Administrators

Hongqiao Lower School

I am pleased to have been Principal of the SCIS Lower School for the past four years. My personal learning journey began in Canada and has expanded with my family through Asia, the Middle East and parts of Europe. My initial interests in photography and filmmaking led to a degree in communications followed later by studies in environmental science and economics. Eventually a career in teaching led to a degree in Education followed by a Masters in Administration and Leadership. My principal qualifications came through the Ontario Principal Counsel. In the past I have been Learning Technology Coordinator in Hong Kong, and administrator in Canada and Kuwait. Coming back to China has been a wonderful experience with many more adventures yet to be had and many interesting people to meet. The SCIS Community is a wonderful group of people and I am proud to be part of it. Kevin Haggith

University of Windsor, University of Toronto, Nipissing University, Principal | Hongqiao Lower School

Hello! My name is Kristie O’Brien, and I have been working at SCIS since July 2015 along with my husband, Mathias. We have a daughter in the Upper School and a son in the Lower School. I am from Minnesota, USA, where I earned an undergraduate degree and elementary teaching license from Macalester College; a Master of Arts in English as a Second Language (ESL) and an ESL teaching license from Hamline University; and a Master of Education in Leadership in Education and K-12 Principal License from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining SCIS, I taught elementary general education, elementary ESL, and high school ESL in Minnesota and Puerto Rico. I was also the ESL coordinator for a school district in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area for six years. My family and I love the vibrant city of Shanghai and enjoy being a part of the warm community of SCIS!

Kristie O'Brien

University of Minnesota, Vice Principal | Hongqiao Lower School

Faculty

Hongqiao Lower School

(By Last Name)

Hello SCIS!  Originally from beautiful western Michigan, I earned my bachelor’s degree in elementary education and social studies at Grand Valley State University. From there I moved to Seoul, South Korea teaching ESL and was fortunate enough to explore many of the amazing countries of Asia. Following these adventures, I moved to the very exciting country of Venezuela where I taught first and fifth grades. Looking to further my education, I earned a master’s degree in international teaching from Framingham State University. My passions within the classroom include: creating nurturing learning environments, educating the whole child, and using real-life experiences to engage students. I first joined SCIS in 2015 and am honored to be a part of the great Dragon community of learners and educators here in Shanghai!

Rhea Andrews

Framingham State University, Grade One | Hongqiao Lower School

My name is Athena Au and I am excited to be coming back to SCIS for another year with the Grade 4 team. I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and raised in a small prairie town. I have a Bachelor of Arts in English and Geography and a Bachelor of Education. This is my 10th year of teaching and I have had the opportunity to teach abroad in Egypt and Abu Dhabi as well. In the classroom, I am passionate about student agency, using technology to demonstrate learning, especially iMovie, and involving students in the greater school community. I love being part of service activities in the community, especially with The Giving Tree. Outside of the classroom, I love to read, be mindful and meditate, and be planning the next travel adventure! 

Athena Au

University of Manitoba, Grade Four | Hongqiao Lower School

I am excited to work with an outstanding team of educators here at SCIS! I am from Florida, the USA, where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Florida (Go Gators!) and a Master of Arts in Education from the University of South Florida. Though I am originally from the USA, I have lived and worked in Uganda (Peace Corps Volunteer), Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, and Australia. I have eighteen years of teaching experience in the fields of physical education, health, science, and administration. My personal interests revolve around traveling to fascinating places, exploring world cultures, being a responsible global citizen, and living an active and healthy lifestyle. I am passionate about surfing and have traveled the world in search of the perfect wave. It is great to be part of the SCIS Community. Go Dragons! Michael Barrs

University of Florida & University of South Florida, Health & Physical Education | Hongqiao Lower School

Hello, my name is Ashley Cespedes Black and I teach Grade 5. I joined SCIS in the fall of 2018 and I’m so excited to continue my time here. My family is from Peru and I grew up in Central Florida where I earned my Bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida and began my IB teaching career. Four years later I moved to Portland Oregon where I received my Master’s degree in Leadership and Policy for Sustainability Education from Portland State University and continued to work within the IB program while in Portland. In my free time, I enjoy playing soccer, going on hikes and exploring art museums. My passion for education over the last 10 years has brought me to Shanghai where I’ve had the privilege to work in such a culturally diverse setting here at SCIS. 

