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Cycle 3 & 4 Teaching Teams

Meet our Cycle 3 & 4 Teaching Teams

 

CM1, Cours Moyen 1re année (4th grade) - Classe homologuée

Originally from Queensland, Australia, Ms. Prema De La Garza (English)  completed her Bachelor of Education degree in Cairns, Australia and then worked as a middle and upper elementary teacher for several years in her native Queensland. Ms. Prema is particularly interested in guiding students in the strong development of their reading and writing skills, all while encouraging her students to develop into strong global citizens. She has experience working with students of different backgrounds, including those with special education needs.

Ms. Gina Pieriboni, originally from Venezuela, joined as AIS's CE2 through CM2 Spanish teacher; she also teaches Spanish Language & Literature in Middle School. Gina most recently taught at the Escuela Bella Vista in Maracaibo, Venezuela, where she had been for the past seventeen years. She has extensive experience working with students at all levels and with different learning needs. Gina has spent many years working on curriculum development in Spanish and brings a wealth of this experience to AIS. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree in Modern Languages and a Master of Education degree. In addition to Spanish, Gina also speaks English, Italian, and French fluently.

Passionate about science and sports, Mr. Cédric Hervé (STEAM in French) leads classes full of energy and dynamism. He delivers the science and math curriculum with creativity and engaging projects. Because not all of his students are native French-speakers, Cédric encourages his students to work together in order to share and discuss their experiences. He began at AIS in 2009. Cédric worked for four years at the École de Saint-Avit in France; he has even worked in a chocolate factory. Outside work, he enjoys sports, mainly basketball and hiking, and seeing concerts and films. Cédric's teaching philosophy is “Tell me, I forget. Show me, I remember. Involve me, I understand.”

Ms. Noémie Guivarch (Music in French) has been a teacher for nine years. She taught mostly GS, CP, and CM1 in Paris, France. She was very involved with teamwork and project pedagogy in the last school where she taught, and still is at AIS! Seamless teaching has allowed her to discover various methods of teaching from the different countries the teachers in her teaching team come from, and to use the best tools of each method to create a truly international education. Her goals are to develop autonomy and initiative in her students. She was also the choir, PE and arts teacher for CP and CE1 during her first year at AIS, and along with her teammates, continues to hold a weekly multilingual choir with her classes as songs are very helpful to learn and retain vocabulary (plus it's fun!). Noémie has had a passion for the United States for as long as she can remember and feels very grateful for the opportunity to be teaching at Austin International School and sharing her culture with her students. She loves teamwork and feels very fortunate to work with a wonderful team of teachers and be able to see her students blossom into truly global citizens!

Ms. Virginie Grimaud (Art in French) began teaching at Austin International School in 2012. It was an eye-opening experience for her as well after teaching for several years in primary schools in Marseille, France, after an earlier career in the private sector. She appreciates the insight gained from teaching with other teachers with different backgrounds who share their many experiences and different languages and cultures amongst the teaching team, and have new methods she can incorporate into her own teaching practice. Virginie loves to spend her free time with her family to discover Austin and surrounding areas, to travel around the USA, and take advantage of her time here to get to know the country. She also loves to read and to play the violin. Her teaching philosophy reads, “The class needs to be a safe environment to my students to allow them to learn from their mistakes and differences; therefore, I use both variety and consistency -- consistency to make my students feel safe and variety to reach all of my students.”

Ms. Amanda McKenzie (Librarian) joined AIS in August 2018 as our bilingual English/French Librarian. Prior to moving to Austin, Amanda worked as the Head Librarian and social studies teacher for students in Kindergarten through Middle School at The W.I.D.E. School in Houston. She also worked as a librarian at the Awty International School and the Holocaust Museum of Houston. In addition to her duties as a librarian, Amanda has experience creating and implementing a project-based curriculum for library skills. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and a Master of Science in Library Science. Of note, Amanda also completed her elementary and middle school education in French in an overseas MLF school.
 

