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Transitional Kindergarten/Kindergarten

Parisa Geshti      email: p.geshti@irvineia.org

Parisa Geshti

With her passion for public health and education, Miss Geshti found herself on a path towards being heavily involved in bettering the world around her. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in Health Science from California State University, Fullerton in 2017 and soon after started working with various non-profits that focused on the health and wellness of school communities and their families. Miss Geshti continued her education by attending California State University, Long Beach to obtain her Master’s in Public Health degree with an emphasis in Community Health Education and graduated in 2019.

Continuing to work with various schools and school districts in both the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, Miss Geshti realized that she can make more of an impact in the classroom full time than as a visitor to classrooms. Miss Geshti was able to obtain her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Concordia University, Irvine, and currently continues to pursue her Master of Education degree at Concordia University, Irvine as well. With her background in public health and heavy involvement in various school communities, Miss Geshti looks forward to making her classroom a place of growth, mindfulness, and opportunities.

Transitional Kindergarten/Kindergarten

Fang Xie                      email: fxie@irvineia.org

Fang Xie

Ms. Fang Xie is a bilingual teacher delivering high-quality Mandarin instruction to all the students regardless of their prior experience. She was born and raised in Jiangsu, China. Before she came to the United States, she worked as a coordinator and purchaser in Bayer where she gained strong interpersonal skills as well as collaboration skills. She graduated from University of San Diego with a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and dual teaching credentials in both general education and special education.

Ms. Xie is committed to students’ social-emotional growth, academic success, and critical thinking. She is skilled in conducting evaluations and assessments, developing individualized educational plan goals and objectives, in addition to developing lesson plans and delivering instruction. She is also respected for knowledge of diverse teaching strategies, strengths in teaching math, and capacity to integrate technology into lessons. Above all, she is excited to work together with the students, parents, and educators in the community of Irvine International Academy!”


Sandy Small                 email: sandysmall@irvineia.org

Sandy Small

Mrs. Small is the native Mandarin speaker from Taiwan and is passionate about teaching Chinese language and culture to American students. In 2011, she started teaching at an elementary school in Cave Creek AZ where she won an award in 2015 for her teaching innovations. This will be her 10th year teaching Mandarin, 4 years teaching in kindergarten in California and 5 years teaching Mandarin from K to 6th grade in Arizona. Her classes are designed to be fun, engaging, and differentiated to offer needed instruction to students with different proficiency levels.

Mrs. Small currently holds a Multiple Subject teaching credential from Rio Salado College in Arizona. Her California CLAD teaching certificate is from University of Phoenix besides, and she is currently continuing to pursue her Master of Education degree at University of Phoenix.

Her expectation for students is to leave IIA with a strong foundation of listening, speaking, reading, and writing proficiency in Mandarin. She is also passionate about incorporating technology in her daily instruction. She is excited to be part of the IIA team and is looking forward to meeting our students and parents.


Zoe Grisenti                email: zoegrisenti@irvineia.org

Zoe Grisenti

Ms. Grisenti graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Liberal Studies from Sonoma State University. She earned her multiple subject credential at Cal State Fullerton. She began teaching at an environmental discovery center where she taught science and social studies standards. Ms. Grisenti then went on to student teach in second grade and sixth grade in Placentia. After completing her credential, she substitute taught in the Orange County area where she gained experience working at dual immersion schools.

Ms. Grisenti is very excited to join the Irvine International Academy team. She plans to have a very hands-on class with a lot of immersive lessons. Ms. Grisenti’s goal is to create an equitable environment where everyone enjoys learning and anyone is able to learn. Ms. Grisenti enjoys being very active. Her favorite thing to do on a nice day is going for a hike or mountain bike ride. If she is not outdoors, Ms. Grisenti enjoys reading.

1st grade

Mi Zhou                    email: mzhou@irvineia.rog

Mi Zhou

Ms. Zhou was born and raised in China. Becoming a teacher has been a dream of hers since she was in high school. In 2009, Ms. Zhou came to the United States to pursue this dream. In six years, she has earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Childhood Education from SUNY Geneseo and her master’s degree in Bilingual Education from New York University. Since 2017, she officially began her journey as a bilingual teacher at Shuang Wen School, one of the first English-Mandarin bilingual schools in New York City. Ms. Zhou has taught 2nd grade for three years and Kindergarten for two years. This year, she moved from NYC to Southern California to reunite with her family. She is excited to start her new chapter with Irvine International Academy!

