Sally is from Victoria, Australia. She completed her Bachelor of Education, Visual Arts, in Melbourne and has been involved in Primary and Secondary education in rural and metropolitan schools in Victoria, the Northern Territory and Queensland for many years. Sally has taught in a variety of institutions including hospital schools and correctional centre facilities. She is immersed in Arts Education having been involved in Visual Arts and Media Educational organizations throughout Australia.
Teaching internationally has developed her passion for the PYP program and the inquiry approach to learning. Taking risks, inquiring, thinking critically, and reflecting on learning encourages students to be active participants in the arts. Sally enjoys the challenge of teaching in the Elementary school, and works enthusiastically with her students to explore all aspects of the visual arts and technology. Her hope is to encourage students to take visual art out of the classroom and into the environment and the community.
Sally’s interests include traveling, digital media and photography, drawing and exploring all cultural diversity China has to offer.
Jo-Ann has been teaching in international schools since 2009. She was born in the Philippines and later moved to Taiwan with her parents. She is a passionate early childhood teacher and believes in practicing play-based learning to stimulate curiosity and encourage exploration in young children.
Jo-Ann has a Bachelors degree in Chemistry, and a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education. She is also a licensed secondary education teacher in Physical Science. She has taught the Montessori and IB Primary Years Program before coming to BCIS. She feels very blessed to have a teaching experience in both programs and it helped her tremendously in working and understanding young children. She is thrilled to be a part of the BCIS family. It is her dream to pursue further studies in Human Development and Early Childhood Intervention in the future.
Jo-Ann loves traveling and spending time with her husband Michael and 15-year-old daughter Beryll. Every year they look forward in spending the summer in Wisconsin, USA and be with family and friends. She also enjoys cooking and discovering new recipes and doing arts and crafts activities with her daughter. Jo-Ann and her family feel very privileged to become part of Beijing’s international community.
Alicia Brena Nuno
Pre-Kindergarten Team Leader
Alicia Brena Nuno
Alicia is a passionate teacher from Madrid, Spain. She loves working with children and believes that the quality of education a person receives in early life is critical in bringing out that person’s potential, and that all children should have access to quality learning and care.
Alicia gained her Bachelor of Early Years Education at the Autonomous University of Madrid in 2002. She completed her degree with an internship in a Spanish school in Paris, France, which she was awarded with honours.
After finishing her degree, Alicia moved to London, England, where she worked as an Early Years teacher for 4 years and obtained her Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). After experiencing working with native children, she moved back to Madrid, Spain, where she taught 4 more years as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher in a bilingual school.
As a passionate traveller, Alicia and her husband Jorge, decided to travel around Asia in 2011. They visited many different countries and had many great experiences. While travelling, they were attracted to the Chinese culture and people. This led to a decision to stay in Beijing, China.
Since arriving in Beijing, Alicia worked at an international kindergarten for 1 year before receiving the opportunity to join BCIS. She is very happy and grateful for this opportunity and really enjoys working at BCIS.
When Alicia is not working, she loves to plan her next trip with her husband, have long chats with friends and family, cook, and read.
Cathy Chen is from Beijing, China. Cathy has worked as a teaching assistant at BCIS since 2009, before that she worked at FLTRP (Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press) as a language teacher of both English and Chinese. She holds a bachelors degree in literature, and a masters in linguistics from Beijing Normal University, as well as her teacher’s certificate. Before joining BCIS, Cathy also edited a book, called “Fun Fun English” which was subsequently published. In her spare time, Cathy likes reading, swimming and traveling with family and friends!
Mary Deng is from the south of China. She graduated with a BA in Pre-school Education, and also holds a teacher certificate in Pre-school Education. She has three years' experience as a homeroom teacher and a Kindergarten Chinese teacher before joining BCIS. She learned a lot about real teaching and real children beyond just what you find in the textbook.
Mary has been working at BCIS since 2010. She is very excited to be working with people from around the world, and really appreciates the opportunities to learn about PYP, differentiation, and investigation. She loves to share Chinese culture with her students not just the language, but in other interesting and engaging ways as well. In Mary’s class, she likes her students to learn Chinese naturally and happily. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, swimming, reading, singing and spending time with family and friends.
