4th Grade Faculty
4th grade students at The Magellan International School are supported by a highly qualified lead teacher in the classroom with exceptional fluency in Spanish. Most faculty members at MIS are native Spanish speakers. Student learning is also guided by specialty 4th grade teachers in English, Mandarin, Library, Art, Music, Digital Literacy, Design/Innovation and Physical Education. Social & Emotional learning is supported by both the classroom teacher as well as a Counselor, and Learning Support is provided by our Literacy & Learning Specialists.
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.
Marianela (Nela) Santamaría Ramírez was born in Barcelona. She has a Master´s Degree in English Studies and Literature, and a postgraduate degree in Spanish Language and Literature Education, both from Universidad de Barcelona.
She started teaching in 2000 as a Spanish teacher in Cambridge, UK. Afterwards, she moved back to her hometown, Barcelona, where she taught Spanish, Catalan, and English for 9 years at the public school. In 2010 she came with the Visiting Teachers’ program to work as an elementary teacher for Pflugerville ISD. She worked as a dual one-way and two-way teacher. Then she accepted a position at AISD where she taught dual language social studies and advisory at a middle school, being world cultures and history of the US her favorite subjects to teach in Spanish as well as language and literature.
Nela has published a couple of articles and presented at conferences. She believes that in order to learn a second or foreign language, not only we should become bilingual and biliterate, but also bicultural so she embraces the sociocultural competence of Spanish by bringing multiculturalism into the classroom.
This global citizen enjoys traveling, learning in general, yoga, running, cooking, music, painting, writing, and reading. She has a Spanish book club and is currently learning Mandarin and to play the guitar. She is married and has a daughter.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Marisell graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a degree in Elementary Education and has over 18 years of experience as a primary school educator. A native Spanish speaker, Marisell taught Spanish at Antilles School in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and all subjects in Spanish as a primary school educator at Guamani Private School in Puerto Rico. In 2014, Marisell moved to Austin, Texas with her family and brought her passion for inspiring students to become lifelong learners to her work as a bilingual educator.
Patrick Self grew up in Illinois. After graduating from a small liberal arts school in Missouri, he moved to Houston to teach ESL. While living in Houston, Patrick worked at both public and private international schools. Along the way, he has helped coordinate bilingual and ESL programs, while teaching both native speakers and English learners in grades K-5. In 2011, Patrick earned a master’s degree in TESOL. Since moving to Austin, he has taught English in Grades 3 & 5 and also supported English learners in Grades 1-5.
In his free time Patrick enjoys traveling, especially to Mexico where he studied abroad as a student. He collects folk art from his travels and loves exploring new cultures. When he is home in Austin, you can find him eating tacos, meditating and reading.
Physical Education Teacher & Athletic Director
Darrell was born in San Antonio, TX. He has lived primarily in central Texas his whole life, except for a few years in New Jersey. Currently, Darrell is in the process of obtaining his Bachelor of Science of Kinesiology and Physical Education. He will be the PYP and MYP Physical and Health Education teacher. He will also be working as the Athletic Coordinator at MIS.
While working outside of the education field, he has continued to hold positions working with youth throughout the Austin area, including Cedar Park and Round Rock. He has coordinated and helped develop several youth programs including soccer camps, after school programs, and basketball academies. Darrell also owns a small business for youth athletic development where he has trained athletes from the ages of 5-18 in a wide range of sports such as track & field, basketball, football and soccer.
Darrell is married and a father of 4 children (2 boys and 2 girls). When he is not working, he is usually outside reading a good book or inside playing the latest video game. His latest hobby is to go hiking in the Austin greenbelt. Darrell enjoys attending Austin Spurs and Texas Longhorn basketball games here in Austin or traveling to San Antonio to walk the River Walk and attend a San Antonio Stars WNBA game.
Music Teacher, Upper Primary & Middle School
Although he began college as a Classical guitarist and music major, he switched to Music Education with a focus on IB programs in order to learn more about how young students promote their natural talents based on the IB philosophy.
Since graduating from college, Carlos’ love for performing and studying music have led him to a variety of positions within his professional career. He has played classic guitar in a duet with a violinist, as well as, electric guitar for different rock and jazz bands. Carlos has served as consultant on musical projects in Colombia with his Professor, Victor Taboada. It was during his work with Professor Taboada that Carlos learned a deep appreciation for the power of music to develop social skills, memory, coordination in young learners, and to open communication between people of different cultures.
Carlos returned to Saint Thomas University in Bogotá, Colombia, to pursue a Bachelors in English as a foreign Language. There, he was one of ten music teachers chosen to participate in a project connecting the university and high schools offering the IB Music Diploma Program.
Carlos has taught in private schools, music academies, and at the National University of Colombia as part of the extended music program. In addition to his work at Magellan International School, Carlos serves as an examiner of Music for the IB MYP program.
Carlos is passionate about his family (two boys and his wife). They spend time doing different activities such as biking, swimming and exploring Austin.
