Kindergarten students at The Magellan International School are supported by highly qualified lead and assistant teachers in the classroom with exceptional fluency in Spanish. Most faculty members at MIS are native Spanish speakers. Student learning is also guided by specialty Kinder Teachers in English, Library, Art, Music, Digital Literacy, Design/Innovation and Physical Education. Social & Emotional learning is supported by both classroom teachers as well as a Counselor.
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 & 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.
Cristina Moreno was born in Bogotá, Colombia. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Childhood Education with an emphasis on Basic Primary from Francisco José de Caldas University. She specializes in early literacy skills and children’s reading. Cristina grew up surrounded by writers, artists, journalists, and other people who influenced her vocation to become an innovative and creative teacher, as well as a critical thinker. She loves to work with children and is excited to see the personal development and potential in all of her students.
Prior to joining The Magellan International School community, Cristina has worked with the Department of Education in the Mayor’s Office of Bogotá. She served as a teacher and a librarian in different public schools where she implemented a transdisciplinary literacy program for young children. Cristina has also designed learning material for new readers. In 2013, she founded a literacy club for middle school readers. Cristina is interested in learning about children’s experiences and needs in order to enrich learning content. She considers today’s children to be curious, honest, playful, and outgoing by nature. She believes children show enormous potential if they are offered an education focused on making them autonomous individuals, as well as active members of their communities.
Lulu Barranon grew up in Mexico City, where she attended The American School Foundation. It was there she gained a love of learning that would later move her to become a teacher. Upon graduation she attended Seton Hall University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education and Elementary Education. After college, Lulu went back to Mexico City to work at The American School Foundation as a Pre-First teacher assistant. While working there, she got a job offer to work in North Carolina as part of the Visiting International Faculty Program. Lulu moved to Chapel Hill and enjoyed being an ESL teacher for elementary and middle school students for three years. She was also responsible for creating the ESL curriculum for several schools, providing translations, and the evaluation and placement of students.
Lulu then moved to New Jersey, where she worked at The Children’s Institute. She was a part of a multidisciplinary team, working with teachers, parents and other professionals to provide the most appropriate services for students. Lulu married and returned to North Carolina to work as a Special Education teacher for Guilford County Schools. Training in TEACCH, PECS, Sign Language and ABA lead her to a path of working with nonverbal children with behavioral difficulties. She believes teachers should always focus on students’ abilities and interests to help them reach both personal and educational goals. A job offer for her husband relocated them to San Diego. She continued working as a Special Education Teacher until her son Sebastian was born in 2006.
Her family moved to Austin in 2007 to embark on the adventure of business ownership. Lulu is overjoyed to work at MIS and have her son Sebastian attend the school. She believes the education she received at the American School was the best gift her parents gave her. Being bilingual has opened many doors for her and has made her the person she is today. Lulu is very thankful to have found a school that will give Sebastian the multicultural and multilingual education that she has always wanted for him. Lulu is eager to go back to the classroom and continue to work with children. She loves to spend time with her family, travel, and read. She is also very interested in researching and learning about nutrition.
Mave Martinez was born in Caracas, Venezuela. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in
Early Childhood Education from the Jose Maria Vargas University in Caracas and her
Master’s Degree in Exceptional Students Education from Nova University in Florida. She has
also attended ARC Broward Learning Institute, where she completed coursework specialized
in behavioral analysis. Mave has been in education for the past 22 years. She has
experience teaching preschool and kindergarten. She started working as a teacher assistant
at the same school from which she graduated.
She then moved into a lead teacher role and later became the preschool curriculum
coordinator. Her experience as a preschool coordinator prompted her to create a team
project to encourage values in children including tolerance, collaboration and respect. This
was achieved through the use of books and puppets. Mave’s preschool work in Florida
involved implementing Visible Thinking Routines (Projects by Howard Garner and David
Perkins) from Harvard University. In this project, the students were exposed to different
thinking routines that help them increase their cognitive capacities. She worked in the
Cambridge School at Weston where she was a lead teacher in a bilingual classroom.
