• Tarsi Bali
    University of Athens & University of Essex
    Lower School Physical Education, Aquatics Coordinator
    Pudong Campus
    Exercise is medicine! Ni Hao, my name is Tarsi Bali, and I am excited to join SCIS PD as both the Aquatics Coordinator, and Physical Education Teacher for grades PK-5. Since I could remember, exercise, nutrition, and optimum wellness, have always been of great interest to me. Now as an educator, I want to help guide students to become healthier and happier, inspiring them to be physical active for life. My passion for fitness and health led me to initially pursue a career in research and academia. Before arriving in Shanghai, I was conducting experimental research in Slovenia, working at the Jozef Stefan Research Institute. I’m here at SCIS with my husband Steven Sgourdos, who teaches in the middle school. In my free time, I love swimming, horseback riding, and traveling around Greece on my motorcycle. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Sports Science from the University of Athens, Greece, a Master in Fitness and Health from the University of Essex, UK, and a PhD in Sport and Exercise Science from the University of Essex.
  • Joshua Balli
    Pacific Union College & University of South Florida
    ECE Librarian & Grade 1 ESOL
    Hongqiao Early Child Education Campus
    My name is Josh Balli and I am thrilled to be returning to SCIS and the wonderful city of Shanghai!! I am the ECE Librarian which is perfect since I have always loved books. When I was a child when we went on a family trip I never wanted to take one book, I wanted to take ALL of them! While my packing habits have changed, my love of books hasn't. I look forward to sharing with your children (and parents too) the many great books we have in the library, both for educational and recreational purposes. When I am not at work or reading I enjoy an eclectic amount of activities from sports, writing, traveling and being as adventurous as possible. I also love cooking and making food, especially home made ice cream! Please stop by the library to check out books, ask questions or just say hello. You are always welcome!
  • Michael Barrs
    University of Florida & University of South Florida
    Lower School Physical Education
    Hongqiao Lower School
    I am excited to work with an outstanding team of educators here at SCIS! I am from Florida, USA, where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Florida (Go Gators!) and a Master of Arts in Education from the University of South Florida. Though I am originally from the USA, I have lived and worked in Uganda (Peace Corps Volunteer), Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, and Australia. I have sixteen years of teaching experience in the fields of physical education, health, science, and administration. My personal interests revolve around traveling to fascinating places, exploring world cultures, being a responsible global citizen, and living an active and healthy lifestyle. I am passionate about surfing and have traveled the world in search of the perfect wave. It is great to be part of the SCIS Community. Go Dragons!
  • Melissa Berg
    Luther College & Minnesota State University
    Lower School Counselor
    Hongqiao Lower School
    My name is Melissa Berg, and I am the lower school counselor. I was raised and educated in the upper Midwest of the United States. I have a psychology degree from Luther College and a master’s degree in Professional School Counseling from Minnesota State University. I began my counseling career in Minnesota before heading to Seoul, South Korea. My time in Seoul instilled in me a passion for international education, and I have enjoyed continuing that work here in Shanghai. Counseling is an incredibly rewarding and exciting field and I especially enjoy working with elementary-aged students. The best part of my job is that I have the chance to get to know every student in the lower school. My door is always open, so parents, please feel free to drop in and introduce yourself. When I am not at work, chances are good that I am either playing with my adorable dog or exploring a new neighborhood of Shanghai.
  • Andrew Bissonnette
    University of Kansas
    Pre-K Teacher
    Hongqiao Early Child Education Campus
    I am very excited to join the SCIS family this year for my first international teaching experience! For the past four years I have been living and teaching in New York City, before that I taught Social Studies in my home state, Minnesota. When I am not at school I enjoy traveling, exploring new restaurants, playing and watching sports, especially the Jayhawks. I look forward to welcoming a new group of students and families to the SCIS community this year!
  • Jessie Brown
    Aquinas College
    Pre-school Teacher
    Hongqiao Early Child Education Campus
    This is my first year at SCIS and my second year in Shanghai. I have been teaching pre-school internationally for 3 years. I am from Michigan where I taught special education. Besides teaching Early Childhood I love to travel, read, and be outdoors. I am delighted to be at SCIS and I am looking forward to teaching and learning in the upcoming years!
  • Victor Caban
    University of North Florida & National University
    Athletics and Activities Coordinator & MYP Physical Education and Health
    Pudong Campus
    Greetings SCIS! My name is Vic Caban (aka Coach Vic) and I am honored to be a member of the SCIS team. As an Athletic Director, Physical Education teacher and IB MYP workshop leader, I look forward to sharing my experiences in each of these areas as well as learning from the high quality staff already in place. My wife, our two children, and I are thrilled about returning to China having lived and worked in Beijing from 2011-2014. We have also had the privilege of working in Cairo, Egypt as well as Costa Rica. Needless to say we love to travel, explore, and experience, but look forward to making Shanghai our long-term home. Some of my personal interests include competing in triathlons; reading, researching and sharing the latest brain research and its role in the classroom; following EPL soccer and NCAA basketball; spending time with my family; and cheering on my kids in their own endeavors.
