Our middle and high school teachers bring both experience and passion to the classroom to give students the guidance they need to navigate successfully through not only their academic but personal growth and prepare them for high school at Stamford.  Supported by our STEMinn experts they also ensure science, technology, engineering, math, and innovation) is integrated across subjects, fostering both curiosity and an innovative mindset in our students.

Tristan Benson

Humanities and STEMinn, BA, MEd

Tristan Benson

Tristan joined Stamford with a decade of teaching experience in the U.S. and China. He has a Master of Teaching Secondary Education as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies. Tristan has taught Geography, Economics, Civics, and History and has also run many extra-curricular activities such as coding, fitness, and 3D printing.

Tristan says, “I am passionate about humanity and its role on Earth. This is why I decided to become a Humanities teacher. I enjoy engaging in debates and discussions with my students and helping them develop their critical thinking skills. I also have a personal interest in STEMinn as I am a drone enthusiast and coder. I love being able to combine the two subjects that I am passionate about and have students innovate solutions to complex issues using new technology.”

Raquel Bernardo

Mathematics, BA, MA

Raquel Bernardo

Ms. Farate joins Stamford with over 10 years of experience teaching Mathematics and holds both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in the subject. Ms. Farate has been teaching middle and high school IBDP math at an international school in Portugal for the past eight years. In addition to teaching, she has been integral in developing the curriculum alignment in the secondary school.

In addition to her passion for math, Ms. Farate brings her own experience living in different countries as a child, which helps her connect with her students. Her interest in developing student passions has led her to found two book clubs, and two math clubs focused on practicing for competitions such as MATHCOUNTS and Portuguese Championship of Mathematical Games. Her commitment to being a lifelong learner is evident in the various additional courses she has pursued, such as a course on “Differentiation” taught by the prestigious Harvard University.

Ms. Farate says, “I was inspired to be a Mathematics teacher by my first Math teacher when I was 10. Throughout my academic life, I have been persuaded by different mentors to change course and find a career in other fields, but I persisted and I could not be happier with the decision I made as a 10-year-old. The desire to be in a classroom and watch my students’ ‘ah-ha!’ moments gets me out of bed every morning. Watching students overcome their fears, gain confidence, and develop their strengths in Mathematics is a dream I am fortunate to see come true every day.”

Kim Blackhurst

STEMinn and Science, BEd

Kim Blackhurst

Kim joined the Stamford team with experience teaching in an inclusive school in Cape Town, South Africa. She received a Bachelor of Education degree from Stellenbosch University and specialized in Mathematics and Science for the middle school years. With a passion for ICT, Kim is a certified Google educator, with the goal to become an Apple Distinguished Educator shortly. She has a passion for sports and is an experienced netball coach.

Kim says, “I love the excitement that every day brings in my profession. As teachers, we have the wonderful privilege of observing young minds achieving more than they believe they can, as well as facilitating the development of determination and grit in everyday situations.”

April Gudenrath

English, BA, MEd

April Gudenrath

Ms. Gudenrath joins Stamford with over 17 years of IB experience across multiple countries and continents. She also has been an examiner for the IB for over ten years in her DP subject areas (English and Theory of Knowledge). Her MAEd is in curriculum and instruction which she considers to be an area of expertise. Beyond the MAEd, she also has a credential from the University of Colorado in Online Learning. Most recently, Ms. Gudenrath has been working in South Korea at an international IB school where she has taught DP Language A, Theory of Knowledge as well as being the Extended Essay coordinator and Media Integration Specialist. In her three years teaching in Korea, her school achieved multiple scores of 45 awarded from the IB. Prior to South Korea, Ms. Gudenrath taught full-time in a public high school in Colorado Springs, CO, USA while consulting for schools around the globe concerning educational pedagogy. Ms. Gudenrath is a published author and an expert on Flipping classrooms and has talks on TED-Ed and TEDx.

