August 7, 2019

The Owl Weekly Parent Bulletin 8/7/19

Faculty Transitions

Summertime at schools regularly involves faculty movements. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as a family move, a desire to work at a different institution, retirement, starting a family, and more. This summer is no different. Lorena Perellon and her family will be moving out of the state. Sophia Antonis will be spending time with family in Taiwan. We thank them for their contributions and years of service at TIS. They and their families are in our hearts, and we wish them all the best.

A faculty departure in one grade sometimes prompts an existing teacher to request to teach a different grade, either to try something new or for professional development purposes. This year, Cristina Lupianez Jimenez will be teaching Spanish 3rd Grade, and Mariana Coronado will be teaching Spanish 4th grade. We know they will do as wonderfully with these age groups as with their younger classes!

Welcome, Maria! 

We would like to welcome Maria Daves to TIS!  Maria will be teaching PreK in the Spanish track, as Cristina is moving to 3rd Grade this year. Maria recently moved here from Chicago, where she was teaching at a bilingual preschool while continuing her own studies.

  • From Mexico
  • BA in Early Childhood Education – National Louis University, Chicago
  • Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education – St. Augustine College, Chicago
  • Spanish Teaching Certificate – International House, Barcelona, Spain
  • BA in English as a Second Language – Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico
  • Twelve years’ teaching experience

Here is a message from Maria:

I am so excited to teach my native language among culturally diverse children and embrace togetherness as a foundation of building a community-like environment in our classroom. Being an Early Childhood educator gives me the opportunity to guide young children to learn as much about themselves and their environment as possible. TIS is a wonderful opportunity to build upon what I like to do, which is work in Early Childhood education. I really enjoy working with children because they learn best when they’re having fun. So, we have fun together!

In my spare time, I love traveling, watching movies, reading, hiking and enjoying time with my family. 

Bienvenido, Maria!

Say Hola to Isabel!

TIS is happy to officially welcome Isabel Maria Lopez to our team! Isabel will be teaching Spanish Kindergarten this year, a position that she held as a long-term substitute this past Spring. Older students may know her from TIS Summer Camp. Isabel has taught Spanish language learners in Spain, China, France, and the United States.

  • From Spain
  • MA in Migration and Social Intervention. Graduated with honors. University of Almeria, Spain.
  • Teaching certificate. University of Almeria 
  • BA in Humanities. University of Almeria 
  • Teaching since 2019

Here is a message from Isabel:

What I love the most about working at TIS is the multicultural environment that the school offers to students, families and staff. In my experience, after being living in four different countries (Spain, France, China and the USA) being exposed to different cultures and learning another language is a gift that make us open-minded and empathetic persons. Moreover, children share a wonderful vitality and working with them makes my days brighter!

When I am not working, you can find me cooking, dancing or spending time with my family and friends at any park, I love picnics and outdoor concerts! My favorites indoor activities are going to puppet theaters and visiting the library with my daughter. 

Bienvenido, Isabel!

Welcome, Jan!

We are pleased to introduce Jan Vanderstraeten, our new PE teacher, to our community. Jan comes to us from the German International School, where he has taught for the past four years.

  • From Belgium
  • BA with honors, Sports Sciences – University of Ghent, Belgium
  • MA with honors, Sports Sciences – University of Ghent
  • Advanced Professional Degree, Physical Education – University of Ghent
  • Fluent in Dutch, English, and French
  • 10 years of teaching experience

Here is a message from Jan:

I am very excited to join The International School, and I am the most excited to get to know all the students, staff and everyone else involved at this international community. I really want to learn all about the students’ favorite games, sports, and exercises, and teach them some of mine ;). I love teaching kids gross motor skills in a fun way. I love the look on a student’s face when they realize they just did something they could not do before. 

My personal motto is a healthy mind derives from a healthy body. I would love that motto/attitude to become a part of the TIS community. I knew that I wanted to become a PE teacher at a very young age, which is why I studied Sports Science starting from High School. I believe that it is very important to create a positive attitude toward physical activity and exercise. I really hope that I can proactively encourage all students to share the international values of fair play and all that that entails. 


