3rd Grade Faculty

Andrea Norman

IDL Technology Integrationist/STEM Teacher

Andrea grew up in small towns in Missouri and Kansas, but moved to Austin with her husband, Michael, in 2008. After nursing school she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Business with an emphasis on Organizational Management and Leadership. While Andrea's initial background is rooted in healthcare, her passion for learning about new technology, paired with her management experience, directly contributed to running a small software company with her husband. From registered nurse and nursing instructor, to nursing home administrator, then learning to write software code and documentation, while supporting, encouraging and corralling employees, Andrea has worn many hats over the years.

In 2012, her “management” of complex LEGO projects with her son, led her to launch her own business – an after-school enrichment and summer camp program for kids that used LEGO bricks to reinforce S.T.E.A.M. concepts. Andrea has since sold her business because she realized that her true passion lies in teaching and creating curriculum, but the day to day operations of running a business left little time for that passion.

Andrea has been part of the Magellan community since 2012, when her son, Isaac, joined PP3. She has served in many volunteer roles, including MISPA President, Room Parent Coordinator, Technology Committee Member, and Robotics Club Coordinator. Most recently Andrea's commitment to Magellan and its students has been seen in her ongoing volunteer efforts to bring hands-on STEM concepts to life in the classrooms.

Andrea sets high expectations for students, and loves to give them new and exciting challenges. She believes that success in learning requires the student to be at the center of the learning experience, and wants to facilitate learning that allows students to apply their knowledge, learn with both their head and their hands, and to accept failure. She strives to empower learners and to create a safe place where they are comfortable taking risks.

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Andrea Norman

Andrea Norman

IDL Technology Integrationist/STEM 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

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 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)

Guiomar Aya

Lead Teacher

Guiomar Aya is originally from Bogota, Colombia. She has a degree in History awarded by the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, and obtained a diploma in "History of the Hispanic World" at the Centre for Social Studies, CSIC, Madrid, Spain. In 2012, she achieved his certification in Category 1 PYP Primary Years Program, Texas IB Schools.

Guiomar worked with the Bogotá Mayor's Office, where she served as a workshop for children and teens interested in rebuilding their personal histories and stories of their neighborhoods. Guiomar has worked as a teacher –associate instructor- in private universities in her country and parallel to her teaching experience, she worked as a researcher at the National Archives and the Archives of Bogotá, institutions dedicated to research and preserve the historical memory of her country. In 2009, Guiomar served as Project Coordinator Centers of Memory and Narratives of Memory, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of Colombia; these projects sought to raise awareness, to different communities of children and youth from public and private schools, and adult population in the country, about the importance of preserving cultural memory of our peoples. In 2011, she moved to Austin when she started to work at The Magellan International School.

Guiomar is convinced that schools, teachers and parents should educate students to be able to contribute to the development of their communities, to perceive the world in a holistic way and to grow, transmit and preserve cultural diversity. To achieve this goal, Guiomar believes that bilingual education is a prime element in the training of our children; it offers the ability to define the sense of identity, recognizing the socio-historical process and preserve the heritage of our nations.

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Guiomar Aya

Guiomar Aya

Lead Teacher

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)

Milé Davis

Lead Teacher
mile.davis@magellanschool.org

Milé Davis was born in beautiful Quindío, Colombia, which is located in the western central region of the country in the midst of the Andean mountains. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages from the University of Quindío, with an emphasis in English language learning (ELL). She is currently completing her MA in Spanish Translation and Interpreting at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Milé’s main passions are teaching and languages. She truly believes that language acquisition opens the door too new cultures.  Additionally, Milé loves to translate children’s literature.

In 2010, before she obtained her BA degree, Milé spent two years as an intern ELL teacher at the Rufino Schools (Rufino Sur and Rufino Centro) in Armenia, Quindío. She also worked as an ELL tutor at the GI School (an English immersion school) in the same city. Milé continues to work as a free-lance Spanish translator and interpreter in topics related to education.

When moving to Texas, she worked as a Substitute Teacher and volunteer at Lago Vista ISD where she worked with elementary school students. Milé is very excited about being part of a school that guides students to take ownership of their own learning process.

