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.
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!
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
Carmen James is an enthusiastic educator who sees potential for great things and uniqueness in every child. She believes that the more we connect school-based learning to students’ interests, experiences, and curiosity, the better the educational outcomes will be. She sees freedom within boundaries, exploration, and risk-taking as necessities. Carmen promotes cooperative learning, inquiry, creativity, and play in early learning experiences, while also recognizing the importance of focused and structured learning of early literacy skills. She loves reading, and especially loves sharing reading experiences with children.
Carmen earned a B.A. in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Spanish from Columbia College Chicago/Erikson Institute for Child Development. The early emphasis on developmentally appropriate practice, creativity in teaching and learning, and the multiple languages/intelligences of children has greatly influenced her teaching through the years. She has an M.A. in Latin American Studies/Humanities from UT Austin as well as a M.Ed. from UT Austin in Bilingual/Bicultural Studies, which has helped to connect her to the local education community.
Carmen holds several state teaching certificates: IL Early Childhood Education and Bilingual Education, TX EC-6 Generalist, Bilingual Education, and was a candidate for Master Reading Teacher in Fall 2014. She is a member of the National Association for Bilingual Education and the International Reading Association. She has taught in public, charter, and private schools for 12 years in the primary grades. She started out in her home city of Chicago and came to Austin in 2009 to be a part of the Magellan founding team. She taught Kindergarten for five years at M.I.S. before moving into the Literacy Specialist position in 2014. Carmen loves nature, gardening, music, writing, sewing, and traveling, and is kind of obsessed with her dogs. She also loves spending time with her husband and family.
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.
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.
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.
Technology and Design Teacher
Kenneth Hawthorn will be our new Technology and Design Teacher in the lower Primary grades. Ken started his career as a mechanical engineer helping startups build proof-of-concept prototypes. His professional life shifted direction more than ten years ago when he started working as a volunteer with academically at-risk students at a local school. He ended up creating a STEM program that expanded to 17 school districts in California! That experience pulled him full time into the world of technology education, and he has never looked back. For the past five years, Ken has served as the creator and director of the Mechatronics Program at an elementary school in Menlo Park.
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.