores teaching practices that suit the needs of all the individual students in her class. The lively classroom atmosphere and the active participation of students greatly improve the students' learning independence and enthusiasm. Her unique teaching methods and her empathy for her students help her build strong relationships with students. She has strong adaptability, a strong sense of responsibility, diligence and good team spirit.
Ms Cindy Zhao
Secondary EAL Teacher
Ms Cindy Zhao graduated from the University of East Anglia in the UK with a master's degree in Education. She has studied Education in South Korea and Hong Kong. She joined YWIES Yantai in August 2017. She is currently responsible for the Foreign Stream Maths of Grades 6 and 7 and the IEP courses of the Secondary.
Ms Zhao has completed in-depth research on teaching methods and practices. She combines the school’s international cutting-edge educational concepts with actual education and teaching, integrating Eastern and Western cultures. She respects the differences in students' personalities, effectively teaches in accordance with the fundamental needs and interests of students, and provides students with a stimulating, autonomous, and modest learning atmosphere. She has a wide range of hobbies like music, reading and travelling.
Ms Brenda Zhang
Head of Secondary (Pastoral）
Secondary Chinese Teacher
Ms Brenda Zhang graduated from Shandong University, BA in English Literature. She is currently studying on her Master in Pedagogy from Nankai University. She has been teaching in YWIES Yantai for 14 years. She is the Head of Secondary Chinese Department and in charge of CAL, IGCSE and AS/A Level Chinese curriculum. She has much experience in teaching beginners to learn Chinese and she likes teaching contents in daily conversation, cultural lessons and role-plays. For intermediate and high level Chinese learners, her teaching focus is reading and writing practices. In her spare time, she likes travelling and sports.
Ms Sunny Liu
Secondary Chinese Teacher
Ms Sunny Liu works as a Secondary Chinese teacher. She graduated from Jilin Normal University with a bachelor’s degree in Chinese Language and Literature. In 2001, she joined YWIES Yantai and taught First Language Chinese and Second Language Chinese, including Cambridge IGCSE and A Level First Language Chinese and HSK examinations. She has been the form tutor of different year levels for many years. These experiences provided her with vast experience in education-related skills. She believes that Chinese teaching should cultivate students' lifelong learning ability, and produce the power to influence their life in the process of inheriting Chinese knowledge and Chinese culture.
Mr Andrew Wang
Secondary Chinese Teacher
Andrew Wang, graduated from Yantai University with a bachelor degree, his major was TCFL (Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language), and later he finished his postgraduate course in Applied Psychology from Nankai University and got the degree of Master of Education. He’s been a Chinese teacher for 10 years in YWIES-Yantai, he currently teaches both Chinese as a First Language of National Chinese Curriculum and also Chinese as a Second Language. Mr. Wang gained a lot of experience not only in teaching but also in disciplining students. Mr. Wang is interested in traditional Chinese philosophy & culture, he is also keen to convey the wisdom from ancient Chinese sages to his students. His motto is from Mr. Zhang Zai, one famous scholar of Song Dynasty, “To ordain conscience for Heaven and Earth. To secure life and fortune for the people. To continue lost teachings for past sages. To establish peace for all future generations”, which is also his expectation for all his students.
Mr Kevin Fu
Head of Mathematics
Mr Kevin Fu graduated from a top university in China and holds a Ph.D in Engineering. From 1995 to 1998 he was a post-doctor fellow in Canada. He has more than thirty years of teaching experience in China and Canada. His teaching levels range from Secondary school to postgraduate, and the subjects he has taught include Engineering, Mechanics, Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science. He has been teaching Mathematics in YWIES Yantai since 2008, and he is the Head of the Mathematics Department.
Ms Sophia Yu
Deputy Head of Mathematics
Ms Sophia Yu got her bachelor’s degree in Engineering from DongHua University, Shanghai, China in 2015. She joined YWIES Shanghai Lingang as a bilingual Maths teacher in the same year. She got her master’s degree in Education at the University of Glasgow in 2017, and worked in a group doing research and papers for the Vietnam National Education Revolution in the same year. She joined YWIES Yantai as a bilingual Maths teacher in September 2018, and has been teaching from Grade 6 up to Grade 13 Mathematics, Additional Mathematics and Statistics. She was promoted as the Vice Head of the Secondary Mathematics Department in September 2020.
