With teachers, teaching assistants and specialists from all corners of the globe we are incredibly proud of the talent and passion embodied by all our staff, and how it translates to a world-class learning environment for all of our students.

For more information on each member of our team, please see below.

Jessica Anderson - Early Years Teacher

Jessica Anderson TeacherJessica Anderson, a native New Yorker, received a BA in Art & Art History at City College of New York. After earning a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education at Hunter College, she eagerly left the United States for international adventures.  Ms. Anderson taught English in Barcelona, Spain and subsequently held positions at several IB World schools in London, England and Tokyo, Japan.  At these schools, she taught Year 1 and Reception, while also acting as PYP coordinator and mentor for newly qualified teachers.  Four years ago, Ms. Anderson moved back to New York and took a position at The International Preschools, where she remained until she got the exciting opportunity to work within a PYP programme once again – at BIS-NY!

In her spare time, Ms. Anderson is a music enthusiast and frequents live shows throughout Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. She also enjoys planning upcoming holidays where she can travel and learn about the rich history and culture around the world.

Ms. Anderson is thrilled to be working within the inquiry-based, collaborative and international environment that BIS-NY offers.


B.A. in Studio Art / Art History, City College of New York

MS Ed. in Early Childhood Education, Hunter College, New York, NY

New York State Public School Certification to teach Birth – Age 8

TEFL certification – ITTT, Barcelona, Spain

Yasemin Aribas - Specialist (World Languages)

Yasemin Arıbaş is a keen linguist, traveler and advocate of education. Born and raised in Handsworth, Birmingham, UK, Yasemin’s early multicultural upbringing shaped the direction of her career and it was no surprise that upon completion of her French and Spanish degree at the University of Leicester she would go on to become a Teacher of World Languages. Yasemin’s Turkish heritage has also played a pivotal role in her love languages; from her fascination with the different sounds to the way in which languages can connect people from all walks of life.

During her student years Yasemin worked as a Youth Worker at an inclusion centre specifically for children with social, behavioral and emotional needs. She worked closely with these children to build their confidence and increase their motivation to succeed in life. There was a focus on developing skills through the medium of outdoor play and creativity. Yasemin realised that such methods of learning could totally transform a child’s engagement with education and she is keen to reflect on such experiences in her own teaching practice.

Yasemin has also lived in France, Belgium and Spain where she spent time developing her linguistic competence of French and Spanish through studying and working. In Zaragoza, Spain, she also spent time working as an English teacher where she gave individual and group lessons to both Spanish teenagers and adults. She found this experience fascinating as she helped build English competency for use in business and social environments.  

Ever keen to develop and continue learning, Yasemin embarked on a Master’s degree at the University of Oxford. She spent two years investigating the complex relationship between motivation and progress in Foreign Language learning and has developed a practical strategy to decrease the risk of disengagement. Her experience at Oxford was by far one of the most rewarding and she is keen to continue her academic research.

Yasemin is thrilled to be teaching World Languages at BIS-NY and is excited to develop her pedagogy; learning from and working with excellent educators from a variety of cultures and disciplines.


B.A. (Hons) French and Spanish (University of Leicester, UK)

P.G.C.E MFL Secondary (Roehampton University, UK)

MSc Learning and Teaching (University of Oxford, Kellogg College, UK)


Maxine Arndt - EAL Teacher

Miss Arndt believes that rather than cause undue anxiety, language ought to be an outlet for expression, a means of empathizing with people of other cultures and a source of empowerment. She encourages her students to develop not only their critical language skills, but their self-confidence and compassion.

Born and raised in rural Wisconsin, Miss Arndt began her pursuit of becoming a teacher of English and Spanish while obtaining her BA in Literature and International Relations at a Swiss-American university. The multicultural nature of the school, in terms of students, faculty and academic travels spanning the globe, developed her cultural awareness and appreciation. While in Switzerland she then taught English to a classroom of young English learners, crafting her lessons to respond to her students’ individual needs and inquiries.

Miss Arndt returned to the US for her MA in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University to nurture her passion for world literature and cross-comparative cultural analysis. Throughout her studies, she continued to tutor students in English writing and literacy skills as well as Spanish. She travels to Spain often, always eager to exercise her Spanish language skills.

Miss Arndt most recently taught English to children of all different ages and skill sets at a school in Chinatown. She has come to learn the importance of first inspiring in students a love for the language—with the underlying belief that true learning can only flourish from a curious mind.


MA English and Comparative Literature; Columbia University; New York, NY

BA Literature; Franklin University Switzerland; Lugano, CH

BA International Relations; Franklin University Switzerland; Lugano, CH

Karina Azatyan - Peri Teacher (Voice)

Karina Azatyan, a native of Armenia, is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music and Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance where she studied piano performance with Prof. Alexander Tamir and voice with Prof. ​Rashel Shulova. Karina began her music education in Ukraine where her first teacher was her grandmother, Yelena Kaminsky, a professional pianist, teacher, conductor, and a graduate of a prominent Stolyarsky School of Music for specially gifted children in Odessa and later Odessa State Konservatory. Karina grew up watching her grandmother teach piano to pupils and work with adult opera singers.

A huge passion of working with children, received from grandmother, carries on through Karina’s life.  She loves sharing her musical skills and knowledge with the young generation.

Years of experience in working with children in Israel and US lead her to serve as Musical Director for Educational and Community Outreach Program at Virginia Opera Spectrum Young Artist Program in Norfolk, Virginia.  Karina was involved in fully-staged children’s productions of  “The Pied Piper of Hamlin” and “Alice Through the Opera Glass” where she was responsible for children’s vocal preparation before each performance. In Israel, Ms.Azatyan was a part of “Eer Menagenet” (The City Is Playing) project in Jerusalem, Israel. It was an instructional program which introduced musical education to the Jerusalem public school system, for children from pre K- 1st grade.

Besides teaching and performing Karina enjoys singing karaoke, dancing, designing and making jewelry for herself, swimming in the ocean and having friends at her house for tea or dinner with always interesting conversations about languages and history of countries.

Currently, Ms. Azatyan serves as a vocal coach and accompanist at Manhattan School of Music(MSM) and children’s chorus director at Edith & Carl Marks Jewish Community House (JCH) in Brooklyn, NY.

Laya Ballesteros - Specialist (Art)

Laya Ballesteros is an art educator who is passionate about teaching art to young children. She loves for her students to explore and discover through the art making process. Ms. Ballesteros received her undergraduate degree in 2001 from the University of Maryland in Art Education. She went on to teach in a suburb outside of Washington D.C. for 6 years where she held annual International Nights and participated in county wide art fairs.

In 2007, Ms. Ballesteros had a great professional opportunity to be a founding art teacher for a charter school in Bushwick, Brooklyn. During the past 9 years, she has worked tirelessly to build a program that uses artistic expression to give her students a voice. She has served as a team leader where she was responsible for advocating for the arts in her school and within the network. Ms. Ballesteros has led professional development workshops for the network of classroom teachers in Connecticut and New York. She also led workshops and webinars to develop the art teachers in Brooklyn.

In 2015, Ms. Ballesteros received her M.S.Ed from Bank Street College in Educational Leadership with a focus in Technology and the Arts. She really enjoyed her time at Bank Street where she expanded her knowledge on the social-emotional needs and the developmental stages of children. She wrote her master’s thesis on student voice and the importance of building relationships with children to better meet their needs.

In her spare time she loves to go on adventures throughout the city, watch football, and is a foodie. She is also a huge Janet Jackson fan, obsessed with the Olympic Games and loves to laugh and enjoys a good joke.


M.S.Ed Educational Leadership in Technology and the Arts, Bank Street College, New York, NY
B.S. K-12 Art Education, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Yuliya Basis - Peri-Teacher (Piano)

Yuliya Basis - Piano TeacherYuliya Basis has been a proud New Yorker since 1999, but she was born in a small town of Orel, Russia, into a family of professional musicians. She left home at age fifteen to study piano in Moscow and earned her Masters Degree at Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where her mentors were the renowned professors Victor Merzhanov in Piano Performance and Tatiana Gaidamovich for Chamber Music.

After graduation, Ms. Basis embarked on a journey in the realm of music education. She has been successfully teaching private and group piano to students of all ages, most recently on the faculty of the United Nations International School and The Piano School of NYC. She also taught piano in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in 2002-2003 and worked for American Language Center in Moscow in 2005-2006.

At the same time, her work as a collaborative pianist has always been an important part of her professional life. Ms. Basis has been a staff accompanist at Kaufman Center for over 10 years and has appeared in recitals at numerous New York City venues, as well as abroad. An avid chamber musician, she recently recorded a CD with her husband, violinist and composer Andrii Didorenko.

During her free time, Ms. Basis loves to travel or to explore the city where two of her favorite places to be are Metropolitan Museum and Metropolitan Opera.


M.A. Music, Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Russia

Katherine Bateman -MYP Teacher

Katherine Bateman - Individuals and Societies and Design Teacher & Year 8 AdvisorKatherine Bateman is a learning enthusiast! With almost a decade of experience working as an educator in Montreal and Toronto, Ms. Bateman has a wide berth of experience and expertise including: working in experiential education settings, developing individualized learning plans and curriculum and teaching and providing counseling services in post-secondary institutions. She is passionate about inquiry-based experiential education that engages students’ strengths, develops their weaknesses and nurtures curiosity. Ms. Bateman received a BA from Concordia University, an MA from McMaster University and completed her B.Ed. at the University of Toronto. On her time off she enjoys biking, running, rock climbing, sewing and arguing! Ms. Bateman is excited to be teaching at such a beautifully situated IB school and continue her own learning journey among such curious and active minds. She is also thrilled to be heading BIS-NY’s growing debate program and nurture some of NYC’s finest arguers!   


B.A. in Women’s Studies, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec
B.Ed. University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
M.A. Cultural Studies and Critical Theory, McMaster University, Ontario

Maria Beatty - Specialist (Latin)

Maria Beatty - World Languages TeacherThe daughter of a teacher, Maria Beatty was born & educated in Greece. She attended the elite Arsakeion High School for Girls (specializing in Classical Education) on a full academic scholarship, attending classes six days a week from age 8 to 18. She graduated magna cum laude.

