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.

John Wells

John Wells

Head of Middle School & MYP Coordinator, MYP English Teacher Grades 7-8


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

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

Darrell Greenfield

Athletic Coordinator & P.E. Teacher for 2nd- 8th Grades
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 Coordinator & P.E. Teacher for 2nd- 8th Grades

Emma Marschall

Librarian/IDL Research

Emma Marschall is originally from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and comes to us from Tulane University in New Orleans, where she was the Research and Instruction Librarian at the Latin American Library. While at Tulane, she provided reference and instruction, contributed to collection development and participated in library events and exhibitions. Emma previously worked at Gettysburg College, where she was a cataloger in the Musselman Library.

Prior to that, she was an Academic Library Fellow at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a Digital Archives Intern at the Missouri History Museum Library and Archives. Emma earned her MLS at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2010. In library sessions, Emma emphasizes that research naturally springs from personal interest and always involves a process. As a librarian, she can help students build the steps to successfully conduct independent research. From 2006 through 2008 she was a Spanish Lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis.

She has an M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College (2006) and a B.A. in Latin American and Iberian Studies from Bard College (2001). She traveled to Mexico and Nicaragua to study Spanish and spent a year abroad in Madrid, Spain at the Universidad Carlos III. She later returned to Madrid to obtain a Masters. In addition, Emma earned a Certificate in French Language from La Sorbonne (University of Paris) in 2005. While her recent professional background is in an academic setting, she has experience working with younger age groups and in community organizations dedicated to working with the Spanish-speaking community.

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Emma Marschall

Emma Marschall

Librarian/IDL Research

Jennifer Barnett

Science Teacher

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

John Wells

Head of Middle School & MYP Coordinator, MYP English Teacher Grades 7-8
john.wells@magellanschool.org

John has been teaching English language and literature for almost 30 years in the UK, Spain, the UAE, and mainly in Colombia. But he hasn’t always been a teacher. He started his working life in the accounts office of a large pharmaceutical company in the south of England. He believes that this contact with the world outside education reinforces his belief that educators need to prepare students to face the challenges of life once they have finished school by encouraging students to develop skills and values as well as subject knowledge.

John has a passion for learning, which has seen him obtain the qualifications at evening class in order to go to university, an undergraduate degree in Linguistics and Spanish, a post-graduate certificate of education in teaching, and a Masters in Linguistics. He has just finished his Doctor of Education at the University of Bath, England, with an emphasis in International Education, and has had three papers published in different journals.

After working for the British Council in Bogota, John started working in international schools. He has taught language and literature to students in the IB MYP and Diploma programme, as well as students preparing for University of Cambridge school exams. He has been MYP coordinator and also Diploma Coordinator, as well as Head of an English department, Deputy Head of Secondary and Head of School.

John likes taking on new challenges and is excited to join the Magellan International School. He is looking forward to getting to know the students, parents, teachers and the administrative staff and work with everyone to provide the best learning experiences possible to ensure that the students are prepared to face the challenges of the 21st century.

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John Wells

John Wells

Head of Middle School & MYP Coordinator, MYP English Teacher Grades 7-8

Laura Escudero

Design Teacher (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 (MYP), Technology Integrationist (PYP)

Li Ting Liu

Mandarin Teacher/Mandarin Learning Leader

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 Learning Leader

Luis Aya

Theater Arts 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

Theater Arts Teacher

Myrna Zolezzi

Art Teacher

Myrna Zolezzi grew up in the southernmost tip of Cameron County, Brownsville, Texas. Brownsville is a border town to Matamoros, Mexico, where she became a fluent speaker of English and Spanish along with becoming a bicultural citizen of both countries. Myrna received her Bachelor of Arts in Art Education at The University of Texas at Brownsville. During her studies, she taught Art Education at Kenmont Montessori, a non-denominational school, as well as the Guadalupe Regional Middle School.

Myrna believes the Arts play the most important role next to parenting and allow for the understanding of ourselves. Arts integrate the thinking, feeling and organization of colors and textural forms, which fuels the imagination harmoniously through every facet. This subject aids diverse learning styles, students’ multiple intelligences, and illuminates other academic subjects as a way to exhibit understanding. Myrna has relocated to Austin, Texas, a town that welcomed her with open arms. She is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Recreational Therapy.

