Middle School Team

Engaged Students, Inspiring Teachers, Committed Parents

At Magellan our inspiring international faculty encourage our students to believe in their own talents and to take ownership of their own unique paths of learning. We strive to give each of our students numerous opportunities to develop their individual interests and to cultivate their interests through a curriculum of inquiry and engagement.

Nicolas Puga

Nicolas Puga

Deputy Head of School


Anthony Richart

Math Teacher

Anthony Richart is originally from Austin, but spent many years moving around the United States as a child. He first taught in the Dallas Fort Worth area where he fell in love with teaching before moving to work in the inner city of Washington, DC. Anthony graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas with a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. He then proceeded to obtain his Master's degree in Mathematical Education, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Educational Technology. He has spent the last seven years teaching Math in Texas as well as Washington, DC.

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Anthony Richart

Anthony Richart

Math Teacher

Auristela de Seijas

Learning Specialist (3rd-8th)

Auristela de Seijas was born in Caracas, Venezuela. There she attended the College of Special Education (CUP) where she obtained a degree as a Special Education Teacher and specialized in helping children with learning disabilities. She has more than 25 years of experience working in elementary and middle schools in Venezuela, both in the private and public sectors. She also had a private practice in Caracas for ten years, where she worked with a multidisciplinary team of professionals to assist children with mild to moderate learning disabilities.

In 2010, Auristela moved with her family to Houston, Texas, where she began working in the Houston Independent School District. There she supported the Migrant Department and lead the group of tutors responsible for providing intervention services to students from K to 8th grades. Later, Auristela worked at Friends For Life Charter School where she had the opportunity to implement the “Response to Intervention Program” for students from 1st to 8th grades. In 2012, she obtained the Multiple Intelligences certificate through the Multiple Intelligence Institute in Cambridge, MA and she will obtain her certification in Generic Special Education in Texas (PK-12) later this year. One of the things that Auristela loves the most about teaching is having the opportunity to build relationships with students and their families. Working with a diverse student population has taught her that creating an inclusive classroom that fosters a sense of belonging is key for students to have a healthy learning experience.

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Auristela de Seijas

Auristela de Seijas

Learning Specialist (3rd-8th)

Carlos Cita

Music Teacher
carlos.cita@magellanschool.org

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.

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Carlos Cita

Carlos Cita

Music Teacher

Christina Romero

English & Drama Teacher

Christina Romero was raised in Round Rock, Texas. She grew up learning both English and Spanish, as her family made regular visits to see relatives in Monclova, Coahuila. At a young age, she developed a love for writing, performing, reading, and traveling. These passions curated and led her to pursue a degree in Theater Education at The University of Texas at Austin, where her passion for teaching and learning accelerated. She studied automated lighting in San Jose, Costa Rica in the summer of 2014, further developing her Spanish and desire to learn about other cultures. Upon graduating, she decided to expand her learning horizons by pursuing a career in another country. She moved to Beijing, China to teach English and Drama at an International School in 2015.

Her time spent in Beijing has afforded her the opportunity to pioneer three drama programs, use language as a means to bridge cultures, and develop her own language acquisition skills through learning Mandarin. After a year teaching English and Drama to primary school students, Christina transferred to the middle school on campus, where she received MYP training and certification. Over the past year, she and the diverse community of learners in the middle school have explored language through dramatic texts, role-play, lyrics, and poetry. As many of her students live in the campus dorms, it has been her responsibility to nurture the intellect, as well as the character of each student. This experience has given her a new perspective on what it means to be an effective teacher. Her approach to teaching aligns well with the MYP framework, as she knows learning to be an immersive, all-encompassing process where the boundaries between subjects are transcended. Christina looks forward to to exploring new texts, writing styles, and forms of expression with the students at Magellan. She is eager to learn alongside fellow teachers, administrators, and parents on this journey of life-long learning.

In her free time, Christina likes to travel, read, and perform poetry. Her most recent trips include Japan, Thailand, and Hong Kong. Her favorite books are Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. She has performed her poetry regularly in Beijing and hopes to continue performing at her favorite local performance space, Spider House.

