Alyssa Casey - High School English Teacher
Alyssa is currently head of the Individuals & Societies Department at the American International School - Kuwait, where she has taught both Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP) courses for the past three years. Prior to her time in Kuwait, Alyssa served as an English teacher and head of the Humanities Department at Asociación Colegio Granadino in Colombia and an ESL teacher for grade 9 students at Shanghai American School. In addition to her international experience, Alyssa has worked as a teacher and an instructional coach in the Des Moines Public School District of Iowa, where she supported refugees and English as an Additional Language (EAL) students. She is excited to join the Graded community with her husband, Shane Casey, and their daughters, Amari and Jules. She loves cycling with her family, soaking in the world's beauty, and enjoying good food with great people.
Barbara (Bobbi) Netzel - Lower School Associate Principal
Bobbi is starting her eighteenth year in education. She was born and raised in New York and attended university in Portland, Oregon, where she earned a BA in early childhood and elementary education. Bobbi taught kindergarten and first-grade students in Denver, Colorado, where she received her MA in education from Regis University. Bobbi and her husband moved to Japan in 2011, where she worked as a curriculum coordinator and taught kindergarten. For the last seven years, Bobbi and her family have lived in Belgrade, Serbia, where she was most recently the assistant principal and curriculum coordinator. She loves being active and has previously coached girls' soccer. Her favorite pastimes include spending time outside and reading with her children, Aspen and Connor.
Bryan Bordelon - High School Principal
Bryan was born in Louisiana, USA, and raised in Indonesia, Qatar, China, and Venezuela. He holds a BA in English and psychology and an MA in education from the University of Texas, as well as an MA in China studies from the University of Michigan. Currently, he is pursuing his doctorate in education in K-12 leadership at the University of Houston. Bryan began his career in the high school classroom, teaching English language arts, psychology, and speech and debate. His administrative roles include elementary school principal at Texas' first dedicated Mandarin immersion school, middle school principal, and director of teaching and learning. Since 2016, Bryan has served as head of school at Sharpstown International School, a public secondary magnet school in Houston that he transformed from a 6-12 school with an international focus to an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. Bryan speaks fluent Spanish, intermediate Mandarin Chinese, and beginning Italian, and his hobbies include backyard beekeeping, cooking, and watching horror movies. He and his family are incredibly excited to move to São Paulo and join the Graded community in late July 2022; they cannot wait to explore everything that Graded, São Paulo, and Brazil have to offer!
Claire Arcenas - Grade 2 Teacher (returning faculty member)
Claire is returning to Graded after spending four years working for the Brazilian education start-up Geekie. Her work as a designer pedagógica, or pedagogical designer, has provided diverse learning opportunities for her to grow further as an educator and develop fluency in Portuguese. She has immersed herself in the language and culture since leaving the Graded community in 2018. Claire has contributed to the evolution of Geekie One, the company's digital education platform for preschool through high school Brazilian schools, by combining her knowledge in international education and her passion for creating “cultures of thinking” (Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education). She has developed many new skills through her work as a teaching and learning coach, curriculum and PBL (project-based learning) designer, and professional development facilitator, which she is excited to apply in the Grade 2 classroom! She recently became a contributing author to the Brazilian education book Aprendizagens Visíveis: Experiências teórico-práticas em sala de aula (Visible Learning: Theoretical-practical Experiences in the Classroom), published by Panda Books (available on Amazon Brasil). Her chapter discusses the impact of creating cultures of thinking in professional learning opportunities and is based on one of her company's professional development workshops that she co-designed and facilitated.
Connie Hur - Grade 4 Teacher (arrived in August 2021)
As a Third Culture Kid (TCK) who grew up in Korea, China, Taiwan, and the United States, Connie has an intricate relationship with international schools, both as a student and as a teacher. This experience subsequently sparked her interest in diverse cultures and identities. Prior to teaching, Connie worked as a researcher at Disney and Harvard University, where she examined representations of children's identities in media as well as the educational implications of students exploring the question "Who am I?" Connie received her Master's in Education (Ed.M.) from the Human Development and Psychology (HDP) Program at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Outside of school, you will easily find Connie looking for Korean restaurants, exploring museums, or going for bike rides at the park.
Costantina (Tina) Pederzolli - Choral Director
Tina has worked as an upper school music specialist teacher at Harrow International School Bangkok for the past six years. Her roles have ranged from classroom teacher to tutor, choir director, taiko drumming instructor, middle school orchestra conductor, creative arts week coordinator, and expeditions leader. She has previously collaborated with the International School of Bangkok as a grade 5 musical director. Before moving to Thailand, Tina taught middle school music and drama at Munich International School, where she was also the musical director of high school productions. She has also previously taught at the International School of Uganda and The International School of The Hague. Tina holds four master's degrees in music performance from prestigious music institutions in Italy, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, including the Conservatoire de Lausanne and the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. She also has an MA in international communications management. Tina is fluent in English, Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, and German, and she is very excited to add Portuguese to her list of languages. Tina is married to Mark Jaspers, Graded's new director of athletics and activities. They have two young children: Dalí and Mané. When she is not at work, Tina enjoys home-cooked meals with family and friends, but she will happily interrupt dinner to stand up and dance if she hears Latin music. She is a fan of character, beauty, nature, and philosophy.