I am President and Head Coach for the Portland Sasquatch Handball Club, the only Olympic Team Handball Club in Oregon. This is the hobby that keeps me pretty busy after school hours; it is another International Community with 30 players representing 20 different nationalities. I’d also like to call myself an avid cyclist (watching and riding). One of my favorite new hobbies is playing with my young daughter, whether it is in the park, pool, or simply at home. I am also a huge Portland Timbers and Portland Trailblazer fan. Last but not least, I love cooking fresh meals from our vegetable garden for my family. 

Welcome, Jan!

Thanks for Another Great Year at Summer Camp!

Summer Camp 2019 has officially come to a close. We had a record enrollment of 619 campers! This included a nice mix of current TIS students as well as students from other schools. We hope that everyone enjoyed their sessions. Big thanks to Meredith Fleming, our summer camp director, staff members Nurys Herrera, Brandy Ascough, Julie Jacob, Mark Usher, and ALL of our fabulous teachers for putting together another great summer program!

Want to take a peek at all the camp fun? Check out this awesome One Second a Day Video, created by Julie Jacob.

Sign Up to be a Room Parent!      

Room Parents are needed for the 2019-2020 school year! You don’t need to know your child’s class placement to sign up. See for the “job” description, and to volunteer.

Questions about room parenting? Feel free to reach out to Kat Simons (, current room parents, or one of our Parent Network Co-Chairs, Meryl Villarreal or Andrea Long, for more information:


Parent Network Event Volunteers Needed!

The TIS Parent Network has a full calendar of events planned throughout the school year! We are looking for parent volunteers to take the lead or help out with each of them. Each event has a set date and number of volunteers requested. Many require less than 5 hours of total time.

Please click here to take a look at the list and sign up!

If you have questions about these events or volunteering in general, please contact Andrea Long or Meryl Villarreal, Parent Network Co-Chairs, at

Save Time and Gas – Set up a Carpool!

Are you interested in setting up a carpool for the upcoming school year? Publish your request in The Owl! Simply send your name, nearest street corner or part of town, number of children, and best way to contact you to 

No need to know your exact before/after school needs yet – you can discuss this with interested families. Each carpool request will run for two weeks.

  • SE Hawthorne Area: My name is Abby Sarmac, mom to a rising 5th grader in the TIS Spanish track. We are near SE 16th and Hawthorne.  Contact:
  • Milwaukie area: I am looking for school drop off help on Thursday mornings. I can pick up in the afternoon in exchange for the morning. I have two other children under 2, so they will be in tow. I have 3 extra seats, (including the front seat) however, if a child is needing a car seat, this limits the back seat to one seat due to sizing. Contact: Lauryn McWhirter – 970-749-4662

Upcoming Events

hosted by the TIS Parent Network

Come one, come all! Bring your own picnic lunch and enjoy this beautiful new park!No RSVP required

Saturday, August 10
11am to 1pm

Spring Garden Park



This is a great opportunity to meet other families – both new and returning – and staff. For all PreK, LowK and Kindergarten families. No RSVP required

Saturday, August 17
10:00am to noon

Sellwood Park



This orientation is a great opportunity to learn more about our school and approach to learning. Information about drop-off, pick-up, after-school programs, and many other TIS routines will also be provided.


Thursday, August 22nd
Learners’ Hall
9am, 12pm, or 3pm



The morning of Monday, August 26th will be action-packed and full of fun! Below is a schedule:

Classroom Visits Come meet your teacher and see your classroom before the big day! Please plan to stay not more than 30 minutes to give everyone a chance at some calm time in the classroom. Adults must stay with their children. Come any time between 9-10:30am.

Fall Fun Fair Grown ups and kids alike are invited to join the Parent Network for a back-to-school celebration. Learn about volunteer opportunities, meet after school class providers, and sample lunches. Games, popsicles, and clown antics provided!  Lower Playground. 10:00am – 12:00pm



It’s finally here! Welcome back! Please allow yourself extra time for drop off this morning, as everyone will be finding classrooms and getting settled for the new year. Classroom maps and drop off / dismissal instructions will be provided soon!

Tuesday, August 27th – 8:00am