Elementary School Counselor
Data Tracking Team Leader
Aaron was born and raised in a small town in Missouri in the United States. After earning his degree from the University of Dayton, Aaron started his career in education in 2001 as a teacher and later became a school counselor and administrator. He started his international teaching career in Fujiwara, Japan and then had the opportunity to teach at Duy Tan University in Vietnam.
After returning to the United States, Aaron taught music at the elementary level where he created a popular student rock band. After he received his school counseling degree, he supported students with their behavior, emotions, and academics at the middle school level. He also took on many different roles including Intervention Coordinator, After-School Program Coordinator, Advanced Learning Program Coordinator, AVID Coordinator, Leader of Data Driven Instruction, and School Information System Trainer. His use of data to increase student achievement earned him the title of “Distinguished Counselor” from the school board and the self-awarded title of “Excel Ninja.”
When Aaron is not counseling, he enjoys rock climbing, playing guitar in rock bands, and spending time with his wife and three kids. He’s happy that he and his family are a part of the BCIS community, and he’s proud to be a part of the excellence at BCIS.
Marcey is originally from Chicago, Illinois in the United States, and has over 23 years of teaching experience. She first went overseas in 2002, and has taught in the US, Kuwait, Lebanon and Indonesia. She has worked in Kindergarten through Grade 7 in both learning support, and as a classroom teacher.
She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from Wittenberg University, and a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Cleveland State University.
In her free time, Marcey enjoys walking, reading,art activities and singing. Marcey’s husband Stu McDonald works in the secondary school at BCIS, and together they love traveling and exploring new places. She loves being a part of the BCIS community, as well as getting to know Beijing and China.
ES Visual Arts
Liza is proudly South African; she grew up in Cape Town where the diverse culture and breathtaking nature inspired her from a young age. In 2002 she completed a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Cape Town, and a few years later she did a BA in Film and Motion Picture, with her major in Animation from AFDA, Cape Town. During her travels she spent many years working in language schools, preschools and teaching privately, this is why in 2010 she decided to do her Masters in International Education through Endicott College in Massachusetts, USA. She’s enjoyed working in International Schools since then.
Liza has taught in Taiwan, the Czech Republic and now in Mainland China. What she enjoys most about teaching in an international school is meeting students from many different nationalities and seeing how cultures intertwine and connect. She is also very enthusiastic to be teaching through the PYP, which she believes to be a very empowering curriculum for students in the international school system.
Besides travelling and enjoying the practice of painting, sketching and keeping busy through DIY projects, Liza’s newfound hobby in Beijing is walking through the streets and gazing up at the amazing architecture on display in the city. Other than being very enthusiastic about art, Liza also depends on running, swimming, cycling, yoga and hiking to keep her mind and body healthy. She can’t wait to explore more of China with her husband and daughter.
Grade 2 Homeroom
Sibila is from Toronto, Canada. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Spanish Languages from York University, Toronto, and then completed her Education Degree at the University of Toronto. Sibila recently completed her Masters Degree in Science, with Concentration in Educational Technology and Information Literacy, through the State University of New York, USA.
She began her teaching career in Toronto, Canada, where she worked for the Toronto Catholic Board. Eight years ago, Sibila decided to take an opportunity to teach internationally and never turned back! She has previously taught both Elementary and Early Childhood students in UAE, China and South Korea. Sibila is a firm believer in teaching 21st-Centuy skills through tech integration in the classroom. She loves watching her students discover the world around them by putting in practice the Primary Years Programme’s concepts of learning through inquiry. Watching children grow and inquire about the world reminds Sibila every day why she became a teacher.
In her free time, Sibila enjoys reading, blogging, traveling, being outdoors and taking Pilates and Yoga classes. She is also crazy about animals. Sibila is happy to be returning to Beijing and is very excited about joining the BCIS community!
Grades 1-2 Learning Support
Meghan Branks has been teaching in elementary schools for more than 10 years and joined BCIS after completing her second year as an international teacher in Beijing. She is passionate about helping all students achieve their best, and believes that each student has a special gift or talent that is waiting to be discovered.
Originally from the US, Meghan worked for the Florida Department of Education in Orange County for nine years. During this time she worked as a classroom teacher, curriculum resource teacher, and finally as a dean of students and behavior specialist. Meghan holds certification for primary education for K-6 as well as a Master of Education in Varying Exceptionalities for K-12.
