Faculty and Staff

MichaelCoutts
Senior Pastor
HelenYoo-Lee
Principal/School Administrator

I completed my Bachelor of Arts in Christian Education at Patten University in 1991. I received my Master of Divinity at Alliance Theological Seminary in Nyack, New York in 1993 and Master of Science in Education at California Baptist University in Riverside, CA in 2018.  I have been at Hillside Christian Academy since 2010. Being able to speak openly and honestly about my faith is why being a principal at a Christian School is so valuable to me. I believe that Christian education plays a large part in allowing students to become a vessel for God’s use. Working in a Christian school allows me to teach students to look at their life and their world from a Biblical viewpoint. It is wonderful every school year to see our students grow both academically and spiritually.

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April Gose

Kindergarten Teacher
I have been blessed to be an accomplished worker from the fields of sales, childcare through church ministries, and education. I love being in my home city. I have grown up here and was raised by my parents with my sister. Through diligently working for God’s Kingdom, I strive to share my vision of helping youth and others to draw closer to the Lord while gaining abundant life through a deep relationship with God. I find it a privilege to lead the younger generation in my hometown, and I am happy to be a part of a Christian school community in the Bay Area. I envision to glorify God by helping build a community that provides a good and enriching education that influences others in a positive and spiritual way. I enjoy spending time with loved ones, being in nature, reading, and serving others in the community.
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Mark Dandan

1st Grade Teacher 

I am truly grateful and humbled to be an ambassador of God’s Word here at HCA. On top of striving academics, I strongly believe in building christ-like character with my students.

After getting my Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Adolescent Development from San Jose State University in 2008, I worked as a substitute teacher, tutor, and taught at a summer camp cumulatively for six years. Later, I was offered a job at my church which consisted mostly of admin work and managing volunteers for two years. That job led me to teaching at a Christian school in the inner-city Tenderloin of San Francisco for two years. From there, I ended up here at HCA — and I’ve been teaching First Grade here since 2018.

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James Smithson

2nd Grade Teacher

God has provided me with a joyous journey of Christian education as I was able to go to a local Christian school in Pacifica, what is now known as Pacific Bay Christian. I went on to study Kinesiology at Biola University and then to Hope International University for Education. Before starting at Hillside Christian Academy, I had the opportunity to teach K-8th P.E. and coach middle school sports for several years.  I have also spent time as a substitute teacher, reading specialist, and recreation leader. It has been such an honor and a privilege to join the Hillside team where I began helping as a substitute.  In 2020, I began a new adventure as a second-grade teacher and hope to share God's love, encouragement, and strength to all the students and families.

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Chris Dandan

3rd Grade Teacher

For a long time, it’s been in my heart to teach. In high school, I received multiple math awards and wanted to be a math teacher but went into engineering instead. I received my Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering at San Jose State University and worked in the tech industry for many years. One of the companies I worked for went from private to IPO, but I began to feel unfulfilled by my work in engineering and did not feel that the company’s values were aligned with God’s values. I went on multiple mission trips that were focused on youth in Uganda, Romania, and Montreal. From there, I found that the best thing that we can do is invest in our youth for the next generation.  I have been teaching at Hillside Christian Academy since 2019. I am passionate about youth, education, and building Christlike character, and I love that our school is both focused on academics and is Christ-centered. I am blessed to serve and teach the students at our school.

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Jessica Sue

4th Grade Teacher

Working with children is in my nature.  I grew up surrounded by family members who worked with children leaving me inspired to want to follow in their footsteps.  I attended San Francisco State University, where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts, a teaching credential, and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. During those same years, I worked as an after-school teacher where I'd assist students with their homework and lead fun activities. I also helped start a tutoring session within a summer school program that served to provide one-on-one support for students needing extra academic assistance or personal guidance.  Finally, I student-taught & substituted in public elementary schools where I gained firsthand experience being a classroom teacher in a formal school setting. I started working at HCA in, and have taught 2nd and 4th grades.

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Ansel Vibat

5th Grade Teacher

I graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. I have years of experience teaching Sunday School, Awana (Trek - Middle School group), and Bible Studies (youth and young adults). I am called by God to love Him and to love others. It is a great privilege for me to teach my students about Jesus and to guide them through their academics--to help nurture their minds and nourish their souls.

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Ana Moy

6th Grade Teacher

I have been teaching in various school settings since I graduated from college with a teaching degree.  I spent years teaching both in San Francisco and overseas.  I later returned to the Bay Area to attend graduate school where I earned a Masters in Intercultural Studies.  After getting married and staying at home to raise my two sons, I found my way back to teaching in 2013.  God then led me to Hillside in 2017 to teach full-time again.   I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my love of Jesus and teaching with my students at HCA who have become like family. (This small community is a treasure.)

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Paul Nemeth

Music Teacher

I was raised in Arvada, CO as the child of two music educators. I studied piano, trumpet and guitar before settling on bass guitar as my primary instrument. I relocated to the Bay Area in 1995 and have played guitar and bass in everything from small venues to large music festivals. I have been the principal bassist for the Church of the Highlands Orchestra and have taught at Highlands Christian Schools, Bronstein Music, Crystal Springs Uplands and Heriz Music & Art. I consider HCA my home and love teaching the kids to worship God through music.

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Rosemary Perez

Instructional Aide/P.E.
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Christina Elliot

Preschool Director

I am excited to be part of Hillside Christian Academy. I started at HCA in 1978 as a preschool teacher. I went on teaching different age groups from 2 ½ to 10 years old. I then moved on to be the Director of the Preschool. I feel so blessed to be at work each day since the Lord is always challenging me to learn something new from the best teachers-the children, staff, and families.

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Devon Elisara

Bookkeeper