Maestra/Directora Meera was born in California, and has always been committed to the education profession.  She comes from a rich multicultural background with roots in India, Mexico, Singapore, and more. She graduated from Cal Poly State University with a Major in Education and a Minor in Spanish.  She then went into the Peace Corps, where she served as a Community Education Promoter in a rural village in the NW of the Dominican Republic for 3 years. Upon return she pursued her bilingual teaching credential from Northern Arizona University, and then her Masters in Educational Leadership from Sonoma State University.  Bend International School is an applied vision of educational best practice from around the globe, and international connection. BIS has been a lifetime dream of hers, to bring to fruition. She could not be more proud of the amazing work that Bend International School is doing by making the world come alive, for every student.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meera Rupp Director and Teacher

Maestra Kay is always seeking out fun and diversity. Having grown up in the Sierra Nevadas, she loves snow, hot springs, alpine lakes, and being active outside. She seeks out music and adventure in travel. She has explored Canada, Europe, England, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Japan. In Idaho, Maestra Kay taught Spanish to PreK-6th graders at preschools and Montessori Centers. While attending college, Maestra Kay studied abroad in Puebla, Mexico. She loved the immersion experience. Eventually, she returned to Puebla, to teach first and second graders at a bilingual school. While living and working in Puebla for two years, she was immersed in the history, language, customs, and culture of Mexico. After returning to the United States, Maestra Kay earned a Master’s in TESOL from San Francisco State University and has worked in several language and literacy programs as a coordinator and teacher. Maestra Kay is very excited to join Bend International School and the international education community of Bend.

Kay Spenella Kindergarten Teacher

Maestra Gretchen earned her Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL)  from Western Washington University and a Master’s degree in teaching from the University of Portland. At sixteen, Maestra Gretchen had her first experience being immersed in the Spanish language when she lived in Chile.¡Fue una experiencia increible! From then on being immersed in different cultures and learning languages would continue to be a part of her life. After her undergraduate degree, she spent two years teaching English abroad in Spain and then glacier guided in Alaska and New Zealand, so she loves the outdoors.  She is originally from Juneau, Alaska, which usually doesn’t get much sun. Spending time in Bend has been wonderful and a lot sunnier than Juneau, Alaska! Most recently, Maestra Gretchen worked in Portland as a second grade Spanish Dual Language teacher. She is passionate about the importance of Bilingual education in her student’s lives and the doors that language opens when students are empowered to communicate with people from a diverse range of countries and cultures.  Ella está muy emocionada por el aprendizaje que tendremos en este año escolar y no puede esperar para conocerles a todos.

Gretchen Dierking 2nd Grade Teacher

Maestro Drew is a lifelong learner with a passion for exploring and sharing knowledge. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in PreK-12 Bilingual Education along with minors in Anthropology and Spanish. During his undergraduate years, he lived and studied in Spain and Argentina and became a fluent speaker of Spanish. He has teaching experience in schools as well as summer camps, working with students of all ages. Drew is excited to help fulfill the Bend International School  mission to increase the academic achievement of each student, and also looks to inspire students to think critically and creatively through hands-on and investigative activities. Drew loves living in Bend and fits in well with the community as he enjoys mountain biking, backcountry skiing, and hiking in the mountains during his free time.

Drew Branstrom 4th grade Teacher

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Maestro Vidal  was born and raised in a border town in south Texas.  His parents were migrant workers originally from Zacatecas, Mexico.  Growing up, his family visited ‘El Rancho’ in Zacatecas annually, during the summers they would work in Michigan, Indiana, and Nebraska.  Vidal earned two degrees from The University of Texas at Austin—a Bachelor of Science in physics and a Master of Arts in science education. His teaching philosophy is built around the idea that experience is the best teacher. His goal is to cultivate rich and transformative experiences within the classroom and in the field. He does this through unique and exciting projects, hands-on lessons, and memorable field trips. He likes to challenge students so they can reach their maximum potential as learners.  Cid taught middle school science for 12 years in Austin, Texas, then he and his family moved to Central Oregon 6 years ago. He is excited by the opportunity to build a powerful culture of learning at Bend International School.

Vidal Cid Middle School Science Teacher

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Maestro Josh  has been actively exploring the world since his childhood growing up in the high desert of Central Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon with his Master’s degree in Teaching and Learning. He went to pursue his passion for teaching and international travel in Thailand.

After stints teaching around the world in Bangkok, Switzerland, and Beirut, Lebanon, Josh returned to the United States to teach Social Studies, English, and Outdoor Sports for 4 years at an international boarding school near Lake Tahoe. He is passionately devoted students obtaining a growth mindset during their middle school careers. He has always taken a keen interest in the humanities and international affairs and looks forward to sharing his knowledge and expertise with the students of BIS.  One of his favorite parts of teaching is establishing relationships with students to make his class a safe inclusive community where all voices are heard and respected.

