1st Grade Faculty
1st grade students at The Magellan International School are supported by highly qualified lead and assistant teachers in the classroom with exceptional fluency in Spanish. Most faculty members at MIS are native Spanish speakers. Student learning is also guided by specialty 1st grade teachers in English, Library, Art, Music, Digital Literacy, Design/Innovation and Physical Education. Social & Emotional learning is supported by both classroom teachers as well as a Counselor.
Head of Primary School
Sagrario is a passionate professional with more than 20 years of experience in a wide variety of educational settings. She is a lifelong learner that believes that students learn best when they are empowered and feel ownership of their learning. Sagrario has a BA in Education from the Pedagogical University in Mexico and has taken different undergraduate courses from Stanford and Harvard University. She is bilingual in Spanish and English and has a deep understanding of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.
Sagrario was born and raised in México City. During her journey in education she worked in different schools in México such as Alexander Bain and the American School Foundation, where she held different teacher and administrative roles such as, lower school teacher, Primary Years Programme (PYP) coordinator and dean of students. She began her career in the United States in 2008 at Escuela Bilingüe Internacional in Oakland, California where she came to implement the Primary Years Programme (PYP). She held the roles of Assistant Head, PYP Coordinator and Director of Curriculum and Learning for Pre-kinder to 8th grade and oversaw the Middle Years Programme (MYP) implementation.
Her passion for education has also allowed her to do significant work for the IB as a workshop leader, consultant, school evaluation and accreditation leader and IB field representative in charge of the quality of the workshops given in The Americas. Sagrario has also been instrumental in the implementation of new IB services for schools at a global level, to develop a quality curriculum in schools.
Sagrario has sought to share best practices wherever she has taught, presenting at educational conferences such as the IB Regional Conference and the California Association of Independent School Conference.
Sagrario describes herself as an inquirer and is a true believer that as educators we need to nurture each child’s love of learning by cultivating academic excellence, emotional intelligence, and social engagement.
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.
Sandra Noack was born in Bogotá, Colombia. She comes from a multicultural family, half Colombian and half German. She was also influenced by British and American cultures as she studied at a bilingual school. At age 12, she realized she was meant to be a teacher when she started teaching her little sister how to read and write. Later on, she continued this practice when she decided to home-school her own kids. She is proud of her three children, who decided to become teachers, thus prolonging the legacy of educators in her family.
Upon graduation, Sandra completed her education as a preschool teacher at the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional from Bogotá. Her experience as a PYP teacher for more than 11 years has reinforced her beliefs and values regarding education. Her main purpose is to engage her students and help them become internationally minded, caring, inquisitive, and knowledgeable. She believes education is a never-ending process and teaching gives her the opportunity to learn new things everyday.
She enjoys connecting with her students and learning from them in many ways. Sandra also enjoys art, which has always been part of her life. As a self-taught painter, she believes that persistence and discipline can be more powerful than talent. She enjoys exploring different media and shares her creativity with her students. Sandra is proud to belong to a group of lifelong learners at MIS and will strive to build strong bonds within the community she cares deeply about.
Ana Paola Méndez
Ana Paola Méndez is from Bogotá, Colombia. She was blessed to be born into a multicultural family with parents from Colombia and Venezuela. She enjoys traveling throughout both countries and experiencing their cultures.
Ana Paola started teaching in 2003 at a private school in Bogotá called Gimnasio Fontana. She earned her BS in Hospitality Management at La Sabana University in Chia, Colombia. She realized that her real passion was teaching children. She has attended several education and child development training courses. She became a “star teacher” and in 2008 she was selected as Preschool Principal.
Ana’s mission in life is to encourage little ones to become active and compassionate learners who understand and respect others and value their differences. She is delighted to work at MIS and have her two daughters attend what her whole family considers to be the “best school they’ve ever known.”
Home Learning Teacher
Rocío Borrego was born and raised in Durango, México into a family of educators who instilled in her a love of learning. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Public and Private Administration from one of the largest universities in México – The Durango Institute of Technology (Instituto Tecnológico de Durango) in Durango, México. At Harmon Hall, in México, she earned recognition for her studies in English. She worked as a teacher in the Universidad of Educación Física, where she had the opportunity to work with college students. She began working with children early on. For six years she taught in elementary public schools and discovered her passion for teaching. During that time, she earned her certification to teach English as a second language from the University of Cambridge.
