APIS Faculty

 

APIS EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING

APIS Excellence in teaching emphasizes the following:

  • To ensure measurable, standard-based student performance and achievements by implementing a cutting-edge curriculum and research-based instructional strategies.
  • To assemble a superb group of educators, who would not only be excellent teachers but also be accomplished individuals serving as role models for our students.
  • To provide a Christ-centered, loving and caring environment that promotes students’ creativity and passion for learning.
APIS HAWAII FACULTY MEMBERS
Christopher Stapleton, Principal
M.A. University of Colorado/ B.A. Wheaton College

Mr. Stapleton graduated from Wheaton College with a bachelor’s degree 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 master’s degree after two years. Mr. Stapleton taught sixth grade for two years and fifth 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 are vital for a 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.


Andrew Ris, Assistant Principal
M.A. Endicott College / B.A. University of Pittsburgh

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 with the freshwater. Though he’s excited to soon live along the sea as well.


Stephanie Frank, Dean of Studies and Community Engagement
M.Ed. University of Hawai’i at Mānoa / B.A. Bucknell University

Ms. Frank graduated from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa with a master’s degree in educational administration and with bachelor’s degrees in international relations and Spanish from Bucknell University, where she competed on the NCAA Division I rowing team. She has taught and led English programs for multilingual students in grades kindergarten through 12, including at Maryknoll School in Honolulu, at a boarding school in New York, and at schools in China, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Costa Rica, and Italy. Ms. Frank also was a director at the nonprofit Row New York, serving under-resourced students and people with disabilities throughout New York City. Most recently, she served as an educational officer in the Hawai’i State Department of Education’s Office of Strategy, Innovation and Performance, training teachers and administrators to utilize technology and multiple measures of data to improve student-learning outcomes. As a passion project, Ms. Frank founded a freelance writing company, which has now created content for private schools, universities, technology startups, and Hawai’i Parent Magazine. Her hobbies include surfing, fishing, writing, and trying unique foods.


Kathy Rehfield-Pelles, Dean of Teaching and Learning, Math
M.Ed. Harvard University / B.S. Yale University

Mrs. Rehfield-Pelles was most recently a superintendent for the New York City Department of Education, where she was responsible for 47 PreK to 12th grade schools and 18,000 students. Before her appointment as superintendent, she was a principal at School of the Future, a rigorous college-preparatory middle and high school in New York City. She began her career teaching math and computer science in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and also in Rome, Italy. Mrs. Rehfield-Pelles majored in mathematics at Yale University and received her master’s degree in education from Harvard Graduate School. For high school, Mrs. Rehfield-Pelles attended United Nations International School (UNIS), a flagship international school in New York City.


Tiaan van der Linde, Director of Admissions and College Counseling
M.S. Portland State University / B.A. University of Vermont

A native of Vermont, Mr. van der Linde was a faculty member, admissions director, coach, and dormitory parent at four independent schools prior to joining APIS Hawai’i.  His teaching experience includes English, geography, history, and music. Mr. van der Linde enjoys learning new things from his students and observing students teaching one another.  Mr. van der Linde has visited 40 countries on five continents by airplane, sailboat, cargo ship, and bicycle. He enjoys mountain biking, Nordic and Alpine skiing, sailing, and playing the fiddle.


William Brown, Humanities, Physical Education
B.S. Kansas State University

Mr. Brown grew up in Kansas and received his bachelor’s degree in secondary education with an emphasis in social studies. He taught in rural Kansas, working in a diverse classroom with many non-native English speaking students. He later joined Pearson’s Connections Academy as the grades 7 to 12 social studies teacher for their virtual school. This experience allowed him to embrace technology to help deliver engaging lessons for diverse students. Mr. Brown strongly believes that historical context can help students understand the present complexities of the world as well as help prepare them for the future. Outside of the classroom, Mr. Brown enjoys hiking, traveling, basketball, reading, and spending time with his friends and family.


