• Matthew Beenen
    University of Wisconson-Madison & Portland State University
    English as an Additional Language
    Hongqiao Upper School
    Hi everyone! My name is Matthew Beenen and I am very excited to be joining the community at SCIS, Hongqiao. I grew up along the coast of Lake Michigan in the city of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. I completed my undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and then went on to study Education at Portland State University. I taught for six years in the Portland area before moving on to international education. I worked at Jakarta Intercultural School for six years where I taught EAL and social studies in the high school. As a member of my previous schools’ communities, I participated in many extra-curricular activities, including service clubs, coaching, and off timetable learning. When I am not working, I enjoy traveling, sports, and spending time with my family.
  • Brooke Boldon
    Pacific University & Portland State University
    Language and Literature & Theory of Knowledge
    Pudong Upper School
    My name is Brooke Boldon, and I’m thrilled to be a part of SCIS. Originally from Wisconsin, I moved to Oregon at age nineteen and still consider Portland my home where my husband Michael and I lived before going abroad. I taught high school English and college composition for nine years in and around Portland and then moved to Tokyo and Hong Kong to teach MYP and DP English for six years. Besides spending my days hanging out with teenagers, I love to read, write, watch films, wine and dine, take in live music and theater, practice yoga, go on long walks, spoil my cat, and travel with my husband.
  • Leah Brownell
    Clayton University & Buffalo State University
    Science
    Hongqiao Upper School
    My name is Leah Brownell and I am teaching grade 6, 7 and 8th grade Science at the Hongqiao Campus! I will also be coaching the JV boys volleyball team. This will be my first year at SCIS, and my 16th year in education! I have also previously taught Math and Physical Education. I was born and raised in Penticton, which is a beautiful area in British Columbia, Canada. I attended undergraduate school at Clayton State University, where I received my Bachelor of Arts in Middle School Education. I received my Master’s degree in Education from Buffalo State University in New York. I lived and taught in Atlanta, Georgia for 3 years, before taking a chance internationally and moving to Bangkok, Thailand for three years. I then moved to Caracas, Venezuela for the next 6 years. For the past 3 years, I have been working in Doha, Qatar before coming to Shanghai. I love spending my free time playing tennis and volleyball, swimming, biking, practicing yoga, reading, scuba diving, and traveling. I’m a huge advocate of healthy living and having a balanced life. I am looking forward to learning about life in Shanghai and learning more about my SCIS students!
  • Maria Burnham
    Brigham Young University of Hawaii
    Speech Language Specialist
    Hongqiao Early Child Education Campus
    My name is Maria Burnham, and I am very excited to be joining the SCIS community this year! Travel and diverse cultural experiences, have always been a priority for me, however this is my first opportunity to actually live and work abroad. I was born in Canada, educated in Hawaii and Utah, and started my career as a school-based SLP in Washington, USA. I have a masters degree in Communication Disorders as well as certification from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. I come to SCIS with 7 years of experience working to collaborate with teachers in providing holistic and individual therapy for students with speech and language difficulties. I believe in working as a team with parents and teachers to help children learn to generalize their skills beyond the therapy room. I’m passionate about early intervention and look forward to working with the students on the ECE campus. Here’s to a wonderful year!
  • Carol Cayford
    McMaster University, Queen's University & Michigan State University
    English
    Hongqiao Upper School
    My name is Carol Cayford and I am excited to have recently joined the faculty at SCIS - HIS to teach IBDP Literature and MYP Language & Literature. I already love Shanghai for a variety of reasons - sidewalks being one of them - and will appreciate a change in seasons again after two years teaching at the International School of Phnom Penh in Cambodia! I have been a teacher for over 30 years and during my career have been fortunate to have lived and worked in places as diverse as Sierra Leone, Qatar, Uzbekistan, Taiwan, Colombia, Canada and the UK. I am from Ontario, Canada, where I obtained a B.A. in English from McMaster University and a B.Ed. from Queen’s University, and I also have an M.A. from Michigan State University. My pastimes are not unusual for a woman with my history - I love to travel and read literature, but I also enjoy walking, skiing and horseback riding. I am looking forward to a productive year at SCIS, and to some adventurous travel in China this year!