Ms Zoe Zhong
Secondary Physics and Mathematics Teacher
Ms Zoe Zhong graduated from Changchun Normal University with a bachelor's degree in Physics and Bilingual Physics. She teaches AS/A Level Physics and Mechanics and IGCSE Physics in YWIES Yantai where she has worked since she graduated. With an active teaching style, she values the integration of lecture and exercise and student involvement. Through experimental operations, students' divergent thinking and active learning can be cultivated, and students' interest in learning will be improved. She has a wide range of interests and loves science.
Ms Catherine Zhang
Head of Science
Ms Catherine Zhang graduated from Ocean University of China, majoring in Cell Biology. After graduation, she joined YWIES Yantai and has been working as a Science teacher for 11 years. Now she is the Head of Secondary Science and teaches Science from Grade 6 to 11. The Science curriculum features practical skills and is closely connected with daily life, so she adopts daily cases in her lessons, organises scientific experiments for students and encourages them to solve real life problems with what they have learnt. Ms Zhang loves badminton and is often seen in friendly badminton matches with teachers and students after class.
Ms Wendy Wang
Secondary Science Teacher
Ms Wendy Wang graduated from Changchun Normal University, majoring in Biological Science and Bilingual Biology. For nearly 10 years after her graduation, she has been teaching in the Science Department of YWIES Yantai. She has very rich experience in bilingual Science teaching in Lower and Upper Secondary. Now, she teaches IGCSE Physics, Biology and A Level Biology. She focuses on the integration of knowledge and skills, student-centred teaching philosophy, as well as the environmental protection and energy use. She has set up a recycling club to collect and display school energy use data monthly.
Ms Jessie Liu
Science Teacher and Lab Assistant
Ms Liu Jie (Jessie), got her master's degree from the University of Houston. She works in YWIES Yantai as a Secondary Science teacher and Lab Assistant in the Science Department. Her main responsibility is to teach Secondary Science classes and IGCSE Chemistry classes, and manage Secondary Science labs to ensure the smooth progress of lab teaching and practical tests. She leads a science club this year, which is targeted to improve students’ practical skills and inspire their interest and desire in learning through carrying out experiments combined with science knowledge in real life. Ms Liu has broad interests and likes travelling and photography.
Mr Sam Morgan
Head of Global Perspective
Mr Sam Morgan is an alumnus of four universities in Europe, including University of Greenwich, London, University of East Anglia, Norwich, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, and Utrecht University in Netherlands. He was awarded a bachelor's degree (First Class Honours), a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and a master's degree in Applied Ethics. He has been a teacher for 15 years in different secondary schools in UK with experience on continental Europe as well. Passionate about learning and teaching, he is constantly engaged in reading and is currently committed to research in comparative education. He is interested in the works of Benjamin Bloom and John Hatti. He is presently looking forward to research with Beijing University to further understand different factors defining educational achievement and aspirations.
Mr Keith Gao
Head of Humanities and Social Sciences
Mr Keith Gao got a master's degree in History from Ludong University. He has been in YWIES Yantai since 2013, and is now working as a teacher and Head of Humanities & Social Science Department in Secondary.
He teaches SSIC and SSIE subjects in Lower Secondary. He focuses on learning efficiency in teaching, and shows strict requirements on students in classes. In his tutoring period, he guides students on activities relevant to their subjects. Meanwhile, he helps organise learning tour activities in the holidays, and guides participants in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme in school. All of these efforts are to promote student’s experiences so as to enhance their personal growth.
Ms Nazeema Khan
Secondary Geography Teacher
Ms Nazeema Khan is a committed Secondary Geography teacher with 23 years of teaching experience. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree, an Honours Bachelor of Science degree as well as a Postgraduate certificate in Education and she is currently studying towards a master's degree in Education. She started her teaching career in South Africa initially as a Humanities teacher, then as Subject Head of Geography and finally as Head of Department of Humanities. She then left South Africa to start her international teaching career as an Upper Secondary Geography teacher, teaching CAIE.
