Preschool Team

Jenny Ferguson Preschool Teacher

Jenny has a B.A. in History and Women’s Studies from Oberlin College in Ohio. She has worked as an early childhood literacy advocate, as well as an ESL teacher for organizations in Montana and Oregon. Jenny joined MIS in 2006.

Diana Burnich Preschool Teacher

Diana is originally from Chihuahua, Mexico. She joined the MIS preschool team in 2014. Previous to MIS, Diana worked at the Early Learning and Day Care Center at the WHATSOEVER Community Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Diana has a B.A. from the Autonomous University of Chihuahua. She is also the proud mother of MIS students Camila and Sofia.

Mishel Vatoussis Preschool Teacher

Originally from Guatemala, Mishel has a B.A. in Communication Studies and a B.A. in Art from the University of Montana with minors in Japanese and Spanish. Mishel taught Art in Greece for five years at a multilingual preschool and one year as preschool coordinator before returning to Missoula. Mishel joined MIS in 2012.

Ana Martinez Preschool Teacher

Ana is from Albacete, Spain. She comes to MIS from the Colegio El Valle, an IB World School in Spain. Ana has an M.A. and a B.A. Degree in Early Childhood Education. Ana enjoys sports, nature, reading and traveling. She traveled to Africa during her summer vacations to do volunteer work. Ana joined MIS in 2016. She loves to explore Montana!

Karime Avila Assistant Preschool Teacher

MIS is happy to welcome Karime Avila to our team. Karime is originally from Mexico. Karime worked as an Assistant Teacher at the Olympus Elementary School in Mexico and as a preschool assistant in California, prior to MIS.

Eric Halverson Assistant Preschool Teacher

MIS is happy to welcome back Eric Halverson to our team. Eric led MIS’s After Care Program during the 2014-2015 school year. More recently Eric served as the Chief Operating Officer in charge of Development at the Center for Children and Families in Billings MT. Eric has worked in early childhood education in a variety of settings, from the Missoula Family YMCA, the United Way to Casa Hogar Nacidos Para Triunfar, in Guadalajara, Mexico. Eric has a B.S. in Biomedical Science from Montana State University.

K/1 Multiage Team

John Kratz K/1 Multiage Spanish Immersion Teacher

Prior to joining MIS in 2011, John taught in Mexico at the Jesuit University of Guadalajara. He taught children in immersion and bilingual K-12 settings in New York City and Pocatello, Idaho. John holds an M.A. in Spanish and Education from the City University of New York, Hunter College and a B.A. in Spanish from Idaho State University.

Virginia Buelvas K/1 Multiage Spanish Immersion Teacher

Virginia Buelvas is from Colombia. She has been teaching for over 18 years. Virginia holds two Master’s degrees in Education and in TESOL. She has worked as an educator in France, Colombia, and the United States. Prior to joining MIS, Virginia taught in Virginia and North Carolina. She joined MIS in 2015.

2/3 Multiage Team

Patricia Cano 2/3 Multiage Spanish Immersion Teacher

Patricia joined the MIS faculty in 2002 after seven years of teaching experience in Colombia, her home country.  In Colombia, she taught English as a Second Language from preschool to university level.   She received a B.A. in Spanish and English language from Universidad Pedagogica y Tecnologica de Colombia.  She also completed her M.A. in Linguistics at the University of Montana with an emphasis in second language acquisition. Outside of her professional interests, she enjoys traveling, reading, dancing and spending time with her family and friends.

Miriam Usero 2/3 Multiage Spanish Immersion Teacher

Miriam is from Toledo, Spain and has been teaching since 2009. Before coming to MIS, Miriam worked at Sir. William Burrough School in London. Miriam has two teaching degrees, one in Early Childhood Education and one in Primary Education. Miriam is a classroom teacher in the 2/3 team. In her free time, Miriam enjoys taking photos, biking, traveling, and spending time with friends.

