Old Road, Congo Town, Monrovia, Liberia, Africa | Phone: 231-777-818-775 | administration@aismonrovia.com

The year of the Mountain Zebra
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Ms. Serdia Holcombe

Bachelors of Science in Biology Education: Kennesaw State University
Masters of Educational Technology: Boise State University
Certifications- Biology and Middle School Science

I am excited to start my first year at AISM!  This is the year of the Mountain Zebra and I am fully prepared to nurture growth in our students while giving them support during any challenges they may face.  Just as no two mountain zebras are alike, I believe that all students bring  unique needs to the classroom. Thus,I will form a partnership with parents and students to foster learning and academic success.

I look forward to collaborating with you all this to make this year at AISM awesome!

pdf Welcome Letter Ms Holcombe (176 KB)

Ms. Melissia McGraw

Melissia McGraw

Bachelors of General Studies from Southeastern Louisiana University
Masters in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University
Masters of International School Administration from Endicott College
Over 12 years teaching in China, South Korea, and Indonesia

Welcome to the Year of the Mountain Zebra!

Mountain Zebras have strong social bonds and live in large herds; this is something that we will be working on together in 5th grade.  Zebras are very adaptable to their environment just as we are living here in Liberia; we have an incredible opportunity to learn about the community and culture in which we are living in. 

In 5th grade, we are going to spend our days grazing on Science, Math, Reading, Language Arts, Writing, and Social Studies.  As a herd, we are going to work together on group projects, skits, and speeches to challenge us as we are grazing and moving from one subject to the next.  Just as the zebras like to climb mountains, we will be reaching new peaks as we challenge and maneuver our way through the year.

pdf Welcome Letter Ms McGraw (218 KB)

Ms. Mayah Selli

Welcome to the 2017-2018 year of the Mountain Zebra.

My name is Mayah Selli! I am excited to begin the year of the Mountain Zebra as AISM’s first grade teacher. I earned my Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice and Gender/Women Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. I earned my Masters degree in Multi-Categorical Special Education from Saint Xavier University in Chicago, IL. The training that I have received is very similar to some of the characteristics of the mountain zebra.

The Mountain Zebra have the ability to live in tight-knit groups that form larger communities when they need shelter, protection and recreation. Being a part of the AISM family, my classroom is a small group connected to one large community, with one common goal: students’ success. We work together to create a climate that is conducive to learning and enrichment, especially through flex groups.  I am dedicated to meeting my students where they are and building on their growth to mastery.

True to their names, mountain zebras are usually very skilled at rock climbing, and tend to be very comfortable on rocky and rugged grounds. With that being said, this year will not be an easy road, as students will be exposed to new content and principles. But, it will be a road in which I will guide my students to try their best, and put their best foot forward. Within my classroom, I will create an environment where students feel safe and secure in their leveled abilities. I will be able to give my students multiple opportunities for success and growth through rigor and differentiated assignments. Let’s work together, as Mountain Zebras do, and be able to meet student goals and rise to success.

pdf Welcome letter Ms Selli (274 KB)

Mrs. Jennifer Oestreicher

Jennifer Oestreicher
M.A. International Transactions
Post Graduate Teacher Certificate PreK-Six
Dual US and Canadian Citizen

Shel Silverstein wrote:

The Zebra Question

I asked the zebra
Are you black with white stripes?
Or white with black stripes?
And the zebra asked me,
Or you good with bad habits?
Or are you bad with good habits?
Are you noisy with quiet times?
Or are you quiet with noisy times?
Are you happy with some sad days?
Or are you sad with some happy days?
Are you neat with some sloppy ways?
Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?
And on and on and on and on
And on and on he went.
I'll never ask a zebra
About stripes

Behind the comedy is a bigger thought: that you should not get locked into looking at things through only one perspective.  You should be adaptable and flexible enough to work though challenges.  Zebras are durable, flexible, and adaptable animals.  They survive and thrive in challenging climates but the biggest key to their survival is community.  The herd’s stripes confuse predators.  The herd protects and cares for its members.  Together, the herd is stronger.  As a teacher, I’ve come to learn that students thrive when they are part of community where they can learn and grow, even if the climate may be less than ideal.  I like to provide and nurture a place of belonging, where students can develop their potential.   I am so looking forward to this year at AISM as we overcome challenges and grow and bloom into first graders.

pdf Welcome letter Mrs O (279 KB)

Ms. Mariana Cabrera

Dear AISM community,

Welcome to the year of the Mountain Zebra!

I am from Venezuela, I have a specialization in Early Childhood Education, from the Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I have been working in International Education for more than 5 years. I am happy and excited to work with the AISM staff and community, everyone is friendly and helpful. This year I will be leading the EYP programm with the aid of Ms. Gaby and Ms. Smith.

Mountain Zebras adapt to arid conditions and dry environments easily, they live and work in small groups, they protect their herd. The AISM community is like the mountain zebra, it adapts to the changing environment. They EYP program will adapt to students needs. It will provide a friendly environment that encourage students to work in team, take care of themselves, and others, so they can learn, have fun, achieve their goals and succeed.

Ms. Mariana

pdf Welcome letter EYP Ms Cabrera M (169 KB)

Ms. Gabriela Cabrera

Greeting AISM!

My name is Gabriela Cabrera, and I have been working as a teacher for four years in an American School located in Western Venezuela in the Early Childhood Education Program, and  Primary.

In the Year of the Mountain Zebra, I will be working in the EYP program as the English and Math teacher, along with Ms. Mariana & Ms. Smith to enhance and develop the best of the best from our young learners, bringing to students an adaptable environment where they can feel comfortable.

Like zebras, we will teach students to work as a team, this will bring protection and recreation to our early years students, that will make feel school as their second home. I can't wait to spend this new year learning and growing with them.