Ashley Black

University of South Florida & Portland State University, Grade Five | Hongqiao Lower School

Hello, my name is Brent Blalock and I am an artist, teacher, traveler, and musician. I like to combine all my interests inside the classroom to make learning fun and innovative. The exploration of creativity is my passion and I believe that all children have creative potential and it is my responsibility to help them hone this skill. I spent my first 9 years teaching art to K-grade 5 students in a public school in Georgia, USA. I am thrilled to say that I have completed my second year as an SCIS dragon and as an international teacher. I love this school and I hope to be a part of the SCIS family for a long time. I have a bachelors’ degree in art from the University of Southern Mississippi. Brent Blalock

University of Southern Mississippi, Art | Hongqiao Lower School

My name is Karen Blanton, and I am thrilled to be coming back to the Hongqiao SCIS community for a second year. For many years, I have had the good fortune of teaching in international schools around the world. Born in England and a U.S. citizen, I earned a degree in both Elementary Education and Combined Arts from Nottingham University. Soon after, I began my teaching career overseas and fell in love with international education. Over the years, I have taught primarily in American International schools, and always in the role of an elementary classroom teacher. Without question, working with young elementary students is a gift. There are few rewards greater than helping along children as they establish their foundations in literacy, build self-confidence, and develop into successful learners. In my free time I can be found spending time with my family, swimming, reading and traveling when time permits. We are a family who loves adventures, who like nothing more than to find new places to explore. Karen Blanton

Nottingham University, Grade One | Hongqiao Lower School

Kia ora. I am Jane Coles from Wellington, New Zealand. I have a Bachelor of Music with a Piano Performance major. I have been teaching classroom music in New Zealand schools for many years. My teaching has led me to be a proponent for the PYP philosophy of education and this is what I am particularly excited to be involved with at SCIS. I see many benefits in an inquiry-based education for children and I am looking forward to working collaboratively with the Lower School teachers. I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year at SCIS and I know that this year will be just as fulfilling.

Jane Coles

Victoria University of Wellington, Music | Hongqiao Lower School

Hi! My name is Cyna Dai. My hometown is Shanghai, China. I received my B.A. in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language from East China Normal University and another B.A. in English Linguistics and Literature from Shanghai International Studies University. I have been at SCIS since 2012. During the 2016 school year, I left SCIS and gained one year of experience in Shanghai United International School as a classroom teacher. I have a passion for teaching and exploring new things and I hope I can pass this passion onto my students. Beyond teaching, I love to practice yoga. I look forward to a great school year and let’s make Mandarin learning fun and easy together!

Cyna Dai

East China Normal University & Shanghai International Studies University, Mandarin | Hongqiao Lower School

Hello! My name is Sara Davidson and I am delighted to have joined the SCIS community. Originally from Wales, UK I have relocated to Germany twice, the USA twice and Switzerland. Having taught in International schools for all of my teaching career, this is my 20th year in an IB school. To say I love elementary teaching is an understatement! We moved to Shanghai to experience Asia and love the vibrancy of the community and the big city! I have a daughter who attends University in the UK studying Criminal Justice and a son who attends middle school here at SCIS. Having gained multiple degrees in Banking & Finance, Education, Inclusive Education, Educational Philosophy I aim to complete my Ph.D. which has focused on transition and its effects on children within international schools. I am excited to be here at SCIS and look forward to traveling and experiencing what Asia has to offer.

Sara Davidson

Sheffield University, UK, Grade Three | Hongqiao Lower School

Hello! My name is Leslie Deal, and I am excited to be starting my sixth year on the 4th grade team at SCIS. I feel truly privileged to be a part of such a diverse and caring community of learners and educators. I was born, raised, and educated in Charlottesville, Virginia. There, I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a Master of Teaching degree from The University of Virginia (Go Hoos!). I have spent time teaching in the U.S.A., France, and China. Living in Shanghai is an incredible experience and I love being a part of this wonderful school. I am looking forward to a great year! Please feel free to email me with any questions at ldeal@scis-china.org

Leslie Deal

University of Virginia, Grade Four | Hongqiao Lower School

Hi! I’m Andre Denomme, a Canadian from the city of Toronto. As an international teacher, I feel truly privileged to be able to pursue my passion for education while also getting to learn about this amazing planet its people. Before joining the fantastic SCIS community, I taught in Korea and Colombia. Both of my parents are retired educators, and I am honored to be following in their footsteps. My teaching philosophy is centered around Growth Mindset and harnessing curiosity to drive learning. I enjoy expressing my creativity through photography and my favorite way to get exercise is by playing sports, such as hockey, soccer, and basketball.