Hyun Hee (Alice) Chang, Korean
M.A. Yonsei University / B.A. Ewha Woman’s University

Ms. Chang graduated from Ewha Woman’s University with a bachelor’s degree in Korean language and literature and earned her master’s degree in Korean education from Yonsei Graduate School of Education. Her studies have mainly focused on developing practical teaching materials and methodologies in Korean language education. Upon graduating from her master’s degree program, she received the best thesis award for her research on the use of Korean dictionaries as instructional tools in vocabulary lessons at the elementary school level. From very early childhood, Ms. Chang has been fascinated with reading and studying Korean literature. Her goal is to make her passion for the Korean language highly contagious so that her students would also develop a deep appreciation for the true beauty of Korean. In addition to teaching, Ms. Chang enjoys participating in various church activities. She has gone on mission trips to India and Nepal and leads a Bible study group in her church.


Joanie (Jojo) Chang, Kindergarten
M.A. California State University / B.Ed. Brigham Young University–Hawai’i

With over 20 years of experience in the education field, Mrs. Chang has taught preschool through college at various places around the United States, including Hale Kula Elementary, Christa McAuliffe Academy, Maui Ocean Academy, Brigham Young University–Hawai’i, and Bright Beginning Learning Center. She enjoys the academic pursuit of helping students build important lifelong skills in reading, writing, and math as well as the fitness pursuit of training athletes in competitive swimming.  As a coach, she has trained hundreds of swimmers in the Ko‘olauloa area of O‘ahu. She believes that building a strong foundation is important for success in both academics and athletics. In her free time, Mrs. Chang loves swimming in the aqua blue ocean, wandering around planet earth on a sailboat, and reading books that encourage her deep belief in God. She is excited to work with APIS’s youngest students.


Junko Furusawa, Japanese, Chinese
M.Ed. & PGDip. The University of Melbourne / B.A. Massey University

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. She has been with APIS since 2011 and moved to APIS Hawai’i campus after serving in Seoul campus for 8 years. Always fascinated by languages and new cultures, Ms. Furusawa enjoys teaching and researching various aspects of language acquisition and usage.  Her other interests include traveling, cooking traditional Japanese food, photography, and reading.


Arisa Gereda, Dance, Theatre, Music, EAL Specialist
B.A. Vassar College

Ms. Gereda grew up in small-town Kingston, Pennsylvania, and received her bachelor’s degree in Hispanic studies while also participating in whistling acapella, interning with a rural and migrant ministry, and studying social change in Chile and Argentina. After graduating, Ms. Gereda received the Cornelisen Fellowship to study and work in Guatemala with a women’s legal services nonprofit and preschool nutrition program. She stayed in Guatemala, falling more in love with education while working as a homeschooling teacher and piano instructor. She believes in building community through education and connecting students to their own passions.  Ms. Gereda’s interests include cooking, finding beautiful views, dancing, and playing instruments.


Angela (Angie) Johnson, Grades 3 and 4
B.Ed. University of Hawai’i

Mrs. Johnson joins APIS from Sunset Beach Elementary, where she taught 5th grade. Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, she lived in Southern California and has now called O‘ahu home for more than 15 years. Her husband of over 20 years is in the U.S. Navy, and they have three children. Mrs. Johnson credits growing up with the rich diversity in Utah and being stationed among the many different families in the military in helping her develop a true love of culture and people. Being a mom to a child who was tested “gifted” and another child with a learning disability has helped her develop a strong teaching pedagogy focused around individualized learning. Mrs. Johnson understands that each child has their own path of development, and she is passionate and excited to help each student reach their fullest potential along their individual path of learning. When not in the classroom, you can find Mrs. Johnsorn spending time with her family and friends, traveling, or doing an activity that brings her close to nature. Her love of the beautiful Hawaiian Islands, the outdoors, and nature is a constant presence in her personal and professional life.


Allison Manley, Curriculum Coordinator
B.A. Whitman College

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 swim.


Matthew Manley, English, Humanities
M.Ed. University of New Mexico / B.A. Whitman College

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 bachelor’s degree 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. As a college soccer and tennis athlete, he enjoys coaching a variety of sports and has been involved with student theater productions and art magazines. He and his wife enjoy hiking, tennis, good cooking, and exploring new lands and languages.


