Staff & Instructors

Avery Wan

Jin Wan, Principal & Operating Director of Washington Cathay Future Center, graduated from the Sichuan Conservatory of Music. She has taught music to student of various ages and experience for over 10 years. In 2010, Ms. Wan founded the Little Star Music Education (the professors of Washington Cathay Future Center). This program offers students the opportunity to sing, act, and dance. She is also a choir director and holds both group lessons and private lessons, providing her students with the professional vocal training and performance skills needed to help them to reach their full potential. Within a few years, the program has grown to include over a hundred students, many of whom have gone on to perform in a variety of different concerts, performances, and competitions within the Washington metropolitan area. Aside from Washington Cathay Future Center, Ms. Wan has been involved in many successful musical events and competitions.

Regina Wei

Yuanjin Wei is an illustrator and Chinese free hand brush painting artist based in Washington DC metro area. She especially enjoys creating illustrations that reveal humorous and ironic scenes from everyday life. In creating her images, she combine her training in traditional Chinese illustration with the modern styles to pay respect to her traditional heritage, and also experiment with techniques that allow her to explore without constraints.

Facebook page:
Behance(online porfolio):

Tyler Brooks

Tyler Brooks has served as a high school technology and engineering instructor forthe past nine years. Recently he has assumed the roles of Technology EducationTeacher, Mentor and Coach for the FTC Team 6406 and CHS Racers Electrathon Race Team. His educational background includes a Bachelor in Science in Graphics Communications from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.He is a recognized National Board Certified Teacher as well as a certified Project Lead the Way engineering instructor.

Michael A. Stokes

National Ballet Company, Crofton, Maryland;
Rhythm nation Performing Arts of Texas Euless, Texas;
Conservatory of Classical Ballet, Dallas, Texas;
Ballet Academy of Texas Fort Worth, Texas

Education/Dance type:

Ballet, hip-hop, modern, character and jazz.

Achievements :

Auditioned for and received scholarships from the school of American Ballet (NewYork), The San Francisco Ballet, The American Ballet Theatre (New York), Cecchetti Council of America (Michigan), The Julillana Schools (SanDiego), Gus Giordano Dance Center (Chicago), Debbie Allen Dance Academy (Culver City, CA) and The University of North Carolina School of Arts.

Alex Liu

Sep. 2015 Hoffberger School of Painting in MICA. (MFA)
 Sep.2012 Department of Chinese Painting in Luxun Academy of Fine Art  (MFA)
 Sep. 2008 Luxun Academy of Fine Art (BFA)
Neither/Or Hoffberger School of Painting Fall Show­­––MICA Lazarus Center Gallery
2015 Chinese Department of Painting Graduate Show––LAFA Gallery 06/15/2015
Water and Ink Experimental Work Show––LAFA Gallery 2014
Participated in the Traditional Chinese Painting—National College Student Flowers and Birds Painting Show held by Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2014.
Participated in the National Group Exhibitions of Nine Cities in 2014.
Presented in Chinese Young Artists Works Exhibition in the Gallery of Huangshang Morning Paper in 2014.
Organized the Small-Size Art Exhibition held in Lunxun Academy of Fine Arts in 2013.
Organized and participated in the Art Activity of Returning—In a Visual Way in Lunxun Academy of Fine Arts in December 2012.
Organized and participated in “Zhixing Ink Painting Show” in 2010.
Organized and participated in “Art --- Traditional Chinese Painting Show” in 2009.
Took part in Wenchuan Earthquake Donation Activity in 2008.

Edward Victor

Edward Victor is a Puerto Rican artist born in New York. He has a BFA from Puerto Rico School of Fine Arts and is currently a MFA student at Maryland Institute College of Arts (MICA). He has been an art teacher for 13 years. During this time, he has worked for The Institute of Puerto Rican Culture and The Puerto Rico Department of Education. He was also director of the Walter Otero Contemporary Art gallery (San Juan, Puerto Rico). He has exhibited his work in various locations including, The Capitol of Puerto Rico, San Juan Museum, Casa Blanca Museum and Sacred Heart University Gallery.

Tena Thau

Tena recently completed a master’s degree in Philosophy and Public Policy at the London School of Economics, graduating with Distinction. She will be starting a DPhil (PhD) in Philosophy in the fall at the University of Oxford. For the past five years, Tena has debated competitively in the British Parliamentary format, an extemporaneous style of debate about public policy issues. She has competed in tournaments across the US and UK, and won awards at numerous competitions. She has also worked part-time as a debate instructor for the past five years, teaching debate to elementary, middle, and high school students of all skill levels.

Crystal M. Adair

Crystal Adair is a native of Washington, DC and a proud product of the DC Public School System. In 1997, she graduated summa cum laude from Clark Atlanta University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media Arts (Radio-Television-Film). Trained as a broadcast journalist and highly skilled in both oratory and the dramatic arts, Crystal’s lifelong commitment is to help our youth “find their own voices”. This author, filmmaker, playwright and impassioned public speaker has been teaching English, Public Speaking and Fine Arts for more than 15 years. As importantly, she has worked with students and adults from all over the globe and from every grade level between kindergarten and college. Additionally, Crystal has written, produced and directed more than 75 stage plays, special programs and film projects throughout her career, while also successfully coaching hundreds of student speakers for regional competitions, Broadway auditions and even the Disney channel! Finally, Crystal’s greatest ambitions are to finally publish her memoir, Therapy, and to launch her own performing and visual arts non-profit program for youth who live in underserved communities. Crystal currently resides in Prince Georges County, MD with her very precocious and uber-talented ten-year old son, Jalen Christopher.