Hannah is from the UK and has been working internationally since 2003. After teaching kindergarten in Mexico and volunteering at literacy program for migrant workers' children, Hannah gained her Bachelors degree in International politics and modern languages from Leeds University, UK in 2002. She then worked for the local Education authorities in their Widening Participation scheme for community outreach, while also volunteering at a children's charity for immigrants.
Hannah then moved to Paris, France, where she worked and also completed a Post-graduate degree in Communications & Marketing. In 2006, she travelled to Beijing with her husband and continued to work in Communications first at the British Embassy, where she was awarded an MBE for her contributions, and later at the British Council, the Culture and Education section of the Embassy.
Hannah re-trained into teaching in 2012 and completed her PGCE with Nottingham University (post-graduate certificate in Education) in 2014 with a focus on international learning environments and early years education. Since 2011 she has been providing supply teaching at BCIS and volunteering at a local children's hospice.
Hannah loves working with children and is passionate about sharing knowledge through experience. In her spare time she loves traveling with her family, discovering new countries, cultures, languages and food. A keen communicator, she is fluent in French, Spanish, Chinese and English, Hannah is delighted to bring all of her experience and enthusiasm to the BCIS community.
Activities Team Leader
Dean Eddington is currently working as the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten PE teacher. He was born and raised in Tasmania, where he also received his Bachelor of Human Movement Degree, majoring in Health and Physical Education. Past teaching experiences have led him to teach in China, Hong Kong, and Australia. Before joining the BCIS team in 2008, Dean held a teaching position at Holy Rosary Primary School, Tasmania. During his time at Holy Rosary, he taught Physical Education and the Grade 3/4 classroom. He is excited about enriching children's lives through exercise and sport.
When Dean is not teaching, he enjoys spending time with his family, bike riding, having dinner at Hot Pot restaurants, and playing a variety of sports. His family is also a part of BCIS, with his three children enrolled in the school and his wife, Megan, teaching in the Secondary School Library.
Vanessa is originally from the North-West of England and graduated from Birmingham University in 1997 with a BEd (Hons), specializing in English. She has taught in various schools across the North-West, teaching all grade levels. During her teaching career, she has been a Literacy consultant where she had the opportunity to support teachers in their teaching of reading, writing and phonics.
Vanessa’s last position was that of Deputy Headteacher and Early Years Leader in a primary school in Bolton,UK. She is most passionate about Early Childhood Teaching and joined the Kindergarten team at BCIS in August 2013. Vanessa moved to Beijing with her husband, Mark, who is the Grade 5 ELL teacher and their daughter, who is a student at BCIS. Vanessa is delighted to be part of the BCIS community and all that Beijing has to offer.
Outside the classroom, Vanessa enjoys dining out, reading, going to watch theatre shows and spending quality time with her family.
Nursery Homeroom/IT Team Leader
Helen comes to Beijing from Devon in the south of England. After completing a degree in Applied Social Studies at Lancaster University, she attained the postgraduate qualification of Early Years Professional Status, also at Lancaster University, with a specialism in working with 0-5 year olds.
She moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, to work as a Nursery homeroom teacher and IT Coach for Jakarta World Academy. It was in her four years here that Helen discovered a passion for technology, and she enjoys combining this with her early years expertise to help children get the very best from their learning experiences.
After working alongside Chinese partner teachers in Jakarta, Helen is excited to discover all that China, with its history, heritage and culture, has to offer. She is joined in Beijing by her husband Andy, and their new baby Harrison. In her spare time, Helen enjoys swimming, baking and exploring the local area.
Nursery Team Leader
Nancy is from the United Kingdom and has been teaching internationally since 2007. She graduated from the University of the West of England with a Joint Honors Degree in Education and Art. Before moving overseas, Nancy worked for four years as a grade three and Kindergarten teacher at a school in London.
