• 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 join an outstanding team of Dragons 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 over fifteen 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 thrilled to be joining the community here at SCIS. 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 a love of kimchi!). Counseling is an incredibly rewarding and exciting field and I especially enjoy working with elementary-aged students; I look forward to meeting and working with each and 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!
  • Sonya Bob
    University of Oklahoma & Northeastern State University
    Grade 3 Teacher
    Hangzhou International School
    I was born and raised on the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation, which is in south central New Mexico in the Rocky Mountains. I graduated from Ruidoso High School and worked as a Cosmetologist for six years. I got married and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where I have been living for the past 22 years. I worked with Native American Family Services helping parents and children in the foster care program. In 1998, I decided to go to college and become a teacher. I attended Northeastern State University and graduated in 2005. I started working at Hoover Elementary School, teaching 4th grade Language Arts. In 2007, I received a Fullbright/Hayes Grant to visit China and Korea. This was a great opportunity and an amazing experience. I fell in love with China. Also in 2007, Hoover Elementary joined with The First Experimental Primary School of the Central District in ChongQing. Hoover and Renhe have had a wonderful relationship for the past 10 years, exchanging teachers and students to share education, culture, and friendship. I returned to China in 2012 as part of this exchange program. I went back to college in 2007 and received a Master’s Degree in Administration and Curriculum. I continued to teach 4th grade Language Arts and, at the same time, worked with various other grade levels to develop curriculum, testing, and expectations, to ensure student success. I also worked with Tulsa Public Schools developing curriculum for Common Core and Aspirant Leadership Academy. I love doing arts and crafts, so I decided to move to a middle/high school to teach art. I have worked to develop curriculum, grants, and motivational lessons to promote “at risk” student achievement. I teach my students that they, too, can become successful leaders. I truly enjoy working with students, and I try to encourage them every step of the way. I love to travel and meet new people. This world has so many different places to discover and explore. I try to inspire students to pursue their goals, find their destiny, and enjoy life.
  • Danielle Bowers
    Houghton College
    US English & IB English A: Language and Literature
    Hangzhou International School
    Hello! My name is Danielle Bowers. I grew up in Mali and Senegal, though I'm American, and so I have always had a passion for teaching international students, as I was one myself. I previously taught in Baltimore, Maryland in a public middle school and in Dakar, Senegal at an international school. As a teacher, I love challenging my students to see the world around them from different perspectives through the lens of literature. When I am not busy teaching or grading essays, I enjoy catching up on my reading, training for half-marathons, cooking, crocheting, and playing with my little dog, Lucy. I'm thrilled to be teaching at HIS and living in Hangzhou!
  • Paige Brooks-Cook
    Spelman College & Wheelock College
    Hangzhou International School
    Hello! I am one of the kindergarten teachers at HIS. I was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, as the youngest sibling with three older brothers. Both of my parents are educators and they instilled a love for education and teaching in me from an early age. As a young adult, I worked with children whenever I had an opportunity. After I graduated from high school, I attended Spelman College where I received a Bachelors in Economics.  I also attended Wheelock where I received a Masters in Early Childhood Education. I have had experience teaching in preschool, kindergarten and first grade classrooms. I enjoy teaching the younger grades and love the challenge of creating an academically rigorous classroom with hands on learning and play. I see each day as an opportunity to learn new things, both for my students and for myself. Outside of work I enjoy west African dance, hiking, and spending time with friends and family. 
  • 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.
  • Marylou Casillas
    Metropolitan State University of Denver Colorado
    Pre-school Teacher
    Hangzhou International School
    Hello, my name is Marylou Casillas and I am excited to be working at HIS as a preschool teacher.  I am originally from Southern California.  I received a Bachelors Degree in Sociology from Kansas Wesleyan University in Kansas State and an Elementary Teacher License from Metropolitan State University of Denver in Colorado State.  Previously I have taught in Honduras where I was a 1st grade teacher at an international school. Some of the things I enjoy are working with kids, experiencing cultures, enjoying nature, being active, and traveling.  I look forward to working with my students at HIS, meeting them where they are, and helping them reach their potential.
  • 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 third year at SCIS, but my first 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 two years and looking forward to what year three brings me!
  • Danielle Cote
    University of Toronto & 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. I also received a Master of Science degree from New York State University. I have taught in Canada, South Korea and Colombia. I am passionate about education not only because I love teaching, but because I love learning. I am also very passionate about exploring new places and experiencing different cultures. To date, I have been to 48 countries and as a result of my life experiences, I am very committed to global education, promoting an understanding of our interdependence and our role as a global citizen. I am so excited to be a part of SCIS’s diverse international community, within an amazing city and I look forward to meeting and working with you all!
  • Brenda Dean
    Brigham Young University
    Director of Student Support Services
    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.