Our Team

Passionate about changing education

What Unites Our Team

Our founding team shares an intense passion for changing the way education prepares students for the future. We have led academic programs at top local and international schools on five continents, and we are excited to bring those diverse perspectives to building Bloom KKCA Academy.

Our Team

Joyce Cowden

Director of Admissions and Marketing

As someone who brings a balanced outlook to life, Joyce appreciates Bloom’s unique bilingual, global, and holistic approach to education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Economics and Management from the University of Oxford. After starting her career as a Management Consultant working with Fortune 500 companies in South East Asia, she was drawn to education and chose to enter the field by working at Battelle for Kids, a US-based non-profit organization that helps education leaders and teachers transform school systems and improve learning outcomes for students. Joyce helped teachers in Hong Kong apply Assessment for Learning strategies to set learning objectives, offer timely feedback and use assessment data to inform instruction in classroom. She worked with over 2,000 teachers and principals from primary, secondary and special education schools in Hong Kong.

Joyce’s passion for working with young people and expanding their opportunities led her to become the Head of University Abroad Programs in EF (Education First). She and her team helped hundreds of students and their families every year from Hong Kong to make decisions about which international pathways were suited for them individually and supported their learning placements overseas.

Joyce later joined Modern Teaching Aids (MTA), a leading Australian educational resource provider, as their sole representative in Hong Kong. Within two years, Joyce helped over 400 local, private and international schools source suitable furniture and resources for their campuses. Joyce worked closely with different principals and curriculum teams to facilitate flexible learning environments and identify educational resources to enable best practices for 21st-century teaching and learning. She then worked for K11 Concepts Limited, a leading conglomerate in Hong Kong, to start an educational resource department with a similar purpose.

Joyce embraces Bloom’s future-centered vision for cultivating positive innovators. She believes Bloom’s creative, bilingual approach is particularly timely for students in this period of rapid change. She hopes to contribute to the community by helping more families learn about Bloom and by adding more like-minded parents who seek sincerity, quality, and innovation in their children’s education.

Outside of work, Joyce loves exercise, travel and sharing her optimistic outlook with her all those around her, including her daughter.

Levent Erdogan

Director of Digital Innovation

Levent has extensive experience in tech education and digital production which he developed through his previous career working in the Los Angeles film industry and his current career as an educator. As an Apple Distinguished Educator, Levent brings a deep understanding of a multitude of educational technology disciplines into his practice. His primary vision as an educator is to cultivate creativity and innovation within his classes.

In his teaching, Levent emphasises creativity by utilising design and creative processes to engage students in Project-Based Learning. He fosters a learning environment that celebrates failure, mistakes, and reflection as a pathway to success, and encourages students to think outside the box.

Demonstrating exceptional leadership in his field, Levent has led full school technology integration initiatives, as well as developing and leading school-wide professional development, and spearheading the vision for new K-12 technology implementation for faculty and students. He employs the SAMR, TPAC, and Triple E models for technology integration to develop authentic and holistic uses of technology that promote creativity and innovation. Levent shares his knowledge with students and peers alike. He is a firm believer in the power of innovation and creativity to transform the learning experience and he looks forward to empowering his students and colleagues to reach their full potential and succeed in the 21st century as part of the Bloom Community.

Levent holds a Master's Degree in Learning, Design, & Technology, along with a Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Arts, and numerous teaching qualifications and certifications.

Matthew Gibbs

Deputy Head of Pastoral Care and Head of PE

Matthew Gibbs was born and raised in Queensland, Australia, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science at Bond University. After gaining his TESOL Accreditation at the American TESOL Institute in Thailand he went on to obtain his Post-Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Sunderland in England.

Matt began as an educator at Thewphaingarm Canadian Bilingual School in Bangkok, where he taught English and Social Studies in addition to Drama, Health and Art to Grades 7-12 students. Through teaching there and in Spain, he acquired a genuine understanding of the particular needs and expectations of students in multicultural schools.

It was while leading classroom learning at the Canadian International School after moving to Hong Kong that Matt developed his focus on physical training and the health sciences. As sports coach in rugby, football, and basketball, he led numerous ISSFHK sports teams in Hong Kong, and was heavily involved with Senior rugby and the National Age Group in the Hong Kong Rugby Union. He later served as Head of Physical Education at The Harbour School and also their After-School Activity Director where he taught skill acquisition and organized school-wide event planning and sports coaching.