This prepared her for admittance to Athens University which required high scores on special entrance examinations. At Athens University, which excels in teacher training, Maria completed a degree in Classics & a degree in French Language with additional studies in Byzantine Art & Greek Folk Architecture.

In New York, Mrs. Beatty earned a Master’s Degree in French Language & Civilization from New York University.

Maria has taught in Greece & in the United States.

Mrs. Beatty is beginning her eighth year teaching Latin at BIS-NY. Previously, she taught Latin, Greek Mythology, Homer & Etymology at the United Nations International School for several years. She also taught Greek History & Mythology, Science, English & Sanskrit at The Philosophy Day School for five years. As a private tutor, she has taught Greek, Ancient Greek, French, Latin & Sanskrit.

A lover of wisdom, Mrs. Beatty studied philosophy for sixteen years at the School of Practical Philosophy & Meditation in New York City & was an assistant tutor for Plato Studies. She was also a member of the Translation Group that translated the letters of Marcilio Ficino from Latin to English. Mrs. Beatty also attended various Educational & Philosophy Workshops in New York City & Lucca, Italy.

Special areas of interest are etymology, philosophy & writing. Maria has written children’s books, stories & plays, some adapted from Greek Mythology. She is married to Glenn Beatty, an actor, director, writer & video producer.


M.A. French Literature, Language and Civilization, New York University
B.A. Greek Language and Literature, University of Athens, Greece

Adam Bernard - MYP Teacher & English Chair

Adam Bernard - Head of EnglishMr. Bernard’s first great love is and has always been literature. This passion took him to the unlikely setting of Leicestershire where he read his degree and studied, what felt like, everything that has ever been written in the English language, from the times of knights and jousting to visions of dystopian futures.

As an avid reader, Mr. Bernard has always been passionate about imbuing his students with a love for stories and helping children unlock their creativity through the power of the written word. He has always enjoyed helping young budding writers on their quest to becoming the next Rowling or Collins.

Having taught English to children aged 11-18 for a year, he then moved to a boys independent school where he had the privilege of preparing students for such prestigious schools as Westminster, Harrow, Eton and City of London. Mr. Bernard places great importance on developing an understanding and appreciation of language in learners. He hopes to enrich the lives of the students placed in his care through a journey of discovery into this world of language and believes that English is one of the most important tools you’ll ever need no matter what career you choose!


P.G.C.E (English), The Institute of Education, London.

B.A. English Language and Literature, The University of Leicester.

Stuart Buchan - Primary Years Teacher

Stuart Buchan - Teacher

Since graduating in 2011, Mr. Buchan has spent six years in the classroom. Prior to becoming a teacher, he worked as a youth support worker in his local community, mentoring and educating those not in education, training or full time employment.  At the same time Mr. Buchan worked in secondary schools across East London and Essex, running workshops designed to prepare pupils for work experience.

Mr. Buchan has an unerring dedication to providing pupils with the best possible educational experience.  He has a commitment to innovation in the classroom and enjoys working with colleagues to discuss and develop the best possible classroom practice.  Mr. Buchan is passionate about creating a classroom environment in which independence, resilience and growth mind-set is actively promoted and encouraged.  Prior to joining the British International School Mr Buchan worked as an Initial Teacher Training Leader, assuming responsibility for the mentoring of trainee teachers and newly qualified teachers.  In addition, he was responsible for moderating the mentoring provision across an alliance of local schools in East Essex.  Mr Buchan has held additional responsibilities in Music, Computing, Maths and English.

Mr. Buchan has taken part in many transnational projects, visiting and working alongside primary schools in Hungary, Bulgaria and Belgium. Most recently Mr. Buchan job shadowed in Bydgoszcz, Northern Poland.

Mr. Buchan’s interests include music, film and reading.  He also enjoys sports and played regular five a-side football back in England.


B.A. (Honours); Primary Education, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, England.

Jonathan Campbell - Primary Years Teacher

Jonathan Campbell - Assistant Head Teacher (Pastoral)Mr. Campbell believes very strongly that the ethos of creativity and individuality that flourishes at BIS-NY is one of our school’s greatest strengths. Emphasizing these traits as the foundation of a rigorous program of inquiry allows all of our students, regardless of their learning style, to thrive in our happy and secure school environment.

Mr. Campbell’s much-enjoyed nine years at The British International School cap a long and impressive career in education. In addition to six years working in child and adult art education in New Zealand, he has lectured in ancient history at tertiary level, taught in the Middle East, provided professional development for teachers in South America and taught for eight years in inner-city London schools.

A firm believer in lifelong learning for all, most recently, Mr. Campbell joined Harvard’s Graduate School of Education where he worked on producing a series of class-based practical research projects that focused on pedagogy and on helping children to make the most of their learning experience.

In addition to his work in education, Mr. Campbell is a published author who has written several textbooks on the art and culture of ancient Greece and Rome, both of which are now recommended textbooks for the senior secondary school examinations in classics.


Bachelor or Arts with First Class Honours; Classical Studies/History, Victoria University, Wellington, NZ

Graduate of the Graduate Teacher Programme, Kingston University, London, UK

Joe Cockerell - Primary Years Teacher

Joe Cockerell - TeacherJoe Cockerell earned his qualifications to become a Primary School Teacher in 2004, graduating from Northumbria University in the UK.  As well as his role as a Classroom Teacher, Mr. Cockerell has held leadership roles for both Physical Education and Mathematics.

Prior to gaining his qualified teacher status, he obtained a BA (Hons) Leisure Management and Sports Studies degree at Buckinghamshire University, and it was during this time that he also successfully completed a UEFA Football Coaching certificate.  This enabled Mr. Cockerell to work for Arsenal and Wycombe Wanderers Football Clubs for their Community programmes, and in 2002 he also spent a summer working in California as a coach.

Teaching sport to children has always played a significant part in Mr. Cockerell’s teaching profession.  As well as his experience as a P.E. teacher and subject leader he has coached various school sports teams, and at his previous school he was a member of a team of teachers that took pupils on an annual water sports activity week to Spain for many years.  He also used his previous experiences as a community coach, to organize and manage bi-annual Easter and summer sports camps for children aged 4-12.


BA (Hons) Leisure Management and Sports Studies, Buckinghamshire New University, UK

Post Graduate Certificate in Primary Education, Northumbria University, UK

Neslihan Atay Coskun- Teaching Assistant

Following her graduation from an established and well respected Teacher Training School in Turkey, Ms. Coskun set out to follow her dream of a career in education. She graduated with a BA (Honors) as a Foreign Languages Education Teacher from one of the most distinguished and respectable universities of Turkey (Middle East Technical University). Thereafter, she was employed in three top rated public high schools over the next ten years, developing an in depth and wide experience in increasingly more challenging roles.

Thereafter, Ms. Coskun relocated to New York to be with her husband. She immediately started to look for paths to further develop herself professionally. She was drawn to pursue a graduate degree in Early Childhood. Ms. Coskun followed this with a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood
and Art Education at Brooklyn College. During this period, she enjoyed a placement as a student teacher at University Settlement in Manhattan and received her New York State teacher certification.

Ms. Coskun strongly believes in BISNY’s mission to educate the whole child. Through her experiences so far she has learned that every child is unique and capable and that a good education is amongst the greatest gifts that can be given. As a teacher, her goal is to guide each child to discover their potential to grow intellectually, physically, emotionally and socially. She believes BISNY’s challenging National Curriculum and the inquiry-based approach will provide her with the most efficient learning and teaching environment to achieve this ultimate goal.


B.A. (Hons) Foreign Language Education, English Language Teaching at Middle East

Technical University (METU), Ankara, Turkey.

American Conversational English Program- Georgetown University, Washington,D.C.

MS Ed. in Early Childhood Education, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY.

New York State Early Childhood Education Certificate (Birth-Grade 2).

Estelle Coutaud-Mason - Early Years Teacher

Ms Coutaud is a qualified Primary teacher with 4 years teaching experience in Reception class and one year in Nursery class.

In the last five years as a Reception and Nursery class teacher and during a short-term cover as Foundation Stage Coordinator she has enjoyed learning the ins and outs of the EYFS curriculum and consolidate her knowledge and teaching techniques of the EYFS.

Ms Coutaud is a French native from Toulouse in the South of France and her first language is French. She developed a real passion for languages listening to opera music with her mother, and now has an excellent command of English, and also studied Spanish, German and Mandarin at university. With this personal interest in languages and other cultures, she chose to specialise her teacher training in teaching and coordinating foreign languages in primary schools to provide children with the best learning opportunities from the very beginning of their education.

On a personal level, she has always sought to gain a broad teaching experience. She studied in France, and knows the French education system well. She has also been trained and taught in the UK, providing her with both knowledge and first-hand experience of the British education system. She is now feeling really excited that her dream of becoming an international school teacher is coming true, and is very eager to learn all about BISNY and New York City!

In her free time, Ms Coutaud loves running after her daughter, singing and playing the piano with her. She is also a keen yogi and loves to go to the ballet and live music concerts.


Baccelareat, Literaire - St. Sernin - Toulouse

MA - Children's Literature - Toulouse Le Mirail

MA - Publishing - University of Plymouth

PGCE - French Specialism and Primary - University of Reading

Paul Davies - MYP Teacher

Mr. Davies, educated at Chatham House Grammar School for Boys in Kent, earned his honours degree in Mathematical Statistics and Operational Research from the University of Exeter. He followed this with a Certificate in Education in Mathematics and Sport from the University of Bristol.

His first teaching position was at Stowe School in Buckingham, where he lived as a boarding house Under-Housemaster.  After four years he was given the opportunity to run the Mathematics Department in a school in the Bahamas and then onto an American school for student-athletes on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. Returning to the British system, he took up a post at a school in Oxford before moving on to a British school in Spain.

At BIS-NY, Mr. Davies runs the Middle School Mathematics Department and overseas the ongoing school placement for our graduates.


B.Sc. (Hons) Mathematical Statistics and Operational Research, University of Exeter, UK
P.G.C.E. (Mathematics and Sport), University of Bristol, UK

Gus Donnelly - EAL Teacher

Gus Donnelly was born in New Jersey.  After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree at Saint Joseph's University in 2013, Gus traveled to Guilin, China to teach English at Guangxi Normal University. After falling in love with Chinese culture, traditions, food and language, Gus decided to extend his contract with the university and taught for a total of three years. An experienced EAL educator, Gus' personal teaching philosophy is reflected by his care for student success and happiness. He has also worked countless hours as a tutor for students of all ages. Gus is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and has developed a love for language learning.

