SPIRAL International collaborates with many experts in the field of education in our mission to promote cross-cultural learning.

Steven Berbeco

Steven has more than 20 years of professional experience as a learning systems innovator and senior education officer, with a successful record of transformational leadership in complex and challenging environments for K-12 and adult learners. He holds a doctorate and three Master’s degrees in education and linguistics, with advanced studies in educational econometrics and school law and multiple publications. Steven is a licensed superintendent, principal, and teacher. His areas of focus include global studies, civic engagement, and multicultural team-building. Steven has worked and/or traveled in more than 30 countries and he is proficient in several languages.

Ric Reardon, Ph.D.

Dr. Ric Reardon is the Director of Education for Castleton University where he oversees licensure and non-licensure graduate and undergraduate programs in education. In addition, he is the Director of the Castleton Center for Schools, which offers professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators across the state. He has served as the public higher education representative on the Vermont Standards Board for Professional Educators for 6 years, nominated by the governor in 2016.  He is a former teacher, district coordinator, Supervisory Union administrator, and university professor. Dr. Reardon’s areas of expertise include teacher preparation and practice, licensure requirements and expectations, and school and district leadership. He has provided professional development for teams of teachers, school staffs, and entire districts in inclusive best practices, differentiation and Universal Design for Learning, and teacher and school leadership.

Qiang Zhuo

Qiang Zhuo (known as Simba) is Chief Scientist of Nature Guardian Wildlife Conservation Center as well as the expert member of IUCN (International Union of the Conservation of Nature). Simba works with the local Maasai people to turn pastoral areas into wildlife protection areas. In 2011, Simba established the Mara Conservation Fund, which provides funds for purchasing equipment and vehicles, offers education and measures to prevent conflicts between human beings and animals. He also works with the Ol Kinyei Conservation Area in Kenya, which was selected by IUCN as one of the 15 best green reserves in the world. Simba has long been committed to promoting wildlife protection education from within China as well.

Dr. Jessica Chen

Dr. Jessica Chen was named 2012 Vermont State Teacher of the Year and was honored by President Obama at the White House. During her 17 years as a Mandarin teacher in the Windham Central Supervisory Union, Dr. Chen established a Chinese language program for K-12 students and created a series of textbooks. Dr. Chen has led multiple workshops and professional development activities for Chinese language teachers, including through the Vermont Foreign Language Association, and New England Chinese Language Teacher Association. Dr. Chen served as the Language Director of Middlebury Interactive Languages for seven years. Her expertise includes language instruction, learning materials creation, and teacher training. Moreover, Dr. Chen has served as an official interpreter for government officials, actively devotes her time to supporting Asian Communities in the U.S., and engages in conversations with educational leaders, officials, and successful entrepreneurs (including Mr. Bill Gates) on educational topics. Dr. Chen is now Director of International Programs at the Albany Academies in New York.