Meet the instructors at Teaching to Give!
Math, Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, Beginner Piano, Intermediate Piano, Advanced Piano
Hi! My name is Victor Cai, aka Vicky. This year, I am a 9th grader at the Emery/Weiner School in Southwest Houston, TX, where I have studied Hebrew and Spanish in class for a few years. I have been playing the piano for about 8 ½ years; currently I study piano at the Rice University Shepherd School of Music’s Preparatory Program. This year, I was a finalist at the annual Texas Music Teachers Association piano repertoire competition; last October, I was a silver medalist at the biannual Chopin Society of Houston’s piano competition. I tutor all levels of piano study: beginner, intermediate, and advanced, and I also tutor math and various foreign languages. I’m very excited to have this opportunity through TTG to help you with your studies!
Math, English, Clarinet
I am very passionate about education and music. I grew up in a musical family and I have nearly seven years of total experience playing six different instruments, my main one being clarinet. I go to Kinder HSPVA and I am in my school’s band, orchestra, and clarinet choir. Last year, I was first chair in a TMEA All-Region Band and I won a gold medal at a UIL Solo and Ensemble competition. In math and English, I have shown consistent proficiency and have received above a 95 on standardized tests every year for both subjects. I have been recognized by the Duke University Talent Identification Program for excellent scores on reading portions of standardized tests. In my free time, I like to practice calligraphy, play guitar, and take photos.
Math, English, Science, Beginner Piano, Intermediate Piano, Advanced Piano
Eileen is an incoming freshman at HSPVA. She has played piano for 9 years under her teacher, Dr. Mei Rui. She has passed the ABRSM grade exams 4-8 and Music Theory grade 7, often with merit or distinction. She has also performed in Carnegie Hall twice at the ages of 9 and 10. She has a competitive personality, though is also laid back with friends. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, going on bike rides, and reading. She hopes to help students who are serious about improving their piano skills dispite the effects of COVID-19.
Math, Science, English, Chinese, Beginner Piano, Violin
Joshua Cheng is a sophomore at Bellaire High School. He competes in congressional debate. He is a TFA State qualifier and has received a bid to the national Tournament of Champions. In middle school, he won the Illinois Junior Academy of Science state science fair in microbiology and was a two-time winner of the regional MathCounts competition, qualifying for state twice. In addition to debate, he enjoys playing music, piano and violin. He was the concertmaster of the 2019-20 TMEA All-Region Symphony Orchestra and a two-time member of the TMEA All-State Symphony Orchestra. He is also the 9-10th grade TMTA piano concerto winner and the winner of the Illinois Federation of Music Clubs (IFMC) Senior Piano Concerto Competition. He is also the winner of the Illinois State Music Teachers Association (ISMTA) Piano Competition South. Currently he serves as a first violinist in the Houston Youth Symphony, Symphony Orchestra. In his spare time, he enjoys long-distance running, cooking, and reading.
Math, Science, English, Social Studies, Impromptu Speaking, Lincoln Douglas Debate, Creative Writing
My name is Rushil Chetty, and I am currently a sophomore at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory. I can’t wait to get to know you all through our online sessions! I’m involved in many extracurriculars and leadership positions both within and outside of school and am super excited to pass on all of the skills and knowledge I’ve gained. I am a member of the Strake Jesuit/St. Agnes Orchestra and the nationally ranked Strake Jesuit Debate Team, and am a soon-to-be Eagle Scout. I’ve also taken many ‘advanced curriculum’ courses over the years and would love to work with you on anything from STEM to reading and writing. As a three-time President’s Volunteer Service Award recipient and a member of the MENSA Honor Society, I’m really happy to be working with the Teaching to Give team to help schools and children in need!
Fiona is a sophomore at Kinder HSPVA for the clarinet who has nine years of experience with music. She has competed in TMEA competitions for clarinet five times and has earned first chair in All-City three times, first chair in the All-Region wind ensemble, and first chair in the All-Region orchestra. For the past three years she has also earned gold medals in solo and ensemble competitions. Music has always been a comfort to Fiona, whether it be listening to music or playing it. Along with the clarinet, she also plays piano and dances multiple times a week. In her free time, Fiona enjoys baking, learning to play the kalimba and ukulele, or spending time with her two cats.