She also obtained a Teacher Certification from the Universidad Juarez. She had the honor of being recognized by the Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP) as one of the top ten state winners from a nationwide competition for Spanish middle school teachers. She has had the opportunity to teach diverse groups of students, from those with special needs to those participating in gifted and talented programs. As a result, she has become proficient at designing creative and stimulating lesson plans that accommodate multiple levels of immersion. She brings a hands-on approach to learning and keeps students interested and focused.
She moved to Austin, Texas in May 2012 She has worked for Sylvan Learning as a Bilingual Reading Tutor at two Title I elementary schools. She participated in the creation and improvement of materials in both languages to prepare students for the STAAR test. She has also worked for Tutor Doctor, tutoring Spanish as a second language. Throughout her career, she has learned that recognizing and understanding every student’s talents and individual interests is the key to improving the speed and quality of learning.
Rocio has been with Magellan since the 2014-2015 school year. She has had the privilege to teach two different first grade groups at MIS, giving her the opportunity to incorporate a variety of manipulatives, reflection activities, and hands on learning projects integrating technology with them, as well as to attend IB workshops that reaffirmed her passion for the PYP. She firmly believes that it is through inquiry discussions where students are encouraged to ask questions and they begin the journey of becoming independent thinkers and learners.
Her goal is to engage students in the classroom and maximize their understanding of their world by providing a stimulating learning environment.
Pilar Macías was raised in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, which borders El Paso, TX. She received her bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and specialized in Quality Systems from the Instituto Tecnologico de Ciudad Juarez. She graduated head of her class. She worked as an Industrial Engineer at Philips Televisions and at Davol Surgical Innovations as a Quality Engineer. These opportunities opened her eyes to the importance of knowing more than one language.
After Pliar married, she moved to El Paso, Texas and started working at El Paso Community College as a part of the Toddler Tech Team. With this experience, she identified the importance of technology in education for the 21st century. She also taught with the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program in Texas. She enjoyed her teaching experiences immensely. She will always remember her first teaching experience when she was in high school, where she offered special weekend chemistry classes to her peers who were having trouble grasping concepts. She thoroughly enjoyed this experience. As a mother of two daughters, she believes that 21st century education needs to be global and follow new and higher standards.
Norma graduated from Pan-America University in Mexico City with a Bachelor degree in Bilingual Education and a Master’s degree in Family Counseling from the University of the Americas. She taught the first half of her career at the American School Foundation as a bilingual preschool teacher assistant for 4 years and lead teacher for over ten years. Then she accepted positions in China where she taught the IB PYP/MYP programs in Beijing International School (BISS) and Xiamen International School as a second grade, middle school Social Studies/ESOL teacher and as a guidance counselor. Returning to Mexico, she worked at a variety of schools as a high school/ preschool teacher and administrator.
In 2014 she moved to Georgetown, Texas with her husband and twin daughters who attend East View High School. For seven years, she was also a head counselor and instructor at the Culver Woodcraft Summer Leadership Schools and Camps. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and baking Mexican food, painting, meditating, photography, travelling, tending an herb garden, and visiting the beach with her family.
Sandra Bejarano has an Associate’s Degree in Textile Design and is a certified Montessori Paraprofessional Assistant. While raising her children after moving to the United States, she had the opportunity to start working with young children at a Montessori School from the ages 3 to 11, as well as teaching Spanish from preschool to 6 grades for the same school.
Throughout the years Sandra started getting more involved with the community and learning about the growing population with Special Needs. This called her attention and she started looking for an opportunity to work with these children, to learn and help, getting a ‘Bilingual Program Assistant’ position with the school district 15 in the Chicago northwest suburbs. This is when her journey started helping young people with different kinds of abilities.
Her first years were working with junior high students. Each child was different, being exposed to daily challenges, experiencing different situations, and doing her best to offer them a safe and comforting environment. The program was moved to a different district and this made her look for other areas to work at within the school district. She found a pre-school children with disabilities program and applied. For the last eight years she gave her heart and soul, helping them accomplish small goals from saying a two syllables word to saying a four words sentence, celebrating with them every step of their progress, and giving them the opportunity to have a wonderful school experience.