Andrea Ferrer Sena 2/3 Multiage Spanish Immersion Teacher

Andrea is from Valencia, Spain. She comes to MIS from Colegio Publico Vicente Gaos where she taught English as a second language and from Escuela Infantil Xicotets where she worked in a preschool program. Andrea has a B.A. in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Special Needs and a concentration in English as a Second Language. She likes to read, being with friends and travel as much as she can. She is a homeroom teacher in 2/3 grade, she is also teaching Design and Hip Hop in the enrichment program.

Anneliese Broman 2/3 Multiage English Specialist Teacher and Middle School Design

Anneliese first came to MIS in the fall of 2013 as a student teacher to complete her B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa. Anneliese teaches English in the 2/3 classrooms as well as 6th grade math and middle school design. In her free time, Anneliese loves to read, sew and play violin.

4/5 Multiage Team

José Manuel DÍaz

MIS is excited to welcome José Manuel to its faculty for the 2017-2018 school year. José Manuel has been working with students in his native Venezuela since 2004. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he was the Head of the Language Department at Colegio Fundación Carlos Delfino. A true life-long learner, José Manuel is currently finishing his Ph.D. in education to complement his dual Master’s degrees in elementary education and linguistics.

Ibrahin Mena

Ibrahin Mena is from Caracas Venezuela. He came to MIS in 2016 from Los Arcos School where he taught elementary students from 2008 to 2014. Ibrahin was honored as “Teacher of the Year” in 2014. At the encouragement of his school, Ibrahin took a leave of absence during the 2014-2015 to continue his education in Malta. Ibrahin has a M.S. in Social Communication and B. A. degree in Primary Education.

Liz Parris 4/5 Multiage English Specialist Teacher

MIS is thrilled to welcome Liz Parris back to our community of learners. Liz (Yuhas) worked in MIS’s Preschool Program from 2012 to 2016. Prior to working at MIS, Liz worked in Fairbanks, Alaska from 2009 to 2012 as a 4th grade teacher. Liz began working with students in 2002 as a teaching assistant in the Native Association Head Start Program. Liz has a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Montana. Liz has a Post Baccalaureate Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Alaska.

 

 

Middle School Team

Gillian Kessler Middle School English Teacher and Advisor

Gillian has two B.A. degrees from Santa Clara University in English and Theater/Dance. She has extensive teaching experience as well as international experience throughout the Spanish speaking world in Europe and the Americas. Gillian joined MIS in 2005.

Jen Gebo Middle School Math and Science Teacher and Advisor

Jen taught Middle School Science and Math for 10 years at an independent school in Greensboro, North Carolina. Jen’s experience developing inquiry based science and math curriculum with a focus on critical and reflective thinking, environmental conservation, and social responsibility enhances MIS’s middle school program. Jen moved to Missoula from Rhode Island to join MIS in 2014.

Christian Baker K-8 Physical Education Specialist

Christian has a B.A. in History and a B.S. in Sociology from Oklahoma State University. He received his elementary teacher’s certification in Texas. He engages students in developing a love for physical activity and cooperative games at MIS. Christian joined MIS in 2010.

Jeff Kessler Middle School Teacher - Individuals and Societies (History)

Jeff has a B.A. in History from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. He earned an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana. Jeff joined MIS in 2003 and has taught at all the grade levels from first grade to eighth grade. Prior to MIS, Jeff taught for three years in Southern California as a Teach for America Corps member.

Linda Gazzola Middle School Math Teacher

Linda has been teaching high school and middle school math since 1992. For 13 years she worked at the prestigious Latin School of Chicago before moving to Montana in 2008. At the Latin School she taught a broad range of courses from pre Algebra to AP Computer Science as well as serving as an advisor to middle school students and coaching cross-country. Linda has a M.A. in Teaching Mathematics from the University of Chicago and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University. Linda Joined MIS in 2015.

Ibrahin Mena

Ibrahin Mena is from Caracas Venezuela. He came to MIS in 2016 from Los Arcos School where he taught elementary students from 2008 to 2014. Ibrahin was honored as “Teacher of the Year” in 2014. At the encouragement of his school, Ibrahin took a leave of absence during the 2014-2015 to continue his education in Malta. Ibrahin has a M.S. in Social Communication and B. A. degree in Primary Education.

