2nd Grade Faculty
2nd 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 2nd 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.
Carol Dala was born and raised in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where she attended Academia Los Piñares, a K-12 private bilingual Christian school. In high school she was part of the volleyball and soccer teams and was involved in various service projects and functioned as a translator during mission trips. She earned an academic scholarship to attend Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA where she completed a dual degree in Early Childhood and Special Education. At Mercyhurst, she was an active member of the Unicef chapter and a volunteer for the city’s Special Olympics.
Carol Dala was born and raised in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where she attended Academia Los Piñares, a K-12 private bilingual Christian school. In high school she participated in various service projects and served as a translator during mission trips. Carol earned an academic scholarship to attend Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA where she completed a dual degree in Early Childhood and Special Education. At Mercyhurst, she was an active member of the UNICEF chapter and a volunteer for the city’s Special Olympics.
Carol joined the Magellan International School team in 2014 as a teaching assistant and became a PYP lead teacher in 2016. Since that time, she has taught in both 1st and 3rd grades. Carol also completed advanced language practitioner training at the Rawson Saunders Institute, enriching her ability to support students with learning differences, including dyslexia.
Ismary Tyre Torres was born in Venezuela. Since childhood she has been addicted to learning about countries and cultures. She studied at Universidad Católica Andrés Bello where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education.
After graduating, she spent over 6 years of her career dedicated to the field of human resources, working in training and talent development in both Venezuela and Chile. In 2017, Ismary and her husband Chris decided to establish new roots in Austin, Texas. Soon after moving to Austin, she began working at a private preschool as an Associate Teacher and also in charge of the Spanish Enrichment Program.
Complimenting her passion for education, Ismary spends her free time playing soccer and kickball with friends, traveling, and visiting new places in Austin. She is very excited to belong to Magellan International School’s family and grow professionally in the International Baccalaureate world.
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!
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.
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”
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 Teaching Assistant
Ana Figueroa was born and raised in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. Throughout her childhood, she attended schools with English programs and became fascinated with the language. In 2009, Ana and her family moved to the United States and began a new journey in Idaho. Eventually, her family ended up in Pflugerville, Texas, where Ana attended high school. She graduated from Texas State University with a BA in Anthropology and minored in Criminal Justice.
Ana has been involved with MIS since 2017, mostly recognized for her work in Summer Camp. Since her first interaction with Magellan, Ana was captivated by the school’s mission and practice of the IB learner profile. In 2020, Ana worked as a private Spanish Immersion teacher for preschool students learning at home. She was inspired to use the IB attributes and inquiry-based learning during her private teaching. When schools returned to full capacity in 2021, Ana was invited back to MIS to work as a Teacher Assistant in second grade. She considers being part of the Magellan community a privilege and is grateful to be somewhere that feels like home.
Ana is passionate about being a lifetime learner and advocating for equity and diversity. She believes nurturing children to be multicultural and principled thinkers is essential because they are the minds of the future. She is dedicated to creating a safe, empathetic, and stimulating environment so children can develop physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Ana appreciates the simple things in life— art, music, nature. She is passionate about learning diverse experiences and cultures throughout the world, and she hopes to influence her students to do the same.
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.
Mónica Chávez has more than 20 years of experience teaching the IB Primary Years Program (PYP). She has a BA in Education and has spent the majority of her career working as a bilingual lead teacher at schools in Mexico City. Mónica also taught for three years under the supervision of our Primary Head, Sagrario Argüelles, at the Escuela Bilingüe Internacional in Oakland, and more recently served as the PYP Coordinator for a small international school in Denver.
Mansi Shah rejoins the Magellan faculty after a two-year absence. Most recently, Mansi was a 3rd grade Dual Language Teacher in Round Rock. She has a BA in Spanish Language Teaching and an MA in Second Language Acquisition from the University of Texas at Austin. Mansi has extensive IB training and was previously a lead teacher at Magellan for seven years.
Mayra attained a BA in Academic Studies with a minor in Fine Arts and certifications in Spanish in Early Childhood through Grade 4. She graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2007. Mayra loves teaching in the general classroom as well as working with smaller groups to cater to all of her student needs. Most recently she taught Dual Language in her home state of Texas. Mayra is a Houston native and the oldest of 4 children.
Mayra grew up in a Spanish speaking home and this helped her become fully fluent in both English and in Spanish. As part of her university program she took a summer to further her study of the Spanish language at the Universidad Iberoamericana located in Puebla, Mexico.
She also spent 6 years of her teaching career abroad at IB International Schools; one located in South Korea and two in Germany. There she served as ESL specialist and helped many children be successful in the mainstream classroom by providing engaging and individualized lessons. She recently returned to Austin, a city she loves very much! She is thrilled to be working with primary students at Magellan International School and is looking forward to an exciting year of growth and learning!
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.
Avien is a recent Master of Library Science graduate from Texas Woman’s University with a B.A. in English from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. She worked for the Corpus Christi Public Library System for two years while working on her practicum in library technology and social media before becoming a Youth Services Librarian. In her undergraduate years she participated in the Disney College Program in Orlando, Florida for Merchandising and tutored ESL students at the CASA Writing Center at TAMUCC.
Avien originally wanted to become an English Second Language teacher abroad, but chose to go back for her MLS a few months after graduation after finding part-time work in a library. Avien’s interests in libraries started on a 2017 study abroad to Scotland where she visited the National Library of Scotland to study Scottish Crime Fiction and was intrigued by the mix of old architecture and modern technology in the library.