Administrators

Hongqiao Upper School

I am so very pleased to be part of the SCIS community as the Upper School Principal at our Hongqiao campus. I am originally from Canada and have held a number of teaching and leadership roles in Hong Kong, Toronto, and most recently Bangkok. I have an Honour’s B.Sc. in Zoology from the University of Toronto, did my teacher education at Canisius College in New York, and received my MBA Ed. with distinction from Keele University in the U.K. I have spent a large part of my career working in IB schools and working directly with the International Baccalaureate Organization as a workshop leader, author, editor and resource developer, in particular with the IB Middle Years Programme. I was so very proud to be a part of the team that successfully brought the MYP to SCIS as we recently became a three-programme IB World School. My wife Jenna teaches at the ECE Campus and my children are receiving the very best education and all the opportunities SCIS has on offer with service, athletics and the Arts.

Barclay Lelievre

University of Toronto, Principal | Hongqiao Upper School

I am very excited to be a part of the SCIS community. I am a proud Australian, originally from Brisbane in Queensland. I left Australia over 10 years ago and have had the privilege of working in the United Arab Emirates, Thailand and now China! I love teaching internationally and am very passionate about the Middle Years Programme and the opportunities the International Baccalaureate programs provide students. In my time overseas I have assisted the International Baccalaureate in a number of professional roles including workshop leader and school visiting team member. In my free time I enjoy watching and/or playing all types of sports, particularly touch rugby. I also like to sit and read a good book and enjoy life.

Maree Comerford

Queensland University of Technology, Vice Principal | Hongqiao Upper School

I am Amy Valerio and with my husband Peter and my two children in the Upper School at SCIS, I am delighted to be a part of the warm community that is SCIS. I have served in many roles in very diverse school environments over the past 28 years. I have taught in grades 3-12 and been a Grade Level leader and Department Chair, Director of Student Affairs and Middle School Principal. Most recently, I was the Middle School and High School Vice Principal in Seoul, Korea. Although I am originally from the Washington D.C. area, I have lived in many regions of the United States. From a very early age, I knew I wanted to be in education and I have never thought I would rather be in any other field! I received my Master’s Degree from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. After about 10 years in schools, my next stop was at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for my Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership. My goals have always been to ensure that there are strong relationships between teachers and students in an environment that promotes happy, supported and involved students.

Amy Valerio

Union College, Simmons College and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Vice Principal | Hongqiao Upper School

Faculty

Hongqiao Upper School

(By Last Name)

I come from a family of teachers and university professors, so no wonder I decided to be a teacher early on. My BA is in English and my Masters is in Administration. I taught EAL and was the Activities and Athletics Coordinator in St. Petersburg, Russia. I taught middle school English and was the Contextual Learning Coordinator in Bangalore, India. I am excited to be a part of the MYP Language Acquisition department at SCIS. I am passionate about project-based learning, and I always seek opportunities to make learning authentic for my students. I enjoy watching, coaching, and playing sports. I love coffee, whether it is a cortado in Spain, a macchiato in Italy, or a pingo in Portugal. How do you say espresso in Mandarin?

Tamara Afanasyeva

Herzen University, MYP English Language Acquisition | Hongqiao Upper School

I am a bright and creative graduate (BA in Education with Design and Technology), born in London and raised in Devon, England along with my four elder brothers and sisters and devoted parents. I am focused and ambitious with a contagious energy to network and maximise the personalities of pupils, and colleagues. Extensive travel and proactive sporting habits have fueled my desire to strive further, continuously stretching boundaries to the benefit of my career. I have high personal expectations giving my ‘all’ to each aspect of my life and this is demonstrated with the students I teach. I will now contribute to SCIS my firm knowledge of the education initiatives and strategies I have gained since my teaching career began in 2004. On top of this through joining SCIS I am grateful to grow my talents alongside the community here by accepting additional educational responsibilities whilst teaching Design & Technology. Jonny Alexander

Goldsmiths College University of London, Design | Hongqiao Upper School

I am very happy to be working with the great students, families, faculty, and staff here at SCIS. Before coming to Shanghai I had already worked for many years in China, first in Suzhou and later in Hong Kong and Ningbo. I began teaching in the U.S. after receiving a B.A. in international affairs and religious studies from the University of Virginia (UVA) followed by an M.A. in secondary education from National-Louis University in Chicago. My early work was as a teacher of social studies, including U.S. and world history, geography, and global issues. I have also taught ESL, SAT test prep, and Theory of Knowledge as well as worked as a CAS Coordinator and activities director. All of these experiences, along with my post-graduate studies in college counseling through the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), have enhanced my work as a college and career counselor, and I am excited to help all SCIS students decide where their educational journey will take them next!

Joshua Beard

UCLA, College Counselor | Hongqiao Upper School

Hi everyone! My name is Matthew Beenen and I am very excited to be joining the community at SCIS, Hongqiao. I grew up along the coast of Lake Michigan in the city of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. I completed my undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and then went on to study Education at Portland State University. I taught for six years in the Portland area before moving on to international education. I worked at Jakarta Intercultural School for six years where I taught EAL and social studies in the high school. As a member of my previous schools’ communities, I participated in many extra-curricular activities, including service clubs, coaching, and off timetable learning. When I am not working, I enjoy traveling, sports, and spending time with my family. Matthew Beenen

University of Wisconson-Madison & Portland State University, English Language Acquisition | Hongqiao Upper School

Kia Ora koutou, Hello! My name is Kimberley Biggs and I was born and raised in northern New Zealand. It was there I gained my university degrees in Biological Sciences, Anthropology and Psychology. I have taught in Tokyo, Singapore, and New Zealand and am excited to now be teaching Science and Biology at SCIS. I am passionate about Biology and greatly enjoy being a part of the international school community. In addition to teaching, I love sports, particularly netball and snowboarding, as well as travelling and discovering new foods and cultures. I want to continue to learn more about the cultures here and to explore the many facets China and Shanghai have to offer.