Ms. Gudenrath says, “I believe that setting a high expectation for your students is not only possible but positive. By believing that they can do it, it helps build a relationship of trust. Teaching is my passion and helping students understand the universality of literature or shifting their paradigm of thinking brings me joy.”

Thao Hoang

Science, BS, Post-Bac

Thao Hoang

Thao is a secondary science educator who has been teaching in America, Vietnam, and Thailand prior to joining the Stamford team in Hong Kong. She holds a double major Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Neuroscience in addition to a Post-baccalaureate in Secondary Education. Thao has experience delivering science content to a variety of learners from gifted to English language learners to students with special needs. She has used a variety of tools to access these learners at their level to create real-world problems for students to critically consider, research, and solve using creative and collaborative skills.

Thao says, “As an educator of science, I love seeing students overcome challenges and engage in what is typically a very content heavy course. This subject encompasses everything from anatomy and physiology of body systems to the metamorphic nature of the rock cycle to changes in the state of matter in physical science. Through teaching all the spectrum of sciences, I believe my students will be able to better engage with the world around them to make informed decisions about their bodies, health, and environment. Just as important, I love being able to show how learning is a lifelong journey by cultivating curiosity and giving joy to the whole learning process.”

Martin Iltis

English, BA, DipEd

Martin Iltis

Mr. Iltis joins Stamford with over 10 years of experience in international schools, having worked in Germany, Laos, and, most recently, at a fellow Cognita school, the International School Ho Chi Minh City. Mr. Iltis is a highly experienced IB educator; he has taught both MYP and DP Language and Literature, as well as MYP Humanities. His many years of experience teaching and building the middle school and the IBDP curriculum will support Stamford students as they progress through secondary school until graduation.

Mr. Iltis has a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University specializing in English, Politics and History, and a Diploma in Education from the University of Melbourne.

Mr. Iltis says, "I came into teaching a bit later in life after working as an administrative officer for an Australian government department. When I decided to teach, I knew I'd found my life calling. I get so much satisfaction seeing the whole student grow both educationally and as a global citizen. I enjoy enabling them to make real-life connections with academic studies and life experiences. I have also coached school soccer teams at the international schools that I serve. It is rewarding to see students develop and interact outside of the classroom too.”

Stacy Keevan

English and Humanities, BA, MA, Ed.S

Stacy Keevan

This is Stacy’s second year at Stamford after having extensive experience as a classroom teacher in the United States. She has taught elementary grades (2, 3) and middle grades (6, 7, 8) English/Language Arts and Social Studies. She has a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Education, as well as an Educational Specialist (Ed. S) Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration and a K-12 Gifted and Talented endorsement Additionally, she held numerous leadership positions including grade level and curriculum chairperson, mentoring chair, local lead teacher for Gifted and Accelerated education, and district lead for creating curriculum lesson plans and assessments for middle grades English/ Language Arts.

Stacy says, “My overwhelmingly positive experiences as a student at an early age led me to the decision to become a teacher, and I have not regretted a single day that I’ve spent in the classroom, working with students. There isn’t a more rewarding profession than that of the educator, the person that helps students become who they were meant to be. I truly found my calling when I moved to middle school—getting to teach the subjects I am most passionate about, to children that are able to think and learn independently, brings me joy. I consider myself extremely lucky to be with these young people as they begin their journey into adulthood. Each year, I’m so excited for that first day of school, the official start of our time together.”

Richard Lindemann

Science, BSc, Post Grade Secondary Education

Richard Lindemann

Originally from the USA, Rick grew up in Verona, NJ about 30mins from NYC. He spent six years as a field marine mammologist in Alaska and then became a teacher. Rick taught in a Upik Native Alaskan village and then moved to Hawaii where he taught science in Hawaii for 12 years as well as SCUBA. Rick brings to Stamford over 20 years of teaching and science, 10 of those years being in an international setting. Rick has taught science in grades 7 -12 including the MYP and DP curriculum as well as the USA curriculum. He loves the outdoors and playing sports and enjoys sharing these experiences with students of all ages. He is a dedicated secondary educator that likes to let the students explore their interests through inquiry as well as sharing his love of science and the environment.

