5th Grade Faculty
5th 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 5th 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.
In 5th grade, PYP Exhibition teams are mentored by various members of our faculty and staff beyond our 5th grade team.
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.
Guiomar Aya is originally from Bogota, Colombia. She has a degree in History awarded by the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, and obtained a diploma in “History of the Hispanic World” at the Centre for Social Studies, CSIC, Madrid, Spain. In 2012, she achieved his certification in Category 1 PYP Primary Years Program, Texas IB Schools.
Guiomar worked with the Bogotá Mayor’s Office, where she served as a workshop for children and teens interested in rebuilding their personal histories and stories of their neighborhoods. Guiomar has worked as a teacher –associate instructor- in private universities in her country and parallel to her teaching experience, she worked as a researcher at the National Archives and the Archives of Bogotá, institutions dedicated to research and preserve the historical memory of her country. In 2009, Guiomar served as Project Coordinator Centers of Memory and Narratives of Memory, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of Colombia; these projects sought to raise awareness, to different communities of children and youth from public and private schools, and adult population in the country, about the importance of preserving cultural memory of our peoples. In 2011, she moved to Austin when she started to work at The Magellan International School.
Guiomar is convinced that schools, teachers and parents should educate students to be able to contribute to the development of their communities, to perceive the world in a holistic way and to grow, transmit and preserve cultural diversity. To achieve this goal, Guiomar believes that bilingual education is a prime element in the training of our children; it offers the ability to define the sense of identity, recognizing the socio-historical process and preserve the heritage of our nations.
Tania Doro is originally from Mexico City. In 1993 she received her Bachelor’s Degree from Anglo Español University in Preschool Education. With more than 25 years of experience, she worked for three important Kindergartens in Mexico City: Mexicana Del Valle School, Dos Naciones Unidas, and Alexander Bain School. Because of her hard work and commitment, in 2003 she began as coordinator of the Preschool Department.
In 2000, Tania started working with the PYP program for Early Childhood. In 2005, she participated in the evaluation process of the AB School in México. In 2006, she was invited to open a new AB School in Guanajuato. As Preschool Head at AB Irapuato School, she worked on a program for the inclusion of children with special needs in regular classrooms. In 2009, she studied for her Master’s Degree in Teaching and introduced her teaching team to the inclusion program, involving both children and parents. AB Irapuato is now recognized for their inclusion program.
In 2010, she began as the PYP Coordinator and participated in several IB workshops and conferences in Mexico. She currently has 16 years’ experience in the PYP Program and helped AB Irapuato in their PYP evaluation process. She wrote education articles for local magazines and was a speaker for National Expo Bebé 2009 in Guanajuato. She has also participated in local radio shows talking about preschool education.
Tania is an IB Workshop Leader and site visitor that authorizes and evaluates IB Schools in IB Americas.
In her spare time, Tania enjoys walking her dog named Austin, good movies, books, knitting, cooking and spending time with her family. She believes that preschool education is the foundation for adulthood – that values, habits and feelings are built in early childhood. Knowing that makes her truly committed.
English Teacher, Languages Leader
Kathryn Prater is a native Texan. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education at the University of Texas at Austin with a minor in Spanish. After teaching second grade for several years, she earned a scholarship to study bilingual education and anthropology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas where she earned a Master of Liberal Arts degree. She has a total of fourteen years teaching experience in Texas Public Schools and holds certification in Elementary Self-Contained Grades 1-8, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Spanish Grades 1-8, and Bilingual/ESL Grades PK-8. After participating in a district-sponsored teacher research project, Kathryn decided to pursue a doctorate at The University of Texas at Austin in Curriculum and Instruction, graduating with a PhD in 2003.
Kathryn has extensive experience in literacy and curriculum development in both English and Spanish. While working at the Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts at UT, Kathryn worked as a research associate and project coordinator, designing curriculum and participating in research investigating the efficacy of bilingual and ESL instruction in the primary grades. She wrote professional development guides and supported teachers as they implemented a variety of reading interventions. Kathryn was on the original team that wrote and presented the Texas Teacher Reading Academies across the state. She worked on the revision of these materials to create the National Teacher Reading Academies and has shared this information with teachers across the United States. Working as a consultant, Kathryn provided support for teachers working with struggling readers and language learners through presentations and onsite visits to elementary schools in Texas, Indiana, Oregon, West Virginia, Florida and North Carolina.
As an assistant professor, Kathryn worked at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro and most recently at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. She taught reading and language arts methods, ESL teaching methods, children’s literature and graduate courses in ESL literacy development and early childhood teaching methods. In Greensboro, Kathryn was co-principal investigator on a $1.5 million Department of Education grant (TESOL for All) that involved the design and delivery of over 100 hours of professional development for college faculty and Kindergarten through twelfth grade teachers focusing on second language acquisition theory and research-based ESL teaching methods. At Southwestern University, she co-chaired the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for two years. This board was responsible for ensuring that all research conducted using human subjects complied with federal guidelines. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals including The Reading Teacher Journal of Learning Disabilities, and Race, Ethnicity and Education. She has presented original research at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Association of Teachers Educators (ATE).
Kathryn loves being in direct contact with children in the classroom. Kathryn enjoys cooking, quilting and listening to pop music while at home with her husband and Italian greyhound, Picasso.
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
Research Teacher & Associate Librarian
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.