Kimberley Biggs

The University of Auckland, Science & Biology | Hongqiao Upper School

My name is Leah Brownell and I am the grade level leader for 8th grade.  I will be teaching 8th and 9th-grade Sciences at the Hongqiao Campus. I have been at SCIS since 2017, and this will be my 18th year in education. I was born and raised in Penticton, which is a beautiful area in British Columbia, Canada. I attended undergraduate school at Clayton State University, where I received my Bachelor of Arts in Middle School Education with a focus in Math and Science education. I earned my Master’s degree in Education from Buffalo State University in New York. I have lived and taught in Atlanta (USA – Georgia), Bangkok (Thailand), Caracas (Venezuela) and Doha (Qatar) before coming to Shanghai. I love spending my free time playing tennis and volleyball, swimming, biking, practicing yoga, reading, scuba diving, and traveling. I’m a huge advocate of healthy living and having a balanced life. I am looking forward to learning about life in Shanghai and learning more about my SCIS students!

Leah Brownell

Clayton University & Buffalo State University, Sciences | Hongqiao Upper School

My name is Carol Cayford and I joined SCIS to teach IBDP Literature and MYP Language & Literature in 2017. I have been a teacher for over 30 years in places as diverse as Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Qatar, Uzbekistan, Taiwan, Colombia, Canada, and the UK. I am from Ontario, Canada, where I obtained a B.A. in English from McMaster University and a B.Ed. from Queen’s University, and I also have an M.A. from Michigan State University. My pastimes are not unusual for a woman with my history – I love to travel and read literature, but I also enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing.

Carol Cayford

McMaster University, Queen's University & Michigan State University, English Language and Literature | Hongqiao Upper School

Hello! My name is Taylor Cobb and I am extremely excited to be a part of SCIS and the Upper School Counseling team at the Hongqiao Campus! I was previously a high school counselor in Chicago for seven years and a diverse learning teacher for three years. I grew up in Wisconsin, the cheese state, which is in the lovely Midwest of the USA. I attended undergraduate school at UW-Milwaukee, where I received my B.A. in Sociology. I then went a little south to Roosevelt University to receive my M.A. in School Counseling. A few years later, I attended Concordia University to obtain an M.A. in School Leadership. I lived in Chicago for nine years before taking the international leap to Shanghai! I love spending my free time being active, exploring, learning, and traveling. I’m a huge sports fan and love most things Wisconsin! I’m enjoying getting acquainted with Shanghai and am excited to part of the SCIS community!

Taylor Cobb

University of Wisconson-Milwaukee, Roosevely University & Concordia University, Counselor | Hongqiao Upper School

My name is Justin Corvers and I am excited to be a part of the SCIS team. Prior to SCIS I was working at an International School in Kuwait as an MYP P.E. teacher and then as the Athletic Director. I am originally from Ontario, Canada where I completed my undergraduate studies as well as my Bachelor of Education at Redeemer University College. In my spare time I enjoy sports, photography, fishing and spending time with my family. My wife and I enjoying travelling to new places and experiencing different cultures and cuisines. We have a young son who constantly keeps us on our toes and brings a lot of extra joy into our lives. Shanghai is a new adventure for our family and we are thrilled to be here at SCIS.

Justin Corvers

Redeemer University College, Physical & Health Education | Hongqiao Upper School

I am thrilled to be part of the Upper School Hongqiao campus. I began my teaching career in Southern California where I was born and raised. My first step into international teaching was in the fascinating country of Bulgaria. Then I moved to neighboring Turkey in the enchanting city of Istanbul. Most of my teaching career I have taught English literature and Individuals and Societies. I find there are many inherent connections between these two subjects to explore at school, particularly with the IB Middle Years Programme. I’ve been fortunate enough to bring activities that I enjoy outside of school to the classroom. I’ve been a music director and dance teacher for co-curricular activities. In my free time, you can find me singing with a band, practicing violin, learning languages, at a dance class, or reading a book as I wait for my flight.

Adrienne Costello

Whittier College & California State University, EAL & Individuals and Societies | Hongqiao Upper School

Lisa Cuthbertson is a new Upper School Physical Education Teacher at the Hongqiao Campus. She is coming from Academia Cotopaxi in Quito, Ecuador where she taught 6-10 PE and coached JV Boys Volleyball and Varsity Girls Basketball. Her educational background includes a Master of Science from the University of Alberta, a certification of teaching from The College of New Jersey and 200hr Teacher of Hatha Yoga Certification. She has been teaching and coaching for 10 years and her focus is the social and emotional wellbeing of students. Lisa comes from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. In her free time, she practices yoga and mindfulness, runs, bikes, walks her dog, travels, and goes out to eat at local establishments. She is looking forward to her time in Shanghai and is especially excited to be joining SCIS.