Andre Denomme

University of Toronto & SUNY Buffalo, Grade Five | Hongqiao Lower School

Howdy! I grew up in foothills of South Carolina and spent ten years in Atlanta before I moved to South Korea to teach abroad for one year. I became enamored with working in international schools and that “one year” has quickly turned into eight in Asia. After some time in Korea and before my move to China, I worked at a school in Laos where I gained experience in and a passion for the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP). I am certified in Early Childhood Education, Special Education, and am a Google Certified Innovator. I look forward to bringing this passion, experience, and expertise to a new class full of enthusiastic Grade 3 Learners. There are moments I can’t believe I made it from my hometown with a population of just five hundred fifty and no traffic light half way around the world to Shanghai with its 24 million people. To this end, I’m grateful to be a part of Shanghai Community International School, which has kept me grounded with the sense of community and family my roots long for.

Janna Gibson

Georgia State University & Endicott College , Grade Three | Hongqiao Lower School

My name is Jackie and I am very excited to be joining the Grade two team at SCIS! I am originally from New York. I earned by bachelor’s degree at Franklin and Marshall College and shortly after graduating I accepted my first teaching position overseas in Thailand. I spent the last three years in Kuwait and I am very excited to explore a new vibrant city. In my free time I love spending time with my husband and daughter. We love finding new restaurants, coffee shops and going on family hikes. I look forward to becoming a part of the SCIS community!

Jackie Gould

Franklin and Marshall College, Grade Two | Hongqiao Lower School

Hello! My name is Janette Haggith and I am the Primary Years Programme Coordinator for the ECE and Lower School Campuses in Hongqiao. I look forward to another amazing year in our very dynamic international community school. I am honored to be a part of our school’s PYP journey that has led us to become a PYP authorized school. Working with staff and students to promote inquiry and student-centered learning is a big focus for me. I have a Master’s degree from SUNY, Buffalo, Bachelor degrees in Arts and Education and a Reading Specialist from Canada. It has always been my passion to work with children and I was a classroom teacher for many years, most of them in Ontario. I have also taught in Hong Kong and was a Literacy Coach and PYP Coordinator in Kuwait. SCIS has become an important part of my life and I look forward to this year! Janette Haggith

Wilfrid Laurier University, Primary Years Programme Coordinator | Hongqiao ECE & Lower School

Greetings! My name is Emily Hastings, and I come to SCIS with over 7 years of experience in Speech-Language Pathology. I am a Canadian who has worked in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. I earned my First Class Honours in Psychology at Mount Allison University and my Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at Dalhousie University. I also hold certifications from Speech-Language Audiology Canada (SAC), and programs including It Takes Two to Talk- The Hanen Program for Parents of Children with Language Delays and the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). Over my career, I have worked with a wide range of individuals with communication disorders. I look forward to helping my students reach their full potential, as communication lays the foundation for learning. I am passionate about working as a team with parents and teachers to help children develop strong speech and language skills. Here’s to a wonderful year!

Emily Hastings

Dalhousie University, Speech Language Pathologist | Hongqiao Lower School

Hello! My name is Tracy Huang. I am from Shanghai China. I graduated from Shanghai Normal University (SHNU) and was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in elementary school education. My passion and interest in international school education led me to continue my study at State University of New York, Buffalo and was awarded a degree in master of science. During my study, I also took the course of teaching English to Speakers of other Languages, teaching Mandarin to speakers of other countries and I was certified of Advanced TESOL, TCSOL and TCFL qualifications. I have taught in IB schools for 13 years. I have joined in SCIS since 2012. In this coming school year, I will continue to teach Mandarin in Lower School. I am very proud of being a member of SCIS, such a diverse and great family. I enjoyed every minute teaching young children in SCIS who are so smart, creative and energetic. I am looking forward to another great school year. Tracy Huang

State University of New York, Buffalo, Mandarin | Hongqiao Lower School

Ni Hao! My name is Sunny Ji. I graduated from Shanghai East China Normal University with a degree in Chinese Education for primary school children. I have been working in SCIS since 2011. Before I joined at SCIS, I taught Mandarin for nine years in a local school and for more than 10 years at another international schools in Shanghai. Personally, I love children and I love my job as a teacher. I believe I can bring all my teaching experience into the daily work and work hard to connect with my students. I am very pleased to work in such a great environment. Have a great year! Sunny Ji

Huadong University, Mandarin | Hongqiao Lower School

Hello! My name is Tara Morgan, and I am so thrilled to be returning for my 6th year at SCIS! I am originally from Middle Tennessee, but spent a few years in Plano, Texas, before moving to this incredible city! Along with my teaching certificate from the great state of Texas, I received my Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix, and am now currently pursuing my Master’s degree through SUNY Buffalo. This will be my 9th year teaching, and my experience includes a wide array of levels including Kindergarten, 2nd grade, 5th grade, 6th/7th English & Reading, Special Education-Behavior, and Gifted & Talented. Each experience has provided me with something unique and special, and with this, I know that I am always learning and growing as an individual and educator.

