Preschool teachers at The Magellan International School provide a warm, consistent and supportive educational environment to our students. Each classroom has a lead and assistant teacher, and students in Preschool also enjoy learning from specialist teachers throughout the week in Art, Music, Library, Physical Education and English. Our Preschool families are also supported by our Campus Manager and Counselor, and health needs are attended to by our School Nurse. Meet them below!
Head of Preschool & PYP Coordinator
Julieta Carrillo is a bilingual teacher and administrator who came to Magellan in 2014 as the PYP Coordinator. She is also an Apple Certified Teacher and an IB Educator. She has a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education specialized in Bilingual Education and Curriculum Design. Julieta has been in Education for 25 years in many private bilingual IB schools in Mexico City, such as Instituto Educativo Olinca, The Churchill School, Colegio Williams and Colegio Internacional de México.
After teaching 8 years, recognizing the value of the IB programmes and living by the philosophy of the PYP, she became a PYP Coordinator in 2005 and since then, she has led different schools through the process of IB verification and evaluation visits in a very successful way. She proudly guided all the self-study process for The Magellan International first evaluation visit.
IB Educators perform three different roles: as a workshop leader, Julieta has been training teachers and administrators in regional and on-site workshops throughout IB Americas. As a site visitor, she takes part in visiting teams that authorize and evaluate schools and as a consultant for interested schools through their feasibility study and early implementation of the PYP. These experiences enable her to enrich her role at MIS because she has plenty of opportunities to discover the power of different realities and perspectives in our globalized world.
Julieta describes herself as an inquirer by nature and a creative open-minded life long learner.
Maryangel Montiel is originally from Maracaibo, Venezuela, where she graduated from the Colegio Universitario Monseñor de Talavera. She also attended the José María Vargas University, where she received her degree in Special Education. Prior to joining Magellan, she attended the ARC Broward Learning Institute where she completed coursework in applied behavior analysis. Her first work experience was in her native Maracaibo at the Fundación Peter Alexander (FUPANAZ) where she worked with children with autism. Patience, dedication, and perseverance were the cornerstones of this experience.
She has more than 25 years of experience teaching in Venezuela and the US, which has given her a broader understanding of how different cultures shape who we are. One of her most rewarding accomplishments was her contribution to the creation and implementation of a Spanish department at the Roots and Wings Learning Center in St. Augustine, Florida. She was responsible for developing and implementing the bilingual program.
Maryangel also taught at the Cambridge School in Weston, Florida (a NAC accredited school) where she gained a more thorough understanding of the cognitive development benefits of interdisciplinary education and second language acquisition. As a mother of three bilingual boys, she has witnessed firsthand the importance of a multilingual education in an increasingly multilingual world. Maryangel loves working with the youngest of learners (3- and 4-year-olds). She feels that this is an age in which children experience the world most authentically and are the most open to new experiences and new ways of thinking.
Alexandra Sicua was born in Bogotá, Colombia. There, she received a Bachelor degree in Preschool Education from Corporación Educativa Nacional de Administración in Bogotá, Colombia in 1995. Also, she attended Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia where Alexandra received a postgraduate degree in Educational Project Management.
She has more than 18 years of experience teaching in Colombia. After graduating, she began working as an educator of preschool and primary in private schools located in Bogotá focusing in Literacy, lifelong learning and Child Growth and Development from Infancy to School Age. Moreover, Alexandra has been applying differentiation in the classroom for the diverse needs of students with innovative educational projects addressed to enhance family and society values such as ‘My family’, ‘My incredible classroom’ and ‘Express your ideas’. These projects have included activities with recycled materials and the use of new technologies.
She moved to Austin with her husband Carlos Cita (MIS music teacher) and their sons Juan Pablo and David, and she is enjoying a new opportunity to share her experience with this amazing Magellan Community. Alexandra is a balanced and risk taker person, also she enjoys read, travel and spend time with her family around Austin and USA.
