Early Years School Staff

Pre-Nursery

Meghan DyFoon

Meghan DyFoon

Pre-Nursery Blue Teacher

Born in San Francisco, Meghan’s inspiration to work with children began in 2001 as a children’s dance teacher. Since then, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Child Development from San Francisco State University. Meghan was also awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award and graduated at the top of her class with her M.A. in Early Childhood Education. Through inquiry/project-based approaches, Meghan places heavy emphasis on the “learner” and believes in both adults and children equally co-constructing their own learning.

 Laura Gao

Laura Gao

Pre-Nursery Blue Teaching Assistant

Laura Gao is Shanghainese and graduated from Shanghai Normal University with a Bachelor’s in English and later earned a Diploma in Teaching. She has previously worked at a Youth Activity Center as an Activity Teacher and at Shanghai ChangNing Community School as a Teaching Assistant. Laura is passionate about working with children to help them learn. She enjoys learning about what each student likes and is excited about giving them the opportunity to be a Risk-taker and try new things. Her hobbies include traveling, music, reading, sports, and history.

Lisa Wang

Lisa Wang

Pre-Nursery Blue Teaching Assistant / Early Years Art Assistant

Lisa graduated from Cao Yang Professional School in 2005, before starting work as a teaching assistant in International Early Years settings in Shanghai. She is a creative person and enjoys drawing, crafts and music as well as reading in her spare time. She is always eager to expand her personal and professional development. Lisa enjoys working with children and staff from all around the world.

Helen Long

Helen Long

Pre-Nursery Blue Teaching Assistant

Ms. Long graduated from Beijing Normal University majoring in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics on a scholarship. She has been working as a Chinese foreign language teacher in universities and training centers for many years. She also worked in Singapore, where she taught secondary students Mandarin.

Hanna Liu

Hanna Liu

Pre-Nursery Blue Teaching Assistant / Kindergarten Teaching Assistant / Art Assistant

Originally from Shangdong, Hanna earned her Early Childhood Education Certificate from East China Normal University in 2007. Since then she started her teaching career focusing on the Mommy and Me program from 2009 to 2014. Hanna believes education is to provide a caring and supportive environment for children. She really enjoys exploring the world with children. Out of school she likes reading, dancing and travelling.

Nursery

 Lisa Kane

Lisa Kane

Early Years Deputy Principal / Nursery Blue Teacher

Lisa gained her Early Years Education diploma in 2001 and worked within both mainstream and Special Education schools in her home town in Scotland. She is also trained as a Communication Support Worker, working with Deaf children and their families and is proficient in British Sign Langauge.  Lisa has since gained her BA (Hons) Childhood Studies and moved to Shanghai in 2010 where she has taught Foundation Stage in an International School. She lives in Shanghai with her husband and daughter. Lisa values the uniqueness of each child.

Vivian Wu

Vivian Wu

Nursery Blue Teacher / Chinese Teacher

Vivian graduated from East China Normal University in Shanghai and she majored in Primary Education. She has been working in International schools since 2003 and she really enjoys working with children of all ages. Her interests outside school include dancing, singing and reading.  Vivian joined WISS in August 2013 and is excited to be a part of the WISS family.

Heidi Du

Heidi Du

Nursery Blue Teaching Assistant

Ms. Du was an assistant teacher and art teacher in BLT Children Center at Shanghai Racquet Club for 7 years. She believes that children learn and grow through stimulating and fun activities. She has alot of vitality and a deeplove for nature and is dedicated to her students. Her hobbies are face painting, arts and crafts.

Lafe Conger

Lafe Conger

Nursery Red Teacher

Lafe attained his Elementary Education degree from Tennessee Tech University in 2008.  Shanghai has been his home since 2011 and he continues to enjoy the city and the culture.  When he’s not focusing on work his main activities revolve around improving his mind and body.  Whether that is hitting the gym, rock climbing or reading a new book, it doesn’t matter as long as it is something new and interesting.  Each day is a new experience and being a teacher isn’t only about imparting knowledge, but also learning how to keep an open mind for new ideas.