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Milé Davis

Milé Davis

Lead Teacher

Orlando González

Lead Teacher / Grade Level Leader / Primary School Innovation Lead

Orlando González grew up in a quiet town in Northeast Texas. He was actively involved in sports and academics throughout his high school years. As a high school student, he earned multiple awards for academic excellence. Among those awards is the Eagle Scout Award. His passion for teaching started at the Child Development Center of Mount Pleasant, which is accredited by NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children). During this time, he helped organize and was part of many after school programs such as PATH (Parent Are Teachers at Home), Fatherhood Night, and 21st CCLC (Century Community Learning Centers).

These programs aimed to provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children and parents, particularly those whose students attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. It was during this time that Orlando discovered his passion for teaching and love for children. For his hard work and dedication, Orlando was awarded the “Above and Beyond Award” given by the superintendent of the school district to a member who excels in performance.

At the age of 20, Orlando moved to Austin. During this time, he taught at Lake Hills Montessori as the primary I teacher assistant while he attended Austin Community College. LHM provided extensive Montessori method training, which allowed him to conduct and implement his own curriculum in Spanish during his third year there. Orlando also attended Texas State University. He plans to pursue a Masters in Developmental Psychology and become a Diagnostician. Orlando is proud to be part of the Magellan International School’s team and is committed to its mission. He sees MIS as an opportunity to grow professionally and as an individual. He is eager to learn and share his diverse experiences with the wonderful MIS community.

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Orlando González

Orlando González

Lead Teacher / Grade Level Leader / Primary School Innovation Lead

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

Raychal Weis

English Teacher

Raychal Weis is from Coatesville, Pennsylvania, a small city right outside of Philadelphia. She considers herself a lifelong learner and her passion for knowledge compels her to work harder every day to become a better person and a better teacher. Raychal earned a dual degree in Elementary and Special Education from Eastern University in St. David’s Pennsylvania. She also studied two minors, English as a Second Language and Spanish.

After graduating, she moved to Puebla, Mexico to pursue international teaching. She has more than ten years of experience working with students in a school setting and over five years working with the IB program. Raychal enjoys being part of the Magellan School, and she is very impressed by the school’s multilingual and multicultural program. Her goal is to make the students feel happy and comfortable in the classroom, while at the same time pushing them to new limits and instilling in the students the desire to make the world a better place. She is determined to see growth and creativity in all of her students.

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Raychal Weis

Raychal Weis

English Teacher

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

Weiwen Fowler

Mandarin Teacher

Growing up in a Taiwanese family of educators, Ms. Weiwen always has seen teaching and learning as a priority. Her immense interest in languages led her onto the path of Anthropology and foreign languages at the National University in Taiwan. As part of her university program, she expanded her language repertoire into Spanish, French and Japanese. She later obtained her MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at Monterey Institute in California, and a MA in Linguistics at University of Texas at Arlington. Upon graduation from TESOL, she taught Mandarin Chinese at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey. She has also taught English for 4 years in colleges in Taiwan and 2 years in Japan. Her specialty and experience in English teaching and learning consistently enhanced her reflection on her own native languages, and eventually motivated her to become a Mandarin Chinese teacher. She currently teaches 3rd grade Chinese at Good news Mandarin Academy at Austin Taiwanese Presbyterian Church.

Ms Weiwen has been a devotee of student centered learning and communicative language teaching. She strives to know each individual student and his/her learning style to help them learn the target language in a meaningful way, and ultimately help them know their own strengths and build confidence. Language learning is such an intriguing human activity that she believes will be remarkably beneficial to any human being in all aspects of life. Weiwen wants to focus on children’s language learning now and discover the world together with them. Weiwen joins the MIS faculty in the 2016-2017 academic year.

Ms Weiwen is also a trained interpreter and translator. She volunteered as an interpreter in several church events in Taiwan. She is also part of the Chinese and English translation team for the book, <i>Taiwan’s struggle: Voices of the Taiwanese </i>(Rowman &amp; Littlefield Publishers, February 18, 2014).

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Weiwen Fowler

Weiwen Fowler

Mandarin Teacher