In the summer of 2016 Gus began working as an Outreach Manger for the Chinese Language Institute (CLI). He helped to design and lead faculty-led trips to China for American students and their teachers.

Gus loves running, playing Ultimate Frisbee and Disc Golf and enjoys cooking vegetarian food. He is a frequent traveler and enjoys experiencing different cultures. He is a triplet and loves spending time with his family and friends.


B.A from Saint Joseph's University.

HSK Level 5 certified. 

Gareth Edwards - Primary Years Divisional Co-ordinator & Primary Years Teacher

Mr Edwards grew up in South Wales and has also lived in Devon and in London, where he spent ten years before moving to New York.  After a period working in staff training and development in the energy industry, he completed a degree in Musical Theatre and worked as an actor and voice-coach before qualifying as a teacher. Although he no longer gets much time for acting he is still a very keen singer and has sung tenor with a variety of classical choirs in London.

A lifelong passion for science and maths has served Mr Edwards well as a teacher. He very much enjoys finding practical and exciting ways to teach difficult concepts and is an avid reader of popular science books.

Before moving to BIS-NY, Mr Edwards worked for four years in a successful independent preparatory school in South West London.  As well as being a classroom teacher he was also the school’s Head of Science and a Housemaster.

A keen amateur cook, Mr Edwards enjoys finding new recipes and he also likes to relax by hiking and enjoying the impressive landscapes that the USA has to offer.


B.A. (Hons, upper second); Musical Theatre, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK
PGCE (Distinction); Primary Education, Kingston University, London, UK

Serdar Eker - Specialist (PE)

Serdar Eker - PE TeacherA love of sports, fitness, healthy living, and team work are just a few of the many things that led Mr. Eker on his journey towards working with children. Growing up on the coast of Turkey, he spent most of his days swimming in the Mediterranean Sea.  Swimming came naturally to him, and his interest in other sports followed. Mr. Eker continued as an athlete throughout his schooling, participating in basketball, swimming, dance, and soccer.

Sports and physical fitness helped him to learn the importance of leadership and team work, and helped him to develop self-confidence and awareness.  Mr. Eker went on to study Physical Education for his Bachelor’s degree, and he has been teaching students physical activity ever since. Mr. Eker is a big believer in the importance of self-confidence, self-awareness, and happiness for children’s success. He believes one powerful way to build self-confidence in children is through engaging them in physical education and sports, while teaching with children’s psychology in mind.

Mr. Eker has worked with very diverse populations ranging from  teaching folk dance to special needs children, rehabilitation work in a shelter for abused women and children, teaching swimming to international children, and teaching Turkish Folk dance, music and culture to Turkish families living in New York and New Jersey.  In all of these cases, good instruction was built around developing skill, self-confidence, and all-around happiness, and instilling a love of learning in students through sports and physical education.


B.A. Physical Education & Sports Teaching, Afyon Kocatepe University, Turkey

Tim Ferguson - Specialist (PE)

​Upon completion of his degree, Mr Ferguson spent several months travelling around France including a spell harvesting grapes in the prestigious Chateauneuf Du Pape region. He returned to the UK and moved to Kingston-Upon-Thames to study for a PGCE. Mr Ferguson starting his teaching career, as Year 6 Class Teacher specialising in Sport and French. He quickly progressed to Assistant Head of Year 6 and Head of Design and Technology.

Mr Ferguson moved to Surbiton High Boys’ Preparatory School in 1999. His role was Year 6 Form Teacher and Head of Sport. He quickly raised the standard and profile of sport. Every child received the opportunity to represent the school in the core sports several times each term. Links were forged with Fulham Football Club, Esher Rugby Club and Esher Cricket Club to use their coaches to further raise the standards of sport. As the profile for sports increased, the sports department expanded, from just himself to a team of 4 staff.

Mr Ferguson is an avid sports fan, he enjoys watching most sports and is a keen athlete himself. His primary sport is triathlon in which he has competed at a range of events, including the New York City Triathlon as well as completing his first Ironman race in Canada earlier this year. He has participated in a range of sports, competing in open water swimming events, running races, duathlons and cycling competitions.


B.Sc. (Hons, 2ii); Applied & Analytical Chemistry Staffordshire University, Stoke-Upon-Trent, UK
PGCE Secondary Science, Kingston University, London, England.
MA Innovation in Education and Leadership, Warwick University, Coventry, UK

Jennifer Fortet - Head of Lower School

Miss Fortet completed her BSc. Honours in Psychology at Loughborough University, where she focussed her interest in learning theories and language acquisition. She then went on to complete her Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) at St. Mary’s University, London and began teaching as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) in West London. Miss. Fortet has taught in both Key Stage 1 and 2 and has held a number of senior management roles including Key Stage Leader, NQT mentor, Deputy Safeguarding Officer and Assistant Headteacher. Furthermore, she has been certified as a Specialist Leader of Education by the National College for Teaching and Leadership. 

Miss Fortet is passionate about global access to education. She spent last summer volunteering with an organisation in Uganda, delivering teacher training in rural communities in the rainforest. Miss Fortet worked with leaders from the community to understand different approaches to teaching and learning, in an effort to combine best practice in a way that would suit the schools and the challenges they face. 

Outside of school Miss Fortet enjoys keeping fit, most recently taking up 'boxercise' classes, and enjoys writing illustrated stories for children. She has travelled extensively with Antartica being the only continent yet to visit and moving to New York to work at BIS-NY is the perfect way to combine a love of travel and education.  


BSc.  Psychology - Loughborough University

PGCE - St. Mary’s University, London 

Susanna Giles - String Ensemble Assistant and Cello Peri-Teacher

Passionate about sharing her love of music through teaching, Susanna Giles approaches the study and experience of cello as a tool with great potential to enrich life.  She believes that every student can successfully learn to play an instrument, make music, and enjoy it for a lifetime. Her teaching focuses on developing the whole musician in a learning environment that is both nurturing and structured.  Her lessons cultivate the physical and inner tools necessary to enable musical expression. In additional to teaching at the British International School, she is on faculty at the Lucy Moses School at the Kaufman Music Center and The Chapin School.  Ms. Giles also holds a private studio on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Ms. Giles performs throughout New York City in a diverse range of venues including Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, the Brooklyn Art Song Society, Art House Productions Theater, and St. Bartholomew’s Church.  A frequent collaborator, she has performed with Bernard Greenhouse, the Tokyo String Quartet, Emmanuele Baldini, the Mimesis Ensemble, the Sheep Island Ensemble, the Azlo Chamber Orchestra, and the Bloomington Camerata Orchestra, among others.  As an orchestral musician, she has performed under conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Leonard Slatkin, Steven Smith, David Effron, and Michael Christi.

Ms. Giles is a graduate of the long-term Suzuki Teacher Training course at School for Strings in New York City, studying under Pamela Devenport.  She has completed additional Suzuki training with Carey Beth Hockett, David Evenchick, Nancy Hair, and Edmund Sprunger. Ms. Giles holds Bachelor and Master degrees in cello performance.  She studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.


Brigitte Gloor - Teaching Assistant

Brigitte Gloor - Teaching AssistantSwiss born and educated, Brigitte Gloor brings academic, professional and practical experience to language studies.

She received her B.A. in Education at the Lehrerseminar Solothurn, Switzerland and continued her education at the Institut Catholique in Paris, receiving a certificate in Advanced French Studies in 1975. Ms. Gloor taught and coordinated third year elementary school curriculum which included  French, German and Instrumental Music among other academic subjects for Swiss national certification and was a regional judge in piano and flute competition for elementary school children.
Ms. Gloor brings practical language skills as a Berlitz certified instructor and as a translator of legal and medical research documents for a New York law firm. She has been a private tutor for both adults and children for many years.

Outside interests include world travel, skiing ( Swiss certified ski instructor ) painting,  Spanish Language and different cultures.


B.A., Education, Lehrerseminar, Switzerland

Oliver Goldstein - Asst. Head (Middle Years) & Specialist (Head of Music)

Mr. Goldstein has extensive experience of the British education system, firstly being educated King Edward VI Grammar School for Boys in Birmingham, before moving to the University of Sheffield to gain his honors degree in Music. He then moved back to study for a Post Graduate Certificate in Secondary Music Education at Birmingham City University.

He has held two posts in large English schools, where he has diversified from his passion for music, to also teach Maths, Physical Education and Drama in his eleven teaching so far. He has a passion for education and in particularly providing a wide range of musical opportunities for all his students.

Mr. Goldstein is also a keen sportsman, having played field hockey in the English National League, and hopes to contribute further to the school through sporting activities and trips.

As a middle years’ specialist, Mr. Goldstein is extremely excited to have the opportunity to lead further development of the outstanding work happening at BIS-NY in his new position as Assistant Head (Middle School).


B.Mus (Hons) Music, University of Sheffield, UK
P.G.C.E. (Music), Birmingham City University, UK

Alex Goode - Primary Years Teacher

Alex Goode qualified as a teacher in 2012, graduating from the Institute of Education at University College London with a PGCE in Primary Education.  Since then he has worked across the public and private sectors at schools in London and Tuscany teaching both the English National Curriculum and the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. 

Having specialised in 'New Media' as part of his Initial Teacher Training, Mr Goode is a keen advocate of using technology as a means of unlocking students’ creativity and connecting them with the world around them. To this end he has supported classes to build robots, write code, make films and animations, record podcasts and radio shows, build and share apps, and create websites and blogs which have won them awards and connected them to communities around the world. 

While working in London he helped lead the roll-out of a nationwide research project examining the impact of effective reflection on student progress. His teaching is informed by a desire to help students become passionate, independent learners and curious, creative thinkers and doers. During his time in Italy he led the delivery of several highly-successful student ‘Exhibitions’, and is excited to have the opportunity to build on this success at the British International School of New York.

Prior to teaching, Mr Goode spent a number of years in various youth work positions.  These roles involved supporting young people from the ages of 7-17 at risk of exclusion from education; and developing and delivering borough-wide youth election programmes which took students to meetings with Mayors and Members of Parliament as well as to national sittings of the UK Youth Parliament in the House of Commons. He has also worked on a variety of summer camps in locations as far afield as Eton College and Australia. 