Matt is a firm believer in a PE curriculum based on the tenets of physical literacy – mens sana in corpore sano (a sound body in a sound mind). He cultivates an enthusiasm for learning, trusting, and trying that helps young minds to search for true value in their personal development and well-being. His curriculum planning and trans-disciplinary teaching methods nurture resilience, compassion, sportsmanship, and collaboration. He succeeds by challenging and making physical health fun ... he’s even a licensed AntiGravity Fitness Instructor!

At Bloom KKCA Academy, Matt will help lay the foundations of a robust P.E. Program and build our inter-school sports teams.

Sian Evans

Academic Coordinator

Sian brings a wealth of educational training and experience to Bloom KKCA Academy. She gained a Bachelor of Education (Honors) degree from The University of Wales, a Certification of Professional Teaching with a major in International Education from British Columbia College of Teachers in Canada, and National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership from Edge Hill University, Liverpool, UK.

Sian has held prominent leadership positions in prestigious international schools, including the Head of the Pre-Prep School at The King's School Canterbury in Shenzhen, China, Head of Prep School at Harrow International School in Shanghai, and Head of Prep School at Epsom College in Malaysia. At each school, she introduced important programs such as Forest School and a literacy program at Kings', and the Years 4 to 6 boarding program and the Intensive English Language Programme at Epsom. At Harrow International, she was also appointed the Designated Safeguarding Lead and Head of Pastoral where she ensured a supportive environment that prioritized student well-being and growth.

Sian demonstrates her passion for creating a holistic learning experience for students by coaching an array of sports and enrichment activities to promote all-rounded development. She has guided teachers through interdisciplinary curriculum coordination and enhancement with the goal of creating more opportunities for students to become discoverers, risk-takers, and grounded individuals with integrity.

Sian embraces an innovative approach to educating our youth and brings her vast experience and dedication to help our students blossom intellectually, physically, and personally to become confident contributors to our community locally and further afield.

Heather Gibbs

Literacy Coordinator

Heather Gibbs, originally from Long Island, New York has called Asia home for the last 14 years.  After graduating with honors from City University of New York, Brooklyn College, she spent 4 years in Thailand teaching primary students before settling in Hong Kong which she has called home for the last decade.  When she is not teaching, Heather can be found disappearing into a good book, eating Thai food, doing yoga or playing at the beach with her husband, her 4 year old daughter and her dog.

Heather believes strongly in being a life-long learner and continues to remain a dedicated student of education in addition to being a teacher. Heather has completed her Post Graduate Certificate in Education from University of Nottingham, a Post Graduate Certificate in Early Years Education and a Master’s Degree in International Education from the University of Sunderland.

Over the course of her career, she has developed a holistic approach to education which is no doubt a reflection of her experience in the leading curriculums present in Hong Kong and international education.  She has worked and trained as a certified IB teacher within The Carmel School of Hong Kong and the Victoria Educational Organisation, a Common Core teacher within the American Common Core system and trained as a Project Based Learning Leader at the American International School of Hong Kong where she worked as the Early Years and Elementary School Literacy Chair.  Heather believes strongly in a student-centered approach to education which focuses on empowerment, agency and nurturing what intrinsically motivates students so a life-long love of learning can be created.

Heather is thrilled to be joining Bloom Academy as the Literacy Coordinator and cannot wait to share her passion and love of stories, reading and writing with Bloom KKCA Academy.

Daniel Latham

Communication and Partnerships Coordinator

Daniel Latham grew up in Manchester, UK, where the city’s landscapes and weather has led him to his passion for geography. Daniel graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in geography at Aberystwyth University, located at a lovely university town on the Western coasts of Wales.

It was Daniel’s supportive primary school teachers who filled his childhood with pleasant memories and guided him on his path towards education. Daniel now, in turn, wants to pass the torch of teaching and learning and share the joy of education to all. After completing his undergraduate degree, Daniel spent 12 months volunteering with various children’s charities and primary schools before obtaining his Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Liverpool Hope University.

After teaching at a top UK primary school, Daniel moved to Hong Kong where he taught lower primary students for over five years and became a trained IB Primary Years Programme teacher. As a grade-level coordinator, he had the chance to understand and focus on the importance of inquiry through play to develop a child’s emotional, cognitive, and social skills. Committed to continuous self-improvement, Daniel has recently completed his Master of Education degree from the University of Hong Kong.

Daniel hopes to nurture his students to become life-long learners by instilling a love of learning in them early on. He believes that fostering inquiry-based and self-driven learning is indispensable to their becoming independent learners and encourages his students to be avid learners inside and outside of the classroom. Experience has taught Daniel that different learners have different needs; he strives to provide creatively responsive teaching methods and strategies to keep students engaged in order for them to reach their learning potential and become knowledgeable, balanced, and reflective individuals.