As a Geography teacher, she is committed to collegial and co-operative teamwork and to the holistic development of all learners. She enjoys the classroom and the pleasures of teaching. She wants to motivate and develop learners to become global citizens and to stretch their wings by seeking learning and work opportunities in different countries and to make a positive impact on the world that they live in.
Mr Woosik Byun
Secondary Economics Teacher
Mr Woosik Byun is from South Korea. He teaches Economics, a subject which he finds intriguing and it allows us to look at the world through a new lens. In terms of cultures, he is a mixture of diversity, having spent, out of his 27-year-long life journey, 10 years in Korea, 10 years in Guangzhou, seven years in Hong Kong and now in Yantai. Most importantly, he struggled through his secondary school years as a teenager and this tough experience has made him want to become a teacher to assist and support whomever is struggling through school. Lastly, if you find Economics a bit too much, feel free to come to Acoustic Guitar Club or Football Club to relax and have some fun.
Mr Jaime Sevilla
Head of Performing Arts
Originally from California, Mr Jaime Sevilla received most of his college education in New York, earning a bachelor’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a master’s degree from NYU. While living in New York City, he participated in the NY Arts Outreach programme to help bring arts and music workshops to various public schools. After returning to California to complete a teaching credential, he taught music in Grades 6-11 before joining Yew Wah in 2011. He contributes to the growing disciplines within the Fine Arts programme including the orchestra and choirs, as well as arranging music and creating studio recordings for various performances of our school. Mr Sevilla is a jazz music aficionado, an avid NBA fan, and lives in Yantai with his wife and their two sons, Jace and Micah.
Ms Alice Xu
School Violin Teacher
Ms Alice Xu, member of Beijing Youth Violin Association and Gold Award owner of National Arts Talents Competition – Violin (Beijing section), graduated from Minzu University of China and has been teaching and performing in Beijing after her graduation. She has a myriad of performing experiences in National Theatre for the Performing Arts, Beijing Concert Hall and CCTV. This year is her fourth year of working in YWIES Yantai as a Violin teacher for K5 and Primary students and a supervisor for the school orchestra.
Ms Lee Jayoung
Secondary Art Teacher
Ms Lee Jayoung is an enthusiastic Fine Arts teacher with 15 years of experience, teaching in various international schools in Taiwan, China, New York City in America and Seoul in South Korea. She has a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts Education from Korea University. She also completed a master’s programme in World Culture and Art at Jilin University in China. While she was at the Korea University, she was part of the orchestra where she played the flute and the cello. As a Fine Arts teacher, she is committed to the holistic development of her students as they develop their artistic skills to take up positions at international universities. She wants to motivate her learners to enjoy expressing themselves through various artistic mediums. As a teacher she believes in “life-long learning” and as such she has spent a lot of time on professional development within her subject area.
Mr Herman Odhiambo Oduor
Head of Academic IT
Mr Herman Odhiambo Oduor teaches Computer Science and also works as the ICT Co-ordinator. He comes from Kenya and can speak fluent English and Swahili. His qualifications include the following: Master of Information Systems, Institute of Technology, Australia; Bachelor of Education, Kenyatta University, Nairobi; Project Management, Strathmore University, Nairobi and Diploma in ICT, University of Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate. He is an experienced teacher with a career history that spans over 30 years of effective curriculum delivery of Computer Science, IT, ICT and Computing to students of all ages.
Mr Odhiambo Oduor is an energetic, committed and outgoing person. He loves playing table tennis, watching movies and assembling and programming robots. He also has an interest in artificial intelligence. He believes in creating an ideal learning environment that allows students to learn and grow as creative, responsible, respectful, self-directed individuals and as functional members of the community.