Growing up in a Taiwanese family of educators, Ms. Weiwen always has seen teaching and learning as a priority. Her immense interest in languages led her onto the path of Anthropology and foreign languages at the National University in Taiwan. As part of her university program, she expanded her language repertoire into Spanish, French and Japanese. She later obtained her MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at Monterey Institute in California, and a MA in Linguistics at University of Texas at Arlington. Upon graduation from TESOL, she taught Mandarin Chinese at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey. She has also taught English for 4 years in colleges in Taiwan and 2 years in Japan. Her specialty and experience in English teaching and learning consistently enhanced her reflection on her own native languages, and eventually motivated her to become a Mandarin Chinese teacher.
Ms Weiwen has been a devotee of student centered learning and communicative language teaching. She strives to know each individual student and his/her learning style to help them learn the target language in a meaningful way, and ultimately help them know their own strengths and build confidence. Language learning is such an intriguing human activity that she believes will be remarkably beneficial to any human being in all aspects of life. Weiwen wants to focus on children’s language learning now and discover the world together with them.
Ms Weiwen is also a trained interpreter and translator. She volunteered as an interpreter in several church events in Taiwan. She is also part of the Chinese and English translation team for the book, “Taiwan’s struggle: Voices of the Taiwanese” (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, February 18, 2014).
PYP and MYP Art Teacher
Paula Trejos was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. Upon graduation from high school, she attended the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University, where she received a degree in Fine Arts. While at university in Colombia, Paula was fortunate to play volleyball at the highest level. Not only did Paula play for her university, but also for the Colombian National team four times. She had the privilege of traveling throughout South America, the Caribbean and Central America. In 2008, she received an offer to play volleyball at Pratt Community College and to attend school in the United States.
After two first team All-American years at Pratt, where she set the school record in aces, she received a full scholarship to play volleyball at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas. Before leaving Pratt, she was inducted into their Athletic Hall of Fame. In her two years at Wayland, she set numerous records while being named first team All-Conference twice and receiving Team MVP her senior season. Paula also excelled in art, her area of study. She finished 20 original pieces and was published in the local newspaper. In addition, she won the Plains Art Association Scholarship award, which judged two original art pieces from their gallery.
In 2012 she received her degree in Graphic Design from Wayland Baptist University. At Wayland, Paula participated in youth coaching and assistant coaching at Plainview Christian Academy High School. She began to coach the 14’s and under team with the Max High Performance volleyball club in Austin, while substituting for AISD. After five successful years as a preschool PYP Lead Teacher, Paula Trejos (Lacey) will move to the art department this year. She is excited to share her passion for art with both PYP and MYP students. Paula has a BA in Fine Arts from Jorge Tadeo Lozano University in Colombia and a BA in Graphic Design from Wayland Baptist University. She holds teaching certifications in art, bilingual education and Spanish.
Nichole Cody grew up In south Florida and attended college at Appalachian State University. She got her under grad in Special Education and her Masters in counseling. Nichole has worked numerous jobs including L.A. and Detroit in gang programs, at a group home for teenage offenders, social work, 10 years as a public middle school counselor, private practice and mindfulness in schools.
Nichole also loves to travel and spent a lot of time in Costa Rica where she volunteered and went to Spanish school. She also spent a lot of time in Central America, Europe and Ecuador. Traveling and living in other countries has been by far her greatest teacher.
Nichole recently moved to Austin 2 years ago with her husband, 6 year old daughter and Boston Terrier, Teddie. Her dog Teddie is a certified therapy dog and loves kids and people. Nichole loves being outside and being active. Her favorite part of Austin is all the spring water pools.
Carolina Gavilanes is a Bilingual Learning Specialist. She believes that maintaining a sense of inquiry and constant curiosity drives a lifelong learning approach. She believes in guiding learners to develop a habit of self-inquiry and metacognitive behavior to achieve greater academic success.
During her 20 years in the Education field, Carolina has experienced the area from many perspectives: as a teacher in Early Childhood, as an education specialist in Special Education, as a university faculty member and as a teacher trainer is her Learning Support Center in Quito. She has also worked as an Educational Consultant and Instructional Designer in different educational settings. All these life experiences have given her the capacity to embrace new experiences and differences.
Carolina was born in a small town in Louisiana but was raised in Quito, Ecuador. She grew up in a bilingual, bicultural home, with friends and family from all over the world. She has lived, studied and worked in cold places like Michigan, and hot places, like Tampa; big noisy cities like Mexico City and small quiet towns like the valley of Cumbaya, Ecuador; flat swamplands like in New Orleans, and hilly rises like in San Francisco. She moved to Austin in 2020 from the Bay Area.
Carolina holds a M.Ed. in Special Education, with a specialization in Educational Diagnostician from the University of New Orleans, and a Master of Elementary Education degree from the University of Alabama. She earned her B.A. in Education with a concentration in Psychology from the Universidad San Francisco de Quito.
Carolina loves to practice yoga, read and travel; and, most of all, to spend time with her husband and daughter.
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.
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!
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.