Our teachers are a diverse group who come from all over the world including Chile, Peru, China, Colombia, France, Japan, India, Germany, Puerto Rico and Taiwan. Many have degrees in language and education and years of experience in teaching. Many are parents themselves and experience personally the joys — and challenges — of raising bilingual children. They all have a passion for sharing language and culture with children and their families.
Khawar Business & Strategy
Khawar oversees the Sponge business and team. He has over 25 years of experience working in the software industry and is currently focused on expanding the Sponge Method of language learning and bringing it to new students in the Greater Seattle and beyond. He enjoys traveling to far corners of the world, occasionally dabbles in oil painting, and is a fan of all types of science fiction.
Heike Curriculum & Teacher Management
Heike hires, trains, and coaches our teachers. She develops our curriculum and ensures that each session is at its best. Heike brings over 15 years of teaching experience to Sponge, with learners of all ages. Her passion is in creating a springboard to lifelong language and intercultural learning. When she’s not working, you’ll find Heike gardening, traveling, reading, or with family and friends.
Erica Elementary School Programs Lead
Erica is the Sponge Elementary School Programs lead, responsible for all aspects of our elementary and pre-school programs. Erica is passionate about language education and brings over 6 years’ experience as a teacher (preschool, elementary, and adult) to our team. She is a heritage French speaker and has a Master’s degree in French Language Teaching. Erica enjoys playing immersive RPG Xbox games, live music, and experimenting in the kitchen with pastry!
Natsumi Marketing & Business Development, Japanese Teacher
Natsumi manages Marketing & Business Development, and also teaches Japanese classes. She has studied in Japan, US and Barcelona. She loves cultures around the world as well as seeing the delights on children’s faces. In her free time, you’ll find her making jewelry, doing Zumba and ballroom dance.
Weiyu In-Center Programs & Lead Mandarin Teacher
Weiyu manages our in-center and preschool programs, and also teaches Mandarin classes. She’s constantly seeking the best practices in second language learning, to use in class and share with our diverse team. Cultivating global citizenship is a passion of Weiyu’s. She holds a Masters in International Studies from UW. Weiyu is an avid salsa dancer and yogi, and always seeks new knowledge about language and cultures.
Olga In-Center Programs & Lead Spanish Teacher
Olga works closely with our centers and is a strong support for each of our teachers. She loves to help children discover what they love learning about, and has a real gift for it! Originally from Colombia, Olga brings diverse professional experience to Sponge. She served as the Dean of Universidad El Bosque in Bogota, and has taught for many years. Olga loves to give back to the community and spend time with her boys.