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Our Faculty

IST's staff is truly international and reflects the international orientation of the school.Our teachers (and TAs) have degrees,  the majority have Master's, and are either certified in their own countries or are pursuing Arizona certification.

Approximately one-third of our faculty are State Department-sponsored international exchange teachers who come to the US for 2 - 3 years and then return home to share their experiences. These teachers also bring with them news and experiences of educational developments in their own countries, for example concerning current educational reforms in France, Germany and England. This brings a vibrancy and excitement to the School, while our two-thirds "local" staff bring the constancy and institutional knowledge a school needs.

Please click here for definitions of Pre-School / Junior School at IST.

Head of School
William Arthur- United Kingdom

Head of Junior School
Ms Jessica Palma - USA
MS (U Arizona)

Ms Palma was a well-known and greatly-loved Early Childhood administrator around Tucson before joining IST. She is a senior member of "Las Familias", a community of Ealy Childhood Educators which shares good teaching ideas and helps newer teachers improve their practice. This is Ms Palma's first year at IST.

Head of Music
Ms Aussprung - Piano/Bass
Ms Megan Aussprung - USA
BMus (Arizona), MMus (DePaul)

Ms Aussprung maintains an active teaching schedule and private studio and has over 10 years of experience teaching piano and double bass lessons to young people. She has played with the DePaul and Arizona Symphonies as well as the Southern Arizona Symphony and Tucson Chamber Orchestras and has taught in the Opening Minds Through the Arts program as a teaching artist. This is her second year at IST.

Sras Brambila y McKennaPre-School Spanish Teacher
Sra Maricela Brambila - Mexico
BA (Guadalajara)

This is Sra Brambila's fourth year at IST. Sra Brambila trained and qualified as a teacher in Mexico.

M Moussa dramePre-School French Teacher
M Moussa Drame - Cote d'Ivoire 
M Econ (Nat Uni of Ivory Coast), Lic App Econ (Nat Uni of Ivory Coast), DEUG (Nat Uni of Ivory Coast)

M Drame hails from Ivory Coast where he gained his degrees, trained, qualified and then taught for two years prior to coming to the US. He tried New York, but found Tucson suited him and his wife more and so their daughters were born here. M Drame joined us in our second year when we had just two classes, and this is his sixth year at IST. He also coaches IST Soccer.

Head of Admissions
Ms Melissa Elliott

Ms Elliott comes from Illinois and moved to Tucson with her family. As a parent, she is in her sixth year at IST. She is also a former ISTPA President, and was previously a member of the school's Board of Trustees.

Junior School Spanish TeacherSra Flores
Sra Keila Flores - Puerto Rico

Sra Flores taught as an elementary teacher before coming to Tucson. She taught in IST's Pre-School for two years and is in her third year at IST.


Ms Yu-Hsin LienPre-School Chinese Teacher
Yu Hsin Lien - Taiwan
BS (National Taiwan Normal U), MEd (U of Maryland, College Park)

Ms Lien came to Tucson from Taiwan where she was an elementary teacher and launched our Chinese programme. She has five years teaching experience in language teaching. This is her third year at IST.

Junior School English Teacher
Mrs Amy McDonald / Head of Soccer - USA

As a parent, Mrs McDonald has been at IST for four years, and as a teacher one. She is on maternity leave this year.

Grounds / Facilities Maintenance
Mr Robert McDonald - USA

Mr McDonald joins IST as we move into our new campus. He has responsibility for the grounds, trees and exterior / interior maintenance.

Junior School Spanish Teacher
Sra Janet McKenna - Mexico

This is Sra McKenna's third year at IST. She also coaches Basketball and Soccer.

Pre-School German Teacher
Fr Damaris Meyer - Germany

Fr Meyer came to Tucson from Germany as a child and completed school here. This is Fr Meyer's first year at IST.

This is Sra Molina's first year at IST.

Ms Emma NelsonJunior School English Teacher
Ms Emma Nelson - England
BA (Hons) (Manchester Metropolitan)

Ms Nelson was a primary teacher in Manchester for three years before moving to Tucson, and is a diehard fan of Manchester United. Curiously, so too are many IST students. This is Ms Nelson's third year at IST. She also runs the Science Club.

Head of Chess
Mr Matthew Noble

Mr Noble ("Coach Matt") is in his first year of studying pharmacology at the University of Arizona. This is his third year at IST.

Pre-School Spanish Teacher
Sra Maricelys Rivera - Puerto Rico

This is Sra Rivera's fifth year at IST.

Pre-School Chinese Teacher
Ms Zhiwei Shepard - China
BA (Qufu Normal University), MA (Central South University)

Ms Shepard comes from mainland China where she was a Middle School English teacher. This is her first year at IST.

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