Maria Cristina Yañez was born in Mexico City and moved to Saltillo, Coahuila in 1985. There she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Accounting from the Universidad Autonoma del Noreste in 1992. She attended Escuela Nacional de Musica (National School of Music) for three years, where she studied transversal flute. Afterwards, Cristina attended the Escuela de Idiomas (School of Languages) for four years and received a diploma in the English language. She then lived in San Diego, CA, for a year and attended conversational classes at Berlitz for ELL. Cristina worked as an auditor at the Contraloria del Estado (Accounting of State) in Saltillo in 1991. She started working as a Supervisor in the Payable Accounts Department with foreign suppliers accounts at Vitromex, S.A. de C.V. from 1993-1999.
When her second child was born, she decided to stop working at Vitromex to spend more time as a mother. A few months later, she was invited to be part of the Programa de Ingles en Primarias (Primary School English Program) as one of the founders. She spent 10 years teaching English as a Second Language at the Profesor Jose Garcia Rodriguez primary school. Cristina received a certification as an English teacher from Cambridge University in 2003, and had the honor of being recognized by the English Department in Primary Schools of Coahuila Mexico (SEPC) as one of the top English teachers. She also had the opportunity to be part of the “Hablame Project” between Nottingham, UK and Saltillo, Coahuila Mexico, for three years, which gave her the chance to learn about education on a global scale.
At the end of the project, she traveled to Nottingham, UK and shared a Spanish class for two weeks at the Sir John Sherbrook elementary school. In 2009, Cristina and her family moved to Blackfoot, Idaho. There she worked as a para-educator at Ridge Crest Elementary School, focusing on migrant and LEP children. In 2011, she worked as a Graduation Specialist for migrant, LEP students and as a Spanish translator for IEP meetings at Blackfoot High School. Cristina and her family moved to Austin in 2012 and fell in love with the city. She started working for Sylvan Learning as a Bilingual Reading/Math tutor at two Title I AISD schools. There she participated in the creation and improvement of learning material in Spanish and English in order to prepare students for the STAAR tests.
Cristina later worked for Pflugerville ISD at Copperfield Elementary as a Bilingual Teacher Assistant for the Pegasus PPCD Program for two years, giving her the opportunity to work with students with special needs. At the same time, she had the opportunity to work for Tutor Doctor, tutoring Spanish as a second language and using her own curriculum. She is currently working to obtain her Teacher’s Certification in the state of Texas and would like to pursue a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Cristina is a wife and a mother of three kids, who are her purpose in life.
She considers herself a lifetime learner and a very positive person who loves nature and life. In her almost twenty years of experience working with children, she’s learned that they can learn in different styles, ways and paces. She believes kids need a caring, safe, and stimulating atmosphere in order to grow physically, emotionally, and educationally. They are born with nurturing brains that learn by playing, questioning, taking risks, thinking critically and respecting others. Cristina has a passion for teaching her own language and culture. She likes to think she’s planting little seeds in her students’ lives to prepare them for the future, making them excellent global citizens.
María Fernanda Pozo
María worked as a substitute teacher on both the Chimney Corners and Anderson Lane campuses last year. She studied at Central University in Venezuela and taught expressive movement at a preschool in Caracas. She is also an experienced yoga teacher.
English Teacher, Preschool
Whitney Winchester was born in Houston, Texas. Whitney graduated cum laude with her Bachelor of Arts in Politics and her Masters degree in International Relations from Salve Regina University in Rhode Island. After moving to Austin in 2008, she attended an alternative certification program for teaching elementary school. Whitney worked in Austin Independent School District as the Director of Child Care at Lee Elementary school before accepting a position at Gorgeous Millie, a preschool in Austin. While there, Whitney taught children ages 1-4. Additionally, she served as the manager of the school and business.
Prior to Magellan, Whitney spent 2 years teaching English at Austin International School. While there, she taught both the 3- and 4-year old classes. Whitney also served as a coordinator for the Preschool and Kindergarten teams. Whitney joined The Magellan International School Faculty in 2017. She is honored to have the opportunity to work at Magellan. Her goal is to create an environment for each of the students where they can feel safe and nurtured as they develop both as students and members of a global community.
Music Teacher, Preschool and Lower Primary School
Rolando Ibañez has a degree in Music from the National Pedagogical University of Colombia. The emphasis on which he focused his career are drums. Thanks to his profession and his career he has ventured into other instruments such as guitar, bass and piano, the latter being one of his favorites.
