Preschool teachers at The Magellan International School provide a warm, consistent and supportive educational environment to our students. Each classroom has a lead and assistant teacher, and students in Preschool also enjoy learning from specialist teachers throughout the week in Art, Music, Library, Physical Education and English. Our Preschool families are also supported by our Campus Manager and Counselor, and health needs are attended to by our School Nurse. Meet them below!
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.
Diana was born and raised in Germany where she graduated as an Occupational Therapist. Throughout her career she has enjoyed working with children from multiple backgrounds in diverse settings. Together with her husband and their two daughters, Diana has lived in Peru, Germany, Indonesia and now Austin.
In the Peruvian Andes she worked at a special needs school, helped manage a project for street children and provided psychomotricity lessons at Davy College school. She moved to Lima, the capital of Peru, in 2001 and worked as an assistant teacher at San Silvestre School and then transitioned into private practice. Upon her return to Germany, Diana entered private practice. In this stimulating environment she fine-tuned her theoretical and practical skills working on a broad range of learning disorders in cooperation with parents, teachers and doctors.
During her stay in Indonesia she engaged with the diverse Indonesian culture by volunteering for a German NGO supporting low-income students. While in Indonesia, Diana also studied and received her Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the University of Cambridge. Working with children, and supporting them on their individual paths, is her passion.
Maria Cristina Yañez was born in Mexico City and moved to Saltillo, Coahuila in 1985. There she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Accounting from the Universidad Autonoma del Noreste in 1992. She attended Escuela Nacional de Musica (National School of Music) for three years, where she studied transversal flute. Afterwards, Cristina attended the Escuela de Idiomas (School of Languages) for four years and received a diploma in the English language. She then lived in San Diego, CA, for a year and attended conversational classes at Berlitz for ELL. Cristina worked as an auditor at the Contraloria del Estado (Accounting of State) in Saltillo in 1991. She started working as a Supervisor in the Payable Accounts Department with foreign suppliers accounts at Vitromex, S.A. de C.V. from 1993-1999.
When her second child was born, she decided to stop working at Vitromex to spend more time as a mother. A few months later, she was invited to be part of the Programa de Ingles en Primarias (Primary School English Program) as one of the founders. She spent 10 years teaching English as a Second Language at the Profesor Jose Garcia Rodriguez primary school. Cristina received a certification as an English teacher from Cambridge University in 2003, and had the honor of being recognized by the English Department in Primary Schools of Coahuila Mexico (SEPC) as one of the top English teachers. She also had the opportunity to be part of the “Hablame Project” between Nottingham, UK and Saltillo, Coahuila Mexico, for three years, which gave her the chance to learn about education on a global scale.
At the end of the project, she traveled to Nottingham, UK and shared a Spanish class for two weeks at the Sir John Sherbrook elementary school. In 2009, Cristina and her family moved to Blackfoot, Idaho. There she worked as a para-educator at Ridge Crest Elementary School, focusing on migrant and LEP children. In 2011, she worked as a Graduation Specialist for migrant, LEP students and as a Spanish translator for IEP meetings at Blackfoot High School. Cristina and her family moved to Austin in 2012 and fell in love with the city. She started working for Sylvan Learning as a Bilingual Reading/Math tutor at two Title I AISD schools. There she participated in the creation and improvement of learning material in Spanish and English in order to prepare students for the STAAR tests.
Cristina later worked for Pflugerville ISD at Copperfield Elementary as a Bilingual Teacher Assistant for the Pegasus PPCD Program for two years, giving her the opportunity to work with students with special needs. At the same time, she had the opportunity to work for Tutor Doctor, tutoring Spanish as a second language and using her own curriculum. She is currently working to obtain her Teacher’s Certification in the state of Texas and would like to pursue a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Cristina is a wife and a mother of three kids, who are her purpose in life.
She considers herself a lifetime learner and a very positive person who loves nature and life. In her almost twenty years of experience working with children, she’s learned that they can learn in different styles, ways and paces. She believes kids need a caring, safe, and stimulating atmosphere in order to grow physically, emotionally, and educationally. They are born with nurturing brains that learn by playing, questioning, taking risks, thinking critically and respecting others. Cristina has a passion for teaching her own language and culture. She likes to think she’s planting little seeds in her students’ lives to prepare them for the future, making them excellent global citizens.
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.
Alexandra Sicua was born in Bogotá, Colombia. There, she received a Bachelor degree in Preschool Education from Corporación Educativa Nacional de Administración in Bogotá, Colombia in 1995. Also, she attended Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia where Alexandra received a postgraduate degree in Educational Project Management.