Lisa Cuthbertson

University of Alberta & College of New Jersey, Physical & Health Education | Hongqiao Upper School

Ni Hao! I am an upper school Mandarin teacher, and I have been working in SCIS since 2011. I am from the southern part of China, Hunan province, graduated from the education college in Beijing, and have a master degree of teaching Chinese as a second language. I am passionate to guide all my students to experience the new language and new culture here in China. I am honored to be part of this big community. Looking forward to another great year! Jessica Deng

Beijing Normal University, Chinese Language Acquisition | Hongqiao Upper School

I am a third-generation teacher who is passionate about both my subject and, more importantly, its extrapolative benefits for students. Skills of analysis and articulation apply to any field or career, and they are founded upon concepts of comprehension and communication. That these skills can be developed through a broad range of texts from song lyrics, political speeches, Nike advertisements, Shakespearean plays, Romantic poetry, or even the front page is what keeps the class from ever becoming stagnant or boring! I attended private preparatory schools before matriculating to university study where I received a BA in English and a Master’s in the Art of Teaching. My Peace Corps service instilled a commitment to cross-cultural understanding and educational development, further strengthened by four years of managing US State Department teacher-exchange programs through a DC-based NGO. In my 17-year teaching career across five countries, I’ve taught an array of courses from AP Comp and Lit to IGCSE English and IB Language and Literature, but DP LangLit is, by far, the best class I’ve ever taught. In the summers, I reside near Yellowstone Park in Bozeman, Montana with my wife Jessica and our daughters Mackenzie and Skyler, filling my time with as much hiking and camping as possible!

Ben Dunbar

University of Arkansas, English Language and Literature | Hongqiao Upper School

My name is Jessica Dunbar and have been a part of the SCIS community since 2014. Growing up in Montana, USA helped me to develop a love and connection to the outdoors with a particular interest in hiking, snowboarding, and playing ultimate frisbee. Starting in 2019 in Shanghai, I have broadened my interests by beginning my study of Brazilian Jui-Jitsu. My educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from Wellesley College followed by a Masters of Education in Secondary Mathematics and Teacher Leadership from the University of Maryland, College Park. I am teaching IB Standard Level Mathematics and MYP Mathematics at the Hong Qiao campus. During my career I have taught in a variety of locations – Texas, Virginia, Washington DC, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia – as well as a variety of grade levels – grades 6-12. I greatly enjoy teaching IB Mathematics as it allows me the opportunity to help students to develop mathematical connections, apply the concepts that they are learning, and use their creativity and understanding of mathematics to access a problem through a variety of different pathways. This approach allows students to develop the skills needed to view and evaluate the world through a mathematical lens.

Jessica Dunbar

Wellesley College, Mathematics | Hongqiao Upper School

I will be joining the upper school as an MYP Individuals and Societies teacher.  I grew up primarily in Miami, Florida.  After attending Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania I went on to work in the criminal justice field in New York and South Carolina. While I found my passion for working with youth, I also desired a career change. I have since taught in Thailand and Kuwait.  Through teaching, I met my wife, Jackie, who will be joining the lower school as a Grade 2 teacher. We have a young daughter, Sophia, who will be a future SCIS Dragon! As a life-long learner, I am currently pursuing a Masters in Education with a focus in service learning.  I am particularly interested in a holistic approach to education that not only promotes academic excellence, but also opportunities for social and emotional growth.  In my spare time I enjoy travelling, reading, playing sports, and exploring new coffee shops. My family and I are excited to be part of the SCIS community and all it has to offer.

John Haakon Gould

Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Individuals and Societies | Hongqiao Upper School

Hi! My name is Helen He. I am excited to be returning as an Upper School MYP and DP Mandarin teacher. I am a British national of Chinese origin and was educated both in China and the United Kingdom. My childhood dream was to become a teacher and I have been living in this dream since 1988. I graduated from Zhejiang Teachers’ University majoring in English Language and subsequently obtained a Master’s degree in Education (specializing in Foreign Languages in Education) from the University of Birmingham in England. I have taught both Mandarin and English as a foreign language to children (k to 12) and adults in China, England, Belgium, and Switzerland. In the coming school year, I will continue to teach MYP and DP language acquisition courses. I am an advocate of the IB program, and thoroughly enjoy my role as an IB DP workshop leader, examiner and school visit team member. I love our SCIS community and am glad that both my children spent many years here, ultimately having the pleasure of graduating from SCIS. I have enjoyed teaching at SCIS since 2006 and I look forward to another fantastic school year.

Helen He

University of Birmingham, UK., Chinese Language Acquisition | Hongqiao Upper School

Hi, I’m David Higginson from Belfast, Northern Ireland, and I am delighted to be working with everyone at SCIS! I have been teaching for 14 years now in Basildon, Rayleigh, London – England, and more recently in Phnom Penh – Cambodia. I have had several different roles including; I.T. Teacher, Head of Department and being in the Senior Leadership Team. The two main things that have remained consistent is that I’ve always worked with I.T. and second is my drive to make a positive difference to the lives of the students I teach. I have a Computer Science Degree, BSc, from the University of Ulster and I received my Qualified Teaching Status from the University of Roehampton. I love to travel as it allows me to discover and learn about different cultures. I am also into Crossfit and cycling. David Higginson

University of Ulster, Technology Integration | Hongqiao Upper School

Hello SCIS community. I am very excited to be a part of the art department as a teacher of DP and MYP Theatre. For more than 10 years, I have taught theatre in international schools in St. Petersburg, Russia and Bangalore, India. One of the many things I love about teaching theatre is the opportunity it gives students to become confident communicators and skilled collaborators while in the process of forming lifelong memories and relationships. My B.A. is in Theatre Performance from the University of Northern Iowa, and my M.A. is in Art Criticism from Bard College. In 2012 I started a theatre company in Spain which is focused on researching approaches to teaching theatre performers. After years of exploring the rich traditions of performing arts in India and Russia, I am very much looking forward to experiencing the arts and culture of China.