Josh Colvin Middle School Humanities Teacher

 

 

 

Maestro Mateo grew up surfing at the beaches of Southern California and playing every sport known to kids. He helped his high school win a CIF soccer title in his sophomore year and reach the semi-finals during his junior year.  His soccer playing career continued into the semi-professional ranks where he even played two games against former Men’s National Team coach Jurgen Klinsman and many other professional players. Following his passion for soccer, Mateo became the youngest head soccer coach in the state of California for Golden West College where he led the program to multiple playoff appearances in his 10 plus years at the helm. While serving as the college’s soccer coach, Mateo earned his Master’s Equivalency in Physical Education going on to teach P.E. at the college level. Mateo is zealous for the outdoors and has hiked to numerous peaks in many different mountain ranges throughout the world. He has traveled to over 30 countries exploring his love for diverse cultures. Mateo reached bilingualism in Spanish while traveling through South America. Mateo pursued his heart’s goal of teaching Physical Education once again and finished a teaching credential. He is a family man with two boys and is an avid runner, bicyclist, and hiker. Mateo’s vast teaching experiences, including teaching English as a Second Language, Adaptive P.E., Skiing (Colorado), Junior Lifeguards (Huntington Beach), High School P.E., youth soccer camps, and coaching at all levels will help him bring much experience to BIS. Mateo is extremely excited to join the BIS staff and help the students learn about all that Physical Education has to offer.

 

 

Mateo Wells Physical Education Teacher

 

Señor Peetie grew up in bilingual Miami, Florida where he was taught Spanish from a young age. In high school, he worked various jobs including camp counselor and prep cook at a Mediterranean restaurant. He attended Wesleyan Univeristy in Middletown, Connecticut, earning a Bachelors Degree in Film Studies. During his time at school, his Spanish got a little rusty; but after graduating he relocated to London, England where he managed a Spanish restaurant. It was here his Spanish and his cooking skills flourished again. Aside from his passion for cooking, Señor Peetie also enjoyed creative pursuits like theatre, comedy, improv, and music. He’s also a tour cyclist who rode his bicycle from Bend to Los Angeles and his currently planning his next big trip. Señor Peetie is excited to be a part of the diverse and enthusiastic community of Bend International School. 

 

 

 

Peetie Cook Global Lunch Coordinator

 

 

Señora Jeanvieve grew up in San Luis Obispo, California. She lived in the San Francisco Bay area for 10 years, where she met her husband of 17 years. In 2004 they decided to move to Bend, where her husband grew up. She has been an educator for 7 years. Her favorite part of working in a school is watching the students grow and learn throughout the school year. When not at school she likes to spend time with her daughter and husband going camping, mountain bike riding, hanging out at the lakes and cooking for family and friends. She is thrilled to be a member of the Bend International School family.

 

 

Jeanvieve Wilson 1st Grade Education Assistant and Education Assistant Coordinator

Evan Furgurson, or Señor Iván, was born and raised right here in Bend. After graduating Bend High School he took a gap year to South America where he fell in love with speaking Spanish, traveling, and learning about different cultures. He pursued these passions at the University of Redlands in the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies where he made his own major called Comparative International Development and Sustainable Globalization. Evan spent one semester traveling around Mexico, Guatemala and Cuba and another in Rabat, Morocco. In college Evan grew more passionate about how to solve the problems of climate change with local community organizing, cross-cultural communication, and experiential education. Evan has worked in education in many forms; as a Wilderness Therapy guide, a ski coach at Mt Bachelor, an English and Spanish teacher abroad, an international service trip leader, a speech and debate coach, and much more. He is extremely excited to join the community of Bend International School to share his passions and learn from the students and teachers both. Evan is a product of his hometown and spends his free time mountain biking, hiking, camping, skiing, and reading. Of all his travels his two favorite places he has been to are Cuba and Nepal, both for the same reason, the people. Evan’s mission is to connect people and ideas to inspire a healthier and more understanding world.

Iván Ferguson 3rd Grade Education Assistant

 

 

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Megan graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies with a focus on Elementary Education and with a minor in Human Development and Family Sciences. She has been involved with many different programs, with children of all ages. From volunteering, coaching sports, leading summer camps, running after-school programs, and teaching in a preschool setting, she has always had a desire to work with children. Megan was born and raised in Bend, amongst most of her family. Most of her spare time is spent with friends and family. She has always had a passion for serving her community and helping those in need. She believes having a strong and loving community is very important and hopes to share that value with her students.