José Manuel DÍaz

MIS is excited to welcome José Manuel to its faculty for the 2017-2018 school year. José Manuel has been working with students in his native Venezuela since 2004. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he was the Head of the Language Department at Colegio Fundación Carlos Delfino. A true life-long learner, José Manuel is currently finishing his Ph.D. in education to complement his dual Master’s degrees in elementary education and linguistics.

Ismara Partidas Middle School Team

Ismara Maidyd de la Asunción Partidas Aguilar  born in Caracas, Venezuela on August 15, 1985, she graduated as an Teacher in Simón Rodríguez University and as a Civil Engineer in Venezuela Army Force University, since 2008 worked in three schools in rotating shifts public and private and in the Carlos Soublette College as Spanish’s Teacher. Ismara joined the MIS Middle School team in July of this year.

Rodrigo Peces Middle School Team

Rodrigo is from Toledo, Spain and finished his Music Degree in 2008. He was teaching music and working for different media production companies. In London, he decided to complement his education with a Sound Engineering Diploma and worked for different projects and companies. Rodrigo enjoys drinking coffee and reading about new computer releases, video games and loves exploring new musicians and musical genres on the internet.

Specialist Team

Loryn Zerr Preschool – 8th grade Art Specialist

Loryn is originally from Colorado. She received a B.F.A. with a ceramics emphasis and a B.A. in Education, Art Teaching emphasis, certified K-12 from the University of Montana. She taught art for many years at The Missoula Art Museum, Sentinel High School, Sussex School, the Flagship program, and at Zootown Community Arts Center. She remains active in the local arts community, showing her paintings, sculpture, and mixed media art whenever possible. Loryn joined MIS in 2012.

Laura Bovard Director of Admissions and Marketing

Laura is a proud alumni parent who has been actively involved with MIS since 1996. As a parent volunteer, she helped to establish the MIS library and enjoys sharing her love of books, languages and adventure with MIS students. Laura has a BS in Business Administration and International Studies with a minor in Spanish from Iowa State University. Laura spent 12 years as a sales representative and marketing manager in the employee benefits industry. She worked for CIGNA Corp, Coventry Health, and as a consultant for Johnson Administrators. Laura currently serves on the Board of Directors for MCT and Arts Missoula (formerly the Missoula Cultural Council)

Christian Baker Middle School Advisor

Christian has a B.A. in History and a B.S. in Sociology from Oklahoma State University. He received his elementary teacher’s certification in Texas. He engages students in developing a love for physical activity and cooperative games at MIS. Christian joined MIS in 2010.

Natalie Baker Preschool – 8th grade Music Specialist

Natalie has a broad educational background in Music, Theater, and Dance, including her teaching certificate in Elementary Education with endorsements in Special Education, Early Childhood Education, and Music Education. She is an ORFF certified teacher and is working on her M.A. in Education at the University of Montana. Natalie joined MIS in 2008.

John Avila Aftercare Team

John joins MIS from Anaheim, California where he received his B.A. in International Business from Cal State Fullerton. He also has a Masters in Theology from Living Stream Ministries and is working on another B.A. in Educational Psychology. In his (limited) free time he likes to go camping with his wife and spend time in nature.

Amity Interns

Lucia Verduguez Amity Intern

Lucia is from Toledo (Spain) and now lives in Madrid (Spain). She obtained her degree in Primary Education at Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She then taught in Colegio Lourdes in Madrid, for her personal teacher internship. Lucia continues studying and learning about educational work. In her free time, she plays sports, spends time with her friends, travels whenever she can and loves to cook.

Belen Aguirre Amity Intern

Belen is from Madrid, Spain.  She attended Catholic School El Mater Salvatoris, in Spain. She has obtained a degree in Primary Education. She taught in three different schools in Spain for personal teacher internship and has volunteered in schools at Benin, Africa. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, plays sports, embraces nature, reading, traveling and meet new people.