PYP Faculty

Ms. Elizabeth Toran

Ms. Elizabeth Toran

PYP Coordinator

Ms. Toran was born and raised near Boston, USA. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, and two teaching certificates: Early Childhood Education and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). She has worked with children for most of her life, as a childcare provider and as an educator in the Massachusetts public school system.

She lived in Costa Rica for one year, learning Spanish and teaching kindergarten aged children at the Pan-American International School.

What do you like most about Denmark and Copenhagen?

“Life in Copenhagen is wonderful because there is ALWAYS something fun and culturally inspiring to do. I love being a part of something new and this job has really made me feel like I am finally ‘home’ in Denmark.”

Mr Stef Fleet

Mr Stef Fleet

Primary School Principal

Mr. Fleet is originally from the South of England. After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, he worked in the Technology sector for over a decade.

He also volunteered for some years as a crisis counselor and trainer, and subsequently decided to join one of the caring professions. In 2011, he obtained a Master’s degree in Teaching from Sydney University in Australia, and worked in various primary schools on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

In 2013, he relocated with his family to Copenhagen and balanced substitute teaching at International Schools with being a stay-at-home dad. He joined ØIS full-time in 2014.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

“The fresh air, the clean ocean water, the beautiful bread and the delicious drinking yoghurt!"

Ms. Angeliki Kalapotharakou

Ms. Angeliki Kalapotharakou

Teacher Class: PYP 1B and SENCO (Lower PYP)

Ms. Kalapotharakou was born and raised in Athens, Greece. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy, Pedagogy and Psychology from the National Kapodistrian University of Athens, as well as two certificates on Learning Difficulties & Adjusted Programs, and Methods on Learning Difficulties & Development Disorders.

She has been working with children since 2007, as a teacher in a Greek primary school and in different educational institutions both in general and special education. She moved to Denmark in 2011.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

"I love the long summer days, the lakes, the libraries, and definitely Kulturnatten, when the whole city is out!"

Ms Angelica Leon

Ms Angelica Leon

Class Teacher: Pre-K A

Ms. Angie was born in Kansas, USA and was raised in Pennsylvania. She attended Temple University in Philadelphia and earned a degree in Art Education with a certification for grades K-12. In college, she got her first job as a nanny and fell in love with teaching younger children. After graduating, she decided to take additional courses for Early Childhood Education and taught preschool for three years in the USA.

Ms. Angie never planned to leave Philadelphia, but her Danish boyfriend helped change her mind. This is her first time living abroad as well as her first experience in an international school.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

I enjoy living in such a bike-friendly city, and I love being lazy in all the wonderful parks!"

Ms. Lulije Jusufi

Ms. Lulije Jusufi

Teacher Class: Kindergarten(On Maternity Leave)

Ms. Jusufi was born and raised in a small town outside of Chicago, Illinois. Ms. Jusufi’s parents own a diner and as teenager, she started working there and eventually managed the restaurant for her parents.

She worked at the local newspaper and volunteered making graphics for local charities. After completing her Associates Degree in 2006, she moved to Denmark and married her husband. After a few years she decided to move back to the US to complete a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

“I like how compact the city is and that my bike can take me everywhere. Summers are magnificent in Copenhagen and in the month of December, when the Christmas lights are hanging in the city and candles light up the windows - it feels hyggelig.”

Ms. Katrina Gyde

Ms. Katrina Gyde

Teacher Class: PYP 1A and PTA Coordinator

Ms. Gyde was born in England to a Thai mother and an English father. Her early years were spent in the Bangkok Patana School in Thailand, and then several schools in the United Kingdom. She graduated from the International Correspondence School in Child Psychology and later acquired certificates from Teaching Strategies for Creative Curriculum in Washington DC.

She has worked in several child care institutions and schools in Thailand, Vietnam, Brazil, Peru and Panama. She has two daughters who both attend ØIS.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

“I like Denmark because it is so cosmopolitan and Copenhagen in particular has everything you can imagine yet is still very hyggelig”.

Ms. Claudia McLean

Ms. Claudia McLean

Teacher Class: PYP 2A

Ms. McLean is from Alaska, USA and moved to Denmark 15 years ago. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Alaska.

Claudia has had experience teaching primary-aged children in international schools for over ten years.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

“That it’s so easy to get around on a bicycle!”