Arnetia Walker

ARNETIA WALKER aka “Ms. Neesha” was 16 and attending New York’s prestigious High School of the Performing Arts when she was cast in her Broadway debut, The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window by Lorraine Hansberry. She went on to standby for Stephanie Mills as Dorothy in the original Broadway run of The Wiz. She spent five years as a “Dreamgirl” in the role of Lorrell Robinson, and eventually achieved the distinction of being the only woman to have played all three of the show’s principal characters. Her films include For Love of the Game, Balloon Farm, and College Road Trip. She also appeared in the HBO movie Cast a Deadly Spell. She has worked extensively in television, including as a series regular in The Big House and Nurses, and as a guest star on Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Everybody Loves Raymond, City of Angels, Touched by an Angel, The Steve Harvey Show, Just Shoot Me, and NYPD Blue. She currently teaches drama and musical theatre to students of all ages in the DMV area.

Hui Zhuang

Zhuang Hui began her martial arts training , in china , when she was nine years old and was quickly recruited to attend the Beijing Sports School. She went to be selected to compete as a member of the Beijing Wushu team, widely renewed as the best martial artists in the world, where she trained with other stars, including Jet Li. During her career she has traveled throughout the world, competitions. She has won the gold medal as the Asian Olympic Games, 4 gold medals in the Asian Wushu Championships and is the five time Women`s All-Around Champion of China.

Phil Peng

Music Director & Conductor; 
Classically-trained tenor with music education from both China and U.S
Former member of the Shanghai Philharmonic Society Music genres include Classical Music, Liturgical Music, German Lieder, French and English Art Songs, and Chinese Folk Music Conducting

Conductor and Artistic Director, Columbia Chinese Choral Arts Society (CCCAS) (2006 to 2013)
Conductor and Artistic Director, Yellow River Art Ensemble (YRAE) (2011 to 2013)
Conductor, Washington Chinese Chorus (WCC) (2004 – 2007)

Lydia Zeng

Yijia have been well received by students and their parents due to novel and interesting teaching methods during the service, organizing students to host small concerts, and all students have passed grade examination of piano. In 2013, Yijia set up Perfect Music Art Studio together with her friends at No. 699, Xinhua Road, Shanghai, with main services of arts education, including piano teaching, tea art training and guqin training, etc. At the beginning of the creation of the studio, She got numerous valuable experience in teaching and management through learning by trial and error and assistance from seniors. She learned piano since five years old, learning after Professor Shi Jinglin, head of Piano Department in School of Music of Qingdao University; in 2008, She was admitted to art class of High School Affiliated to China Ocean University; in 2011, She was admitted to the specialty of piano performances in East China Normal University with the first prize at national level, learning after Professor Hou Runyu, dean, German pianist and conductor as well as Professor Zhang Dingyuan, famous pianist and educator; in 2012, She studied and performed in Austria Innsbruck, guided by great masters such as pianist Krassimira Jordan, Thomas Kreuzberger and her performances were well received; in 2013, She performed at the Commemorate Debussy Show in Shanghai Concert Hall. During the university, She have participated in different types of commercial performances and teaching activities, with extensive experience in teaching performances. In 2015, She was admitted to Peabody Conservatory in the United States, learning with pianist Marianna Prjevalskaya and Harlen Parker. Now she is devote herself to piano pedagogy.

Erin Holmes

Erin Holmes is a ceramicist from the DC area. She has had a passion for visual arts all her life and finds that the best way for her to express this passion is though the ceramic medium. After graduating from University of Miami with a Bachelors in Fine Arts; focus in ceramics and art history, she went on to pursue a career of teaching the craft to all ages while also creating her own line of work for galleries and sales. After a few years of experience she is still currently and happily walking this career path and has gained exceptional knowledge of teaching ceramic art.

Melissa Eisen

Melissa Eisen is an independent design professional that focuses on fine art, branding, and visual storytelling. She received a BA in Fine Arts and Art Education from University of Maryland, College Park and has a Maryland Teaching License. After university, she taught art in Maryland public schools for several years before exploring other aspects of the professional art world including design projects and art shows in the DC area. In addition to creating from the recesses of her own mind, Melissa likes to bring other people's visions to reality through commissioned pieces, collaborative works, and education. She worked with individuals ranging in age from 4 to 90 on a variety of creative and professional endeavors. To learn more about Melissa and her work you can visit or follow her facebook page,

Latechia G. Mitchell

Latechia Mitchell began her work with children in the fall of 1998. She has worked for many years in the areas of creative and academic disciplines. While Ms. Mitchell has been formally educated in the areas of psychology and education, she has had many artistic work experiences that have helped hone her imaginative energies. She is a certified English teacher by the MSDE in grades 6-12, and also holds an advanced professional certificate in elementary education. During the day, Ms. Mitchell works for MCPS at S. Christa McAuliffe ES.

