• Michael Barrs
    University of Florida & University of South Florida
    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!
  • Katie Bartels
    The College of New Jersey
    Grade Three
    Hongqiao Lower School
    My name is Katie Bartels, and I am from New Jersey, USA. Born and raised in southern New Jersey, I love going to the beach and attending different sporting events and concerts in the Philadelphia area. I attended The College of New Jersey in Ewing, NJ where I earned a Bachelors of Science in Clinical/Counseling Psychology and a Masters in the Art of Teaching in Education for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing as well as a degree in Elementary Education. I have worked in a variety of grades and settings and am looking forward to a fabulous experience in Grade 3 here in Shanghai!
  • Melissa Berg
    Luther College & Minnesota State University
    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.
  • Brent Blalock
    University of Southern Mississippi
    Art
    Hongqiao Lower School
    Hello, my name is Brent Blalock and I am an artist, teacher, traveler, and musician. I like to combine all my interests inside the classroom to make learning fun and innovative. The exploration of creativity is my passion and I believe that all children have creative potential and it is my responsibility to help them hone this skill. I spent my first 9 years teaching art to K-grade 5 students in a public school in Georgia, USA. I am thrilled to say that I have completed my second year as an SCIS dragon and as an international teacher. I love this school and I hope to be a part of the SCIS family for a long time. I have a bachelors’ degree in art from the University of Southern Mississippi.
  • Caitlyn Connolly
    Santa Clara University, University of San Francisco
    Grade Two
    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 Four
    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.
  • Cyna Dai
    East China Normal University & Shanghai International Studies University
    Mandarin
    Hongqiao Lower School
    Hi! 你们好 (Ni men hao)! My name is Cyna Dai. My hometown is Shanghai, China. I received one B.A. in Teaching Chinese as Second Language from East China Normal University and another B.A. in English Linguistics and Literature from Shanghai International Studies University. I am so excited to be back in SCIS to be a Mandarin teacher in Lower School this year! I joined SCIS big family in 2012 and left in 2016. Last school year, I taught in Shanghai United International School as a classroom teacher. I have a passion for teaching and love working with children. Beyond teaching, I love to practice yoga, and explore the world by reading and sometimes traveling. I look forward to a great school year! Let’s make Mandarin learning fun and easy together!
  • Leslie Deal
    University of Virginia
    Grade Four
    Hongqiao Lower School
    Hello! My name is Leslie Deal, and I am excited to be starting my fourth year on the 4th grade team at SCIS. I was born, raised, and educated in Charlottesville, Virginia (Go UVA!). I spent the first 22 years of my life living at the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. After graduation, I moved to Paris, France where I taught ESOL for two years. After Paris, I moved back home and taught 5th grade for two years. I love living in Shanghai and being a part of the wonderful SCIS community. I am looking forward to a great year! Please feel free to email me with any questions at ldeal@scis-his.org.
  • Sean Dennison
    Miami University and Arizona State University
    Music
    Hongqiao Lower School
    My name is Sean Dennison and I am thrilled to be returning to the SCIS team for a sixth year! I came to Shanghai from the United States where I grew up in the middle of farm country, so it is exciting for me to live in a huge city that is rich in history and culture. I am one of the Hongqiao campus' Lower School music teachers, and I hope to share memorable, musical experiences that will help all of us learn about ourselves, our school, our community, and our world.
  • Tiffany M Dennison
    Pennsylvania State University
    Grade Four
    Hongqiao Lower School
    Hi! My name is Tiffany Dennison and this will be my sixth year teaching here at SCIS HQ! My husband, Sean Dennison, teaches Music here in the Lower School! We are very excited about returning to the community at SCIS and having another great year with the wonderful students and faculty. I am originally from the U.S. state of Pennsylvania where I earned my Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education in 2005 from Penn State University! I earned my Master’s Degree while here in Shanghai through the State University of New York (SUNY). This summer, I completed my Principal certification through the Principal Training Center (PTC). In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my friends, photography, traveling, doing pilates, and shopping!
  • Julie Devitto
    Nottingham Trent
    Grade Three
    Hongqiao Lower School
    This is my sixth-year teaching at SCIS, where I have taught both 3rd and 4th grade. I am from Harrogate, England and I previously taught in Thailand before coming to Shanghai. I love to travel and I have had the opportunity to travel to lots of places in Asia. I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and I practice yoga and mindfulness regularly. I have a degree in Psychology, teaching certification from the UK and an MA in Education. I am looking forward to spending another year at SCIS!
  • Vicki Duchac
    Lincoln University
    Grade Four
    Hongqiao Lower School
    Hello SCIS! My name is Vicki Duchac and I have been working and travelling around the world for over ten years. Originally from New Zealand; I got the traveling bug after living for a year in Japan and since then have taught in N.Z, England, South Korea and the U.S.A. I received my Bachelors degree at Lincoln University and my Graduate Diploma in Teaching at Canterbury University. My husband, two-year-old son and I have lived in Shanghai for a year and love the city! We spend our weekends biking around the city exploring museums and art galleries, volunteering within the local community and finding the best places to eat! I like to bring all of these experiences to the classroom to share with my students. I have found that students learn best through creative, experiential learning, and I love providing learners with these opportunities. I can’t wait to meet you all and get started with my third year of teaching 4th grade at SCIS!
  • Janna Gibson
    Georgia State University
    Grade Two
    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!
