Peter Gruber International Academy Staff
Gloria Zakers, Director International Academy (email@example.com)
Originally from Colorado, Ms. Zakers has a B.S. in Marine Biology. Prior to joining the team at VIMSIA in 2006, she worked as a marine biologist and education specialist at Coral World Marine Park, as well as a coral reef researcher and science educator for UVI. She played an integral role in attaining our IB MYP and DP authorizations. Her efforts over the years with our own Middles States Accreditation have led her to work with that organization to audit and accredit other schools in the Caribbean. Ms. Zakers oversees all administrative and curriculum aspects of the PGIA. She has two children, Diego & Bella, who also attend VIMSIA.
Melissa Bump, English (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ms. Bump is a native Virgin Islander and alumna of VI Montessori School. She received a Bachelor's in English from Drew University and a Master's of Science in Teaching from Fordham University. She taught for over ten years at Ivanna Eudora Kean High School before joining our staff in 2013. Her family has been very involved in building our school community for over forty years. Her daughter, Kiyalyn (class of 2016), and her son, Andreas (class of 2021), have attended VIMSIA since the age of two.
Jana Ferguson – Arts, Arts Infusion Coordinator (email@example.com)
Originally from Iowa, Ms. Jana Ferguson graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with an emphasis in Drawing. She was introduced to the International Baccalaureate programme while completing her student teaching at the American School of Brasilia in Brasilia, Brazil. Ms. Ferguson has worked and traveled in Japan, Europe and Brazil. She joined our VIMSIA staff in 2013 from Des Moines, Iowa where she taught MYP Visual Arts and Photography.
Ben Gribble – Math (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ben and his wife Mary will both be joining our VIMSIA staff in 2018. Mr. Gribble will be teaching PGIA math. He has a Masters of Education from University of North Florida and a BS in Math from Oklahoma Baptist University. He has many years of teaching experience in the US and the Phillipines. The Gribbles join us from Kennesaw, Georgia. Welcome to our island and our VIMSIA community.
Grace Kessler – Science (email@example.com)
Ms. Kessler has a BS in Middle School Education: Science and Language Arts from Townson University. She joins our VIMSIA family from Baltimore, MD. Her educational philosophy includes the following: "The facilitation of critical thinking, engagement, scaffolding, high level questioning, and authentic group work are the key aspects of my lesson planning." We welcome Grace to the islands and VIMSIA and look forward to her sharing her passion and enthusiasm for education with us all.
Lucinda Prosterman, MYP and DP English (firstname.lastname@example.org)
After twenty-four years teaching Language Arts at Heights High School in Wichita, Kansas, Lucinda Prosterman moved to St. Thomas to join her husband. She graduated from Wichita State University where she received her Bachelor of Arts, in Secondary Education and is certified as a Highly Qualified Teacher of English, Speech, and Theatre. Throughout her career, she has put her certifications to good use teaching a wide variety of courses and developing creative approaches to developing strong reading and writing skills. She is very excited to be joining the VIMSIA staff and working with our PGIA students.
Bennett Ott, MYP Spanish, English, Humanities (email@example.com)
Señor Ott has a BA in Latin American Studies, Political Science with a minor in History from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He has taught locally and in Spain. His interests include Flamenco and Ragtime Guitar, basketball, writing and reading, cognitive development and mindfulness, and travel. We are so happy to have him join our VIMSIA family!
Mark Scales, MYP Math (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mr. Scales has been teaching MYP Math part-time during the 17-18 school year and moves to a full time math teaching position for 2018/2019.
Helen Sidiropolous, DP Dance, MYP Movement/Arts, Enrichment Coordinator (email@example.com)
"Ms. Helen" began her dance training at age two. Her studies include classical ballet and pointe, tap, jazz, flamenco and Latin dance. She studied at the State University of New York at Albany and performed with Danceworks, Inc. Dance Troupe. She also worked and studied at EBA Dance Company, under the instruction of Maude Baum & Company in Albany, New York. She taught at Skarla's School of Classical Ballet and has performed with her dance troupe at many universities, and colleges. In 2000, she moved to St. Thomas and began teaching dance for various after school programs. She has been with VIMSIA since 2003. Her daughter, Imani, attended VIMSIA.
Alexandra Silva, Biology, Environmental Systems and Societies
Hailing from Chicago, Ms. Silva earned her B.S. at Cornell University and holds an M.Ed. in Secondary Science Education and an M.S. in Ecology & Evolution from the University of Illinois at Chicago. As part of her graduate career, Ms. Silva studied issues related to urban ecology and education, while also working with UIC's Learning Sciences Research Institute to develop programs that integrate technology and science education. Since 2009 she has led explorations of wildlife and conservation for National Geographic Student Expeditions, venturing from the Galapagos Islands to the coast of Namibia. Ms. Silva is also a science education writer for National Geographic Education.
Matthew Stocking, Humanities, PE, DP Coordinator, Coach (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Originally from New York, Mr. Stocking has his B.A. in Secondary Education and Social Studies, a certificate in Special Education and a Masters in Education. He has over ten years of experience coaching basketball and is bringing the sport to VIMSIA. He has been teaching History, Humanities and P.E. in Mali, West Africa, the Philippines, and in Beijing. Mr. Stocking joined VIMSIA in 2014.
Jamie Truax, Math, English and Design Technology (email@example.com)
Ms. Truax joined the PGIA family in January of 2018 teaching math in grade 7 and design for 7th and 8th grade. She grew up in Durham, North Carolina, but always spent her summer vacations growing up on St John. She never imagined she'd get to live in paradise, but the islands called to her. After graduating from East Carolina University with a B.A. in Elementary Education and teaching in NC for a year, she packed her bags and moved to St Thomas. This is Ms. Truax's 7th year teaching. When she's not teaching, Ms. Truax enjoys traveling, scuba diving, and spending time with friends and family.
Michelle Ventura, Spanish and PGIA Math(firstname.lastname@example.org)
Señora Ventura is currently working on her Masters in Teaching Mathematics from Western Governors Univeristy in Salt Lake City. She has a BA in Mathematics from UVI. She is a Virgin Islander and has taught both Spanish and Math locally. We welcome Michelle to our VIMSIA staff.
Michele Weichman, IA and Montessori Spanish, Dean of Students (email@example.com)
Michele Weichman was born in New Jersey. She holds a B.A. in Spanish from Rutgers University and is currently working on her Master's Degree in Education Administration. She has taught in the United States and in St. Thomas. Señora Weichman teaches Spanish in both Montessori and PGIA and is the student council advisor. Señora Weichman joined VIMSIA in 2013 and her daughter, Carly, is currently in the PGIA.