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Christina Romero

Christina Romero

English & Drama Teacher

Claudia Enriquez

Individuals & Societies / Spanish Language and Literature Teacher

Claudia Enriquez was born in Pasto in the south of Colombia, where she graduated from Nariño¢s University as a Geographer. During her undergrad years, she also attended the Mariana University, where she became proficient in the English language. She also attended the Cooperativa University of Colombia, where she completed an associate’s degree in advanced teaching. Once she graduated, Claudia worked in her hometown at the Mayor’s office developing environmental and disaster education projects for the municipality of Pasto. During this time, she realized that education was her true passion and she had a desire to impact people's lives, especially young people.

Right after that experience, she finished her English course and went to work as an outdoor educator in different camps in the USA, Brazil, and Costa Rica. After several years living abroad, Claudia returned to Colombia and continued working as an educator in environmental organizations. After her different experiences with children and young people, she started to work as a social studies, ethics, and citizenship teacher at two private schools in Bogotá, Gimnasio Fontana and Los Nogales.

The different teaching experiences Claudia has had in different countries, organizations and schools have given her a valuable approach to other cultures. She understands the unique value of a well-rounded international education because she has experienced it herself. She enjoys working in a place where her experiences and values can help students unlock their full potential, regardless of their background.

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Claudia Enriquez

Claudia Enriquez

Individuals & Societies / Spanish Language and Literature Teacher

Colleen Brunell

School Counselor/PSPE/SEL-Human Development Teacher

Colleen Brunell is a proud Pacific Northwestern: born in Seattle, WA, raised in Olympia, WA, and seven-year resident of Portland, OR. She is a graduate of the University of Portland with a BA in Social Work and Psychology. She holds a Master of Science from The University of Texas at Austin in Social Work. During her undergraduate studies, Colleen volunteered with AmeriCorps Vista, in which she provided basic needs and advocated for people living on the streets. Additionally, she was a social work intern at the Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center where she worked with GLBTQ and homeless teenagers.

After her undergraduate studies, Colleen served as a Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer in Peru. She lived in Huaylas, Ancash, a small community in the Andes Mountains. Alongside teachers and health professionals, she taught socio-emotional, leadership, sex education, and English courses, as well as created a community summer school. Inspired by her five years of martial arts training, Colleen also led self-defense courses for teenage girls and a Kung Fu club for children. When her Peace Corps service ended, she traveled around Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. Upon returning to the US, Colleen worked for Trillium Family Services. As a skills trainer, she taught life skills and coping mechanisms to children and adolescents first in residential treatment care and then in an outpatient school.

In 2013, Colleen moved to Austin, TX to pursue her Masters in Social Work. During her Masters studies, she interned as a therapist at Hope Alliance, a domestic violence non-profit in Round Rock. Since graduation, Colleen has worked as a youth care counselor at The Settlement Home and a contract play therapist at Pediatric Psychotherapy Associates. In her free time, Colleen enjoys cooking, biking, yoga, reading, gardening, traveling, and exploring Austin. She hopes the future holds more opportunities for international travel.

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Colleen Brunell

Colleen Brunell

School Counselor/PSPE/SEL-Human Development Teacher

Cynthia Marcotte

Math Teacher

Cynthia Marcotte was born in Providence RI and grew up in Mexico City. She has been a lifelong teacher, having started tutoring in Mathematics when she was in 7th grade.

Cynthia studied high school at the Bicultural Program of the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey campus in the State of Mexico. When she was 17 years old she competed for and won a scholarship to represent Mexico at the Lester B Pearson College of the Pacific (Pearson College), an international high school in British Columbia, Canada, which is part of the United World Colleges and which is a full-scholarship program for students from all over the world. There she obtained an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. During that time her family moved to Italy and her mother became an IB Biology teacher at the United World College of the  Adriatic (Adriatic College) in Duino, Italy.