Aaron Hoose

University of Northern Iowa & Bard College, MYP Drama/DP Theatre | Hongqiao Upper School

Hello! I am originally from the north-west of England. I have been living and working in Shanghai for the last 5 years. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Business Studies from Manchester Metropolitan University and also hold a Postgraduate Certificate in Education specializing in Business Education from the University of Manchester. Here at SCIS, I will be teaching Individuals and Societies as well as Business Management to middle and high school students. When I’m not working, I enjoy travelling as well as playing a variety of sports including touch rugby, golf, and CrossFit. I am excited to be joining the SCIS community.

David Howard

Manchester Metropolitan University, DP Business Management & Individuals and Societies | Hongqiao Upper School

Hello, my name is Chris Howey and I am excited to be part of the amazing team of MYP English Language & Literature teachers here at SCIS. I’m originally from Vancouver, Canada, where I studied English and Geography at Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, Canada) and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours in Geography. I then completed my Bachelor of Education degree at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) within the English cohort. I have lived and worked in Singapore, Vietnam and Cambodia and had the opportunity to travel the region extensively. I’m passionate about creative arts such as photography, architecture and theatre and am excited to help my students discover and foster their passions whether in Language and Literature or beyond.

Christopher Howey

Simon Fraser University & University of British Columbia, English Language & Literature | Hongqiao Upper School

你们好 (Ni men hao)! My name is Kelly Huang and I am from Shanghai, China. I received my B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature from East China Normal University in 2004 and I was thrilled to complete my master’s in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language at ECNU in 2011. I started teaching in 2004 and I have been a Mandarin teacher at SCIS for almost 14 years. Currently, my passion is working with learners in our MYP and DP Language and Literature classes, but I also love to work with the beginner level students who are just starting to learn my native language! When I am not in class I enjoy baking, yoga, traveling and exploring the restaurants in Shanghai since there are always so many new ones opening up! I am looking forward to another school year at SCIS since teaching and speaking with students makes all of our lives more fun, more meaningful, and happier!

Kelly Huang

East China Normal University, Chinese Language Acquisition | Hongqiao Upper School

I am very happy to be part of the SCIS community. The faculty here is extremely professional and I am honored to be a part of that team. I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio in the United States and am of Italian descent. I graduated Suma Cum Laude with National Honors from Eastern Michigan University and am certified to teach multiple subjects, including the Humanities and Psychology. I have been teaching internationally for the last 18 years, including 13 years in China and several years in South America, as well as the US. I am a strong advocate of the IB Programme and believe that it gives students an outstanding foundation for post-secondary education. I currently teach MYP Individuals & Societies and DP Psychology, both of which I have taught for over a decade. I look forward to inspiring our young people to find their own passion for learning at SCIS.

Tony Iacobucci

Eastern Michigan University , MYP Individuals & Societies/DP Psychology | Hongqiao Upper School

Konnichiwa! My name is Tetsuo Ishii. I am originally from Hiroshima, Japan and I am very excited about teaching Spanish at SCIS. I am trained to teach Spanish, English and Japanese and I earned my MA in Applied Linguistics from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2004. Previously, I have taught students from kindergarten to university level and I spent most of my professional life in IB world schools working with the students of PYP, MYP and DP programs. Additionally, I have worked directly with IB as MYP Workshop Leader and DP Examiner helping the curriculum development of numerous IB schools around the world. In my free time, I enjoy cooking and my specialty is baking bread and cakes. I also like to prepare Japanese dishes such as Okonomiyaki, Tonkatsu, Tempura and Sushi. I am very keen to try new dishes, so if you enjoy cooking or eating in general, come talk to me! Tetsuo Ishii

Goldsmiths, University of London, Spanish Language Acquisition / TOK | Hongqiao Upper School

Hello SCIS community! I was born and raised in New York City, USA, and moved to South Korea in 2010 to pursue my bachelor’s degree in International Studies at Korea University. While in Korea, after seeing how international schools could give students a more diverse perspective and range skills through their classmates and experiences, I decided that international education would be the best use of my particular skill set as a Korean American who has lived in both Korea and the United States to help form students’ cultural and personal views as well as their ability to adapt to and understand different cultures. I have worked as a PE and Design teacher in Nagoya, Japan for three years. My hobbies and interests include fitness, health, and wellness, sports such as American Football, swimming, and golf, movies, video games, and food.

Christopher Kim

Korea University, Design | Hongqiao Upper School

Hi everyone! My name is Eric Kirwin, and I am happy to be a part of the SCIS community with my wife, who teaches upper school as well, and my son who attends upper school here. I also have a daughter back in the U.S. who works at Michigan Technological University. This year, I will be working with upper school math students. This is my first international school; in the U.S. I spent 15 years teaching middle school and high school math in Battle Creek, Michigan “the Cereal Capital of the World”. My BA and MA in Education both come from Western Michigan University, where my undergrad studies included math and physics and my graduate program was Secondary Administration. When I’m not working, I enjoy gaming apps, running, and studying game theory. I am excited to learn with you this year and make lasting memories.

Eric Kirwin

Western Michigan University, MYP Mathematics | Hongqiao Upper school

Teaching Grade 5 in the Lower School for the last three years has given me a strong understanding of what our students have experienced in their first years of school. I will use that knowledge to help structure my Upper School classes and units to help our students be successful. In addition to teaching, I love coaching volleyball and basketball, participating in social gatherings, and spending time with my family. The SCIS community continues to offer me an amazing international teaching experience.