Daniel enjoys practicing wellbeing and mindfulness to be more aware of the present and one’s surroundings. When not in the classroom, Daniel can be found exploring Hong Kong’s many hiking trails as well as its food and culture.

Connie Yin

Learning Support Coordinator

Connie’s passion in language and literature leads her to various areas, from advertising to translation studies, and eventually to bilingual education. She has taught in private bilingual schools, ESF schools and other international schools in Hong Kong, with curriculum experiences over Chinese immersion, IB PYP Chinese and Chinese as a foreign language. Connie holds a MA in Translation from Hong Kong Baptist University and a MED from The University of Hong Kong. She also finishes her PGDE from Education University of Hong Kong, where she is trained in special needs education with a focus on supporting students with challenges in Chinese reading and writing. She is experienced in one-on-one and small group learning support, as well as classroom lead teaching for all Primary grade levels.

With a firm belief that students’ well-being is the foundation of education, Connie is dedicated to research and design engaging Chinese lessons with appropriate differentiation strategies. She has also applied her training from art and music therapy to help channeling students’ emotions, and actively integrated multi-sensory and multimedia tools in her classes to motivate learning. In her spare time, Connie enjoys books and movies, hiking and cycling. She is looking forward to taking her students to the bigger classroom outside — parks and trails, art venues and local communities — to experience and explore the beauty and creativity shaped by languages and culture.

Teresa Lee

School Counselor

Teresa Lee is a professionally trained counselor who focuses on children and young adolescent development.

Teresa is responsible for the social-emotional development and psychological wellbeing of students. She works closely with the learning support team at Bloom to help students acquire the skills needed to cope with stress and embrace adversity as opportunity for growth, and develop true grit and resilience when navigating an increasingly complex world.

A Singaporean Shanghainese American by birth, Teresa moved to Hong Kong at a young age when her father took up a teaching position as one of the first professors at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Having lived and studied in multiple countries and under different education systems, including American local and Hong Kong international schools, Teresa has a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by third culture kids, and appreciates the importance of being able to adapt to and thrive in changes.

Teresa holds two Masters degrees in Counseling and Psychology from Monash University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) respectively. She has experience in working with children with and without special education needs from pre-nursery to primary levels. She graduated from the University of California – Los Angeles with a BA in History, and went on to obtain a Juris Doctor degree from CUHK. Prior to becoming a counselor, she worked in one of the leading matrimonial and family law firms in Hong Kong for seven years.

In her spare time, Teresa enjoys reading, going on trail rides and receiving private therapy from her mini Shiba Inu (dog) named Norii.

May Chen

Primary Teacher

May Chen was born and raised in Ningbo, Zhejiang, with its lush sceneries and rich cultural heritage framing her interest in Chinese language and literature. She was first awarded a Bachelor of Arts in English followed by a Master of Arts degree in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language with Credit from Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She then obtained a Professional Diploma in Teaching Putonghua with Merit from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is qualified professionally with a Certificate of Grade ONE Level B Putonghua Proficiency Test from the State Language Commission, a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and a Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Education from the Open University of Hong Kong. May was also recently selected as one of the judges for the 2nd Chinese Language Festival.

May has over 15 years’ experience teaching Mandarin Chinese to foreign and local students in bilingual kindergartens to international primary schools. She was most recently at Discovery Mind Primary School, where she was the Mandarin Chinese Teacher and Coordinator for Grades 1 to 6. She combines imaginative specialist methodologies with project-based learning in the classroom to enhance interactive teaching and engagement. To May, learning is not about comparing oneself to others, but to be a better version of yourself; even the smallest improvement each day makes a difference, each 1% change adding up to a long-term positive development that will allow students to grow and surpass themselves.

May’s son is starting his university education, while her daughter is entering her final years of secondary school. Besides enjoying quality parent-child time, May enjoys reading, cooking, swimming and traveling.

Shu Chen

Primary Teacher

Shu Chen is an expert in several Chinese dialects. A native Mandarin speaker, she is also proficient in Shanghainese and Cantonese as well as English. Her skills and passion in language learning led her to a career in education where she can share the beauty of Chinese culture with non-Chinese as well as Chinese students.

After her Bachelor of Science degree in business at Benedictine College, Shu obtained her Post Graduate Diploma in Education and Master of Education from the Hong Kong Baptist University. She taught Mandarin for 8 years in local Hong Kong secondary and international schools, as well as Liberal Studies for secondary students. Well-trained in the IB teaching system, Shu was also a grade-level teacher who incorporated interdisciplinary learning across various subjects. She was most recently Year Level Head at the Singapore International School Hong Kong overseeing curriculum planning, designing assessments, and developing immersion programs in cultural studies.

