Teacher and Employee Spotlight
Welcome to our weekly teacher spotlight! This is a place where we highlight our incredible teachers and get the chance to know a little bit about who they are. Every week we will feature a ZebraEnglish teacher and give them a chance to be celebrated
Melanie was born and raised in Odessa, Texas. She attended Permian High School and lettered in volleyball, basketball, and track all three years, and was offered scholarships in all three sports! Melanie went on to play basketball in college for one year and then transferred over to volleyball for her last 3 years. In 2012, her volleyball career went to the next level and she pursued her childhood dream. She was given the opportunity to play professionally in Europe where she finished the 2013 season with Switzerland. Soon after, Melanie decided to transition over to beach volleyball. In 2015, Melanie joined the U.S. Virgin Islands Nation beach volleyball team and is currently playing on tour. Recent achievements include the 2012 Rio Olympic trials, top 8 finish in the Norceca Pro International Tour, 2018 Barranquilla Central American and Caribbean Games, 2019 Lima Pan American Games, and what is now the 2021 Tokyo Olympic trials. Melanie graduated from college with a B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Chemistry at Our Lady of the Lake University. After college, Melanie worked full time as a Biomedical Research Technician and then as a Laboratory Research Assistant. Melanie is also an Entrepreneur at USANA Health Sciences Inc. and runs a small business in Dominican Republican with her fiancé where she is currently living.
Melanie has worked with children for 15 years. Some of her passions in life are her family, teaching, and the outdoors. She loves seeing the joy that comes when a child learns and masters a new skill. She loves making kids excited about learning. She has taught kids of all ages and enjoys the challenge of connecting and teaching kids from all walks of life. Melanie takes pride in teaching kids English and sharing their passion for the language.
Other Fun Facts:
- Speaks 2 languages – English & Spanish
- Scientists – blood research & animal surgeon
- Actress – Friday Night Lights
- Designer – jewelry
- Motorcycle owner
- Dancing – bachata/hip hop/shuffle/Soca
- Dog owner – Poncho (pitbull/certified service dog) & Playa (rescued dog from a beach in Dominican Republic)
- Traveled to 19 countries
- Spirit animal – white tiger & dolphin
- Favorite quote – “You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.” ~Michael Phelps
Tip for ZE teachers:
- TPR – no such thing as too much TPR and it’s just as important to get the student to do TPR as well
My name is Christal Avery and I’m born and raised from Washington, D.C. However, I currently reside in Greenville, North Carolina Home of the East Carolina Pirates.
I have a son name Mason and he is 8 years old who loves computers games and playing outside with his family and friends.
I’ve been teaching since I was the age of 16 mentoring, coaching, tutoring, and ESL.
I earned a basketball scholarship from The University of East Carolina. Where I was able to try-out for many WNBA teams and I also received an offer to play overseas in the country of Israel.
Fun Facts About Me:
- My favorite food is definitely seafood. I’m totally a morning person and I go to bed early like 7 pm.
- My favorite movie is Love and Basketball.
- The decade I feel most like I belong in the 1970’s.
- I have an old soul and love that music from that era.
- I absolutely can’t live without my faith in Jehovah God, my son, and my family and friends.
- The three things that makes me happy is food, spending time with family and sleeping in my bed.
- If I won 1 million dollars I would totally share with my family and about $500,000 I would donate for medical research on autoimmune diseases.
- My favorite TV show is ESPN 30 for 30. When I want to just relax at home I like to drink coffee in the mornings and drinking wine in the evenings.
Riki – ZebraEnglish Fireman
ZebraEnglish Lounge is so excited to shine the spotlight on Riki! Riki is a fireman with ZebraEnglish and we’d be lost without her quick responses and her help during and after classes. Thanks for all you do for ZebraEnglish Riki! We appreciate all your hard work and can’t wait to get to know you!
- Tell us a little bit about yourself Riki:
Hello teachers. As many of you may know I go by the name ‘Riki’. I finished my college degree in Las Vegas, Nevada (Yes, Las Vegas, we have school there too 😂) and I’m currently working on my master of business degree in South Korea. I enjoy cooking and working out when I have time. And a fun fact about me, my dog has more Instagram followers than I do!
- Your job or responsibilities at ZebraEnglish.
I am currently working in the Support Team of ZebraEnglish as a Fireman. I’m sure most of you have contacted us during class by pushing that green Fireman button and Ticket. We are that group of people putting out fires during classes and outside classrooms as well. We offer assistance to any possible issues teachers encounter during on-going classes and try to solve it on-time to provide a better English teaching experience. If the problems are not solved on-site, we work closely with our IT department to prevent it from happening again.
As for tickets, teachers can send any problems and questions they have about ZebraEnglish to us through the portal. We will then give responses and solutions back as quickly as possible when we receive the tickets. To be honest, there are a lot of times we see questions that we never have had before, so it’s also a learning process for us when handling tickets from teachers.
- How long have you worked for ZebraEnglish?
It has only been 1 month since I started working for ZebraEnglish, and I’ve already learned so much from colleagues, teachers, and parents. It’s been such an experience!
- What do you like most about ZebraEnglish?
I have been working in different industries and companies since college, both in China and in the United States. The unique thing about ZebraEnglish is the complete, thorough and caring training system I have received from ZE. All the colleagues I have met in ZE have been extremely supportive and friendly. People around me all have set the same goal of offering the best service and platform to all aspects of the company. We understand that not everything is easy during this period of time, but everyone at ZebraEnglish is positive and working hard to get the best results possible.
Meet Teacher Crystal! Fun, happy, vivacious, and that’s before she even has her coffee! A busy mother to almost 5-year-old twins, she homeschools, is an online ESL instructor, and also has an extensive background as a licensed behavioral specialist who works with children. Anyone who knows Crystal loves her instantly! Her infectious laugh can fill a football stadium and she’s a natural and very gifted teacher for her ESL students. Welcome, Teacher Crystal!
Here are some fun facts about Crystal:
- Name Crystal Butcher
- Where you live Mineral Wells, WV
- How long you’ve been with Zebra. Since February
- Family husband Doug and soon to he 5-year-old boy/girl twins, Willow and Silas
- Favorite classroom moment. Students showing me their empty toilet paper rolls when asked what they did all day.
- Favorite comfort food…homemade stuffing
- Favorite animal. Sea otter
- You’ve been given $100. All your bills are paid… how would you spend it? Would invest in my new Girl Scout Daisy Troop
- Coffee or tea? Coffee
- Hobbies? Tennis, gardening, cooking, homeschooling, camping, fishing, and mushroom foraging