Tara Morgan Lafferty

SUNY Buffalo, Grade Five | Hongqiao Lower School

Hi, I am Jean Li. I graduated from Fudan University with BA in History. Being with children and watching them growing is the happiest thing in my life. I had been teaching Mandarin at SCIS for two and a half years before I had my daughter seven years ago. It was so happy to be back to SCIS three years ago. Every time when a middle school or high school student recognizes me in campus, I feel so proud and touched. So nice to see the kids growing, and I will try my best to help them with their Mandarin learning. I love this school.

Jean Li

Fudan University, Mandarin | Hongqiao Lower school

Hello, my name is Solay Lor. Born in Cambodia, my family and I migrated to a suburb of Chicago when I was two years old. It was in Illinois that I earned my Bachelor of Science in Education with a double major in Spanish. Recently I completed my Master’s Degree in Education in conjunction with an IB Educator Certificate from the University of Bath. I taught third grade in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; second grade in Singapore; and first and fourth grade in Shanghai. With 17 years of teaching completed, I am now happily beginning my second year at SCIS. It’s no secret that I love living in Shanghai, where every day I meet new challenges and learn something new. Solay Lor

Illinois State University, Grade Four | Hongqiao Lower school

Hello! My name is Corinne Lorence, and I’m from the beautiful state of Alaska! I am thrilled to be a part of the student support team at SCIS, working as a Student Support Teacher in the Lower School. I spent the early part of my career in special education in Minneapolis Public Schools before moving with my husband to Doha, Qatar. In Doha, I taught a first-grade special education class and served as Lead Teacher and Academic Coordinator before joining the SCIS Community. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul and a Master’s degree and dual licensure in Emotional Behavior Disorders and Learning Disorders from Augsburg College. I am passionate about collaboration and developing and delivering quality instruction to meet student needs. My goal is to build relationships with students, staff, and families to create communities of support where students can thrive. In addition to teaching, I love spending time with my two young children and my husband, enjoying literature, music, travel and the great outdoors. We feel so fortunate to be a part of the SCIS family!

Corinne Lorence

Augsburg College, Learning Support Specialist | Hongqiao Lower school

Hi! I’m Jared Lorence, one of the EAL teachers at SCIS. I’m originally from Minneapolis, MN where I received my teaching license and Master’s degree from Hamline University. Prior to moving to Shanghai, my wife Corinne and I taught in Doha, Qatar for six years. My team and I developed the first EAL program within Qatar Foundation and provided EAL workshops and training for schools in the Doha area. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy reading, films, sports, and travel. My family and I are very happy to be a part of the SCIS community! Jared Lorence

Hamline University, English as an Additional Language | Hongqiao Lower school

Hi, my name is Betty Lu. I am originally from Anhui, a really beautiful province in China. I earned my Master of Teaching Chinese as A Second Language at Nanjing Normal University in 2017. I was very proud to join SCIS right after my graduation. This year will be my third year in SCIS but the first year in Lower School. I have been in the area of TCASL for almost nine years, teaching students Mandarin from different ages and countries. I have been in the area of IB for almost three years which let me be more creative and passionate. I love being a Mandarin teacher, studying together with my students and trying to make Mandarin fun and easy. I am sure it will be another exciting year for both me and our students in SCIS. Let’s enjoy!

Betty Lu

Nanjing Normal University, Mandarin | Hongqiao Lower school

Hello! Although I was born and raised in the tiny farming town of St. Andrews West, Ontario, I’ve had the incredible experience of living, learning, and teaching abroad for over 13 years. Before obtaining my Bachelor of Education from the University of Ottawa, I earned a degree in design and communications from the University of Western Sydney in Australia. I have taught at international schools in Turkey, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Thailand, and am now thrilled to be working with the outstanding Grade 5 team at the SCIS Hongqiao campus! My passions outside of teaching are food, travel, and the great outdoors.

John Macphail

University of Ottawa, Grade Five| Hongqiao Lower School

Hello SCIS community, I am Jessica Manni and I am from Ontario, Canada. I’m very excited to be back in Shanghai where I previously called home for 6 years. I have taught elementary students exclusively for the past 11 years at International schools in Korea, Vietnam, and the United Arab Emirates. I studied in Canada where I earned my bachelor’s degree at Waterloo University and my teaching degree at the University of Ottawa. My husband is also a teacher SCIS and we are here with our two children Sloane and William. I have a passion for health, fitness, traveling, cooking and of course, trying as many international cuisines as possible. I look forward to sharing these passions with the SCIS community.

