• Amy Darden
    Brooklyn College, NY/University of West Florida, FL
    Grade 4 Teacher
    Hangzhou International School
    This is my second year at HIS, and I couldn't be happier. I am originally from Daytona Beach, Florida and have taught 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade previously. I love to travel, and my passion is the fine arts, especially theatre. During my free time, I enjoy cooking, reading, and singing/dancing around my living room. I enjoy developing students' love of reading and teaching through the arts.
  • Chandler Dayton
    Montana State University & Kansas City Art Institute
    Art Teacher
    Pudong Upper School
    Since 2009, Ms. Dayton has been teaching Visual Art at SCIS Pudong. The art program has grown tremendously in that time with new classrooms and a dedicated art gallery and a new program, IB Visual Arts. Helping students find hidden talents, learn and develop art skills, become 'art aware', learn to talk about art with critical and independent voices are all important aspects of her program. Shanghai is a vibrant city for the arts with many venues for seeing quality artworks from artists around the world, and field trips to important exhibitions are always available. In her spare time, Ms Dayton takes art classes, and enjoys what the city has to offer.
  • Leslie Deal
    University of Virginia
    Grade 4 Teacher
    Hongqiao Lower School
    Hello! My name is Leslie Deal, and I am excited to be starting my 3rd year on the 4th grade team at SCIS-HIS. 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.
  • 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!
  • Justin Deerwester
    Arizona State University/Grand Canyon University
    MS & US Math Teacher
    Hangzhou International School
    Hi! I come from Phoenix, Arizona. It comes as no surprise that I fit right in when I joined the Peace Corps, spending two years teaching in Malawi, Africa sweltering in a brick and tin roof school house. Far from having the traveling adventure end, I traded the heat for rain, moving to the Netherlands to teach. It's there where I found my love of cycling! After completing my second year, I feel more at home at HIS and in Hangzhou. I hope to continue my activities with the Outreach club and look forward to coaching middle school basketball. To me, serenity in life comes from pushing oneself, both mentally and physically. I enjoy playing Ultimate Frisbee, an ASA that will take place in the first and fourth quarter. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and if you see me out on the streets of Hangzhou please say hi!
  • 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.
  • Jessica Deng
    Beijing Normal University
    Mandarin Teacher
    Hongqiao Upper School
    Ni hao! My name is Jessica Deng. I graduated from Beijing Normal University in 2009 earning a Master degree in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language. I have taught Mandarin both in China and abroad. Currently I am teaching Mandarin in upper school. I am very excited to be here and to be part of this big family. Looking forward to a new start in 2011!
  • Tiffany M Dennison
    Pennsylvania State University
    Grade 4 Teacher
    Hongqiao Lower School
    Hi! My name is Tiffany Dennison and this will be my fifth 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 recently earned my Master’s Degree while here in Shanghai through the State University of New York (SUNY). In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my friends, traveling, shopping, working out, and photography.
  • Sean Dennison
    Miami University and Arizona State University
    Music Teacher
    Hongqiao Lower School
    My name is Sean Dennison and I am thrilled to be returning to the SCIS team for a fifth 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.
  • Julie Devitto
    Nottingham Trent
    Grade 3 Teacher
    Hongqiao Lower School
    This is my fifth year at SCIS and my second year teaching 4th Grade at the school. I am originally from Harrogate, England. I have been teaching abroad for 8 years now, and before coming to Shanghai I was was teaching in Phuket, Thailand. I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and practice yoga and mindfulness outside of school. My degree is in Psychology, followed by my teaching certificate, and Masters in Education. I am looking forward to spending another year at SCIS!
  • Michelle Dierker
    Webster University
    Grade 1 Teacher
    Hangzhou International School
    Hello, Dragon Family! My name is Michelle Dierker and I am from St. Louis, Missouri, USA. I have a true passion for working and learning alongside little ones and I am grateful for the opportunity to do so in first grade in Hangzhou!  I attended graduate school at Webster University where I received my Masters in Early Childhood Education in 2014. In previous years, I have taught second grade and I first began my teaching journey in Special Education, which still holds a very special place in my heart. While HIS is my first experience teaching internationally, I have lived abroad on the beautiful island of Guam for three years. It is a place that truly became home in my time there, and I miss the warmth and beauty of island people on a daily basis. Learning about people and their traditions from around the world is one of my favorite things and I always look forward to getting to know my students and their families. When I am not in the classroom, I can often be found exploring my surroundings with a camera in hand., traveling, and trying new things! I’m looking forward to the many adventures in learning that are to come at HIS this year! 
  • Kate Dobson
    San Francisco State University
    Speech Language Pathologist Lower School
    Pudong Lower School
    Greetings! My name is Kate Dobson and I am a speech and language pathologist from the United States. I hail from Connecticut and spent time overseas with my family in London while growing up. My first experience working in an international school was in Jakarta, Indonesia where I spent five wonderful years and where I met my husband Marin. I have several years of experience working as an SLP in public schools in Hawaii and Wisconsin. It is my hope that I can help all students reach their full potential at school. Marin and I are thrilled to share the international school experience with our twin boys and to show them a bit of the world. In my free time I like learning new skills and hobbies like: playing the ukulele, wood turning, blacksmithing, and scuba diving.
