Dr. Kim has been an educator for 20 years. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College and Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University. He began his educational career at the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, UCSD, where he taught four years as an assistant professor of economics. He then moved to Korea to teach at the Graduate School of International Studies, Yonsei University. As a tenured professor, he taught at Yonsei for 15 years. In 2015, Dr. Kim resigned from the university to devote himself completely to his role as the founding director of both the APIS Seoul and Hawaii campuses. Having been an international educator all his professional life, Dr. Kim is a strong proponent of the role that international education plays in nurturing future leaders of the New Pacific Century. APIS’ unique educational philosophy and mission reflect Dr. Kim’s conviction that international education should not simply teach about issues that are global but also provide authentic global learning experiences and contexts. Following this belief, Dr. Kim founded APIS Seoul as the campus of the East and APIS Hawaii as the campus of the West, allowing our students to move freely between two campuses to take advantage of APIS’s global learning environment.
Mr. Paulin’s educational career spans more than 25 years. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in English from California State University Chico, and then completed the teacher credentialing program in English with supplementary authorizations in history and geography. He tutored and taught international students for The American Language and Cultural Institute while attending university. Mr. Paulin taught middle school and high school English, history, physical education, and leadership for 11 years. He earned a Master’s degree in Education Leadership and Administration from Sonoma State University. For six years Mr. Paulin served as the secondary principal at Potter Valley Community Unified School District, expanded his duties to include K-12 principal, and eventually accepted the position of District Superintendent. Mr. Paulin then took on the position of secondary principal at APIS Seoul where he served for four years before transitioning to the position of Deputy Head of Academics and relocating to assist with the opening of the new APIS campus in Hawaii. Mr. Paulin has also served as a youth pastor and a co-pastor of a small church in Northern California and has directed a Young Life Christian outreach program with his wife. In addition to enjoying his work with students and teachers, Mr. Paulin enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons. He also likes to read, travel, listen to music, participate in a variety of sports, and hike or explore the outdoors.
Mr. Kuhl feels privileged to join visionary and dedicated APIS team. He was born and raised in farm country of northern Illinois. Through farm work and as a member of the charter class at the Illinois Math and Science Academy, a public boarding school, he learned the value of hard work, intellectual curiosity, the power of making, and the strength of collaboration. After graduating with a B.S. from the University of Illinois he first taught via a Fulbright Fellowship in a comprehensive grade 5-12 school in Vienna, Austria, then in a large comprehensive high school in Austin, Texas, and then in an international school in Caracas, Venezuela. He most recently has served as director of one of the High Tech High schools in San Diego. Along this journey he earned an MA from the College of New Jersey and an MEd from the High Tech High Graduate School of Education.
From these diverse experiences he has grown to understand that greatness lies within every child and that it is the ethical responsibility of educators to cultivate this greatness. He understands that learning is an active, iterative, often messy, and collaborative process. To borrow from Dr. Martin Brokenleg’s “Circle of Courage, ” he has learned that a true community is held together by the interrelated concepts of mastery, generosity, independence and belonging. When students are invited to explore and act on the world around them they develop their best academic, ethical, and creative selves. He has learned that students have their own Common Core of needs that include being a part of a community of caring, consistency, connectedness, love, and trust. In the coming years he looks forward to growing even more with the APIS team as we build something truly special. He has a personal interest in making APIS the best it can be: his children Tenzin and Shanti will be students in the new elementary school, and his wife, Mrs. Kuhl, will be one of the founding teachers.
Mr. Stapleton graduated from Wheaton College with a B.A. in Elementary Education. Before attending Wheaton College, Mr. Stapleton grew up in a missionary home in the Philippines where he anchored his faith in Jesus Christ. After graduating he received teaching licenses in Illinois and Colorado. After moving to Colorado to teach 6th grade, Mr. Stapleton furthered his education at the University of Colorado. At the university he studied curriculum and instruction as well as technology, and he graduated with his M.A. after two years. Mr. Stapleton taught 6th grade for two years and 5th grade for two years. Since graduating from the University of Colorado, Mr. Stapleton was invited to become a part of their faculty. He has taught educational technology classes at the university as an adjunct professor. Mr. Stapleton has been an assistant coach to girls’ varsity volleyball and boys’ club volleyball for four years. In addition, he founded a media club, which has allowed students to practice logo design, animation, audio recording, and movie-making. Mr. Stapleton believes that student engagement and attentiveness is vital for successful education. He enjoys fusing technology with education to achieve greater engagement. Mr. Stapleton and his wife love to travel, play games, and build community.
