Westside Bridge Academy Teachers

Jimmy Breihan

I learned to play bridge in college and have played competitively for over 20 years.  I am co-owner of Westside Bridge Academy, one of the top 20 clubs in the nation. I am an ACBL Gold Life Master with over 2500 master points.  I have completed the ACBL Teacher Accreditation program.  

I love bridge, both my wife and I play and have made it a big part of our lives.  I look forward to helping teach this great game to you!

Terry Currie

Terry Currie

Personal

Terry Currie moved to Houston in 1973, after living in various parts of the world. It was an exciting time in her life as she was able to experience life in South America and the Far East. Travelling to many countries was educational for the whole family. Terry has four children and for the most part of her life she was a "Stay at Home Mom". Her four children are well educated. She has a physician, a lawyer, and two with masters degree in their fields. Terry has 9 grandchildre, each one with special talents.

Professional

I have a degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. I am also a registered Medical Technologist and have worked in the Chemistry labs and Hematology labs at various hospitals. After graduating from college I studied Medical Technology and I am a registered member of ASCP. In 2006 I was one of the owners of the HOUSTON BRIDGE STUDIO, One year during my ownership the Houston Bridge Studio was #22 in all of North America.

Bridge

Bridge became an important part of my life when I joined the ACBL in 1989. I went to many tournaments, including Nationals, Regionals and Sectionals. I have won many Regional events, including regional events at National tournaments. Sectionals were also important because of the requirement to get to Life Master. I made EMERALD LIFE MASTER in 2016.

I am a certified ACBL Instructor and Club Director, I have been teaching bridge for over 10 years and have many students playing in both the novice and open games. I encourage my students to participate in all the events that are available at their level, e.g. competing in the NAP and GNT.

I try to make learning fun and make learning the game of bridge as easy as possible.

For me bridge is more than a passion; it has afforded me lots of pleasure, lots of friends and lots of joy and happiness.

Carolyne Fox

Carolyne Fox

Carolyne was introduced to bridge in her Bryn Mawr College dormitory when she was drafted to be a fourth. When she went on to graduate school, she met her husband of 43 years at the Syracuse University Bridge Club. She played primarily kitchen bridge throughout her career as a CPA and business owner while she raised her children. For the last 15 years, she has played in many tournaments and is an Emerald Life Master, an ACBL accredited teacher and an ACBL certified director. She is a frequent I/N lecturer at Houston tournaments.

When the Westside Bridge Academy sought to expand its educational offerings, Carolyne offered to develop Fall courses for the experienced player looking to improve his or her game. To date, she has offered Moving from B to A, Preempting…Responding to Partner’s Preempts…Dealing with the Opponents’ Preempts; and All About Doubles and Redoubles.

Carolyne also provides private lessons at the Academy and group lessons in homes.

Her contact information is:carolynefox@me.com or 832-594-8930.

Tom Jahnke

Tom Jahnke has been an avid duplicate player since 1989. He retired from public school teaching in 2010 after 31 years in the regular classroom, playing bridge during free time at the local club and tournaments. In 1991, he spent several years teaching 10 year- olds at school to play, focusing on the enjoyment of playing and the excitement that comes with interacting with others competitively at the table.

Many of the techniques of explaining bridge quickly and simply to children actually transfer well into teaching adults who may be hesitant. Bridge is a game that can be slow learning. This is not a disadvantage. Actually this is bridge's greatest advantage since it can be enjoyed on so many levels.

So one good strategy is to get the cards in students' hands as quickly as possible so they can experience it for themselves. We do truly learn by doing rather than listening to a lecture for an extended time.

Tom's beginning classes contain a minimum of initial lecture and a maximum of participation. People learn to play by playing, not by listening to long lectures. Come see how much fun bridge can be!

Check the Westside Academy website for days and times.

Kay Johnson

Kay Johnson

My parents were avid bridge players. The winters in Montana dictated finding something to do indoors and bridge was the perfect solution. My parents were my teachers and initiated my love for bridge.

My husband traveled world wide and I stayed home with the children. My main outlet besides being a mother and homemaker was party bridge with my friends, duplicate came later and became a real passion.

I know my students will never regret their love for the game as I am very fortunate that I am able to obtain a lifetime of pleasure.

Gary King

Gary King

Personal

Gary is single and has made Houston home since 1967. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University and has a degree in Mechanical Engineering. When not teaching or playing bridge Gary enjoys movies, travel and history.