1st grade

Kaitlin McCarty                email: kmaccarty@irvineia.org

Kaitlin McCarty

Hello, my name is Kaitlin McCarty and I am thrilled to be joining the team at Irvine International Academy. A little about myself, I grew up in the Central Valley of California and many of my family members work in the field of Education. Growing up around education, I have always nurtured my passion for teaching and I have been working with children and students for fifteen years. From my work as a competitive dance teacher to my time as a nanny, I have learned the importance of making connections with my students in order to facilitate a truly special and personalized classroom environment for each one of them. The experience I have gained from working with Irvine families in their homes through providing child care and tutoring has allowed me to quickly become attuned to the needs of the families in our community. Especially during the pandemic, I quickly took to the role of homeschool teacher for many students and was able to witness firsthand their experience with distance learning.

While I did my student teaching at California State University Fullerton’s Credential Program, I was able to work with and learn from incredible professors and mentor teachers. Throughout the program at CSUF I was trained in the most up-to-date teaching strategies and theories on education. With a background rich in assisting children to reach their goals and a fresh Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, I am elated to use my passion of encouraging and supporting youngsters as a member of the IIA team. In my classroom I aim to create a supportive learning environment that encourages students to chase their curiosity and take risks. I want students to find belonging in my classroom and explore meaningful subjects while growing to their fullest potential. I am so pleased and excited to bring the first graders at Irvine International Academy a year full of academic challenges, personal growth opportunities, and most of all a sense of community and love for school.

2nd grade

Liz Hsueh                   email: lhuseh@irvineia.og

Liz Hsueh

My name is Liz Hsueh, I am originally from Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Growing up speaking Taiwanese and Mandarin Chinese, I absolutely love sharing my culture and language with others. I found my passion for working with children while teaching a camp in my freshman year of college. I immediately decided to pursue a career in teaching, and the rest is history.

I received my Master’s degree in Instructional Leadership from the University of Illinois in Chicago in 2010. Since then, I’ve had the blessing of working in different fields of education. Some of the roles I have played include curriculum developer, content designer, and of course, classroom teacher. I have taught first and second graders at Huaxing Elementary School (華興小學)in Taipei, Taiwan before relocating to California in 2018. When I’m not at work, you’ll find me in a yoga studio or biking around with my 6-year-old. I’m very excited to be back in the classroom to start a new journey to learn and grow with all the little ones and families here at IIA.

2nd grade

Catherine Irvine                  email: cirvine@irvineia.org

Catherine Irvine

Ms. Catherine Irvine has been a dedicated Elementary teacher since 2016. She received her B.S. and M.S in Elementary Education from Old Dominion University, Virginia. Ms. Irvine then served as an Education Specialist in the Peace Corps, Guyana. For the past 3 years, she has been the first grade teacher and Elementary Section Leader at Georgetown International Academy, Guyana.

3rd grade

Claire Suh                        email:  csuh@irvineia.org

Clair Suh

I graduated with a B.A. in Theater and Performance Studies degree and a Minor degree in Education from UC Berkeley in 2015. Soon after, I earned the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, Long Beach in 2017 and the GATE Certification from UC Irvine Extensions in 2021. Also, by the end of 2021, I will have my Clear Credential from UC San Diego Extensions Induction Program.

I had my student teaching experience in a 2nd grade dual immersion classroom at Denker Avenue Elementary School in LAUSD and I began my teaching career in the Centralia School District and Magnolia School District in Orange County, CA. I taught two years in these two districts before moving to a Charter School in Fountain Valley where I spent the next two years teaching Kindergarten and 1st and 2nd grade combo class. This year, I am thrilled to be your English teacher in the 3rd grade classroom at IIA! I speak Korean and English and currently living in Rancho Mission Viejo with my husband. I enjoy exercising, traveling, reading, playing musical instruments, and taking and editing pictures. I look forward to meeting all of my wonderful students and their families!

