SPIRAL International Leaders

Dr. Emily Hong Yue Guo - President

Dr. Emily Hong Yue Guo grew up in Beijing China. She studied at both Chinese and American universities in the area of Chinese Cultural Studies. Having lived and worked in America for more than twenty years, Dr. Guo has extensive knowledge and experience in cross-cultural under-standing and exchanges. She taught Chinese culture, religions and history at American colleges. She is founder and former executive director of Vermont Peace Academy and director of Asia-Pacific Institute and Study Abroad Program at Goddard College. In the past five years, she has devoted herself to building international exchange programs.

Dr. Emily Hong Yue Guo

Richard (Dick) Taylor - Vice-President

Dick Taylor is the education consultant and the residential site coordinator for Spiral International. A retired educator living in northwest Vermont. Dick holds degrees in Nuclear Medicine Technology, Education, and Administration and Planning. His work experience includes being a math and science teacher, principal of schools ranging in grade levels from pre-k through grade 12, and Superintendent of Schools. His interest in international opportunities for students has taken him to Thailand as well as working with SPIRAL International.  

Inbound Team


Jia (Jason) Shi - Program Management Analyst

Jia (Jason) Shi was born and grew up in Shenyang in northeast China. He received a bachelor's degree in supply chain management from Dalian Transportation University in China, then came to the United States in 2011 and got an MBA from Wright State University in Ohio. He has been working in the domain of Chinese-American cooperation since he was an undergraduate and is very interested in creating educational exchange programs between the two countries.

Justin Brink - Immersion Programs Coordinator

Justin Brink has a B.S. from Castleton University and an M.A. from San Diego State University. He spent 3 years teaching in Latin America (Mexico City and Bogotá), and has just returned from 4 years in Bangkok as the Curriculum Coordinator for TCIS International School. He is a native Vermonter who enjoys playing sports, exploring, and learning about the world.

Outbound Team


Trevor Burke - International Programs Coordinator

Trevor Burke recently returned from ten years of living and working in China, mostly in the education sector in Chengdu. He received his B.A. in Journalism with a minor in History from Ohio State University. Additionally, he is a certified Wilderness First responder and PADI Open Water Diver. In his free time, he enjoys cooking (and eating), and being in/on/around/under almost any large body of water.

Michele Hirsch - Senior Administrative Assistant

Michele Hirsch was born in the United States; by the age of 18, she had visited 36 states and 7 countries.  She received a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from Bryn Mawr College, and then relocated to Paris, where she spent the next 25 years teaching American culture and language to French executives. Since moving to Vermont in 2008, she has donated more than 500 hours to the Humane Society and to Northern Greyhound Adoptions.

SPIRAL International Coordinators


Jennifer Haselman - Student Service Coordinator (Burlington High School, VT)


Julie Plante - Student Service Coordinator (East Lyme High School, CT)

Julie Plante is a native of East Lyme. She has a bachelor's degree in Sociology, and she works with people with traumatic brain injuries, providing them with behavioral and life skill training. In her “free time,” she works with SPIRAL, finding and offering support to local families hosting Chinese students in East Lyme.

Sarah Horton - Student Service Coordinator (Stowe High School, VT)