Ms. Joanna Okolowicz

Ms. Joanna Okolowicz

Teacher Class: PYP 2B

Ms. Okolowicz was born in Poland. She has taught at both IB and non - IB, primary and secondary schools in Poland, England and Denmark. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education. She also acquired an EAL degree at Cambridge University in the U.K. and a Reading degree at Columbia University in New York.

Ms. Okolowicz’s primary goals are to identify and develop children’s talents and to encourage them to be inquirers. She applies cooperative and creative techniques in the classroom.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

"I like the fabulous, functional sensibilities of Danish design and Danish architecture, both modern and classical. I also enjoy the Danish winter hygge atmosphere full of candles and beautiful light."

Ms. Sylvia Linehan

Ms. Sylvia Linehan

Teacher Class: PYP 3A

Ms. Linehan comes from Cork, Ireland, where she earned both her Bachelor degree and her Masters degree in Education, with the focus on Culture in Education. An experienced teacher, she has been teaching for 18 years in 4 different countries -Ireland, Spain, USA & Denmark since 2014.

A combined love of teaching and travelling have led her to teach in various International classrooms, as both a classroom teacher but also as a Learning support teacher. She has also been involved in presenting Maths Inservice training for primary teachers .

This summer, she presented at an International Education Conference in Brazil.

Ms. Linehan speaks English, Irish, French and Spanish fluently.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

"I love that there are so many cultural events all over the city & they are easy to reach by bike."

Ms. Jenny Denton

Ms. Jenny Denton

Teacher Class: Grade 3B

Ms. Denton was born and raised in Oregon, USA. After earning a bachelor’s degree in East Asian History from the University of Colorado-Boulder, she completed the Double Degree Program in Early Childhood Education and International Studies at Oregon State University.

She taught ESL in grades 1-3 at the Phillip Hayden Foundation in Beijing China, an orphanage that cares for special needs children and was a kindergarten teacher at both Victoria International School in Wuxi and Taihu Children’s House & Orphanage in Suzhou.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

“Copenhagen has everything you could possibly need: culture, cafes, and plenty of spacious bike lanes. I absolutely love how the city comes alive in the summer. It definitely makes the dark winters worthwhile.”

Mr. Gary Jones

Mr. Gary Jones

Teacher Class: Grade 4A

Mr. Jones is from Snowdonia, North Wales, in the United Kingdom. He graduated from the University of Bangor with a bachelor’s degree in Welsh and International history. Mr. Jones also completed his P.G.C.E. at the same university in primary education. He has taught in multiple public primary schools across North Wales.

He has always participated in sports, having played football at both local and regional levels. He also represented Wales at a national level in Hockey at the Youth Commonwealth Games in 2002.

He has spent six consecutive summers working in Vermont working with children aged 6 to 16. Mr. Jones moved and settled in Copenhagen during the summer of 2013.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

"The hygge, smørrebrød, risalamande and the cycling one must do in order to burn all the energy from all those puddings!"

Mr. Josh Mittleman

Mr. Josh Mittleman

Teacher Class: Grade 5A

Mr. Mittleman was born in Washington DC and grew up in Kansas, USA. As an adult, he lived between New York and Los Angeles. He received his BA in Biochemistry from Bowdoin College and his MFA from California Institute of the Arts.

He was a science teacher in the USA before moving to Denmark. Prior to working at ØIS, he taught at Hørsholm International School and the Copenhagen Euro School. He’s been in Denmark for about six years.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

“The health-care system!"

Ms. Leila Jane Fouchard

Ms. Leila Jane Fouchard

Teacher Class: Grade 5B

Ms. Fouchard is from the green hills of Wales in the U.K. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southampton, England and gained her teaching qualifications (P.G.C.E) from the University of Cardiff, Wales.

She was a primary teacher in South East-Asia and the Middle East for a couple of years, before moving to Denmark.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

"I like the seasonal activities in Denmark/Copenhagen. I love picnics in the park in the summer, forest walks in the autumn, hygge in winter time and the longer days of springtime."

Mr. Ramazan Dicle

Mr. Ramazan Dicle

Teacher Subject: EAL Coordinator

Mr. Dicle is from Adiyaman, Turkey. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the Department of English Linguistics at Hacettepe University in Ankara as a top ranking student in 2010. While at Hacettepe University, he also completed the ELT (English Language Teaching) Program.