CM2, Cours Moyen 2e année (5th grade) - Classe homologuée

Ms. Noémie Guivarch (French) has been a teacher for ten years. She taught mostly GS, CP, and CM1 in Paris, France. She was very involved with teamwork and project pedagogy in the last school where she taught, and still is at AIS! Seamless teaching has allowed her to discover various methods of teaching from the different countries the teachers in her teaching team come from, and to use the best tools of each method to create a truly international education. Her goals are to develop autonomy and initiative in her students. She was also the choir, PE and arts teacher for CP and CE1 during her first year at AIS, and along with her teammates, continues to hold a weekly multilingual choir with her classes as songs are very helpful to learn and retain vocabulary (plus it's fun!). Noémie has had a passion for the United States for as long as she can remember and feels very grateful for the opportunity to be teaching at Austin International School and sharing her culture with her students. She loves teamwork and feels very fortunate to work with a wonderful team of teachers and be able to see her students blossom into truly global citizens!

Ms. Sarah Olano (English) is a passionate language educator. Prior to moving to Austin, Sarah worked as an elementary school teacher at the British School of Houston where she taught various age groups, including second grade. She has extensive experience teaching language acquisition, reading, and writing skills, along with differentiation of instruction for her students. Originally from the UK, she earned both her Bachelor of Arts degree (Honors) in French and European studies and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education in Staffordshire and Liverpool, respectively.

Ms. Gina Pieriboni, originally from Venezuela, joined as AIS's CE2 through CM2 Spanish teacher; she also teaches Spanish Language & Literature in Middle School. Gina most recently taught at the Escuela Bella Vista in Maracaibo, Venezuela, where she had been for the past seventeen years. She has extensive experience working with students at all levels and with different learning needs. Gina has spent many years working on curriculum development in Spanish and brings a wealth of this experience to AIS. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree in Modern Languages and a Master of Education degree. In addition to Spanish, Gina also speaks English, Italian, and French fluently.

Passionate about science and sports, Mr. Cédric Hervé (STEAM in French) leads classes full of energy and dynamism. He delivers the science and math curriculum with creativity and engaging projects. Because not all of his students are native French-speakers, Cédric encourages his students to work together in order to share and discuss their experiences. He began at AIS in 2009. Cédric worked for four years at the École de Saint-Avit in France; he has even worked in a chocolate factory. Outside work, he enjoys sports, mainly basketball and hiking, and seeing concerts and films. Cédric's teaching philosophy is “Tell me, I forget. Show me, I remember. Involve me, I understand.”

Ms. Virginie Grimaud (Art in French) began teaching at Austin International School in 2012. It was an eye-opening experience for her as well after teaching for several years in primary schools in Marseille, France, after an earlier career in the private sector. She appreciates the insight gained from teaching with other teachers with different backgrounds who share their many experiences and different languages and cultures amongst the teaching team, and have new methods she can incorporate into her own teaching practice. Virginie loves to spend her free time with her family to discover Austin and surrounding areas, to travel around the USA, and take advantage of her time here to get to know the country. She also loves to read and to play the violin. Her teaching philosophy reads, “The class needs to be a safe environment to my students to allow them to learn from their mistakes and differences; therefore, I use both variety and consistency -- consistency to make my students feel safe and variety to reach all of my students.”

Ms. Amanda McKenzie (Librarian) joined AIS in August 2018 as our bilingual English/French Librarian. Prior to moving to Austin, Amanda worked as the Head Librarian and social studies teacher for students in Kindergarten through Middle School at The W.I.D.E. School in Houston. She also worked as a librarian at the Awty International School and the Holocaust Museum of Houston. In addition to her duties as a librarian, Amanda has experience creating and implementing a project-based curriculum for library skills. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and a Master of Science in Library Science. Of note, Amanda also completed her elementary and middle school education in French in an overseas MLF school.
 

Le Collège (Middle School) - 6e homologuée

Ms. Natacha Pailloncy, Science, Mathematics, and STEAM (French)

Mr. Olivier Boudou, French Language and Literaure, Social Studies, Civics, and STEAM (French)

Mr. Jason Saffa, English Language and Literature, Full Body Health (English), Spanish Foundations

Ms. Gina Pieriboni, Spanish Language and Literature

Ms. Valérie Horne, Visual Arts (French)

Teaching is Ms. Shachon Leaf’s (English) passion. After earning degrees in Communication (Wheaton College) and Elementary Education (Northeastern Illinois University), she continued her education at Roosevelt University to earn a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership. She has enjoyed teaching in Chicago, Abu Dhabi and now, the beautiful city of Austin. Shachon is excited to continue the deep learning experience she and her students began last year. She looks forward to working with parents as she guides the academic development of her students.