Rick says, “Science is the truth.”

Sandra Navar

Mathematics and Science, BA, MSc

Sandra Navar

Ms. Navar joins Stamford with 19 years of teaching experience. She began her career working with at-risk English language learners in Colorado in the US and continued in international schools in Warsaw, Poland and Manila, Philippines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Master of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies for international educators. Ms. Navar has extensive experience working with academically and linguistically diverse students, which has shown her the value of differentiated instruction and building a supportive classroom community where every student can find success. Ms. Navar’s favorite thing to do is to visit new places and experience different cultures. Working in international schools has been a wonderful way to combine her passions for teaching and travel.

Ms. Navar says, “I strive to help students develop skills they can apply for the rest of their lives. One of the most important of these is perseverance. I believe that someone who can persevere in the face of challenges is going to be successful no matter what grade they get. This is why I teach students to take risks and value mistakes. I endeavor to cultivate an environment where every student is aware of their strengths as well as their needs and is comfortable asking for help. In my classroom, we value the process as much as the result.”

Dennis Ming Nichols

STEMinn, BA, MA, PGCE

Dennis Ming Nichols

Originally from the U.S., Nichols brings to Stamford 10 years of international experience teaching Math, Science, ICT, History, and EAL in China, Guatemala, and Hong Kong. He has dedicated his career to middle school and believes the transition from adolescence to adulthood is a unique and fundamental moment for each student. He is also an experienced robotics coach and musician who looks forward to supporting these programs at Stamford.

Nichols says, “I am passionate about teaching because I care about our future, and our students are the leaders of that future.”

Caroline Peel

English and Humanities, BA, PGCE

Caroline Peel

Caroline joined Stamford with both experiences teaching middle school and high school. Her Bachelor’s degree is in Humanities from Stellenbosch University, South Africa with majors in English, Psychology, and History. In her Postgraduate studies, Caroline specialized in English, both home language and EAL, History and Life Orientation. In addition to teaching English and Humanities, Caroline has interests in educational psychology, reading and literature, public speaking, drama and singing, netball, swimming and community development.

Caroline says, “I am passionate about empowerment through education and teaching students to take ownership of the opportunities made available to them in a 21st-century classroom setting. I am also passionate about community development and learning new innovative techniques to facilitate and motivate learners to unlock their greatest potential.”

Aidan Quinn

English, BEd

Aidan Quinn

Aidan joined Stamford after gaining international teaching experience in the U.K., Tanzania, the U.S. and Spain. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education, and he was awarded a scholarship to study in the U.S. through the British Council for his academic excellence in his home university. In his latest role, Aidan acted as an English Literature and Business Management teacher in Madrid, Spain. Aidan stresses diversity, mutual understanding, and active learning in his lessons to promote a positive learning environment for all learners.

Aidan says, “Being able to ignite passions and nurture desires from a young age is one of the most rewarding things I have experienced, and it’s why I love teaching. Education helps drive cultural change, and it is an honor to facilitate this process amongst the youth of today.”

Carmen Tong

Mathematics, BA, MA

Carmen Tong

Carmen joined our Stamford team with eight years of teaching experience from the U.S. and Taiwan. She’s taught from 3rd graders in Taipei to college students in the states, but her favorite subject to teach is AP Calculus. She received her Master’s Degree in Secondary Education in Mathematics from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Math from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Some of her favorite hobbies include practicing Cantonese and Mandarin, rock climbing, ultimate frisbee, playing guitar, eating sushi, and listening to live music. She loves meeting people from different cultures and has always dreamed of continuing her travels and teaching abroad, never ceasing to learn new things.

Carmen says, “I hope to help and motivate my students in the same way I was inspired by my favorite teachers in life.”