In 2013, both Meghan and her husband decided to follow a dream and teach internationally. China has been an extremely grounding and welcoming place to land as a first international teaching post. The country has such beauty and tranquility, as well as modern hustle and bustle to offer those who live here. Meghan has enjoyed the vibrant culture of Beijing and the surrounding cities. She is always excited to explore new areas of the city with her family. Meghan is pleased to join BCIS along with her two daughters, and create new memories of this modern and traditional city called Beijing.
Grade 1 ELL
Mary is originally from Queensland, Australia. Her husband Anthony (Australian) also works at BCIS as the Whole School Guidance Counselor.
Mary has a Diploma of Teaching, majoring in Early Childhood Studies, from the University of Southern Queensland and a Bachelor of Education from the Queensland University of Technology. She also has a Diploma in TEFL from the English Language Centre in London and has a Master of Education – Teaching Second Languages.
After a long and successful teaching career in the state education system in Australia, where she spent periods working in government primary and preschools, working with children in isolated circumstances, and also with ill children in a hospital school, Mary decided to take up the challenge of working overseas in international schools. She taught Preschool and Kindergarten classes at the International School of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and was the Grade Two teacher at the Bavarian International School in Munich, Germany, before a three-year period as Grade One and ELL teacher at the Beijing BISS International School here in Beijing. Mary joined BCIS in 2005 and is currently an ELL teacher for the elementary school.
Frank is from Yorkshire, England. After four years at Liverpool John Moores University studying Physical Education he started his teaching career in Bradford. After three years he made the move to South Korea where he continued to teach while also enjoying learning a new language, local cultures and travelling around Asia.
Throughout his life Frank has been a keen sportsman, excelling in football, rugby, cricket and athletics. Sport has always been his passion and has always dedicated most of his spare time to either playing or coaching football at a high level in the local community both in South Korea and the UK. As a lifelong participant in sport Frank understands the wealth of benefits sport can bring and this is something he wishes to pass on to his students.
Outside of sport Frank enjoys watching world cinema, particularly Korean and French films. While travelling he has enjoyed becoming immersed in local cultures and trying the local cuisine, something he has enjoyed continuing here in Beijing.
ES Grade 1 Music Teacher
Yen Chun is from Taiwan. After she completed her Bachelor's degree in piano performance, she moved to the UK and obtained a Master's Degree at the Royal Academy of Music in 2014.
Yen Chun has a passion for teaching and education. She teaches with her strong performance background together with over 6 years of experience in music teaching and piano teaching including working experience in Taiwan Bi Hu Primary School. Her teaching in music includes improvisation, dance, and musical games for the students to express their ideas and understanding, allowing students to learn music in a happy way. Yen Chun moved to Beijing in 2015, and she is very happy to join the BCIS community.
Outside of work, Yen enjoys traveling to new places, reading, skiing, and composing. She is also a solo pianist in the West Harmony Chamber of Beijing and regularly performs concerts with them in Beijing Music Hall and the Poly Theatre.
Grade 2 ELL
Kelli is originally from Michigan, USA. She taught in Kuwait for three years before coming to Beijing. Her teaching experience in Kuwait includes Elementary Physical Education, Grade 1 homeroom, and Grade 1 ESL. There, she also found great passion in coaching high school and middle school basketball, soccer, and volleyball.
Kelli completed her Master of Education Degree in Teaching English as a Second Language in Mallorca, Spain through a global program offered by the College of New Jersey. She also received her Teaching Licensure through TCNJ – Mallorca where she was able to gain a depth of knowledge from teachers located all over the globe.
Kelli loves doing sports, running marathons, reading, as well as spending time with friends and family. She is very grateful to be a part of the student-focused, team-oriented BCIS community. She is also thrilled to have the opportunity to explore China!
Jameel Crues is from Rochester New York and has been an early childhood educator for eight years. His certification qualifies him to teach General Studies, Special Education, and English Language Learners Grades 1-5. Jameel taught special education for the first two years of his career. He was part of a team that helped identify and implement the needs of students that required additional assistance. In September of 2010, he embraced the opportunity to move abroad and started teaching in Abu Dhabi as an English Language Learner teacher. He was hired to be a part of the reformation of education in the United Arab Emirates. Over the years, he has successfully shared some of his specialized skills to help propel the Abu Dhabi educational reform at Abu Krayyah Boys School.
