Welcome New 2020-2021 Silicon Valley International School Faculty!
We are very excited to introduce the new teachers who are joining INTL’s faculty/staff for the 2020–2021 school year!
Linda Chang, 2nd Grade Chinese Teacher
Linda was born and raised in Taiwan. She obtained her Master of Arts in Teaching for Early Childhood and Bilingual Education from Queens College, New York, where she received her teaching certificates. She has previously taught Mandarin and English in both public schools and language schools. She believes children learn most when they are involved and invested in their learning so they can take ownership and achieve more. In her free time, Linda loves reading, painting, exploring new places, learning new things to make, and finding a place for a new plant. She is also a big dog lover – she adopted her dog from Taiwan and has helped save many stray dogs by traveling with them so they can have new homes in the States. She is excited to join INTL and is looking forward to enriching the learning environment of her students.
Ju-Han Cheng, 2nd Grade Chinese Teacher
Ju-Han was born in Taiwan. She holds a BA in Chinese literature and an MA in literature and language education. She has over 14 years of Chinese language teaching experience that includes bilingual PYP and Chinese immersion schools. She loves teaching, traveling, yoga, food, and boba milk tea. Ju-Han is very excited to work at INTL and is looking forward to the new adventures ahead!
Hank DeGreef, Middle School English Language & Literature
Hank DeGreef hails from Long Island, New York, where she graduated from Columbia University and Brooklyn Law School. She taught students from grades 2-12 in a variety of subjects including Language Arts, Humanities, Science, and Art in many corners of the globe, most recently in Shanghai, China. She is an avid fan of scrabble and salted licorice.
Frédérique Gingembre, 2nd Grade French Teacher
Frédérique was born in France and lived there until 2017. She then moved to California with her husband and two lovely daughters who attend INTL. Since she was a teenager, Frédérique has always known that she wanted to work with kids and is still amazed seeing them learning, growing, and improving. Frédérique got a Bachelor in special needs education in France and taught kids with autism for a long time. Working with them was an amazing experience that improved her teaching style, learning to be more patient, and give each student the time and attention they need. In her spare time, Frédérique loves reading in French, hiking in the middle of nature, and spending time with her family.Frédérique is very excited to join the INTL community.
Brenda Herron, Kindergarten English Teacher
Brenda was born in Florida and lived in the southern United States until becoming a traveler in 2001. She has a Bachelor of Science in Educational Foundations and a Masters in Elementary Education. Since 2004, she has taught the IB PYP in the UK, Italy, Germany, China, and Hawaii. Recently she has been teaching special educational needs in public schools. Brenda loves hiking and bicycling, as well as reading and traveling. Her dog, Bandit loves to join her in anything outdoors especially hiking or running on the beach.
Laura Johnson, Whole School Learning Specialist and Diversity Facilitator
Laura Johnson is a native New Yorker with extensive experience teaching in NYC Independent Schools for the past 12 years. Laura has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan with a focus in Ethnomusicology and the Human Voice and was an undergraduate teaching assistant while at Michigan. Her downtime passions include singing, dancing, swimming and travel. Passionate about social justice and cultural competency, the great outdoors, and building intercultural connections, Laura is an educator with a range of talents and boundless creativity who believes her core role is to engage students with opportunities that inspire their intellectual, spiritual, and emotional learning and encourage curiosity, balance and happiness.
Mauren Latour, French Kindergarten Teacher
Mauren is originally from the South of France. She graduated with a Master's degree in Education and obtained her French teacher certification in Montpellier. After working a few years in France, she moved to Ireland where she worked as a French teacher for Irish kids and also worked a few years at the Lycée Français d'Irlande. Having a scientific background, Mauren enjoys creating science projects for her classes. Mauren arrived with her family in early 2020 in the Bay Area, and really appreciates its nature and the weather, as her family loves to hike and travel in their spare time. Mauren is very happy to join the school and be part of this community.
Joanna Monfort-Torres, Whole School Learning Specialist and Diversity Facilitator
Joanna was born in the Philippines but grew up in Berkeley just across the Bay. She has always been curious about the world. Her first journey of many was being a yearlong exchange student in Finland in high school. From there she went on to study in Madrid, Spain. She is delighted to be back home after 11 years abroad teaching the PYP curriculum in Ghana, Abu Dhabi, UAE, and most recently, in Madagascar. She has a BA in International Relations and Diplomacy as well as a MSC in Elementary Education. A globalist and polyglot at heart, Joanna believes in the transformative power of language and travel. She is also a wellness guide as a certified Restorative and Swing Yoga and Meditation teacher. She enjoys living a healthy lifestyle cultivating mindful spirit, movement, and eating. She likes thrift stores, artisanal coffee, and Muay Thai kickboxing. Joanna is excited about joining the INTL family and making new friends of all ages.
Matthieu Roques, French Middle School Music Teacher
Matthieu is a passionate active musician, a guitar teacher who started his own music school 3 years ago. He is extremely excited about this new teaching opportunity with middle schoolers at INTL, and happy to be part of this vibrant multicultural community.
Thomas Saddouk, Middle School Science Teacher (covering Asya Solomatin’s maternity leave)
Thomas was born in Paris, France. He graduated from Sorbonne Paris Cité University with a Master's degree in Biology-Health, majoring in Biochemistry. During his Master's, he did a one-year exchange at Tsukuba University, Japan, where he was an intern research student in a molecular biology lab. He worked on a mechanism of retinopathy, studied Japanese and was a member of the calligraphy club. Thomas enjoys traveling, skiing, snowboarding, and climbing. He is also a geek who loves movies, anime and science-related topics.
Ya-yi Weng, Chinese Individuals & Societies/Language Acquisition
Ya-yi was born and raised in Taiwan. After graduating from National Taiwan University with a BA in Foreign Language and Literature, she went on a working holiday backpacking trip in Australia for eight months before coming to the US for grad school. She got her Master's degree in Foreign Language Education at NYU, worked at Kingswood Oxford School in Connecticut as a middle school Chinese teacher for three years, then taught Upper School Chinese including AP Mandarin at Episcopal Academy in Pennsylvania. Outside of work, Ya-yi loves chilling with her two cats at home or playing indoor pickup volleyball. She is excited about her new life on the west coast and can't wait to meet her colleagues and students.