In his spare time, Mr Goode enjoys music - DJing at a level best described as ‘mediocre’ - cooking, running, cycling and travel. These last two interests have taken him on journeys across the U.K., from Paris to Rome, and along the Camino di Santiago di Compostela. Having wanted to experience living in the United States for some time, he is looking forward to experiencing the vast wealth of culture on offer in New York City and beyond. 


BSc. (Joint Hons.) Politics & Sociology, University of Bristol, 2003

PGCE Primary Years, Institute of Education (UCL), 2012

Alana Grainsky - Specialist (Director of Creative and Performing Arts)

Alana Grainsky - Head of Art & Design TechnologyAlana Grainsky is a passionate educator committed to bringing out the inner artist in all of her students and growing the community outreach program at BIS-NY. Having taught in IB schools for the past seven years, Ms. Grainsky has developed a strong commitment to the holistic and inquiry based approach of the philosophy. Originally from Connecticut, Ms. Grainsky earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Art Education and Social Justice from the University of Vermont in 2007 and most recently, her Masters of Science in Educational Leadership in Technology and the Arts at the Bank Street College of Education in partnership with Parsons The New School for Design in 2015.

When Ms. Grainsky first arrived at BIS-NY in 2011 she taught MYP Art and Humanities. She was thrilled to become the Head of Art in 2013. Ms. Grainsky loves that she gets to hang out in the art room all day, work alongside the other visual and performing arts teachers, and hopes to inspire and motivate all of her students to find their unique and creative artistic identities. Other components of Ms. Grainsky’s job that she adores are working with the set-design club to design and create the sets and costumes for the annual drama performances and leading MYP excursion trips.

Prior to moving to New York, Ms. Grainsky spent three years teaching MYP humanities and visual art at the Canadian International School in Singapore. At the Canadian School, Ms. Grainsky developed the MYP Humanities curriculum and spearheaded the first PYP/MYP visual arts program. Ms. Grainsky also served as the Community Outreach Coordinator at the Canadian School where she led service trips to Cambodia and India, and engaged the school community in outreach and service initiatives to build a school culture that embraced service, diversity and awareness. Ms. Grainsky has brought this experience with her to BIS-NY and is proud of the development of the BIS-NY Community Outreach program so far.

Teaching abroad inspired Ms. Grainsky’s love for travel but she appreciates living in New York because she is closer to her family and friends. In her free time, she loves to be outside, active and adventuring. Ms. Grainsky is also a practicing artist, and you check out her work at


M.S. Educational Leadership in Technology and the Arts, Bank Street College of Education, New York, NY

B.S. K-12 Art Education, The University Of Vermont, Burlington, VT

Jenny Green - Reception Teaching Assistant

Jenny Green is a Glasgow-born, Manchester-raised, Brooklyn-based Actor & Producing Artist. She gained a BA Hons in International History & Politics from the University of Leeds and - after a stint in the Advertising Dept of The Guardian Newspaper - she went on to be awarded an MA in Online Journalism from the University of Central Lancashire. After enjoying seven years as a Broadcast Journalist with BBC News in London, Jenny moved to NYC to pursue her lifelong dream of being an actor. Jenny now holds an Associates Degree in Acting from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the oldest English speaking acting conservatory in the World!

She has performed in more than 100 plays, readings, short films and voiceovers and also is founding producer and host of a regular radio podcast, as well as running her own production company. Jenny loves developing new work and has been involved in several workshop productions as actor, designer, producer and writer. In particular, she co-wrote, produced, designed and performed in an all-new Panto for NYC and continues to evangelize about this most inclusive form of theatre, born in Britain.

In her work with children - including time as an early years teacher and outdoor activities instructor in NYC - Jenny encourages structured, creative play as a means to understanding and enjoying the world around us. She finds herself constantly rejuvenated by the energy and imaginations of children. Her proudest achievement at the Greenwich Village theatre she managed (Manhattan Theatre Source) was devising and running a summer theatre programme for 7-16 year olds. Theatre is an invaluable part of education, encouraging empathy for and appreciation of others and team-work, as well as confidence in self. 


Website Design Certificate, Noble Desktop, NYC

Associates Degree in Acting, American Academy of Dramatic Arts, NYC

MA Online Journalism, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK

BA Hons, International History & Politics, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Romea Hanif - Teaching Assistant

Romea Hanif - Teaching AssistantRomea Hanif began her teaching career in Lahore, Pakistan as a High-School Literature Teacher. In 1993, she moved to the US with her family and decided to devote her time to raising her two children. While a stay-at-home parent, she took courses in creative writing, computing and interior design. She started working as a Substitute Teacher for the United Nations International School in 2006. She substituted for grades one through eight as a Lead and Assistant Teacher and also taught specialist subjects such as Art, Technology, Music and Science. She joined the BIS-NY staff in 2014. She brings with her an extensive knowledge of instructing and nurturing children of different age groups and diverse backgrounds.


Masters in Language and Literature.

Certification of Lecturer in English Literature.

Graeme Hawkins - Primary Years Teacher

Born, raised and educated in Edinburgh at George Heriot’s, one of Scotland’s most distinguished schools, upon leaving school Mr Hawkins undertook a BA (Hons) degree in Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Stirling, before moving into a short career as a Banking Business Manager. Feeling unfulfilled he changed paths, completing with distinction, his Post Graduate Diploma of Education (Primary) at the University of Dundee. Despite teaching for most of his career in the Upper Primary sector, he went on to undertake and complete a Certificate in Early Years Education at the University of Edinburgh, which concentrated on the principles of Friedrich Froebel to whom the creation of the Kindergarten and the importance of learning through play are attributed. He has since presented papers at both National and International Froebel conferences and uses his knowledge, where appropriate, to implement some approaches used in the Early Years with older children.

Having committed the first few years of his career teaching a variety of age groups in one of the most multi-cultural schools in Scotland, Mr Hawkins’ other positions of responsibility have included management roles in the UK and Internationally in charge of discipline and positive behaviour management, pastoral care, parental engagement initiatives and spearheading a pupil literacy project which culminated in the completion of a fully published book.

Mr Hawkins’ educational philosophy derives from the belief that teaching should place individual students at the centre of their learning and he advocates a holistic approach, which encourages experiential and enquiry based study. He aims to instil a love of learning, underpinned by a clear expectation of principles, morals and standards, and one which offers pupils the opportunity to take increased ownership and responsibility of their learning.

Growing up Mr Hawkins was heavily involved with the military, and was the Officer Cadet in charge of Tayforth University Officer Training Corps before commissioning as an Officer with the Territorial Army for several years. Outside of school life he loves to travel and is a spectator of many (all) sports, in particular his beloved Edinburgh Soccer team, Heart of Midlothian FC! With 4 siblings, Mr Hawkins has no fewer than five nieces and two nephews – all eight and under, and adorable!

In his first year at BIS-NY, Mr Hawkins is delighted to have joined such a dynamic staff and eagerly anticipates the academic year ahead, where he will be teaching a Year 5 class.

Ann Marie Hourigan - MYP Teacher, Head of Science & MY IB Coordinator

Ann Marie Hourigan - Head of Science, Year 9 Advisory & MYP IB Coordinator

Ms. Hourigan taught Sciences in secondary schools in the UK and Ireland before moving to New York in 2013. She has held various levels of leadership including Middle School Leader and Key Stage 4 Assistant Headteacher. In June 2016, Ms. Hourigan received the Blackboard Award Honor for Excellence in Education in recognition of outstanding work for New York City students at New York Institute of Technology on Broadway and subsequently featured in New York Family.

Born and raised in rural Ireland, Ms. Hourigan knew from an early age that she wanted to teach and graduated from the University of Limerick in 2004 in Science Education. She obtained a first class Master’s Degree in the UK in 2009 and has maintained links there as a PGCE mentor (Post Graduate Certification in Education) in an international setting for The University of Sunderland.  

As Head of Science at The British International School of New York, Ms. Hourigan initiated the integration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) into the Middle Years Program. Students received nominations and won international awards for various inquiries at COBIS (Council of British International Schools) for Best Biology (nomination 2015), Best Physics (nomination 2014) and Best Scientific Investigation (winner 2014). In 2016, students received the highest number of nominations for Best Scientific Investigation, Best Scientific Theory Explanation and Best Film about Light.

Ms. Hourigan has received many opportunities to combine work with travel. Whilst in London, she visited many schools in Australia and Canada to examine the role of technology in Science teaching. In 2011, she visited the Galapagos Islands to explore first-hand the endemic species of the Ecuadorian province. In New York, Ms. Hourigan has led Year 8 excursions to London and California as part of the MYP program. In 2016, students travelled to Arizona to explore Geology at Grand Canyon National Park as well as taking part in an array of outdoor pursuits and community service work in the Navajo Indian Reservation.

One of the highlights of this past academic year for Ms. Hourigan has been co-teaching the Forensics elective. Next academic year, Ms. Hourigan is looking forward to creating the science  curriculum offer for BIS-NY Upper for implementation in 2018.


Bachelor of Science Education (Biology & Chemistry) – University of Limerick, 2004

Masters of Arts (Educational Leadership) – St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham, 2009

Thomas Hunt - Specialist (Head of PE)

Thomas Hunt - P.E. TeacherSince moving from England in 2002, graduating with a BSc Sport & Exercise Development, Mr. Hunt has never been far from the sporting scene in the NY/NJ area.

Prior to accepting the position as Head of Physical Education at BIS-NY, Mr. Hunt taught Physical Education at the Stevens Cooperative School in Hoboken/Jersey City NJ, where he helped develop the PE curriculum for close to 300 students to suit their urban environment.

Mr. Hunt has also coached soccer at The Pingry School, NJ and helped develop an elite Academy program in Montclair, NJ. Mr. Hunt is the main point of contact for overseeing and development of competitive sports teams at BIS-NY.