  • Marin Dobson
    University of Wisconsin Madison
    HS Science and Physical Education
    Pudong Upper School
    Hello! I am Marin Dobson, Science and Physical Education teacher from Wisconsin in the United States. I have taught science at the middle and high school level for the past 15 years, while coaching basketball and volleyball as well. My journey has taken me from Wisconsin to both coasts of the US, Mexico City, Jakarta, and Hawaii. My wife Kate and our two boys are super excited about getting back into the international community and exploring the culture and experiences of China. My special interests include the microbial world of bacteria, anaerobic fermentation, and the works of David Foster Wallace.
  • 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.
  • Heather Dryden
    Middlebury Institute of International Studies
    Grade 1 Teacher
    Hongqiao Early Child Education Campus
    Greetings SCIS! My name is Heather Dryden and I am thrilled to be teaching first grade at the Hongqiao ECE campus beginning in August 2015. I am from the United States and a proud West Coast native (born in San Francisco, CA and raised in Seattle, WA). I was initially bit by the travel bug in high school and have spent much of the past 16 years abroad. I attended Gonzaga University in Washington State where I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Elementary Education. Additionally, I studied abroad in Mexico, Italy, and Spain during my college career. I later attended graduate school at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, where I pursued my Master’s in TESOL. Professionally, I have taught preschool and first grade in Mexico, Thailand, and the United States, then designed a scholarship program for children in rural El Salvador. I have spent the past four years teaching third grade in Panama City, Panama and La Paz, Bolivia. I am incredibly excited to join SCIS’s talented, dedicated faculty, and to be part of a profession that combines my love for children, learning, and exploring the world.
  • Vicki Duchac
    Lincoln University
    Grade 4 Teacher
    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 second year of teaching 4th grade at SCIS!
  • Adam Duchac
    Cantebury University
    Grade 4 Teacher
    Hongqiao Upper School
    Hello SCIS community! My wife, our two-year-old son, Jack Zando, and our 15-year-old Chihuahua, Alfred Sigfred Wilfred, have come from Seoul, South Korea where we taught at an international school for three years. Prior to Seoul, we lived and worked (and climbed, surfed and biked!) in New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S. (I’m from Asheville, North Carolina). We decided it was high time to experience another East Asian mega city and are excited about being part of such a positive school community. I’m particularly excited about working in the middle school humanities department. Learning about humans, and how and why we’re here, is a passion of mine. Working in an international setting as a humanities teacher is amazing as so many perspectives and opinions are on display. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Asheville with a degree in history and education, and I am just about finished with my masters’ degree in educational leadership from the University of Northern Iowa. The human condition is a fascinating one and I look forward to learning alongside all of you!
  • Jessica Dunbar
    Wellesley College
    IB Standard Level Mathematics
    Hongqiao Upper School
    My name is Jessica Dunbar, and I grew up on a horse ranch in Montana, USA. I love the outdoors with a particular interest in hiking, backpacking, snowboarding, and playing ultimate frisbee. I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from Wellesley College followed by a Masters of Education in Secondary Mathematics and Teacher Leadership from the University of Maryland, College Park. I am teaching IB Standard Level Mathematics at the Hong Qiao campus. During my career I have taught in a variety of locations - Texas, Virginia, Washington DC, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia - as well as a variety of grade levels - grades 6-12. I greatly enjoy teaching IB mathematics as it allows me the opportunity to help students to develop mathematical connections, apply the concepts that they are learning, and use their creativity and understanding of mathematics to access a problem through a variety of different pathways.
  • Ben Dunbar
    University of Arkansas
    IB English Teacher
    Hongqiao Upper School
    I am a third generation teacher who is passionate about both my subject and, more importantly, its extrapolatory benefits for students. Skills of analysis and articulation apply to any field or career, and they are founded upon concepts of comprehension and communication. That these skills can be developed through a broad range of texts from song lyrics, political speeches, Nike advertisements, Shakespearean plays, Romantic poetry, or even the front page is what keeps the class from ever becoming stagnant or boring! I attended private preparatory schools in Arkansas, matriculating to university study where I received a BA in English and a Master’s in the Art of Teaching. My Peace Corps service in Turkmenistan instilled a commitment to cross-cultural understanding and educational development, further strengthened by four years of managing US State Department teacher-exchange programs through a DC-based NGO. In my 12 year-teaching career in the US, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, I’ve taught an array of courses from AP Comp and Lit to IGCSE English and IB Language and Literature. In the summers, I reside in Bozeman, Montana with my wife Jessica and our newborn daughter Mackenzie, filling my time with as much hiking, distance running, and ultimate frisbee as possible!
  • Yolande duPlooy
    University of Pretoria (Pretoria, South Africa)
    MS Social Studies
    Hangzhou International School
    Hangzhou has been my home for the last couple of years, but I am originally from Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa. I am the second eldest of four children, and the only teacher in my family. Prior to HIS, I taught at Wahaha Bilingual School here in Hangzhou and at various schools in South Africa. I have also spent some time in the corporate world as a User Acceptance/Quality Assurance Tester. I believe that the time spent in the corporate sector, has given me a fuller range of experiences and strategies to use as a teacher. It was at one of the schools in South Africa, that I taught students from abroad for the first time and it sparked my desire to teach internationally. I took a leap of faith and traveled to the United Kingdom where I worked at various high schools as a substitute teacher. This opportunity broadened my own perspective and understandings of the world. To have lived outside my comfort zone presented the opportunity for fascinating life experiences. Aside from teaching, my other great passion in the world is to travel to historical places of which I could only read about in books when I was a student. I also enjoy reading, going to the movies, the outdoors, any form of sport for enjoyment and spending time with family and friends. My motto in life is, “the person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare” (Dale Carnegie).