Jess Manni

University of Ottawa, Grade Two | Hongqiao Lower School

Greetings! I’m Jenni Marotto and I’ve been part of the SCIS community since 2015. I’m a graduate of the University of North Texas and received my Master’s Degree through the State University of New York. I am a firm believer that every learner can succeed, and I am passionate about learning being contextualized in content for English Learners. I started my professional career in education in 2007 and I’ve had the opportunity to learn and work in curriculum development, program coordination, and in my favorite position, teaching! After teaching in Texas my husband and I taught at an international school in Vietnam before moving to Shanghai to join SCIS. Since arriving in Shanghai our family has doubled in size! Our son and daughter were both born here and bring such joy to our lives. We love and adore them more than words can describe. Aside from spending time with my wonderful family, I enjoy traveling, grilling, and training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu when I have time. My favorite animals are elephants, tropical penguins, and monkeys!

Jennifer Marotto

State University of New York, University of North Texas, English as an Additional Language | Hongqiao Lower School

Howdy! My name is Johnny Marotto, and I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. I graduated from the University of North Texas and received my Master’s Degree from the State University of New York. I have been an enthusiastic educator of elementary grades for the last several years and have a great deal of experience effectively working with English Learners. I began my teaching career in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th-grade classrooms in Dallas, taught 5th grade for a few years at an international school in Vietnam, taught 2nd grade here at SCIS for 3 years, and I am thrilled to be at SCIS for my 5th year with more amazing students! After work, you’ll find me spending time with my lovely wife, son, and daughter.

John Marotto

State University of New York, University of North Texas, English as an Additional Language | Hongqiao Lower School

My name is Karen Miller and I joined SCIS as a Grade 1 teacher in 2015. I grew up in Seattle, Washington in the United States where I attended the University of Washington for my Bachelors of Liberal Arts degree. I then furthered my studies at Heritage University for my Masters in Teaching. Before coming to Shanghai I taught several years at the primary level in Seattle and Doha, Qatar. In my time outside of school, I enjoy traveling, hiking, reading, and spending time with friends and family. I am excited to live in vibrant Shanghai and continue to be a part of the SCIS community.

Karen Miller

University of Washington, Grade One | Hongqiao Lower School

My name is Cathy Morris. I am originally from the United Kingdom but have lived and travelled extensively since becoming a teacher. I have earned a Master of Education in Applied Linguistics from the Open University in the U.K., along with a Post Graduate Certificate of Education from Cambridge University. I have taught in international schools in Beijing, Moscow, and Zug, Switzerland. I am here in Shanghai with my husband, Paul Pavao, who teaches Grade Three, and my two young children who are both enrolled at the ECE campus. Guiding young learners through the Primary Years Programme and using an inquiry model to inspire children’s thinking are passions of mine. I started teaching Grade 1 here at SCIS in 2016 and am excited to begin another year of learning as part of this community.

Cathy Morris

Open University & Cambridge University, Grade One | Hongqiao Lower School

Hi everyone, my name is Brendan Newman and I am delighted to be your Lower School PE Teacher this year. This is now my 9th year at SCIS, and I am proud to be a part of this wonderful community in Shanghai. I grew up and completed my education in Ontario, Canada, at both the University of Waterloo and Queen’s University. Previously, I have worked and lived in Macau, Honduras, South Korea, and Australia. The students that I teach at SCIS will agree that I am passionate about sports, but more specifically hockey, baseball, rugby, and American football. Teaching is the perfect job for me, as each day I enjoy learning, overcoming challenges, and laughing alongside my students.

Brendan Newman

Queen's University, University of Waterloo, Health & Physical Education | Hongqiao Lower School

My name is Paul Pavao and I have been teaching at SCIS since 2017. I am in Shanghai with my wife, Cathy, who also teaches in the Lower School, our son, Arlo, and daughter, Tessa, both of whom attend the ECE. I have a Master of Education in Instructional Media from Wilkes University in the U.S., along with a Bachelor of Education (K-8) and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in History from Queen’s University in Canada. I have been teaching in international schools 20 years, first as an elementary classroom teacher, and then five years as a technology integrationist in Moscow, Russia, and Zug, Switzerland. I am looking forward to another great year at SCIS.