Math, English, Social Studies, Music Theory
Hi, my name is Lale Dean and I’m a freshman at Kinder HSPVA in the instrumental department. For Math, English, and Social Studies I am a straight-A student who was in NJHS in Middle School. I took Algebra I in Eighth grade and am currently taking Pre Ap Geometry and all Pre Ap classes. For music theory, I’ve taken the TMTA ( Texas Music Teachers Association) for several years in a row and I’ve always gotten above a 90. I can’t wait to tutor y’all!
Math, Spanish, Beginner Piano, Intermediate Piano, Advanced Piano
Ikeobasi Ezike is currently a junior who started piano at the age of 6 and has been playing for nine years. Ikeobasi has performed in numerous recitals in middle school featuring the music of Bach, Mozart, and Chopin. As a freshman, he attended Strake Jesuit as a freshman where he was the pianist for their orchestra and won 2nd place in the Strake Jesuit ensemble competition. He continues his study as a Kinder HSPVA student who has previously taught beginner and intermediate piano students at school.
Science, English, Social Studies, Lincoln Douglas Debate, Impromptu Speaking, Art, Creative Writing
Hey, y'all! My name is Cam Ferrell, I'm a freshman visual artist at Kinder HSPVA, and am proficient in the elements of art and traditional ways to apply them. I’m also passionate for everything reading and writing, having won awards for creative writing. In middle school, I participated in Lincoln Douglas debate, winning Houston district champion once, and placing in the top five in all my other tournaments. I have also earned a scholarship for and attended the Capitol Debate summer program in Chicago. I am known to be good with kids, and have experience with classroom management, tutoring, and babysitting. Art, writing, and reading are all about self-expression, and these skills are important because, as kids learn to express themselves better, language and art become a way to channel our ideas and thoughts to be understood by others.
Math, Science, English, Music Theory, Jazz
Hi! I'm Matthew. I have taken Precalculus, AP Biology, AP World History, pre-AP Chemistry, and have maintained straight A's for all of my high school career. I'm currently in the top 10% of my class. I have experience teaching private lessons on music theory, classical percussion, and jazz drumset and have made All-State Ensemble 1 for jazz drumset. I remember having a lot of trouble with Algebra and Geometry in middle school and I totally understand that sometimes "just do the homework" doesn't really work
I am a sophomore in the Vocal Department at the Kinder High School for Performing and Visual Arts, a student with the Humphrey's School of Musical Theatre, and a member of the the St. Paul's Choral Scholars. Furthermore, I've been singing ever since I can remember but have studied professionally with multiple voice teachers for the past three years. Other past performance experience includes; membership in the Aldine ISD Children's Honor Choir (grades 3-6), an auditioned and selected member of the TMEA Region Choirs (grades 7-9), and invited membership in the Houston Girl's Chorus for Houston Ballet Nutcracker Performances (2019).
Math, Beginner Piano, Intermediate Piano, Advanced Piano, Music Theory
Andrew Guan is a freshman at the Glenda Dawson High School and actively participates on the competitive varsity tennis team. He has also been active in competitive piano; he won the Houston Forum Young Artist Competition twice, was awarded second place in the 2019 TMTA Performance Contest, and is advancing to the 2020 MNTA Performance Contest. He also recently was given the opportunity to perform with the famous pianist Richard Clayderman. Andrew enjoys practicing math and science in his free time, as well as playing with his dog, Rex.
Math, English, Social Studies, Spanish
Pallavi Gorantla is a sophomore at Bellaire High School. She has been learning Spanish since 2nd grade and has been to various Spanish-speaking countries. In middle school, Pallavi competed in UIL competitions and placed 1st multiple times in math, science, and social studies. She is also in the school newspaper and loves to write stories. Pallavi enjoys reading books and loves learning more about the world. She has traveled to a number of countries and knows a lot about culture and geography. Pallavi also loves to work, play, and teach with children and hopes to impact their lives.
