Teaching in the PYP

Grade 1: Andrea O’Handley

This is my second year teaching grade 1 here at KIS. I am originally from Canada. Before I moved to Kongsberg I spent time teaching PYP in Japan. I have a Bachelors in child and youth from Mount Saint Vincent University in Canada and a Bachelors of education: elementary from the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada. In my free time I love to read and to travel. Leaning about and experiencing new cultures is one of my favorite things.

Grade 2: Maha Sharaf

My name is Maha Sharaf. I am from Cairo, Egypt. This will be my twelfth year teaching, ten of which in the PYP. I have been teaching children aged 5-7. I also worked as a pedagogical leader for first and second grade teachers where I supported teachers with the implementation of the program. I am an IB workshop leader and consultant in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East region. I have a Bachelor degree in English Literature, a Diploma in English/Arabic translation, and I am currently working on my Masters in Education at the University of Bath, UK - which is also towards the IB Advanced Certificate in Teaching and Learning Research. I enjoy listening to music. I play the piano, and I have a passion for learning new languages.

Grade 3: Rob Millburn

After several years of teaching in our Grade 5 classroom, this year I will be teaching Grade 3. I have experience teaching this age level in England and so I am looking forward to working with this age group again. I have an interest in 'internet literacy' and currently I am studying ways in which students can be taught to use the internet more effectively as a tool for inquiry. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Building Conservation and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. I have lived in Norway for over six years with my partner and our three children and we enjoy walking and skiing in the mountains, and swimming and fishing in the sea.

Grade 4: Rachel Guempel

This is my fourth year at KIS.  Before moving to Norway, I taught in Budapest, Hungary. My hometown is Dallas, Texas, USA, and I graduated with a BA from Texas State University. I am currently working on a Master’s Degree in Education through the University of Nottingham. In my free time, I love to travel and explore new countries and cultures, taking photos and meeting new people along the way.

Grade 5: Sarah Corbisier

I am originally from La Crosse, Wisconsin, but moved to Norway in 2006. During the past 10 years, I have taught just about every age group, from preschoolers to college students. I have a BA in Music Education from Luther College in Iowa, as well as a Masters degree in Cultural Administration from Telemark University College. This is my second year at KIS, but my first year with the PYP. I am very much looking forward to having Grade 5 this year!

Grade 6: Jessica Page

Hello!  I am originally from Juneau, Alaska, but am excited to join the Kongsberg community.  I began teaching in 2005 when I joined Teach for America in New Mexico.  From there, I taught in Alaska, Tanzania, Brazil, and now here in Norway.  I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Puget Sound, and my Masters of Arts in Teaching at the University of Alaska Southeast.  I am passionate about life and consider myself to be very active person in and out of the classroom.  You can find me training or enjoying the surrounding mountains. 

Sara McDonald (Art and SEN)

Following a B A Hons in 3D Design/Glass (1987), I gained a Masters Degree with Distinction in Art and Design (1995) while working as a professional glass maker.  Teaching in Further and Higher Education for 20 years prior to gaining Qualified Teacher Status (2006), I then began to teach Art and Special Education Needs in Primary and Secondary schools.  My motivation for teaching Art to younger children is to hold on to and develop their innate sense of curiosity in responding to their learning in a way that can be direct and liberated, whilst teaching creative skills and knowledge that will encourage an understanding of how the process and appreciation of Art can connect us all.

Boris Paskalev (Music)

My name is Boris Georgiev Paskalev. I hold Master's degree from National Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria, Specialty saxophone in the Jazz and POP music Department (1995) and completed specialized five-year musical and pedagogical education in National School of Music and Dance, Plovdiv, Bulgaria (1989) for classical music. I worked for many years as a teacher of music and as an active musician in various bands, from symphony orchestra and big band to chamber ensembles and dance bands, as well as being a studio musician. I join with great pleasure to the teachers’ team at KIS, so I can share my experience and knowledge with the students and give my contribution to their development as wise and creative modern personalities.

Vegard Nygård (PE and Norwegian)

I was born and raised in Kongsberg. In 2012, I completed my Masters in Sports, Physical and Outdoor Education. At KIS I teach Physical Education and Norwegian in PYP and Physical Education in MYP. I have a broad range of hobbies, but I spend most of my time kiteboarding and working out.

Liv Jorunn Sætra (Norwegian)

Completed her four year teacher training education from Høyskolen i Sørøst-Norge in 2014, with a bachelor in pedagogics. She also studied Norwegian, social science and physical education. Liv has been to KIS since 2014. Liv is working as a Norwegian teacher in both PYP and MYP and is a support for the school in the transitioning between the two programmes. Liv is also contact teacher for one of the MYP classes.

Øyvind Berge (Norwegian)

I come from Fyresdal in Vest-Telemark and have previously worked as a Norwegian lecturer for foreign exchange students at Telemark University College in Bø. I have a Bachelor degree in English and Norwegian Language and Literature, as well as a year of higher study of history, all from Telemark University College.

Runi Melquist (Norwegian)

Runi Melquist holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Costume Design, with pedagogy, from Høgskolen i Telemark. She also received her Masters of Fine Arts from HiT, with pedagogical study, focusing on modern art. She extended her studies at HiT in Norwegian language, and is a certified training instructor in Zumba, Bodypump and Grit.

Sofie Jørstad (Head of Primary / PYP Coordinator)

It is a joy to be working in Norway after spending the first part of my career in international schools around the world, in Hong Kong, South Korea, Italy, Pakistan and Germany. I have a BA in Elementary Education from Cedarville University in Cedarville, OH, USA and a MA in International Education from the University of Bath in Bath, England. I love seeing children develop and grow as curious and active learners. For fun, I love to read, bake, cook, knit and do other handicrafts. I also enjoy getting outdoors for hikes in the mountains – both here in Norway and elsewhere around the world.

Claudia Videira (Assistant)

From Portugal, I graduated with a degree in Computing and Management and was responsible for the Library in a Portuguese university for about 20 years. Living in Norway for the past 3 years, I have been working at the school as a classroom and library assistant. I am also the representative of the non-teaching staff in the Board. With lots of enthusiasm, I love working with young kids.