After graduating from Pearson College Cynthia attended Brown University in Rhode Island, taking a year abroad at the University of Nice (where she became fluent in French in part by studying math and comparative literature in French) and thereafter obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics.  She then moved to Italy with her family, where she worked as staff at Adriatic College, became fluent in Italian, obtained a Cambridge Certificate for Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Adults, taught Spanish and English and tutored mathematics. In her second year in Italy, Cynthia audited the Mathematics Diploma Programme at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste along with students from Venezuela, Peru, Somalia, Iran, Zaire and Vietnam.   She subsequently was accepted to the doctoral program in Mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin (UT). As a graduate student at UT she worked as a Teaching Assistant for Differential Equations and Vector Calculus classes and as an Instructor in Precalculus. She also ran the UT Math Department’s Saturday Morning Math Group program which introduces interesting and hands-on mathematics to High School and Middle School students through a monthly program open to all Austin students.

Cynthia continued to work on her research on Knot Theory and 3-dimensional manifolds under the direction of Prof. Cameron Gordon of UT while living in Los Angeles. In August of 2000 Cynthia defended her PhD Thesis at UT and earned her PhD in Mathematics.  She became an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at St. Edward’s University and led the development of a new interdisciplinary program, Bioinformatics, in the School of Natural Sciences. She also published papers on the application of her field (Topology) to molecular biology (in particular, on enzymes that act on DNA) in collaboration with Dorothy Buck, currently at Imperial College, London.

In 2005 Cynthia took a leave of absence from St. Edward’s University and she and Edward welcomed their twins, Elinor and Nicolás to the world in 2006.  In 2013 she returned to St. Edward’s as an adjunct professor of Mathematics.  She recently published two papers on Knot Theory in collaboration with her father, Alberto Verjovsky, an expert in the field of Dynamical Systems, and a former PhD student of his, Gabriela Hinojosa.

Last year Cynthia started teaching part-time in the Middle Years Programme (MYP) at Magellan, in particular teaching high-school math (Algebra I).  As someone who benefited tremendously from the International Baccalaureate, she was thrilled to have found Magellan and has been amazed at the growth and learning exhibited by Elinor and Nicolás, with the support and love of their teachers. They will be starting the Middle Years Program this year!

Cynthia is very honored to continue to work with the MYP faculty in enriching and differentiating the mathematics curriculum and in deepening interdisciplinary connections between Mathematics and the other MYP subjects. Her passion is to show students (and everyone) the beauty and power of mathematics while ensuring deep numeracy and problem-solving skills with a focus on applications.

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Cynthia Marcotte

Cynthia Marcotte

Math Teacher

Darrell Greenfield

Athletic Director & P.E. Teacher (2nd- 8th)
darrell.greenfield@magellanschool.org

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. Darell 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.

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Darrell Greenfield

Darrell Greenfield

Athletic Director & P.E. Teacher (2nd- 8th)

Dionne Carrasco

Nurse

Dionne Carrasco is from Deming, New Mexico and has been in Austin since 2005. She graduated from Central New Mexico College with her Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing.  Dionne has been a nurse for 11 years working at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Dell Children’s Medical Center’s pediatric intensive care units.  Most recently she has enjoyed being part of the Child Inc. team, caring for local preschool children.

Dionne enjoys spending time and traveling with her husband, Ruy, and her children. Her son Esteban and daughter Sofia are both students at Magellan.

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Dionne Carrasco

Dionne Carrasco

Nurse

Jennifer Barnett

Science Teacher, Assistant MYP Coordinator

Jennifer Barnett, a native Texan from the Houston area, received her Bachelor’s Degree and her Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin. She was inspired to be a teacher in order to make a difference in students’ lives, just as teachers made a difference in hers. She is married with two grown sons: Evan, a recent Trinity University graduate and Alec, a junior at Trinity University in San Antonio. Her husband, Doug, is Chief of Staff to the Vice Provost of the University of Texas at Austin Library System.

Jennifer has 23 years of teaching experience in the elementary grades as well as seven years teaching 6th grade Science at Grisham Middle School, an established IB World School in Round Rock ISD. She has numerous teaching certifications: All-­Level Vocal Music, Elementary Classroom, Generalist 4-­8 and Technology Applications PK-­12. These give her a unique perspective from which to draw cross-­curricular connections for units of work for her students.

