Xiaoyan Xu

Fifth-Eighth Grade Mandarin Teacher

Xiaoyan Xu is a native Mandarin speaker who has been in the teaching field for over 20 years. She earned her B.A. in English at Beijing International Studies University in China and her M.A. in education at San Francisco State University. Xiaoyan has received various teaching certificates and training throughout her career, both in China and in America, such as the International Baccalaureate teaching certificate, Reggio Emilia teaching certificate, Cambridge language teaching certificates, and TPRS. Before joining Black Pine Circle School in 2013, Xiaoyan taught Mandarin at both Shu Ren International School in Berkeley and at Presidio Knolls School in San Francisco. She also worked in San Francisco Guadalupe Elementary School and Mira Vista Elementary School. Before coming to the U.S., Xiaoyan taught multiple subjects in both English and Chinese to students ranging from pre-k to 12th grade, as well as adults, for eight years in Beijing. During the same time period, she founded and ran her own ESL school. When she is not teaching, she enjoys hiking with her family and friends, watching movies, and reading novels in Mandarin.

Teaching Since





Email >

Why I Work with Children

Children are our future; I want to be part of it.

A Favorite Book

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. It’s a very inspiring and interesting book.

Quick Fact

Once ate deep-fried silkworms

Other Faculty for This Grade

Aïda Garcia-Pons

Lower School Spanish Teacher

Aïda attended the same elementary school as opera tenor Josep Carreras.

Full Bio >

Alyson Mitchell

Eighth Grade History & Geography Teacher

Keen on floating houses and mutant Basset Hounds

Full Bio >

Anatoliy Gulimovskiy

Seventh Grade Math Teacher, Math Club / Math Team Coach

Played soccer on a Zambian teacher team

Full Bio >

Andra Marziano

Dean of Upper School Students, Assistant Head of Upper School, Upper School Drama Teacher

Full Bio >

Carla Rodea

Upper School Spanish Teacher

I speak several languages.

Full Bio >

Carwai Seto

Eighth Grade Math Teacher

Loves to travel

Full Bio >

Cheryl Sumsion

Fourth-Sixth Grade Music Teacher

Tamed a mechanical bull in Nashville, Tennessee.

Full Bio >

Emmeline Hill

Sixth Grade Science Teacher and Sixth Grade-Level Coordinator

Herded sheep by motorbike in Australia.

Full Bio >

Gerry Branner

Sixth and Eighth Grade Physical Education Teacher

Full Bio >

Gwen Hornig

Eighth Grade English Teacher

Ask me about the time I had a magical and terrifying stand-off with a bison in the Badlands.

Full Bio >

Jenny Reeves

Jenny Reeves

Upper School Art Teacher

Loves to swim

Full Bio >

Jerry Kennedy

Seventh and Eighth Grade Music Teacher, Band Director

Performed music in South Africa during the end of legal apartheid.

Full Bio >

Jonathan Cohen

Eighth Grade Science Teacher

Apprenticed with a luthier, adept with a paddle

Full Bio >

Kathy Henderson

Sixth & Seventh Grade Math Teacher

Full Bio >

Kim Livingston

Lower School Art Teacher

Started clowning at age 9

Full Bio >

Lessley Bender

Lessley Bender

Fifth Grade Assistant Teacher

Bicycled across the U.S. in 2014!

Full Bio >

Maggie Hardy

Maggie Hardy

Seventh Grade History Teacher

Full Bio >

Maria Palmer

Sixth Grade English Teacher, Eighth Grade Creative Writing Teacher

Loves to write or paint

Full Bio >

Michael Feferman

Lower School Physical Education Teacher

Has developed a secret pizza sauce

Full Bio >

Nataliya Vdovychenko

Upper School Assistant Teacher

Fluent Russian speaker

Full Bio >

Nicole Lockwood

Kindergarten-Fifth Grade Science and Second-Fifth Grade Garden Teacher

Apprenticed at the National Theater of Croatia

Full Bio >

Nnenna Okereke

Seventh Grade P.E. Teacher and Athletic Director

Full Bio >

Rem Djemilev

BPC String Orchestra Leader

Creates musical arrangements for fun

Full Bio >

Sage Ellenwood

Seventh Grade Science Teacher

Kissed a shark once!

Full Bio >

Sandy Brumbaum

Sandy Brumbaum

Fifth Grade Head Teacher

Rescued a pug-mix puppy named Soba

Full Bio >

Sarah Roggero

Upper School Spanish Teacher

My birthday is April 1st, no joke!

Full Bio >

Stephanie Piper

Seventh Grade English Teacher

Obsessed with the Salem witchcraft trials

Full Bio >

Torin Coffino

Sixth Grade History Teacher

Played Gaelic Football as a youth, and won a Minors championship in Ireland

Full Bio >

Zina Gulimovskaya

Seventh Grade Math Assistant, Math Team Coach

Full Bio >