Meet our teachers

At AEA, we are proud of our beloved international students and our amazing teachers and staff who are dedicated to helping students improve and achieve. AEA is committed to building an engaged and family-like community for everyone. And our teachers are the pillars of the house.

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​I hope that you are ready for a wonderful English language and cultural experience, as I look forward to introducing you to San Francisco, and taking you on one of our many adventures throughout California, and beyond.

- Sina Ghadirian, Director at AEA

Our mission

The mission of Advance English Academy is to provide a high-quality English language program, in a friendly and compassionate learning environment. 

 

Advance English Academy strives to equip students with their desired English competence and to provide an opportunity to develop their lifelong-lasting learning ability. 

 

Through the recruitment and development of qualified faculty members, Advance English Academy endeavors to assist and support students in achieving their educational goals.   

 

By advocating local volunteerism and outdoor recreation, Advance English Academy hopes to expand student knowledge, while encouraging an appreciation and understanding of our community, language, and country. 

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Teacher directory

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Andrew Navarro

Education background 

B.A. Performing Arts, B.S. Criminal Justice, San Francisco State University;

M.A. TESOL Texas A&M Commerce

Teaches:

High Advanced

 

Talk to me about:

English, Food, Travel, History

One interesting place I've traveled to:

I've traveled to Florence, Italy multiple times. I keep thinking I'll go back and explore more of Italy, but the reality is that I love Florence too much to lose a single day somewhere else. I recommend trying some gelato before walking around the Duomo!

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Anna Loewenberg

Education background 

B.A. Modern Literature, UC Santa Cruz; 
M.S., Columbia Graduate School of Journalism; 
TEFL in China Certificate; Florida Educator Certificate Training, English 6-12, University of West Florida

Teaches:

Advanced

 

Talk to me about:

English, Food, Travel, Movies

One interesting place I've traveled to:

I've traveled to the lush mountain lakes of Yunnan China, and from there I went to Shangri La and onto Lhasa, Tibet. In the mountains of Tibet, I explored monasteries and temples that were at such a high altitude, they seemed to kiss the sky. It was a life-changing experience.

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Ben Huynh

Education background 

B.A. English Literature, UC Santa Cruz; M.A. TESOL, San Francisco State University

Teaches: Beginner, High Advanced

Talk to me about:

San Francisco, English, Travel

One interesting thing you should know about me:

I love being active! On weekends, when I have time, I play basketball with my friends. I also play golf, tennis, disc golf, and I like to go hiking from time to time. If I’m not outside, I like to stay home and watch movies or read (ranging from novels to research papers on just about anything that piques my interest). My favorite novel is A Portrait of a Lady by Henry James.

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Casey Laird

Education background 

B.A. American Studies, University of California Santa Cruz; M.A. TESOL (in progress) San Francisco State University

Teaches:

High Advanced, High Intermediate

Talk to me about:

Languages, Guitars, Motorcycles, The Bay Area, History


One interesting thing I’ve done:

I was on the TV show House Hunters International when I worked in Vietnam. Don't believe what you see on reality TV. Everything was staged and faked for the show!

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Charles

Education background 

MA & MLitt in English literature, Middlebury College; BA in philosophy, Illinois Wesleyan University; certificate in TEFL, Global Language Training.

Teaches:

Low Intermediate and High Intermediate

 

Talk to me about:

Literature, Science, Nature, Films

One interesting place I've traveled to:

I've traveled to 5 different countries. Ask me which five. 

Daniel Estay

Education background 

B.A. Social Science Ashford University, M.A. Higher Education (In Progress) University of Arizona, TESOL Certificate

Teaches:

High Intermediate, Advanced

Talk to me about:

English, History, Music, my rock band The Crimson Curtains, Science, Theology & Philosophy

One interesting thing you should know about me:

I've been playing in a rock band for 10 years, and I've traveled through Europe (Spain, Italy & France), South America (Argentina & Chile), Africa(Ghana), and the U.S (Visited 22 different states).

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Jake Pass

Education background 

B.A. Communications, San Francisco City College, Production Internship Program, Paradigm 3 Education, San Francisco

Teaches:

Advanced, Intermediate

Talk to me about:

Japan, Hawaii, World Travel, Movies, Rock 'n Roll


One interesting thing I’ve done:

I traveled, volunteered, and studied in over 40 countries. I ran an educational tour company and an English camp while living in Hawaii, and I lived in Japan for over 20 years and love talking about Japanese society, bilingualism, and biculturalism.

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Joanne Garcia

Education background 

Ph.D. Educational Leadership of Curriculum and Instruction- Northcentral University: MA Education with Specialization of TESOL- St. Mary's  College of California, BA Liberal Studies with minor in Latin American Studies and Child Development- CSEUB, Translation Studies Certificate- Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara and The National Hispanic University

Teaches:

Advanced, High Intermediate

 

Talk to me about: 

Life, Immigration, Travel, Health and Wellness

One interesting place I've traveled to:

I have traveled to Mexico, Paris, Rome, Nicaragua, and lived in the jungles of Nicaragua for over 6 months surviving solely on Iguana and Coconut water! We won’t talk about the toilet paper-all-natural leaves! :)

Matt Jaramillo

Education background 

B.A. Philosophy – Azusa Pacific University, MA TESOL – San Jose State University

Teaches:

High Advanced

Talk to me about:

Coffee, Jazz Hop, Philosophy, Video Games

One interesting place I've traveled to:

I studied abroad in Lithuania during college. I highly recommend visiting Trakai Island Castle and the Švyturys Brewery. Also, taking the overnight train from Vilnius to Moscow was quite a unique travel experience.

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Meredith Melville

Education background 

B.S. Elementary Education with a minor in English Language, University of Colorado - TESOL Certificate UC Berkeley Extension

Teaches:

Beginner, Low Intermediate, Mid Intermediate

Talk to me about:

Language, Food, Travel, Music, Backpacking


One interesting thing I’ve done:

One experience I will never forget is the 5,000-mile bicycle trip I took in Portugal, Spain, and France. Traveling by bicycle is a wonderful way to connect with people and places.

 

I had taken a 9-month sabbatical from the school where I was teaching ESL. As it turned out, I fell in love with the Basque country and ended up spending 3 years in San Sebastian teaching English.

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Ted Watts

Education background 

B.A. Literature In English, Christopher Newport University, TESOL Certificate

Teaches:

High Advanced, High Intermediate, TOEFL

 

Talk to me about: 

English, History, Music, Art, Literature, and Grammar

One interesting thing I’ve done:

I have recorded independent rock records and performed and toured in support of them. One fond memory is performing in DC at a record release gig. The band's name is The Love Load, and the record was entitled "Three On A Match." It was a fun and happy night!

Tim An

Education background 

B.S. Hospitality Management, SFSU, M.A. TESOL, University of SF

Teaches:

Beginner, High Intermediate

Talk to me about:

Dogs, Food, Languages

One interesting thing you should know about me:

My dream is to win a lottery so I can buy some land and build shelters for dogs.

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Vijay Darke

Education background 

B.S in Business Administration, M.A. in Marketing, California State University

Teaches:

Low Intermediate, High Intermediate

Talk to me about:

Travel, Movies, TV Shows, Sports


One interesting thing I’ve done:

I have traveled to 25 countries and I have lived in 5 countries so far. My favorite place so far has been Machu Picchu and my least favorite place has been Copenhagen. I loved Machu Picchu because of its history and the ancient Inca culture. Also, Peruvian food is AMAZING!