Jennifer is passionate about 21st century learning and inspiring students. She is truly a life-­long learner and risk-­taker. She enjoys setting goals to accomplish new things. Being interested in technology, she built new gaming computers from scratch for each of her sons, co-­authored a science textbook for international MYP students and attended the IB Academy, becoming an IB workshop leader, consultant and site visitor for North America. Her next goal is to teach herself to write an app for the iPad, perhaps even collaborating with her students to do so. Jennifer feels that strong positive relationships with students, parents and colleagues are vital to a dynamic learning experience.

She loves to use technology and her music background to create engaging learning experiences that differentiate and provide choices for students to show mastery and reach their highest potential. At Grisham, she created an online Science course for students that allowed for both remediation and extension of concepts taught in the classroom. Jennifer strongly believes in the well-­rounded education the Middle Years Programme and IB philosophy provides, and encourages students to look beyond the content for authentic connections outside the classroom, community and beyond. She partnered with an MYP school in Bogota, Colombia (CIEDI) during a rainforest ecosystem unit. Her Year 1 students shared their research online with Year 5 students in Bogota that culminated in a Skype conference between students.

In addition to teaching students, Jennifer has also shared her expertise with other teachers on campus and at local, state, national and international conferences. She has presented twice at the IB Conference of the Americas, as well as at the Council for the Advancement of Science Teaching, and the Texas Computer Education Association. She is co-­author of Science for the International Student: Year 1 published by Cengage, a science textbook for MYP students around the world.

Jennifer enjoys collaborating with colleagues to create meaningful experiences and nurturing the next generation of educators. Jennifer is excited to be on this new path in her life’s journey. Teaching at Magellan International School, assisting in Magellan’s quest to become an authorized MYP school, and inspiring a new group of students to dream impossible dreams, follow their passion and make a positive difference in the world is a dream come true.

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Jennifer Barnett

Jennifer Barnett

Science Teacher, Assistant MYP Coordinator

Laura Escudero

Design Teacher & Innovation Lead (MYP), Technology Integrationist (PYP)
laura.escudero@magellanschool.org

Laura Escudero was born in the beautiful town of Mérida, Spain, where she pursued basic studies of elementary and high school. She received her Bachelor´s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Extremadura.  After completing her BA, she decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Information and Knowledge Society from Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.

Having worked within the technology industry for many years, she has a solid background in software and web development. As a Software Engineer, she has extensive experience working with international and national customers, including Spanish and British banks, international telecommunication companies, state and local governments, and universities, among others. Laura taught Technology to elementary students a few years ago. She has wanted to go back to teaching, and this year she will have the opportunity to make this happen. She is very excited to join Magellan and hopes to have a wonderful year.

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Laura Escudero

Laura Escudero

Design Teacher & Innovation Lead (MYP), Technology Integrationist (PYP)

Li Ting Liu

Mandarin Teacher/Mandarin Coordinator

Li Ting Liu has been in the teaching field for four years as an English teacher in Taiwan and a Mandarin teacher in the USA. She earned her post-graduate diploma in teaching with an emphasis in English and her Master of Business Administration at HsinChu City in Taiwan in 2006. In Taiwan she taught Mandarin to immigrants at the Women’s Community College and English to children at the Guanhuwa Junior High School.

Li Ting moved to the United States to further her education and received her Master of Arts Degree in Education with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction at The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2010. While extending her educational knowledge and skills, she has had the opportunity to teach Mandarin to the children at the Austin Taiwanese Presbyterian Church and the Hsiang Yun Temple in Austin.

In addition to becoming the Mandarin teacher at MIS, Li Ting further expanded her experience by also teaching at St. Edwards’ University starting in Fall 2010. Li Ting very much enjoys teaching her native language, Mandarin, to new Mandarin language learners and sharing Chinese culture with her students. The ultimate goal is for her students to be able to speak, read, listen and write fluently in Mandarin and leverage these abilities throughout their personal and professional lives.

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Li Ting Liu

Li Ting Liu

Mandarin Teacher/Mandarin Coordinator

Luis Aya

Drama and Spanish Language Acquisition Teacher

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.

