Meet the Instructors

Hey there! We’re the GIGE team – a small group of talented education professionals with a wide range of skills and experiences.

At GIGE, our instructors (and helpful coordinator) do a variety of different tasks and projects, primarily curriculum design; teacher training; education research; professional presentations and workshops; and publications.

We fully believe our instructors are both incredibly talented and good-looking. Scroll down to find out more about us.

Eric Flynn

GIGE Teacher Trainer

Eric is GIGE’s Jack of all trades, and frankly, with his skillset, we aren’t entirely sure he’s not a spy. Eric first acquired his degree in criminal justice before joining the U.S. Air Force as an airborne linguist. While in the Air Force, he studied Modern Standard Arabic at the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey, California. Eric’s teaching experience includes a vocational carpentry program for at-risk youth and over ten years teaching English in Korean public schools. Eric’s interests are as diverse as his history and include martial arts of all kinds, retro video games, board games, and writing.

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Sandra Tran

GIGE Teacher Trainer

Sandra has an undergrad degree in Anthropology, focusing in Socio-linguistic Anthropology and Linguistic Anthropology. She taught adult American immigrants English before coming to Korea in 2019 and spent 4 years teaching in an elementary school in Pyeongtaek.

Sandra’s quite the language-enthusiast. She grew up with Cantonese and Vietnamese spoken at home and learned English throughout primary school. Her interest in languages grew because of that, so she’s learned Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, and Korean throughout her years in secondary school and university. Her language background as a language learner also helps her empathize with other language learners.

Sandra is a major foodie, so she enjoys finding great places to eat and studying or working in cafes when she’s not teaching or in the office.

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Daniel Moonasar

GIGE Teacher Trainer

Daniel Moonasar began his teaching career in the US where he was a K-12 music teacher for many years in Florida. He came to Korea in 2009 and only planned to stay for a year to experience working in Korea … but he never left. During his time in Korea, he received his postgraduate degree in Educational and Social Research from the University of London. He has worked in private schools, public schools, companies, and universities across Korea. He is also a teacher trainer for new NETs in Korea.

He enjoys presenting at various conferences around the world. Daniel previously worked at GIGE for 4 years and missed it so much that he came back to enjoy the country air and various exotic street animals. But in all seriousness, he wants to gain more insight and experience into the Korean school system as it shifts to its own version of a global model of education and maybe change the world, (echo) world, world, world…

When Daniel isn’t working, which isn’t often, he enjoys all types of science, technology, and classic cars. Looking toward his future, he is deciding on pursuing a doctorate in educational psychology or clinical psychology and hopefully restoring a late 70s Hyundai Pony Pickup.

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Maureen Kelly

GIGE Teacher Trainer

Maureen began her ESL teaching career in Korea when she came to Korea in 2003 with the EPIK Program. During her first year teaching at a rural countryside girl’s middle school in Chungcheongbuk-do, she quickly fell in love with the enthusiasm her students showed for English, the delicious kimchi given to her by Korean co-workers and of course, the natural beauty and culture of Korea.

Maureen completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Psychology at Carleton University and then her Bachelor of Education degree in Teaching Primary grades K-6 at Ottawa University.

During her almost 20 years of teaching experience in Korea, Maureen has taught for Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, Asan Office of Education, Chungcheongbuk-do Office of Education, for government-sponsored immersion English centers in Gwangju and Pyeongtaek, and at both Suncheon National University and Sun Moon University.

When Maureen isn’t working, she enjoys posting her photos and videos on social media, appreciating art in all genres, riding her bike, and last but not least a good strong cup of coffee.

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Van Johnson

GIGE Teacher Trainer

Van Johnson Originates from South Africa and has embarked on an inspiring educational journey, encompassing five years of teaching experience in middle and elementary schools in South Korea’s beautiful Gangwon Province.

During Van’s time in Korea, he has assumed many different roles, including that of District Coordinator for the EPIK program in Pyeongchang-gun. Additionally, Van held the position of Vice President for KOTESOL’s Gangwon chapter, actively engaging in organizing impactful teacher training workshops across Korea and other regions.

In the classroom, Van is passionionate about exploring innovative teaching techniques. From delving into gamification strategies, seamlessly integrating technology, and devising imaginative and fun approaches to engage and motivate students. With a Bachelors in Psychology and Philosophy he hopes to integrate new methods for understanding pedagogy and how it can be transformed into a fun and engaging process rather than a chore.

Beyond education, Van nurtures a strong fascination for music. He has been performing and making music for 10 years, and is currently working to further use those skills to create connections both in the classroom and out.

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John Blake

English Program Coordinator

Meet John Blake, a passionate educator whose extraordinary journey has carried him from the tranquil landscapes of Seattle to the sunny shores of Huntington Beach in Southern California. John’s heart pulsates with a fervor for teaching, and his unwavering commitment to nurturing young minds is profoundly inspiring.

What distinguishes John is his diverse background. Surprisingly, he embarked on an entrepreneurial voyage, establishing a thriving mortgage company after graduation. Nevertheless, his affection for education remained unshaken. You’ll encounter glimpses of his tech-savvy side on his involvement with YouTube videos and blogging. John is more than numbers and gadgets; he’s a real estate expert who once led a team of professionals in this dynamic field.

However, John’s true passion resides within the realm of English programs. For over eight years, he has poured his heart and soul into teaching, guiding elementary students and mentoring gifted high school students in Korea. It’s a labor of love that has profoundly shaped his career and touched countless lives. Beyond the classroom, you’ll uncover more dimensions of John’s vibrant personality. He’s a devoted music enthusiast, a tech aficionado always abreast of the latest gadgets, and an avid golfer. Yet, what truly ignites his soul is the irresistible allure of Korean cuisine. John is a bona fide food connoisseur who relishes every mouthful of authentic Korean dishes, and his profound love for this culinary tradition radiates in every conversation.

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