Megan West Global Arts Aftercare Coordinator

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Maestra Heather is an Oregon licensed Special Education Teacher, K-8, who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience working with students with learning challenges.  She has enjoyed working at Bend International School for 5 years. She enjoys collaborating with the K-8 teachers. As a reading and math specialist, she has opportunities to work with students in their general ed classrooms. Maestra Heather enjoys working in the school garden and exploring the nearby Deschutes National Forest. She previously studied in Colombia and Ecuador. Maestra Heather has also traveled throughout our beautiful America having various adventures and misadventures to such places as Louisiana, the Boundary Waters in Minnesota, Mississippi, and Washington State.

Heather Leeder Resource Specialist

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Señora Kimberly  grew up in the shadows of the Cascade Mountains, and is excited to be a part of the local and global community at Bend International School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and History from Middlebury College in Vermont, and a master’s degree in Literary Nonfiction from the University of Oregon. She serves as a nonfiction writer for regional publications, has taught at Washburn University, Central Oregon Community, and the Deschutes Public Library, and previously worked with administration duties at The Bulletin and Deschutes Brewery. Her travels include explorations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and South America, where she learned that what is most important to her is discovering how we all connect. She is grateful to be serving our community, and our world, through the dynamic possibilities of education.

Kimberly Bowker Office Manager

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Maestra Kristen was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, spending most of her summers in Central Oregon. She graduated from the University of Redlands with a degree in sociology and Spanish.  While at Redlands she studied abroad in Madrid and discovered a passion for travel.  After working in fitness and banking, Kristen returned to Oregon State Cascades to earn her master’s degree in school and mental health counseling.  As a counselor she uses a strength-based approach, working with each student as an individual promoting equity and inclusion.  When not working she can be found with her two kids, Lily (4) and Wes (1), paddle boarding, or running.  Maestra Kristen is excited to be a part of the amazing team at Bend International School, and is looking forward to getting to know all of the students. 

Kristen Wiest Counselor and Social and Emotional Learning Teacher

Maestra Tere grew up bilingual in Santiago, Chile where she attended the International School Nido de Aguilas. She received a BA in Early Childhood Education from Educares University and a Masters Degree in Early Literacy from Delaware University. Maestra Tere’s career has taken her from Santiago, Chile, where she taught kindergarten at a bilingual school, to Arizona, where she taught kindergarten and first grade in the Navaho Nation. She also co-founded an Expeditionary Learning middle school in Tucson, Arizona where she taught humanities for five years. For much of the last decade, she has worked as a primary teacher and instructional guide in an Expeditionary Learning school in Salt Lake City, Utah. Maestra Tere is passionate about connecting learning to real-world issues and needs and teaching immersed in discovery, inquiry, critical thinking and collaboration. In her free time she enjoys hiking, cooking, skate skiing, spending time with her nieces, and live music. Tere and her husband Dirk, a school leader in Bend, have a 23-year-old daughter who lives in Utah. Maestra Tere is thrilled to work at Bend International School  and looks forward to engaging in the meaningful work that happens here!

Tere Pelaez 1st Grade Teacher

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Maestra Beth received her Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Oregon and her Master’s in Teacher Education from Eastern Oregon University. Beth lived in Santiago, Chile for a year and has traveled extensively throughout South America. She is passionate about traveling, learning and exploring new places. She has traveled to Mexico, Thailand, and throughout Europe. Beth has lived in Bend for 19 years. She is married and has three children. Her hobbies include reading, camping, hiking, and trail running with her golden retriever, Callie. Beth has eight years of experience teaching and working with children. Her first teaching position was at Vern Patrick Elementary in Redmond, Oregon where she taught Spanish to students in grades first-fifth. She then taught fourth grade at the same school. Beth joined the BIS staff for it’s inaugural year where she was the librarian and an electives teacher. She is very excited to be teaching third grade at BIS this year. Beth loves teaching and enjoys providing many different types of educational experiences for her students including hands-on, meaningful activities that enable her students to be active participants in their learning. Beth believes strongly in establishing a caring, positive classroom environment where children feel comfortable and are excited and motivated to learn!

Beth Bengston 3rd Grade Teacher

Maestra Amanda  is a passionate teacher and world-traveler. Having grown up with a strong sense of curiosity and passion for learning, Amanda excitedly dove head first in many facets of education. She graduated summa cum laude from Western Oregon University in 2009, having completed studies in both Psychology and Health. After graduation, she felt a strong pull towards helping children through vibrant, welcoming learning opportunities, as well as developing their own personal goals and passions. Amanda used this motivation to travel to China to help a publishing company write curriculum materials, and to come home and complete her Masters of Teaching at Willamette University in 2012, with additional endorsements in Mathematics, Health Education, and as a Reading Specialist. Additionally, Amanda volunteers for a non-profit as their Education Coordinator serving an orphanage in Haiti, and was recently added to board of directors for Nerds Abroad. As an educator, her teaching style is defined by both her enthusiasm towards learning and the strong relationships she fosters with all students in her class, allowing her to focus on differentiated instruction, reaching all students, and making learning fun. Those who know Amanda are often struck by her magnetism and deep commitment to her work of making the world more loving and equitable for everyone.

