New Teachers for August 2016

Dear MS Parents,

As I shared at Wednesday’s Principal Coffee, the greatest impact that I have on the quality of education your children receive is through my responsibility to recruit and retain the best quality teachers we can.  Therefore, I work collaboratively with Glen Karlsson (MS Vice Principal), Marcel Gauthier (Puxi Deputy Head of School), Richard Mueller (Head of School), the other principals, and the HR department to recruit the very best teaching candidates we can find.

Our process here at SAS entails countless hours of candidate paperwork screening including the review of qualifications and multiple confidential references for countless candidates per position.  That allows us to narrow our candidate pool to fewer than 10 highly qualified candidates per position who we contact for interviews, usually via Skype or face-to-face at international job fairs.  As principal, I then interview each candidate in order to narrow the pool.  I then pass candidates along to Glen Karlsson or another principal for a second interview.  We then narrow down to one or two finalist candidates per position and perform reference checks with their current supervisor and one supervisor from their previous school.  That ensures that what we’ve read in their confidential references is accurate and that they are a match for SAS.  Along with background checks, that also helps us to ensure child safety because we specifically ask questions that delve into that realm.

Successful finalist candidates are then passed on to Marcel Gauthier for the final interview.  If all three administrators feel the candidate is a fit for SAS, then I send them an e-mail outlining the professional expectations for our MS teachers at least 24 hours in advance of our final scheduled chat.  When we get back together, I ask them how they felt when they read those expectations.  If they respond with enthusiasm, I continue with the job offer.  If they respond with any hesitation at all, I stop the process at that point, and we begin the recruiting process again with different candidates.

As you can see, SAS follows a very rigorous recruiting process that reflects the level of importance we place on identifying high quality teachers who can positively impact your child’s learning.  In nearly every case, this process results in an acceptance of the job offer and an appropriate “fit” once they arrive in Shanghai.

Therefore, with that background on our recruiting processes, I would like to share with you the list below of the new hires who will join the SAS faculty starting August 2016.

Instructional Coach – Scott Williams
Scott has served as a Grade 7 Language Arts teacher here at PXMS since August 2007. During that time he has served as both team leader and Language Arts department chair. He has also served on a number of school-wide task forces and has provided guidance on a number of tech-related projects. Scott will work collaboratively with Azul Terronez and Andrew Miller to provide professional learning support in a variety of areas including but certainly not limited to PBL, cross-curricular instruction, assessment and differentiation, and transformational use of technology.

Instructional Coach – Andrew Miller
Andrew has worked as a visiting consultant with SAS for the last two years in his capacity as a Buck Institute for Education National Faculty member and PBL 101 trainer. He has also served as an ASCD faculty member providing professional learning opportunities in the areas of assessment, school culture, and gradual release of responsibility. Andrew writes for both ASCD and Edutopia and has extensive experience as a conference presenter and onsite consultant for a number of schools. Prior to starting his consulting work, Andrew taught Middle and High School English and Humanities at a project-based learning and STEM school in the Seattle area.

MS Counselor (Gold) – Monica Albertini
Though originally from Paraguay, Monica earned her Masters in Counseling from Boston University and has served as a counselor in international schools including her six years at the American School of Asuncion (Paraguay) and seven years at the International School Nido de Aguilas (Chile). Monica will be joined by her husband, Sergio, who is an Industrial Engineer, and her daughter, Agustina, who will be in Grade 5 next year.

Grade 6 Math – Josh Sadek
Josh has spent the last sixteen years teaching at various international schools including the American Cooperative School (Bolivia), Mont’Kiara International School (Malaysia), International School of Beijing, and most recently at Pasir Ridge International School. Josh will be joined by his wife, Tifani, who will be teaching MS PE, and their daughters Taylor and Jasmine.

Grade 6 Language Arts – Mary Burns
Mary has spent the last 5 years teaching at Seoul International School—most recently as a middle school literacy specialist. Prior to moving to Korea, Mary and her husband taught in their native North Carolina. Mary will be joined by her husband, Dennis, who will be teaching in the ES, and their son, Henry, who is not yet in school.

Grade 7 Math – Jennifer Naughton
Jennifer is also joining us from Korea International School, where she has taught MS Math for the last three years. Prior to that she taught in her home state of Missouri. Like Brad, Jennifer also enjoys coaching. Jennifer, of course, will be joined by her fiancé, Brad Evans.

Grade 7 Language Arts – Matt Errico
Matt calls Texas home, but will be joining us from the American School of Doha where he and his family have spent the last six years. Prior to that, Matt taught at Seoul International School. He is joined by his wife, Jeanne, who will be teaching ES EAL, and his daughter, Jenny, who will be in Grade 10 next year.

Grade 7 Science – Kathleen Hoeber
Kathleen joins the SAS faculty from Austin, Texas, where she has been working at an MYP school for the last six years first as a science teacher and most recently as a Science Special Ed teacher responsible for co-planning and co-teaching with the science team to support students with greater learning needs. Prior to that she was a middle school science teacher in a neighboring school.

Grade 8 Language Arts – David Fisher
David and his family will be joining us from Salinas, California where he has spent the last twelve years at El Sausal Middle School. David has served as an English/GATE teacher, as a site tech coordinator, and is currently serving as an Instructional Coach supporting the MS faculty in a variety of ways. David will be joined by his wife, Devon, and their two-year-old son, Bryce.

Grade 8 Social Studies – Brad Evans
Brad will be joining us from Korea International School, where he has spent the last five years teaching MS Social Studies, coaching a variety of sports, and developing an interest in the power of technology to enhance learning. Brad will be joined by his fiancé, Jennifer Naughton, who will be teaching MS Math.

MS PE & Grade 8 Advisory – Tifani Sadek
Tifani has spent the last three years wearing multiple hats at Pasir Ridge International School where she has served as PE/Health teacher, Activities Director, and Counselor. Of course, like Josh, she also taught at the American Cooperative School (Bolivia), Mont’Kiara International School (Malaysia), and the International School of Beijing.

MS Stagecraft – Devon Fisher
Devon will be joining us half-time after a two year sabbatical to care for her son, Bryce. Prior to Bryce’s birth, Devon served as a Performing Arts Center Technical Director and high school math teacher in Salinas. She also served as a middle school math teacher for the first four years of her career, so she is returning to her MS roots. She will, of course, be joined by her husband, David, and their son.

MS PE & CISSA Coordinator – Rodrigo De Marco
Rodrigo will be joining us from his home country of Brazil. While this will be Rodrigo’s first overseas teaching experience, he’s no stranger to international schools having worked at the Escola Americana de Campinas just outside of Sao Paolo, Brazil, for the last 19 years. Most recently he has served in concurrent roles as MS/HS PE teacher and school-wide Athletic Director.

MS Chinese – Sindy Shen
Sindy has been working at SAS for a number of years, most recently as a Chinese teacher in Pudong Elementary School. Sindy started out many years ago as a Chinese Teaching Assistant here in Puxi Middle School, so this is a coming home of sorts.

I hope you will join me in welcoming our new faculty in August.

Dr. Theron J. Mott, Middle School Principal

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