  • Riann Caban
    University of North Florida & National University
    Lower School Student Support
    Pudong Lower School
    Greetings SCIS! I am excited and honored to be joining the SCIS team as a Support Services teacher for the lower school. My teaching credentials are held in the sunny state of Florida where I hold a K-12 certification in Special Education and 6-9 certification in Mathematics. My teaching experience includes 14 years and 4 countries where I have worked as both a Support Services and Mathematics teacher at varying levels. By my side on this international journey is my wonderful husband, Vic Caban, and our 2 wonderful children, who are also very excited about being a part of the SCIS family as well as returning to China where we have previous experience of living and working. We are each very excited to be joining such a well- renowned school community and look forward to a great year.
  • Carson Chen
    Shanghai University of Electric Power
    Swimming Coach
    Hongqiao Campus
    Hi everybody! When I was a swimmer, my best years spanned from 1998 to 1999. In 1998, I swam in the national swimming championships competing in 200-meter backstroke achieving a silver medal. In 1999, I attended the national swimming championships competing in the 400-meter freestyle, in which I achieved bronze medal. But, now I have ‘graduated’ from competitive swimming and I now have 9 years swimming coaching experience. I love to teach kids how to swim at all levels and especially of how to go faster! I think you will enjoy in my lessons. Now in my free time I have fallen in love with the sport of fencing, I am actively engaged in pursuing taking this now to a competitive level. If you also interesting fencing, please come and talk to me and maybe we can participate together. Go SCIS!!!
  • Jeffrey Clark
    University of Rochester, & ESADE University
    Grade 10 MYP Science, Grade 11 and 12 DP Physics
    Hongqiao Upper School
    After getting a bachelor’s degree in physics in the chilly city of Rochester, New York I started teaching outside of San Antonio, in my home state of Texas. Shortly after, I discovered the thrills and rewards of international education and am arriving in Shanghai after teaching in Taiwan, Tanzania, and most recently Brazil. I hold two master’s degrees, one in education and one in business. The latter I put to use working in industry for a few years in Barcelona before realizing that teaching was far more exciting. I’m thrilled to be joining SCIS and to continue to learning from my peers and students.
  • Whitney Clodfelter
    University of Tennessee & American College of Education
    Grade 5 Teacher
    Pudong Lower School
    I am so excited to be a part of the SCIS-Pudong community! Originally from sunny South Florida, I earned a degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. I am currently working towards a masters degree in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education. My teaching experience has been across many grades and subject areas, preparing me for the world of international teaching. I taught high school reading for six years in Florida before moving to Doha, Qatar. While in Qatar, I worked as both a preschool teacher and an instructional coach. I am passionate about teaching, particularly literacy education. I believe all students have the ability to learn, they just need the right opportunity. When not teaching, I enjoy reading, traveling, watching college football (go Gators!), and spending time with family, friends, and my cat, Piper. I can’t wait to experience everything Shanghai has to offer!
  • Maree Comerford
    Queensland University of Technology
    MYP Coordinator
    Hongqiao Upper School
    I am very excited to be a part of the SCIS community. I am a proud Australian, originally from Brisbane in Queensland. I left Australia nearly 10 years ago and have had the privilege of working in the United Arab Emirates, Thailand and now China! I love teaching internationally and am very passionate about the Middle Years Programme and the opportunities the International Baccalaureate programs provide students. In my time overseas I have assisted the International Baccalaureate in a number of professional roles including workshop leader and school visiting team member. In my free time I enjoy watching and/or playing all types of sports, particularly touch rugby. I also like to sit and read a good book and enjoy life. I am very much looking forward to living and working in my new home, Shanghai!
  • Caitlyn Connolly
    Santa Clara University (BA), University of San Francisco (MA)
    Grade 2 Teacher
    Hongqiao Lower School
    My name is Caitlyn Connolly and I am teaching grade 2 at the Hongqiao Campus! This will be my fourth year at SCIS, and my second year teaching grade 2! I previously taught grade 1 for five years. I was born and raised in Oregon, which is a beautiful, green state in the Pacific Northwest of the US. I attended undergraduate school at Santa Clara University in California, where I received my Bachelor of Arts in History. I then went north to the University of San Francisco to receive my Master in Education. I lived and taught in the Bay Area for another four years, before taking a chance internationally and coming to SCIS! I love spending my free time playing Gaelic Football, practicing yoga, photography, reading, and traveling. I’m a huge coffee and chocolate enthusiast as well! I’ve really enjoyed my life in Shanghai these past three years and looking forward to what year four brings me!
  • Danielle Cote
    University of Toronto, Trent University & New York State University
    Grade 5 Teacher
    Hongqiao Lower School
    Greetings! I am Danielle Cote from Montreal, Canada. I studied at the University of Toronto where I received a Bachelor of Education degree and a Master of Clinical Social Work degree; Trent University where I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Biology; and New York State University where I received a Master of Science degree. I have taught in Canada, South Korea, Colombia and this is my second year teaching at SCIS. I am passionate about education not only because I love teaching, but because I love learning. Travelling is one off my favorite pastimes as I love exploring new places and experiencing different cultures. To date, I have been to 50 countries and because of my life experiences I am committed to global education, promoting an understanding of our interdependence and our role as a responsible global citizen.
