Outside of the classroom, our board of directors and leadership team ensure that Magellan International School has strategic direction, leadership and operational oversight. Click below to learn more about the individuals that support the education of each and every student and the experience of every family at the school.
In collaboration with teachers and staff, the Leadership Team of Magellan International School works to ensure the fulfillment of our mission each and every day at both campuses. The Leadership Team works together to strengthen the school, the delivery of education inside and outside the classroom and the operation of the school on a short- and long-term basis.
Head of School
Scott Hibbard joined the Magellan International School community in August 2018. Scott is a bilingual educator with more than 25 years of international experience in South America, the Caribbean and Africa. He attended Boston University where he completed an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Teaching and a BS in Communication. He also has an MA in Latin American Studies from the University of New Mexico and a Certificate in International School Leadership from the Principals’ Training Center.
Scott began his career in education as a Peace Corps volunteer in a community education center in rural Cameroon. His three years as a volunteer convinced him of the power that education can have in empowering children and in bringing about positive change in people’s lives. Scott later taught social studies, English and Spanish at private schools in Ecuador and the British Virgin Islands. His first administrative position was Middle School Principal at Colegio Menor, and he has since served as the Head of School of three international schools.
Scott is a firm believer in the IB mission of creating a better world through education and intercultural understanding. During his tenure as director of Cedar International School, he led the school through the authorization process for all three IB programs—PYP, MYP and DP—transforming Cedar into only the second school in the Caribbean region to offer the full IB continuum. Scott also serves on Engagement Review Teams for the accrediting organization AdvancED. He has served on teams in a variety of Latin American countries, including El Salvador, Panama, Colombia and Bolivia.
Scott is a lifelong explorer who strives to provide children with an education that is engaging and rigorous but also meets their vital social-emotional needs. He looks forward to collaborating with all the members of the Magellan International School community.
Deputy Head of School and Head of Middle School
Nicolás is a passionate and multi-cultural professional with over 19 years of leadership and teaching experiences at schools in South America, Europe and Southeast Asia. He holds a B.A. in International Studies from Virginia Wesleyan College and a Masters in Education Psychology from Champagnat University in Lima, Peru.Nicolás is fully bilingual in Spanish and English and has a deep understanding of the International Baccalaureate program.
Nicolás most recently served as the Senior-Secondary Principal at Global Jaya School outside of Jakarta, Indonesia. He forged his teaching career at two IB schools in Peru, Davy College and San Silvestre School, where he taught in both the Primary and Secondary divisions. He was recruited into leadership by the International School of Neustadt in Germany where he helped implement the IB Diploma as its Coordinator and Head of Secondary.
As an IB World School leader for the past nine years, Nicolás’ work has been focused on ensuring educational coherence across the PYP, MYP and DP curricula. He has specialized in the development of 21st Century skills and experiential learning, and is committed to help children discover and nurture their passions and strengths.
Nicolás is as passionate about scientific research into human learning as he is about our philosophical understanding of each person’s meaningful place in this world. He is an active member of diverse organizations supporting street children, university students and wildlife sanctuaries.
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
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.
Julie Blahnik serves as Magellan’s Director of Finance and has more than two decades of finance and accounting experience, most of which were spent in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, CA. Julie relocated to Texas in 2011 and spent the next five years raising her twins. Julie’s career “stop out” eventually led her to meaningful finance and accounting work in education at Magellan International School. Julie says that working to support Magellan’s important mission has made her work life more fulfilling and rewarding.
Julie lives in Lakeway, Texas with her spouse and their two children. In her free time, she enjoys Pilates, swimming, boating, and attending her children’s numerous and diverse activities and hobbies.
Julie holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Illinois University where she graduated summa cum laude. Julie took and passed the CPA exam while simultaneously taking final exams leading up to her graduation. While in her senior year, she also worked as the Teaching Assistant for the head of the Accountancy department, and spent her summer following graduation helping to write the Gleim/Delaney CPA Review textbook.