Through these experiences, she gained an understanding of the cognitive development
benefits of interdisciplinary education and the second language acquisition process. She also
has experience as a lead teacher for special needs students (Autism, Down Syndrome,
ADHD and cerebral palsy). Recently, she has worked as a teacher shadow in a Montessori
school. Mave’s hobbies include going to the gym, spending time with her family and friends
and getting to know different cultures and people. She is a professional, enthusiastic and
caring teacher who has a huge passion for teaching and learning.
Malena Chavez was born in Lima, Peru. She has been married to her husband, Paolo since 1994. She has two children, Fernando, who is currently studying at Texas State University, and Andrea, who is currently a student at New York University. She moved to Texas in 2007, and before that she lived in Florida for 14 years.
She has always enjoyed working with children. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Peru at the “Universidad Nacional de San Marcos”. She got her National CDA degree in Early Childhood Education from Palm Beach Community College. She has completed the Director Credential Classes along with additional courses in education every year. She has been working in Early Childhood Education field since 1994 and before that she was working as a teacher in her country.
Patty Guerroro was born in Brownsville, Texas, but was raised and received her early education in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Leaving her hometown for college, Patty earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Ciencias de la Educación from the Universidad de Monterrey, a Catholic university in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. After completing her degree, Patty returned to Matamoros where she taught Social Sciences at the secondary level. She also taught courses in Child Development and Learning Differences at the Centro Universitario del Noreste.
Patty came to Austin and participated in grant funded research which led to a full scholarship for a Master’s Degree in Education at the University of Texas at Austin. By enrolling in additional coursework, she also obtained certification in Bilingual Special Education. Patty has been a pre-school teacher at many different non-profit organizations in Austin and has worked most recently as a substitute teacher at AISD before joining MIS. Patty is the proud mother of three daughters.
Lead Teacher & Kinder Grade Level Leader
Pilar Macías was raised in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, which borders El Paso, TX. She received her bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and specialized in Quality Systems from the Instituto Tecnologico de Ciudad Juarez. She graduated head of her class. She worked as an Industrial Engineer at Philips Televisions and at Davol Surgical Innovations as a Quality Engineer. These opportunities opened her eyes to the importance of knowing more than one language.
After Pliar married, she moved to El Paso, Texas and started working at El Paso Community College as a part of the Toddler Tech Team. With this experience, she identified the importance of technology in education for the 21st century. She also taught with the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program in Texas. She enjoyed her teaching experiences immensely. She will always remember her first teaching experience when she was in high school, where she offered special weekend chemistry classes to her peers who were having trouble grasping concepts. She thoroughly enjoyed this experience. As a mother of two daughters, she believes that 21st century education needs to be global and follow new and higher standards.
Drama & 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.
Tania Doro is originally from Mexico City. In 1993 she received her Bachelor’s Degree from Anglo Español University in Preschool Education. With more than 25 years of experience, she worked for three important Kindergartens in Mexico City: Mexicana Del Valle School, Dos Naciones Unidas, and Alexander Bain School. Because of her hard work and commitment, in 2003 she began as coordinator of the Preschool Department.
In 2000, Tania started working with the PYP program for Early Childhood. In 2005, she participated in the evaluation process of the AB School in México. In 2006, she was invited to open a new AB School in Guanajuato. As Preschool Head at AB Irapuato School, she worked on a program for the inclusion of children with special needs in regular classrooms. In 2009, she studied for her Master’s Degree in Teaching and introduced her teaching team to the inclusion program, involving both children and parents. AB Irapuato is now recognized for their inclusion program.
In 2010, she began as the PYP Coordinator and participated in several IB workshops and conferences in Mexico. She currently has 16 years’ experience in the PYP Program and helped AB Irapuato in their PYP evaluation process. She wrote education articles for local magazines and was a speaker for National Expo Bebé 2009 in Guanajuato. She has also participated in local radio shows talking about preschool education.
Tania is an IB Workshop Leader and site visitor that authorizes and evaluates IB Schools in IB Americas.
In her spare time, Tania enjoys walking her dog named Austin, good movies, books, knitting, cooking and spending time with her family. She believes that preschool education is the foundation for adulthood – that values, habits and feelings are built in early childhood. Knowing that makes her truly committed.