Mr. Ris graduated from Endicott College with a Master’s degree in International Education Administration, and a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Pittsburgh. He and his wife Ms. Qi have spent five years at YK Pao School in Shanghai, China. They have helped this bilingual boarding school grow from just one year group to now a full middle and high school. They enjoy traveling, and favorite spots have included Australia, Cambodia, Nepal, and Chile. Mr. Ris hails from North Eastern Pennsylvania in a town called Kingston. His parents are career educators, and he grew up on three different independent school campuses as a child. He was a student actor and enjoys directing students in drama productions or making a cameo himself. His family has had a summer residence on the St. Lawrence River for many years, and he enjoys fishing, kayaking, swimming and being along the freshwater. Though he’s excited to soon live along the sea as well.
Ms. Amos grew up in Vermont and graduated from Williams College in Williamstown, MA with a B.A. in English and Studio Art. She comes from a diverse educational background having been homeschooled until high school, attending a private school for Nordic skiing and then a public high school in rural Vermont before Williams College. This diverse background along with an internship teaching at a private school in Denmark, has cultivated a deep passion for learning and curiosity that she hopes to encourage in her students. Ms. Amos concentrated in social documentary photography and film in her studio art major and enjoys studying Shakespeare and literary theory. While at Williams, Ms. Amos was a member of the varsity women’s lacrosse team, the Williams Record, the Williams Outing Club and was a junior advisor. Outside of the classroom Ms. Amos loves competing in triathlons, Nordic skiing, hiking, running, cooking, photography, writing and traveling.
Madison Enos graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in English and a well-loved minor in Education. While on campus, she tutored ESL students and eventually became a member of the Elementary Teacher Preparation Program, which culminated in a year-long student teaching internship in a Pre-K/Kindergarten Montessori classroom. Much of her time at Duke was spent off campus; having never left the United States before college, Madison chose to study abroad for three semesters and three summers. She explored international relations in Turkey, poverty and development in India, food culture and sustainability in Italy, theater in the U.K., and the intersection of social justice and climate change in Vietnam, Morocco, and Bolivia. She also taught health and sanitation methods to K-12 students while living in Jinja, Uganda. Madison grew up involved in theater, and over the past few years, she spent her summers writing and directing plays as a theater camp counselor for kindergarten students in Southern New Hampshire. Her family recently relocated to Southern California, where they enjoy driving with the windows down, cooking vegan food, practicing yoga, swimming long-distance, and singing. She is quite ready for a new adventure with APIS!
Ms. Furusawa earned her Bachelor of Arts from Massey University, New Zealand, as well as a Master of Education and Postgraduate Diploma of Teaching from the University of Melbourne, Australia. She is certified to teach both Japanese and Chinese languages. Ms. Furusawa taught Japanese in Taiwan for seven years and was also a writer for a monthly Japanese magazine published nationally in Taiwan. Always fascinated by languages and new cultures, she enjoys teaching and researching various aspects of language acquisition and usage. Ms. Furusawa is excited about learning Korean, as an addition to her repertoire of language skills. Her interests include playing volleyball, cooking traditional Japanese food, playing the piano, and reading.
Mr. Holmes’ high school dream was to attend Texas A&M University and become an Aggie. In December 2010, he graduated from Texas A&M with a B.S. in Biomedical Science. Mr. Holmes, having plenty of experience in working with kids through church camps and mission trips, decided to be a teacher upon graduation and has never looked back. Mr. Holmes spent six years teaching at Richland High School in Fort Worth, Texas, where he had many titles, including AVID II teacher, Basketball coach and, for all six years, Biology teacher. Mr. Holmes was also the freshmen class sponsor for 4 years and sponsored the Fiction Club, Anime club and Gaming Club at different times. He believes in building lasting and healthy relationships with students, as well as seamlessly integrating technology into the learning experience. Mr. Holmes plays basketball, enjoys science fiction and is intent on learning something new every day!