His experience as a music teacher is 14 years. He has worked in different schools in Bogotá, Colombia, such as: Colegio Liceo Edad de Oro, Colegio Americano de Bogotá and Fontán Capital School, developing different musical projects, Choirs, Tunas, musical groups of different genres, festivals, concerts, etc.
In 2010, he started working at Colegio Gimnasio del Norte, which is certified by the international baccalaureate in the PYP, MYP and DP programs. There he held the position of head of the music department, PYP and MYP teacher, director of the school’s symphony orchestra, conformed by more than 120 students. He has participated in short films as a support to students who are in the film program of the Diploma acting and writing music scores. At Gimnasio del Norte he got passionate about the International Baccalaureate and decided to do a post-graduate in the university Camilo José Cela of Spain with the title of “Expert in International Education”, acquiring his certificate of teaching and learning in the IB. He currently has 8 years of experience within the international Baccalaureate programs and is in initial training of IBEN to be a workshop and visiting member of the International Baccalaureate.
Rolando is passionate about music education as a fundamental part of the integral development of every human being and that is why he has dedicated himself for more than 14 years to this profession. Now, together with his wife, who is also a graduate in Basic Primary with an emphasis on Spanish Language and their two children, undertakes this beautiful experience in “The Magellan International School”
Art Teacher, PP3 - 2nd Grade
Dan Kaplan received his BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. After working for several years as a visual artist, he returned to school and obtained his K-12 art teacher certification at Carlow University. He has spent his professional life working as an educator, artist, and musician.
Dan believes that art is a great way for students to express and nourish their ideas. Every student, from the most literal-minded to the most abstract thinker, can find their place in the art room. The elementary years are a great time to explore these possibilities. For the past several years, Dan has been working in Austin as a visual artist and musician, and enjoys being a teacher at Magellan International School.
Physical Education Teacher, Preschool & Lower Primary School
Rubi achieved a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University Of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. She has twelve years of experience working with children. Rubi previously worked at Hudson Bend Middle School in the Special Education Department for the Lake Travis district.
Prior to working at Lake Travis, Rubi was the Physical Education Specialist at the International School of Texas. Rubi was a founding member of the International School of Texas. Early on in Rubi’s career she was an Education Assistant at Pflugerville High School.
Rubi grew up in Sinton, Texas which is north of Corpus Christi. She has two brothers and three sisters. In her free time Rubi enjoys working out and spending time outdoors.
Patrick is the founding director of the Francis Lo i.lab for Design + Making, a new, creative learning space at Magellan International School in Austin, TX. Besides directing the school’s innovation program, he is a lead mentor for the UTeach Maker fellowship program for The University of Texas at Austin, a senior fellow of the Thinkery EdExchange Program, and a frequent presenter at conferences including SXSWedu, Stanford FabLearn, and Maker Faire Austin.
Liliana Garza grew up in Monterrey, Mexico. Since she was little, she was known among her family and friends for her interest in books, which many years later inspired her to pursue a BA in Mexican Literature at the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León. She also earned a BA in Early Childhood Education from the Secretaria de Educación Pública in Mexico. Her first teaching job was as a preschool homeroom teacher in an English-immersion environment, a position she held for four years.
She moved to Mexico City afterwards, where she trained in Early Childhood Intervention and worked for The Churchill School, an IB school belonging to a Mexican-British foundation. She was the Preschool Librarian during her first year, reading stories to children ages 2 to 7 in Spanish and English, and went to take the role of a Year 1 teacher for the following two years.
In 2014, she completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Education by the University of Buckingham in the UK. She is currently working towards obtaining a MA in Education by the same university via a pilot online program.
Lily has been in MIS since 2015. She loves her job as a Librarian and is very happy to share her love of reading with the kids.
Colleen has an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and 12 years of experience as a counselor and therapist. She moved to Austin about a year ago and has been counseling children in private practice utilizing interventions from play therapy, expressive arts and mindfulness. Previously, Colleen worked as a School-Based Therapist and a Senior Counselor in New York City and as a Behavior Interventionist in the Burlington School District in Vermont.