Elementary Faculty



Ashley Hopper
Ashley Hopper is from Colorado Springs, Colorado and in her free time can be found in the Rocky Mountains hiking, snowboarding, and rock climbing. Her love for the outdoors led her to focus her studies in natural science, graduating from California State University in 2011 with a Bachelor's in Liberal Arts: Natural Science. With the experience gained during her undergraduate studies she went forth and taught English in South Korea and confirmed her passion for teaching. After returning to Colorado she attended the University of Northern Colorado and completed a Master's of Arts in Teaching. During her studies she fell in love with naturalistic education for its attempt to use Earth and its resources as a motivator in teaching science as well as various other subjects.

  Beatriz Jimmenez
  Cynthya Pacholik
  Jennifer Heming
Jennifer graduated from Geneva College (Pennsylvania) in 2000 with a dual Bachelor's in Elementary and Special Education. She is presently working on a Master's in International Education and ESOL through George Mason University. In the last twelve years she has taught in a variety of special education, classroom and ESOL positions in a variety of public, private, and charter elementary schools in Hawaii, Colorado, and Virginia. This will be Jennifer's first overseas position since student teaching in Kenya. She is looking forward to living in China and joining DAIS as an elementary ELL teacher.
  Kellie Halpenny
Kellie Halpenny graduated from Texas Christian University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Special Education. She decided to take the leap to international teaching straight out of school, working at an international school in Malaysia for two years before coming to DAIS in 2017. Kellie loves working with young children and helping them grow into avid lifelong learners. She believes in hands-on, active learning to build strong foundations. Kellie likes to read and stay active in her spare time, and looks forward to learning more about the Chinese culture.
  Kimberly Blake
Kimberly Blake happily joined Dalian American International School in August 2010 as a second grade teacher, and gladly transitioned with her students to third grade in the fall of 2011. Ms. Blake grew up in Southern California and lived most of her adult life in Northern California. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Childhood Development with a minor in Psychology from California State University, Stanislaus. She then spent a year and a half abroad working as a nanny in London, England and traveling extensively throughout Europe. Upon returning home from her European experiences, Ms. Blake attended Sonoma State University where she received her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She then spent the next 20 years teaching elementary school children in Rohnert Park, California. During this time she served on various committees for the betterment of the school environment and educational experiences for children.
  LiTonya Roy
LiTonya Roy joins the DAIS family this year from Katy, Texas. This is her 15th year of teaching and she enjoys it to the fullest. She joins our team with six years of experience as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. She also has experience teaching both 1st and 3rd grades. She has two awesome sons named Josh and Caleb that she absolutely adores. Her family is of utmost priority and their motto is “Live, Laugh, & Love often!” She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education & she also holds a Master of Science Degree in Education Management as well. She truly believes that all children have the desire and passion to learn. It is her goal as an educator to make a difference in the lives of every child that she meets one step at a time and in a fun and meaningful way.
  Michelena Mcpherson
Michelena joins DAIS with her husband, Joseph, and their daughter, Naia. She and Joseph began their teaching careers in Japan. They are leaving Albuquerque, New Mexico where she taught 1st through 5th grade to regular and gifted students in a dual language setting for the past 8 years. Michelena believes in fostering students’ love of learning through building community, exploring literature and world cultures, and undertaking student-centered projects. As a child her love of reading fueled her curiosity about other cultures. She looks forward to feeding this curiosity and sharing her love of teaching at DAIS. Michelena has a BFA in Photography, a Masters degree in Gifted and Special Education and a Bilingual Education endorsement from The University of New Mexico. In addition to teaching she likes traveling, sculpting, and experimenting in the kitchen.
  Miwa Gyoba
Miwa Gyoba is originally from a small town in British Columbia, Canada. She graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science in 2002. After teaching in Taiwan for two and a half years, South Korea for two years, Japan for one year, and Egypt for three years, she returned to school in New South Wales, Australia to complete a Graduate Diploma in Education at the University of Wollongong. Miwa strives to be a caring and passionate educator valuing each student as a unique individual who has the ability to reach his or her full potential. Outside of the classroom, Miwa enjoys travelling to as many countries as she possibly can, reading at every opportunity, and trying her hand at drawing and watercolor painting.
  Sarah Applegate
Sarah Applegate has been teaching for 22 years and is excited to be new at something again! Sarah graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington with a BA degree in 1992 and a Master in Teaching degree in 1995. She has spent her entire career in the same high school, first as an English teacher and then as the Teacher Librarian. During the past year, Sarah worked for a non-profit educational organization supporting schools, districts and the Washington State Department of Education in implementing best practices around teacher leadership. Sarah believes strong teacher leadership can transform schools and improve student learning and build strong communities. Sarah is excited to be teaching in the same building where her husband teaches and her daughter attends!
  Yuan Kou
Yuan Kou is the Mandarin teacher at DAIS. She came to DAIS in 2007 as a Teaching Assistant and then joined the Mandarin teaching team. Before she came to DAIS, she was an assistant at Campus Village and tutored foreign residents in Mandarin there. Ms. Kou is from Ji Lin province and lived in Ji Lin city. She graduated from Chang Chun Normal University. She has a certificate to teach English as a foreign language. She began her teaching in Dalian Jia Qi Foreign Language Training Center where she taught English to adults and children and she also taught Mandarin to foreigners.
What Parents are Saying

"DAIS is more than just a school.. we are a community. And I am so lucky to have my children growing up in such a loving, caring environment. The small classroom and warm environment at DAIS have provided my children with such a unique education... our family is grateful for the opportunity. My kid are excited every day they leave for school. The feel at home in the halls at DAIS and are having so much fun, they don't even realize they're learning!"
Jennifer (America)

"This is our fourth year at Dalian American International School. The teachers and administration at DAIS truly care, and do anything to help the students. We are seeing strong academics and small class sizes but learning here is also about building character. Our children are becoming well-rounded thinkers that see themselves as an important part of a bigger community."
Brianna (America)

"I have seen my children bloom educationally during the last two years while they have attended DAIS. The school has a focus on small class sizes, an excellent teaching staff and a friendly international environment which has created a positive learning atmosphere for my daughters. My kids look forward to school on a daily basis and I feel that says it all."
Nathalie (Canada)
Live on Campus and Walk to School

Campus Village is an international housing community interated into the campus of Dalian American International School, and an important part of the school community. Your children can walk to school in a matter of minutes and avoid the chaos of Chinese streets. Visit the Campus Village website at http://www.campusvillage.org to get more information.

Recent Events at DAIS 


P: +86 (411) 8757-2000

F: +86 (411) 8791-5656

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Address (English)

2 Dianchi Road; Golden Pebble Beach

Jinzhou New District

Dalian, P.R. China 116650

Address (Chinese Pinyin)

2 Dianchi Lu; Jinshitan

Jinzhou Xinqu

Dalian, Zhongguo 116650