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Meet the 2019 TABSA Team

First Car Rental has been the official transport sponsor of Teachers Across Borders Southern Africa (TABSA) since 2010

July 2019 - Teachers Across Borders South Africa has announced its 2019 team of diverse and talented professionals from the US who will be undertaking volunteer teaching projects in South Africa.

In 2019, TABSA is partnering with the Department of Basic Education and the provincial administrators in the Eastern Cape to conduct workshops in Port Elizabeth and Mthatha.

TABSA is a non-profit, volunteer-based organisation dedicated to improving education standards in rural schools.

Each year, TABSA invites a group of best-qualified teachers from the USA to volunteer their time and resources to prepare best teaching practices and innovative techniques to meet and exceed National Curriculum Standards. The lessons planned by TABSA are designed to use inexpensive, everyday resources to teach students in the absence of laboratories and equipment.

Since the organisation was launched by Yunus Peer in 2001, it has provided skills training and mentoring to nearly 4 000 teachers in five South African provinces, having an impact on over one million South African school children.


TABSA 2019


Meet the Team

Mr. Yunus Peer, Director TABSA

Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii (USA)

Teachers Across Borders South Africa (TABSA) was founded in 2001 by Yunus Peer under the guidance of Kader Asmal, who was at the time the South African Education Minister. Mr. Peer currently works at the Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii, the alma mater of former US President Barack Obama.

Mr. Yunus Peer, Director TABSA - TABSA 2019 Team


Mr. Thokozani Mteshane - TABSA Assistant Director Siyaphambili

HS, Harding, RSA

Thokozani Mteshane was born and raised in Harding, KwaZulu-Natal. He graduated in BscEd, ABET, ACE, HIV/Aids Care, Counselling and Management and Occupational Health and Safety and started teaching in 1998. He currently teaches grade 12 mathematics at Siyaphambili High School where he serves as a Departmental Head of Maths & Sciences and Deputy Principal.

Mr. Thokozani Mteshane, TABSA Assistant Director Siyaphambili - TABSA 2019 Team


Ms. Laurie Lee - TABSA Administrator

Iolani School, Honolulu, Hawaii (USA)

Laurie Lee was born and raised in Hawaii, the beautiful 50th state of the United States. She entered the wonderful world of education in 2005, following a previous life as a T.V. sitcom writer in Hollywood, California. Laurie's work at Iolani School is with its re-established boarding program, supporting the admission process and daily operations of the new dormitory.

Ms. Laurie Lee, TABSA Administrator, TABSA 2019 Team


Ms. Aliya Peer - TABSA Coordinator

Sonoma County, CA (USA)

Aliya Peer, (Hawaii born, currently residing in Sonoma County, CA) began her administrative work in Sichuan, China in 2006 as an event coordinator at the Sheraton Hotel. She was part of Teachers Without Borders China, a professional development project, in 2007, and has spent four seasons with the TABSA team.

Ms. Aliya Peer, TABSA Coordinator, TABSA 2019 Team


Mr. Grant Sugimura - TABSA IT and Media Coordinator

Los Angeles, California (USA)

Grant Sugimura was born and raised in Hawaii, USA, and is part of the TABSA support staff. Grant recently finished his degree in Environmental Science, with a concentration/minor in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, from the University of California - Los Angeles. Grant is extremely excited to return for what will be his second trip to South Africa with TABSA.

Mr. Grant Sugimura, TABSA IT and Media Coordinator, TABSA 2019 Team


Nadia Peer - TABSA Program and Media Assistant

Portland, Oregon (USA)

Nadia Peer is the Program and Media Assistant for TABSA and has been on the ground with the team for the 2014 and 2015 workshops. She currently works remotely from her home in Portland, Oregon.

Nadia Peer, TABSA Program and Media Assistant, TABSA 2019 Team


Mr. James Metz - Maths (Team Lead)

Honolulu, Hawaii (USA)

James Metz is the heart of TABSA and its math team. Born in Springfield, Illinois in the USA, Jim is a retired high school and community college math teacher with over 40 years of experience. Southern Africa is a second home to Jim, who will be spending his 15th summer there, facilitating math workshops with TABSA.

Mr. James Metz, Maths (Team Lead), TABSA 2019 Team


Mr. Brad Uy - Maths

Kamehameha School, Honolulu, Hawaii (USA)

Brad Uy hails from the beautiful islands of Hawaii, in the USA, and is a creative and light-hearted educator. He has taught maths and English for nine years and has eagerly volunteered on five trips with Teachers Across Borders - Southern Africa. He currently teaches 8th grade mathematics at Kamehameha Schools, Hawaii, an educational institution dedicated to serving native Hawaiian children.

Mr. Brad Uy, Maths, TABSA 2019 Team


Dr. Aviva Halani - Maths

Phillips Exeter Academy, New Hampshire (USA)

Aviva Halani is the first member of her family who was born in the United States - her parents were born in east Africa and her grandparents are from India. Though her parents were not able to achieve their educational aspirations, they valued education and fostered her love of learning. After earning a PhD, Aviva joined the math department at Phillips Exeter Academy, a residential secondary school in New Hampshire for learners from around the world.

Dr. Aviva Halani, Maths, TABSA 2019 Team


Ms. Janelle Chong - Maths

SEEQS, Honolulu, Hawaii (USA)

Janelle Chong was born and raised on the island of 'Oahu. She earned her Master of Science in Education degree from the University of New Haven in Connecticut and started her career teaching middle and high school mathematics, before moving back to Hawaii. Janelle currently teaches 8th grade mathematics at SEEQS, a public charter school in Honolulu, Hawaii where she has taught for the last 4 years.

Ms. Janelle Chong, Maths, TABSA 2019 Team


Dr. Veronica Ledoux - Science (Team Lead)

Catlin Gabel School, Portland, Oregon (USA)

Veronica Ledoux was born in California, USA. After earning a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and a Ph.D.in neurobiology, she started a career in academic science research but realized that most of the people she knew felt that understanding science was beyond their reach. She became a science teacher in hopes of improving science literacy for all people. Veronica currently lives in Portland, Oregon and has been teaching for the last 10 years at Catlin Gabel School.

Dr. Veronica Ledoux, Science (Team Lead), TABSA 2019 Team


Ms. Alison Hobbie - Science

Phillips Exeter Academy, New Hampshire (USA)

This is Alison Hobbie's fourth trip to South Africa as a member of the TABSA Science team. Born and raised in Conneticut, she has been involved in Science education for more than 25 years. Aison is currently the chair of the Science Department at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, where she is also a chemistry teacher.

Ms. Alison Hobbie, Science - TABSA 2019 Team


Ms. Christin Priolo - Science

SEEQS, Honalulu, Hawaii (USA)

Cristin Priolo is currently a science teacher at SEEQS Public Charter School on O'ahu. Cristin earned her Bachelor's Degree at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania and became certified in General and Special Education. Continuing her passion for sciences, she received her Master's degree in Earth Sciences from Long Island University in New York. She has been a teacher at SEEQS since 2013, its founding year and is proud to help create and facilitate project-based learning practices for all students.

Ms. Cristin Priolo, Science - TABSA 2019 Team


Dr. Erik Hobbie - Science

University of New Hampshire, New Hampshire (USA)

Erik Hobbie is a newcomer to TABSA and will be assisting the science group and his wife Alison, a TABSA veteran. Erik has an undergraduate degree in chemistry and MS and PhD degrees in environmental sciences.

Dr. Erik Hobbie, Science - TABSA 2019 Team


To find out more about TABSA, visit First Car Rental's CSR Projects page or visit the TABSA website.

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