Cristina Serafini - Cross-divisional Librarian
Cristina graduated from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC-SP) with a BA in language, linguistics, and literature and an ESL teaching license. She taught English as a Second Language (ESL) for nine years to students of all ages before entering the magical world of libraries. In order to pursue a career as a librarian, Cristina earned a BA in library and information science from the Universidade de Caxias do Sul and a school library media services graduate program license from Indiana State University. She has spent the past 15 years as the head librarian at an international school. Cristina loves spending time in the library. When she is not there, surrounded by books, she is usually busy with her sons and extended family, playing sports and attending their many athletics competitions and events. Cristina also likes traveling, hiking, and coaching boys’ and girls’ volleyball. In her downtime, she enjoys reading while sipping a good cup of coffee.
David Noga - Grade 3 Teacher
David, originally from Cleveland, Ohio, is starting his thirteenth year in international education. He holds a Bachelor of Science in human ecology from Ohio State University and a Master of Science in education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, with a focus on teaching kindergarten through grade 6 math. David currently works at Shekou International School in Shenzhen, China, where he teaches second-grade homeroom. He has previously worked at international schools in South Korea and Vietnam and has spent four years in São Paulo as a math coordinator and lower school teacher at St. Francis College. David is very excited about returning to São Paulo since the city shares his passion for art, music, and food. He is very active with sports and exercises in his free time, and he roasts coffee as a hobby.
Heather Rusert - Admissions Office
Heather has been an active member of the Chadwick International School in Songdo, Korea, for the past seven years, and she has enjoyed volunteering at several organizations. Heather has served in various roles at the Admissions and Alumni Relations Offices at Chadwick, where she is currently the Associate Director of Admissions. She earned a BA in English language and literature from Allegheny College and a Juris Doctorate from Duquesne University. Prior to her time abroad, Heather worked as an attorney for the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and as an admissions consultant for colleges and universities throughout the United States. Heather and her husband, Trevor, are proud parents of their two children: Parker (grade 9) and Graham (grade 6). The Ruserts love spending time together as a family, whether swimming at the beach, relaxing in a park, taking a long walk with their dog, touring a museum, or trying a new restaurant. They love to meet new people and can’t wait to live in Brazil!
Jenna Hughes - High School IB Biology Teacher (returning faculty member)
Jenna is currently a high school science and biology teacher at the British School of Brussels, Belgium. Previously, she worked at Graded for four years in the High School Science Department and is extremely excited to be reunited with her colleagues and Graded family. Jenna holds a Bachelor of Science and post-graduate certificate of education from the University of York. Outside of school, Jenna enjoys watching British sitcoms (Afterlife is a firm favorite), reading, exploring new restaurants, traveling, and watching her family team, the Hammers, play football.
Kevin Netzel - Grade 4 Teacher
Kevin has been teaching for the past 15 years all around the world. He has taught students in second, fourth, and fifth grades in Japan, the United States, and, most recently, Belgrade, Serbia. Kevin grew up in the United States, just outside of Chicago, Illinois. He has a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Michigan State University and a master's degree in education from the University of Illinois. Kevin will be joining the Graded community with his wife, Barbara Netzel (incoming lower school associate principal), and their two children, Aspen and Connor. He is looking forward to some warmer weather in Brazil and the opportunities to be outside with his family. He has a passion for being active and participates in sports as often as possible. He also enjoys coaching.
Mark Jaspers - Director of Athletics and Activities
Mark is currently the associate athletics director at the International School Bangkok, where he has worked for the past eight years. Before Thailand, he was head of physical education at Munich International School, athletics director at the International School of Uganda, athletics director at the International School of The Hague, and a physical education teacher at the International School of Eindhoven. Mark holds a Master of Science in leisure studies from Tilburg University and a Bachelor of Education in physical education from Fontys Sporthogeschool in the Netherlands. He speaks English, Dutch, German, and Italian, and he is determined to learn Portuguese, too. Mark is married to Costantina Pederzolli, Graded’s new choir director. They have two young children: Dalí (grade five) and Mané (kindergarten). In his free time, Mark enjoys playing football, cycling, running, hiking, and spending time with his family. Although he has traveled in South America, he has never been to Brazil, so he is excited to soak up Brazilian culture and join the Graded community.