Her first experience overseas was in Bangkok, where she worked at a large international school as a grade two teacher. It was at this school that she first had extensive training in Play-based teaching.
Nancy then spent two years teaching grade two in Doha, Qatar before moving to Beijing in 2012 with her Husband, who works at BCIS in the Secondary School. After working as a substitute teacher for BCIS, Nancy is excited to be a part of such a dedicated community of teachers.
This is the seventh year Nancy has been teaching internationally, she enjoys traveling and discovering new places and is excited to be living in such a vibrant and culturally exciting city. Her spare time is mostly spent with her young sons, and taking any opportunity to relax with a good book.
Tracy Gong graduated with a BA in vocal music. Later on, Tracy went to the Central Conservatory of Music to study music education and Kodaly & Orff music pedagogy. Tracy has been teaching music from K-12 for 7 years when she worked in other two international schools. She always has great passion and enthusiasm to work with children and teachers. Tracy believes music is for every child and music has the power to transform lives.
When not working, Tracy enjoys spending time with family and friends, help young learners improve singing, she loves classical music, cooking，reading and learning about new cultures when traveling
Liza Maksymchuk is a trained and qualified teacher with nearly 10 years of experience, and has been living and working in China since 2007. She is originally from Ukraine, where she studied at the National Pedagogical University and received a Master’s Degree in teaching and linguistics. During her studies she was granted a scholarship to study and live in China. Through her studies both in Ukraine and China, Liza studied Chinese Language and Culture and is fluent in both written and oral Chinese. Additionally she is fluent in English, Russian and Ukrainian.
Her teaching experience includes an early education school based in Beijing, teaching children between the ages of 1-5. Most recently she has been employed at a widely recognized Public Experimental School in Beijing teaching Grade 1 and Grade 4 students.
Liza is a mother to a young daughter, Nadia. Being familiar with BCIS and the outstanding learning environment that it offers, it was the first choice when selecting a school for her daughter. Liza is passionate about teaching and inspiring young children. As a mother she truly understands the importance of early childhood education, both intellectual and emotional. Her caring and nurturing nature is a good fit for the vision and the values of BCIS. Liza always treats children in her care as if they were her own.
Kate Mancarella comes from Melbourne, Australia and has been teaching since 2007. Kate graduated from Melbourne University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Primary Education and completed her post-graduate studies in TESOL in 2008. During her studies, Kate spent a semester in Malmo, Sweden where she undertook a placement at Bladins International School. Since returning to Melbourne in 2006, Kate has participated in a number of TESOL programs, including tutoring recently arrived African migrants in Melbourne, as well as teaching primary age students at the Western English Language School. Kate has also taught a range of classes at Williamstown North Primary School since she began teaching there in 2007. Kate joined BCIS in 2009 as a Grade 5 teacher and she is now currently the Elementary School PYP Coordinator.
Suzanne is originally from the United States where she received her Elementary Teaching Degree from Ball State University in Indiana. She has taught in schools in Indiana and Oregon, as well as the Antwerp International School in Belgium. Her teaching experience ranges from Pre-kindergarten through Grade 6. She is passionate about children’s literature and enjoys sharing her love of reading as the Teacher Librarian in the ECC. She is very happy to be a member of the BCIS Community and a member of the Early Childhood team.
Lily Meng is from Liaoning Province of China. She graduated with a BA in Chinese Language Arts and she has also gained her teacher’s certification.
Lily enjoys her time with students and she loves teaching Chinese. She would like more people to know about Chinese language and culture and teaching at an international school is a perfect way to share her passion.
During the many professional development opportunities at BCIS Lily has learned more about the PYP and she fully supports the philosophy. She feels that working at an IB World international school has allowed her to develop professionally and she feels very warm in this community.
In her spare time, Lily likes listening to the music, running, meeting friends and playing badminton.