  • Brenda Dean
    Brigham Young University
    Director of Student Support Services
    System
    Welcome! I am thrilled to be working with the students, parents, and staff of SCIS! I’ve worked as a school psychologist at all educational levels, from preschool age to high school students. I can’t pick a favorite age to work with, so I’m happy I can work with them all! My research background and graduate thesis was in cultural sensitivity in school crisis response, so I am very excited to work in a school that values diverse cultural experiences from their students. Personally, I believe in living a balanced life, for students and for myself. Therefore, in addition to work, I love to travel and I consider myself an amateur photographer. I also love to cook (and eat), watch movies, hike, and attend sporting events. Let’s go Dragons!
  • Christopher Demas
    Louisiana State University
    MYP Instrumental Music, MYP Choral Music
    Pudong Upper School
    I started playing piano in group piano class at the age of four in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Eventually, I moved to private lessons continuing through high school. In fourth grade, my school offered an after school activity for band class and I started playing trumpet. As I progressed into high school I finally was able to join band as a class for the first time where I played the French Horn. I attended Louisiana State University and studied with Seth Orgel, James Byo and David Holland in order to earn my Bachelor in Music Education. While there, I participated in two of the concert band ensembles as well as the orchestra and opera pit orchestra. In addition, as part of my scholarships I was a member of the marching band at football games and the pep band at the school’s various inside sports teams. While at LSU I joined Kappa Kappa Psi which is a service fraternity for the band in order to better understand the workings of a top-class program. I also was able to work in the school’s instrument repair shop where I learned how to overhaul and repair instruments under the tutelage of Mark Vandermark. I will be teaching both Instrumental and Choral MYP Music to the Upper School students. I look forward to getting to know the students at SCIS Pudong and creating a wonderful musical experience for them.
  • Cathy Drew
    Sonoma State University & Argosy University
    ECE Student Support Services Counselor
    Hongqiao Early Child Education Campus
    I look forward to learning and growing alongside the students here at SCIS as the new ECE Student Support Services Counselor. I believe that Early Childhood Education (ECE) sets the tone for developing the knowledge attitudes, and skills necessary for children to become healthy, competent and confident learners. My goal is to support all children’s social, emotional, and academic success through education, prevention, early identification and intervention. I have been both teacher and counselor since 1992. Over the last 21 years, I have had a wide variety of educational experiences in a myriad of classroom environments from preschool to high school. My experiences have taken me from my home in California to Beijing, China, Doha, Qatar and most recently Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I earned my Master in Counseling at Sonoma State University, CA and my Doctorate in Education in Counseling Psychology (Ed.D.) from Argosy University. I welcome the opportunity to get to know the students, parents, and faculty in the coming year as I strive to serve the SCIS community.
  • Elizabeth Gale
    University of Michigan & University of Nottingham
    Lower School Principal
    Pudong Lower School
    Greetings SCIS-Pudong community! Originally hailing from the Great Lake State of Michigan, I moved to China in 2004, where I began my career as an international educator at the American International School of Guangzhou (AISG). During my tenure at AISG I worked as an ESL and Homeroom Teacher for students in Kindergarten through Grade 6. Additionally, I served as the Primary Years Program (PYP) Curriculum Coordinator for two years prior to becoming the Elementary Assistant Principal. I am ecsatic to be now serving as the SCIS-Pudong Lower School Principal. I hold a bachelor’s degree in English and Psychology from the University of Michigan, as well as a master's degree in Elementary Education. Currently, I am in the final stages of completing my Doctoral Degree focused on Educational Leadership. As the educational leader of the Lower School, I strongly believe that every child is capable of learning and thus deserves the right to develop his/her highest potential in a safe, nurturing and happy environment, an environment that respects and values the capabilities of all individuals. I am confident that by working together with parents, teachers and students we can further develop a powerful community of lifelong learners.
  • Janna Gibson
    Georgia State University
    Grade 2 Teacher
    Hongqiao Lower School
    Greetings! I moved from South Carolina to South Korea; my anticipated one year abroad turned to into seven! Before my move to China, I most recently spent two years at in an IB PYP school in Vientiane, Laos. I am happy to join SCIS again for my second year as a Grade 2 PYP Teacher. I am certified in Early Childhood Education, Special Education, and am a Google Certified Innovator. I look forward to bringing my expertise to a new class full of enthusiastic learners!
  • Takeshi Haruki
    Hiroshima University
    Intern
    Hongqiao Campus
    Hi! My name is Takeshi Haruki. I am from Hiroshima, Japan. I have taught geography and history (World history and Japanese history) for 11 years in public high school in Hiroshima. This year, I was sent to SCIS as an intern by Hiroshima Board of Education. I am going to study about IB program (DP and MYP, especially, teaching methods and skills) in SCIS. Therefore, I will observe a lot of classes in order to study IB program. I will stay until the end of December (for about 5 months) in Shanghai. I am going to work hard to acquire a lot of good teaching methods and skills. Please talk to me anytime, if you are interested in Japanese history or culture. I am looking forward to talk with you.

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