This May, Ms. Kessel graduated from Bowdoin College with a B.A. in Neuroscience and Teaching Studies. On campus she was the co-leader of an afterschool program for English Language Learners, a tutor in the local junior high and elementary schools, a member of the varsity volleyball team, the Bowdoin Outing Club, and the Student Digital Media Team. Before attending Bowdoin, she was born and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado where she learned to love the outdoors and pursue any adventure. Ms.Kessel spent her summers traveling domestically and internationally to coach volleyball clinics with her family and working as a camp counselor at a Paul Newman summer camp for children with serious illnesses. The past two summers she has spent leading outdoor service trips in Costa Rica, Tanzania, and Kenya. She studied Comparative Education and Social Change in Chile and Argentina for a semester where she bookended her time in South America with a combination of volunteer work and trekking. As an educator, she firmly believes in fostering reciprocal relationships through a strength-based approach. Ms. Kessel enjoys traveling, hiking, reading, photography, and is hoping to improve her surfing skills during her time with the APIS community!
Mrs. Kuhl has been a passionate educator for 19 years. She graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a B.A. in Psychology, and then earned a Masters in Education from Chapman University with an emphasis in reading instruction. She started her career in her hometown, San Diego, working in San Diego City Schools as an upper grade teacher, and as a literacy instruction peer coach where she served primarily ESL students. Afterwards, she worked at an international school in Venezuela for two years. It was during her time in Venezuela that she met her future husband, Robert. Mrs. Kuhl made her way back to San Diego with Mr. Kuhl in tow, and luckily found a position working at High Tech High Explorer Elementary as an upper-grade teacher, and has been there for the past ten years. She is so grateful for her time in this school because this is where she experienced the power of project-based learning, service learning, and social emotional learning; three teaching approaches she believes in wholeheartedly. Mrs. Kuhl is excited to work at APIS Hawaii where both her children, Tenzin and Shanti, will be attending and Mr. Kuhl will work as principal. Mrs. Kuhl loves practicing yoga, hiking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. She is looking forward to having new adventures in Hawaii!
Mr. Larkin graduated from Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL with a B. S. in Economics. While at Wheaton, Mr. Larkin competed on Wheaton’s cross country and track teams. Through the sport of running, Mr. Larkin has been able to see the value of learning which can happen outside the classroom. Before his time at Wheaton, Mr. Larkin grew up in a highly international community in Chicago. There his family was heavily involved in a church that provided opportunities for him to discover a love for kids and teaching through volunteering with various ministries. As a child, Mr. Larkin grew an early love for math and numbers through a fascination of baseball sta tistics, especially those for the Chicago Cubs. Now, Mr. Larkin is excited to trade the Windy City winters for the tropical Hawaiian beaches, as he is hoping to learn how to surf. Mr. Larkin hopes to continue his love for running as a way to explore more of Hawaii, and make some friends along the way.
Born to a military family, Mrs. Manley spent her childhood living in Puerto Rico, Maine, Virginia, and Alaska. She completed most of her K-12 education in the small island town of Sitka, Alaska. Upon graduating from high school, Mrs. Manley spent a year in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay as an American Field Services exchange student. This experience led her to major in Spanish and minor in mathematics at Whitman College, a small liberal arts college located in eastern Washington. Through her college ministry she met her husband and together they decided to enter the teaching profession. After being accepted to the Teach for America program, Mrs. Manley moved to Gallup, New Mexico where she taught 6th and 7th grade math to a very diverse student population. In the classroom, she guides students through authentic and collaborative learning experiences, pushing them to connect their learning to the world around them while developing student and civic responsibility. Outside of the classroom, she loves to cook big meals, knit, hike, and has recently become an avid swimmer.
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Mr. Manley attended public schools in Salem, Oregon, as well as a two-year stint at an international school in Japan. His love of language and literature led him to Whitman College, where he received his B.A. in English and studied abroad in Senegal, West Africa. Upon graduation, Mr. Manley completed a Princeton in Asia Teaching Fellowship as an instructor of English at Chiang Mai University in Northern Thailand, returning to the U.S. in 2012 to complete a year of service with the AmeriCorps Reading Corps service program. Mr. Manley and his beautiful wife Allison joined the Teach for America educator development program in 2013 and relocated to New Mexico, where he taught 7th grade English to diverse classes of Native American, Hispanic, Arabic, Filipino, and white students. He holds a teaching certificate from the state of New Mexico and a master’s degree in secondary education from the University of New Mexico. Himself a college soccer and tennis athlete, he enjoys coaching a variety of sports and has been involved with student theater productions and arts magazines. He and his wife enjoy hiking, tennis, good cooking, and exploring new lands and languages.