She has more than 18 years of experience teaching in Colombia. After graduating, she began working as an educator of preschool and primary in private schools located in Bogotá focusing in Literacy, lifelong learning and Child Growth and Development from Infancy to School Age. Moreover, Alexandra has been applying differentiation in the classroom for the diverse needs of students with innovative educational projects addressed to enhance family and society values such as ‘My family’, ‘My incredible classroom’ and ‘Express your ideas’. These projects have included activities with recycled materials and the use of new technologies.
She moved to Austin with her husband Carlos Cita (MIS music teacher) and their sons Juan Pablo and David, and she is enjoying a new opportunity to share her experience with this amazing Magellan Community. Alexandra is a balanced and risk taker person, also she enjoys read, travel and spend time with her family around Austin and USA.
Anna Bean was born and raised in Mexicali, Baja California Mexico. After high school, she attended the Center of Technological Studies to prepare her for a career as a phlebotomist. Upon completing her certification in phlebotomy, she moved to Aguascalientes in Central Mexico. She continued her education at the Autonomous University of Aguascalientes, where she studied Biochemical Engineering. In addition, she completed certifications in Parental Education, Special Needs Education, and served as a mentor and tutor.
Anna moved with her husband to Austin, TX in 2001. She has four beautiful children, who were all born and raised in Aguascalientes. Anna is a very creative person. She enjoys painting, drawing, and crocheting. She also loves color and interior design. One of Anna’s favorite things to do is cook for her family and friends. An interesting fact about her is that she is trilingual in Spanish, English and American Sign Language. Anna continues to take classes at Austin Community College and is delighted to be a part of the Magellan Team. In the classroom, she is highly inspired by the children and their discovery of new things around them.
English Teacher, Preschool & Kinder
Whitney Winchester was born in Houston, Texas. Whitney graduated cum laude with her Bachelor of Arts in Politics and her Masters degree in International Relations from Salve Regina University in Rhode Island. After moving to Austin in 2008, she attended an alternative certification program for teaching elementary school. Whitney worked in Austin Independent School District as the Director of Child Care at Lee Elementary school before accepting a position at Gorgeous Millie, a preschool in Austin. While there, Whitney taught children ages 1-4. Additionally, she served as the manager of the school and business.
Prior to Magellan, Whitney spent 2 years teaching English at Austin International School. While there, she taught both the 3- and 4-year old classes. Whitney also served as a coordinator for the Preschool and Kindergarten teams. Whitney joined The Magellan International School Faculty in 2017. She is honored to have the opportunity to work at Magellan. Her goal is to create an environment for each of the students where they can feel safe and nurtured as they develop both as students and members of a global community.
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.
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.
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.
Rozette holds a Master’s Degree in counseling from the University of North Texas and has been a counselor for more than 6 years. She has experience in counseling children, teens, and adults, and is excited to work with our PP3-PP4 students. Rozette is originally from Dallas, but recently moved to Austin from Anchorage, Alaska.
Preschool Teaching Assistant
Silva is a Colombian teacher and musician. She graduated from Universidad Juan N. Corpas as a professional clarinetist and has a certificate in Education from Universidad Unipanamericana, both in Bogotá.
As a music teacher, she has worked with children around the ages of 4 to 8 guiding them to express themselves through art. While in Colombia, she worked for ten years at the Santa María School located in Bogotá. In 2021 she moved to Austin and is very happy to be a part of the MIS community. Aside from teaching, she’s a happy baker who likes to make all types of desserts and give them out to family and friends. As part of leading a healthy and artistic lifestyle, Silvana loves to work out and play soccer with friends.
Preschool Teaching Assistant
Karla was born in El Paso, Texas and lived her early childhood in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. Karla moved to McAllen, Texas in 2005 with her parents and siblings. After graduating from high school she attended Texas A&M University-Kingsville where she graduated with a degree in bilingual education EC-6th in 2016. While she was completing her bachelor’s degree, she worked as a substitute teacher and interned as a teaching practicum and student teacher for Kingsville ISD with Pre-kinder, Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade.
In 2017, Karla started pursuing a master’s degree and begin working with the disability services department that the university offer. She loved her job because she was able to help students and worked with professional counselors. Karla and her husband Alejandro moved to Austin in 2018. In 2019, Karla graduated with a master’s degree in counseling and guidance from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. She loves to spend quality time with her family, try different cuisines, and find new and exciting places around the Austin area. Karla likes to be optimistic and is always open to learn new ideas.