Over her decade-long teaching career, Shu observed how a student’s l environment can impact their mental development. She believes that successful positive learning is best achieved by teaching students to be self-motivated to pursue knowledge and become inquisitive learners through asking questions. Shu’s students practice learning-by-doing to reinforce active recall of their knowledge and language in real-life situations and to acquire critical thinking skills to analyze different situations they might encounter.

Shu is currently working towards her Doctoral Degree in Education with research on the development of Chinese curriculum. She is excited to join Bloom to share her love for Chinese language, history, and rich cultural heritage.

Ashley Novak

Primary Teacher

Ashley graduated from University of Waterloo, Canada with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, and later obtained her Degree in Education at Nipissing University, Canada. She moved to Hong Kong over 7 years ago and cultivated her love for teaching young bilingual learners.

Ashley’s background in both education and psychology not only gave her knowledge in her teaching subjects and pedagogy, but also a better understanding of how others think and how their mindsets develop. Her students benefit doubly from her strengths.

Ashley is passionate about inspiring and educating young learners, particularly in foundational phonics, reading, and writing. She strongly believes in and practises hands-on learning and seamlessly integrates STEM education into her teaching. She loves to foster a nurturing and supportive classroom environment and has excellent relationships with her students and their families. Ashley’s gradual teaching approach -- from observations and basic value exploration to student engagement and real-life application -- empower her students with a positive attitude towards learning. Through differentiation and accommodation, Ashley acts as the guiding light of great flexibility and patience throughout her students’ learning journeys. This process encourages her students to seek answers on their own and eventually achieve Ashley’s goal for them to develop greater independence.

The primary attraction of being an educator to Ashley aligns fully with what Bloom also values: the curiosity, innovation, and openness of the children she is entrusted to guide in their learning journeys. Naturally, she constantly strives to better herself in teaching.

Joshua Galloway

Primary Teacher

Joshua grew up in England before moving to Malaysia for university. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Marketing and later obtained his Bachelor of Education at Nottingham University Malaysia.

Joshua understands the importance of foundational skills in learning and teaching. He believes these skills should be taught in a systematic and consistent manner so that students can harness the diverse benefits that different learning opportunities can offer. A strong believer in personalised learning, Joshua does differentiation in his planning, teaching and assessment attuned to the particular needs of each individual student. He also believes in guiding students to discover their own results through trial and error, thereby enhancing their self-motivation, self-discipline, and self-satisfaction and self-confidence when they eventually achieve their goals.

Joshua adopts a varied hands-on, innovative approach to teaching and learning: while he may invite experts for classroom sharing, he often extends his teaching beyond the classroom setting by leading them on various field trips. He is familiar with using project-based learning within a cross-curricular curriculum that allows children to work independently or collaboratively with one another in the classroom.

Joshua is passionate about fostering love and excitement for learning in his students so that they can reach their fullest potential in academics and as human beings.

Lucy Galloway

Primary Teacher

Lucy was born and raised in Canada but moved to Beijing and Malaysia as a teenager. Growing up in a family of teachers, she became interested in becoming a teacher herself from a young age. She studied at Nottingham University Malaysia where she obtained a First Class Honors in a Bachelor of Education degree.

Lucy believes all children are unique and must have a stimulating educational environment where they can grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially -- in their own time and through differentiated teaching and learning. While education should be borderless, teaching and learning should not only be confined to the classroom but also involve learning outdoors and within the community. Ideally, students should develop an excitement and purpose for learning. Lucy aims to cultivate this type of atmosphere where students can reach their fullest potential through project-based learning with an opportunity for cross-curricular and deeper learning.

Lucy is committed to caring for students as individuals and inspiring in them the love for learning. She strives to provide a safe environment where students are invited to share their ideas and take risks; where students will learn from mistakes and more importantly, not be afraid to make mistakes but to consider them as steps along the path to learning. She believes in the importance of making every student feel welcomed and secure in her classroom so that they can become their best selves in this inclusive setting.

In her leisure, Lucy is interested in textiles, visual art, cooking and multiple sports – hardly surprising given that she was once the captain for her football first team, and played in the first team for basketball and volleyball!

Malahat Vatankhah

Primary Teacher

Malahat grew up in Iran and developed a passion for education through over a decade of diverse teaching experience. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Guilan, Iran, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from the University of East London. Her educational background is further enhanced by TESOL certifications from both the University of Hong Kong School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKUSPACE) and Trinity College London.