Pre-Kindergarten Team Leader
Sarah is from Scunthorpe, UK and has been teaching internationally since 2006. Sarah completed her Bachelor of Education (with History) honours degree at Liverpool Hope University in 2004 before starting her career at The London Oratory School where she was a English and Maths specialist teacher. She then moved to Virginia, USA, where she worked as a Grade 2 teacher in the public school system. She has since worked in Istanbul as a Grade 2 teacher and Maths Coordinator; in Tokyo, Japan, as a Kindergarten teacher; and in Hannover, Germany as a Grade 3 teacher. She has attended many IBO PYP workshops.
Sarah feels very lucky to have been able to travel and experience a wide variety of cultures over the last few years. She enjoys reading, baking and long chats with friends.
Mubanga, known to friends as Muby, hails from Zambia. She has also lived in Tanzania and Canada. She obtained her Bacheler's in Education from Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as her Teacher’s Diploma in Montessori Studies, and a Certificate in Multiple Intelligences in Early Childhood Education.
She has 12 years of international teaching experience, having worked in places including the New Bridge English Center, Australian International School, Ivy School, and Beanstalk International Bilingual School. She loves living in China and has yet to experience all that China has to offer.
In her spare time she volunteers in various charitable organizations, enjoys traveling, reading, meditating, swimming, experimenting on recipes, and being a mother to her three wonderful children. She is excited to be part of the BCIS family.
Anna is from Australia and has been teaching internationally since 2003. She graduated from the University of Newcastle, NSW, in 2002 with a Bachelor in Teaching and specializes in Early Childhood Education. She brings positive energy to the classroom through songs and enthusiasm. She is also passionate about teaching young children.
Anna worked for several government schools in Australia where she enjoyed teaching children of various ages as a supply teacher. She then moved to Thailand where she taught from Nursery to Grade 12 at various bilingual and international schools. In 2004, she began working as a Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten teacher at an international school in Bangkok before taking on the role of Early Years Coordinator for four years.
Anna enjoys socializing with her friends in her spare time, as well as swimming, doing yoga, and singing karaoke. She is pleased to be a part of the warm and dedicated team at BCIS and enjoys the new experiences that Beijing has to offer.
Dr. Reed Rhodes
Learning Support Teacher
Dr. Reed Rhodes
Dr. Reed Rhodes holds a Ph.D. and two M.A. Ed degrees in Special Education. From 1978 to 1995, he taught students in the US with a wide range of exceptional learning needs in a variety of settings, including preschool, resource room, self-contained, co-teaching, and Juvenile Hall. In 1996, he was hired to set up and coordinate the Special Needs Program at the International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP) in Cambodia where he taught until 2005. During this time, ISPP became an IBO World school, and he worked collaboratively with teachers at the PYP, MYP, and DP levels. From 2005 until 2007, he worked as an assistant professor in special education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he was named Outstanding Professor in 2007 by the Services for Students with Disabilities program. In 2007, he was hired to set up the Learning Support Program at BCIS. He has worked as a Learning Support teacher at all levels of the school over the past ten years. Currently, he is the Learning Support teacher at the ECC where he believes that early intervention leads to better outcomes for students with special needs.
Reed, his wife, and their three children continue to enjoy the many opportunities living in Beijing provides. Within the larger Beijing community, he has served as the Membership Chair of the Special Education Network in Beijing (SENIB) for the past eight years since its inception.
Liz Schembri is from Adelaide in Australia. She completed her Bachelor of Education Junior Primary/Primary at Flinders University. Liz has taught in a number of schools in Adelaide and in the UK. With a passion for literacy and ‘Reading Recovery’ trained Liz was a Key Literacy Coordinator at Holy Family Catholic School prior to travelling to the UK. She travelled to China in October 2007 to visit her sister who lives in Beijing. Whilst in Beijing Liz had the opportunity to tour BCIS and thinks it is an inspiring place in which to teach and a wonderful environment for her sons to go to school.
Toddler Homeroom / Toddler Team Leader
Kelly Shanks is an early childhood teacher and has been teaching internationally for nearly 10 years. She is from New Zealand, which is where she began her teaching career, including early childhood teaching and working as part of an early intervention team. Kelly has a 19-year-old daughter who is currently studying at Waikato University in New Zealand.