B.S. Sport & Exercise Development, University of Sunderland, UK

Aaron Irwin (Peri Teacher - Woodwinds)

Saxophonist, multi-woodwind player, and composer Aaron Irwin is from Decatur, IL.  Known as a "lyrical alto saxophonist and a compelling original composer" (Steve Futterman, New Yorker), Irwin is a sought after commodity in both the jazz and commercial worlds.  In addition to acting as leader with his own groups, Irwin has performed with many leading jazz voices in the New York jazz community including the Grammy-nominated group Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Bob Sabin’s tentet, as well as pop performers Kristen Chenoweth, Rufus Wainwright, Josh Groban, and Idina Menzel. He currently can be heard performing nightly for the Tony Award-winning show Ave. Q.

Mr. Irwin holds a Bachelors degree in music from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois and a Masters degree in music from the University of Miami in Miami, Florida. He has over fifteen years of teaching experience including teaching at Rutgers University (Camden,NJ), New World School of Arts (Miami, FL) and the Bank Street School in Manhattan. He is very happy to be a part of the British International School for over six years.

Sarah Keenan - Early Years Teacher

Ms Keenan studied at the University of Limerick in Ireland where she received a BA in Economics and Sociology. After the experience of spending six months teaching English to children in Barcelona, she decided to pursue her teaching career and completed a PGCE at Kingston University, London. Ms Keenan worked as a classroom teacher in Early Year's for six years in Dubai and London prior to moving to the United States. She held the position of Computing Coordinator which involved introducing new technology-driven techniques and has mentored Newly Qualified Teachers and teaching students. She has also been part of Special Education Needs teams and has completed the National Award for SEN Coordinators at the University of Roehampton.

Inclusive education for all children is a passion of Ms Keenan. She works hard to ensure that all students have the support to reach their full potential by creating an engaging and creative learning environment where individual differences are valued and embraced.

Upon arriving in New York mid-last year, Ms Keenan worked at the United Nations International School prior to joining BIS-NY. She is excited to continue exploring the US as well as contributing enthusiastically to the team at BIS-NY. 

Outside of school, Ms Keenan enjoys Pilates, swimming and walking her dog around Central Park. She also has keen interest in further education and is currently pursuing a Masters in Education (Leading, Learning and Teaching) at the University of Dundee.


BA Economics and Sociology, University of Limerick, Ireland

PGCE with SEN specialism, Kingston University, London, UK

National Award for SEN Coordinators, University of Roehampton, London, UK

David Klempner - Specialist (Physics)

I took the long road to Manhattan. I was born in Cape Town, spent most of my childhood in San Francisco, and halfway through high school my family moved to London. I lived and worked there for years, then married my high school sweetheart and settled in New York. I hold British and American passports, but there’s nowhere on Earth I’m not an immigrant.

I studied Physics at Cambridge University and used the opportunity to introduce myself to organized sport, rowing for Goldie (the University second crew) against Oxford on Boat Race Day. I also began writing plays, which became a lasting hobby. Two have been produced in a ‘blink and you’ll miss them’ sort of way in London.

I’ve taught Physics (with some General Science to younger ages) for 19 years, and what keeps teaching fresh for me is the fervent belief that everything is connected to everything else. Subject knowledge alone doesn’t help pupils engage with the subject. Every lesson is different, because I never know what part of my own experience might be useful to help make a connection.

1990 BA (Physics) Cambridge University
1998 MA (Cantab.) Cambridge University
1998 PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) King’s College, London

Mónica Lachman - Specialist (Spanish)

Mónica Lachman is a dedicated, expert educator with over 20 years of teaching experience. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ms. Lachman graduated from the Universidad de Belgrano. She moved to New York City where she taught Spanish at all levels in reputable institutions including Adelphi Academy, Notre Dame Academy, Bank Street School for Children, The Dwight School, IDEAL School and Academy, and The Berkeley Carroll School. She has earned her MAED in Spanish and MSED in Special Education from City University of New York’s Hunter College and College of Staten Island. Ms. Lachman is also a certified International Baccalaureate School Consultant and Academy Member. Ms. Lachman incorporates her international experience into her lesson plans and practices inclusion in her holistic approach to teaching. Her teaching philosophy is “All children deserve an education that is tailored fit to their strengths, weaknesses and learning style”.

“As an educator, it is my responsibility to challenge and support all students according to their individual needs. It is my duty as an educator to pre-assess students in order to modify lessons, assignments, and assessments appropriately”. Ms. Lachman has two children, graduates of Boston University. One is a clinical psychologist and the other an advertising writer and marketing specialist.

She lives on Staten Island with her husband.


M.A.Ed, M.Sc Ed, in Special Education
DP Spanish Teacher
MYP Spanish Teacher

Midori Larsen - Peri Teacher (Piano)

Midori Larsen - Piano Instructor

Classically trained pianist Midori Larsen has been teaching students of all ages and backgrounds for more than 15 years. With unique trainings in Japanese taiko drumming and flamenco dancing, she is an active performer, scholar, and educator in New York City and Japan, her native country. Having studied extensively the use of the body and movement in piano playing, she wrote her dissertation titled “The Pianist’s Embodiment of Rhythm and Harmony: Incorporating Body Movement into Learning Manuel de Falla’s Fantasía Bética” at New York University where received her Ph.D. in Piano Performance. 

As a performing artist she has been especially praised for her performances of music by Albéniz, Granados, and Falla in solo and chamber music in the US, Italy, Spain, and Japan. Her recent performances include chamber music concert with members of the Chiara Quartet and solo recital at Bruno Walter Auditorium in Lincoln Center. Ms. Larsen presents in conferences nationally and internationally such as the College Music Society. She is interested in research topics including piano pedagogy, music-movement connection, and musical identity. 

Formerly on faculty at NYU, Ms. Larsen has been teaching at the British International School of New York since 2010. She enjoys teaching students of all levels and interests, using various genres of music and approaches to music learning. Ms. Larsen lives in New York City with her husband Charlie, daughter Erika, and their pet fish.


B.A. (Hons), Music and Art, Pizter College (The Claremont Colleges), CA, USA

M.A., Piano Performance, New York University, NY

Ph.D., Piano Performance, New York University, NY

Ella Lee-Reynolds - MYP and Upper Teacher

Miss Lee is a strong believer that inclusion should be at the very heart of education, and has always played great emphasis on developing learning that encourages intellectual curiosity.

Miss Lee studied Geography the at University of Exeter, where she focused her interest on understanding the complex interactions between the physical and human world. She then went on to complete the highly prestigious and competitive Teach First Graduate Programme. During her first year she completed her PGCE at the Institute of Education, whilst working full time in this classroom. This allowed her to take theory into practice quickly, providing the opportunity to learn practical classroom management and develop lessons based on high quality pedagogy.

Working in a North London secondary school for four years has ensured that Miss Lee has developed an excellent understanding of the English National Curriculum, and gain plenty of experience teaching both the GCSE and A-Level qualification. In her final year in London, she took on the role as Head of Department for Geography, where she managed four members of staff and was responsible for over 800 students studying the subject. This experience taught her that creating a clear vision that is at the very heart of all teaching and learning.

Miss Lee has recently completed her Master’s degree in Education and Leadership at the highly regarded, University College London. The qualification allowed her to foster continuing professional development, and appreciate the fundamental areas of educational systems and institutions.

Miss Lee is excited to be working at BIS-NY and is enjoying being in a school that continues to raise aspirations and strive for excellence in an outstanding academic environment.

BA Geography, University of Exeter 
PGCE Institute of Education, London 
MA Education and Leadership, University College London

Mimi Liu-Leyco - Technology Integration Co-ordinator

Mimi Liu-Leyco is thrilled to have the opportunity to shape the new STEM program at BIS-NY. As a graduate of the Bank Street School of Education, she is keen to bring her philosophy of hands-on experiential learning as a way to engage students and grow their confidence in technological and engineering concepts. 

Originally from Southern California, Mrs. Liu-Leyco always wanted to teach and discovered the joy of teaching coding at her first assistant teaching position after she graduated from New York University. Now entering her 9th year of teaching, she most recently held the position of Educational Technologist at the Hewitt School, where she taught technology grades K-4, coached middle school robotics and collaborated with teachers across many disciplines. She is proud to have innovated the lower school STEM program, having created curriculum to introduce 3D printing, circuitry, Scratch programming and Lego robotics to younger grades. In addition to her experience Mrs. Liu-Leyco holds certifications as a Google educator and a Seesaw ambassador. Prior to working in educational technology full time, Mrs. Liu-Leyco was a classroom teacher in grades 1-4 in various NYC schools, where she was known for her love of hands-on mathematics, emphasis on socio-emotional learning, and interdisciplinary collaboration. 

Outside of her work as a maker educator, Mrs. Liu-Leyco teaches, performs and deejays swing dancing regionally. She lives in Queens with her husband and their two cats. In her free time, she enjoys theater productions, trying international cuisines and playing board games. 

Dan Loomis -Peri Teacher (Guitar)

An established creative force on the New York music scene, Dan Loomis has made his mark as a sought- after player, constant collaborator and innovative composer. Critic call him “a forceful and creative bass player” (Cadence) and “double-teaming you with style and substance”. Dan performs extensively across the world with his own band, The Dan Loomis Quartet, his collaborative projects, The Wee Trio and Spoke, and as a sideman with diverse ensembles such as the TS Monk Sextet, Vadim Neselovskyi Trio and Ernesto Cervini’s Turboprop.

Dan’s musical roots lie in the historic music town of Saint Louis, Missouri where he pursued his early studies in music. He went on to do his graduate work at Eastman School of Music. By then his playing was already receiving national attention; Downbeat magazine selected The Very Tall Band, made up of Dan and his Eastman compatriots, as Best Collegiate Small Ensemble.

From this award-winning group, Dan hand-picked a quartet with the unique instrumentation of two saxophones, bass and drums to form the Dan Loomis Quartet, which would record his first two album, Tondos and I Love Paris, which was hailed as “one the top new releases of 2007” by the noted jazz historian Scott Yanow.

In between leading his own projects, Dan has kept quite busy as a sideman in New York. His large and growing discography includes styles ranging from jazz to indie-pop to eastern-European- improv music to post-punk. He has been active with a large number of artists and projects including the TS Monk Sextet/Tentet, Gary Burton, Vadim Neselovskyi Trio and Wycliffe Gordon. His work as a sideman has seen him performing in New York’s most prestigious venues including The Blue Note, The Jazz Standard, Birdland, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has also toured extensively though the Western and Eastern Europe, Canada, Australia, China and throughout the United States.