Professional

Gary is employed full-time as the Director of Corporate Communications for Powell Industries, a manufacturer of custom-engineered electrical equipment primarily for the oil and gas industry.

Bridge History

Gary’s parents and grandparents both played bridge socially and taught him the basics starting at age 11. But it was at Texas A&M when the interest really took hold. There was a small students bridge club but the core players wanted to grow the number of players, so his teaching career began. He has been teaching bridge players of all levels since 1974.

Gary is a Diamond Life Master and plays the game for enjoyment, favoring team of four competitive duplicate play. He spends 3-4 nights each week either holding classes at the Westside Bridge Academy in Houston or coaching groups of four to six players.

Gary is an ACBL club director an is often called on to volunteer and lecture at tournaments and a member of the ACBL National Goodwill Committee.

Shawn Quinn

Background

Shawn Quinn has been playing bridge since she was 21.  She has won three world championships and 25 national championships. Shawn was also was a member of the women's team that competed in exhibition play in 1999, 2000 and 2002 as part of the application process for bridge to become part of the 2006 Olympic games.  Quinn is a professional bridge player and teacher. 

Shawn is a World Grand Master, and ACBL Grand Life Master, a Certified Director, and an Accredited Bridge Teacher. Her education includes the Western State University School of Law in Fullerton, California, and the University of California, Irvine. She is a resident of Sugar Land, Texas, where she lives with her husband, Joe Quinn, a project manager at Fluor Corp. and also a national champion bridge player.

Bridge Accomplishments

World Championships:

  • McConnell Cup Women's Teams 2002 2nd Place (Montreal, Canada)
  • Women's Team Olympiad 2000 1st Place (Maastricht, The Netherlands)
  • Venice Cup Women's Teams 2001 3rd Place (Paris)
  • Venice Cup Women's Teams 2000 2nd Place (Bermuda)
  • Women's World Pairs 1998 1st Place(Lille, France)
  • McConnell Cup Women's Teams 1998 3rd Place (Lille, France)
  • Women's Team Olympiad 1996 1st Place (Rhodes, Greece)

National Championships:

  • Women's Pairs 2016
  • LM Women's Pairs 1992, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009
  • Women's Board-A-Match 1993, 1998, 2000, 2002,
  • Women's Swiss Team 1994, 1997, 1999, 2003,  2006, 2010
  • Women's KO's 1995, 1996, 1997, 2006
  • North American Swiss Teams 1993, 2005
  • Women's Team Trials 1st Place 1996, 1999, 2000

Note from Shawn

I took up the game as something to do with my mother.  Both of my parents played duplicate bridge, as well as my grandmother on my father's side.  All of my family members were quite accomplished players. 

I became hooked from the moment I started playing bridge.  I love the analytical side of the game; but my favorite part of the game is the social aspect.  I am so grateful for all of the interesting people and wonderful friends I have met through bridge.  I met my husband while playing.  Bridge is an important part of our life together.  We live in Richmond, Texas (near Houston).  We love traveling around the country, playing bridge and visiting friends.

One of the things I enjoy most about bridge is that wherever you are playing, at home, at a local club or in a world championship, the game is tremendously challenging.  You can pick any venue and interesting and challenging hands arise.  Bridge is one of the few activities that is so compelling that one may forget any and all other aspects of life!  Warren Buffet puts it simply, saying, "Bridge is such a sensational game that I wouldn't mind being in jail if I had three cellmates who were decent players and who were willing to keep the game going 24 hours a day."

I look forward to seeing you at the tables.

Betty Starzec

Originally from Chicago, Betty learned to play bridge in Denver in 1974. Bridge has enabled her to make new friends as she travelled with her husband and two children around the world for Mobil Oil.  She was the education coordinator for the women's group in Lhok Seumawe, Indonesia, where she began her bridge teaching career in 1985.  In 1986 Betty became a director and ran the ACBL club in Jakarta in addition to teaching. She has also taught in Saudi Arabia and Japan as well as the United States.

Betty has worked for the Education department of the ACBL where she has been the Senior Trainer for the Teacher Accreditation Program (TAP) for decades.  During this time she updated the five textbooks and teacher materials for the ACBL Bridge Series as well as the TAP itself.  Betty is also President-Elect of the American Bridge Teachers Association and is the current Vice President of the ACBL Education Foundation.  She is also on the ACBL Board of Governors serving her third term.  Betty is a Diamond Life Master with multiple unit and district Mini-McKenney awards.