He holds a Magister degree in Turkish Linguistics from Uppsala University, Sweden. He holds an MA in General Linguistics from Stockholm University with a focus on bilingualism, cognitive linguistics and language typology.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

"Its linguistic and cultural diversity."

Ms. Kathrine Speirs

Ms. Kathrine Speirs

Teacher Subject: Advanced Danish PYP and MYP1

Ms. Speirs is from a Danish/British family and has lived in Denmark, Burkina Faso and Nicaragua. She has a Bachelor's degree from the Metropolitan University College in Copenhagen where she studied Danish and English. She also has a Master's degree in the Anthropology of Education and Globalization from Aarhus University.

During her studies, Ms. Speirs taught English at a private school in Frederiksberg. Furthermore, she has worked on a variety of projects, including co-founding an urban garden association with the aim of creating awareness of sustainable living in the city and last year she worked as an external consultant for the Association of Efterskoler, undertaking an evaluation of their international activities.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

”I love the diverse sub-cultures of Copenhagen and particularly the vibrant music scene. I also enjoy new Danish poetry.

Ms. Laura Demaria

Ms. Laura Demaria

Teacher Subject: Physical Health and Education

Ms. Demaria was educated as a ballet dancer in Italy. She has been dancing most of the classical ballet repertoire. At the University of Turin she studied Disciplines of Arts, Music and Performance (DAMS). In 2001 she moved to Copenhagen to study and research at the department of Arts and Cultural Studies, focusing on History of Scandinavian Theater and History of the Royal Danish Ballet.

She has been teaching ballet, dance and yoga for children, Gyrotonic® and Gyrokinesis® for different schools and dance disciplines ever since.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

"I love kids, I love dance, I love arts, I love bikes and I love that Copenhagen is full of them!"

Lilly From-Poulsen

Lilly From-Poulsen

Teacher Subject: PYP Danish Intermediate

Ms. Lilly From-Poulsen is from Denmark. She completed a Ph. D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Copenhagen. In 2004, she moved with her husband and three children to the US. In 2008 she moved with her family to France where she studied French and Italian and taught her children Danish, following the Danes Worldwide teaching program. Ms. Lilly was a substitute teacher at ØIS last year.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

"First of all I love the different and charming danish dialects. I enjoy all four seasons – strawberries in summer, the colorful autumn, hot cocoa and pancakes in winter, and spring when everything blossums. I love spending time with my danish husband and our daughter in Copenhagen and we enjoy all the places and activities that the city has to offer."

Giselle-Freyja Kristensen

Giselle-Freyja Kristensen

Class Teacher: Pre-K C

Ms. Freyja was born in Spain to a Norwegian mother and a Danish father and spent the first 5 years of her life in Europe, before moving to Australia. She moved back to Denmark at the age of 21 to follow her studies in the performing arts, which lead her to work as a dancer in Tivoli. However, after becoming a mother she decided on a career change and moved back to Australia to complete a Bachelor of Education (Honours), with a focus on Performing Arts, Cultural Studies and EAL/D. Culminating in her first-class honours thesis: Teachers & Global Perspectives. Ms. Freyja completed her final internship at ØIS and was ecstatic about joining the ØIS team. Ms. Freyja's daughter attends ØIS and her son will also be joining the kindergarten program.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

"I really love the Danish architecture, with the modern works that compliment and highlight the Danish history. My children and I love bike riding on the green bicycle paths that intertwine throughout the city, admiring its beauty and visiting the numerous outdoor playgrounds and child friendly libraries, museums and performance spaces. Not to mention the countries focus on affordable organic food!"

Mette Rønde

Mette Rønde

Teacher Subject:PYP Danish Beginner

Mette Rønde is from Denmark and she has lived 17 years abroad in France, Norway, Mexico and USA.She has a Master’s Degree in Danish language and literature, and Philosophy. She has a bachelor in Education and Second language acquisition. Mette has taught literature and language acquisition in 1-12 grade.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

"I value how our children grow up in a safe environment and I appreciate the historical and cultural experiences, Denmark offers. Also, I love the Danish weather and our beautiful country side."