Dan co-leads two collaborative groups that serve as an outlet for his visions as a composer and performer. The Wee Trio has released four albums since coming together in 2008 and in the course of touring the nation has played at some of the finest North American venues including the New Orleans Jazz Festival, The Green Mill, Yoshi’s, Le Poisson Rouge and the Ottawa Jazz Festival. The band has become a favorite of music press, with calls of “definitely a group to watch” (Downbeat) and “the trio puts forth a compelling case that they are the ambassadors of the genre’s future” (Saratogian).

SPOKE, a novel jazz quartet composed of the most exciting improvisers in the new generation, recently released their third album, (r)Anthems, and took the music on the road playing in Canada, all over the US, Macao and Australia. Their touring culminated at the famous Wangaratta Jazz Festival where their one impressed reviewer beautifully summed up the band’s aesthetic, “Spoke eschewed endless parades of individual virtuosity for compact, beautifully arranged pieces that bubbled with warmth and vitality.” (The Age, Melbourne)

Recent exploits include recording a new album with The Wee Trio (featuring an expanded ensemble with special guests Nicholas Payton, Nir Felder and Fabian Almazan), a well-received tour throughout Europe with SPOKE, the premiere of his Jazz Oratorio, “Job’s Trials: Our Trials” and appearing on Broadway as an understudy on guitar and cello in the musical, “Waitress”.

Albert Mannion - Bookkeeper


B. Tech., Production Management, University of Limerick, Ireland

M.B.A., Finance, CUNY, Baruch College, NY

María Manzano - Peri Teacher (Piano)

María Manzano is a Spanish pianist whose restless and dynamic temperament has brought her to many of the world’s most important music schools in cities such as Granada, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris and New York. Having learnt from great musicians, like her main piano teacher and mentor Albert Attenelle, and also Christopher Elton, Pascal Rogé, Antonio Sánchez Lucena, Ramzi Yassa, Deirdre O’Donohue and Horacio Gutierrez, among others, her keen ear for poetry in musical performance has made her a sensitive and committed pianist. Her performances of Romantic and Spanish Music have been praised by the critics “for their style and technical accuracy” and for “the intense expression she infuses into her communicative playing”.

She has given concerts in many major European concert halls, such as Salle Cortot in Paris, Collège d’Espagne at La Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, Fondation Biermans-Lapôtre of Belgium and Luxembourg, Liceu Auditorium and Gaudí’s La Pedrera Concert Hall in Barcelona, The National Concert Hall in Madrid, Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao, and others. She has appeared in Classical Music programs on TV and has played before such personalities as Her Majesty the Queen Sofia of Spain. María has also given recitals at important New York City venues, such as Carnegie Hall, Provincetown Playhouse, Blackbox Theater and Saklad Auditorium, and at the Seattle International Piano Festival.

In her extensive academic career she has studied at some worldwide renowned music schools such as: Liceu Conservatory in Barcelona, L’Êcole Normale Supérieure de Musique “Alfred Cortot” in Paris, New York University and Manhattan School of Music, where she graduated from Professional Studies with the highest honors (Dean’s List), after studying with the legendary pianist Horacio Gutierrez.

After being selected as the best pianist at the music competition of Ferrer-Salat Music Foundation in Barcelona, the foundation decided to support her studies in Barcelona, Paris and New York with full tuition scholarship, what was a turning point in her career. She has been awarded several other scholarships and prizes. Among them are those given by the Pedro Pons Foundation, the Spanish Association for Performer Musicians, New York University (NYU Talent Scholarship), the Andalusia International University, Artmusic, Ferrer-Salat Foundation Young Talents Grant, Madrid Conservatory First Prize, the Spanish College Music Competition at the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, the “Paper de Música” International Competition and the “Cambra de Barcelona” Competition.

She has had always a strong passion for teaching and sharing all the knowledge and valuable advice she has been receiving during her career. Proof of this are her many years of experience teaching privately and in music schools, conservatories and universities in Cadiz, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris and New York. María has been a member of the Adjunct Piano Faculty at New York University and is regularly invited to serve as a jury member in piano exams and national and international competitions. María Manzano is the founder and director of Barcelona Piano Academy (BPA), an international summer piano festival and competition featuring recitals and masterclasses with a faculty that includes many internationally renowned teachers and that every year attracts students from all over the world.


B.M. - Piano Performance, Liceu Conservatory (Barcelona, Spain)

UNIVERSITY EXPERT DIPLOMA - Piano Performance, Andalusia International University (Andalusia, Spain)

POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE - Piano Performance and Chamber Music, Liceu Conservatory (Barcelona, Spain)

M.M. - Piano Performance, Andalusia International University (Andalusia, Spain)

POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE - Piano Pedagogy, L'École Normale Supérieure de Musique “Alfred Cortot” (Paris, France)

M.M. - Piano Performance, New York University (New York, United States)

P. S. - Piano Performance, Manhattan School of Music (New York, United States)

Helen McGrath - Primary Years Teacher

Miss McGrath comes from a large family, with 2 brothers and 2 sisters, and always enjoyed playing ‘teachers’ from a young age. In her teens and early twenties she was involved in leading youth groups in her hometown just outside London, and from there she decided to train as a teacher. She has been teaching in inner London schools for 6 years across key stage two.

Teaching in inner London schools has given her experience in working with children from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures; she thrives on working in a diverse community and embraces the differing cultures, always keen and excited to learn about children’s lives and celebrate differences.

During her time working in London, Miss McGrath has taken on the role of art and display co-ordinator. She has elevated the profile of art in the school and has led projects such as the National Gallery’s ‘Take One Picture’, in which the whole school focus on one famous painting for a week, basing all work around the painting culminating in an art exhibition for parents. She has worked alongside local artists, and brought them into the school to work with children and also to deliver CPD to staff. She also has a passion for maths, and after acting as assistant maths co-ordinator in her first teaching post, in her next teaching post she involved and led the year 4 and 5 children in the Mayor for London project ‘Challenge 24’, aimed at improving mental maths skills. Miss McGrath loves to see children achieve things they didn’t think possible, and is passionate about seeing children gain a love for learning which extends outside the classroom.

After six years of teaching and having a secure understanding of the British National Curriculum, Miss McGrath is keen to combine this with the International Baccalaureate (IB), and is excited to be taking up the teaching post at BIS-NY and the new challenges and adventures it will bring.

Outside of teaching, Miss McGrath loves live music and also loves to holiday and travel, and exploring different cultures. She is thrilled to be teaching in a new country and city, and is excited to explore New York. Miss McGrath enjoys being active and loves a challenge; having recently completed Tough Mudder she is looking for a new challenge! 


B.A. (Hons, 2:1); English with Media Writing, University of Greenwich, London, England.
Postgraduate Certificate in Education, University of Greenwich, London, England.

Annette Ottley - Early Years Teacher

Annette Ottley - TeacherAnnette Ottley is a skilled and dedicated educator who is passionate about the foundation stage because in those early years the children develop the foundation of inquiry and knowledge that will carry them through their years of schooling. For her own education, Ms. Ottley completed her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education at the Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus. After completing her studies and student teaching, Ms. Ottley worked at a prestigious independent school in New York City for over 6 years. Ms. Ottley is clear that her area of giftedness is with the Early Years and has been operating in this capacity at BIS-NY since 2008.

Ms. Ottley likens teaching to gardening. Her role as a teacher is to provide each and every child with the tools to cultivate his/her own garden of knowledge in fertile soil. As such, her classroom is a caring, safe, and equitable environment where each child can blossom and grow. Ms. Ottley plans “gardening” opportunities every day to allow the children to become responsible members of the classroom community. With a bit of sunshine and nurturing, the children blossom through class meetings, positive reinforcement, and democratic principles. In showing children how to become responsible for themselves as well as their own learning, Ms. Ottley gives them the tools to become successful in life, to believe in them, and to love themselves and others regardless of their differences!

Ms. Ottley is very keen of the IB PYP program because it so closely aligns with her educational approach and thinking. The PYP focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. It also prepares students to be active participants in a lifelong journey of learning. It has been Ms. Ottley’s experience that children who are validated and valued engage positively in the process of education. Therefore, she seamlessly merges educational structure while exposing the children in her class to the Learner Profile. Overall, Ms. Ottley strives to provide an environment in which children feel safe, comfortable, important, respected and valued. She feels shaping young minds, in this holistic way, lends itself to greatness!

Ms. Ottley will continue to be the Head of the Glennie House for next year and is especially excited about continuing and enhancing the house system. Ms. Ottley is working closely with Ms. Carr and Ms. Scheiber to share her insights, skills and passions to reenergize the House System. It’s too soon to reveal any “House Secrets”, but she’s looking forward to bringing her personal love of traveling, cooking and reading to her work with Glennie and, every day, in the classroom!


B.A Early Childhood Education, Long Island University, NY

Kevin Parkes-Reeves - MYP Teacher

Mr Parkes-Reeves is not only an enthusiastic teacher but his passion for implementing a high quality holistic education alongside a perceptible focus on developing enquiring minds and a life-long love of learning has made him an outstanding practitioner.

Mr Parkes-Reeves was born and grew up in Brighton, United Kingdom. After finishing school he was integral in establishing Pupil Voice in Brighton and was a consultant to the UK Government on Children’s Rights. He went on to study to become a Primary Teacher and had the privilege to train in some of the top UK Independent Schools. He specialized in Mathematics education at University and was awarded scholarships for having the highest academic and professional achievements for all of his four years of study.

He started his teaching career working at an Independent Preparatory School in London and rapidly received recognition for his hard work and commitment. He became Director of Drama and was also promoted to Head of Lower Prep in 2015 with responsibility for the pastoral care and academic progress of children from Years 3 through to 6. In addition to this, Mr Parkes-Reeves was also made Head of Personal Development spanning Nursery through to Year 8. He is well-versed with the entry requirements to many of the UK’s top Independent Senior Schools and has supported many children in obtaining entry and scholarships to these schools. 

Outside of the classroom he enjoys traveling and musical theatre. His skills as a chocolatier are impressive and he enjoys making couture chocolate (sea salt caramels are a particular speciality). 

He looks forward to commencing employment at BIS-NY, embracing the BIS-NY community and inspiring the classes he teaches. 

