Owner, Head of School
Meet Jenny Tan. Owner, Head of School at Eastside Children's Academy. Originally from Shanghai, China, Jenny moved to the U.S. in the early 1990's where she met her husband, and they began to grow their family and careers. In addition to being a very involved owner, Jenny also volunteers within the community for local schools, the PTSA, Bellevue Club Swim Team, and the Bellevue High School Swim Team.
Jenny enjoys spending quality time with her own family by swimming some laps at the local club, playing tennis, and listening to classical piano music & classic Chinese songs. In addition, her own belief in the value of community and dedicating herself to ensuring that Eastside Children's Academy is not just a school in Bellevue, but a school FOR Bellevue, is the keystone to delivering the highest caliber of support as an early childhood education program. "This belief," Jenny says, "it pervades everything we do — from our partnerships with other organizations, to ensuring that each of our families feel valued and included in the collaborative culture of their child's classroom. We are committed to serving the families of Bellevue." She is so dedicated to achieving this belief that she has returned to school to pursue her Early Childhood Education degree.
With such a strong woman at "the helm of the ship" Eastside Children's Academy continues to thrive as an exceptional bilingual school here, in the heart of Bellevue.
Hello! My name is Christi and I’ve recently relocated back home, from Utah to the beautiful PNW. I was raised on Friday Harbor Island but moved to Utah when I was 16 years old. I desperately missed the beauty of the rain, greenery, and ocean during the 20 years that I lived in Utah. I have had the good fortune of traveling to many places in the US, as well as a few international locations. My favorite country that I have traveled to thus far was Japan. The culture and people were so wonderful during my two months stay there. I love doing a wide variety of things, of which photography, traveling, gardening, and playing tennis are among my favorites. I have two children of my own and we love to have fun together while we play and explore this beautiful area.
While at University, I pursued a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Photography. Although my career isn’t in photography, my background in fine arts has aided me in my ability to see beauty in all things and to bring creativity into many facets of my life. In order to bring the best of what I have to offer to Eastside Children's Academy I have returned to school to pursue my degree in Early Childhood Education.
I believe in fostering a play based learning environment in order to expand a child's educational and imaginative development. I have worked with children of all ages over many years, and my favorite age to teach is preschoolers. I love watching children grow and develop. Their curiosity for life is such a beautiful thing to see. It is such an amazing gift to see a child learn new things, grasp new concepts, and have that "spark" in their eyes as they realize that they are smart, capable little humans that can do anything!
LEAD TEACHING STAFF
Lead Infant Teacher
My Name is Katherine Gaile M. Palado. I was born in Baguio City Philippines move and migrated in united states when I was 8 years old. I am originally from Sacramento California where I completed my schooling. After graduating Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Baguio Philippines. I work with several companies in the health care industry where I practice my nursing degree. I am also a culinary graduate at the Center for Culinary Arts, Manila Philippines.
I love to cooking different cuisines with my mom and brothers. It is something I always look forward to when visiting family in California. We all love to cook, eat and have fun! I love to hike outdoors, travel, explore different places, listen to music, read books, watch movies, and singing karaoke. I like collecting shoes, bags, and any hello kitty stuff.
My husband and I move to Seattle Washington two years ago and it was then that I was introduced to teaching. I gained working experience in a Montessori school, then continued working in a privately-owned franchise school. I have always loved interacting with children! It warms my heart to see them learn and to watch them grow and develop their own personalities.
I believe that every child is unique and learns differently so I strive to create a warm, exciting, and open environment for learning that is creative, fun, and engaging.
Lead Waddler Teacher
My name is Raeann Van Houten. I have been teaching since 2012 and I’m very excited to join the team at Eastside Children’s Academy. I have studied various teaching methods, early childhood development, applied behavioral analysis, and special education. I will be receiving my AA in Early Childhood Education, then I will continue on to earn my BA in Psychology. I love working with children and being able to support their development into successful adults. The children’s smiles and positive attitudes are contagious! I live in Bellevue with my two dogs, Ella and Mac. They are a cute little Chiweenie and ChiShi that love to play, go for walks all over the city, and explore nature. I spend my free time baking, creating art and reading.
Lead Toddler Teacher
Hello, my name is Bolorerdene Shura. My friends and colleagues call me Bogi. I am originally from Mongolia; my family and I came to the U.S. in 1999. We lived in San Francisco for the first 7 years and moved to Washington 2006. We’ve been here ever since. I am a mother of two beautiful kids.
