Director of Teaching and Learning
M.Ed., TESOL, The College of New Jersey
B.A., Rutgers University
Certificate in School Leadership, The College of New Jersey
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.
Director of Activities and Athletics
M.Ed., Instructional Leadership, Covenant College
B.S.， Middle Grades Education, 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.
M.Ed., International Education, Framingham State University
B.A., Political Science, Virginia Tech University
Rebecca Battistoni began teaching in 1996. Her teaching career started in Virginia and then Georgia, where she taught Middle School English, Social Studies, Economics, Civics/Government, and Holocaust Education to identified Talented and Gifted students. Rebecca then went to Bolivia, where she taught Middle School English and Social Studies for four years. She earned Library Media Specialist credentials while there. Her first librarianship was at Santa Cruz Cooperative School, in Bolivia and most recently, at The Anglo-American School of Sofia, in Bulgaria. As a PreK-12 librarian, Rebecca has worked with students of all age levels and all reading abilities. When not in the library, Rebecca can be found working with students on service projects or through coaching.
Elizabeth (Libby) Wolfe Kennedy
Counselor - Grade 10-12
M.Ed., School Counseling, Lewis and Clark College
B.S., Education, Lewis and Clark College
Libby Kennedy is a licensed School Counselor and has been working with students in elementary, middle and high schools in this capacity since 2004. Her education career started in the Portland (Oregon) Public School District over 20 years earlier where she taught middle school students from myriad cultures, countries and socioeconomic backgrounds. Earning a M.Ed. in School Counseling, Libby expanded her role from the classroom to working with the whole school community. For many years, she was the sole high school counselor at a new magnet school in Beaverton, Oregon where she developed their first College and Career Center for all students, many of whom were first-generation college attendees.
Since 2015, Libby has worked as School Guidance and College Counselor at the International School of Tianjin China, an IB World School. At IST, she also supervised students in the Secondary Student Council and MS MUN. She and her husband have four adult children.
Counselor - Grade 10-12
M.S., School Counseling, Idaho State University
B.S., Psychology, University of Utah
Kendra Allen has been a school counselor since 2014. She began working in rural Nevada where she worked for two years in the junior high and one year in the high school. In that time she held activities to get students involved with college searches, she helped students apply for college and scholarships. Kendra is excited for the opportunity to be at NCPA and work with the students and families.
M.A., TESOL, University of Maryland Baltimore County
B.A., Spanish, St. Mary's College of Maryland
Jacob Wines first began teaching in 2014 when he traveled to Peru to teach English as a second language. After another teaching assignment in Colombia, he began attending the University of Maryland Baltimore County to earn his Master's degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. While completing his graduate courses, Jake taught English to international students in UMBC's English Language Institute. After graduating in 2017, Jake became certified to teach in the United States public schools, where he accepted a position as an elementary school ESL teacher in his home state of Maryland. Jacob is extremely excited to join the EAL team at NCPA and to continue his professional career in China.
M.Ed., Curriculum Studies in EAL, Mount Saint Vincent University
B.S., Secondary Education, University of Maine - Fort Kent
B.A., Sociology and Anthropology, Mount Saint Vincent University
Monica began her teaching career at Victoria Educational Organisation in Hong Kong where she taught ESL kindergarten classes. After her experience in Hong Kong, she decided to obtain her CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) and a teaching qualification. Monica then taught at Wagmatcookewey School, a First Nations school in Nova Scotia, Canada. In 2011, she moved to Jilin City, China to work at Jilin No. 1 High School in its Sino-Canadian Program. During her seven years there, she taught 10th -12th grade English, Drama, Canadian History, Global Geography, and Language Support. She formed a yoga club at her previous school to help students de-stress. Monica is a Nova Scotia native.
M.Ed., Secondary English Teaching, University of New England
B.A., Linguistics, German, University of Newcastle
William Arnold has been teaching since 2008. William worked as a German teacher in Australia and spent three years teaching English in Germany and Hungary, before moving to Dalian, China. Since 2014, William has taught EAL at the Australian International School in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Grade10 English, AP English
M.A., University of Virginia - Charlottesville
B.A., Gonzaga University
Jill Redl has been teaching high school English for more than 20 years. She comes to NCPA from Bogota, Colombia, where she spent three years teaching 10th-grade English and AP Language and Composition. Prior to that, she taught American and British literature at a boarding school near Santa Barbara, CA and grades 9-12 at Rutgers Preparatory School in New Jersey. A reader, runner, and traveler at heart, Jill is looking forward to new opportunities for cultural exchange and professional growth at NCPA.