Steve Picataggio - Peri Teacher (Percussion)

Steve Picataggio is a jazz, cabaret and theater drummer and educator in NYC. Since finishing his Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance at New York University in 2013, he released his debut album "Two Feet On The Ground" and has performed at such clubs as The Blue Note Jazz Club, The Kitano, Cornelia Street Cafe and Birdland Jazz Club. He is the drummer for Broadway actress Lesli Margherita and has played in a variety of Off-Broadway shows in New York. 

Steve Picataggio has a strong passion for Music Education and is an active teacher, ranging from early childhood percussion classes as well as private drum lessons for all ages from ages 3 years old to adults.

Louise Ranger - Early Years Teacher

Louise Ranger - TeacherAfter studying for a specialized primary education degree, Ms. Ranger enjoyed a 15 year career in primary schools in the UK before moving to New York with her family in 2010.

As well as teaching across key stages 1 and 2, Ms. Ranger held a number of senior management positions including Key Stage Leader, Literacy Co-ordinator, Teaching and Learning Manager and mentor for Newly Qualified Teachers. She was also a Leading Teacher in Mathematics for her Local Education Authority.

Since arriving in New York, she has balanced raising her son with volunteering with the Make A Wish Foundation as a wish granter, PTA curriculum committee rep at her son’s school and co-ordinating various book clubs.


BA (QTS) in Primary Education with Creative Arts, Brunel University, London, England

Rhiannon Rees - Specialist (PE)

Rhiannon Rees - PE TeacherMs. Rees studied at the University of Chichester on the south coast of England for four years gaining a BA(hons) QTS in Teaching Physical Education in 2007. She worked for four years at The Hayesbrook Boys School as a teacher of PE and English before becoming Head of Faculty for Physical Education in 2010. She has worked in collaboration with the University of Brighton and Canterbury Christchuch University as a subject mentor for trainee teachers. She has lectured  at the University of Brighton to trainee PE teachers about being a female PE teacher in an all boys school and written in the ‘PE Matters’ publication. 

She has been an accomplished horse rider since she was young, regularly competing in one -day events  in rural England. Throughout school she regularly played netball and field hockey and continued to play hockey for her university team. In England she enjoyed an active outdoor lifestyle, in particular surfing in Devon and Cornwall, and a love of travel.


BA (hons) Physical Education (QTS), University of Chichester, UK

Rodrigo Rodriguez - IT Manager

Rodrigo Rodriguez - IT ManagerBorn in New York, Rodrigo Rodriguez is passionate about technology and all that it can provide. Since a young age he showed much interest in Mathematics and Physics. He Studied Telematics Engineering at PUCMM, one of the most prestigious Universities in the Dominican Republic. Moreover he is a CCNA graduate from a Cisco Networking Academy.

During his studies he entered the workforce, as a System Administrator for a call center in the Dominican Republic, working with leading U.S. companies including, First American Corp. and its subsidiaries.

He subsequently migrated to the United States where he worked as IT Project leader for Standard and Poor’s, the US based financial services company.  All this experience helped him to join The British International School of New York . He is in charge of  the  IT infrastructure as well as IT support for all BIS-NY students and staff.  He enjoys helping others and is always keen to work with students and teachers on the use of technology in the classroom.

Since his arrival at BIS-NY in December 2010 has played an important role in the development of ICT. Mr. Rodriguez believes in the ongoing study which he enjoys and he is always willing to learn.

In his spare time he enjoys studying, reading, spending time with his family and also enjoys playing the guitar.


Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)
Microsoft Certified IT Professional Enterprise Desktop support (MCITP)
Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)
A + Certified

Suzan Sayder - Student Support Counselor

Suzan Sayder was born and raised in the US and lived in London for two decades. In the UK, she trained and worked as a child and adolescent psychotherapist at the Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust, a leading centre for supporting children and young people.

Suzan has worked in clinics and private practice in both London and New York. She has specialized in working in schools and providing therapeutic support to pupils, staff and families. In addition, Suzan has taught numerous post-masters level courses at psychoanalytic and psychotherapy institutes. She currently teaches child psychotherapy courses in New York at IPTAR and PPSC.

Having lived and worked in both the US and the UK she has an in-depth understanding of the cultural and academic curriculum differences.

Suzan brings to the position of Student Support Counsellor a thorough understanding of the emotional needs, demands and tasks of children in all age groups as they manage transitions, develop and grow.


M. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Tavistock/ University of East London, UK

M.A. Psychoanalytic Observational Studies, Tavistock University of East London, UK

B.A. International Relations, Mount Holyoke College, USA

Lilli Scheiber - Specialist (Drama)

Lilli Scheiber -  Drama TeacherLilli Scheiber is a passionate and dedicated teacher who believes in the power of drama and its impact on social, emotional and cognitive development in children of all ages. She received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in 2007. During this time, she had the opportunity to spend six months at Regent’s College in London, where she studied two of her passions: theater and poetry.

On completing her bachelor’s degree, she spent two years living in Florida and the Dominican Republic as a kids club counselor and children’s program manager for Club Med. Through this experience, she gained a real understanding of the dedication needed to inspire and empower youth.

Upon returning to her hometown of New York, Ms. Scheiber gained her M.S. in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College while teaching in a preschool before joining BIS-NY, where she has been a T.A. in Year 2 and Reception prior to creating the drama specialty here.  She is most excited for the annual school production and to continue her duties as Head of the Shakespeare House - Go Shakespeare!

Throughout all these experiences, Ms. Scheiber has taught a variety of activities to children including drama, dance (ballet, hip hop and Broadway), music, tennis, soccer, gymnastics, and swim. She spends her summers as Head of Performing Arts and Special Events Director at Elmwood Day Camp in Westchester, NY.


B.A., English and Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA

M.S., Early Childhood Education, Hunter College, New York, NY, USA

Amy Simmons - Early Years Teacher

Amy Simmons - TeacherMiss. Simmons was born into a teaching family and developed a passion for education from an early age. She remembers watching her mother prepare wild and whacky teaching resources for her primary school students and knew that she would eventually follow in her footsteps!

As a lover of reading and writing, Miss. Simmons completed her BA Honours degree in English Literature and Language at Sheffield University in the UK. She then went on to complete her PGCE in Primary Education at London’s Middlesex University. After completing her teacher training at a range of London primary schools, Miss. Simmons took up a Year Two teaching post at Abercorn School, BIS-NY’s sister school in central London. It is here that her love of hands-on, inquiry based learning has flourished and she prides herself on putting a creative stamp on anything she touches!

Having taught for two years in London, Miss. Simmons has decided to combine her passion for teaching with her love of travel to make the exciting move to New York. She brings with her a comprehensive knowledge of the English National Curriculum and looks forward to fusing this with the philosophical framework of the International Baccalaureate at BIS-NY.

In addition to classroom based teaching, Miss. Simmons is a qualified lacrosse coach and has put this to good use during summers spent working as a camp counsellor in the USA. Her last two years at Abercorn School also provided Miss. Simmons with the opportunity to let her full creativity flow, and she organised two infamous (if messy!) after-school clubs, known affectionately as ‘Horrible Science’ and ‘Crazy Craft’.


B.A. (Hons) English Literature and Language at Sheffield University, UK

Vic Smith - Primary Years Teacher

Vic Smith - TeacherAn enthusiastic, vibrant and highly motivated educator, Victoria Smith is dedicated to contributing to the wider school community and helping children to achieve their best in the classroom and through extra-curricular activities.

A committed, creative and flexible teacher who enjoys making a difference in a child’s life. Ms. Smith’s enjoyed a successful five years teaching experience in the UK where she taught Years 1 and 2 using the International Primary Curriculum. As Literacy Coordinator for Key Stage 1 and 2 she focused on the development of literacy in Year 3. She ran the Local Authority’s Gifted and Talented children Project and was a trained mentor for student teachers.

As she begins her sixth year at BISNY, she is excited to once again immerse herself in the international learning environment and inspire the creative learning of the individuals in her class. 

Her role as the Community Outreach Coordinator allows her the opportunity to work with global charities, encourage the whole school community to take action for international initiatives and organise events such as BISNY Cares Day.

Ms. Smith loves to travel internationally and immerse herself in the local culture and experience new places. In her spare time, she enjoys attending dance classes, Zumba and loves to go to live music events.


B.A. (Hons) Literary Studies and Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK Post Graduate Certificate in Primary Education, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, UK

Jose Sosa - Teaching Assistant

Jose Sosa was born in Santiago, Dominican Republic. At the age of 14 he immigrated to the United States with his family and has lived here in New York since then. In 1997 he graduated from Alfred E. Smith H.S. in the Bronx. From 2002-2011, Mr. Sosa worked at Hunter College and Hunter High School. Whilst working, in 2007, he earned an associated degree in Art: Social Science and Humanities at LaGuardia Community College. Following this he went back to Hunter College to pursue his Bachelor degree in Psychology. In 2010, Mr. Sosa founded The Sosa Family Foundation, a non-profit organization to reach out the neediest and contribute to the education back in his hometown in the Dominican Republic. In 2011, Mr. Sosa joined the BIS-NY family and had made it his home ever since!


Sybil Swain - Business & HR Manager

Sybil Swain graduated with a B.S. in Accounting from State University of New York Empire State College. She carries over 25 years of accounting experience.

Sybil has worked in several industries including insurance, gas and oil, e-commerce and education.  She is most enthusiastic to be working in education as it offers her the opportunity of serving the next generation.  While working in education, she previously developed, managed and trained directors in over 20 charter schools with a team throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Illinois. 

Sybil is the Business and Human Resource Manager at BIS-NY.  She supports all efforts of continued growth and success for the scholar students at BIS-NY.

Sybil was born in New York City and always loved and appreciated that Central Park was her ’backyard’ and playground growing up.  As an adult it’s where she finds her peace and serenity. When not busy working, Sybil cherishes time with her family.  She enjoys parks, museums, libraries, bookstores and roller-skating when free time allows.

Colince Tamoka - Specialist (French)

Colince Tamoka - World Languages TeacherColince Tamoka believes in the importance of education and is a lifelong learner himself. He believes that learning to speak another language equips one with skills that will be useful throughout one’s life.  Mr. Tamoka earned a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry at Bayero University in Nigeria, then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree and a masters in linguistics at the University of Rouen in France. He also possesses 17 years of teaching experience at the French International Schools in West Africa. Colince Tamoka is also a Certified Database administrator.

