Faculty

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

My international teaching journey began in Beijing in 2002 so coming to Shanghai to work at SCIS feels like coming home. After 9 years in Beijing as a science teacher, DP Coordinator, and Principal, I moved to The Hague to work for the IB as curriculum manager for DP Physics and MYP Sciences and Mathematics. Recently I was the founding Principal at a new IB World School in Malaysia. I am excited to be part of the SCIS community. Lennox Meldrum

Queensland University of Technology & University of Southern Queensland, Vice Principal & IBDP Coordinator | Hongqiao Upper School

I am Amy Valerio and with my husband Peter and my children in grades 6 and 8, 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 26 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 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 received my MAT Degree from Simmons College in Massachusetts. 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

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

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

I am an avid reader, a connoisseur of colorful art and textiles, and I have a passion for helping others succeed in their endeavors.  My name is Emily Blalock and I am the Hongqiao Upper School College Counselor.  I graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing, and then received my Master of Science from the University of Georgia.  I taught Entrepreneurship and Textiles at the University of Georgia for ten years where service learning was an integral part of my classes.  During this time, I was the Career Counselor and helped hundreds of students find internships and careers in their fields.  I have been a visiting professor teaching entrepreneurship and micro-business in USA, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Honduras.  I am delighted to be here in the world’s largest city, learning and growing with you! Emily Blalock

University of Georgia, Counselor | Hongqiao Upper School

My name is Leah Brownell and I will be the grade level leader for 8th grade this year. This year I will be teaching 7th and 8th grade Science as well as 8th grade PE here at the Hongqiao Campus. This is my second year at SCIS, and my 17th 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, Georgia for 3 years, before taking a chance internationally and moving to Bangkok, Thailand for three years. I then moved to Caracas, Venezuela for the next 6 years. For the past 3 years, I have been working in 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 am excited to have recently joined the faculty at SCIS – HIS to teach IBDP Literature and MYP Language & Literature. I already love Shanghai for a variety of reasons – sidewalks being one of them – and will appreciate a change in seasons again after two years teaching at the International School of Phnom Penh in Cambodia! I have been a teacher for over 30 years and during my career have been fortunate to have lived and worked in places as diverse as 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 walking, skiing and horseback riding. I am looking forward to a productive year at SCIS, and to some adventurous travel in China this year! Carol Cayford

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

I am excited to be joining the SCIS community for my first year of living and working in the wonderful city of Shanghai. Born and raised in country Australia, I moved away from home to study at the University of Sydney, receiving a Bachelor of Education (Technological and applied studies). After a number of years of teaching in Australia I started my international career and have spent the last 15 years teaching in the UK, the Cayman Islands and Vietnam. I am passionate about Design as a subject, especially the opportunities it allows students in unleashing their creativity and in developing problem-solving skills. I am very much looking forward to having the students make the most of the fantastic new Design facilities at SCIS. I enjoy sports and travel and I am very excited about exploring all the amazing opportunities that Shanghai, and China, have to offer. Michael Clark

University of Sydney, Design | 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’m currently working on my doctorate in Educational 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

Hello SCIS! I am originally from the north-east of England and have travelled extensively since leaving my home country in 2008. In the past nine years I have lived in Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Uganda and now China. I am very excited to call Shanghai my new home. I have a Bachelors Ancient History degree from Newcastle University and also hold a Postgraduate Certificate in Education specialising in History. Here at SCIS, I shall be teaching Individuals and Societies to middle and high school students. In addition, I have also taken on the role as CAS and Service as Action Coordinator. This involves helping students in both the MYP and DP to identify ways to make meaningful connections with the local and wider community, and considering ways they can make a difference. Ian Cole

Newcastle University, Individuals and Societies | 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 nearly 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, MYP Coordinator | 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

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 extrapolatory 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 16-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 I grew up on a horse ranch in Montana, USA. I love the outdoors with a particular interest in hiking, backpacking, snowboarding, and playing ultimate frisbee. I earned 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, which 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 for the 13th year at SCIS as an Upper School MYP and DP Mandarin teacher. I am a British national with Chinese origin and was educated both in China and the United Kingdom. My childhood dream was to become a teacher and I have enjoyed teaching for over 20 years. I graduated from Zhejiang Teachers’ University almost three decades ago 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 had wonderful 12 years at SCIS and 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

My name is Curtis Holland and I teach Upper School Drama at the Hongqiao Campus. Returning to SCIS, having previously taught in Kuwait and Tianjin. I’m from LaSalle, Ontario, Canada and love to represent where I’m from. I attended the University of Windsor and achieved my Bachelor of Arts (Honors) Drama in Education and Community, then went on to my Bachelor of Education in teaching Drama and English for Grades 7-12. I love putting on shows (performing and directing), cooking, my animal babies, travelling, anything active, and of course, spreading my love of my art form in my daily job. I’m very excited to continue bringing our theatre program to new highs.

Curtis Holland

University of Windsor, Arts – Drama & Theatre | 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

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

Teaching Grade 5 in the Lower School for the last three years has given me a strong understanding for what our students have experienced in their first years of school. I will use that knowledge to help structure my Grade 6, 7, and 8 Science classes and units to help our students be successful Upper School learners. 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

Hi everyone! My name is Eric Kirwin, and I am happy to be joining the SCIS community with my wife, who teaches lower school, and my son who will attend 3rd grade here. I also have a daughter back in the U.S. who is attending Michigan Technological University. This year, I will be working with 9th and 10th grade math students. This will be 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, Mathematics | Hongqiao Upper school

Born in beautiful Strasbourg, France, I am a French and drama teacher and have taught on four continents over the last 14 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 i Oslo in Norway, and a PGCEi from the Keele University in the UK. I love theatre, travel and photography, and I am very excited to be working at SCIS.

