Faculty 2016





Head of School, Health Classes

Ariel graduated with honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in Feminist Studies. She is also an alumna of Woodside International School, class of 1997. Having been involved with the school for over twenty years, she is well versed in the philosophy and vision that make Woodside such a uniquely special place. For almost ten years before stepping into the Head position, Ariel helped run the school from behind the scenes. She became Head of School in January of 2013.

Lina Lenberg


Assistant Head of School, Dean of Studies, Science ESL

Lina received her B.S. in Zoology with a concentration in Neurobiology from Michigan State University. She later conducted environmental education programs at Grand Canyon National Park, which inspired her to pursue a career in education. After earning her teaching credential from the University of Texas in Austin, she moved to San Francisco and began teaching at Woodside in 1999. She holds an M.A. and credential in Educational Administration and is currently working toward her doctorate in International and Multicultural Education at the University of San Francisco.


College Counselor

Sara ventured to California to earn her B.S. in Human Development at the University of California, Davis. Moving to San Francisco after graduating in 1986, Sara quickly realized she wanted to become a teacher. After she received her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, from San Francisco State University, Sara worked as the P.E. teacher and Athletic Director, for Presidio Hill School, a small K-8 independent school in San Francisco. Seventeen years at Presidio Hill helped Sara realize the next step in her professional career was to begin counseling students. She became a full time student again and received her M.A. in School Counseling with a PPS Credential. Sara’s new degree took her to Kuwait City, Kuwait completing a two year contract as the Middle/High School Boy Counselor.


Director of Admissions and Advancement

Andrea earned her B.A. degree in English from Stanford University, J.D. from University of the Pacific – McGeorge School of Law, and Certificate in College Admissions and Career Planning from University of California, Berkeley Extension. She is a former Woodside International parent and was the WIS College Counselor for three years. Her community leadership experience includes President of the Junior League of San Francisco, President of the Volunteer Center of San Francisco and San Mateo Counties, and President of the Charles Armstrong School Parents Association.

Dave Matson


Business Manager, Adventures P.E., IT Director, Yearbook, Woodshop

Dave earned his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from San Jose State University and holds his M.S. from San Jose State in the same field. Dave is responsible for overseeing the school’s computer network and coordinating the school’s yearbook. He also organizes the school’s Adventures P.E. program, leading students on a variety of outdoor activities. His main passion is Woodworking, and he enjoys teaching students how to make wood projects with antique hand tools in the Woodside Woodshop.  Dave has been at Woodside since 2006.

George Pan


International Student Liaison, Mandarin Teacher

George received degrees in Chinese Language and Literature at Nanjing University and Georgetown University. He has taught Mandarin at Beijing Second Foreign Language University, and was appointed Deputy Director of the United Nations funded English Training Center in Beijing. He was also the Deputy Chief of the Education Department of the National Tourism Administration of China, and President of the Chinese and Foreign Products Journal. George has been teaching at Woodside for over 9 years and is also the International Student Liaison for Chinese students and families.

Boris Rivkin


Facilities Manager

Boris graduated from the Leningrad Technical University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. He worked as an electrical engineer in Russia. Here in the U.S., Boris worked as an electronic technical and software quality assurance engineer in several companies in both Florida and California. He has been an integral part of the Woodside family since 2003.



International Student Advisor, English for International Students, History ESL

Joy earned her B.A. in French from Wheaton College. Her passion for foreign languages led her to Japan, where she taught English as a Foreign Language at a private high school for 2 years. She later attended graduate school studying Social Science at San Francisco State University. She has worked in International Education and Travel, coordinating and marketing Educational Travel programs, counseling, teaching and tutoring. While raising her two daughters, she has volunteered in various positions in the classroom and in educational administration. Joy has her certificate in Teaching English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL) and is currently working on an M.A. in TESOL. She has been teaching at Woodside since 2013.



French Language and Culture

Arcene Bilegue is originally from Yaounde, Cameroon and graduated from college in 1994 with a BS in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Ngaoundere, Cameroon. He taught French from 1995 to 2000 in the Peace Corps. He also taught other African languages like Eton, Ewondo and Bulu. In addition to teaching languages, Arcene, as a cultural facilitator, helped many incoming Peace Corps Volunteers adjust to their new environments. He moved to the U.S. in 2000 and soon began teaching in language schools such as Berlitz and the Alliance Française. He also built up his own business as a Private French Tutor, Translator and Interpreter. Arcene is passionate about languages and how they can bring people and different cultures together. Arcene has been part of the Woodside family since 2015.




Ruben Flores is a native Spanish speaker from Guadalajara, Mexico with a B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature and a Master’s degree in Technology and Education both from Universidad de Guadalajara. He has been teaching Spanish language and literature since 2002 and enjoys it tremendously. This is his seventh year teaching at Woodside.