I am an incoming freshman at Dawson High School and I finished studying at Ane Le Thi Thanh in Houston. I learned Vietnamese for over 11 years and entered the school at around the age of 5. During my time there, I earned three trophies and one medal for Vietnamese alone. Once it is safe to be in public again, I hope to interpret websites and documents for the elderly to help with their everyday life. I have experience in supervising kids through an organization at my church in which I earned several awards for leadership and teamwork. I enjoy volunteering with friends and playing the piano. In my free time, I like to work on art, sports, and the book I recently started writing.
English, Social Studies, Creative Writing
I have always loved teaching and helping kids in any way I can. I babysit three families regularly, and have tutored before at the Nehemiah Center and McGregor Elementary. I have been awarded with a national Scholastic Gold Key for my creative writing and have been published in a literary magazine and a literature anthology for kids. I have always had a passion for reading, writing, and history and would love to be able to spread that to kids in Houston!
Math, Beginner Piano, Intermediate Piano, Advanced Piano, Music Theory
Mani Hourfar has been playing piano since the age of 9. He is currently a freshman at HSPVA taking all pre-ap classes. He has been teaching piano for over 2 years and also has passed Grade 5 music theory (ABRSM). He believes that having a good teacher is key to pianistic development.
Intermediate Piano, Advanced Piano, Chinese
Pianist Weillison Hsu is a sophomore at HSPVA who has been volunteering since 5th grade as the President of the Houston Branch of Music of Harmony and as a recipient of the Music Doing Good Scholarship from 2017-2019. Weillison is active on the competition scene where he has won the Houston Forum Young Artist Competition and the 2020 TMTA Performance Contest, as well as second place in the KMTA Jazz Festival and Honorable Mention in the 2019 TMTA Performance Contest. Also a violinist, Weillison has been a member of the first violin section in both the TMEA Region 23 Philharmonic Orchestra and the Houston Youth Symphony Philharmonia Orchestra. In his spare time, Weillison enjoys creating virtual music collaborations and reading.
English, Math, Social Studies, Impromptu Speaking, Violin
Mitsuki Jiang is a sophomore at Bellaire High School. She loves public speaking and she has been involved in debate since 6th grade. Currently, she competes in congressional debate and she was a TFA state semifinalist and an NSDA national qualifier this past year. In middle school, she competed in UIL Academics and placed in divisions of math, English, science, and social studies. She also enjoys keeping up with current events and plays the violin and cello. Mitsuki was a first violinist in the Region Symphony Orchestra and was a member of the TMEA All-State Symphony Orchestra. She’s a featured soloist in the Lyric Centre’s Noonday Concert Series in Houston and performs regularly in Japan.
Science, English, Spanish, Creative Writing, Art
I’m a part of the Creative Writing department as a rising sophomore in the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. I accidentally discovered my passion for writing when I was in a medicinal science focused middle school; BCMAR. The attention on science made me feel like expressing myself in ways other than academics, and I began to write- earning myself a spot in HSPVA through my own practice and drive. I participated in NJHS from 7th-8th grade and hope to volunteer at the Montrose Center for the LGBTQ+ community whenever conditions are safe and fitting. I enjoy all types of artistic expression and academics, and hope to influence and encourage youth (and older generations) positively.
Ella is an incoming freshman at Dawson High School. She has earned a National Gold medal and Regional Silver medal for drawing and illustration in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, as well as excellency awards in Rodeo Art and high scores in VASE Art since middle school. In fourth grade, she entered portfolios to the MFAH Glassell Art School and was offered scholarships every year since then. Ella is currently attending the Advanced Portfolio Preparation Program on scholarship. She has volunteered to take care of kids at church and as an art tutor since seventh grade. She is also teaching English to children in China online. Ella has enjoyed art since she was young and looks forward to teaching others about it.
English, Music Theory, Jazz Theory, Jazz Composition, Saxophone, Guitar
Aimee is currently a sophomore at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts studying Alto Saxophone, with a focus on jazz. Currently, she plays in one of PVA's jazz combos, and their top jazz band. She's placed highly in many TMEA events, including All-City in 7th and 8th grade, first chair All-Region in 8th and 9th grade, and 2nd Chair Alto Sax in one of the TJEA high school jazz ensembles. She was a recipient of the teacher nominated TMEA Texas Music Scholar Award last year. She also received a scholarship from the Mozard Hammond Scholarship Fund in 6th grade. She's been playing saxophone for 4 years and been playing guitar for 8 years. In middle school, she also competed in UIL academics and placed in English and Social Studies. In her spare time, she enjoys playing other instruments, playing sports, and spending time with her dogs.
