previous arrow
next arrow

High School Social Studies

Nathaniel Cooper

AP Economics

M.S., B.Ed., the University of Wyoming

Nathaniel Cooper has been teaching Social Studies for the past five years at the high school and collegiate level. In Arizona and Wyoming, he taught Comparative Government, American Government, Economics, and Political Science courses. He was a coach for multiple sports including Track and Field, Cross Country and Wrestling.


Dr. Dana Van Tilborg

AP Human Geography, Model United Nations

Ph.D., M.A., University of New Mexico
B.A., University of Florida

Dana Van Tilborg has taught high school Social Studies including Economics, Government, Human Geography, Model United Nations, US History, and World History since 2005. She has taught both regular and AP classes. Prior to coming to NCPA, Dana taught in New Mexico and Colorado and internationally at the American School Foundation of Guadalajara, Mexico and in Bogota, Colombia. She has worked with Model United Nations and Debate Clubs and hopes to share her love of learning, current events, history, discussion and debate with NCPA students and community.

David Stanciu

Global Issues

M.A., University of Idaho
B.A., Boise State University

David Stanciu began his teaching career in the jungles of Ecuador where he taught general English in a small village nestled at the feet of the Andes Mountains. He went on to teach at the University of Idaho, a Canadian international high school in China, and now at NCPA. In his 5 years of teaching, David has taught English for Academic Purposes, Academic Writing, EFL/ESL/EAL, North American History/Government, Modern Problems, and Global Issues. Outside of the classroom, David is a strong proponent of student mentoring and engagement via academic clubs and competitive sports.
David Stanciu’s wife, Ann Beebe, is an EAL Specialist at NCPA.

Gregory Elsen

Ancient Civilizations

B.A., History, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Greg Elsen taught Social Studies and English as a Second Language in the United States for six years before coming to China in 2017 with his wife, Katrina. He taught geography and American history for two years in middle school and American history and Government for four years at the high school level. Prior to coming to China, he completed his Certificate in International Education from Bethel University. During his time in university, he also studied and taught internationally at Discovery School in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
His wife, Katrina Elsen is currently teaching Drama in NCPA.

Luke Harris

AP Economics, Global Issues

M.Ed., South Dakota State University
B.S., Political Science, Ball State University

Luke Harris is in his 9th year of teaching. He has taught in Texas, Hawai'i, Xi'an, and Malaysia. He has taught social studies, mathematics, and English courses to students ranging from grade 6 to grade 12. He has experience teaching AP Economics, AP World History, and AP English Composition. He recently earned his secondary principal licensure from the State of South Dakota.


Mayra Palacios

Grade 9,10 Social Studies

M.A., Columbia University
B.A., University of California, Berkeley

Mayra began teaching in 2013. She is originally from Los Angeles, California, but has lived in New York City for the past six years. Mayra began her career at Unity Preparatory Charter School of Brooklyn, New York where she taught 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grade American history over the course of five years. Prior to coming to NCPA, she taught 9th grade American history, including a 10th grade Global Regents prep course; she also served as her school's 6-10th History Department Chair. In this role, she created history curriculum for grades 6-9 and coached teachers on lesson planning. Additionally, Palacios has leadership experience as a grade level leader and culture committee chair. She has facilitated various student clubs such as Boxing, Yearbook, and Superhero: A Community Service Initiative.