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 two-year-old daughter.

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.

Matthew Gibbs

Head of Physical Education

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.

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.

Daniel Latham

Community Wellbeing 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.

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.

Ian Wang

Primary Teacher

Ian Y. Wang was born and raised in Hong Kong and formed a global perspective on education at Hong Kong International School and then at the College of Human Sciences at Purdue University. Ian returned to Hong Kong and graduated with a Master of Arts degree in English Studies and Literature at the City University of Hong Kong to further pursue his passion for literature.

Ian firmly believes in the power of literature: the way it is both an individual and a communal experience and how it explores the complexity of the language and human thought; within its many worlds is always something new to discover and learn. To share his love for language and learning with others, Ian obtained a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Sunderland.

Ian has range and a broad perspective as a K-12 educator having taught kindergarten, primary, as well as secondary students and gained insight into the needs of each stage. After teaching in Hong Kong for a few years, he wanted to expand his horizons and teach in a new environment, and so he moved to Shanghai and joined the Shanghai Pinghe Bilingual School where he eventually became the Deputy Head of Middle School English. Ian led the development of an engaging and integrated English curriculum in accordance with the United States Common Core standards. He is experienced in differentiation and values individual interests and needs. Whether it is sharing why he loves the novels Gates of Fire and Wide Sargasso Sea, teaching creative writing, or leading the Public Speaking Club, Ian aims to offer his students an inspiring, all-rounded experience with language and deeper appreciation of its many dimensions. He enjoys working with his colleagues as much as his students and has provided professional development workshops to his fellow English department staff.

To Ian, details matter. To create the right learning environment, he emphasizes integrity, fairness and personal autonomy. Respecting and encouraging his students to take charge of their own learning, Ian teaches them not only English but also how to tackle problems and seek their own solutions using the resources available creatively. He looks forward to returning home but also blazing new paths with his students at Bloom KKCA Academy.

Shu Chen

Chinese 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.

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.

Jobie Hui

Associate Teacher

Growing up in Vancouver, B.C., Jobie developed a love for its diverse culture and natural landscapes. She fed her passion for the visual arts, music, and technology through studying for her Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics and Visual Arts at the University of British Columbia. Vancouver made Jobie aware of the role of a bilingual environment in shaping speech perception and production as well as its important role in the city’s communication. This interest led Jobie to do research even as an undergraduate in UBC’s “Speech in Context Lab”.

With her strong academic background and desire to reconnect with her roots and heritage, Jobie returned to Hong Kong to pursue a career in early childhood education, beginning as a Shadow Support Facilitator and then Teaching Assistant in primary school. Later, by working alongside homeroom teachers and the Special Educational Needs department, she gained specialized one- on-one experience teaching students of diverse backgrounds and learning needs. As a visual learner 8 herself, Jobie uses methods such as writing in sand for students with sensory needs or working with manipulatives to convey learning concepts in an imaginative and engaging manner.

Jobie looks forward to applying her visual arts, music, technology, and teaching background in new ways to teach ECS, support subject learning, and work closely with students individually or in small groups. She believes in personalized nurturing to draw upon each child’s strengths and interests to help them reach their full potential, grow with a positive mindset, and become motivated lifelong learners.

When not in the classroom, Jobie enjoys exploring her creative interests, and can be often found journaling and drawing away to some good music.