In her extensive teaching career, Malahat has specialized in Mathematics and English as a Second Language. She is well versed in various phonics curricula, including those from Cambridge and Trinity. Malahat has made significant contributions to international kindergartens and primary schools, skillfully implementing the British curriculum in subjects like Math, Literacy, Art, Cooking, Music, and even Yoga.

Malahat's expertise extends to supporting students with diverse learning needs. While at ESF - Bradbury Primary School in Hong Kong, she excelled in providing learning diversity support. Her approach focused on tailored academic, emotional, and social needs education, implementing individual education programs, and assisting students in integrating effectively into mainstream classes.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Malahat has a rich palette of interests. She is an avid fan of music and sports, particularly Yoga and Pilates, and is an accomplished culinary expert. Her literary interests are varied, encompassing history, psychology, education, and novels. Central to Malahat's philosophy of education is creating an inclusive and nurturing learning environment, fostering each student's unique strengths and interests, and inspiring a lifelong love for learning.

Lexa Liu

Associate Teacher

Lexa is an exceptional educator who brings a wealth of experience and dedication to her role as a teacher of Chinese as an international language. She holds a Bachelor's Degree of Arts in International Chinese Language Education from Southwest University and a Master of Arts in Teaching Chinese as an International Language from The Education University of Hong Kong, reflecting her strong academic background in the field.

Lexa's teaching journey began at Harbin Shuangcheng District No. 3 Middle School, where she served as a Chinese Teacher Intern for Grade 10. During her time there, she skillfully taught Chinese language and literature to two classes, fostering a deep understanding and appreciation for the subject among her students. Lexa actively engaged with both students and parents, providing regular updates on their progress and maintaining open lines of communication. Furthermore, she eagerly collaborated with experienced teachers, seizing every opportunity to enhance her pedagogical skills and expand her teaching repertoire.

In addition to her outstanding academic and professional achievements, Lexa demonstrated a passion for extracurricular involvement. She served as a Docent at the University History Museum, where she showcased the campus to visitors during the university's anniversary open house events. Her passion for cultural integration was evident during her time as a Team Leader for social practice activities organized by Southwest University. Leading a diverse team of 20 members, including a Russian student team, she facilitated exploration and exchange between Northeastern China and Russia. Lexa's exceptional leadership skills were praised by the Russian team members, and she presented the activities to other university students, inspiring them to engage in cross-cultural experiences.

Outside the realm of education, Lexa's talent for photography flourished as she assumed the role of Photographer for the Southwest University Student Club. Through her keen eye and creative vision, she played an integral part in various filming projects, including a promotional documentary for Deppon Logistics Co. Ltd., capturing the essence of the Southwest University Graduation Party, and documenting the everyday lives of Shuangcheng No.3 High School students. Her ability to capture meaningful moments and convey compelling narratives through photography further contributes to her multifaceted skill set.

Lexa's unwavering dedication to teaching Chinese as an international language, coupled with her exceptional ability to effectively engage with students, makes her an invaluable addition to Bloom. Her commitment to nurturing a deep understanding of Chinese language and culture among her students ensures a rich and transformative learning experience under her guidance.

Evelyn Wang

Associate Teacher

Evelyn is a highly skilled and dedicated educator with extensive experience in journalism, translation, and teaching Chinese as an international language. She holds an Associate Degree in Journalism from Hong Kong Baptist University, a Bachelor of Translation from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching Chinese as an International Language at The Education University of Hong Kong. With her diverse expertise and passion for education, Evelyn is well-equipped to make a significant impact in the field of language instruction.

Evelyn gained practical experience as an intern in the news gathering and editing department at San Menxia Huang He Times, where she conducted interviews, reported on local news and events, and assisted in interviews and record-keeping in various locations. She also worked as a translation intern at Shang Hai YGYM Translation Service, completing learning tasks and assignments according to project requirements. Furthermore, she served as a writer for City University of Hong Kong's official accounts, where she wrote manuscripts for platforms such as WeChat and Weibo.

Evelyn has been actively engaged in volunteering activities, including teaching English to primary school students with learning needs at Hong Kong New Home Association and volunteering as an online teacher, designing projects, and producing presentation documents in both Mandarin and English for global volunteering experiences at home. She also has experience as a Chinese student teacher at Bloom KKCA Academy.

Evelyn's ability to adapt to diverse learning needs, combined with her exceptional communication skills, allows her to create an inclusive and engaging classroom environment. As an educator, she strives to inspire and empower students, fostering their language proficiency and cultural understanding.