  • Michael Clark
    University of Sydney
    Design
    Hongqiao Upper School
    I am excited to be joining the SCIS community for my first year of living and working in the wonderful city of Shanghai. Born and raised in country Australia, I moved away from home to study at the University of Sydney, receiving a Bachelor of Education (Technological and applied studies). After a number of years of teaching in Australia I started my international career and have spent the last 15 years teaching in the UK, the Cayman Islands and Vietnam. I am passionate about Design as a subject, especially the opportunities it allows students in unleashing their creativity and in developing problem-solving skills. I am very much looking forward to having the students make the most of the fantastic new Design facilities at SCIS. I enjoy sports and travel and I am very excited about exploring all the amazing opportunities that Shanghai, and China, have to offer.
  • Taylor Cobb
    University of Wisconson-Milwaukee, Roosevely University & Concordia University
    Counselor
    Hongqiao Upper School
    Hi! My name is Taylor Cobb and I am one of the new Upper School Counselors at the Hongqiao Campus! This is my first year in Shanghai and at SCIS! I was previously a high school counselor for seven years and a diverse learning teacher for three years. I grew up in Wisconsin, the cheese state, which is in the lovely Midwest of the US. I attended undergraduate school at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where I received my Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. I then went a little south to Roosevelt University to receive my Masters in School Counseling. A few years later, I attended Concordia University to obtain a Masters in School Leadership. I’m currently working on my doctorate in Educational Leadership. I lived, taught and counseled in Chicago for nine years before taking a leap internationally and coming to SCIS! I love spending my free time being active, working out, running, exploring, and traveling. I’m a huge sports fan and love all things Wisconsin! I’m really looking forward to this new adventure in Shanghai and am excited to part of the SCIS community!
  • Ian Cole
    Newcastle University
    Individuals and Societies
    Hongqiao Upper School
    Hello SCIS! I am originally from the north-east of England and have travelled extensively since leaving my home country in 2008. In the past nine years I have lived in Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Uganda and now China. I am very excited to call Shanghai my new home. I have a Bachelors Ancient History degree from Newcastle University and also hold a Postgraduate Certificate in Education specialising in History. Here at SCIS, I shall be teaching Individuals and Societies to middle and high school students. In addition, I have also taken on the role as CAS and Service as Action Coordinator. This involves helping students in both the MYP and DP to identify ways to make meaningful connections with the local and wider community, and considering ways they can make a difference.
  • Briton Coombs
    San Francisco State University
    Grade Four
    Pudong Upper School
    Greetings! My name is Briton Coombs and I am thrilled to be a part of the SCIS community. I received my degree in Elementary Education from the College of New Jersey and my Masters in Philosophy from San Francisco State University. I have been an elementary school educator for over 10 years and have been living and teaching in international schools across South East Asia for the past several years. I feel at home having Asia as my home base while traveling around the world and visiting friends and family at home in the United States. As an elementary teacher I have had the opportunity to teach and learn alongside some amazing children and colleagues and am looking forward to my new experience living and working in Shanghai, China.
  • Jacqueline Corbett
    Liverpool University & Chester University
    Design
    Hongqiao Upper School
    My name is Jacqueline, but everyone calls me Jax. I’m teaching grades 8, 9 and 10 Design at the Hongqiao Campus. This is my first year at SCIS! I’m super excited to be in Shanghai, China. I have been teaching abroad now for nearly 10 years. I’m originally from the North West in the UK. I received my PGCE in teaching at Liverpool University and my Masters of Education at Chester University, both in the UK. The countries I have taught in include the Middle East, Africa, Bangladesh and the Ukraine. I love spending my free time with my family taking part in various community activities or celebrations. I’m really enjoying Shanghai so far and we’re excited to be here and part of the SCIS Community.