Kelly has a Bachelor of Education and a Diploma of Teaching. She has taught the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) for many years and is passionate about the learning opportunities this program offers children. She believes it is every child’s right to know how special they are.
Kelly’s first international teaching position was in Doha, Qatar at Qatar Academy. She worked as a pre-school teacher and as a group leader. She then moved to Dubai and took a position at Gems World Academy as a nursery teacher. Kelly then moved to Perth, Australia and managed an early childhood center offering care and education for children up to five years old. Now at BCIS, Kelly is an Early Childhood teacher for our Toddler Program. Kelly enjoys the caring community at BCIS and is excited to be living in such a vibrant, culturally rich and unique country.
Music and Physical Education
Morgan comes from Nanaimo, a small coastal city in the province of British Colombia. For the past six year, he has been living and teaching abroad and has taught in both South Korea and China.
Morgan is passionate about teaching, languages, and writing. Also, he likes to believe he is a pretty good cook.
Morgan received his Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing from Vancouver Island University in 2011. He later became TEFL certified in order to further his teaching career.
Prior to Beijing, Morgan lived in Seoul, South Korea for two years, working as both a kindergarten and English teacher. For the past four years, he has been living and working in Beijing as a high school English Teacher, a children's yoga instructor and finally as an ECC educator.
Morgan is very grateful for the opportunity to teach at BCIS and be part of such a wonderful community. He considers Beijing his second home.
Debora comes from Italy, and after completing her Bachelor between Padua and London (English-French and Modern Literature), she obtained her teaching certificate and since 2000 has been a passionate educator. Debora worked in different grades from Kindergarten to Secondary School before moving to Beijing in 2013 with her husband and her three children, all of them BCIS students.
Since she joined the BCIS community, she has first been involved as an English teacher volunteering with the PTA group, and in 2015 she started supply teaching at the ECC as a Kindergarten Homeroom Teacher. In 2014-2015 she also undertook a Masters course at the University of Nottingham (Postgraduate Certificate in Education International) with a special focus on International Education and Early Years Education.
Debora loves teaching and is passionate about sharing her experience with her team and her children. She considers herself very lucky for working in the international environment of BCIS, and for having the chance to explore and getting to know Chinese culture, history and tradition. A keen communicator, she is fluent in French, Italian and English, and can also count on German and Chinese. In her free time Debora enjoys spending time with her family and friends, dining out and walking around the town discovering those nice spots that might be less popular but not less fascinating! She is also very keen on photography, loves baking and swimming.
Chinese Studies Team leader
Dan graduated from New York University with a Master of Teaching English as a Second Language and Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language.
She has worked with students from Grade 1 to high school before joining the ECC and finding what she is most passionate about. Learning new things in education, especially in the early years, excites her. She is happy to be able to integrate play-based learning and the PYP curriculum in Chinese teaching and learning. She likes to see her students being happy, curious, and engaged learners.
In her spare time, Dan enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She also loves reading and hiking. She feels very blessed to be part of the warm BCIS community!
Kindergarten Team Leader
Lucila is originally from Bogota, Colombia. She spent her early years in Colombia and moved to United States at age 17. She speaks Spanish, English, and is interested in learning more languages. She enjoys dancing, exercising, traveling, and spending time with her family. Her hobbies are nail art and kite surfing.
Lucila graduated with honors from Texas Wesleyan University in 2008 with a Major in Bilingual Education in Early Childhood through Grade 4 and a Minor in Spanish. She then obtained a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction Design with emphasis on Mathematics from the University of Texas at Arlington. She has been in the teaching field for 15 years, starting as a teacher assistant and moving up to Spanish/English Bilingual teacher, then Dual Language homeroom teacher. She has had the opportunity to work in public, private, and international schools around the world since 2008 and teach Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 2. She found her passion and heart in the early years and is loving the PYP program at the BCIS Early Childhood Center.
Lucila is an enthusiastic teacher who cares about providing a safe, fun, and loving environment to her students. She enjoys being part of the BCIS family and looks forward to providing new learning experiences to her students every day.