Our staffs



Carol Dorman -- Spanish & English

Carol Dorman holds a lifetime Elementary School Credential and graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Sciences. She has taught 4th, 5th and 6th grade gifted and bilingual classes within the San Diego County School District. She was immersed in Mexican culture while studying in Guadalajara, Mexico. She currently teaches K-3 Spanish and tutors English classes.

Jinghui Yu -- Chinese

Jinghui Yu held the title of Senior teacher and had 27 years of experience in her career as an elementary school teacher in Shanghai, China. She was honored several times with 1stPrize Award for her demonstration in competition of teaching skills. She currently teaches Chinese language classes.

Yanping Bai -- Chinese

Her recitation class students have performed and own many top prizes in San Diego and Los Angeles contests. She has continued to improve her Chinese language knowledge and teaching methods by attending numerous training programs. She received a Distinguished Teacher Award by the Chinese School Associates in the United States in 2013-2014. She also obtained an Overseas Chinese Language Teacher Certificate issued by the China State Department in 2017.

Saad Jabro -- Math

Mr. Jabro earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Technology Baghdad, Iraq. Additionally, he has completed 85 units in computer and information science from Grossmont-Cuyamaca College in San Diego. Prior to coming to Learning Tree he was a math tutor for three years with elementary, middle and high school students. Currently at ASLT he teaches math and Algebra II class for advanced level students.

Gary Guan -- Math

Gary Guan earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Civil Engineering from San Diego State University with a special emphasis in mathematics. He was trained as a tutor through SDSU’s Trio Program and won an award for his outstanding participation. He was a tutor for 2 years at LaFayette Elementary and Mar Vista Middle School. He currently teaches math to Kinder, 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade students.

Victoria Simmons -- SAT & English

Dr. Simmons earned her Ph.D. from UCLA and is a specialist in Classic Literature of Europe and the Near East, with additional background in other key texts in World Literature and in American Literature. She has 15 years of experience in teaching, researching, writing, and editing at the university level. She has a foundation in social sciences which allows her to help students put literary works in historical and cultural context. She also tutors in SAT and college preparation with an emphasis on reading comprehension, analysis, vocabulary building, writing skills, and critical thinking.

Elena Cala -- English

Miss Elena Cala is an English instructor with 25 years of teaching experience, fully certified in both New York and California. She holds 2 master’s degrees in Education and 7 teaching credentials, including a certificate to teach English as a New Language (ENL) from the University of Notre Dame and a certificate to Teach English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She currently teaches English Writing, Speach, and spelling to all grade students.

Theresa Chen -- Math

Ms. Chen graduated with a bachelor degree in Journalism and minored in Computer Information Systems from University of Kansas. She used to work for a water filter company as a data analyst. While in college, she also volunteered for many different kinds of non-profit children organizations. She currently teaches math to kinder, 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade students.

Galina Talis - Piano

Galina Talis holds a Master’s Degree in Music Education from the Russian Conservatory with concentrations in Piano Pedagogy and Theory/History of Music. She has been teaching piano for over 30 years and many of her students have become winners of numerous competitions and contests in San Diego and Southern California. She is a member of the Music Teachers Association of California, which qualifies her students to participate in this organization’s programs, including Certificate of Merit, Bach Festival, Sonata Contest and the Popular Music Festival.

Vanessa Lee - Piano & Trumpet

Vanessa Lee earned a Master’s Degree in Music Education from Southern Illinois University and a degree in Trumpet and Piano Performance from Soochow University, a premier university for the arts in Taiwan.  She is a member of Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC).  Since 1994, she has been teaching private piano lessons to students of all ages and skill levels, focusing on building a strong foundation in music theory and technique.  Her students are encouraged to participate in the annual MTAC Certificate of Merit Program to develop discipline and build mastery and confidence.

Alena Berg - Piano

Alena Berg began studying at the Special Music School of St. Petersburg, Russia, at age 7. She attended that program through secondary school and later graduated from the university at the St. Petersburg Conservatory earning degrees in Music. She has been a piano teacher for over 20 years in both Prague and the United States. She is a member of the Music Teachers Association of California and her students have competed in many festivals and contests with very high results.

Karina Burch

 Studied at the Tchaikovsky Music School for Gifted Children
 First orchestra debut at age 12, performing J.S. Bach Piano Concerto in D-Minor
 Youngest finalist at J.S. Bach and F. Mendelssohn competitions
 Graduated from Moscow Conservatory with honors
 In 1992, awarded Special Prize at international piano competition as J.S. Bach in Leipzig, Germany
 Member of California Music Teachers Association
 Member of National Music Teachers Association
 A founder of Southern California Youth Mozart Festival
 Over 20 years teaching experience in Europe and U.S.

Fei yang - Piano

Fei has been teaching piano to San Diego kids and adults for over ten years. She’s a member of the Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC) and has helped many students pass their Certificate of Merit exams. She received her Master of music in Piano Performance at Brigham Young University (studying on scholarship with Paul Pollei) and her bachelor’s degree from Taiwan’s National Institute of Arts, where she was chosen as the leading accompanist for several years. Fei has also taken doctorate-level courses in music art with Norman Krieger at the University of Southern California, and piano-performance classes with Daming Zu, a graduate of The Juilliard School.

Larry Razanav - Guitar

Professional musician, composer, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Plays electric and acoustic guitars, bass, piano. From 1982-2001, he performed with famous Belarus group "Syabry" ( guitar, bass, lead vocal). Participated in many international festivals,tours and concerts. Works in recording studios, TV and Radio shows, and writes solo albums ( singer, composer). Lives in San Diego, CA.

Michelle Liu - Host & singing

She was the exclusive singer contracted by Guangzhou New Century Music Production Inc. and TV show host at Guangdong Province Cable TV Station Music Channel. Released solo singing album 《My Beloved Sister》and many combo CDs with top Chinese pop artists. She has been the judge of “The Voice of China” North America SD Audition and many other singing competitions. With education and degrees in music and business, Michelle has become a leader of international music exchange in San Diego. She received the “Outstanding Contribution to International Music Exchange” Award from San Diego County Supervisor’s office for her 2017 production of the 4th Hong Kong International Music Festival North America SD regional Audition.

Siyan zhou - Guzheng

Siyan Zhou started her musical journey when she was six years old and graduated from Jishou University as a zither professional. She has also participated in many American and Ukranian music exchange programs.

Siyan zhou - Guzheng

Siyan Zhou started her musical journey when she was six years old and graduated from Jishou University as a zither professional. She has also participated in many American and Ukranian music exchange programs.

Siyan zhou - Guzheng

Siyan Zhou started her musical journey when she was six years old and graduated from Jishou University as a zither professional. She has also participated in many American and Ukranian music exchange programs.