Melissa Kirwin

Western Michigan University, Sciences | Hongqiao Upper School

Born in beautiful Strasbourg, France, I am a French and drama teacher and have taught on four continents over the last 15 years, in places like Munich in Germany, Nairobi in Kenya, or Louisiana in the US. Vietnam is where I taught the longest, with 3 years in Ho Chi Minh City and 3 in Hanoi. During my college years, I mostly studied law and education. I have a Maîtrise en Droit earned within the Erasmus international program through the Université Robert Schuman in Strasbourg and the Universitet Oslo in Norway, and a PGCE from the Keele University in the UK. I love theatre, travel, and photography, and I am looking forward to another great year at SCIS.

Antoine Kubler

Université Robert Schuman, French Language Acquisition | Hongqiao Upper school

Hi everyone…. my name is Matthew Kushner, and I am happy to be taken on to teach grade 9, 10, and IB Math Studies (first year) in the High School at Hongqiao campus. My own education is a BS in Physics (University of Delaware) and a MS in Applied Mathematics (University of California, Davis). I have had two careers in my life, one as a teacher, and another in software engineering, writing code to optimize the logistics of freight transport. For me, mathematics is something that is alive, and I always strive to bring the excitement of the real world into the classroom. I have been teaching for a number of years and in several places around the world. Starting back in my youthful days in the Peace Corps in Guinea, and recently South Africa, where I spent over a decade. Looking forward to an exciting time, and thankful for this wonderful opportunity. Matthew Kushner

University of California, Mathematics | Hongqiao Upper School

My name is Robert La Londe, and I teach MYP Mathematics. I am a third culture kid like our students, having been born and raised overseas by two international school teaching parents. I was born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; then moved to Budapest, Hungary; then to Bangkok, Thailand; and finished High School in Kfar Shmaryahu, Israel. I immensely enjoyed growing up overseas and that is what prompted me to pursue a career in international teaching. The first time I lived in my home country, the United States, was when I attended the University of California at Santa Cruz where I majored in Environmental Studies. I attained my Masters of Education through SUNY Buffalo and am in the late stages of finishing my doctorate in Educational Leadership. I have now been teaching at SCIS for the past ten years and have had a great time interacting with our fantastic community. Shanghai is a fascinating city and SCIS has a great student population. This is also where I met my wife, Priya Goel, who is a former SCIS teacher. My wife and I have a three-year-old son named Riyaan who goes to the ECE campus and another son born over the summer named Ishaan. I am looking forward to another fun-filled and exciting year at SCIS!

Robert La Londe

University of California, Santa Cruz, Mathematics | Hongqiao Upper School

I’m from Chicago, IL., USA, and have degrees from two of the finest institutions of higher learning in that city, Loyola University (BA) and the John Marshall Law School (JD). I pursued a career as a civil trial lawyer for seven years before turning to education and beginning my teaching career with the Chicago Public Schools. My first international teaching position was in the United Kingdom. I have taught in Korea as well. I am an experienced IB teacher in the area of Individuals and Societies, including Economics, Business & Management and History. This is my second year at SCIS and I am excited by the diversity and enthusiasm I have encountered from the students and faculty here.

Kurt Lahey

Loyola University & John Marshall Law School, Economics / Individuals and Societies | Hongqiao Upper School

Hello, I am very pleased to be teaching at SCIS. I have taught in four international schools since discovering the world of international education and have taught in both Europe as well as in Africa. I am very excited to now teach in Asia as I studied some Chinese and Japanese at university and am ready to continue learning more about the language and culture of China and Shanghai. I have a degree from the University of Milan in Political Science as well as my teaching qualification from the University of the West of Scotland. I am passionate about service learning and making positive impacts through authentic learning and community service projects. I am an active community member and am pleased to be part of the SCIS community with my husband Greg, who teaches here too, and our two children, Giacomo and Edoardo.

Valeria Massarotto

University of Milan & University of West of Scotland, Individuals & Societies | Hongqiao Upper School

I am very excited to be teaching music to students in the MYP and DP program at SCIS!  I am passionate about sharing the music I love with others as well as experiencing new music shared by students.  My primary background in music has been as a singer and choral director in the United States, Germany, Venezuela, and Japan.  However, I am also a big fan of musical theater, opera, the orchestra, and folk music traditions. I love volleyball, scuba diving, gardening, and reading novels.  

Brandon Miller

University of Minnesota, Arts – Music | Hongqiao Upper School

¡Hola a todos! My name is Rafael and I come from the beautiful and historical city of Córdoba, Spain where I obtained my Bachelor and Master’s degree in English Philology. After finishing, I went on to obtain a Postgraduate degree in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language and a Master’s degree in Spanish and Latin American literature. When I first experienced living abroad as a student in an exchange program, I realized that being a teacher overseas was the perfect carrier path. I wanted to share my language and culture in different countries and, at the same time, immerse myself in the local lifestyle. I started my career in an IB school in Turkey where I have spent four wonderful years. I am delighted and thankful for being part of SCIS and having the opportunity to discover this splendid city.

Rafael Risquez Navajas

University of Cordoba & University of Barcelona, Spanish Language Acquisition | Hongqiao Upper School

I was born and raised in Winona Minnesota, which is nestled along side of the Mississippi River about 100 miles south of Minneapolis. I attended Cotter High School, which is also where I started my teaching career in 2002 after graduating from Winona State University. Athletics have always been important to me. I competed in football, basketball and baseball in high school and went on to play baseball and football in college. My enjoyment of physical activities helped guide may path into teaching Physical / Health Education and also coaching. My passion for youth sports led me to pursue a graduate degree with a focus on youth sports, which I completed from the University of Minnesota in January of 2014. My main goal as a Physical / Health Educator is to help guide students to take ownership for their own health and well-being (physical, mental, emotional). It’s very rewarding as a teacher when I see this happen. Another goal of mine is that students would be devoted to a lifetime of physical activity. This year I will be serving as the Athletics Coordinator and Upper School Physical / Health teacher. When I am not at school working with students I enjoy working out, playing golf, spending time with my family, reading and listening to podcasts. I am excited to continue teaching, coaching, learning and growing here at SCIS. I am here with my wife, Kristie O’Brien, and two children Alana (9th grade) and Moses (2nd grade). We have enjoyed learning and exploring Shanghai together and we look forward to a great school year!