Paul Pavao

Wilkes University, Grade Three | Hongqiao Lower School

Greeting SCIS community! I am originally from Missouri, yet consider the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado in the United States home. I received my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in early childhood and middle-level education from Missouri State University and a master’s in Educational Leadership from the University of Missouri. Prior to joining SCIS, I taught in Missouri, Colorado, Egypt, and Thailand at the elementary level, kindergarten through fifth grade, while coaching at the secondary level. Most recently, I have transitioned from the classroom to the counseling role by receiving my master’s in School Counseling from Adams State University and have been a K-8 counselor in Hong Kong. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, photography, playing volleyball, spending time outdoors, exploring and learning about my host city. I am excited to be a member of the SCIS family.

Jennifer Peters

University of Missouri & Adams State University, Student Support Counselor | Hongqiao Lower School

My name is Josh Pike, and I am extremely excited to be part of the SCIS Honqiaos vibrant team of educators. My wife Jessica, who also teaches at SCIS, and I come from Ontario, Canada and are excited to be back in Shanghai with our daughter Sloane and son, Will. I have taught internationally for 11 years in Honduras, South Korea, Vietnam, The United Arab Emirates, and China. My Bachelor of Education from Trent University and a Masters Degree in Educational Technology from Walden University have been put to good use guiding my instruction in third grade, fourth grade, Physical Education and Administrative positions. I look forward to applying my passion for technology, athletics, coaching, and healthy living to inspire risk-taking from the students in the SCIS community.

Josh Pike

Trent University & Walden University, Grade Two| Hongqiao Lower School

My name is Mary Frances Pollard and I am excited to be part of the SCIS community. Home is the Northern Virginia area of the United States. I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Bridgewater College, a Master’s degree in Teaching from George Mason University, and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership from the College of New Jersey. Over the last 19 years, I have taught in first, third, fourth and fifth grade as well as serving as a Math resource teacher. My teaching career has taken me to Virginia, Moscow, Russia, Lima, Peru, and Bucharest, Romania. Outside of school, I enjoy reading, traveling, cooking and singing.

Mary Frances Pollard

George Mason University, Grade Five| Hongqiao Lower School

I am delighted to be a part of this great caring and nurturing school. I am thoroughly looking forward to pushing forward with all aspects of the swimming program for all ages and stages. This is my 16th year within swimming teaching and coaching, within these years I have been fortunate enough to have worked in Scotland (my home country), America and China. As a swimming coach, my primary focus is providing a fluid swimming program that has the focus of the swimmers long-term plan as an athlete, at the heart of the program. Within the Swim Team, we strive to ensure that through participation in the swimming team that we can aid development within the following attributes: time management skills, dedication, perseverance and being able to set realistic and achievable goals. I hope that we can prove to our students that with a combination of these attributes paired with a positive & open mindset that these lessons that we can learn through sport can help us live a life without limitations, now and in the future. Within my down time, I enjoy living life to the full and taking every opportunity to interact with nature and people who provide me with positive energy. A day spent outside being active with people I love is my idea of the perfect day. I also believe in laughter (usually loudly) and keeping your mind open and bright as good ways to live well. I look forward to getting to know each and every one of the families here at SCIS.
Cheryl Philp

Aberdeen College, Aquatics Coordinator | Hongqiao Campus

I am Maria Camila Reina, a wife to Juan Camilo and a mum to my 1-year-old daughter, Belen. I am very excited to be part of the SCIS community. I am from Bogota, Colombia where I completed a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I am certified in Special Education from the University of Kentucky and for the last six years, I have had the opportunity to work as a special education teacher with students with different needs. I have learned that we are all unique in every way and that education is a great path to know that we all have something to teach and learn from each other. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family, going to the farm, connecting with nature, practicing yoga, knitting, reading books, watching movies or traveling.
Maria Reina

University of Kentucky, Student Support | Hongqiao Lower School

Hello SCIS! My name is Kate Ross, and I am so excited be a part of Grade 1 Team again this year. Before moving to Shanghai, I taught at international schools in Honduras and in Myanmar. I love to travel, both abroad and within my own beautiful country of Canada. I completed my undergraduate degree in Outdoor Recreation at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, and my Education degree at Queen’s University in Kingston. I am thrilled to be back in beautiful Shanghai and can’t wait to start another wonderful school year!
Kate Ross

Queen's University, Grade One | Hongqiao Lower School

Hello, SCIS! My name is Nicole Serrano and I am thrilled to be a member of the Grade Three team at SCIS. I was born and raised in the beautiful Hudson Valley of upstate New York, USA, but my teaching career has taken me to New York City, Korea, Thailand, and now the incredible city of Shanghai. Professionally I have taught pre-K through Grade Three and am passionate about exploring new ways to encourage student agency, empathy, and action. Outside of school, I love exploring new corners of the world, art, music, and spending time in nature.
Nicole Serrano