3rd grade

Carol Chai                   email: cchai@irvineia.org

Carol Chai

Ms. Chai obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Language and Literature from UC Irvine. Her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction comes from Argosy University, and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Argosy University. Ms. Chai has 15 years of teaching in Mandarin, Math, Science, English Language Development (ELD), Dual Immersion Mandarin and History at various public school districts.

Her hobbies include meditating, traveling, and jogging. She is Taiwanese-American, but born in Malaysia and raised in Northern California (Bay Area), bilingual in Mandarin and English. She loves animals and  owns a dog (Pekingese). Her favorite food is Thai and she is a big fan of organic eating.

4/5th grade

I-Fang Wang               email: iwang@irvineia.org

IFang Zhen Wang

Ms. Wang has a master’s degree of Arts in Communication and holds a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Single Subject Teaching Credential in teaching Mandarin Chinese. She taught Mandarin Chinese levels 1, 2, and 3, and AP Chinese as a Team Lead at Torrey Pines High school for 4 years in San Diego and taught Chinese, social studies, computer coding, and science in the immersion program in Los Angeles and the Orange County area. She established the high school Chinese program from scratch and received UC approval for Carlsbad Unified School District.

Beginning with her tenth year at Irvine International Academy, she will emphasize applied linguistic projects and rule-based written language in addition to communicative, content-based, and multi-sensory approaches to promote higher thinking. Students will be able to use language skills spontaneously on everyday topics. Students will also be equipped with the abilities of collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, and technology to be successful in all subjects for the 21st century. With her extensive experiences, students will leave her classroom with strong foundations for continuity in Chinese language learning as needed.

4/5th Grade

Ms. Angela Brown          email:  abrown@irvineia.org

Angela Brown comes to IIA with 20 years of teaching experience in grades Kinder through 12, and holds three teaching credentials including: multiple subjects, Instructional Specialist, and CTE Business and Finance.  She earned a Masters Degree in Literacy from San Diego State University and a Bachelors Degree in Vocal Performance from Chapman University.  


During her years at the High School level, Angela taught Career Planning, Financial Literacy, Language Arts, Social Studies, and Math.  


Angela  studied Gifted Education at the University of Virginia, and has a GATE certification. She taught 6th grade core and GATE for Tustin Unified School District, and Loudoun County Public Schools in Leesburg, Virginia.  


Married with three children, Angela enjoys spending time hiking and biking and traveling with her family.  


Physical Education

Andrew Kacherov       email:  akacherov@irvineia.org

Andrew Kacherov

Mr. Kacherov holds a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sport Studies from California State University Northridge. Additionally, Mr. Kacherov holds a master's degree in Physical Education along with a single-subject teaching credential in Physical Education from Azusa Pacific University. Prior to entering the field of Education, Mr. Kacherov worked for the WNBA (Los Angeles Sparks) before deciding to commit his vocation to working with youth and keeping our next generation of students physically active. Mr. Kacherov also has many years of experience serving in Children's Ministry at Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch, California as a teacher for 4th-5th grade students. Finally, Mr. Kacherov is bilingual himself as he speaks Russian coming from a Ukrainian/Russian background. He hopes to learn Mandarin, in the near future, in order to better compliment the dual-immersion environment.

Resource Teacher

Judy Yuen                      email:  jyuen@irvineia.org

Judy Yuen

My name is Judy Yuen, and I am proud to be the resource teacher of Irvine International Academy. I was born and raised in Taiwan, received a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from Tamkang University, Taiwan, and my Masters in Education from California Polytechnic University of Pomona. I am certified to teach K-12 Mathematics, Mandarin and Special Education. This will be my 12th year of teaching at public school in the areas of Mandarin and Special Education after teaching part time Mathematics in High school for more than ten years.

I have a true passion for working with our young learners!! Helping each child cultivate his/her potential to the utmost in all areas of their growth—academic, social, and language —is a challenge and privilege I take on daily. I strive to create a community of learners that advance this growth in a positive, fun environment. My goal of life is always to make a difference in my student’s life.

Personally, I have been married for 30 glorious years and have two fantastic grown children. My whole family love to watch and play sports—tennis, volleyball, basketball, baseball, and swim! I also enjoy reading, cooking, music, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. I look forward to working together with you as partners in your child’s academic, social growth and language advancement.