Coach Joe moved from his hometown of London, England to Austin in 2014. He received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Westminster and a Master of Science in Sport and Performance Psychology. Prior to teaching Joe worked in sports development for the London Borough of Hackney. In addition to this, Joe has coached swimmers to the British Nationals at Haringey Aquatics.
Joe is passionate about sport and its ability to help build confidence, support a healthy lifestyle and allow students to challenge themselves.
Email address: j.doyle@ISTexas.org
Ana Barbosa is a National EC-12 certified teacher in Brazil. She worked as a lead teacher at Sant’Anna International School in Brazil for 4 years, where she had the opportunity to work with students from around the world.
Ana comes to IST with great IB experience from another international school. There, she was responsible for supporting the development of the IB program for their early childhood program.
Ana earned a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences, and a PhD in Human Genetics from University of São Paulo, Brazil. Her research on learning and memory during her postdoctoral fellowship at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas motivated her to pursue a career in teaching. She then obtained a Bachelor of Education degree in Brazil.
In her free time, Ana loves to travel with her husband and her two children and go for short hikes with their dog Frida.
Email address: a.barbosa@ISTexas.org
Anna Bode was born in Indiana, grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, and has proudly called Austin home for over eleven years now. She graduated from Concordia University Texas with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary School Curriculum and obtained a generalist teaching certificate for ECE – 6th grade. Anna recently completed a M.Ed. in Elementary Education Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Talent Development and a minor in Diversity Studies from Texas State University. Her final six hours for her master’s degree were completed as a part of a service learning study abroad program to the Dominican Republic where she had the opportunity to teach English to a wide range of students. She is also a certified school wellness, mindfulness, and yoga teacher.
Anna’s passion for the International Baccalaureate began through her work at two IB PYP campuses in Round Rock ISD and Leander ISD during her time at Concordia University. Among a wealth of professional development while in Leander ISD, she followed IB PYP Category 1 training with IB PYP Category 2 Assessment training. Anna also had the privilege of attending the IB Conference of the Americas when it was in hosted in San Antonio, Texas, as well as local Texas IB Schools Seminars. She has seven years of IB PYP experience in both third and fourth grades.
Email address: a.bode@ISTexas.org
Vanessa is a proud graduate of Texas State University, where she graduated with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. She also holds her Texas teaching certification for ESL and Early Childhood through 6th grade. During her free time, she enjoys volunteering, especially at the Boys and Girls Club. She has been working in the international school sector for the last five years and is very passionate about teaching global citizenship and international-mindedness, which is why she loves the IB program. Spanish is Vanessa’s mother tongue and loves sharing her language and culture with her students.
In Vanessa’s free time, she enjoys reading books, playing with her two-year-old son, snuggling with her dogs Odie and Bella and traveling with her family. She is ecstatic to be part of this incredibly diverse community of families and teachers.
Email address: v.benavides@ISTexas.org
Nicola Heard has been a teacher of elementary school children for over twenty five years and still thinks it is the best job in the world! She is English and has been living with her family in the States for eleven years, the last six here in Austin. She holds a Bachelor of Education Honors Degree from College of St. Hild and St. Bede, University of Durham, UK, and is a Certified Teacher in both Texas and Michigan. Prior to the International School of Texas she worked at a local international IB school, in Michigan, in Germany, and for many years in the UK. She enjoyed working in a variety of management positions over the years and teaching children across the whole elementary school age range. Nicola has a child-centric approach to teaching and is a great believer in positive behavior reinforcement. She has five years of experience of teaching in an International Baccalaureate school and enjoys using these PYP skills to further enhance learning within her classroom.
Outside of work she enjoys a range of mainly outdoor activities with her family (husband and two children aged 15 and 19) including travelling, skiing, diving and being out and about on their boat on Lake Travis.
Email address: n.heard@ISTexas.org
Yara Cantu-Sittler is a native Spanish speaker from Monterrey, Mexico. She is excited to be the Spanish Specialist at the International School of Texas. She strongly believes learning a world language is an amazing opportunity for children, and she feels privileged to be part of it.
She graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor Degree in Educational Sciences from the University of Monterrey. Additionally, Yara has a degree in Preschool Education from the Secretary of Public Education in Mexico, and she completed a Pastry Arts program at Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Austin.
This is Yara’s second year teaching at the International School of Texas, and her fourth year teaching Spanish at an IB school. Prior to that, she taught for seven years at San Roberto International School in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico. In addition, she expanded her boundaries by spending two summers as a summer school counselor at Collège du Léman in Switzerland.
In her free time, Yara enjoys spending time with her husband, family and friends. She also likes outdoor activities and traveling.
Email address: y.cantu@ISTexas.org
Ms. Haihai is a native Chinese (Mandarin) speaker. She is an experienced Chinese language instructor with a focus on children’s education. Her strong cross culture experiences, having lived and worked in both China and the U.S. for many years, benefits her students in relating to and appreciating the language.
Haihai was born in Shanghai and later grew up in Beijing where she earned a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Law from Beijing University. She started one of the first private law firms in China and then later came to the U.S. to attend the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird). Haihai met her American husband there and moved to the U.S. permanently. She has lived in the U.S. for 25 years and the Austin area for the past 18 years. She has two daughters ages 19 and 14.
Haihai has ten years of Mandarin teaching experience. In 2006, she started her Mandarin teaching career at the Austin Great Wall Chinese School where she earned her Mandarin teaching certification. In 2011, she joined the staff at Austin-area international school where she established and developed the Mandarin curriculum under the IB program criteria. She also completed the IB certification.
Haihai is very excited to join the staff at International School of Texas. She brings an enthusiasm and energy to the classroom that is contagious and inspiring. In her spare time, she likes to read, travel and practice yoga.
Email address: h.thompson@ISTexas.org