In her varied work throughout the years with children and teens, she has been able to develop a creative muscle that she continues to stretch and train. Ms. Mitchell has learned and taught black and white photography, newspaper, drama, visual art, dance, and supported students in their academic pursuits throughout her professional experiences. She has directed plays, written music, and choreographed dance for students for over 10 years in camps and classes.

Highlights of her work with students include creating an environmental club that continues at the CCCS-Trinidad Campus in Northeast DC, facilitating students in Fairfax County to retell and write their own version of the Firebird Suite, and directing her 2nd grade class in a reader’s theatre production of Cendrion, a Caribbean Cinderella. Currently, Ms. Mitchell teaches Funny Songs and Hands on Art here at Cathay Future. She is excited to be a part of the visionary staff that offers classes here to students.

Luke Ikard

Luke Ikard is a multidisciplinary artist based in Baltimore, MD, where he maintains an active woodworking and multimedia studio art practice. Utilizing his knowledge of sound and emerging technologies as well as his skills as a woodworker, Ikard has developed experience in a wide range of specialties. Ikard has earned a MFA in Multidisciplinary art from the Mount Royal School of Art at Maryland Institute College of Art and received his BFA in Studio Art from Sam Houston State University. Ikard has lead instructional workshops and lectures in wood shop safety, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, 3D printing, digital fabrication, and computer programing.


Mary Palazzolo have worked in education for more than ten years as a teacher, tutor, daycare provider, and nanny. She currently teaches English Language Arts to middle school students in Prince George's County and hold a Master's degree as well as state certification in elementary education and reading instruction. In addition to reading and writing, Mary is passionate about cooking (and eating!), and she enjoys sharing that passion with others - especially young people. She has created an after-school cooking program for her students and is excited to bring that experience to your child's time with us this summer!"

Briana V. William

Briana V. William is a Dancer, Performer, Choreographer. She graduated from Towson University in Baltimore, MD a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance Performance. Briana began her love for dance at the age of 3 at Yokota Air Force Base, Japan under the direction of Debby Yuile. Growing up and developing her love of dance with many different Dance Studios in the D.C. Maryland and Virginia Area. During her time at Towson University as a Dance Major Briana has both performed and choreographed, taking the lead in “Bill T. Jones', Continuous Replay” as the clock, Alvin Ailey Pieces “House of the Rising Sun” and “Escapades” as well as Robert Battle's Battlefield as a Quartet member and ensemble. Upon graduating from Towson with her BFA in Dance performance from Towson University, she has performed and taught at showcases, workshops, amusements parks, you name it. Briana is continuing her ventures abroad and on the high seas with Carnival Cruise Lines and has made a stop at Washington Cathay Future Center to create a Top-Tier Dance Program.

Nicole Taylor

Dr. Nicole Taylor holds a Doctorate degree in English from Howard University and is a specialist in Communications. She has over 20 years of experience teaching English, Writing, and Public Speaking, among many other courses, to both college and grade level students.

Dr. Taylor believes that thorough preparation for success via education and exploration is key to unlocking the possibilities to students' futures.

She is excited to be returning to Washington Cathay to instruct its dynamic students in a variety of Communications courses.

Nadege Brooks

Nadege Brooks is a certified teacher with Montgomery County Public Schools. She has been teaching for over 10 years. She is an alumna of the University of Maryland College Park with a BA in Government and Politics (Political Science), and a BA in French with a minor in kinesiology. Nadege is also certified in French, Political Science and ESOL. Nadege loves teaching and learning new things, when she is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, working out, camping, hiking and anything that involves the outdoors.

Katie Nerud

Katie Nerud is a recent graduate from the University of Maryland where she received her Bachelors Degree in Dance with an area of emphasis in Dance Education.  During this time she was casted in dances that were choreographed by Undergraduate students, Graduate students, and Faculty.  She was also casted in a piece by artist in residence Monstah Black.  She is continuing to study with the University of Maryland Graduate School where she will receive a Masters Degree in Education and a Masters Certification in Dance Education.  She is also continuing her professional career by being a guest artist in another Graduate students thesis project and dancing professionally with Light Switch Dance Theatre.  Katie hopes to educate her students with a new movement vocabulary, knowledge of their body, and an outlet for their artistry.

She is excited to be returning to Washington Cathay to instruct its dynamic students in a variety of Communications courses.

Laura Boyer

Laura Boyer is a dancer, actress and choreographer with over twenty years of experience. She graduate Cum Laude from Temple University in Philadelphia with a Bachelor's of Arts in Theatre and Dance, during which time she co-founded and ran InMotion Dance Ensemble. She has performed professionally throughout the country as a dancer, actress and singer. Miss Boyer has worked with companies such as BalletX, The Walnut Street Theatre, Candlelight Theater, Bootless Stage Works, Wildwood Summer Theatre, 11th Hour Theatre, Sitar Arts Center and All That Jazz Studio.

Last modified: Sunday, June 25, 2017, 12:04 AM