Director of Advancement
Allison Ancona Brubaker
Allison has experience in university-level and independent school level fundraising. Her first job was working in education at the Natural History Museum in Dallas (now The Perot Museum) and was inspired to become a fundraiser to bring outstanding educational opportunities to children. She learned best practices in development at SMU in Dallas and UT Austin before making the move to independent schools. Allison holds a BA from Texas Tech University where she studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain, an MBA from Southern Methodist University, and a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation. Allison was raised in Aledo, TX and is a sixth generation Texan who enjoys traveling to new places, reading mysteries, and spending time with family. Allison is married to Elliot, an Austin native, and they have two daughters.
Director of Human Resources
Tom Shindell has more than three decades of experience in Human Resources, 25 of which were spent in state government including the Texas Department of Health, the Texas State Auditor’s Office, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, as well as the Texas Education Agency, where he served as the Director of Organization Development and Agency-Wide Services. Tom has also been a faculty member at Northeastern Illinois University, St. Edward’s University, and the Open University of Tamaulipas.
He has three undergraduate Bachelor of Art degrees from St. Edward’s University including Psychology, Sociology, and Criminal Justice with a minor in music. Tom earned his M.Ed. and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.
Tom lives in far south Austin with his husband Art and their dog Zoey. Together, they have four adult children and three grandchildren. He enjoys long walks with Zoey, writing, and spending time with friends.
Director of Admissions
Clayton was born in Los Angeles, California and grew up in Oklahoma City where most of his immediate family still resides. He attended the University of Oklahoma for his undergraduate work and went on to complete graduate studies at Middlebury College and the University of Southern California.
After teaching in Spain, Clayton moved to Austin in 2007 to teach Spanish at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. He spent his last five years at St. Stephen’s as the Assistant Director of Admissions, primarily focusing on international recruiting of boarding students.
Clayton is fully bilingual in Spanish and English. He and his wife, Gaby, live in Northwest Hills with their two children and their dog. Spanish is the home language of the Smith family and they are advocates of a bi-literate education.
Clayton enjoys cooking, golf, running, and travel.
Director of Operations
Andrew Ienuso has more than 15 years experience in education as an administrator, educator, and in athletics in International Baccalaureate and independent schools.
Andrew spent nearly a decade working overseas in Singapore and in Indonesia. He began his IB career at Stamford American International School in Singapore. He was recruited into leadership by the Mount Zaagkam School in Papua, Indonesia – which is considered to be the world’s most remote IB school. He served as Head of Campus at Mount Zaagkam where he ensured educational coherence across the Primary and Secondary schools and promoted cross campus activities with local schools, which focused on cultural connections, inclusion and immersions in local customs, traditions, and celebrations. He brings extensive expertise in the IB program, school administration and operations, athletics programming, and has facilitated multiple IB accreditations for schools in the United States and abroad. Most recently Andrew served as head of Middle and Upper Schools at Beaufort Academy, a college preparatory school in South Carolina.
Andrew was a collegiate and semi-professional athlete and values leadership skills acquired through athletics and competition. He has coached teams at the varsity level and enjoys shooting hoops in his free time.
Andrew holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Georgia State University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education in Indiana. Andrew is father to two young children.
Board of Directors
Magellan International School’s Board of Directors is comprised of members of the Austin community as well as the school community dedicated to ensuring its long-term, strategic growth. The Board’s scope of responsibilities for the school include setting the strategic plan, ensuring its financial health, approving operating and capital budgets, and providing oversight of the Head of School.
Each year the school solicits nominations for new members to its Board. We encourage you to nominate anyone in our community you believe would be an effective and committed member. New board member nominations are solicited throughout the year and voted on by the full Board at the beginning of each school year for staggered three year terms. The nomination process typically involves several meetings with existing board members. To make a nomination complete this form.
Questions regarding the Board can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Board members:
Arthur VanderVeen has spent two decades leading organizations that seek to improve learning through assessment, technology, and data. He is founder and CEO of New Meridian, a nonprofit organization that helps states develop better assessments that focus on the skills that matter most for students’ future success: critical thinking, reasoning, research, and communication.
