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Administration

Mike Cyrus

Director

Ph.D., M.Ed., Columbia University
M.Ed., Loyola University of Chicago
B.A., St. Norbert College

Dr. Michael Cyrus is a third-generation educator with over twenty years' experience in America and abroad. Mike originally taught Spanish, first at Hinsdale Central High School and later at New Trier High School, the highest performing, regular-admission school in the State of Illinois.
Dr. Cyrus’s first school leadership assignment was at Adlai E. Stevenson High School, a four-time U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School awardee and the birthplace of the Professional Learning Communities (PLC) movement. At Stevenson, he served seven years, first as Director of World Languages & ESL and later as Director of Human Resources. In 2007, he was appointed Assistant Superintendent of the Lake Forest (Illinois) elementary and high school districts. Dr. Cyrus was named high school principal of the Thai-Chinese International School in Bangkok in 2011. In 2013, he joined the administrative team of the United Nations International School in Hanoi, Vietnam.
A native of Wisconsin, Mike graduated summa cum laude from St. Norbert College in DePere. He earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and his administrative certification from Loyola University. Mike studied school leadership at Columbia University in New York City, where he earned a second master’s degree and his doctorate. His dissertation (2010) focused on resource use in high-performing schools. Dr. Cyrus holds teaching, administrative and superintendent licensure from the states of Illinois and Virginia. Prior to his career in education, Mike worked as the controller of the Mid-America Committee, an association of international business chief executive officers based in Chicago. Dr. Cyrus is the eldest of five siblings, an avid reader and traveler and a great aficionado of the arts.

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Patrick Kane

Director of Teaching and Learning

Certificate in School Leadership, The College of New Jersey
M.Ed., The College of New Jersey
B.A., Rutgers University

Patrick Kane has been an educator for more than 28 years. Prior to his nine years of administrative experience, Mr. Kane taught elementary, middle and high school both overseas and in the United States. He began his career teaching at the elementary level in New Jersey public schools. He then went on to teach Middle School Humanities at the Damascus Community School in Damascus, Syria and secondary ESL at the Anglo-American School of Moscow. At the latter, he later served as the ESOL Coordinator, supervising his department, developing the program and providing professional development for the faculty and staff at campuses in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Mr. Kane then returned to the United States to serve as the Director of Learning Support (PK3-Grade 12) at the Léman Manhattan Preparatory School, an international school located in the heart of the financial district in New York City. While there, he developed a successful learning support program rooted in R.T.I. and Next Frontier Inclusion approaches. At Léman, Mr. Kane also developed an immersion K-12 ESOL program meeting the needs of day and international boarding students. He provided professional development in sheltered instruction and differentiation for the Léman community, supervised the teachers and coordinator of both departments and served on the Senior Leadership Team during his tenure. Mr. Kane resides in New Jersey and calls this state home.

Aracelis Maldonado

High School Principal

M.Ed., Framingham State University
Bachelor of Political Science, Universidad Central de Venezuela

Aracelis Maldonado began her career as an educator in the middle school social studies classroom. She has also taught AP Comparative Government and World History to high school students. Before becoming a High School Principal, she worked in Guatemala and Malaysia. She is a United World College graduate and is fluent in English and Spanish. Aracelis Maldonado worked for the United Nations before becoming a teacher. She holds a BA in Political Science and a Masters in International Teaching. She is also an Educational Leadership doctoral candidate.

Hanson Yeung

Middle School Principal

B.Ed., the University of British Columbia
Bachelor of Music, McGill University

Hanson Yeung has found in the classroom a platform on which to fuse his love of working with young people with his love of music. He is one of the founding faculty at NCPA. Before becoming the middle school principal, he taught in Vancouver, Shanghai, Nairobi, and London, and performed in a number of world renowned choirs.

Cecilia Shang Benting

Deputy Principal

Master of Law, Temple University
Bachelor of Law, Fudan University

Cecilia Shang Benting was born into a family of educators, growing up on a college campus in China. She followed her parents when she entered the field of education in 1990. From there, her career spanned the Pacific Ocean from Beijing to New York, including teaching positions with Tsinghua University, the International School of Beijing, Beaverton School District (a public school system in Oregon), EF International Academy (an international boarding school in New York), and Oregon Episcopal School (a prestigious private school in Portland, Oregon). All three of her children graduated from excellent liberal arts colleges in the United States. She studied and earned degrees from universities in both China and the US. She also holds New York State Attorney License. Cecilia embodies a truly multicultural background that allows her to help NCPA’s students successfully navigate Chinese and American cultures and philosophies.

Ginger Shi

Dean of Students

MA., Sun Yat-sen University
BA., Shandong University

Ginger Shi has been teaching in NCPA since 2015. During Ginger Shi’s graduate studies, she was dispatched by the Confucius Institute Headquarters and Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU) to the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu in the Philippines to teach Chinese. She implemented a situational teaching approach in Chinese class and the students improved greatly in their comprehension/listening and speaking. She had been teaching G12 Chinese literature and compositon in the past 2 years in NCPA and done a great job. She has transfered to the position of Dean of Students in 2017.

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Steve Liss

Director of Activities and Athletics

M.Ed., Covenant College
B.S., Toccoa Falls College

Steve Liss began his teaching career in 1990. His first professional role was at his childhood school in Florida where he taught math, science, and PE. Since then, he has taught a variety of subjects including HS speech, MS math, Geometry, Algebra 2, and secondary Physical Education. He has also served as a principal at schools in Georgia and Malaysia and as an athletics director in Malaysia, Nigeria, and Morocco. Most recently, Steve has been teaching PE and supervising the boarding students at an American school in Daegu, Korea.