Mr. McHugh has always felt passionately about exploring the world and cultivating strong, healthy, and multicultural communities. These passions led him to pursue his Master’s in Secondary Education, as well as his B.A. in Geography, International Studies, and Cartography. Over the past year, Mr. McHugh has been teaching social studies and “biliteracy” in dual-language immersion classrooms in Madison, Wisconsin, which focus on English and Spanish fluency across all school subjects. Outside of academic interests, Mr. McHugh has participated in a variety of activities that have influenced his role as a teacher, including leading education-focused volunteer groups abroad, facilitating team-building workshops, and leading middle school camps focused on cross-cultural learning and community service. In his downtime, you can find Mr. McHugh biking, rock climbing, writing music, cooking, dancing, leading yoga classes, or just enjoying chatting with people. During this year, Mr. McHugh is particularly excited to bring a geographic perspective to the classroom, focusing on connecting students to their natural and cultural surroundings in Hau’ula, as well as the world at large. Additionally, he is enthusiastic about helping each student develop their strengths as individuals as well as members of their communities.
Mr. Mo received his B.F.A in illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He specialized in the art of constructing visual narratives. He is proficient in various traditional and digital mediums. He has also served in the Army of Republic of Korea as a military photographer for two years. Mr. Mo was raised bilingually and exposed to two very different cultures by moving back and forth between the United States of America and the Republic of Korea. While he was studying in school, he learned that visual narratives could be used as a universal language, creating a bridge that connects and reaches different cultures. He believes that during this globalized age, art provides a visual narrative for the globalized community that could be enjoyed and understood. As an international school graduate himself, he is very eager to teach fellow international students his knowledge of creative thinking and the art of constructing visual narratives.
Mr. Peeler received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Biola University where he specialized in instrumental music and studied piano with Dr. Li-Shan Hung. Following the awarding of his degree at Biola, he completed his student teaching at Hutchinson Middle School and California High School working with band directors Craig Jordan and Doug Nordquist. During his time at Biola University, Mr. Peeler participated in Symphonic Winds, Chorale, piano accompanying, and percussion ensemble. While with the Chorale, he toured South Korea performing concerts in schools, churches, and concert halls around the country. Outside of the music building, Mr. Peeler was heavily involved in the international community aiding students with papers and spoken English; he also participated in the campus homeless ministry delivering meals and the gospel to the homeless in Long Beach. In his spare time, Mr. Peeler enjoys playing the piano and guitar, exercising, reading, playing sports, studying Korean, and skyping with his family.
Ms. Qi or Qi Laoshi, (means teacher) graduated with a Master’s in Education after earning her Bachelor’s Degree in ESL teaching. She worked for five years at YK Pao School, teaching 3 years of ESL and 2 years of middle school science. She is excited to share more than just Mandarin language with her students, but also her love and appreciation of Chinese culture and tradition. She likes traveling with her husband Mr. Ris, spending time with family, doing yoga or Pilates. Coming to APIS Hawaii is her first time living permanently outside China, and while she will certainly miss Chinese New Year at home with her family, she is very excited about new opportunities and getting close to a volcano in Hawaii.
Ms. Vierstra received her B.S. in Biology from Palm Beach Atlantic University where she specialized in environmental science and minored in education. During her studies she traveled independently through Israel, 15 European countries, and Morocco. Incorporating her environmental studies into her travels, she volunteered on organic farms which led her to write her thesis on the environmental impacts of industrialized agriculture. After graduating, Ms. Vierstra explored the Galápagos Islands and mainland Ecuador, and she ended the summer moving to the Dominican Republic to teach biology and chemistry courses at The Ashton School. Ms. Vierstra designed her curriculums in a way that brought science to life and confronted students with problems that encouraged experimentation. As a teacher and advisor, she enjoys building relationships with students to create community and facilitate individualized instruction. She recently traveled around the Caribbean and Latin America and sharing her low-waste lifestyle to encourage people to be mindful stewards of the earth. In her downtime, she enjoys practicing yoga, creating vegan treats, drinking chai and matcha lattes, being outside, dancing, exploring new places, and connecting with people. Ms. Vierstra is excited to join the APIS community!