Previously, Arthur served in several roles with the New York City Department of Education, including Chief of Innovation and Executive Director of Assessments. He has also worked at Compass Learning and the College Board.
Arthur has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a B.A. from Colorado College.
Arthur and his wife, Deanna, have one daughter, Lauren, who attends Magellan. They strongly support Magellan’s inquiry-based approach to learning through the International Baccalaureate program.
Bjorn is the founder and CEO of Abilitie, a leadership development company that offers coaching and leadership programs to global Fortune 500 companies. Prior to founding Abilitie in 2015, Bjorn was the founder of Enspire, an e-learning development company.
Bjorn holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a dual BA/BBA from the University of Texas, where he is an alumnus of the Plan II and the Business Honors Program. A native of Hamburg, Germany, Bjorn first came to the United States as a high-school exchange student, enrolling in Pflugerville High School in Pflugerville, Texas.
Bjorn and his wife have three boys at Magellan.
Founder and Board Member
Erin is a technology executive and entrepreneur whose passion is to work on ventures that aim at making a significant social impact. Simply put, his calling is to work with and inspire people who, in the words of Ghandi, want to “be the change that you want to see in the world.”
He started his career as an aerospace engineer (“rocket scientist”) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory performing mission design, analysis, software and hardware development for interplanetary spacecraft missions. Working at NASA was his childhood dream, a dream that was in large part made possible by his elementary and high school education at an international school in Mexico City. His own schooling experience inspired Erin to launch Magellan so that other children, including his own, could also find their purpose and live out their own childhood dreams.
Erin has started and led several tech startups, raising millions of dollars in angel venture capital and has engaged in major MA transactions and IPOs. He has developed and set corporate strategy, product vision and product roadmap; sold and managed key accounts, led product management teams, and executed data and pricing strategy at a publicly-traded software company. Simultaneously, Erin has been able to live out his passions for helping our community by not only starting Magellan, but also leading other non-profit initiatives, like the Bazaarvoice Foundation, that empowers kids with the entrepreneurial skills they will need to change the world. Currently, Erin is Chief Product Office at Aceable, an online and mobile education company that provides unparalleled training and services for the life people want.
Erin is the father of two children, both of which graduated from the Magellan middle school. He founded Magellan to give his children and those of others a progressive, international, and multilingual education that would allow them to achieve their life dreams and help society solve the challenges it is facing in the 21st century. Having benefited from a similar education himself, he is committed to giving as many children as possible the same opportunity.
Scott serves as the CEO of BP3 Global, Inc., an Austin-based software and services company focused on innovating business process technology for the Fortune 500. Started over coffee in 2007, BP3 now has over 85 team members worldwide. Previously, Scott served as Chief Architect and Director of Technical Services at Lombardi Software, an innovator in the Business Process Management software market and a number of senior technical staff positions as an early employee at Trilogy.
Scott is married to Cindy Lo, owner of Red Velvet Events, and father of two Magellan students, Sofia and Holland. He has been a parent of the school since the second year of operation, when Sofia joined the PP4 class. Outside of work, Magellan is his biggest passion. When he’s not working or volunteering, he loves to try great food, travel with his family, play tennis, and read a good book.
Karee joins the Board after five years of volunteering in various roles for the school. She began by serving as room parent (a role she continues to enjoy) and grew to chairing Magellan’s largest fundraiser of the year, Noche de Gala, where she increased fundraising revenue over 200% from previous years. She has used her work experience in recruiting and professional development to implement new strategies for fundraising and community building. This past year, she was proud to receive the inaugural Erin Defossé Inspirational Leadership Award, named after the founder of the school.
Karee graduated from the University of Texas in 2001, and worked as a Legal Recruiter and in Professional Development for several international law firms. She returned to Austin in 2012 after 10 years living and working in Washington DC and Chicago. When she isn’t volunteering for the school, she enjoys taking her kids on public transportation adventures to explore Austin, finding new restaurants to try and spending time with her husband, Loren, and their two kids, Millie and Otis, both current Magellan students.