Deysy Velandia was born and raised in Colombia. She graduated from Universidad Francisco de Paula Santander as Licensed Accountant with an emphasis in Continuing Education to Cooperative Organizations. Prior to moving to Texas, Deysy worked as an accountant for large commercial projects and as an Administrative Assistant for a foundation in Colombia that uses music to aid the development and improvement of the quality of life of children, adolescents and youth people in vulnerable areas. She has also collaborated and partnered with media companies, governments and private companies to contribute with feeding, continuing education and recreation of displaced children.
Deysy has been a fantastic substitute teacher at Magellan since the start of the 2020-2021 school year which has allowed her to become familiar with the IB program and school community and values. She is married and loves to enjoy her spare time with her husband, kids and friends; traveling around Texas, appreciating nature by hiking trails, swimming rivers, and exploring the Austin atmosphere.
Joy Marcus was born north of the border, in London, Ontario, Canada. She is a dual Canadian/American citizen thanks to her mother, who was born in Amarillo, Texas. Foreign languages were woven into the fabric of Joy’s life from a very early age. Her earliest influence was her mother, who had first learned Spanish while living in Mexico, and then earned a BA in Spanish while Joy was still a child. As a result, Joy’s family grew up in close contact with many Spanish-speaking families who had immigrated to Canada from various countries. Joy’s lifelong love of languages, however, was truly kindled when her parents enrolled her in the French Immersion program offered in Canada’s public schools.
After completing her elementary education in French and English, Joy became interested in learning Spanish. In early adulthood, she interrupted her formal education to spend a year living in Chile. She thoroughly enjoyed the experience of cross-cultural living. Upon returning to Canada, Joy completed her Bachelor of Science Degree with Honors in Biology at the University of Western Ontario located in her hometown. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Education and immediately began working as a substitute teacher for the Thames Valley District School Board, where she gained invaluable experience teaching a variety of grade levels and subjects.
Two years later, Joy embarked on yet another journey of learning a new culture and language by moving to São José dos Campos, Brazil to work at Esfera Escola Internacional, an IB World School. Over the course of her time there, Joy was trained as a Primary Years Program teacher, and grew in her practice of inquiry-based learning while acting as lead English teacher in each of the primary grades. In addition, Joy served as a specialist library teacher for the first through fifth grades. Joy was delighted to play an instrumental role in getting her students excited about reading.
Joy is passionate about children and considers teaching a wonderful and incredible challenge. She is thrilled to continue growing professionally as part of the MIS community. In addition to teaching, Joy enjoys making new friends while exploring the culinary offerings of the South, running and biking Austin trails, and paddling on Lady Bird Lake.
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.
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.
Alessia Bulsara grew up in a multicultural family, living in her father’s native India for five years before residing in Houston, Texas with her mother’s Catalan family. She received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology from the University of Houston, later returning to obtain her Masters of Education in Counseling. Alessia is currently a Licensed Professional Counselor, as well as a certified teacher, in the state of Texas and is also working towards becoming credentialed as a Registered Play Therapist.
Alessia’s passion for counseling children and families only grew as she completed her practicum hours for her master’s degree, and later stayed on to continue working as a counseling intern, at a child psychologist’s private practice in Houston. There, Alessia was able to attain experience and clinical skills providing individual, group, and dyad counseling services, both in office and in the school setting. Following this, she worked as a Professional Educator at the Monarch School and Institute for two years before moving into the role of a Therapeutic Coach, providing students with neurological differences individualized social, emotional and self-regulation/management support. Alessia simultaneously worked with children and families in a play therapy private practice in Houston, providing individual counseling services, parent support and online resources.
Alessia primarily utilizes a child centered therapeutic approach when working with children, meeting the child where they are at. She truly believes in the importance of a strong foundational relationship in order to provide support to the child and their family, and works as partners with parents, teachers and other supports in the child’s life to create a tailored, consistent and unique plan which focuses on the whole child.
In her spare time, Alessia enjoys travelling and exploring new places, yoga, and photography. She is very excited to be a part of the Magellan team.