Mr. Tamoka believes in the IB system and aligns with its objectives of making the students lifelong learners through the implementation of the IB program. Teaching and learning go hand in hand and over the years as a teacher, he has developed the ability to learn and improve his teaching techniques, which will always remain work in progress as long as teaching is concerned.

Over the years, Mr. Tamoka has participated in several professional development programs with the aim of learning how to improve his teaching and learning techniques, which are essential tools in teaching the next generation.

He likes music and plays the alto saxophone and the lead guitar for fun. Travelling to discover new destinations and cultures is part of his hobbies.

Geanelle Torres - Teaching Assistant

Geanelle Torres is a third generation New Yorker currently residing across the river in Brooklyn.  For the last four years she worked with The United Nations International School in their Athletic after care program teaching volleyball and supervising other sports to various age groups ranging from 1st to 4th grade.  

During her two summers as a counselor at BIS-NY's Summer Camp, Ms.Torres created the curriculum for her class of ambitious five years olds, providing unique competitive learning games, creative arts and shared with the campers her deeper passion: animal life science, where her love for wildlife brought exotic animals big and small directly into children's hands. 

Ms.Torres strongly believes that early interaction with  all living things contribute to one's character and provides an opportunity to practice compassion and kindness and gives children a starting point to how they will choose both to approach and treat others. 

Ms. Torres is looking forward to her new duties as a Teaching Assistant in Nursery!

Gianna Viola - Specialist (Music)

Giana Viola - Year 7 Advisory and Music TeacherGianna Viola is a committed and vibrant life long learner and educator who wholeheartedly believes in the power of the arts and education in developing well rounded and kind global citizens.  The arts have always been a part of Ms. Viola's life with an early foundation in piano and voice lessons, as well as thorough experiences in musical theater.  In 2013 Ms. Viola graduated magna cum laude from NYU Steinhardt School with a B.A. in Music Education and a minor in Italian Studies.  While at NYU Ms. Viola followed a concentration in classical vocal studies in the studio of Kristen Ruiz and enjoyed performing in a variety of choirs at NYU and throughout New York City.  Currently she is pursuing her master's degree in Music Education at Hunter College.

At BIS-NY Ms. Viola teaches Early Years and Primary general music, directs the Junior and Senior Choirs and assistant directs the school play and the Empire State of Sound.  The Empire State of Sound is BIS-NY's traveling choir, which has had opportunities to perform as part of the American Young Voices concert as well as in venues throughout New York City, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Nashville.  

Ms. Viola is also passionate about the social and emotional learning and well being of BIS-NY students and has enjoyed being an advisor and mentor to MYP.  This year she is very excited to a be a Year 9 mentor and advisor and helping to guide Year 9 students through the placement process.  

Ms. Viola's foremost aims as a music teacher is to encourage an understanding and appreciation for music while developing self confidence and expanding creativity for all students.  As a life long learner, Ms. Viola is always looking forward to seize opportunities and growing with each school year!


B.A. Music Education, Concentration Voice;  New York University, NY

Paige Weiss - Learning & Student Support Teacher

Paige Weiss was born and raised in New York. At the age of 5, her parents moved their family out to Long Island but Paige always knew she belonged back in the Big Apple. When she turned 18, she moved back to New York City where she attended New York University. She received her two degrees from NYU - her Bachelor's in Science in Applied Psychology as well her Master's in Arts in Counseling and Guidance. 

Since her teenage years, Paige has worked with children in many different settings. She has worked as a high school college counselor, as a special education itinerant teacher and as a private tutor. Most recently, she worked as a preschool teacher at a private preschool in New York City and as a divisional head counselor at a day camp in Westchester. 

During this time, Paige married her wonderful husband and they now have a 3 year old son. When she got the opportunity to work in the Student Support team at BIS-NY, she jumped at the chance and didn't look back. 

Paige is very excited to be part of BIS-NY and the Student Support team and have the opportunity to work with the students and faculty. She is looking forward to helping students become more "knowledgeable, kind, committed, globally minded and confident". 


BSc - Applied Psychology - NYU 

Master's Degree - Arts in Counseling and Guidance - NYU

Roslyn Willis - String Ensemble Teacher and Violin/Viola Peri-Teacher

North Carolina native, Roslyn Willis, has over 20 years of experience teaching violin to students from pre-k through adult. She graduated magna cum laude with a Master of Music from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has studied with Katie Lansdale (Hartt School of Music), Sarah Briggs (Amherst College), and Dora Mullins (Julliard School). She received her Suzuki training from The Greater Washington Suzuki Institute and NC Suzuki Institute at ECU.

After receiving her degree and certification, she owned a teaching studio for 15 years, where she cultivated a love of learning within her students. Many of her students are active performers and are pursuing professional careers in music.

As a conductor, Roslyn has years of experience directing elementary and middle school string ensembles in North Carolina and New York City. Before joining the BIS-NY music faculty, she worked at City and Country School and was a Teaching Artist with the Noel Pointer Foundation.

Roslyn also enjoys an active performing career. She is currently a first violinist with the New York Session Symphony and the In H.I.M. Orchestra. She has performed with orchestras throughout the east coast, including the North Carolina Symphony, Winston Salem Symphony, and the Charlotte Philharmonic.

As a freelance musician, she has performed chamber music in various venues across New York City, including Merkin Concert Hall. Roslyn is currently a private violin teacher at The Academy of St Joseph in Greenwich Village. She lives in New York City with her husband, Sonny and her son, Brice.

Alexandra Willmott - Year 1 Class Teacher

Miss Willmott studied History at the University of York and then volunteered as a School Coordinator in Cambodia before completing her PGCE in London.  Since completing her PGCE she worked at a diverse inner city school that promoted creative and enquiry based learning.  

Miss Willmott has a passion for Early Year’s education and has spent the majority of her teaching career working in KS1. She was responsible for overseeing phonics testing and collection of data and became the Key Stage 1 mentor. This previous year has seen her take on the role as Science Coordinator and working alongside senior management to organize and strengthen the planning and teaching of science across both key stages.

She has a keen interest in helping children to foster a growth mindset and believes that children with a growth mindset understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort and persistence. Praising children for their hard work and helping them to acknowledge alternative ways to learn, encourages them to persevere with something by trying out different strategies.  Last year she was presented an award by OSIRIS Educational for ‘Developing Independence in Young Children’.

Outside of school Miss Willmott enjoys travelling and is looking forward to exploring the US. In her spare time she works with Shoal Games and Roo Play as a Teaching consultant, combining her knowledge of teaching and the British Curriculum with their gaming expertise in order to help them create a platform of educational computer games. 

Alexandra Webb - Learning Support Co-ordinator/Inclusion Manager

Miss Webb attended the University of Cambridge for her undergraduate degree to read Education Studies and English and stayed on to complete her Post Graduate Certificate in Education. She moved to London to take up her first teaching post and has since worked in three primary schools over the past six years. 

During this time, Miss Webb has been passionately committed to fostering academic excellence through innovative and creative teaching of both pupils and staff. Working as an Assistant Headteacher for the past two years, Miss Webb has been responsible for leading teams of staff towards developing outstanding practice and provision for pupils. Miss Webb has also been excited to support other professionals working within the local London borough and also in national and international schools. 

Miss Webb has extensive experience of supporting children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, additionally undertaking the National Award for SEND Coordination at the Institute of Education. Miss Webb is focussed on raising the profile of SEND in schools and is driven to develop inclusive practice. She is dedicated to developing educational provision for children in partnership with their families. 

Miss Webb's interests include practising yoga, running and reading. She loves nothing more than active days spent exploring new places in the city.


National Award for SEND co-ordination, Institute of Education: University of London 

Postgraduate Certificate in Education, Faculty of Education: University of Cambridge 

Education studies with English, BA (Hons), Homerton College: University of Cambridge 

Masters of Arts, Homerton College: University of Cambridge

Jo Wilkes - Teaching Assistant

Jo Wilkes was born and raised in England and gained a BA Honors Degree in Geography at Royal Holloway University of London. At university she also met her husband David.  Jo then worked as an Assistant Buyer at Harrods Limited in London before moving to Henley Royal Regatta as the Commercial Manager.  Responsibilities included own-label product design, running several shops, an art gallery and event management. 

In 2013 Jo relocated to New York City with her husband and daughter Matilda.  Jo is now enjoying the opportunity to work in education here at BISNY, she also recently gained her COBIS Diploma for International Teaching Assistants for Early Years with distinction.

Maeve Conway

Maeve Conway studied Philosophy and Classics at The University of Nottingham in the UK and gained her PGCE Masters Level 7 qualification at Oxford Brookes University. Maeve started her teaching career in Chiswick, London where she created a planning, marking and assessment framework for a new year group and also introduced a guided reading initiative for the whole school. Maeve then went on to teach in Brixton, London where she became Head of Mathematics and part of the extended leadership team with a focus on the lower school. These roles required Maeve to implement, oversee and manage schemes of work, as well as monitor planning and teaching from ages three to seven. Other professional responsibilities at Maeve’s previous school included mentoring a PGCE student in their last placement and supporting and preparing Year 6 students for their SATS examination through tutoring sessions.

Maeve is a huge advocate for extracurricular learning – she has run several clubs to try and spark children’s curiosity in other areas of the curriculum, including nature and dance. One of her most memorable moments was running and leading a KS1 production of Alice in Wonderland.

Maeve’s educational philosophy is to continually deepen her understanding of learning, assessment and inclusion to adapt to the ever-changing elements of the teaching world. Maeve is excited to bring her skills and knowledge to an international setting and is committed to developing learners in an environment where they all feel included, challenged and engaged.

During her spare time, Maeve enjoys running and has taken part in marathons to raise money for Save The Children and PHAB Kids. She loves organizing and taking part in fundraising events. She also likes team sports and has been part of lacrosse, tennis and netball teams throughout school and university. Maeve enjoys the outdoors and often goes on cycling, hiking and skiing trips during the breaks!

Maeve comes from an Irish family and was inspired to teach by her Grandmother, who used teaching to make a big difference in County Clare, where she created and built the very first special needs division in the surrounding areas. 


BA Philosophy and Classics Nottingham University, United Kingdom
PGCE QTS Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom

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