Chinese Track Faculty

Katy Lin
PreK (3-year-olds) Teacher

  • Master program candidate in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, National Taiwan Normal University
  • B.S. Nursing, National Taiwan University
  • Teaching Chinese since 2004

I really enjoy teaching and growing with students from diverse backgrounds.  Teaching at The International School not only provides me with a platform to share my knowledge with our students, but also allows me to interact and learn from our students, parents, and all the international staff.  In turn, I am exposed to values, cultures and customs from all over the world.  In my free time, I like to travel with my family and play with my fluffy goldendoodle.

Ju-Ya Cheng
LowK (4-year-olds) Teacher

  • From Taiwan
  • Master’s in Visual Art Education, National Pingtung Teachers College
  • Bachelor’s in Language and Literature Education, National Taipei Teachers College
  • Teaching since 2003; At TIS since 2014

Ju-Ya has over a decade’s worth of experience and most recently was a Mandarin immersion Kindergarten teacher at the Hope Chinese Charter School in Beaverton.  Ju-Ya has a BA in Chinese Language and Literature Education from the National Taipei Teachers College and a Master’s Degree in Visual Art Education from the National Pingtung Teachers College, both located in Taiwan. She has received Certificates in Elementary School Teaching, Mandarin Teaching, and Overseas Cultural and Traditional Arts Teacher Training, all in Taiwan. When not teaching, Ju-Ya enjoys cooking and baking for her family and friends. Producing great food in her kitchen always gives her happiness.

Ju-Ya enjoys working with the TIS staff, students, and families. She enjoys working with teachers from cultures and other language tracks, as she thinks it is mutually beneficial for the development of teaching skills.

Yu Chu “Charlotte” Chen
Kindergarten Teacher

  • From Taipei, Taiwan
  • Master’s in Language Teaching from the University of Warwick, Coventry, England
  • Postgraduate Diploma in English Language Teaching and Administration from the University of Warwick, Coventry, England
  • BA in English, National Taiwan Normal University
  • Diploma in Elementary Administration and Education, Taipei Municipal Teachers’ College
  • At TIS since 2016

I am looking forward to working with everyone at TIS and to seeing our learners grow up happily. I really enjoy reading (books, magazines, comic books), watching some TV dramas, and animation.  I also want to learn more to master my tech skills to cope with the world of Apps around us.

Yuan “Emily” Gao
1st Grade Teacher

  • From China
  • Master of Arts in Teaching from George Fox University
  • Oregon Teaching License with Elementary Multiple Subjects Endorsement
  • Montessori Teacher Certificate

I have been working as an educator in the Greater Portland area since 2011. Prior to coming to TIS, I taught in both public and private school settings. I believe that education should be learner-centered, and that the most important thing a teacher can do is build relationships with students. When you truly know what students enjoy and how they learn, you can develop a safe and enriching environment where everyone can be successful. I am passionate about teaching Mandarin Chinese, and feel fortunate to be part of such an incredible, cohesive team. I love contributing to the mission of inspiring children to become global citizens through an inquiry-based learning environment.

Renzhen “Jennifer” Zhu
2nd Grade Teacher

  • Bachelor of Science in Math, China
  • A.A.S. in Computer Information Systems, USA
  • Confucius Institute Certificate
  • Teaching since 1982; teaching at TIS since 2003

For me, teaching is not just a job, it is my passion. I have worked at The International School for over a decade. It is so amazing to work with young children. I really enjoy getting to know their personalities over the course of a school year and to see how they grow, both academically and socially.

At TIS it’s also a tremendous experience to see how the children learn, grow and share through the PYP. With this learner framework, children become active participants in their education, not just passive recipients. I love to see these little kids becoming explorers of the big world around them. For me, being part of the teaching staff here is also a dynamic and wonderful experience. The teachers are from all over the world. We are our own little global community, working and collaborating together.

Maggie Chang Yihyun
3rd Grade Teacher

  • From Taiwan
  • Master’s in Educational Technology from National University in San Diego
  • Graduate study at Virginia Tech
  • Bachelor’s in Chinese Literature from University of Providence in Taiwan
  • Confucius Institute Chinese Language Teacher Certificate
  • Oregon Registry Trainer

I have taught Chinese language to diverse groups of students from K to 6th grade and up to college level in both Taiwan and the United States. For the past seven years, I have been working as an Early Childhood Education Consultant / Trainer. Teaching and Chinese Literature are both my passions. I am excited that I can contribute and share my passion with the TIS community. It is always rewarding to see students opening their views to different cultures and gaining confidence through second language learning. I believe the collaboration between school and families create the best support for student learning. As a teacher, I always put students first; I strive to create a positive environment with mutual respect that allows each student to develop as a whole person.

Tongfang Zhao
4th Grade Teacher

  • From Qing County, Hebei Province, China
  • Graduate Degree in English as a Foreign Language from Hebei Normal University, Hebei Province
  • Degree in English Education from Huaibei Teacher’s College, Anhui Province
  • At TIS since 2010

Chunwei “Christy” Appleberry
5th Grade Teacher

  • From China
  • Master’s in Education from Concordia University
  • Bachelor’s from Tianjin Normal University, Foreign Language School
  • Teaching since 2009; teaching at TIS since 2014

Prior to moving to Portland, Chunwei “Christy” Appleberry was a head elementary school teacher at Maple Leaf International School, a bilingual Mandarin/English school in Tianjin. While there, she received recognition for her work in teaching and in curriculum design. Christy received her Bachelor’s degree at Tianjin Normal University, and is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Teaching at Concordia University here in Portland. Her hobbies include traveling, reading, and jogging. She is looking forward to learning more about American culture from her students, and in turn helping them to open their minds to the rest of the world.