Nick Pattinson - Lower School STEM Teacher
Nick, originally from Vancouver, has spent the last 13 years teaching in Australia and New Zealand. He attended junior college in Texas on a baseball scholarship, then played in the Pacific Coast League before returning to Canada to pursue his teaching degree at the University of Alberta. Nick relocated to Auckland after graduating and spent ten years teaching in New Zealand before moving to Melbourne, Australia, in 2020. During this period, he obtained his Master of Science in STEM education and relished the opportunity to immerse himself in Māori culture. Nick has a passion for learning and is currently pursuing his Doctor of Education (EdD) at the University of South Australia. His research focuses on the application of virtual reality settings to enhance children's learning and well-being. He has recently developed a love for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and dance, which he hopes to further develop during his time in São Paulo.
Scott Farrell - Lower School Pre-primary Teacher
Scott is in the final year of his five-year tenure as an Early Childhood Montessori teacher at a Chinese private school and an international school in Qingdao, China. In June 2021, he received his Montessori certification from Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). Before teaching in China, Scott spent more than 25 years in different sales roles at various consumer packaged goods companies in the United States. He earned his degree from the University of Cincinnati with a BA in business administration. Scott has a passion for international travel. His goal is to visit 90 countries, and so far, he has traveled to 45. (Turkey, Peru, Cuba, India, and Indonesia are his favorites.) His other interests include alpine skiing, cycling, hiking, and playing frisbee and ping-pong.
Shane Casey - Grade 4 Teacher
Shane’s experience in international education has been quite eclectic and has taken him to Mexico City, Istanbul, Shanghai, and, most recently, Kuwait. He has taught grade three, English as a second language (EAL), drama, humanities, and grade five throughout his global journey. He also taught EAL in Des Moines, Iowa. Shane will be joining the Graded community with his wife, Alyssa (who will be teaching high school English), and their two daughters, Amari (7) and Jules (5). Shane holds degrees from the New Mexico Military Institute and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and he received his master's in education from George Mason University. He believes in having fun while working to be the best teacher he can be, and when he is not teaching, he enjoys riding motorcycles, dancing, and skydiving.
Tim Seaton - Middle School Mathematics Teacher
Tim is excited to begin his fourteenth year of teaching at Graded School as a middle school teacher. Tim's career in education began shortly after graduating from the College of Wooster with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy when he joined the Philadelphia Teaching Fellows. Tim worked as a fellow in Philadelphia public high schools for six years, teaching high school mathematics. During this period, he attended Chestnut Hill College and received a Master of Education in secondary mathematics. Tim and his family subsequently moved to Santiago, Chile, to work at the International School Nido de Aguilas, where he is currently a grade 8 teacher and director of the Middle School Math Department. Tim will be joined in Brazil by his wife, Courtney, his three-year-old daughter, Frida, and their two dogs, Arlo and Luna. When he is not thinking about teaching his students how to graph quadratic functions, he enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, and playing tabletop and video games.
Tom Clark - High School IB English Teacher
Tom is joining the Graded community in his ninth year of teaching English. He is British and originates from a small town near London. Besides teaching in England, Tom has taught internationally at Markham College in Peru and, most recently, at King George V School of the English Schools Foundation in Hong Kong. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Manchester and a Master of Science in education from the University of Bristol. Tom is excited to return to the vibrance and energy of Latin America. He speaks Spanish and is eager to learn Portuguese. He loves reading, writing, and culture but is equally passionate about adventure, travel, and scuba diving.
Trevor Rusert - Director of College Counseling
Trevor Rusert has spent the past 28 years working in university admissions and college counseling. Originally from Buffalo, NY, he received his BA in political science from Allegheny College. After college, Trevor was hired in the Admission Office at Carnegie Mellon University, where he eventually served as the associate director of admission. After 11 years in admissions, Trevor moved to the other side of the desk. He served as the director of college counseling at Sewickley Academy (Pittsburgh, PA) and, most recently, Chadwick International (Songdo, South Korea). Over the years, he has helped families from around the world navigate the complexities of the college admission process. Trevor is joined by his wife Heather, daughter Parker (grade 9), son Graham (grade 6), and adopted dog McCool (who will often be found getting attention from anyone willing to pet him). The whole family is excited to be joining the Graded community. Outside of work, Trevor is an avid golfer, a dabbling chef, a music and film enthusiast, a sports lover, and a die-hard fan of the Buffalo Bills (American Football).
Zanele Mnguni - Lower School Librarian
Zanele is excited to move to São Paulo for her first full-time job overseas! She will be joining the Graded community with her husband, Lindani Maphumulo, her daughter, who has graduated from university, and her son, Banele, who will be a grade 11 student. Zanele had the honor of working for and with Oprah Winfrey when she served as a librarian and IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) coordinator at the Oprah School. Throughout her time there, she worked with and visited the Dana Hall sister school in Wellesley, Massachusetts, an independent boarding and day school for girls in grades 5-12. Zanele is currently working at the American International School of Johannesburg as a middle school librarian, a service-learning representative, and a facilitator for the student council. This is her third year at the school. When Zanele is not listening to music in her free time, she can be found curled up with a book.