Teachers define the quality of the Missoula International School. Our faculty and staff are a professional team of educators and administrators who are committed to every student’s education. At MIS, teachers serve multiple roles, offering a variety of learning and language opportunities to MIS students and the Missoula Community.




Preschool Team

Jenny Ferguson – Preschool Teacher

Jenny - bigJenny has a BA 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_29216142482_oDiana 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 BA from the Autonomous University of Chihuahua. She is also the proud mother of MIS students Camila and Sofia.

Mishel Vatoussis – Preschool Teacher

mishel_29216141032_oOriginally from Guatemala, Mishel has a BA in Communication Studies and a BA 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_29216142882_oAna is from Albacete, Spain. She comes to MIS from the Colegio El Valle, an IB World School in Spain. Ana has an MA and a BA 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 joins MIS this year.

Javier Astaiza – Assistant Preschool Teacher

javier_29290543376_oJavier has enjoyed several different careers. After many years working as a marketing designer, he obtained a BS from Liberty University in Interdisciplinary Studies majoring in Education & Psychology. His experience in the classroom includes teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language to K-5th grade students and a Spanish Immersion Kindergarten. He joined MIS in 2015 as Assistant Preschool Teacher.

Nadia Estefany – Assistant Preschool Teacher

nadia_29216140502_oNadie recently moved from Missoula from Southern California. Her educational background is in psychology with an emphasis in Neuroscience. Nadie worked as behavioral therapist in an afterschool program at Sacramento State University for children with autism.  She has extensive experience tutoring children in all subject areas.


K/1 Multiage Team

John Kratz –  K/1 Multiage Spanish Immersion Teacher

John Kratz_LargePrior 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 - bigVirginia Buelvas began her teaching career in 2000. Virginia holds two master’s degrees in education. She has worked as a teacher in France, Colombia and the United States. Since 2012 she worked in the Gilford North Carolina as a Spanish Immersion homeroom teacher, working with kindergarten, first and third graders over the course of her time at school. In total she has spent 9 years in an immersion environment during her 15 year teaching career.   Virginia joined MIS in 2015.

Andrea Ferrer Sena – K/1 Multiage Spanish Immersion Teacher

andrea_29290544076_oAndrea is from Valencia, Spain. She comes to MIS from Colegio Publico Vicente Gaos where she taught English as a second language and Escuela Infantil Xicotets where she worked in a preschool program. Andrea has two Bachelor’s Degrees. One in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Special Needs and a second in teaching English as a second language. Andrea grew up wanting to be a teacher and is very excited to come to MIS this year. Andrea will work with the K/1 team all year providing continuity during Virginia’s maternity leave.


2/3 Multiage Team

Patty Cano –  2/3  Multiage Spanish Immersion Teacher

20890114585_e682f5f182_oBorn and raised in Tunja, Colombia, Patricia has a B.A. in Spanish and English language from La Pedagogica y Tecnologica de Colombia.  She also completed her M.A. in Linguistics at the University of Montana.  She taught English immersion in Colombia for seven years prior to coming to MIS in 2002.

Miriam Usero – 2/3  Multiage Spanish Immersion Teacher

miriam1_29216141322_oMiriam is from Madrid, Spain and has been teaching since 2009. For the last three years she has been working at Sir. William Burrough School in London. Miriam has two teaching degrees, one in Early Childhood Education and one in Primary Education. MIS’s Faculty Hiring Committee was impressed with her warm and vibrant personality as well as her knowledge and experience in the classroom. Miriam was married in May of 2016 and is pleased to be moving to Missoula with her new husband Rodrigo.

Anneliese Gentzsch – 2/3 Multiage English Specialist Teacher

Anneliese - bigAnneliese is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary education literacy.  She is also a musician with the Missoula Symphony Orchestra.  Anneliese joined MIS in 2013.