Kristen McCormack, Grades 1 and 2, Counselor
B.S. Flagler College

Ms. McCormack received her bachelor’s degree in social sciences with a minor in youth ministry and went to graduate school at Brandman University to receive her Elementary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Before APIS, she worked as a youth pastor, helped start a swim school, and taught first and second grade at Piedmont Avenue Elementary in Oakland, California, for fifteen years. Ms. McCormack has a lot of love: learning, students, writing, art, music, outdoors, cooking, design, culture, travel, community, and family – especially her daughter, Emma.


Andy Peeler, Music
B.Mus.Ed. Biola University

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, chorus, piano accompanying, and percussion ensemble. While with the chorus, 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 people in Long Beach. In his spare time, Mr. Peeler enjoys playing the piano and guitar, exercising, reading, playing sports, studying Korean, and video calling with his family.


Vivi Qi, Chinese
M.A. The Chinese University of Hong Kong / B.A. The United International College

Ms. Qi or Qi Laoshi, which means teacher, graduated with a master’s degree in education after earning her bachelor’s degree in ESL teaching. She worked for five years at YK Pao School, teaching three years of ESL and two 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, and doing yoga or pilates. Coming to APIS Hawai’i is her first time living permanently outside China, and while she misses Chinese New Year at home with her family, she loves the exciting international atmosphere at APIS and the natural beauty of Hawai’i.


Hayley Rosenfield, English
B.A. Rhodes College

Ms. Rosenfield studied English literature and creative writing at Rhodes College as well as Spanish in Argentina. She grew up in Minnesota and attended school where her father has taught history for over 40 years, learning lessons about engaging classes, aiming for depth over breadth, and laughing with students every day. As a high schooler, Ms. Rosenfield counseled at her church’s summer camp, which established her love for working with children. She joins the APIS community by way of Minnesota, where she taught high school English and served as a dorm parent for three years at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School. In her free time, Ms. Rosenfield enjoys cartooning, writing fiction, practicing yoga, and spending time with family and friends.


Sandy Stevens, Art
B.A. Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Ms. Stevens grew up in a Chicago suburb, earning her bachelor’s degree in art education, and later becoming a National Board Certified Teacher. She taught high school art in southern Illinois and elementary art in Kansas before journeying to APIS. She believes art is an engaging and accessible portal to our world’s history, cultures, science, geography, and to ourselves. In Ms. Stevens’ personal art practice, she often practices printmaking, painting, and drawing. Additionally, Ms. Stevens is a certified yoga therapist, teaching, owning, and operating yoga studios for ten years. She enjoys living in Hawai’i: swimming with sea turtles, hiking to waterfalls, and finding new inspiration for her art.


Lindley van der Linde, Science
M.S. Portland State University / B.A. Williams College

Mrs. van der Linde has spent two decades teaching science and math in independent schools. She, her husband Tiaan, and two children, Linden and Stella, joined the APIS Hawai’i campus from Vermont in 2019. Mrs. van der Linde particularly enjoys teaching students how to think like scientists. By bringing real-life applications into each lesson, she makes challenging topics more tangible. Prior to APIS Hawai’i, in her spare time, Mrs. van der Linde ran a small farm with pigs, chickens, and vegetables, and coached local youth in Nordic skiing. Mrs. van der Linde is also an All-American Nordic skier who competed in the World Junior Championships. She is an avid mountain biker, trail runner, and knitter.


Mary Ward, Humanities, EAL Specialist
B.A. Emory University

Ms. Ward has a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Emory University, where she also competed on the golf team. She studied abroad at the University of Freiburg in Germany. For three years, Ms. Ward tutored at La Amistad, an Atlanta-based organization that serves Latinx students from the local community. She also was a student government representative at Emory and interned for her U.S. Senator. Ms. Ward attended a boarding school in rural Massachusetts, and her engaging educational experiences there were instrumental in helping her decide to pursue a career in education. In her free time, Ms. Ward enjoys basketball, golf, keeping up with world politics, and spending time with friends and family.