Sharon Song

Sharon Song

Nursery Red Teacher / Chinese Teacher

Sharon Song graduated from Three Gorges University with a Bachelor Degree in English Linguistic Literature in 2005 where she was also awarded a Diploma in Teaching. She is an experienced teacher, having taught at both Public and International schools. She is enthusiastic about teaching children, especially when seeing how their knowledge grows. Sharon likes to share her love of dancing and singing with the children and feels very proud of their accomplishments in school productions. She enjoys telling stories and traveling. Sharon is looking forward to another year teaching in Nursery.

Winnie Tan

Winnie Tan

Nursery Red Teaching Assistant

Winnie is originally from Shanghai, China. She graduated from East China Normal University in 2011 and was awarded a national certification of Early Childhood Education in 2013. She has been working in an International Kindergarten as a Pre-school teaching assistant and as a Chineseforeign language teacher since graduating. In her spare time she likes to listen to music, read books and bake cookies as well as travel. She enjoys working with children and teachers from all around the world.

Pre-Kindergarten

Victoria Van Reijn

Victoria Van Reijn

Pre-Kindergarten Blue Teacher

Victoria is from the UK. She has been living in Shanghai since August 2011. Previous to this, Victoria has been teaching in London and Cornwall, where she taught children aged between 3-11 years. Victoria has vast experience in Early Years, and has a wide range of curriculum models and pedagogical approaches. Back in the UK, Victoria trained as a forest school specialist and is a big advocate of the outdoors, and of the environment being a third educator. Victoria graduated from Roehampton University with a Postgraduate Certificate in Education in 2011.

Pucca Liu

Pucca Liu

Pre-Kindergarten Blue Teacher / Chinese Teacher

Ms. Liu earned her BA degree and teaching qualification from Shanghai Normal University. She is experienced in teaching Early Years at International schools throughout Shanghai. Ms.Liu has a growing knowledge of inquiry based learning after working at IB schools. Her interests include making different handicrafts and reading.

 Susan Liu

Susan Liu

Pre-Kindergarten Blue Teaching Assistant

Susan Liu is from Jiangsu province. Throughout college she worked in Welfare Centres and helped children whose parents worked away from home. She has worked as a Chinese assistant in a bilingual Kindergarten and is a responsible and patient person who values the work she does with young people. Susan has a particular passion for paper crafts where she uses her refined paper folding and cutting techniques. She also enjoys listening to music, reading and meeting with friends. Susan believes teachers play an important role in the future of young children and is proud to be a part of the WISS community.

Allison Bruce

Allison Bruce

Pre-Kindergarten Green Teacher

Allison is from Canada and has been teaching internationally since 2010, first in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and recently, in Wuxi, China. Allison has a Bachelor of Arts (History) and Bachelor of Education (Elementary Education). She loves learning about new places, people, and cultures and learning with her students each day. Allison also enjoys reading, being outside, swimming, trying to learn Mandarin, and exploring Shanghai.

Sharon Yang

Sharon Yang

Pre-Kindergarten Green Teacher / Chinese Teacher

Ms Sharon Yang is originally from Sichuan province in the southwest of China. She gained her Masters Degree of Early Childhood Education in East China Normal University and became a Kindergarten teacher at an International Education Kindergarten after she graduated in 2009. Sharon believes that every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. As such, she encourages them by establishing positive relationships and providing enabling environments for them in their daily life. Sharon loves travelling, reading and doing sports in her free time.

Lisa Qian

Lisa Qian

Pre-Kindergarten Green Teaching Assistant

Originally from Shanghai, Lisa graduated with a major in Early Childhood Education in 2015 from East China Normal University. She has previously worked as a Mandarin assistant teacher at an International School from 2011 – 2015. She believes that education is for any time and any place and a teacher or a parent is the best example for a child. Lisa brings enthusiasm, love, and patience when teaching and working with children. Lisa also loves to go traveling with her family and friends.

