• Karin Valenza
    Cornerstone University
    Math Grades 6-7
    Pudong Upper School
    I am originally from a small town in central Minnesota and moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan to attend Cornerstone University. I received my teaching certification in Mathematics and Science in 2000 and my Master’s Degree in curriculum in 2004. My husband, Paulo, and I have two beautiful children, Amira and Tate. I have always enjoyed other cultures. During my student teaching in Guatemala, I was introduced to the world of overseas teaching and was very excited to finally be able to return to it. I taught 7th and 8th grade mathematics in Grand Rapids, Michigan for five years before my husband and I decided to embark on this amazing journey of overseas teaching. We spent four years at the American School of Kuwait before making our way to Shanghai in 2009.
  • Paulo Valenza
    Cornerstone University
    Tech Coordinator
    Pudong Upper School
    I truly see the value of our children having a balanced world perspective. After all, I am the product of international schools. Born in Curitiba, Brazil, I lived most of my childhood in the States. As a middle schooler, my parents decided to move back to Brazil where I lived until Grade 11. This life experience gave me an appreciation for new cultures. I believe I have a special connection with our students as a fellow Third Culture Kid. I have been at SCIS Pudong for five years and am in my first year as campus Tech Coordinator. Prior to this role, I taught Yearbook, produced ‘Dragon News’ with students (our campus’ monthly magazine) as well as taught a Modular Technology class for middle and high school students. My family and I really feel privileged to be at such a great school and to live in such an exiting country. Prior to our time at SCIS, my wife and I taught at the American School of Kuwait for four years. We have many wonderful memories of living and teaching in Kuwait, including the birth of both our kids, Amira and Tate. For ten years prior to teaching internationally, I was a music director in Grand Rapids, Michigan. During this time, I gained hands-on experience with technology through performing, recording and producing music. My Bachelor's Degree is from Cornerstone University, and I am very close to completing my Master's though the State University of New York. Beyond teaching tech, other things I love to do with my time are traveling, photography, filmmaking, playing piano, all while being a dad and a husband!
  • Nichola van Gestel
    Acadia University
    Kindergarten Teacher
    Hongqiao Early Child Education Campus
    Hello! My name is Nichola VanGestel and I am very excited to be teaching Kindergarten at SCIS ECE campus this year. I am from Canada but I identify myself as a third culture kid as I have lived overseas my whole life. I grew up in the International School System and love being back in the schools as a teacher. I went ‘home’ to Canada for university and got my degrees from Acadia University. As soon as I graduated with my education degree I went back overseas. I taught Kindergarten in Bahrain for three years and 1st grade in Thailand for two years, before coming to Shanghai. For the past two years I taught 1st grade at SCIS. I am very excited to be teaching Kindergarten this year! I love traveling and living abroad and I appreciate exchanging cultural experiences with all those I meet. I am looking forward to another great year!
  • Joshua Vanta
    Baylor University
    IB Math Studies & Physical Education
    Pudong Upper School
    Howdy, allow me to introduce myself! Originally from Great State of Texas, I attended Baylor University in Waco, graduating with a degree in Health Science Studies while contributing to multiple publications within the Health, Human Performance and Recreation research lab. I have taught Math at both the Middle and High School level, in addition to instructing primary and secondary Physical and Health Education. Prior to SCIS I was in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I enjoy eating, athletics, photography, exercising, and coaching, as I have grown up competing in multiple sports even up to now. I was very fortunate to have such great teachers and mentors throughout every level of my education. Now, I look forward to reciprocating those memorable and everlasting efforts towards SCIS and its community while doing my absolute best to provide every student with the best experience they deserve both inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Ben Voegele
    Boise State University
    Director of Admissions
    Greetings!  My name is Ben Voegele and I am beginning my first year at SCIS as the Director of Admissions (system wide).  I’m originally from Boise, Idaho, but grew up internationally living in Hong Kong and Taiwan.  Academically, I have a Bachelor of Science degree from Boise State University (go Broncos!) and an MBA in Marketing from Columbia Southern University.  Professionally, I worked in pro sports before before becoming a classroom teacher in the United States for the last 13 years teaching primarily 6th grade in West Valley City, Utah.  I’ve also coached baseball and basketball at the high school level prior to coming to Shanghai.  When I’m not working, I can usually be found enjoying the outdoors, staying fit, traveling, and writing. I’m looking forward to this new experience and feel very lucky to be a member of the SCIS community!
  • Monia Voegelin
    University of Aix-en-Provence & Alliance Française of Paris
    Upper School French
    Hongqiao Upper School
    Bonjour! My name is Monia Voegelin and I am a High School French teacher. I received a M A. in Psychology from the University of Aix-en-Provence and later obtained a teaching certificate for French as a foreign language from the Alliance Française of Paris. In 2013, I started my teaching career in Mumbai,India. I love languages and I keep on learning them to travel the world as much as I can. I am excited to be in Shanghai and I am looking forward to meet my new students at SCIS!
  • Frank Volpe
    Saint Michael’s College & University of New Mexico
    Upper School Principal
    Pudong Upper School
    I am honored to lead the Upper School at SCIS Pudong. In my 15 years as an educator working in U.S. public schools and at international schools in China, I have focused on school leadership, language acquisition, curriculum development, and student support services. I was drawn to SCIS because of its commitment to the International Baccalaureate Programs. I feel strongly that these programs best serve international school students. I recently completed my Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at the University of New Mexico. I am particularly interested in the science of learning. In addition, I hold master’s degree in in Special Education, School Counseling, and a certification in Educational Administration. As an undergraduate I earned my bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Political Science at Saint Michael’s College. When not at school, I enjoy spending time with my family. My wife, Emily Williams and my daughters Cadence and Aria are here with me at SCIS. In the summer we split our time in the U.S. between my home state of Vermont and my adopted home of New Mexico. In my free time, I enjoy basketball, studying Chinese, traveling, and being active outdoors.