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Meet Our Team

Integrity, accountability, and leadership are the main principles underlying the work of LSI's Academic Department.

Get to know Language Systems


The Academic Department at Language Systems is dedicated to providing challenging courses to our student body in a supportive environment. Education with quality is what we care the most.

Carlos L Takashima

Program Coordinator

Sylvia Sunada

Program Coordinator

Hugh Kingston

Program Director

Rika Tokuda

School's Manager

Luciana Lovera

School's Manager

Michelle Buell

Academic Director
Bhumika_Program_Coordinator

Bhumika Chettiar

Program Coordinator

Carlos Takashima

Program Coordinator (Northeast L.A.)

Carlos is from Los Angeles, has a BA in Geography/Environmental Studies from UCLA, and is bilingual in Spanish and English. He is also TESOL certified. Prior to his promotion as Program Coordinator, he had been an instructor for all levels at LSI – South Bay for about 4 years. He spent two years teaching in Japan, first at a language school and next as an instructor in the JET program. In addition, he taught in China for a summer.

Quote: “I enjoy the opportunity to work with a talented group of faculty and staff. I also love working with students from all over the world that teach me something new every day. Being a Program Coordinator is a job that presents different challenges always; you’re constantly developing and learning. Working for Language Systems is fun!”

Sylvia Sunada

Program Coordinator (South Bay L.A.)

Sylvia is from Los Angeles and has a BA in Communications from UC San Diego. After graduation, Sylvia spent one year teaching in Shanghai, China. She was a teacher for all ESL levels and components at LSI – South Bay starting in 2007. In 2010, Sylvia was promoted to the position of Program Coordinator at the South Bay school. Sylvia is interested in different languages and has studied Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese.

Quote: “Working in such a dynamic, multicultural environment has been the best way to learn about our world. My experience with LSI has been priceless! My goal is to make sure that students feel the same way.”

Hugh Kingston

Program Director (Downtown L.A.)

As an English graduate from the University of California, Irvine (UCI), Hugh Alexander Kingston has devoted an extensive number of years towards the teaching and development of educational materials and programs that specifically target English language learners. Hugh’s educational experience includes teaching and program development in both the United States and Japan.

Having had many years in the field of adult learning, Hugh generally tends to favor a more communicative approach to teaching and believes in the value of applying classroom learning to real-life situations.

As Program Director for Language Systems’ Downtown Los Angeles campus, Hugh constantly encourages English language learning through the exploration and discovery of our students’ new urban environment.

Quote: “If you’re looking for a school that emphasizes on communication and discovery, then you can’t go wrong with Language Systems! Even though I’ve been both a teacher and an administrator for over 20 years, I’m constantly amazed by all the new personalities and students that I encounter every day! If you ever need help in achieving your educational goals or if you simply want to drop by and chat in English, my door is always open!”

Rika Tokuda

School’s Manager (Northeast L.A.)

Rika is originally from Japan, but grew up and attended school in the United States, so she is bilingual in Japanese and English. Rika has been part of the LSI family since 2004.

Quote: “I like working here because you get to meet different people from different countries trying to find and pursue their dreams. It makes me happy knowing that I get to help and be a part of their success.”

Luciana Lovera

School’s Manager (Orange County)

Luciana is from Porto Alegre, Brazil. She speaks Portuguese and English. She started out working at LSI – Torrance in January 2001 and was promoted to the position of Office Manager at LSI – OC in 2008.

Quote: “To be able to work with students from different cultures is very rewarding. You are constantly learning.”

Michelle Buell

Academic Director

Michelle is from Seattle, Washington and has an MA in International Studies from the University of Washington. She taught ESL for over 12 years, including TOEFL®. She has been in the ESL field for over 20 years training other teachers, developing curriculum and managing academic programs. She taught ESL in Japan for two and a half years.

Quote: “As Academic Director, I have the pleasure of visiting each Language Systems’ campus every week as part of my responsibilities. I love meeting students from all over the world and learning about other countries and cultures. I’m also interested in working with the Program Coordinators and faculty in creating programs that will help students fulfill their goals in English.”

Bhumika Chettiar

Program Coordinator (Orange County)

Bhumika was born in India and grew up in Los Angeles.  She has a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from Cal State University of Fullerton. Bhumika started working full-time for LSI starting in 2005.  She taught all ESL levels and components at LSI – South Bay and LSI – Orange County. In 2019, Bhumika was promoted to the position of Program Coordinator at the Orange County campus. She can speak three languages, enjoys watching movies, and loves trying food from different countries.  

Quote: “I feel very lucky to have found a place of work where I can really enjoy what I do every day.  First as a teacher and now as the Program Coordinator, I love interacting with my students from different cultures and backgrounds.  Over the years, I have been amazed by all the wonderful people I have come across and their stories of big dreams and perseverance. I am looking forward to creating even more wonderful memories ahead.”