Jameel attended Devry University where he completed his Bachelor of Science in Network Engineering. After completing his degree, he advanced his education by attending Clayton County Teacher Academy where he completed and received his Clear and Renewable teaching certificate from the state of Georgia (USA).
Jameel is married to Tamara Jackson-Crues, who is also a BCIS teacher. Although they live abroad, Georgia (USA) is where they permanently reside. Jameel is passionate about health and traveling and enjoys reading and learning about different cultures around the world. He is excited to teach at BCIS and enthused to learn more about the Chinese culture.
Head of PE Department
Dean Eddington is currently working as the Elementary Nursery to Grade 1 P.E 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 Dean 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 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. Dean's family is also a part of BCIS with his two children enrolled in the elementary school and his wife, Megan, teaching in the Upper School English department.
ES Music Teacher
Grant is originally from Wausau, Wisconsin USA. He graduated from Wheaton college in 2013 with a bachelors in music education. After completing his student teaching in Manila, Philippines, he decided to pursue a career in international teaching. His first year and a half out of college was spent in Kabul, Afghanistan teaching at an international school. After leaving Afghanistan, he spent time in Dubai, UAE and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam teaching elementary music. He moved to Beijing to work at BCIS in 2016.
In his free time Grant enjoys playing and watching sports, writing and performing music, playing board games with friends, and exploring new places. He has thoroughly enjoyed living internationally and taking advantage of the traveling opportunities that it provides.
Grant is delighted to be part of the BCIS community and have the opportunity to work at such a great school.
Grade 1 Homeroom
Steve is originally from a small town named Whangarei in New Zealand. Therefore, he loves the outdoors and sports, especially his favourite rugby team, the All Blacks. He is also passionate about music and loves playing the bass guitar. Most importantly however, he loves family time and being able to play with his one year old daughter, Shaya.
Steve began teaching in 2006. He moved into international school teaching in 2012 when he moved with his wife to Bangkok, Thailand. Since then, he has taught as a homeroom teacher and an ICT Specialist teacher.
Steve completed his Bachelor of Education at Massey University and is currently studying his Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Writing with hopes of writing children's stories one day.
Steve is very happy to be a member of the BCIS team and exploring Beijing.
Grace Feng is originally from Singapore and has been teaching since 2005. She moved to Beijing in 2010 and taught in other international schools. Throughout her career, she has taught various grade levels and enjoys how they bring different challenges. Teaching in an international setting across cultures also helps her view the world from different perspectives.
Her educational credentials include a double major in Psychology and Marketing from Monash University, Australia and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education (Primary). She is passionate about teaching through inquiry and appreciates how much she learns in return from her protégés.
Grace loves discovering new facets of Beijing and travelling around the world. Being an epicurean and avid reader, she divides her free time between, experimenting in the kitchen, having culinary adventures and reading on her favourite couch with a cup of tea, usually nibbling on something she brings back from her travels.
Grace is pleased to be a part of the BCIS family. She feels privileged to be working with such a lovely community.
Toddler-Grade 1 Music
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
Grade 1 Visual Arts
Anna comes from the beautiful countryside of Devon, in the UK. After gaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree (with Honours), in Creative Art and Creative Studies in English, from Bath Spa University she went on to work full-time as a professional photographer. Anna then caught the teaching bug and decided to re-train; as a mature student she studied her Post Graduate Certificate in Education with Sunderland University.
Anna loves living in Beijing with her husband, Alex Davies, who also works at BCIS and has lived here since 2012. As well as providing supply teaching to BCIS she has also been a private tutor, volunteer artist in residence and has her own photography studio.
Being passionate about creativity and education, Anna adores teaching Art and relishes the chance to help students understand, express and experience the creative process. She is very happy to be a part of the supportive and imaginative BCIS community.
Having a wide range of creative interests keeps Anna busy. Her photographs fills her hard drive but when she puts the camera down for a moment, she also loves to read, visit art galleries, watch films and explore amazing new countries with Alex.
Grade 4 Homeroom
Ashley is originally from Chatham, Ontario in Canada. She has been living and teaching internationally since 2006 and has worked in South Korea and China. Ashley enjoys traveling, languages, shopping and has a passion for music with a focus on singing.