Sandra Noack was born in Bogotá, Colombia. She comes from a multicultural family, half Colombian and half German. She was also influenced by British and American cultures as she studied at a bilingual school. At age 12, she realized she was meant to be a teacher when she started teaching her little sister how to read and write. Later on, she continued this practice when she decided to home-school her own kids. She is proud of her three children, who decided to become teachers, thus prolonging the legacy of educators in her family.
Upon graduation, Sandra completed her education as a preschool teacher at the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional from Bogotá. Her experience as a PYP teacher for more than 11 years has reinforced her beliefs and values regarding education. Her main purpose is to engage her students and help them become internationally minded, caring, inquisitive, and knowledgeable. She believes education is a never-ending process and teaching gives her the opportunity to learn new things everyday.
She enjoys connecting with her students and learning from them in many ways. Sandra also enjoys art, which has always been part of her life. As a self-taught painter, she believes that persistence and discipline can be more powerful than talent. She enjoys exploring different media and shares her creativity with her students. Sandra is proud to belong to a group of lifelong learners at MIS and will strive to build strong bonds within the community she cares deeply about.
Missy Fleshman grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She graduated from Louisiana State University (LSU), but had the opportunity to attend Oregon State University and the Universidad de Bio in Chillán, Chile as a part of her major. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and Science. Missy had the unique opportunity to design her own major in which she chose to study Spanish, Sociology and Religious Studies. This major allowed her to have many opportunities to gain a global perspective and become more of a global citizen. While studying in Chile, her love for the Spanish language and culture truly blossomed.
Missy believes that all students enter the classroom with a diverse set of skills and knowledge and it is it her job to use those skills to ensure that they are successful learners in the classroom. Missy is truly dedicated to education. She has over a decade of experience. Missy has three years of formal teaching experience. In 2011, she was accepted into a rigorous alternative certification program, Texas Teaching Fellows, which focused on raising student achievement. Missy did her practice teaching at St. Elmo Elementary, here in Austin, Texas. She spent six years working with two tutoring programs that focused on reading and writing targeting low income students. There she increased student achievement by raising students’ interest in reading and motivated many students to make the honor roll for multiple consecutive nine-week periods.
While in Louisiana, she worked as the Head Coordinator for the Toddlers at The Learning Center using the High Reach Learning Program. She strongly believes that a global perspective mixed with an inquiry based philosophy is the best way to educate children. Missy is passionate about the community and serving it. She has dedicated her life to making a measurable difference in each of the many communities where she has lived. Most recently, she trained for the Austin Live Strong Half-Marathon while raising financial support for the Austin Children’s Shelter. She helped to raise over $40,000 for the shelter. In 2010, she spent over 40 hours volunteering to rebuild and renovate Lanier Elementary in Louisiana. And during her time at LSU she was the Philanthropy co-chair of her sorority, which raised over $30,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. She also was an LSU football recruiter and she earned the title of Head of Fundraising in 2002. Her desire to make a difference in the lives of children has fueled her passion to build lasting relationships with the community.
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.
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.
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”
Physical Education Teacher
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.
Technology and Design Teacher
Kenneth Hawthorn will be our new Technology and Design Teacher in the lower Primary grades. Ken started his career as a mechanical engineer helping startups build proof-of-concept prototypes. His professional life shifted direction more than ten years ago when he started working as a volunteer with academically at-risk students at a local school. He ended up creating a STEM program that expanded to 17 school districts in California! That experience pulled him full time into the world of technology education, and he has never looked back. For the past five years, Ken has served as the creator and director of the Mechatronics Program at an elementary school in Menlo Park.
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.
Daniela Melo is Magellan’s Learning Specialist in lower Primary (K-3). She has a Master of Arts in Special Education from UT-Austin and a Bachelor of Arts in Human Communication Disorders. After working for five years as a speech therapist and resource teacher in her native Mexico, Daniela moved to Austin where she has worked as a bilingual special education teacher and department coordinator for the past nine years.