Mr Roger Hall
Secondary ICT Teacher
Mr Roger Hall grew up in the North East of England. He holds a degree from Exeter University and postgraduate qualifications in Marketing and Education. After completing his degree, he worked in marketing communications roles for almost a decade before starting his teaching career in 2004. After six years as a teacher and Head of Department in the UK, he taught in Abu Dhabi and Mongolia before joining the Yew Wah family to teach ICT and Maths in August 2017. He believes in developing the young people of today with the transferrable knowledge and skills they need for their future careers, embracing technology as a tool for learning. Preparing his students for the jobs and careers of tomorrow, that don’t exist today, is a strong motivator – the same as his teachers did many years ago (before ICT teachers were invented). Mr Hall is a keen photographer and videographer, who prefers working in the monochrome medium. Since coming to China he has taken part in numerous sporting events including the Great Wall Marathon and Shanghai Half Ironman event. Despite claiming a lack of any natural sporting ability, his primary goal is to finish the challenges he sets himself.
Mr Neil Campbell
Sports & Activities Co-ordinator
Mr Neil Campbell is a determined, passionate teacher with 19 years’ experience and Head of Department for 13 years. Managing teamwork, he also creates and co-ordinates a positive working environment.
His aspiration is to be the best and his passion is to let students acknowledge the value of their body, and stay in shape at a young age and to excite and inspire them with the correct exercises. Being a PE instructor places him in the unique position as a life coach, mentor and role model to a variety of students, including those who struggle academically, giving them an alternative place to shine.
His goal is to upgrade students’ skills in a high professional and practical yet enjoyable way, to encourage creative responses and explore their physical capabilities, thereby contributing to the development of responsible, independent adults with the necessary life skills for the 21st century.
Mr Edward Kariuki Kibira
Secondary PE Teacher
Mr Edward Kariuki Kibira is a Kenyan national born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. He speaks four languages including English, Kiswahili, Kikuyu and Spanish.
He has a PGCE from the University of Buckingham, UK and a Bachelor of Education with a major in Physical Education from Kenyatta University, Kenya.
He has experience working as a Physical Education teacher for the last eight years. He has taught in top international schools in both Kenya and Mexico. His education philosophy is all students are unique and must have an engaging and stimulating educational environment where they can grow mentally, spiritually and physically. He encourages his students to be reflective and inquisitive learners.
His hobbies include playing rugby, football, bike riding and swimming. He is enjoying his time in Yantai and exploring the beautiful sites and food in Yantai.
Mr Jeremy McGrath
Head of UGO
Secondary Mathematics Teacher
Mr Jeremy McGrath hails from the US, having lived in Indiana, Illinois, Florida, Virginia, and Texas. Prior to working as a University Guidance Counsellor, he qualified in the US and the UK to teach History, Government, and Geography. Since starting to work in University Guidance, he has helped students attend university in 19 countries and looks for any chance to increase that number! In what seems like a previous life, he taught at several schools in Houston, Texas after working as a librarian and researcher at several universities and a presidential museum and library. After coming to China, he worked with Yew Wah campuses in Guangzhou and Shanghai before coming to Yantai. Mr McGrath studied History and Political Science at Indiana University in the US and is currently in graduate study at the University of Portsmouth in the UK, studying Naval History. As a former librarian, it’s understandable the he is an obsessive reader and cinephile and is always good for a quote or movie reference. After coming to China, he met his wife, Cecilia, a native of Guangdong and they have two small cats, Miss Moneypenny and Gandalf the Grey.
Ms Suman Neerukonda
Secondary Science Teacher
Mr Suman Neerukonda has 17 years of teaching Secondary Science. He grew up in India and graduated with a master's degree in Life Sciences from SRMT University in 2002 followed by a bachelor’s degree in Education in Teaching Sciences and English from Nagarjuna University in 1999. He began his teaching career in 2002 in India as a lecturer in Zoology. He taught three years in Maldives from 2008 to 2011 in a Cambridge school. He moved to west Africa in 2012 and taught in a government school. In 2013 he got an offer to work in China and in our school this is his 5th year.
As an educator he wants to help students meet their fullest potential by providing a safe, risk-taking, and collaborative environment.
He believes that students' academic success is individualised and specific, which is why it is his job as an educator to incorporate good instruction, classroom management, and the presence of various teaching styles in a classroom.
He lives in Yantai with his wife, two sons and mother. He enjoys exercising, cooking, reading, watching movies, and spending time with his family.