English, Social Studies, Intermediate Piano, Advanced Piano
Hayden Miller is a junior in the classical piano department at the Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. He has won prizes in multiple competitions, including 3rd prize in the Houston International Music Competition, first place in the CMTA Concerto, Multi-Era, and Sonata competitions, and finalist in the TMTA Performance Competition. Additionally, his performances have been featured on radio programs Encore Houston and The Houston Hour, as well as the PianoTexas and Curtis summer festivals. Hayden has appeared in masterclasses with artists including Stanislav Ioudenitch, Anne-Marie McDermott, and Angela Cheng. He studies privately with Jennifer Hayghe and Piper Ward.
Math, Japanese, Music Theory
I have had high A’s in all of my completed math courses (including Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II,) received gold medals and (near-to-) perfect scores in the TMTA Annual Music Theory Exams since the third grade, and have learned Japanese ever since I was a toddler, as Japanese is the second language in my household.
Math, Science, Chinese, Beginner Piano
Gloria Ni is a high school senior at Episcopal High School in Bellaire, Texas. She has previously worked at a KUMON learning center as a teacher in tutoring children ages 3-17 in reading comprehension and mathematics. Gloria has completed many advanced placement courses, including AP BC Calculus, AP Statistics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, and AP Chinese. She has experience in tutoring other high school students in Chinese and mathematics through National Chinese Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society. She is also actively involved in Science Club, student government, volunteer organizations, and leadership programs. In addition, Gloria has previously taught underprivileged students academic and career-preparation classes in Beijing, China. Gloria strives to inspire an excitement and passion for learning in our youth and mentor students to excel not only in academics, but also in their studying and learning approaches as well.
Math, Science, English, Social Studies, Violin, Impromptu Speaking
Amy is a sophomore at Bellaire High School and actively volunteers for her community. She has been competing in speech and debate tournaments for many years, and has received a myriad of awards, including 2nd place at the Texas State Speech and Debate Tournament. Amy loves speech and debate, and hopes to expand her experience in public speaking in the future. Furthermore, Amy has a passion for everything STEM and keeps up with recent developments in the field. She loves hanging with and talking to kids, and has experience supervising and tutoring them at churches and camps. Interacting with younger audiences has become a big part of her life, and she finds the experiences to be invaluable. In her free time, Amy loves to read and has recently taken the time to learn how to play guitar.
Math, Science, English, Beginner Piano, Intermediate Piano, Music Theory
Isabel Reynoso is a sophomore pianist at HSPVA. Throughout her school life she has been given multiple awards for academic and musical achievements in math, science and piano. She's been classically trained in piano for 12 years and performed in over 25 recitals since the beginning of her musical career. She has taken Pre-AP Geometry, Pre-AP 9th grade Biology, and Pre-AP 9th grade English, along with four years of various music theory classes. In her spare time she does martial arts, plays in a band, and reads.
Math, Beginner Piano, Intermediate Piano, Advanced Piano, Music Theory
A sophomore at HSPVA, Vada has received numerous awards throughout her academic career including being nominated by her teachers for awards in mathematics, musical abilities, and overall academic achievement. She has also trained in classical piano for 9 years and achieved distinction in ABRSM grade level 7 along with passing the ABRSM grade level 5 theory exam. She was also president of NJHS her 8th grade year and currently serves in student council. In her spare time she enjoys reading, knitting, pet sitting, and annoying Weillison Hsu.
I’m a ‘PVA sophomore in the visual arts department. I’ve loved art my entire life and attended art school in middle school, auditioning and being accepted into MPVA, a performing and visual arts middle school, before being accepted into HSPVA. I’m from a family of artists, experienced in a variety of mediums and styles, and I love experimenting. I’ve attended professional art classes in and out of school my entire life and it’s been my focus for almost 16 years.