  • Lisa Cuthbertson
    University of Alberta & College of New Jersey
    Physical Education
    Hongqiao Upper School
    Lisa Cuthbertson is a new Upper School Physical Education Teacher at the Hongqiao Campus. She is coming from Academia Cotopaxi in Quito, Ecuador where she taught 6-10 PE and coached JV Boys Volleyball and Varsity Girls Basketball. Her educational background includes a Master of Science from the University of Alberta, a certification of teaching from The College of New Jersey and 200hr Teacher of Hatha Yoga Certification. She has been teaching and coaching for 10 years and her focus is the social and emotional wellbeing of students. Lisa comes from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. In her free time, she practices yoga and mindfulness, runs, bikes, walks her dog, travels, and goes out to eat at local establishments. She is looking forward to her time in Shanghai and is especially excited to be joining SCIS.
  • Cyna Dai
    East China Normal University & Shanghai International Studies University
    Mandarin
    Hongqiao Lower School
    Hi! 你们好 (Ni men hao)! My name is Cyna Dai. My hometown is Shanghai, China. I received one B.A. in Teaching Chinese as Second Language from East China Normal University and another B.A. in English Linguistics and Literature from Shanghai International Studies University. I am so excited to be back in SCIS to be a Mandarin teacher in Lower School this year! I joined SCIS big family in 2012 and left in 2016. Last school year, I taught in Shanghai United International School as a classroom teacher. I have a passion for teaching and love working with children. Beyond teaching, I love to practice yoga, and explore the world by reading and sometimes traveling. I look forward to a great school year! Let’s make Mandarin learning fun and easy together!
  • Jillian Eyre-Walker
    James Cook University & Monash and Deakin Universities
    Early Years Coordinator & English as an Additional Language
    Hongqiao Early Child Education Campus
    My name is Jillian Eyre-Walker and I am delighted to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I was born in England and raised in Australia. My qualifications include Dip. Ed from James Cook University and B.Ed. from Monash and Deakin Universities of Australia. I also studied at the University of London, where I received my principalship training and am currently working on my M.Ed. through the College of New Jersey in America. Throughout the past 25 years I have served in schools around the world including Africa, Australia and China. I am the very proud mother of two wonderful children of which one is working in Nanjing, China and the other is very busy with my two grandchildren in Australia. I am now greatly honored to serve the SCIS community, as the ECE coordinator.
  • Marella Gregory
    Virginia Commonwealth University
    Counselor
    Hongqiao Early Child Education Campus
    Marella Gregory comes to us from her Country of origin - the United States of America. Born and raised in eastern Pennsylvania, Marella moved to western PA for college where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She's spent most of her adult life as an educator in Richmond, Virginia where she taught, counseled, and earned a Master's Degree in Counseling Education from Virginia Commonwealth University and certification from Atlantic University as a Spiritual Guide and Mentor. She is a published author on the subject of Character Education for very young children and on Mindfulness in Education. Recently, she became certified as an International Teacher Trainer with the Center for Teacher Effectiveness. Marella and her husband, John of 26 years, raised two daughters, Alden and Kyra. While the Gregory family loves, owns, and foster a variety of dogs, Marella values her two-legged less hairy friends as well. They are more supportive (than the pups) of Marella's leaving the US to work at SCIS, where she is excited for the opportunity to experience a new culture, make new friends, and immerse herself in the role of Early Childhood Education Counselor in support of international education of which she has long been a fan. She is especially looking forward to finding pockets of nature tucked away in the exciting city of Shanghai.