Jennifer Bauer

Jennifer Bauer

Teacher Subject: Music (Lower PYP)

Ms. Jennifer Bauer is the lower PYP music teacher.  Jennifer is in her eleventh year of teaching and is originally from Chicago, USA.  Jennifer has taught instrumental, choral and general music to ages three through eighteen.  She has taught at public high schools and private schools in the Chicago area for eight years and in international schools in Denmark for two years.  She has completed IB training, has a BM in Music Education and is currently pursuing her Masters.  Her main instrument is trumpet, she has played in the Chicago Brass Band, Heisenberg Uncertainty Players jazz band and the Aarhus Brass Band.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

"I like the culture, architecture and its prime location for travel throughout Europe."

Olivia Biagetti

Olivia Biagetti

Class Teacher: PYP 4B

Ms. Biagetti comes from Boston, USA. In the States, she earned her bachelor’s degree at Colby College and her master’s degree at Boston University. While at each school, she also earned her two licensures in teaching English literature and composition, and teaching English as an additional language (TESOL/EAL). Over the years, she has worked with students from a variety of backgrounds, most recently teaching intensive English to newcomers in a Boston public school. She is passionate about equal access to education, meaningful & relevant learning experiences, and developing multicultural literacy in her students.

Ms. Biagetti is not only returning to Copenhagen for her third time, but she also is returning to ØIS for her second time, where she previously worked as an assistant in PYP2 and teacher in the ASCP. She is thrilled to be reunited with the wonderful and hardworking ØIS community.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

"I love Denmark’s ability to make unlikely things feel unusually endearing. For example, salty licorice, prolonged silence in conversations, and biking in dreary weather all feel nicer to me here!"

Andrée Manuel Keenoy

Andrée Manuel Keenoy

Librarian

Ms. Andree Manuel Keenoy is from Spain, but had an Irish mother who inspired her love of reading. She studied Librarianship and Information Studies in the University of North London. She has been working at IB international schools as a librarian for the last ten years, four years in Malta and the last six in Mozambique. Before that she worked as a medical librarian. She has also worked for the World Health Organization in Geneva and for UNDP in South Korea.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

"The libraries in Denmark are wonderful, from the big ones with lovely architecture and views, like Lyngby s and Birkerød main libraries, to smaller cosy libraries. The other thing I love about Greater Copenhagen are the many lakes, forests and bicycle trails."

Magdalena Povlsen

Magdalena Povlsen

Teacher :Pre-K Assistant

Ming Chen Gunnarsson

Ming Chen Gunnarsson

Class Teacher: Pre-K B

Ms. Ming was born in ShangHai, China. She completed her high school and university studies in Auckland, New Zealand. After she received her BA in Education (specializing in early childhood teaching), she moved to Sweden. Ms. Ming has worked in many different international schools and early years settings in both Sweden and Denmark. She has also worked in children’s learning centers specializing in drama and art in China. Ms. Ming enjoys to combine outdoor learnings with her teaching. She believe children learn better through nature materials and everyday life experiences. Ms. Ming encourage and help her students to learn and work in a group. She feels privileged to teach in an open-minded environment with lots of international minded students and teachers.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

"The clean air and blue sky. Nice parks and green spaces. Able to bike to everywhere in Copenhagen. Restaurants, shops, buses and public spaces are child friendly. The beautiful Danish summer."

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Victoria Sadeghi

Victoria Sadeghi

Class Teacher: Kindergarten A

Jamé Johnson

Jamé Johnson

Class Teacher:Kindergarten B

Ms Johanne Druitt

Ms Johanne Druitt

Teacher Subject: Music (Upper PYP)

Ms. Druitt is from Melbourne, Australia. She completed a Bachelor’s degree in Music at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts in Perth. In 2006, she received a scholarship from the Goethe-Institut, which allowed her to move to Berlin for four months to further her studies in Guitar and to learn German. Afterwards, she moved to Switzerland where she obtained two Masters degrees from the Luzern University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Music Performance and Music Education.

She has taught in various primary and secondary schools in Australia and at the International School of Zug and Luzern in Switzerland.

What I most like about Denmark and Copenhagen?

"Many things! I like how Copenhagen is a relaxed, yet culturally vibrant city. I love biking, the ocean, the cafés, the language, salt-licorice and flødeboller!"