I have experience in the early childhood teaching for over a decade. I love teaching young children. Watching children grow gives me great joy. I also love incorporating fun learning activities into my lesson plan to keep them engaged and having fun. When I work with kids I try my best to give them my full support. I strive to foster a safe, warm, and happy environment.
Some of my hobbies and things I enjoy to do are spend time with my family, hike in the outdoors with friends, camping, traveling, doing make overs and beauty services to my friends, and watching movies with my daughter during girls night. I am happy to teach young children and be a part of the Eastside Children’s Academy team.
Lead Early Preschool Teacher
Hello! My name is Wendy Vang. I am from Minnesota and have recently relocated to Washington. I remember my first time visiting Washington and I just knew in my heart that I would one day move to WA. While in MN, I worked in a preschool for 6 years. I started off as a teacher assistant for 3 years, then was promoted to lead teacher in the pre-kindergarten room for another 3 years. Going into college, I knew I wanted to be a teacher because I saw the important role a teacher took in each individual’s life. After finishing school, I decided to further pursue my Bachelors degree in Social science. I hope to become a professor in the future.
Outside of work and school, I enjoy dancing. I have been dancing under a dance school called Dao Lan Dance School based in Minnesota for more than 15 years. After I stopped participating in competitive dancing, I started my own dance team in MN for 3 years before moving to WA.
I value and see great importance in developing a bond with each individual child to help them grow and maximize their learning. Therefore, I believe in spending time to guide and to prioritize the understanding of each child. I love to see children grow and enjoy teaching children of all age groups because as they learn from me, I have a lot to learn about them as well.
Lead Preschool Teacher
I am Julia Xu, coming from Shanghai China. I'm so pleased to be a lead teacher for the preschoolers of Eastside Children's Academy.
I used to be a facilitator of Kaleidoscope Play & Learn program at the library of Newcastle, Beacon Hill and Newport Way. Since 2018, I worked at CISC Aegis bilingual preschool as a co-lead teacher, focusing on Chinese language teaching.
Elicitation teaching is very important for preschoolers. I will help and encourage children to gain more interests in school and provide learning in a variety of ways. The art of education is to help students enjoy what you teach. I would like to grow up together with all our children.
很高兴能就职Eastside Children's Academy，做学前班孩子们的主导老师。
我曾担任Kaleidoscope儿童寓教于乐的导师，在西雅图和金县的Newcastle、Beacon Hill和Newport Way图书馆教学。2018年开始，我在仁仁服务社名下的乐叙之家双语幼儿园做合作主导老师，主要从事中文教学。
Lead Bilingual Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
My name is Yuxin Cheng. I am the Lead Bi-lingual Pre-K Teacher and ECA’s Chinese teaching specialist. I am originally from China, but I have been in the US since 2012. I moved from Oregon to Washington in early 2019.
I have a masters degree in Language Teaching Studies from the University of Oregon. While living in Eugene, Oregon I taught in an elementary school.
I am passionate about language immersion and I believe that children learn better while they are doing something that they are interested in. I also believe that teachers should change the level of support in order to meet the needs of each individual child.
Hello, my name is Alison Castellano. I am Hawaiian, Filipino, Chinese and Japanese and I’m originally from Honolulu, Hawaii. My family and I moved to Washington State in September. I’ve been working with Preschool and school aged children for well over 20 years now. Since 2000, I ran and managed 2 private school cafeterias, that included preschoolers and school aged children up to 8th grade. I have extensive working knowledge of the USDA Guidelines.
In 1993, I graduated from Culinary school, in Hawaii. I lived on the East coast and overseas in Japan, then returned home in 2000. Along the way, I've met a lot of people and learned a lot about cooking different ethnic foods from my friends and neighbors. The Hawaiian culture is a diverse one, and bringing different cultures together is a typical practice, but my best teachers were my grandmothers!!
My goal is to provide nutritional and healthy food!
"We love ECA so much. We have had our daughter enrolled since it’s inception. Our daughter LOVES her teachers and has grown so much in her time here. I attribute her early math and social skills to her teachers thoughtful lesson plans. Jenny has made us feel welcomed into the community and worked alongside us to resolve age appropriate behaviors that popped up. From those experiences, we have high trust in her leadership and vision for ECA. I highly recommend ECA if you’re considering enrolling your child."