Declan leads KPMG’s Infrastructure Strategy practice which assists government agencies with advancing service from their infrastructure portfolio, aligning organizations to their infrastructure goals and making more informed decisions about what to build next. Declan has over 19 years of experience in infrastructure advisory, the last 13 of which have been with KPMG member firms. He has advised over 30 transportation agencies in the US, the UK and Europe on their strategic direction and bringing innovation into their programs. Declan also leads the teams responsible for assisting the public sector with meeting the challenges and opportunities that will arise out of autonomous vehicles and Mobility-as-a-Service, Smart City/IoT technology and data and analytics. Declan, his wife Christine, and their three children are active and supportive members of the Magellan International School community.
Dr. Monica Patel is in her 15th year of practice as a board certified pediatrician who specializes in newborn medicine. As a newborn hospitalist, Dr. Patel works with families from diverse backgrounds as they transition through the first few days with their new infant. She is dedicated to family centered care that is aligned with equitable, high quality, and evidence-based medicine. Her role as an attending in the Newborn Nursery also includes teaching residents and medical students on a daily basis.
Dr. Patel graduated from the Plan II Honors Program at UT Austin, received her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, and completed her residency training in general pediatrics at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. She has previously served on the faculty at UT Southwestern and Baylor College of Medicine, and she is currently an Assistant Professor at Dell Medical School. Dr. Patel has spent most of career actively involved in the medical education of residents and medical students. At present, she is the Education Co-Director of ASMCA Newborn Nursery and also sits on the Pediatric Residency Program Evaluation Committee that focuses on the pediatric resident education curriculum and program development.
Dr. Patel comes to the board after being a Magellan parent for 8 years. During this time, she has seen the school move through various transitions and brings this perspective with her. She has worked closely with the previous head of Advancement to raise funds for the school, participated in Strategic Planning Sessions, and also took part in the hiring process for the current head of school. She has a current 7th grader and 5th grader and is excited to help direct the future of the school as a new board member.
Teri Taylor heads Sales & Marketing at Moment Motors, an Austin-based automotive company converting classic cars into electric vehicles. Her career has focused on vehicle design and development in the automotive industry, as well as product and service marketing in healthcare and residential construction industries where she has served national and world wide firms such as Nissan North America, Acura and KB Home.
Teri is a native of Texas and received her BS from Emerson College in Boston, MA in Broadcast Journalism. In addition to her role on the Board of Directors at Magellan, Teri is a Central Texas Board Member of the GirlStart organization in Austin. Teri and Chris have two daughters, both students at Magellan.
Carlos Zaffirini, Jr. is an accomplished healthcare attorney, entrepreneur, and civic leader who is deeply committed to public service and philanthropy. He is the President and CEO of Adelanto HealthCare Ventures (AHCV) LLC, a healthcare finance company with offices across the country that focus on reimbursement consulting for healthcare providers. To date, AHCV has helped some of the largest and most prestigious hospitals in the country access billions in additional reimbursement through expertise and extensive experience in structuring complex Medicaid reimbursement models.
In addition, he founded Zaffirini Law whose mission is to represent providers who serve the most vulnerable populations ensuring they have the legal support they need to navigate a constantly changing regulatory environment.
Carlos is an active investor in multiple ventures ranging from healthcare to fintech. One such venture is a collaboration with Transportation Network Company (TNC) to facilitate access to healthcare for patients who lack transportation for their medical visits through the use of ridesharing companies.
His passion for public service is reflected in his philanthropy for organizations such as the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, South Texas Food Bank, Junior Achievement, and programs that enhance the quality of life for low-income Texans and their access to education, health, and justice. Additionally, he has served on the boards of local organizations including The University of Texas System Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee, the People’s Community Clinic Foundation, the Hispanic Alliance for the Performing Arts, and the Anti-Defamation League.
Carlos earned a B.B.A from the University of Texas McCombs School of Business and a J.D. from the University of Texas Law School. He was named an Outstanding Young Texas Ex in 2014 and Outstanding UT Law Young Alumnus in 2021. Carlos and his wife Audrey are proud parents to two Magellan students.