The start of the 2015-2016 school year marks the addition of not only new students to our community, but new staff members as well. A total of 13 teachers are new to our SAS Pudong staff this year. They come from locations ranging from North Carolina in the States to Bamako, Mali. They had a little bit they wanted to share about themselves:
Mr. James Young: Grade 9 Chemistry/Physics, AP Chemistry. Hailing originally from Florida, Mr. Young was at the very small American International School of Bamako in Mali, West Africa, before coming to Shanghai. “Back in Bamako, I was the entire science department,” Mr. Young says. “I’m still adjusting to the bigger classes and more laid-back atmosphere, but I’m excited to teach such driven students this year.”
Dr. Celeste MacMillan: General Chemistry, IB Chemistry Y1/Y2. Coincidentally from the same county as Mr. Young back in the Sunshine State, Dr. MacMillan taught in South Carolina for 5 years before coming to Shanghai. Although she is still adjusting to life where driving is not the main mode of transportation, she is enjoying her first international experience so far. “We’re really happy to be here and excited to know everyone and see what China has to offer,” she says. “I have no regrets, and SAS has made it such an easy transition.”
Mr. Scott Lassey: Grade 9 Counselor. A brand new position in the counseling department calls for a brand new counselor. Friendly Mr. Lassey joins the SAS staff as the counselor for all Freshmen students. Originally from California, he spent the last 6 years in Dubai, and is approaching Shanghai and SAS with an enthusiastic attitude. He is looking forward to coaching JV Girls Softball, touch rugby, and Ultimate this year, as well as establishing a peer counseling program.
Ms. Debra Krzesowaik: Asian History, World History, AP Comparative Government. Originally from Arizona, Ms. Krzesowaik starts her first international school experience this year at Shanghai American School Pudong. Although she got a bit of a late start, she is working to settle into the community and excited about what the year has to offer.
Mrs. Darlene Roy: Grade 10 Biology, General Environmental Sciences, AP Environmental Sciences. Mrs. Roy isn’t new to China like most of the other new teachers. Although she is originally from the green state of New Hampshire, she was in Guangzhou before coming to Shanghai. Excited to experience Shanghainese culture she says “I have no Chinese language abilities, so instead I’m going to learn how to cook Chinese food! I already know how to cook really nice wanton.” A positive person, she also added that “I believe what goes around comes around. Just be the good that gets passed on, and it will come back to you in a million ways.”
Mr. Brady Riddle: English 9, AP Literature. From Texas to Oman to Chapel Hill, Mr. Riddle and his family have lived in places far and wide. “I think I was TCK before TCK was cool,” he muses, “Life as an international school teacher is like a childhood dream come true for me.” Loving life in the mega-city of Shanghai, he is excited about what the school year at SAS and Shanghai in general has to offer.
Mrs. Shawna Hampton-Riddle: Grade 10 Biology, General Biology, AP Biology. The other half of the Riddle team, Mrs. Hampton-Riddle enjoys photography and biology. “I try to keep an open mind about what experiences I might have here,” she says. “There’s a language challenge here, because there were more English speakers in Oman. I’m having a more difficult time getting around with the language, but I’m excited for the great new adventure of Shanghai.” She will be coaching JV girls soccer this year.
Mrs. Katherine Spry: Introduction to Drama, Introduction to Theatre, Stagecraft, IB Theatre. Mrs. Spry has lived many places, starting in Kansas, and going to Turkey, Sri Lanka, Qatar, and Dubai, and finally ending here in Shanghai. Although she is still adjusting to the air quality problem Shanghai has, she is excited to be here. She is sponsoring the high school play, the musical, organizing APAC theatre, and hopes to work with the Shanghai Student Film Festival come March. “Come watch the Night of the Living Dead,” she says. “It’s gonna be great.”
Mrs. Carol Pollock: Grades 10-12 Counselor. Managing Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors, Mrs. Pollock is one of the new additions to the counseling team this year. She is originally from Vancouver, Canada, and coming to SAS is her first time in Asia. “I’m enjoying it here,” she says. “I’m excited to photograph and take bike rides through the city.” She is coaching JV Volleyball, sponsoring the Fashion Club and the University Ambassadors Club, and handling making costumes for the high school play. “It’s been great so far. Everyone is welcoming and embracing.”
Mr. Christian Ogle: Grade 9 Chemistry/Physics Lab, IB Biology (Year 1). Mr. Ogle is originally from North Dakota, but came to Shanghai from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His transition to SASPD marks the start of his second international experience. “I like it here,” he says, “but I haven’t had a chance to see the city much yet. I want to explore more in the future.” Mr. Ogle isn’t sponsoring any clubs yet, but is hoping to bring an activity from his old school to SAS. Combining art and science, this trip lets students draw while diving underwater.
Mr. Andrew Melton: Band, Choir, IB Music and Composition. From Arkansas to Boston to Japan to Los Angeles to Morocco to Peru, Mr. Melton has definitely seen a lot of different places. Excited to be in what is the “New York City of Asia,” Mr. Melton says that he is getting settled in nicely, but was surprised at the expat bubbles present in Shanghai. “I’m in charge of a lot this year, including Tri-M and Jazz Band,” he says. “I’m busy, but happy.”
Miss. Sarah Boss: French. Originally from Philly, Miss. Boss has lived in Paris and Argentina, and has studied in Mexico, Spain, Israel, and Columbia. “I’m only teaching French at SAS, but before I’ve always taught both French and Spanish,” she says. Miss. Boss says that she loves the variety of food in Shanghai, and the copious amounts of rice and noodles. Outside of class, she plays violin, and loves salsa dancing, baking chocolate chip banana bred, and traveling the world. “I’ve lived in many places, but this is the first time I’ve been in Asia,” she says. “I’m excited to be here, exploring Asia and meeting everyone at Shanghai American School.”
Miss. Mary Ewald: EAL, Grade 9/10 Academic Literacy, EAL Flex. With 27 years of EAL experience, Miss. Ewald is a great addition to the SASPD staff this year. Bouncing between California and Asia (Japan, Taiwan, Korea) for years before, Miss. Ewald’s new adventure is in Shanghai. She has helped uprooted children adjust language-wise everywhere she’s been, with migrant worker’s children in California, and the international community in Asia. This year, she’s a co- advisor of the Prom Committee and of GIFTS, and is organizing a pen-pal exchange between GIFTS local students here and Californian students back home.
by Katherine Ni ’16. Images by Christabella Tan ’19.