State University of New York, Grade Three | Hongqiao Lower School

Hello! My name is Leah Shockley and I am thrilled to be serving as an EAL teacher at SCIS! I began my teaching career in South Korea but returned to the United States to complete my MAT in TESOL at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I have worked in a primary school in North Carolina for five years, and have had the opportunity to work with students from diverse environments. Language is an essential factor for students to be able to reach academic success. I am devoted to creating a rigorous learning environment that leads to language proficiency. I’m excited to return to work in an international setting and to work for SCIS since they truly value a global mindset.
Leah Shockley

University of North Carolina, English as an Additional Language | Hongqiao Lower School

I am delighted to be a part of the SCIS community! I am from Detroit, Michigan. My first four years of teaching were spent in the USA in Kindergarten through Grade Two. This is where I acquired a passion for teaching kids to read. I moved to China in 2007 to volunteer at an orphanage and what was meant to be a four-month stay has now turned into a timeless journey. During my time abroad, I have taught at four different International Schools in Beijing, Hong Kong, Xi’an and now Shanghai. We have two incredible daughters in the lower school and one cute dog that has been with us for seven years. It’s exciting to continue this journey with my family, taking in the culture, enjoying the food, sights and all that Shanghai has to offer! Kasha Smith

Michigan State University, Grade Two | Hongqiao Lower School

My name is Hanna Spring-Peers and I am from Toronto, Canada. I have been at SCIS since 2017 and I love being a part of the SCIS community. I have also lived and taught in South Korea, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. I completed my Bachelor of Education at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and I am currently pursuing my Masters in Education at Nipissing University. I believe that the PYP is such an incredible and thought-provoking way to look at education, as it truly nurtures and fosters the development of caring global citizens!

Hanna Spring-Peers

Queen's University, Grade One | Hongqiao Lower School

My name is Alexa Stamatyades and I am from Toronto, Canada. I graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts in English, History and Literary Studies. After this, I attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario where I received my Bachelor of Education. Prior to SCIS, I taught grade one at an international school in San Pedro Sula, Honduras for three years. I have been at SCIS since 2015 and am thrilled to continue to be a part of the SCIS community!

Alexa Stamatyades

University of Toronto, Grade Three | Hongqiao Lower School

My name is Stacey Stoltz and I am one of the two Lower School Music teachers. I’m originally from the Chicago area, and I attended Lawrence Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin to get my degrees in Music Education and Percussion performance. I’ve also taught in Kuwait, and Wuxi, China. In my spare time, I love to cook, do yoga, and explore new places. I am a drummer with a passion for global music, and I’m excited to continue making music with our students! Stacey Stoltz

Lawrence University, Music | Hongqiao Lower School

I was born and raised on the plains of Nebraska but consider the beaches of South Carolina home. I received my Bachelors of Science from Northwest Missouri State University in Elementary Education with a concentration in Social Sciences. Upon graduating I moved to South Carolina to teach second, fourth, and fifth grades before venturing overseas to Morocco. With a passion for learning, I am continuing my education with a Masters from Endicott College in International Education. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, trying new restaurants, exercising, meeting new people and checking out what’s new in town. I look forward to exploring this new vibrant city and becoming apart of the SCIS community.

Jamie Theasmeyer

Northwest Missouri State University & Endicott College, Grade Four | Hongqiao Lower School

My name is Karri Thurston and I am from Canada. I am excited to be working at SCIS as a Grade Two teacher. I have already lived in Shanghai for two years but I am looking forward to being at a new school. I spend my weekends with friends enjoying all the city has to offer. I enjoy exploring the city on my bike. I have lived abroad for over 10 years. Before Shanghai, I was in Kuwait and South Korea, with a short stint in Japan. My immediate travel bucket list (which never gets shorter) includes Antarctica, The Galapagos, and India. During the summer I spend my time back in Canada with my nieces and nephews being the cool aunt.