Jill's husband, Don Redl, teaches AP Calculus in the high school.
Visual Arts - Grade 9&10, Art History
M.A., B.A., Art History and Museum Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
B.A., English and Fine Arts, Luther College
Emily Gaustad began her teaching career in Shanghai, China as an "all-school" art teacher, teaching students in grades 1-10. She is passionate about incorporating art history, art criticism, and contemporary artists within her art curriculum and she is eager to be teaching Art History at NCPA. Emily enjoys creating artworks in various media, but particularly printmaking, photography, and bookmaking. Prior to teaching in China, Emily worked for several years at the Milwaukee Art Museum in their Youth & Family Education Center. When she is not teaching, Emily enjoys gardening, cooking, reading, and traveling to new places.
Visual Arts - Middle School
B.A., Education, University of Durham
B.A., Fine Arts, Universidad de Chile
Fernanda Oliva is in her fifth year of teaching, after taking a year for getting her Master's Degree in the UK. Fernanda started her teaching career in a public school from Chile and since then she has developed as a teacher in several different contexts. She has worked with students from third to twelfth grade in different Chilean schools teaching visual arts and technology. During her Master's she focused on Education and Gender Studies. Fernanda was born in Santiago de Chile, where she studied and worked until moving to the UK and later to China.
M.A., Economics, Princeton University
B.A., Economics, Harvard University
Don Redl has taught mathematics for twenty years in both the United States and Colombia. He has taught all high school mathematics courses including AP Calculus AB and BC, as well as a number of economics courses. A former cross-country coach, Don is an avid runner and has also led a number of extracurricular activities centered on business and finance, including the Young Entrepreneur’s Society and online stock market competitions.
His wife, Jill Redl, is an English teacher in the high school.
Li (Roy) Xilin
Mathematics – Middle School
M.Phil., Mathematics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
B.S., Mathematics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Roy started his teaching career at HKUST as an Instructional Assistant. Prior to coming to NCPA, he taught Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Abstract Algebra at his university. Roy's interest in pedagogy was sparked during his university experience and this motivated him to earn his Hong Kong teaching license.
Vocal - High School
B.M.E., Music Education, Otterbein University
Kayne Edwards has been a music teacher since 2013. Prior to joining the faculty at NCPA, he taught middle and high school choir, orchestra, music theory and music history at Seoul Scholars International in Seoul, South Korea. While in Korea he has also served as Department Chair of Fine Arts and Foreign Languages, as well as being the Coordinator of After School Programs. As a professional musician, Kayne has performed in choirs, orchestras, chamber ensembles, and musicals in the United States and South Korea. In Seoul, he had the great honor of performing for ambassadors from around the world, as well as directing a semi-professional production of the musical "Cinderella." Kayne is a United States native from Ohio, where he is licensed to teach music K-12.
Nancy Jane Francis
Vocal & Instrumental – High School
B.Ed., B.Mus., North Carolina Central University
Nancy Jane Francis is a jazz bassist, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and music instructor who relocated from New York to North Carolina in her teens, where she grew up listening to her parentʼs jazz records, singing and playing winds and brass in various school bands. Her first degree in Geological sciences was put aside in favor of making music with her husband, Jay Manley. Their band Velvet performed, recorded and toured from 1996-2009. In 2016, she earned her degree in Jazz Studies and Music Education at NCCU where she received instruction from Dr. Ira Wiggins and Branford Marsalis. “I try to say yes to any gig so I can challenge myself to be in the moment and create something beautiful.” Jane has also been a performer in both UNC Chapel Hill Philharmonia and the Duke Symphony. Both she and her husband are very much looking forward to working with NCPA students, helping them deepen their relationship with music.
Instrumental – High School
M.Ed. (cand.), Belmont University
B.F.A., Jazz Studies, Wayne State University
Richard Bright began teaching in 2015. After completing a Bachelor's in Fine Arts in music from Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, he played in various ensembles around the United States. Returning to college to pursue a career in teaching, Richard completed post-baccalaureate education at Belmont University in Nashville Tennessee. His first job was teaching second through eleventh grade music at Vision International School in Qatar. Richard pioneered the curriculum that is currently used for music at VIS. Richard created the school's guitar class elective and introduced a piano lab. Richard is eager to begin the new adventure with NCPA.