Colleen Kelly

Colleen Kelly

Pre-Kingdergarten Red Teacher

From Canada, Colleen Kelly brings a vast amount of experience as a PYP Early Years specialist as well as her knowledge and experience of China. She is a former PYP Coordinator who greatly respects the philosophies of the International Baccalaureate Organisation and the influence it has had on her teaching style as well as her outlook on life. Colleen holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Linguistics as well as a Diploma in Early Childhood Education. Colleen enjoys all creative activities and has taken a special interest in Asian art such as Asian Batiks and oil paintings.

Lucy Lu

Lucy Lu

Pre-Kindergarten Red Teacher / Chinese Teacher

Lucy Lv is originally from Wuxi in Jiangsu Province. She graduated from Nanjing Normal University where she was awarded her Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and became a teacher of an International School. Lucy believes that young children learn best through playing and so she encourages them through questioning and problem solving in their daily activities. She looks forward to the journey of inquiry through the PYP at WISS. She loves to read, paint and take part in sports in her spare time.

Lizzie Liu

Lizzie Liu

Pre-Kindergarten Red Teaching Assistant

Originally from Shanghai, Ms Lizzie Liu graduated with a major in Preschool Education in 2010 from East China Normal University. She has a wonderful son who was born in 2010. Lizzie enjoys working with children to help them understand and explore more and is very excited to be working as part of the WISS community. Lizzie’s hobbies include reading and traveling.

Kindergarten

Noel Walsh

Noel Walsh

Kindergarten Blue Teacher

Noel is originally from Ireland but moved to Cambridge, England where he worked and studied for 13 years. While studying at Cambridge, Noel gained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in combined English and Film. Noel has subsequently completed a PGCE and MA in International Education. He has been working as a teacher, in a variety of age groups, from Reception to First Grade since 2006. Noel strives to bring out the most in students so they can become independent, life-long learners. Noel is joined at WISS by his son Marcus.

Lolita Ling

Lolita Ling

Kindergarten Blue Teacher / Chinese Teacher

Originally from Shanghai, Ms Ling joined WISS in 2006. She is an experienced assistant in Pre-K and enjoys working along side the children as they inquire and grow as learners. She graduated from Shanghai Normal University where she was awarded her Bachelor of Early Childhood Education. Her interests include making different handicrafts and reading. Ms Ling loves Early Years team at WISS.

Mark McAuley

Mark McAuley

Kindergarten Green Teacher

Mark was born in London, England. He trained to become a teacher at the University of East London in England where he specialised in teaching children from the ages of 3-7. He has taught Early Years in England, Sudan, South Korea and Hong Kong. During these different placements he has been exposed to a diverse range of teaching methodologies. Mark is also a keen football fan and likes to practice Qi Gong in his spare time.

Ella Yang

Ella Yang

Kindergarten Green Teacher / Chinese Teacher

Ella Yang holds a bachelor degree of Chinese Language and Literature as well as a diploma in Early Childhood Education. Ella has 2 years bilingual school and 5 years international school teaching experience. She believes that teachers are the models children learn from, the more playful, creative and aware the teacher, the richer the experience for children, and the more hopeful the future will be for them! Ella loves reading, cooking and Chinese painting!

Yasmin Bjork

Yasmin Bjork

Kindergarten Red Teacher

Yasmin comes from Manchester, United Kingdom where she earned her degree in Early Years Childhood Education at Manchester Metropolitan University. She moved to work for the British Council in China, teaching English, firstly at Shanghai University followed by working as a Deputy of a Language Centre at Xie He International School. Yasmin then worked for 4 years in the Early Years Department and as a Year One Teacher at an International School in Shanghai.

Lily Xiang

Lily Xiang

Kindergarten Red Teacher / Chinese Teacher

Ms Lily Xiang has been focusing on Childhood Education since 2007 when she earned her certification for Early Childhood Education at East China Normal University. Lily has been teaching the Chinese Confucian classics since 2008. Lily enjoys working with children and she feels she understands their needs, hopes, and dreams. Outside of school Lily enjoys traveling, reading and making new friends.