4/5 Multiage Team

Karim Del Pozo –  4/5  Multiage Spanish Immersion Teacher

20897367311_ba24aa6deb_oKarim joined MIS in the fall of 2008.  Karim was born and raised in Peru.  She graduated from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania with the highest honors.  She holds a degree in Education and Spanish literature.  She has extensive teaching experience in a variety of settings and age groups.

Carme Antolinos – 4/5  Multiage Spanish Immersion Teacher

Carme - bigCarme  has been an educator in Spain since 1989. Over the course of her career she has worked with students of all ages. Carme has a degree in languages and literature from the University of Barcelona and several advanced degrees in education and languages. Carme is fluent in Spanish, English, French, Latin and Catalonian.

Ibrahin Mena – 4/5 Multiage Spanish Immersion Teacher

ibrahin_29324338745_oIbrahin Mena is from Caracas Venezuela. He comes to MIS 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 Master’s of Science in Social Communication and Bachelors degree in Primary Education.  Ibrahin is very excited to move the USA and return to the classroom.

Jessica Eirkson – 4/5 Multiage English Specialist Teacher

20897396961_54f634ca20_oJessica came to MIS with a B.A. in Environmental Education from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington and an M.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Montana.  Jessica joined MIS in 2008.


Middle School Team

Barbara Vicetto – Middle School Spanish and Humanities Teacher and Advisor

barb_29216142642_oBarbara (Barb) Vicetto is from Madrid, Spain. She comes to MIS from the International Montessori School Parque Conde Orgaz, where she worked from 2009 to 2014. She spent her senior year of high school in River Falls Wisconsin, where she developed close ties with her “American Family” and a love for the Green Bay Packers. Barb has degrees in Psychopedagogy and teaching English as a second language from Camilo Jose Cela University.  Last year Barbara spent time volunteering in Nepal after the 2015 Earthquake, contributing to the relief efforts there. She is thrilled to be moving to Missoula with her recently adopted Nepalese dog Sure.’

Gillian Kessler – Middle School English Teacher and Advisor

Gillian - bigGillian has 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

Gebo_Jen_largeJen 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 – Middle School Advisor

Christian - bigChristian 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 Humanities Teacher

20890108255_fd411880c1_oJeff has a BA 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.

William Knight – Middle School Technology Teacher

20880448912_99e0273a98_oWilliam is originally from California.  He holds a degree in Electronic Engineering from Cal Poly and a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Montana. He has worked as a software developer in a number of industries and taught courses in computer graphics and simulation as an adjunct professor at the University of Montana. He joined MIS in 2014, teaching courses in 3D design and computer programming.

Linda Gazzola – Middle School Math Teacher

linda-gazzolaLinda 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 MA in Teaching Mathematics from the University of Chicago and a BS in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University. Linda Joined MIS in 2015.


Loryn Zerr, Preschool – 8th grade Art Specialist

Loryn - bigLoryn is originally from Colorado. She received a BFA with a ceramics emphasis and a BA 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, K-5 grade Library Specialist

laura-bovard-2016-2017Laura 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.

Christian Baker, K-8 Physical Education Specialist,

Christian - bigChristian has a BA in History and a BS 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 - bigNatalie 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 MA in Education at the University of Montana.  Natalie joined MIS in 2008.


Amity Interns

Clara Gonzalez

clara_29290543726_oClara is from Valladolid, Spain. She is 23 years old. She went to the University of Valladolid and graduated this summer with a degree in Education. She likes working with children, love sports (especially basketball), and exploring nature. She is happy to bring her culture and knowledge to work with children in our school and children in her host family. Clara will be hosted by Nerissa Koehn, John Miller and their family.

Laura Maté

laura_29290542346_oLaura is from Palencia, Spain. She is also 23 and attends the University of Valladolid. Her major is education, with an early childhood emphasis. She is especially fond of young children and enjoys movies, music and loves to identify wildlife and flowers. She looks forward to learning more about the MIS community. She will be hosted by Ben Super and his family.