Mathias O’Brien

Winona State University/University of Minnesota, Physical & Health Education | Hongqiao Campus

I am delighted to be a part of this great caring and nurturing school. I am thoroughly looking forward to push 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 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 mind-set 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 spend 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’m so excited to be part of the community of dragons this school year. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Science at University of the City of Manila in the Philippines and completing my Master’s in Chemistry at Atlantic International University. Previously, I have taught General Science and Chemistry in the Philippines for 12 years and 8 years in one of the prestigious bilingual school in Shanghai teaching IB and OSSD Chemistry. My passion in learning and studying Science has led me to this profession and gives me fulfillment in passing on my knowledge and experience to students to further expand their horizon by guiding and giving them support in their quest for scientific exploration. Moving here to Shanghai has given me a chance to learn diverse culture thus providing me with a wider range of knowledge in dealing with people of different background. I’m looking forward to a wonderful teaching and learning experience at SCIS. Venus Raneses

University of the City of Manila & Atlantic International University, Sciences – Chemistry | Hongqiao Upper School

Growing up in California, I always wanted to make films. At film school I studied underground filmmaking, art house/world cinema, film theory and film criticism. During the dot-com boom I moved to Silicon Valley and discovered a then new thing called “the Internet” and started working with digital media. After the dot- com crash, I moved to London, studied multimedia production and started my first lecturing job in Film and Media. Next, I moved to Italy where I discovered the wonderful world of international education where I worked in design and technology. Prior to SCIS my most recent international school experience was in the amazing continent of Africa. I am an education innovator, filmmaker, author, researcher and advocator of transformational learning and creativity. I am honored to be part of the SCIS community with my wife Valeria, a teacher at SCIS, and our two children, Giacomo and Edoardo. Greg Read

University of California, Arts – Film & Media | Hongqiao Upper School

Originally from South-Western Ontario in Canada, I graduated from SUNY Potsdam with a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature & Writing, and from The College of New Jersey with a Masters Degree in Secondary Education. Over my eight years of international teaching experience, I have had the opportunity to teach in Kuwait at the American International School and in Dubai at GEMS World Academy, gaining experience in the International Baccalaureate program, and developing a love of collaboration and the creation of authentic, targeted learning experiences. I love finding new ways to engage and immerse students in meaningful Language & Literature lessons. As a Trip Leader for Week Without Walls, supervisor of Ski Club, head of the school literary magazine, and organizer of events like a Folktale Evening and author visits, I am continually seeking ways to enrich and extend student learning both inside and outside of the classroom. My personal goals as a teacher are to show students the real-world connections and the value of their learning and to encourage them to make critical-minded decisions about their place in the world. I am delighted to be joining SCIS in Fall 2019, along with my wife, Lacie. We are also looking forward to exploring China with our daughters, Mercedes and Ava.

David Rempel

SUNY Potsdam & College of New Jersey, MYP English| Hongqiao Upper School

I graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario with a Bachelor of Education degree in music and drama. I have taught music and drama in Ontario, Kuwait, and Dubai, and I was the Arts Department Head (K-12) at AIS Kuwait. Additionally, teaching the PYP and MYP at the American International School of Kuwait and the Swiss International Scientific School of Dubai gave me valuable experience in these rigorous programs. My passion for teaching the performing arts is driven by the transformative experience of creating music and dramatic performances, both of which nurture balance, perspective, and cultural understanding in students. The collaboration and improvisational skills that are woven throughout the creative process challenge students to think in new ways and to see new possibilities in their work and within themselves. I am thrilled to join the SCIS teaching team along with my husband, David, who will teach MYP Language and Literature. In my spare time, I love creating music and performing with my husband and two young daughters, Mercedes and Ava, who are excited about this new adventure too.

Lacie Rempel

Queen's University, MYP Arts, Music & EAL | Hongqiao Upper School

My name is Stephanie Ressler and I am thrilled to be joining the SCIS team as one of three Upper School Counselors! I am originally from Harrisonburg, Virginia, which is an amazing little city nestled in the Shenandoah Valley amidst the Blue Ridge Mountains. Although Virginia is where I call home, I have had the privilege of living and working in several amazing countries throughout my life including Kenya, The Netherlands, and South Korea. I am coming to Shanghai after three years of working as a Middle and High School Counselor in Kuwait. Prior to making the international move to begin my role as a School Counselor, I worked at a community counseling agency as a Mental Health Support and Behavioral Specialist in Virginia for 8 years, and as a counselor for students at Eastern Mennonite University. Throughout my career I have developed a deep appreciation for art as a therapeutic tool and have found that it is an excellent way to help children, adolescents, and adults engage in reflective self-growth opportunities. I’m truly looking forward to exploring China, learning about the great city of Shanghai, and journeying through this year at SCIS! Stephanie Ressler

Eastern Mennonite University, Counselor | Hongqiao Upper School

Originally from Manchester in England, I now live here in Shanghai with my husband and young daughter and I am excited to continue to be part of the SCIS family teaching MYP Science and DP Environmental Systems and Societies. I have over 10 years’ experience teaching, having graduated from the University of Salford with a BSc in Biological Sciences and spending several years in the pharmaceutical industry before completing my Post Graduate Certificate in Education. Prior to SCIS I have worked at Shanghai Rego International and a highly challenging, multicultural, inner-city school in Manchester, whilst my previous roles included Assistant Head of Science and Curriculum Coordinator. I enjoy the life that an amazing and diverse city such as Shanghai can offer and particularly love traveling, learning about new cultures, reading and spending time with my little family.