Ashley was educated in Canada and completed her undergraduate studies in linguistics at the University of Ottawa. She has gone on to receive her PGCE from the University of Sunderland in England as well as a Masters in International Education.
Ashley worked for a number of years in both Seoul and Changwon, South Korea, as a kindergarten teacher. She then moved to Beijing where she worked at an international school in Shunyi District as a grade four lead teacher.
Ashley considers herself extremely fortunate to be a part of the BCIS community and is looking forward to exploring Beijing further.
Grade 2 Homeroom
Tamara is originally from the state of Florida (U.S.A.). However, her permanent residence is Atlanta, Ga. She obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education, certified to teach grades 1-5 in all core subject areas. She received her Master’s Degree in Reading grades K-12 with a certification to teach English Language Learners. She taught with the Florida Department of Education for a few years, then moved to the state of Georgia and taught with the Georgia Department of Education. During her teaching career, she has diligently worked in the classroom, acted as a grade level lead teacher for 3rd grade (U.S.A.) and kindergarten (U.A.E), as well as chaired two of the (S.I.P.) School Improvement Plan Committees.
Tamara has been teaching in elementary schools for more than (10) years. In 2016, She and her husband (Jameel Crues) decided to continue their career teaching internationally and were both welcomed to the BCIS family after teaching for (5) years in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. Being an educator is one of her many dreams come true. Tamara’s vow to her students is to provide engaging, rigorous and innovative learning experiences daily, regardless of their academic level or her global location. Besides being a caring, compassionate, and competent teacher, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, traveling with her husband, and shopping.
Grade 3 ELL
Diba Kader is from Bangladesh and has taught in Beijing international schools since 1989. She taught in Lido Kindergarten, the first kindergarten in Beijing for expatriate children, for 11 years. In 2000, she pioneered the full day preschool program at the International School of Beijing (ISB), where she taught for five years. She joined BCIS in its opening year, in 2005.
Diba has a Master’s Degree in English (Bangladesh) and a Diploma in Child Care (USA). She also has a Master of Arts in Education / Elementary Teacher Education (MAED/TED-E) from the USA.
Diba is married to Mamnoon with two children, Sanam and Maher. Even though both of her children live in Canada, Beijing remains “home" for them. Exploring Beijing with Mamnoon, reading, traveling, photography, and international cuisine are a few of her favorite things. She loves living in China and is passionate about teaching. She feels privileged to have been a part of the founding team of BCIS, which she finds to be a truly outstanding international school with a genuine essence of and respect for Chinese people and culture.
Letitia is from Beijing. She holds a Master Degree in Teaching Chinese to the Speakers of Other Languages from Beijing Normal University. And she also holds the Teacher Certificates both in Kindergarten Education and Elementary Education.
Before she joined BCIS, Letitia had worked in other two international schools for 3 years before joining BCIS as a teaching assistant in 2006, where she learned a lot about teaching. Letitia started teaching Chinese Studies at BCIS in March 2012. She shows a keen interest in teaching Chinese, and she really appreciates the opportunity to work in a great IB World school.
As a teacher, Letitia loves children and teaching. She aims to help students tap into their potential because she believes everyone is born with a certain gift, and it’s never too late to learn.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading, singing, dancing, calligraphy and playing the piano.
Diana is from Beijing. She majored in Education and earned her masters degree at Beijing Normal University in Chinese Linguistics and Applied Linguistics. She taught Chinese and Calligraphy for a few years before joining BCIS in 2009. During her time at BCIS, Diana has received a lot of PYP training, and is very much enjoying her time with students. She loves supporting the students' learning and personal development. In her spare time, Diana loves practicing calligraphy, reading books, and traveling with friends and family.
Sarah is from Ladysmith, Canada a small town on Vancouver Island. She has spent the last six years living and teaching abroad in South Korea and China.
Sarah enjoys travelling, yoga and swimming. She is very passionate about teaching and self-improvement.
Sarah received her Bachelor’s Degree at Vancouver Island University with a minor in Psychology and Geography in 2005. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Education in 2010 at Vancouver Island University.
In Seoul, South Korea Sarah taught as both a Kindergarten and elementary English teacher for two and a half years. For four years Sarah worked in Beijing, China as a Grade one teacher at a Canadian curriculum school. She has been enjoying her time at BCIS working in an IB curriculum. She is very happy to be a member of the BCIS community.