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Myrna Zolezzi

Myrna Zolezzi

Art Teacher

Samantha Duffield

English Teacher Grades 5-6
samantha.duffield@magellanschool.org

Samantha Duffield was born in Bossier City, Louisiana and grew up with her father on active duty in the US Air Force. This meant she often moved around from state to state in the USA while growing up. She has visited 27 of our beautiful United States and lived in several along the way. Later in life when she chose the teaching profession, her traveling education continued. In Virginia, she attended Longwood University for her BA in English and K-8 Elementary Education. She then received her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Tech with an additional certificate as a Reading Specialist.

She began teaching in Virginia and later moved to Africa to teach in Cote d’Ivoire. Then she taught in the Primary Years Program for five years in Lima, Peru where both of her daughters, age eight and nine, were born. She continued teaching overseas for a total of 12 years in American international private schools, including New Delhi, India where children from 60 different nationalities attended the school. Working with international students has taught her what it truly means to be a Global Citizen. Watching young children serve others and volunteering her time as well in third world countries has impacted her life in ways that she is still discovering even to this day.

Most recently she has been the English Language Arts 5th and 6th grade teacher in San Jose, Costa Rica. She is excited about moving to Texas to continue teaching in an international environment and also because her extended family lives there. Samantha had an appreciation for other languages even as a young child. Her stepmother is from Seoul, Korea and she did not speak very much English when she arrived in the States. Samantha and her stepmother spent quite a bit of time trying to understand each other.

During her time overseas, she learned even more empathy for second language learners as she struggled with bits and pieces of French, Spanish, and Hindi while trying to assimilate in other cultures. Her teaching philosophy comes from the heart and comes from her love for the one job that always keeps us questioning, engaging, reading, philosophizing, synthesizing, re-questioning and moving forward with new ways of being and seeing. The “us” refers to her students, her colleagues, her friends, and the digital world - all of those learning communities that teach each other and leave her the one important job as a professional guide.

She does not see herself as a teacher in the traditional sense in which one leads the classroom and all will follow. Instead, her PYP experience taught her that the students are quite capable of learning on their own if they have a guide to direct the inquiry process. Inquiry based education and project based learning are key for students and teachers to develop a passion for education. Samantha has that passion and it is evident through her 19 years of experience teaching every single grade level from Preschool and K-6.

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Samantha Duffield

Samantha Duffield

English Teacher Grades 5-6

Sarah Griffin

Math Teacher

Sarah Griffin teaches mathematics in Magellan’s MYP program for grades 6, 7, and 8. Sarah received her Bachelor’s Degree from Texas Christian University and her Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Iowa. She has wanted to be a teacher since she was 8 years old and loves the energy and excitement of the classroom. Sarah supports the IB program and the IB focus on educating the whole child. She embraces the idea of life-long learning and enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on about mathematics, science, computer programming, and history.

Sarah has 9 years of teaching experience from Westwood High School in Round Rock ISD before coming to Magellan. There, she taught almost all levels of mathematics, from Algebra I through Pre-calculus and the IB Higher Level mathematics course that is part of the IB Diploma Programme. She served on many district initiatives for technology, English Language Learners, and curriculum alignment. She is very excited to be teaching as part of the MYP at Magellan and to use her curriculum and teaching skills to build a foundation for students' mathematical understanding.

Sarah also worked in the private sector for four years with an educational assessment company, and she brings knowledge of mathematics content from Grades 2 through high school, project management skills, and extensive assessment experience with her. Although Sarah is from the USA, she minored in Spanish in college and speaks Spanish as well as English. She loves the Magellan integration of second languages and hopes to continue to foster language learning along with mathematics for Magellan’s MYP students. Sarah enjoys reading and music. She also likes volunteering with her church and doing various mission activities that allow her to utilize her teaching and Spanish skills.

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Sarah Griffin

Sarah Griffin

Math 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