Joanne Shea

University of Salford, Sciences – ESS | Hongqiao Upper School

Hello! I’m Dawn Sillapere. I teach high school sciences, and this is my 8th year teaching internationally. I grew up in California in the US and spent my adult life in Oregon until my then 8-year -old daughter and I moved to China to begin our overseas adventure. Most recently we have been living in Albania in Europe until we happily returned to China – having have spent most of her younger formative years in China my now 16-year-old considers this home more than anywhere else. I have a Bachelor of Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of California and a Master of Education from the University of Oregon.  I love to travel and cook and intend to continue my language education in Mandarin. I also have two pets – a cat and a rabbit – who have also traveled the world with us.

Dawn Sillapere

University of California, Sciences | Hongqiao Upper School

I am thrilled to serve the SCIS Community as the Upper School Librarian. I am originally from Houston, Texas, where I grew up and began my teaching career. I received my Bachelor’s in English from the University of Houston and my Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Arlington. I began my career as a high school English and theatre teacher. I have also spent time instructional coaching at the PK-5 level, where I further broadened my knowledge of subjects and craft. I have been at SCIS since 2015 where I have taught grade 3 and worked as a librarian, sharing my passions for reading and learning with the community. I love living and teaching in Shanghai with my husband and our two sons. Go Dragons!

Ashley Simmons

University of Houston, Librarian | Hongqiao Upper School

I was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas, earning a BBA in Marketing and English. After spending six years in private industry I began teaching English at Westside High School in Houston in 2004. Thus began a decade preparing grade twelve students for the rigors of university. I have since transitioned to the Individuals and Societies Department since my arrival at SCIS, teaching MYP Years 4 and 5, Global Politics (DP), and heading the I&S department. I am now transitioning into the role of IB Diploma Coordinator. Through teaching I’ve met my wife, Ashley, currently the Upper School Librarian at SCIS, and have 2 boys – one in the 5th grade and the other at the ECE campus. Shanghai is our first international stop and we’ve been awed by all that the city, and China, has to offer.

Scott Simmons

Baylor University, Individuals and Societies / Global Politics | Hongqiao Upper School

My name is Nick Spring-Peers and I am from Toronto, Canada. I have been teaching internationally for the past eight years, which has taken me to South Korea, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. I completed my Bachelors of Physical Education at Brock University, my Bachelor of Education at Queen’s University, and most recently my Master of Education at Nipissing University. I believe that physical and health education is instrumental for the development of our children and adolescence, as it has the power to have a profound and life-lasting influence on them. I have played competitive ice hockey for over 20 years, and I hope to spread the love I have for this game to as many youngsters as possible. I am thrilled to be a part of the SCIS community and to be an integral member that contributes with a wholehearted, caring and genuine approach. Nicholas Spring-Peers

Brock University, Queen's University & Nipissing University, Physical & Health Education | Hongqiao Upper School

I grew up in several cities across Canada as a bilingual French and English speaker. While in China, my language learning has extended to practicing Mandarin and Korean. I have a DEC in International Studies, a Bachelor of Education in English Language Arts for High School Learners, and a TESOL certification. I have experience facilitating learning from Pre-K to Grade 12. I also love learning about (and from) people all over the world. Although I wish to make it to Antarctica one day, my travels have brought me to every other continent. I love playing sports with friends and discovering new corners of this city while traveling two wheels. I have been a part of this community for over six years and have coached floor hockey, volleyball, model United Nations, and skateboarding during my time here. I am always proud to represent our SCIS Dragons and look forward to another great school year ahead!

Dominic St-Pierre

McGill University, English Language & Literature / TOK | Hongqiao Upper School

I grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, though I like to think of myself as a citizen of the world. My global experiences began in college when I completed a study abroad program in Moscow, Russia. In 2011, I moved to Shanghai when I began teaching for SCIS. Since then, I have taught MYP Visual Arts, MYP Design, Desktop Publishing, Music, and a variety of other subjects. As such, I am very attached to the school and our community. Before moving to Shanghai, I was as an IT administrator and adjunct instructor at Tulsa Community College, and a Mac Specialist for Apple. I also taught Math, Multimedia, and Business Technologies for Tulsa Public Schools in the USA. I have a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Tulsa, as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics.

Joel Sutton

University of Tulsa, Design | Hongqiao Upper School

I am very excited to be part of the SCIS community as the Athletic Director at the Hongqiao Campus. I was born and raised in Canada and received my Physical Education Degree from McMaster University and my Bachelor of Education from the University of Windsor. Over the past 25 years, I have taught in Canada, Turkey, and China as a Physical Education Teacher, Head of Department and Athletic Director in a variety of school settings. My experience in Shanghai has been amazing as this international city has so much to offer both culturally and socially. During my free time, I enjoy travelling, hiking, snowboarding, going to the gym and biking.