Specialist

Merav Wirthiem

Merav Wirthiem

Head of Learning Support / School Counselor

Merav Wirthiem has a Masters of Education in Counseling, a BEd in Educational Psychology and ‎Teaching Certificates in Drama and Special Education. Prior to coming to Shanghai with her family, ‎Merav worked as a high school counselor in Israel and head teacher for the special needs department ‎that supports children with communication disorders. Merav has been living and working in Shanghai ‎as a Program Director at the Essential Learning Group since 2011, where she was in charge of creating ‎and maintaining individual programs for the children in the Innovative Learning Center, a full-time, ‎fully customized program for children with special needs. She also supervised a team of over thirty ‎specialists, implementing the highest standards available for supporting children.  Her belief is that ‎anyone can do it, and that each person has their own way of understanding; the role of educators is ‎to recognize this unique way and light it for them.‎

Amy Gatesman-Meier

Amy Gatesman-Meier

Learning Support Teacher

Amy Gatesman-Quigley was born in the United States and comes from the Philadelphia Area. She has been living and teaching in Shanghai since 2007. Ms. Quigley began working at the secondary/high school level, providing support to students and teachers, after she received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Special Education from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 1993. Although specializing in working with children that have specific learning challenges, she also comes qualified to work with children that need behavioral/emotional support at both the primary and secondary level. She is also qualified and experienced to support students who are Exceptional/Gifted and Multi-handicapped. Ms. Quigley is energetic and passionate about helping children and youth at all stages of the learning process. She loves being part of the WISS community of educators and is joined at WISS by her three adorable children.

 Dr. Salome Turnberger

Dr. Salome Turnberger

Learning Support Teacher

Salome Turnberger arrived from Fairfax County, Virginia, USA.  She earned a Doctor of Arts from George Mason University, Master of Arts from Marymount University, and is also a member of Who’s Who Among American Professionals.  Her areas of expertise include: supporting students with specific learning needs, differentiation, and learning styles.  Her international experiences include working with children, within the IB program, in India and the United Arab Emirates. Dr. Salome is very happy with the friendly, professional, and family oriented community at WISS. She welcomes the opportunity to form wonderful and lasting relationships with staff, parents and students. Salome is a very active person and enjoys experiencing all the activities available and exploring the culture of Shanghai and China.

Cheilaugh Garvey

Cheilaugh Garvey

Visual Arts Art Teacher Early Years – Grade 2

Cheilaugh Garvey is the Early Years Art Teacher at WISS. She grew up in Japan, Germany and Italy as well as in several states.  She graduated from Boston University in Massachusetts with a B.F.A. in Design and Photography and an M.A. in Arts Education from Columbia University in New York City. She has spent most of her teaching career in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but most recently in Tunisia.  When she is not in the classroom, you can find her exploring the world’s back roads, visiting historical sites, taking photographs and trying new foods.  Her very creative and talented son Cooper is also part of the WISS family.

Mirella Croce

Mirella Croce

Early Years PE / Swimming Teacher

Ms. Croce comes from Italy where she studied kindergarten and elementary school teaching and graduated with a major in Physical Education. She has extensive kindergarten and P.E. teaching experience and has worked for more than 10 years in Italy before moving to Indonesia where she worked at Jakarta International School as P.E. teacher for children aged 3 to 5 years old. She loves children and she was delighted to join WISS early this year. She is married and she has two children.

Freya Yin

Freya Yin

PYP Chinese Coordinator / Music Teacher Pre-Kindergarten

After earning her degree and certification for Early Childhood Education at East China Normal University, Ms. Yin began to study how to teach Mandarin and earned a BA from the Department of International Chinese. She taught for seven years in the Shanghai Public Schools and after five years teaching at two different International Schools of Shanghai, she studied and earned her certification of Mentality Consultation Assistant.

 Adi Gafni

Adi Gafni

Music Teacher Kindergarten – Grade 2

Adi is an experienced Rhythm and Movement specialist and has been teaching music to young scholars since 2006. She started her musical career with 3 years of professional studies at the Rimon school of Jazz and contemporary music majoring in Vocals, following that with a BA (Hons) in musicology and teacher certification studies in Israel. Adi is finalizing her theses on Beethoven’s piano sonatas. She likes singing, swimming and Indian food. Her favorite phrase is “Music is what feelings sound like.”