Chinese Studies Team Leader
Weiwei is from Tangshan, Hebei province. She holds a Master Degree in Teaching Chinese to the Speakers of Other Languages from RenMin University of China. She also holds a teacher certificate in Elementary Education. Weiwei has been working at BCIS since the school opened. She had three years working experience in Kindergarten before she joined BCIS.
Weiwei enjoys working in the international school because she can interact with people from all around the world. During her time at BCIS, Weiwei has received a lot of PYP training. She also shows a keen interest in teaching Chinese as a foreign language. In Weiwei’s Chinese class, she teaches her students not only the Chinese language but also Chinese culture. She values the opportunity of working in this IB school.
Weiwei has a wide range of interests. She likes singing, dancing, swimming and playing badminton. She also likes watching movies and playing with her daughter.
Grade 1 Homeroom
Mary strives to establish a learning environment that is engaging and caring and which challenges individuals to investigate and develop self-awareness.
Born and raised near Toronto, Mary obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Waterloo, Canada. She completed her Professional Teaching Degree from the University of Victoria, on Canada’s beautiful west coast. She is certified to teach children in Kindergarten through to Grade 12.
Mary’s experience began in secondary school in Canada as a social studies and history teacher. Upon arriving in China in 2010, she worked in the IPC curriculum as a Grade 4 and Grade 5 homeroom teacher at an international school in Beijing.
Currently, this is Mary’s third year at BCIS teaching in the IB PYP curriculum in Grade 1. She enjoys helping her students develop skills in reading and writing and problem solving. She strives to apply her knowledge of current best practice and modern teaching methods in the classroom to make learning interesting, fun and relevant.
Mary and her husband are keeping active with their two young sons who are students at BCIS. As a family, they love listening to music, playing sports, and reading and playing together.
Grade 5 ELL, ELL Team Leader
Dan is from Toronto, Canada and has been teaching internationally since 2008. He completed an Honors Degree in history at the University of Waterloo in 2005. Afterwards, Dan completed his Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Western Ontario in 2007 before starting his career in the Toronto District School Board. He then moved to the exciting city of Tokyo, Japan where he taught Grade 5 for three years at the Canadian International School. He then moved to the green city of Hannover, Germany to teach Grade 4 students and enjoy real German bratwurst. Dan is pleased to be in China to continue developing as an educator at BCIS.
Some of his interests including traveling to new places, keeping up with current events, getting outside on a sunny day and conquering the next level of Angry Birds.
Grade 1 ELL
José is from Canada and has taught primary students for many years. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Teaching English as a Second Language from Brock University, as well as a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto.
José enjoys the energy and excitement of learning together with her students and instilling in them a love and passion for learning. She has taught Adult ESL, Grade 2, and Primary French in Canada, and spent eight years teaching at international schools in China. She taught Grade 1 in Beijing for four years, Grade 3 in Hangzhou for three years, and is now in her second year at BCIS teaching Grade 1 ELL.
During her time in China, José has enjoyed getting to know the people and culture, exploring the country, making friends with people from all over the world, and of course, spending time with her students and having fun learning together. She has always loved exploring the world and has lived and worked in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, Rwanda, and China. Besides traveling, she enjoys the outdoors, camping, canoeing, swimming, skiing, photography, sports, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
José is excited about teaching Grade 1 ELL. Growing up as a bilingual and bicultural child herself (her family moved from the Netherlands to Canada when she was young), she has always been interested in and excited about the special position that multicultural and multilingual children have as global citizens. Having learned four languages and now learning some Mandarin, she knows the special challenges ELL students face.
Grade 3 Homeroom
Science/Social Studies Team Leader
Yooah, born in Seoul, Korea, grew up in New York City and Montreal, Canada. She majored in Social Sciences at Marianopolis College and earned her undergraduate degree at McGill University in Elementary Education. She taught in Canada for a few years before making her way over to Beijing in 2008 with her husband, Dave Nguyen, who works in the Secondary School. They are here with their two daughters.
Yooah speaks Korean, English, some French and is enjoying learning Chinese. In her spare time, she enjoys playing badminton, reading, traveling, knitting and playing with her daughters.