Dean Church


World Civilizations, World History, US History, Civics, Economics

Dean received his B.A. in Communications from the University of Washington and made his living for many years as a writer and marketing executive. Dean was a newspaper marketing director at the San Francisco Chronicle and St. Petersburg Times before launching his own management consulting firm in 1997. Dean’s lifelong interest education led to his new career in teaching in 2008. He previously taught at Tamalpais High School and Alameda High School. This is Dean’s third year at Woodside.


English for International Students

Emma received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2003.  As an undergrad, she enjoyed studying Spanish in Costa Rica. After graduation, she completed a TESOL certification course and taught English in Madrid, Spain for two years. After returning to the U.S., she continued to teach ESL at several language schools in the Bay Area. In 2016, she completed her Masters degree in Anthropology at San Francisco State University. She hopes to share her enthusiasm for language learning and cultural exchange with her students.

Ashley Johnson


Algebra II, Biology, Integrated Science

Ashley received her BA in Biological Sciences from Wellesley College in 2004. She worked at the New England Aquarium, Harvard University, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital before deciding to pursue her education further. She earned a Ph.D. in Ecology, Ethology, and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she studied the maintenance of variation in fishes. This is Ashley’s third year at Woodside where she enjoys sharing her love of science with her students.

Arti Lal


Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geometry, Pre-Calculus

Arti graduated from U.C. Davis with a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology. She is currently working on her Master of Science degree in Environmental Management at the University of San Francisco. While at Davis, she worked on several research projects with faculty and graduate students. She also worked at the UC Davis Herbarium for a few years where she fell in love with plant ecology. Arti’s ultimate goal is to incorporate ecological principles in her classes to raise awareness on current environmental issues. Arti has been teaching for several years and this is her second year teaching at Woodside.

Anne Liu


Algebra I, Calculus, Physics

Anne was born in Guangzhou, China, and she moved to San Francisco 8 years ago. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics. In 2013, she joined the Center for Science and Mathematics Education at SFSU, where she found herself falling in love with teaching math. Meanwhile, she did classroom observations in several high schools in San Francisco and worked as a math tutor at a tutoring center. This is Anne’s second year at Woodside where she wants to pass her passion for math onto her students and create a thriving, supportive mathematics classroom culture.

Doug O'Keefe


English I, English II, ESL I/II A, Creative Writing

Doug graduated from U.C. Berkeley with B.A. in Philosophy. He joined the Woodside family in 2000 teaching English, Philosophy, and Current Events. In 2010 Doug left Woodside to pursue a Master’s Degree in English Literature at SFSU. After teaching at Drew School for one year, Doug returned to Woodside for the 2015- 2016 school year.

Sunny Pan


Overseas Admissions Officer

Sunny earned a B.A. in Journalism from the People’s University in Beijing, China, as well as a B.A. in Chinese Literature at Beijing Broadcasting College. She taught Mandarin at Woodside from 2002 to 2007, and currently enjoys her role assisting students in China become Woodside students. In addition to her overseas admissions work for Woodside, she teaches Mandarin at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory School.

Bruno Panunzio



Bruno is a Bay Area based classical guitarist. His background includes extensive studies in styles ranging from classical and flamenco guitar to rock, blues, and jazz. Bruno completed his Bachelors of Music degree at San Francisco State University studying with Lawrence Ferrara. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under world-renowned guitarist and composer Sergio Assad. As a dedicated instructor and performer, Bruno has taught individual and group classes for over ten years, and has performed extensively throughout California. This is Bruno’s third year at Woodside.




Japanese Language and Culture & International Admissions Liaison

Mizuho was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan and received her B.A. in Philosophy from Toyo University. She has been a teacher for over 5 years using a variety of ways to teach Japanese language, such as watching movies, listening to music, and reading books or magazines. Her philosophy in being a teacher centers on the ability to support the development of the students’ abilities based on their individual interests and levels. This is her fifth year at Woodside.

Jose Vargas


11th & 12th Grade English, 9th & 10th Grade Philosophy, Advanced Philosophy, Film Appreciation

José Vargas has been at Woodside since 1999 and currently teaches English, Philosophy and Film. He majored in Spanish (Latin American Literature) and minored in Philosophy at U.C. Berkeley and is as enamored of words and ideas as when he first discovered his passion for books. In his time at Woodside he has taught Spanish, ESL, History and has overseen disciplinary affairs. He is also a father of two and is grateful that he can spend his summers with his girls.



Advanced Art, Art II, Mural, Portfolio, Newsletter

Dale received his BFA in Painting and Drawing from the San Francisco Art Institute. As a visual artist he focuses on figurative work that comments on the Art History canon while staying rooted in contemporary culture. Dale was previously involved with the de Young’s “Get Smart with Art Education” program, and is currently affiliated with SFMOMA. This is Dale’s second year at Woodside.

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