Kirk Thomas

McMaster University, Athletics Director | Hongqiao Upper School

My name is Hayley Tollitt, and I am excited to be working at SCIS in the Visual Arts and Design departments. I am from Manchester, and have previously taught in an outstanding school in the United Kingdom, as well as an international school in the United Arab Emirates. I have a Postgraduate teaching degree in Design Technology, and a BA (Hons) degree in Business and Hospitality Management from Manchester Metropolitan University. I am teaching at SCIS with my husband, Matthew, who is working in the Visual Arts department. We have travelled to Shanghai with our cat, Mary, who also loves to explore! My passion for Art and Design has led me to develop my creative interests into textiles, garment construction and print. I am in the process of launching my own textiles website which demonstrates my skills. Prior to teaching, I worked in the hospitality industry in the United States. Hayley Tollitt

Manchester Metropolitan University, Design | Hongqiao Upper School

Hello, I am Matthew Tollitt, and I will be working at SCIS in the Visual Arts department. I am from Manchester, and have previously taught at one of the most prestigious private schools in the United Kingdom, as well as an international school in the United Arab Emirates. I have a Postgraduate teaching degree in Art and Design, a Postgraduate degree in Landscape Architecture, and a BA (Hons) degree in Photography from Manchester Metropolitan University and Manchester School of Architecture. I am teaching with my wife, Hayley, who is working in the Visual Arts and Design departments. Before entering the teaching profession, I worked as a press and studio photographer covering news and sport events. My passion for the Arts has enabled me to travel and gain an understanding of art from different cultures. I am also an experienced musician and have qualifications in guitar, violin and piano. Matthew Tollitt

Manchester Metropolitan University, Arts – Visual Arts | Hongqiao Upper School

My name is Mark Turner. I teach Music and Theory of Knowledge (ToK). I am thrilled to be here in Shanghai with my wife, Maitane, and two sons Eneko and Ibai. Fatherhood has been the adventure of my life and I am loving it. When I can find the time, I also love to read, go rock-climbing, write, travel, indulge in cinema, and learn languages.  I come to SCIS having lived and taught in Australia, Spain, Japan, the UK, Germany, and South Korea. I graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Music (Honours) in 2003. In the years following my undergraduate studies, I worked as a composer, performer, and tutor of instrumental music. My most artistically rewarding experiences were to be found in writing music for film and advertisements, producing strange rock music, orchestrating, and producing the music of others. In 2008, I returned to study and graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Graduate Diploma of Education (which is the Australian version of a Masters in Education). Since becoming a teacher I have become fascinated with all things pedagogical and have developed in ways that I’d previously thought unimaginable. I feel extremely privileged to live and work as a teacher in international schools; like art, this vocation offers more than can be encapsulated within the scope of a teacher bio.

Mark Turner

University of Melbourne, Arts – Music / TOK | Hongqiao Upper School

Hello, my name is Peter Valerio and I was born in a small town just outside of Albany in upstate New York. From a very young age, I was drawn to mathematics, both for its own intrinsic beauty and also for the way it can help us to describe the world we see. It allows us to see connections between systems and processes that shouldn’t be connected. That’s so cool. It’s not surprising that I spent the years after high school studying Mathematics and Physics, earning a B.S. in Mathematics and Physics at Union College in Schenectady, New York and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. For the last two decades, I’ve been teaching grade 9 to grade 12 Mathematics at independent schools in the USA and an international school in South Korea. Here at SCIS, I’ll be teaching MYP 9 and MYP 10 extended, as well as the DP HL Maths. I’m very excited about living in a city as vibrant as Shanghai and teaching in a community as warm as what I see here at SCIS. Peter Valerio

Union College & University of Arizona, Mathematics / Physics | Hongqiao Upper School

Hello, my name is Wang Rui (Christina). I’ve been a SCIS teacher since 2010. I am from Xuzhou that is in northern Jiang Su province. I graduated from Jiang Nan University in Wuxi with a Bachelor’s Degree in English, and I got my master degree in East China Normal University majored in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language. I love being here in SCIS with my lovely students and colleagues. Welcome to my Mandarin class and I’m looking forward to sharing the beauty of Chinese language with you.

Christina Wang

Jiang Nan University, Chinese Language Acquisition | Hongqiao Upper School

Da jia hao! I’m Zoe Xia. I was born in Xi’an and moved to Hangzhou after I graduated from high school. I got my bachelor degree at Zhejiang University of Media and Communication. Then I went to the University of Pittsburgh to get my master degree in FLE (Foreign Language Education) in 2014. I have been at SCIS since 2015, I am teaching MYP phase 2, phase 5 and DP ab Initio classes this year. I like painting, baking, photography and traveling. I am so happy to be a part of this big family!

Zoe Xia

University of Pittsburgh, Chinese Language Acquisition | Hongqiao Upper School

My name is Hellen Zimmerman and this year I will be teaching Phase 1 and Phase 5 Mandarin in the Upper School. This will be my third year working at SCIS, but I have been a member of the SCIS community for much longer. My daughter is in third grade and my husband is starting his fourteenth year at SCIS. My Bachelors degree is in Chinese Language and Literature from Beijing City University, and I recently received a certificate in Education from East China Normal University. I am very excited to be a part of the Upper School team this year.

Hellen Zimmerman

Beijing City University, Chinese Language Acquisition | Hongqiao Upper School

I am very excited to be part of the SCIS community as a Korean teacher. I was born in Korea and finished my bachelor’s degree and teacher’s certificate courses in Seoul. To become a better educator, I studied at Mansfield University and received a master degree in Education. For the last 13 years, I have been working in different countries as a PYP teacher, librarian, and a DP Language A Korean teacher. I truly believe in the International Baccalaureate Program, as it, in my opinion, truly helps students to become lifelong learners and global citizens. In my free time, I love hiking, traveling, reading, and watching tv shows and movies. I also love to try new and different foods from around the world!

Kyounghee You

Mansfield University, DP Korean | Hongqiao Upper 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