Grade 5 Homeroom
Enrichment Activities Team Leader
Kieran is from Melbourne, Australia. He graduated from both Victoria University in Melbourne and from the University of New England in Armidale. After university, he spent six months living in Malmo, Sweden, before returning to Melbourne to work for the Victorian Department of Education.
Kieran came to Beijing in 2009 with his partner Kate, who also works in the BCIS community as Deputy Principal at the Early Childhood Center. He has worked in Grade 5 at BCIS since 2010 and has enjoyed the opportunity to work with this grade level, especially during the Grade 5 PYP Exhibitions he has been a part of. He is also the Enrichment Activities (EA) Coordinator at BCIS, which he began in 2015.
Outside of the classroom, Kieran enjoys sports, music, traveling, and spending time with his friends.
Grade 2 ELL
Lynn Opitz-Hsiao, a sixth generation Texan, grew up in San Antonio, but for the last 25 years has taught in many different places all over the world. Lynn is currently a member of the BCIS preschool team.
After completing a Bachelor degree in French at the University of Texas, Lynn lived and taught elementary school in Sange, Central African Republic. Upon returning to the University of Texas she completed a graduate degree in Bilingual Studies with a specialty in ESL and then earned her teaching certificate at the University of Phoenix in Arizona where she taught 6th and 7th graders.
Lynn’s teaching career spans from university students and middle school students to nursery classes. Not only has it included several years at the National Hualien University of Education in Hualien, Department of Teacher Training, Taiwan but also teaching two-year-olds at the Taipei American School Tiger Tots Preschool. In 2002, she was the interim director of the Tiger Tots Preschool for six months. Most recently, she worked with 3rd 4th and 5th grade students at the Osceola Intermediate School, Department of Special Education, Wisconsin.
In her spare time, Lynn likes to go camping with her husband and two children. She also enjoys quilting and cooking. She has volunteered on both the state and national level with TESOL (Teacher’s of English to Speakers of other Languages).
Lynn strives to create exciting learning environments with an understanding of the individual needs and backgrounds of her students. She encourages both educational and personal growth in her students and believes that learning is a lifelong experience. Lynn looks forward each year to working with three-year-olds in Beijing.
Grade 5 Homeroom
Chantelle is a British Citizen from the picturesque county of Lincolnshire, on the East Coast of England. After completing her Education and Psychology Degree in 2010 at Durham University, she undertook her teaching qualification. On completion, she took up her first teaching position in Grade 4 in England. She moved into international teaching in 2013 when she moved to Kiev, Ukraine, teaching Grades 2-4 over her three years there.
Chantelle likes to read and run in her spare time. She enjoys traveling immensely, recently visiting Iceland, Vietnam, and Serbia (to name a few places), and immersing herself in the richness of all the cultures she experiences. She is happy to be in Beijing and to be a part of the BCIS community.
Lisa is from Canada and has been an educator for over 20 years. She has experience teaching a variety of subjects and grade levels with a concentration in PE, Health and Life Skills. Lisa has a double major in PE and Biology and has an Ontario Teaching Certificate. She is a certified Athletic Director through the NIAAA (National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association). Lisa has been in China for seven years at international schools in Beijing and Hangzhou being an Athletic Director and PE teacher.
Lisa loves teaching and she is passionate about instilling a love for learning in her students. She enjoys exploring the world, learning about other cultures, meeting new people and thus she has traveled to many interesting places. Lisa is passionate about sports, hiking, traveling and camping. Her favorite sport is ice hockey. She played in a league with members of Canada’s Women’s Olympic Team. Playing sports has taught Lisa the importance of personal fitness, endurance, self-discipline, setting high goals and standards, sportsmanship and teamwork. These are key qualities that Lisa tries to instill in her students.
Grade 5 Homeroom
Matthew comes from England where he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education at Goldsmiths College, London. After completing his studies, he spent two years teaching at local, village primary schools before making the decision to move overseas and further his career and teaching experiences.
He moved to Kuwait in 2001 and spent 10 years teaching at a large international school, enjoying the opportunity to work with children from 7 - 11 years of age. While in Kuwait, he found time to complete a Master’s course in Educational Leadership and Management through the University of London.
Matthew has been working at BCIS since August 2011 and since then has taught in grades 1, 4 and most recently in grade 5. As well as supporting students in the classroom, Matthew has also thoroughly enjoyed helping with the ES soccer teams.