Science, English, Social Studies, Impromptu Speaking, Creative Writing
Lakshmi Sunder is currently a sophomore at the Kinder High School for Performing and Visual for creative writing. She specifically enjoys writing fiction and poetry. She is a member of her school’s student council, Junior State of America, her school’s literary magazine, and is a community service director for the Girl Up Southeast Texas coalition. Lakshmi has experience in public speaking, and got seventh place in congressional debate at NSDA nationals in middle school, as well as first place in eighth grade at state. Currently, she writes for a debate organization called Answering the Question. In her free time, Lakshmi enjoys reading, writing, playing the piano, and she is currently taking online drawing classes.
Math, Science, Social Studies, Astronomy, Quiz Bowl, Cello, Java, Python
James Wang is a junior at St. John's School in Houston. He applied and was accepted to St. John's School in his freshman year, and has experience reviewing applications and essays for St. John's. He has taken both the 2020 SAT and PSAT, ACT, WHAP, and Biology subject test. James also has 8 years of cello experience and has entered into TMEA All-Region multiple times, as well has having 8 years of piano experience. James is also experienced in programming, specifically Java and Python, being formally taught in programming classes. In his free time, he does Quizbowl, having started his own team in MS and attending nationals in 2 years, as well as playing for the SJS Quizbowl team. In his free time, James loves to study and teach history, astronomy, and STEM courses (physics, biology, chemistry, etc.).
Math, Chinese, Art
Lina is a sophomore and a visual arts major at HSPVA. She has been passionate in visual arts through years of learning and exploration, excelling since a young age. Her achievements include multiple Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Superior and Excellence awards throughout elementary and junior high as well as receiving 2019 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Best of Show award and a joint scholarship to the Glassel School of Art as an eighth grader. She has also received high ratings of 4 and a Regional medals in VASE Art competitions since junior high. Furthermore, she was one of two artists selected by judges to represent her school at the 2019 Via Colori Street Art Festival. Lina loves teaching in addition to art: she has been teaching English to students in China during the pandemic. In her free time, Lina loves playing the violin, sports, and participating in STEM competitions.
Hey, I'm Eric and ever since I was in elementary school reading comprehension has come easy to me. I'm able to analyze text quite well. Throughout elementary and middle school I always got mastery score on the STAAR. In my free time I like to play the clarinet, play videogames , and spend time with my little brother.
Hi! I'm Izabella Zhang and I will be teaching Chinese and dance! I was born in New Jersey but I went to China when I was about 5 years old and lived there for 6 years. Living in the environment and going to school there, I was educated on how to write, read, and of course speak Chinese. I have also been on National Television (CCTV) in China a few times and I won an award in a National Broadcasting contest in China in 2018. My dance journey is also pretty interesting! I started learning ballet when I was 3 years old and continued to learn ballet when I moved to China. I took classes with teachers from Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), and I have been dancing competitively since then. I won multiple awards for dance but I’m still constantly learning new things because I’m not perfect. I also have a instagram account (@izzybellacov) where I post my dance covers so you can check it out!
Science, English, Social Studies, Beginner Piano, Intermediate Piano, Art
I have taken AP Biology, AP World History, AP Calculus AB, and AP Chinese, and I received a 5 on all exams thus far. I am in the top 10% of my class at HSPVA and have maintained all A’s since freshman year, and my experience with Science National Honor Society has also allowed me to tutor many other students already. Teaching and interacting with my peers is something I’ve discovered I both enjoy and am very good at. I have always been writing and reading at an advanced level, and have taken numerous college-level courses in related areas. For the arts, I’ve been playing piano at an advanced level for nearly 11 years now, and I’ve also received 2 National Gold Medals from the Scholastic Art & Writing Competition for my work in Drawing and Illustration.
Math, Beginner Piano, Intermediate Piano, Advanced Piano, Music Theory
Tiffany Zhang began learning piano at the age of five-and-half and is currently studying piano with Mr. John Weems. She has been a top winner at many piano competitions, including TMTA, Texas State University Young Artist Piano Competition, the Baylor University piano Competition, and the International Chopin Youth Competition. She is also a long-time active participant of several volunteer teams of young musicians conducting music performances for local communities, tenants of senior housing complexes, and veteran hospitals. Besides playing piano, Tiffany likes singing, reading, and playing Ukulele in her free time.