Daniela Melo is Magellan’s Learning Specialist in lower Primary (K-3). She has a Master of Arts in Special Education from UT-Austin and a Bachelor of Arts in Human Communication Disorders. After working for five years as a speech therapist and resource teacher in her native Mexico, Daniela moved to Austin where she has worked as a bilingual special education teacher and department coordinator for the past nine years.
Primary English Teacher
Wendy was born in New York, NY and grew up in Connecticut. She holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut and a MA in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University. She began her teaching career as an English teacher in Granada, Spain, went on to teach 4th-6th grade in a Montessori school, followed by several years of elementary and ESL teaching experience in CT and Maine public schools. She holds professional teaching certification in both Elementary Education and English as a Second Language. Wendy’s teaching is based on being a model of a curious, lifelong learner with a love of literacy. She thoroughly enjoys nurturing childrens’ literacy development.
Primary Innovation & Design Teacher
Sophia has more than 20 years of experience in education in both public and private schools. She graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Elementary Education and holds certifications in Special Education and ESL. Her passion is to help students become creative problem solvers and independent thinkers.
Marion Rocco earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education & Child Study from Smith College in Northampton, MA. Her first job after college was working for the acclaimed author and illustrator Eric Carle. It was through this work in his studio that she discovered the magic and power of picture books. Marion returned to school and completed the Master of Science in Information Studies from The University of Texas at Austin. Since graduating, she has worked in school and public libraries and as an Austin ISD Program Specialist focusing on teacher and librarian professional development. She is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at Austin where she teaches an undergraduate course in Children’s Literature.
Marion’s interest in global and international literature keeps her active in professional organizations including the American Library Association and the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY). She served on the Batchelder Award Committee for best international children’s book in 2014 and co-chaired the USBBY conference that took place in Austin in 2019. Marion has presented on international and bilingual books at the International Board on Books for Young People, International Literacy Association, and Texas Library Association conferences. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas.
Nurse, Anderson Lane
Deepa was raised in Toronto, Canada where she successfully completed her Bachelors
of Science in Nursing degree. She has been a nurse for the last 18 years, 16 of which
were spent in the Emergency department at the University Health Network (UHN), one
of Canada’s top research and teaching hospitals. During her time at UHN, Deepa also
served as the Nurse Educator for the emergency department and has completed a
couple of research fellowship projects to improve patient safety. She pursued her
passion for teaching by becoming a clinical course director for undergrads and
international nursing students at York University.
Deepa enjoys practicing hot yoga, hiking, cooking, baking and travelling. She currently
has a first grader at Magellan and is looking forward to expanding her role
professionally at Magellan International School.
Drama & Spanish Language Acquisition Teacher, Teaching Assistant
Luis “Lucho” Aya graduated from the Higer Arts Academy Asab Bogota in 1996. As a theater director, he has staged over 25 productions successfully in the most prestigious theaters of Colombia. Luis has repeatedly been invited to represent his country at the Iberoamerican Theater Festival (considered the most important theater festival in the world today). He has taught theater and art at the University ASAB and at Francisco José de Caldas in Bogotá and the University of Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
Luis has also worked as a middle and high school theater teacher at The Gimnasio Fontana in Bogotá, where he worked for five years. He served as a professor of a theater arts workshop for children and youth for over seven years at National Theatre Foundation. Luis has specialized in children’s theater primary to enrich the lives of children and their families through this art form. Luis is dedicated to the inspiration of this new generation of theater lovers.
Primary Instructional Coach & Assistant PYP Coordinator
Paola Samaniego is from Quito-Ecuador, and this is her fifteenth year teaching. She has has experience working with children between the ages of two months and eight years old. This is her tenth year teaching Spanish. Paola received a BS in Early Childhood Education and Developmental Psychology from Keene State College in New Hampshire. Paola later earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Jaen’s University in Spain. Paola loves the PYP program and implementing it in the classroom. In the last year she has been learning more about sensory integration and self regulation. She is a firm believer in differentiation in the classroom, every child learns differently and as a teacher she wants to be able to provide many opportunities in order to acquire the skills needed to become lifelong learners!
She believes the inquiry based program works for children of all ages, but especially with young children who have that natural curiosity and desire to learn how the world around them works. She welcomes all your input and support throughout the school year!