When not working, Matthew enjoys spending time with his wife, Sally, and two children, Jacob and Annabel. He enjoys reading and traveling and is also a keen sportsman. He enjoys playing and watching a variety of sports and recently completed his first (and last!) marathon and some short distance triathlon events.
Grade 1 Homeroom
Sally comes from England and gained her Bachelor of Arts in Education and English Literature at The University of Winchester. During her time at university, she took part in an exchange program with The University of Wisconsin and spent some time teaching in an American Elementary School. After leaving university, she spent four years teaching at a local village primary school and gained experience of teaching children between the ages of 4 and 10. However, working overseas was always something she was keen to try and in 2001, she moved to Kuwait to work at a large international school. In 2011, she moved to Beijing with her family to work at BCIS.
This is the sixteenth year that Sally has been working overseas. She has thoroughly enjoyed the challenges she has faced when working with children for whom English is a second language, while also working with native speakers. She has completed a tutors' course entitled, "ESL in the Mainstream for the Early Learner," which allows her to train other teachers. She enjoys working with colleagues from around the world and also with children from many different nationalities. This year she has taken on the role of teacher librarian and is looking forward to working with all children in Grades 1-5.
When not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Matthew, and children, Jacob and Annabel. She has a number of interests and enjoys reading, photography, and trying out different types of exercise. She is going to participate in the Beijing International Triathlon for the third time this year and has helped to encourage lots of her colleagues to join in too!
Sandy is originally from Newport Beach, California, USA, but spent most of her childhood overseas in a variety of countries. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern California College. She has spent most of her teaching career in Texas elementary schools serving in a variety of roles including: grade 2 homeroom, Grade 4 homeroom and Language Arts specialist, curriculum writing advisor, mentor teacher, and grade 4 academic advisor/team lead. During her tenure, Sandy went on to receive her certification in English as a Second Language to better connect with her many international students.
Sandy’s love of China began in 1988 when she got the chance to teach English at a university in Shandong Province. Many years and three children later, she and her husband Gary decided it was finally time for another international experience. They are excited about living and working in Beijing and are ready to explore many parts of China.
Outside of the classroom, Sandy is passionate about reading, traveling, trying different cuisines, and spending time with her family and friends. She is thrilled to be a part of the BCIS community and a member of the fourth grade team.
ES IT Team Leader
Adam Schembri was born and grew up in Adelaide, South Australia. After honing his interpersonal relationship skills working in sales for a major electronics chain he decided on a change of career and took up the most noble of professions, teaching. He studied at the University of South Australia in a four year education degree specializing in Design and Technology. It is through his keen interest of all things technological that Adam has developed a very broad range of skills to do with electronic equipment, particularly with computers. He really enjoys the challenge of assisting colleagues and students with interesting requests for products and solutions within his area of expertise, relishing the opportunity to learn new skills and techniques through enquiry.
After graduating from his Education Degree Adam spent the next twelve months working in England. This experience included a number of schools ranging in year levels from Nursery to Upper Elementary. Upon returning he took up a position at Cardijn College, a secondary college in the Southern Vales of Adelaide. During his five year position as Senior Information Technology and Multimedia teacher he taught years eight through to twelve.
Adam is joined at BCIS by his wife, Liz Schembri, and sons Joseph and Elijah. He is very much looking forward to immersing himself and his family in Chinese culture and the rewarding experience of working at BCIS and all that an international school has to offer.
Song Yue is from northern
Song Yue has been working at BCIS since 2007. She is very excited to be working with people from around the world, and she loves to celebrate cultural diversity in her classroom. In her spare time, she likes reading, cooking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Grades 3-5 Learning Support
Jose Tapia was born and raised in California, USA. He has over five years of experience working in various school districts in southern and northern California and three years as a Learning Support Specialist in Shanghai and Beijing. His educational background includes a Master’s and Credential in Counseling and Guidance. He specializes in Special Education and has a teaching credential from Cal State San Bernardino.
Jose enjoys living and being among a diverse group of people. So when the opportunity arose to work and live abroad, he moved to China. He made his initial move to Shanghai where he worked as a Learning Support Specialist in different international schools, working with children from different backgrounds, languages, and varying abilities. Later, he was offered the opportunity to work in Beijing where he continues to put his skills into practice.