  • Kevin Haggith
    University of Windsor, University of Toronto, Nipissing University
    Principal
    Hongqiao Lower School
    I am pleased to begin my second year of leadership at SCIS. My personal learning journey began in Canada and has expanded with my family through Asia, the Middle East and many parts of Europe. My initial interests in photography and filmmaking led to a degree in communications followed later by studies in environmental science and economics. Eventually a career in teaching led to a degree in Education followed by a Masters in Administration and Leadership. My principal qualifications came through the Ontario Principal Counsel. During my 14 years in a classroom I taught mostly Grade 7 and 8 but I have experience in Grades 3 through 8. In the past I have been Learning Technology Coordinator in Hong Kong, and administrator in Canada and Kuwait. Coming back to China has been a wonderful experience for us with many more adventures yet to be had and more interesting people to meet.
  • Janette Haggith
    Wilfrid Laurier University
    Primary Years Programme Coordinator
    Hongqiao Lower School
    Hello! My name is Janette Haggith and I am the Primary Years Programme Coordinator for the ECE Campus and Lower School in Hongqiao. This is my third year in Shanghai and I look forward to another amazing year in our very dynamic international community school. I am honored to be a part of our school’s PYP journey that has recently led us to become a PYP authorized school. Working with staff and students to promote inquiry and student-centered learning is a big focus for me. I have a Master’s degree from SUNY, Buffalo, Bachelor degrees in Arts and Education and a Reading Specialist from Canada. It has always been my passion to work with children and I was a classroom teacher for many years, most of them in Ontario. I have also taught in Hong Kong and was a Literacy Coach and PYP Coordinator in Kuwait. SCIS has become an important part of my life and I look forward to my third year!
  • Tracy Huang
    State University of New York, Buffalo
    Mandarin Coordinator
    Hongqiao Lower School
    Hello! My name is Tracy Huang. I am from Shanghai China. I graduated from Shanghai Normal University (SHNU) and was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in elementary school education. My passion and interest in international school education led me to continue my study in State University of New York, Buffalo and was awarded a master degree in Master of Science. During my study, I also took the course of teaching English to Speakers of other Languages, teaching Mandarin to speakers of other countries and I was certified of Advanced TESOL, TCSOL and TCFL qualifications. I started my first IB teaching career in Shanghai World Foreign Language school PYP department as a homeroom teacher and team leader, teaching languages and the Unit of Inquiry for more than 6 years. During these years, I attended lots of workshops required by IB both domestic and overseas. I have joined SCIS since 2012. In this coming school year, I will continue to teach Mandarin in Lower School. I am very proud of being a member of SCIS, such a diverse and great family. I enjoyed every minute teaching young children in SCIS who are so smart, creative and energetic. I am looking forward to another great school year.
  • Sunny Ji
    Huadong University
    Mandarin
    Hongqiao Lower School
    Ni Hao! My name is Sunny Ji. I graduated from Shanghai East China Normal University with a degree in Chinese Education for primary school children. I have been working in SCIS since 2011. Before I joined at SCIS, I taught Mandarin for nine years in a local school and for more than 10 years at another international schools in Shanghai. Personally, I love children and I love my job as a teacher. I believe I can bring all my teaching experience into the daily work and work hard to connect with my students. I am very pleased to work in such a great environment. Have a great year!
  • Meredith Jones
    Florida State University
    Grade Three
    Hongqiao Lower School
    Hello! My name is Meredith Jones. This is my fourth year at SCIS and I am thrilled to be teaching grade five! I’m not truly from any one place. My family moved fourteen times all over the southern United States. We ended up in beautiful Northwest Florida where I finished high school and attended college. I studied Elementary Education at Florida State University and spent four years teaching fifth grade on the gulf coast before moving to Shanghai. I have certifications in Elementary Education, Reading, English Speakers of Other Languages, and Gifted Education. When I am not working I love reading, kayaking, and spending time with my friends and family.
  • Nina Keller
    University of Southern California
    Grade Two
    Hongqiao Lower School
    I am pleased to return to SCIS as a member of the 2nd grade team. I received a Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary Education at the University of Southern California, as well as Bachelor’s degrees in Spanish language and literature and Political science at Portland State University in Oregon. I consider myself to be a lifelong learner, and I always look for experiences for personal and professional growth. I am committed to facilitating an inclusive classroom community of learners. I enjoy yoga, rock climbing, hiking, foreign languages, vegetarian food, and reading fiction novels. My family lives in Missouri and California, and I love visiting them during holidays. I appreciate the richness and diversity of Shanghai and the SCIS community, and it is a privilege to practice teaching here!
  • Tara Morgan Lafferty
    SUNY Buffalo
    Grade Two
    Hongqiao Lower School
    Hello! My name is Tara Morgan, and I am so thrilled to be returning for my 4th year at SCIS as a 2nd Grade Teacher! I am originally from Middle Tennessee, but spent a few years in Dallas, Texas, before moving to this incredible city! Along with my teaching certification from the Great State of Texas, I also received my B.S. in Business Management from University of Phoenix. This will be my 7th year teaching, and my experience includes a wide array of levels including Kindergarten, 6th/7th English & Reading, 5TH Grade, Special Education-Behavior, and Gifted & Talented. Each experience has provided me with something unique and special, and with this I know that I am always learning and growing as an individual and educator.

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