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.

Dave Cobb - School Outreach Coordinator

Dave Cobb recently retired from a forty-year career as a school administrator, college admission director, and association executive.  Following military service, Dave returned to Vermont and earned degrees from Johnson State College, St. Michael’s College, and the Snelling Project for School Leaders.  Dave’s career path includes leadership positions in elementary, middle, and high school, and college admissions.  Spare time will find him involved in athletics, either coaching or officiating.  

Anle (Alvin) Han - Program Assistant 

Alvin Han was born and raised in Sichuan, China. He is now a student at the Grossman School of Business at the University of Vermont. Alvin is majoring in Marketing and Finance, and minoring in Sports Management. The activities he is involved in both inside and outside of school have helped him to build a stronger connection with the local community. 



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

Julie Plante - Host Family 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.

Mairead Harris - Student Service Coordinator (Stowe High School, VT)

Mairead Harris is a native Vermonter, and the Chinese language teacher at Stowe Middle & High School in Vermont. After graduating from Middlebury College with a joint degree in Spanish and Chinese, Mairead taught English in China for 2 years. She now lives in Montpelier with her husband, Andrew, whom she met in China. 

Shalimar Ramos Wuyke - Student Service Coordinator (New London Science & Tech. Magnet High School, CT)

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Shalimar Ramos Wuyke has lived in the U.S. for 35 years.  She received her bachelor's degree in TESOL in Caracas.  She continued her studies at the University of Alabama, where she received her Masters' and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership. Shalimar worked for New London Public Schools for 23 years, beginning as a teacher, and becoming an administrator in 1998.