5th Grade Faculty

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 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

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

Miguel Daza

Teacher & SLL Assistant
miguel.daza@magellanschool.org

Miguel Daza is originally from Bogotá, Colombia. In 2011, he earned his B.A in History and Political Science at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá. From 2011 to 2014, he worked as a Social Studies teacher at the Liceo Boston School in Bogotá. He taught History, Geography, Democracy, and was the school’s Model United Nations coordinator. He was also the director of the research projects for the senior class and supported Social Studies academic training for the Colombian National Examination Test “Prueba Saber.”

In 2014, he moved to Austin to pursue his Master´s degree in Learning Technologies (School of Education) at The University of Texas at Austin. He worked one year as a Teacher Assistant for the History Department and graduated in 2016 with an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction. In the summer of 2016, Miguel, worked as an Instructional Designer for the Institute for Transformational Learning (UT System) working on two projects for UTSA and UT Houston. Miguel is going to be 5th-grade Teacher Assistant and also will be involved in the support of Spanish Language Learners (SLL).

Miguel is really happy to be part of a team which is focused on developing inquiry-based experiences for students within the IB framework. Miguel likes to play soccer, dance salsa, cook, read and play aquatic sports.

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Miguel Daza

Miguel Daza

Teacher & SLL Assistant

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

Nuria Campos

Lead Teacher/Grade Level Leader

Nuria Campos was born in the small town of Bryan, Texas, but moved to El Salvador when she was very young. In a Spanish speaking country, she attended The International School of San Salvador, an English immersion school, and graduated as a fully bilingual student. She then attended Universidad Evangélica de El Salvador, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and took a six-month seminar on pre-school education.

Passionate about teaching, Nuria has been taking several certifications to stay up-to-date with today’s teaching practices. She has received a certificate in teaching English as a Second Language from Centro Cultural de El Salvador, Discovering Multiple Intelligences in Elementary, Middle and High school from The Multiple Intelligence Institute, and Educating Affectivity from Fundacion ICEF in El Salvador. She is currently studying for her Master’s Degree in Psychopedagogy with the University of Barcelona, Spain.

Nuria taught for eight years at different English immersion schools in El Salvador, four of which were at the only authorized IB- PYP School in Central America, Colegio La Floresta. This is where she became fully interested and involved with the program and has been passionate about it ever since. After several workshops and training, she became part of the leadership team, which wrote the assessment and language policy for the school’s authorization visit.

After three years, Nuria became the elementary English Coordinator and attended the annual AMEXCAOBI-PYP coordinator’s meeting in 2011 to learn more about updates in the program. Nuria has continued to receive IBO training on collaborative planning, inquiry based learning, authentic assessment, teaching and learning in the PYP, and concept based learning.

Nuria is excited to begin her fourth year at The Magellan International School as she strongly believes in the school’s mission and is eager to teach her students the importance of lifelong learning and of serving others. She strongly believes each student should be considered as a unique individual and tries to keep each and every one of them highly motivated and happy in their learning environment. Her goal inside and outside the classroom is to help students develop and grow both academically and on a personal and social level, which she is sure will lead them to act like global citizens of the world.

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Nuria Campos

Nuria Campos

Lead Teacher/Grade Level Leader

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