About Our Founder
Marlene Sheehan Dandler graduated from the Lakeside School in Seattle, WA in 1994 and Dartmouth College in 1998. During her time at Dartmouth, she studied at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany as well as at the Beijing Normal University in Beijing, China.
While at Dartmouth, Marlene worked as a German language instructor for Professor John Rassias, the creator of the Rassias Method, a unique, intensive language immersion technique used by the Peace Corps to learn a foreign language in 10 days’ time.
This revolutionary method of rapid, effective language acquisition impressed Marlene greatly and became the foundation of Seashore Academy’s language immersion philosophy.
When her own three children were ready to start school, Marlene visited over 2 dozen public, charter and private schools searching for an academically intensive, nurturing school in which her children would be immersed in a foreign language.
She and her husband decided to immerse their three children in Mandarin Chinese to best prepare them for future business and work opportunities. As there were no Mandarin immersion programs in Orange County at the time, Marlene spearheaded a successful effort to launch a public Mandarin immersion district school in Orange, CA, which operates to this day. While building the program, she homeschooled her children with a private Mandarin tutor.
Today, all of the children at the Seashore Mandarin program, including Marlene’s own three children, speak, read and write Mandarin Chinese in traditional characters. They work in an academically accelerated environment and enjoy plenty of free time to read and play as they have no homework.