Antonine 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 Grades 6, 7, and 9 (MYP 1, 2, & 4) Mathematics at the Hongqiao campus. I am a third culture kid like our students, having been born and raised overseas by two international school teaching parents. I came into the world 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 nine 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 two-year-old son named Riyaan. I am looking forward to another fun-filled and exciting year at SCIS!

Robert La Londe

University of California, Santa Cruz, Mathematics | Hongqiao Middle 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

Aannyeonghaseyo, my name is Kyeung-won, Lee and this is my second semester at SCIS Hongqiao. I teach IB Korean for grade 11 and 12. I was born in Seoul, Korea and I spent most of my life in the city. I earned my BA in Korean literature and philosophy at Yonsei University and MA in Drama at Hanyang University. One night in 2008, I was watching all sorts of local families sitting in the train for Urumchi, the city in northern China. Although that was the very wonderful moment, I never thought I would work here in China. But at this moment, I really feel at ease to be here with my family. Life is really unpredictable!

Kyeungwon Lee

Yongsei University and Hanyang University, Korean Language & Literature | 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. 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, 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, Athletics Coordinator | 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

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

I am in my second year at SCIS teaching MYP Science and DP Biology. I am very excited to be a part of such a dynamic school with a strong sense of community! After graduating with a Bachelor of Education in Biology and Chemistry in Ontario, Canada I moved abroad immediately and started teaching in international schools. I have lived and worked in Thailand, Egypt, Vietnam, Uganda and now China. I love being part of an international community and teaching students from all over the world! Teaching science is a ton of fun and I love learning about new discoveries in Biology along-side my students. I also love playing and watching sports, especially soccer. I look forward to cycling around this amazing city trying different kinds of food and seeing new things. I hope this will be a great year of teaching, learning and exploring China!

Lindsay Rielly

Wilfrid Laurier University & Trent University, Sciences – Biology | 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

I was born in England and raised on several RAF bases in the UK and Germany. Having always enjoyed Maths and Economics more than any other subjects at school, I decided to read Accounting & Finance at University but decided that a life as an accountant would be far too relaxing and instead began my training for the far more exhausting rewarding job of teaching Maths. After teaching in a UK state school for several years I decided to move abroad, first to the Falkland Islands for 2 years and then to Mongolia for 3 years. After teaching in these remote locations I am looking forward to the more cosmopolitan environment (and the many restaurants) in Shanghai. My first impressions of SCIS and Shanghai have been really positive and I am really looking forward to my first year at SCIS. Andrew Shearer

University of Kent at Canterbury, Mathematics / Business & Management | 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 spent the last three years teaching grade 3 at SCIS. I love living and teaching in Shanghai with my husband and our two sons, and I am looking forward to a new role that will allow me to share my passion for reading and learning with the community. Go Dragons!

Ashley Simmons

University of Houston, Librarian | Hongqiao Upper School

I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. After high school I 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 Years 4, 5, Global Politics (DP), and heading the department. Through teaching I’ve met my beautiful wife, Ashley, currently a third-grade teacher at SCIS, and have 2 boys – one in 3rd grade and the other at the ECE campus. Shanghai is our first international stop and we’ve been awed by all the city, and China, has to offer. Scott Simmons

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

I am quite excited to join SCIS as a teacher of MYP Language and Literature in English.  Shanghai is glorious, and China holds a special place in my heart.  Living for more than a decade in cities such as Beijing, Hong Kong, and Xi’An while learning about Chinese culture (particularly its language, food, and history) has opened my life to amazing opportunities that leave me thankful and content.  Teaching in IB schools in China is just one such amazing opportunity.  During my years in Beijing, I was privileged to teach MYP Language Acquisition English, MYP Individuals and Societies, and MYP Language and Literature.  In addition to those IB-MYP courses, I taught DP- Group 2 English and coordinated MYP Service as Action in Xi’An. I am proud of these experiences and delighted that my wife, Kasha, teaches IB-PYP Grade 2 at SCIS, while both my daughters (Berkley and Parrish) are students in SCIS Lower School.  

Wesley Smith

Michigan State University, English Language and Literature | 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

Hello! My name is Joel Sutton. Originally from Tulsa, USA, I have traveled extensively around the world and am happy to now call Shanghai my home. I have a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Tulsa as well as a B.B.A. in Economics and an A.S in Management. As a seven year veteran teacher at SCIS, I feel very connected with the school and our community. I’ve taught math, multimedia, desktop publishing, journalism, percussion and now, MYP Design and Visual Arts. For the last few years, I have also managed our school’s Yearbook and various other SCIS publications. I have also worked as an IT administrator and adjunct instructor for Tulsa Community College, and as a Mac Specialist for Apple. Joel Sutton

University of Tulsa, Design | 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 TOK. I am thrilled to be here in Shanghai with my wife, Maitane Arruti, and 3-year-old son, Eneko. We are also awaiting the arrival of a newborn baby in August. 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. Having grown up in rural Australia, 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 (guitar). 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 graduated from University of Pittsburgh, and got my master degree on FLE (Foreign Language Education). My hobbies include paining, baking, photography and traveling around the world. I have taught Mandarin abroad before, and now I am teaching Mandarin in the upper school at SCIS. This is my second year in SCIS, and I am so excited 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

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