Amanda Wright 5th Grade Teacher

Maestra Margy is excited to be at Bend International School this year as a middle school math teacher. She received her BA from Miami University (in Ohio) and her Master of Teacher Education degree from Eastern Oregon University. She has over seven years of teaching experience in the Bend-La Pine Schools. After starting her career as a science educator at Marshall High School, she started teaching math, as well, and realized that was what she truly loved. She eventually moved on to teach math at High Desert Middle School before joining the team at BIS. Math is her passion, and she loves solving problems and puzzles of all types. She is thrilled to be teaching at this innovative school and working with this dedicated staff and enthusiastic families! She has two young children of her own, both are students at Bend International School. She loves living in Bend and having access to all of the adventures that Central Oregon has to offer. She is delighted to have  BIS in this community, as it will bring a bit of the rest of the world into our lives, right here in Oregon!

Margy Hoffman Middle School Math Teacher

Maestra Elizabeth received her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Colorado and her Master’s in English Education from the Teachers College at Columbia University. Elizabeth has lived and taught in Italy, Switzerland and Lebanon. Elizabeth has twelve years of experience teaching and working with students from all over the world. She has over 7years of experience teaching ELL students how to improve their English skills. Over her career she has spent time as an academic dean, college counselor and English teacher.  She is very excited to be curating our library and teaching English Language Learners.

 

 

 

 

Outside of school she spends her time mountain biking and skiing with her family all around Central Oregon.  Elizabeth loves sharing her passion for reading and literature with students and helping them discover the magical world of fiction.

Elizabeth Colvin Digital Curriculum Coordinator/ELL Teacher/Librarian

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Señora Yenny graduated with a degree in primary education, with completed studies of masters in education.  She has extensive professional experience in the field of education, Directorate of Educational Institutions, and teacher trainer of the Ministry of Education of Peru. She is happy to be a part of the Bend International School family, working as a teacher assistant.  Her main objective is to facilitate a positive environment that facilitates the learning of all students. She is a responsible, patient, positive professional, with great teaching skills.

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Yenny Aliaga Before Care Coordinator and 2nd Grade Education Assistant

Maestra Jill  is an artist and educator originally from Lawrence, Kansas. She received her BAE
and BFA at the University of Kansas. After an amazing experience student teaching with DOD school in Naples, Italy, she continued to pursue international teaching assignments in Wiesbaden, Germany and finally Tampico, Mexico. While in Tampico she gained an understanding of the Spanish language and hopes to practice her spanish at BIS. Jill returned to the states to complete her Masters in Painting from the Cal State, Fresno and then teach in both Californiaand Colorado.Jill has now been in Oregon for the last 3 years with her two young children. She enjoys painting, gardening and home remodeling, along with exploring the beauty of Central Oregon. Jill has an endless love of travel, art and teaching; she has adventured in China, Costa Rica, Thailand, Panama, Europe and much of Mexico. Jill’s teaching philosophy is that every child should have the opportunity to express themselves through art, her goal is to foster a love and appreciation of visual art in each student. And at the same time, have a lot of fun! While working part time at Bend International School  she is a practicing artist and is part of a weekly figure drawing group. Jill is thrilled to be a part of Bend International School , also you can view her artist website at www.jilltisdale.com

Jill Tisdale Art Teacher

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Senorita Isabel was born and raised in Mexicali, Baja California. She graduated from BENUFF University in 2006. She has been a teacher for almost 14 years and it is a big satisfaction to see how a lot of generations have grown up all this time. She recently moved to Bend with a bunch of dreams and goals to reach, she believes that every day is a new opportunity to learn something new.
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Isabel Leal Kindergarten Education Assistant

 

 

 

Maestra Natalie discovered she had a passion for education within the first few minutes she started teaching English in a primary school outside of Sevilla, Spain. She has always loved language, reading, and learning about different cultures. She majored in Spanish Literature and Culture at the University of Oregon and completed an internship at an unemployment agency teaching English workshops and translating in Madrid, Spain.  Natalie is excited to share her passion for the Spanish language with students and families of Bend International School and to understand each student’s needs. She is enthusiastic, open-minded, flexible, and laughs quite a lot. Laughter and smiles are a frequent occurrence in her classroom. Get ready to have fun this school year!

Natalie Mosman Spanish Teacher

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Señor Patrick has been teaching music in the Bend-Lapine School District for fifteen years.  He has taught everything from individual guitar lessons to group instrument classes all the way up to full ‘Rock Band’ ensembles.  He is also a professional musician who makes his living in the recording studio as well as touring around the country with various local and national acts.
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Patrick Pearsall Music and Band Teacher