Health & Physical Education
Health & Physical Education
B.A., Sociology, Sonoma State University
Chris Riske was born and raised in California. Chris studied at York College in Nebraska and played collegiate baseball. After baseball, he finished his undergraduate work at Sonoma State University in California earning a BA in Sociology. After finishing his undergrad work, he returned to receive his teaching credential from Sonoma State University and entered the profession in 2014. Chris has taught Physical Education to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders prior to coming to NCPA. He has also taught an ELL class for students who moved to California from other countries.
Chris has served as an athletic coach since finishing playing sports himself. He has coached baseball, soccer, basketball, and track and field. Most recently he has been coaching the boys and girls basketball programs at his school, as well as helping run the track and field program.
Health & Physical Education
M.A.T., Griffith University
B.S., Physical Education, Brock University
Jonathan Cregg has been teaching since 2011. He earned his Bachelor of Physical Education in 2009. He then traveled to Australia for graduate school and earned his Master of Teaching degree. Prior to joining NCPA, Jon was a Health & Physical Education teacher at his alma mater high school in Ontario, Canada. He has a passion for coaching with a primary focus on hockey and rugby. Jon has played and competed internationally as a member of the Canada Rugby League Men's Squad.
M.Ed., Secondary Science, Milligan College
B.S., Psychology, East Tennessee State University
James "Kendall" Kelley has been teaching since 2013. Kendall started his teaching career in Tennessee at Morristown-Hamblen High School East where he taught Biology and AP Psychology and was the boys and girls soccer coach. Prior to coming to NCPA, he taught AP Biology, Biology, AP Environmental Science, and Earth Science at Big Bridge Academy in Wuxi, China. Kendall is a Tennessee native who briefly lived in Atlanta before moving overseas.
M.A.T., Secondary Science Education, American University
B.A., Chemistry, Scripps College
Liza Fagan began teaching chemistry in 2006. A native of Massachusetts, Liza graduated from Scripps College in California in 2007 with a B.A. in Chemistry and earned a Masters in the Art of Teaching from American University in 2009. She joined Teach for America after college and was placed in Washington, DC, where she has taught for the past eleven years. Liza taught Chemistry 1, Chemistry Honors, and Advanced Placement Chemistry. She was a finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2015.
M.A., Secondary Education, University of New Mexico
B.S., Biology and Anthropology, University of New Mexico
Trish Merewether has taught science and math since 2011. Trish started her career teaching Biology, Archaeology and Math at a small charter school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For the past three years, Trish has taught Chemistry, Physics, AP Physics, and Newcomer Science, a class specific to refugees and new-to-USA students, at Denver South High School in Denver, Colorado. Trish has been a sponsor for math, science, and engineering clubs since she began in the profession.
Dana Van Tilborg
AP Human Geography, Model United Nations
Ph.D., Educational Thought and Sociocultural Studies, University of New Mexico
M.A., Cultural Anthropology, University of New Mexico
B.A., Cultural Anthropology, University of Florida
Dana Van Tilborg has taught high school Social Studies including Economics, Government, Human Geography, Model United Nations, US History, and World History since 2005. She has taught both regular and AP classes. Prior to coming to NCPA, Dana taught in New Mexico and Colorado and internationally at the American School Foundation of Guadalajara, Mexico and in Bogota, Colombia. She has worked with Model United Nations and Debate Clubs and hopes to share her love of learning, current events, history, discussion and debate with NCPA students and community.
Social Studies – Grade 9&10
M.A., Teaching of Social Studies, Columbia University
B.A., History and Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley
Mayra began teaching in 2013. She is originally from Los Angeles, California, but has lived in New York City for the past six years. Mayra began her career at Unity Preparatory Charter School of Brooklyn, New York where she taught 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grade American history over the course of five years. Prior to coming to NCPA, she taught 9th grade American history, including a 10th grade Global Regents prep course; she also served as her school's 6-10th History Department Chair. In this role, she created history curriculum for grades 6-9 and coached teachers on lesson planning. Additionally, Palacios has leadership experience as a grade level leader and culture committee chair. She has facilitated various student clubs such as Boxing, Yearbook, and Superhero: A Community Service Initiative.