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Luis Aya

Luis Aya

Drama and Spanish Language Acquisition Teacher

Patrick Benfield

Innovation Director

Patrick is the founding director of the Francis Lo i.lab for Design + Making, a new, creative learning space at Magellan International School in Austin, TX. Besides directing the school's innovation program, he is a lead mentor for the UTeach Maker fellowship program for The University of Texas at Austin, a senior fellow of the Thinkery EdExchange Program, and a frequent presenter at conferences including SXSWedu, Stanford FabLearn, and Maker Faire Austin. 

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Patrick Benfield

Patrick Benfield

Innovation Director

Sandy Adame

Bilingual Librarian Associate

<span style="font-weight: 400">Sandy lived and studied in private schools in Mexico City, Mexico. She then moved to Florida, the sunshine state, where she attended Gulf Coast State College (GCSC) in Panama City, Florida. While attending GCSC, she worked for the college library; this is where her passion for the library field began. She pursued a B.S. in Information Studies from Florida State University (FSU) where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She later earned her Master’s in Library and Information Studies from FSU, graduating with an Academic Excellence in Graduate Studies. During her time at FSU, Sandy also assisted faculty, students, and staff while working in the computer lab.</span>

<span style="font-weight: 400">After graduating from her Master’s program, Sandy began working as a Reference Librarian for the Northwest Regional Library System (NWRLS) at the Bay County Public Library (BCPL) in Panama City, FL. Sandy was the only Bilingual Reference Librarian for the NWRLS and enjoyed so much meeting the needs of a diverse population from different ages and skill levels. </span>

<span style="font-weight: 400">Trying to find a diverse place to settle, she moved to the Greater Austin Region.  Sandy has more than 5 years of experience in the education field. She has worked for Round Rock Independent School District (RRISD) and Bastrop Independent School District (BISD) in bilingual elementary campuses. She loves working with students, faculty, and staff. She has also taught summer school at BISD. </span>

<span style="font-weight: 400">Her passion for the library field and working with students from diverse backgrounds led her to The Magellan International School. Sandy is very happy to have joined Magellan as Bilingual Librarian Associate. </span>

<span style="font-weight: 400">In her free time, Sandy loves spending time with her chocolate labrador. </span>

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Sandy Adame

Sandy Adame

Bilingual Librarian Associate

Susana Bailey

Art Teacher

Susana Bailey was born in Madrid, Spain, and has been living in Austin since 2015 with her husband and three children. Susana got her Bachelor’s degree in teaching foreign languages at the Complutense University of Madrid, after which entered the Community of Madrid Teacher State Section. There she had the chance to experience teaching different groups of students from 4 to 12 years old with very different backgrounds and nationalities. It was here where she developed her interest and ability for visual arts teaching visual arts in a foreign language to Spanish students in an English immersion program.

Over 10 years Susana has been developing and perfecting lesson plans and didactic programs in different academic levels. Susana not only loves to create art with paint brushes or pencils, she is also a very creative person when it comes to bakery, sewing, recycling, and more.

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Susana Bailey

Susana Bailey

Art Teacher

Victor Solís

Spanish Language & Literature and Humanities Teacher; Spanish Language Leader

Victor Solís has been teaching various subjects for more than ten years. He has taught in different cities throughout Spain, in both public and private school systems. He earned his first Bachelor´s Degree in Physical Education at University of Extremadura in 2004. After teaching this subject for a few years, he decided to pursue a Bachelor in Elementary Education at University Pontificia of Salamanca.

In 2008, he started to work in one of most prestigious schools in Barcelona as an Elementary teacher. There, he had the opportunity to carry out several projects with a large focus on literacy and literature in Elementary grades. Because Barcelona is immersed in a bilingual (Catalan and Spanish) system of education, Víctor has had the opportunity to experience an environment where two languages coexist to help students succeed.

In 2010 he received an MA in Research in Language and Literature Didactics from the University of Barcelona. After this, he earned a Ph.D. in Language and Literature Didactics at the same university. Victor enjoys working at MIS because he shares a passion for a global world where different cultures live together. He firmly believes that our students need new ways to learn and new skills to be able to succeed in the future. He is very open to learning in this new stage of his life because that is always the basis for improvement. Traveling and taking pictures of wild landscapes are his passions, which are shared with his wife.

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Victor Solís

Victor Solís

Spanish Language & Literature and Humanities Teacher; Spanish Language Leader