Preschool Teaching Assistant
Alejandra es Licenciada en educación preescolar de la universidad de San Buenaventura Bogotá, Colombia; cuenta con más de 15 años de experiencia en la educación de niños entre los 3 y 10 años de edad. Durante su carrera profesional asistió al seminario de aplicación de competencias básicas para el preescolar, luego al seminario de motricidad y grafismo y por último al taller enfocado en trastornos en el desarrollo del lenguaje; todos estos realizados en la Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Realizó un diplomado en educación inicial del siglo XXI desarrollado por el Instituto Colombiano de Neurociencias(ICN) y la Asociación Andina de Colegios de Bachillerato Internacional (AACBI). Ha recibido dos certificaciones del IB categoría 1 y 2 y una distinción por realizar su trabajo constantemente según el perfil del IB.
A lo largo de su carrera ha trabajado en diferentes colegios como el Abraham Maslow, Gimnasio campestre Maryland, Gimnasio campestre Oxford, Colegio Helvetia de Bogotá y sus últimos 8 años en el colegio Gimnasio del Norte con el programa PEP del bachillerato internacional (IB); con el cual se ha apasionado ya que el objetivo del IB es “formar personas con mentalidad internacional, velando por crear un mundo mejor y más pacífico”, y Alejandra está segura que este es el mejor camino para la evolución de la educación en el mundo.
Alejandra comparte su tiempo libre en familia, le encanta viajar, ha vivido en Colombia, en la Florida, en Chicago y ahora está feliz en Austin TX que es su nuevo hogar, emprendiendo un magnifico viaje de grandes aprendizajes en Magellan International School.
Alejandra has a degree in preschool education from the University of San Buenaventura Bogotá, Colombia and brings more than 15 years of experience in educating children between the ages of 3 and 10. Throughout her career, she has continued her education by attending seminars on the application of basic skills for preschool, motor skills, as well as language development disorders – all at the National University of Colombia. She also holds a diploma in early 21st century education developed by the Colombian Institute of Neurosciences (ICN) and the Andean Association of International Baccalaureate Schools (AACBI). Additionally, Alejandra holds two IB category 1 and 2 certifications and was awarded for consistently performing her work based on the IB profile.
Throughout her career she has worked in different schools such as Abraham Maslow, Maryland Country Gymnasium, Oxford Country Gymnasium, Helvetia School in Bogotá, and the last 8 years at the North Gymnasium School with the International Baccalaureate (IB) PEP program. She passionate about IB education and its objective “to train people with an international mindset, ensuring a better and more peaceful world” which she believes is the best path for the evolution of education in the world.
Alejandra spends her free time with her family and loves to travel. She has lived in Colombia, Florida, Chicago, and now is happy to be here in Austin embarking on an exciting new journey at Magellan International School.
Preschool Teaching Assistant
Preschool Teaching Assistant
Carolina is a native Spanish speaker, originally from Bogota, Colombia and received her high school diploma with the highest honors from Liceo Naval Quito with a focus in Biology and Chemistry. In addition to her academic success, Carolina was a highly decorated cross-country runner and still loves to run and participate in sports. After graduating, Carolina studied international business 3 years at the Equator Technological University (in Quito) before meeting her husband, Brian in 2003, and getting married in 2004.
Carolina’s interest in the field of education began in 2004, when she hired as the official school secretary for Holy Cross Academy in Quito, Ecuador, a position she held for five years. In that time, she served as the first point of contact for the school, greeting students and parents providing them with information and assistance. Carolina’s joyful presence and genuine desire to assist all were a wonderful asset for all at the school.
Since leaving Ecuador in 2010, Carolina has lived in California and Florida prior to coming to Texas in 2020. Carolina is the proud and loving mother of six children, two girls and four boys. Carolina loves being a homemaker and spending time at the beach with her family. Her husband Brian is a long-time educator with experience as teacher and as a school administrator in Ecuador, California, Florida, and is currently serving as the principal at St. Theresa Catholic School here in Austin. As a family that greatly values education, Carolina has a great love for working with young learners and is pursuing a Child Development Associate Degree.
Nurse, Chimney Corners
Molly holds a BS in Family and Consumer Sciences from Texas State University and a BS in Nursing from Concordia University. Her nursing experience includes pediatrics, and labor and delivery. She is very excited to begin her new career as a school nurse at Magellan.
Carolina Palacios was born in Valencia, Venezuela. She loves reading, listening to music, going to the movies and the cultural scene in general. She loves animals, the sea and nature. In her spare time she likes to paint.
In 2004 she graduated from the University of Carabobo, obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Since then she has not stopped working in the educational field.
With more than 14 years of experience she has held the position of teacher with preschool and elementary school children. She also had the opportunity to work in the administrative area of a school as coordinator of the teachers’ curriculum. She considers this a great experience since it allowed her to know the operation of not only the curricular side but administrative side of a school.
In 2018, she moved to Austin, TX where she works as an assistant teacher. She is very grateful for this new opportunity because it allows her to develop her greatest passion, which is to teach.
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.