  • Connie Hedderson
    Science
    Pudong Upper School
    Hello SCIS community! I am excited to be joining this community after teaching in the Middle East for many years. I call home a small town in Northwestern Ontario, Canada which has greatly influenced me to become an educator. I will be joining the Science Department teaching Chemistry and general science. I enjoy teaching science and watching the students discover new ideas within science. I’m looking forward to life in Shanghai and exploring all China has to offer. Outside of the classroom I enjoy playing and watching sports as well as going to the movies. I’m looking forward to a new and challenging year.
  • Curtis Holland
    University of Windsor
    Drama
    Hongqiao Upper School
    My name is Curtis Holland and I am teaching Upper School Drama at the Hongqiao Campus. This is my first year at SCIS; I was previously teaching in Kuwait and Tianjin. I’m from Windsor, Ontario, Canada and love to represent where I'm from. I attended the University of Windsor and achieved my Bachelor of Arts (Honors) Drama in Education and Community, then went on to my Bachelor of Education in teaching Drama and English for Grades 7-12. I love putting on shows (performing and directing), cooking, my animal babies, travelling, anything active, and of course, spreading my love of my art form in my daily job. I’m very excited to be back in China, and hope to develop our theatre program to new highs.
  • Christopher Howey
    Simon Fraser University & University of British Columbia
    English
    Hongqiao Upper School
    Hello, my name is Chris Howey and I am excited to be joining SCIS as an MYP English Language & Literature teacher. I’m originally from Vancouver, Canada, where I studied English and Geography at Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, Canada) and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours in Geography. I then completed my Bachelor of Education degree at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) within the English cohort. I have lived and worked in Singapore, Vietnam and Cambodia and had the opportunity to travel the region extensively. I’m passionate about creative arts such as photography, architecture and theatre and am excited to help my students discover and foster their passions whether in Language and Literature or beyond.
  • Austin Kittelson
    University of Northern Iowa
    Kindergarten
    Hongqiao Early Child Education Campus
    Hello! My name is Austin Kittelson and I am thrilled to be teaching Kindergarten at the ECE Campus. This is my first year at SCIS and my fourth year in Shanghai. Prior to coming to China, I taught at international schools in Korea, Republic of Georgia and Jamaica. Born and raised in Iowa, I received my Bachelors in Early Childhood and Elementary Education with a minor in Literacy and Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Northern Iowa. I have a passion for teaching young children. I strive to instill a love of learning and foster curiosity in exploring the world around them. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, scuba, photography and writing. I am a freelance food writer and am constantly on the lookout for great eats. Shanghai has so much to offer and I am looking forward to another great year in this dynamic city.
  • Kurt Lahey
    Loyola University & John Marshall Law School
    Economics & Business
    Hongqiao Upper School
    I’m from Chicago, IL., USA, and have degrees from two of the finest institutions of higher learning in that city, Loyola University (BA) and the John Marshall Law School (JD). I pursued a career as a civil trial lawyer for seven years before turning to education and beginning my teaching career with the Chicago Public Schools. My first international teaching position was in the United Kingdom. I have taught in Korea as well. I am an experienced IB teacher in the area of Individuals and Societies, including Economics, Business & Management and History. I also enjoy coaching, and have coached basketball, softball and baseball. This is my first year at SCIS and I am excited by the diversity and enthusiasm I have encountered from the students and faculty here.
  • Steven Lawrence
    Individuals and Societies
    Pudong Upper School
    My name is Steve Lawrence, and I’m from a small, one-stop town at the foothills of the Berkshire mountains in upstate New York. Prior to teaching I was a small business owner of plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning, after a stinted career as a sales rep and systems designer for a Plumbing/Heating/HVAC wholesaler. Upon meeting my wife in 2006 I discovered international teaching, and soon realized I’d discover a greater sense of purpose being a teacher than digging trenches and changing toilets (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). Since becoming a teacher I’ve taught in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and am now so excited to be coming to Shanghai. I’m blessed to be teacher, and consider what we do as the best, and some of the most important work in the world. I can’t wait to meet you all, and to become your friend.

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