Karri Thurston

University of Western Ontario & Trent University , Grade Two | Hongqiao Lower School

Hello! I am excited to be returning to SCIS for a sixth year and this will be my tenth year teaching. This year I will be working on both campuses coordinating our technology integration efforts. I’m originally from Long Beach, California. I received my Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, San Diego in Communications and History and my Master’s degree from New York University in Childhood Education and Special Education. I came to SCIS from New York City, where I was teaching special education in Brooklyn as part of an ICT team. I’ve always been interested in technology and now I’m able to meld my two passions: tech and teaching. I love working with both teachers and students and showing them ways they can use technology to further their teaching and learning. In my spare time I love traveling, cooking, and crafting. Currently my favorite hobby is crocheting. Boramy Sun

New York University, Technology Integration Specialist | Hongqiao Lower School

Hello! My name is Vivian Wang. I’m from Nanjing China. I graduated from Nanjing Normal University. I have worked over seven years in Shanghai United International School as a homeroom teacher teaching language, math and the Unit of Inquiry. During these years, I attended many workshops required by IB both domestic and overseas. During my teaching career, I also took the course of teaching Mandarin to speakers of other countries and was certified of TCSOL and TCFL qualifications accredited by Office of Chinese Language Council International(Han ban). The other two years teaching experience is in Fushan Foreign Language School as Theme of Inquiry teacher, supporting to build up the curriculum. I have joined in SCIS since 2013. In this school year, I will continue to teach in Lower School Mandarin department. I enjoy working here and am proud of our school-SCIS. I love young children in SCIS who are smart, creative and dynamic. I am looking forward to another fabulous school year. Vivian Wang

Nanjing Normal University, Mandarin | Hongqiao Lower School

My name is Ricky Whitfield and I am teaching Grade 4 this year at the Hongqiao Campus. I have been at SCIS since 2017. I am from sunny Sydney, Australia and moved abroad to teach in 2006. Previously I have taught in Hanoi, Tianjin, Bangkok, Europe, and Jordan. I graduated from the University of Western Sydney with a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) and then received my Bachelor of Teaching (Primary Education). I’m passionate about learning and right now I am trying to speak Mandarin! I spend my free time looking for vintage records and in book stores. I love pizza and spinach but not at the same time! A good weekend for me looks like Swing dancing on Friday night then a swim or run on Saturday followed up by some squash or tennis on Sunday.

Ricky Whitfield

University of Western Sydney, Grade Three | Hongqiao Lower School

Greetings SCIS Community! My name is Dalyce Yanisiew and I am thrilled to be a part of the Grade 2 teaching team again this year. My previous experience includes teaching in the Kindergarten division both at SCIS and at an international IB school in Dubai, UAE. At both schools, I gained a wealth of knowledge about PYP and inquiry-based learning. Before moving abroad, I was living and teaching in my home country of Canada where I was lucky enough to remain at the same elementary school near Toronto for seven years. At this school, I taught a variety of ages and specialties including Kindergarten, Grade 4, Health & Physical Education and Core French. One of my passions is fitness so you will often find me participating in or coaching a variety of fitness activities both in and out of the classroom. In addition, I love to travel and explore new places. I look forward to continuing to explore all that Shanghai and China have to offer!

Dalyce Yanisiew

Stanford University, Grade Two | Hongqiao Lower School

Hi, My name is Dan Zimmerman and this will be my 12th year with the SCIS schools. I was born in Nashville, Tennessee, but I have spend almost all of my life in the greater China area in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Hangzhou, and now Shanghai. I have a bachelors degree in International Relation from Middle Tennessee State University, a Post Graduate Diploma in Education from University of Hong Kong, and a Masters Degree from SUNY Buffalo. In my time at SCIS I have taught beginners Mandarin, Preschool, Kindergarten, Grade 5, and now find myself with the great fortune of being the Campus Librarian. I live here with my wife, Hellen and our daughter, Anastasia, who loves being an SCIS Dragon just as much as I do!

Dan Zimmerman

SUNY Buffalo, Librarian | Hongqiao Lower School

Hongqiao ECE Campus

2212 Hongqiao Road, Changning,
Shanghai, China 200336
Tel: 86-21-6295-1222
Fax: 86-21-6261-4639

Hongqiao Campus

1161 Hongqiao Road, Changning,
Shanghai, China 200051
Tel: 86-21-6261-4338
Fax: 86-21-6261-4639

Pudong Campus

198 Hengqiao Road, Zhoupu,
Pudong, Shanghai, China 201315
Tel: 86-21-5812-9888
Fax: 86-21-6261-4639

Hongqiao ECE Campus

2212 Hongqiao Road, Changning,
Shanghai, China 200336
Tel: 86-21-6295-1222
Fax: 86-21-6261-4639

Hongqiao Campus

1161 Hongqiao Road, Changning,
Shanghai, China 200051
Tel: 86-21-6261-4338
Fax: 86-21-6261-4639

Pudong Campus

198 Hengqiao Road, Zhoupu,
Pudong, Shanghai, China 201315
Tel: 86-21-5812-9888
Fax: 86-21-6261-4639