Being from Southern California, Jose is a natural foodie who enjoys tasting foods from different parts of the world. He also enjoys outdoor activities including hiking, sightseeing, and occasional beach trips. In addition, he appreciates time with family, watching the latest blockbuster movie, or simply reading at home.
Jose is excited to be part of the BCIS community as he continues to develop his trade and explore this wonderful city!
Grade 2 Homeroom
Elizabeth is from North Carolina, USA and was educated at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Child Psychology, her Teaching Licensure in Elementary Education, and her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education.
Grade 2 in Kuwait for four years and is excited to now be in Beijing as part of the BCIS community. She loves to integrate technology in the classroom and believes in a student-centered classroom that fosters independence, curiosity, and a love of learning.
Elizabeth is passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle and enjoys yoga, reading, and organizing. She also loves to travel and is excited to explore more of Beijing and China.
Linda has taught at Beijing international schools since 2011. She got her Bachelor’s in Child Development from Michigan State University with a language arts specialization and an early childhood endorsement. Throughout the years, she has been the lead teacher in Nursery and Grades 1-6 classrooms.
Linda grew up in a bilingual and bicultural household and attended international school in Taiwan. Because of her personal experience as a student in the international school system, she is especially passionate about her work here at BCIS. She really enjoys learning more about multilingualism and language acquisition.
In the summer of 2016, she married her husband Romer, whom she met in Beijing. In her free time, she enjoys bike rides, trying new restaurants, and cooking with friends.
Grade 2 Homeroom
David is originally from Bath in England. He has been living and teaching abroad for nine years, and has worked in South Korea and China. David enjoys traveling and is also a sports enthusiast with a love of football, rugby, cricket, and Muay Thai boxing.
David was educated in the UK and completed his undergraduate studies in computer science at the University of Brighton before moving on to complete a Master's in Law. Since graduating, he has gone on to receive his PGCE from the University of Sunderland and a Master's in International Education from the same institution. He is now currently working towards his PhD at the University of Bath, UK. He is studying how Chinese culture affects students studying within the IB system.
David worked for a number of years in South Korea as a kindergarten teacher in the coastal city of Changwon. He then moved to China with his wife, who also teaches at BCIS, where he worked in Beijing as the Grade 1 Lead Teacher of an international school in Shunyi. This is his third year at BCIS.
David enjoys living in Beijing and China with all the opportunities it brings for experiencing new cultures and travel. He is excited to be working in an incredible city, at such a reputable school, and with some outstanding colleagues.
Happy is from Beijing. She graduated with a BA degree in Chinese Language and Literature. Happy previously worked for 9 years as a Homeroom and Chinese teacher in a local Beijing primary school. During this time she received several awards for excellence in teaching. Happy then went on to teach Chinese as a second language for 8 years.
She is passionate about teaching and is very excited to be part of the BCIS Chinese teaching team.
In her spare time, Happy likes traveling, reading, cooking and spending time with friends and family.
Michelle was born in southern China and graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University with a BA in English. Michelle started to teach after receiving her Teaching Certificate in 2008. She is experienced in teaching both primary and secondary students. Prior to joining BCIS in 2012, Michelle was a Chinese language teacher and a PYP co-teacher at an international school in Guangdong province where she gained most of her PYP training.
Michelle is excited to work at BCIS and to share her enthusiasm in Chinese and the love for learning with the students.
In her free time, Michelle loves reading, travelling, and spending time with her family.
Claudia is from Bogota, Colombia. She moved to United States at age 19. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts from Texas Wesleyan University with a Major in Bilingual Education in Early Childhood through 4th grade and a Minor in Spanish. She obtained her Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Mathematics from University of Texas at Arlington. She was part of the Bilingual Teacher Assistant Program while pursuing her Bachelor Degree and becoming a Bilingual/Dual Language Teacher in Forth Worth, Texas for the past 9 years.
Her passion, dedication and commitment to inspire her students go beyond the school learning environment. She is so enthusiastic about sports that she volunteered to be the Soccer Head Coach in her school for the past 7 years.
Claudia has always enjoyed travelling with her husband, Juan and with the newest addition and blessing to the family, Luciana. During her spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, outdoor activities, and playing indoors soccer.
Claudia is delighted to be part of the BCIS family and eager to explore China.