Miss Gabriela.

pdf Welcome Letter Ms Cabrera G (184 KB)

Ms. Matsue Wiles

Dear Parents:

It’s that time of the year again….the summer break is winding down.  School shopping and checking off supply lists. The air is filled with anticipation and enthusiasm about new possibilities and new beginnings; setting new goals and facing new challenges; seeing old friends and making new ones.

Welcome to the Year of the Mountain Zebra! Hello, I am Ms. Matsue Wiles and I will be a part of your child’s development this 2017/2018 school year here at AISM as the Physical Education teacher. Originally from Liberia, I grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where I earned a Mass Communications degree from Louisiana State University.  In addition to my degree and certification in Personal Nutrition, I have gained a great deal of relevant skills and experience over the past 10 years while working at different capacities within the education field. 

Being bi-cultural, my personal teaching philosophy is rooted in diversity and self-reflection which I believe allows for growth of the whole student at his/her specific level.  Every student is unique and I strive to provide opportunities to test their individual strengths and weaknesses in a safe environment, while meeting NASPE (National Association for Sport and Physical Education) standards, and learning about movement, teamwork, problem solving and overall health related fitness.  The social species of Mountain zebras have evolved physically from other equine species to adapt to the rugged terrains of the mountains, becoming agile climbers.  Similar to the leaders of mountain zebra herds, I will do everything in my ability to nurture and protect 2nd -10 grade students while providing them with attainable goals and challenging them in ways that will contribute to their progress and “evolution” physically, socially and emotionally.

Unfortunately, due to a previously scheduled commitment, I will not be here to welcome new students and make your acquaintance but will return in 2 weeks. While I am a little saddened I’ll be missing out, you can rest assured they will be in good hands as I have made arrangements for a substitute to step in and help out until I return.

Otherwise, I am more than excited and am looking forward to working with you, the students, faculty, and AISM community to make this year another successful one!

Ms. Wiles
Lower & Upper grades PE Teacher

Ms.Hassia Ide

Hello from Monrovia,

This year, and with continued support from the State Department Office of Overseas Schools, I am pleased to start my second year as the Ed Tech Coordinator of the School. This provides me with the opportunity to support and assist our students who are presently in a blended learning program. AISM continues, now in our fourth year, to offer some of our education, in part, with an online learning component. Present trends in demographics, and our expansion beyond 9th grade, mean that our Blended Learning Program will continue to grow.

As the Ed Tech coordinator, I assist with our Blended Learning planning with our online partners (K12, CTY, and University of Nebraska High School.). The planning, support and design of our Blended Learning Program are individualized for each student in the program. Our classroom teachers, and parent partners, help us implement the online program, while I assist behind the scenes, by monitoring student progress to ensure, as per our mission, that our students are life-long and self-motivated learners who are able to prepare for an ever-changing world.

Hassia Ide

Ms. Viola Johnson

Viola Johnson

Principal/Upper School teacher
I am Ms. Johnson, principal and social studies teacher for grades 6 thru 10 and I welcome you to the Year of the Mountain Zebra. This year as always, I am ecstatic to see returning students and get to know the new students. As the Mountain Zebras’ bold stripes are different and no two are alike, at American International School of Monrovia (AISM), we recognize that our students are individuals and each may require different strategies to improve learning.

This year AISM will begin using Jupiter Ed a new student information system and electronic gradebook that will improve parent-teacher-student collaboration and communication. Jupiter Ed’s technology will not only give our teachers more time to create engaging lessons and interactive tutorials for students, but will also provide a user friendly communication system for teachers, students and parents. 

I look forward to an awesome year collaborating with each of you.  “This is……AISM!”


pdf Welcome letter V Johnson (219 KB)

Ms. Suba Srikumar

Bachelor of Science in Zoology.

Welcome to the year of the Mountain Zebra.

Once again I am very excited to be part of the Year of the Mountain Zebra. Mountain Zebras are very unique and social animals. Although they look similar with their appearance but do not have exact strip patterns, each year at AISM we see students with different pattern and this year is not an exception. This year the Year of the Mountain I will do my best to ensure every student that passes through my class reach their potential on both an educational and personal level by focusing on their individuality.

Mountain Zebras are one of a kind animal that live in small groups that combine into large herds adapting to different conditions and detecting even the slightest change. Like Mountain Zebra this year, I strive to teach the kids social skills which include emotional, intellect, ethics and behaviors. This will help promote resilience- the capacity to cope and stay healthy during their difficult time. And also I shall work as part of a team and encourage our students to display the same team work.

As we are part of a global community I will strive to create a safe, nurturing and fun space for students to come together and meet their goals.

I look forward an amazing” Year of the Mountain Zebra”

pdf Welcome letter Ms Srikumar (116 KB)

Ms. Casian Morgan

It is stated that the striped hide of a zebra serves as camouflage by helping to break up the outline of the animals, particularly when they are viewed through long grass or the branches of bushes. It is also argued that the stripes facilitate group cohesion and socialization. It is evident here at AISM, we are drawn closely to one another patterning the mountain Zebra. We use our talents to efficiently protect and nurture our students both academically and socially during challenging conditions.

“The mountain zebra is a good climber on steep, rugged terrain and has evolved exceptionally hard and pointed hooves compared to other equines.”

Like the Mountain Zebra, I am equipped with several special adaptations and abilities. I am supportive, intuitive, resourceful and reliable among others. I am able to accomplish any task given to me no matter how difficult, by focusing on the interest of the students as my number one priority. I utilize my maneuverability and my ability to adapt to any given environment in order to motivate the students learning and help them to migrate to higher levels.

I am a distinguished horse.

Ms. Morgan

pdf Welcome letter Ms Morgan (179 KB)

Ms. Irene David-Tehoungue

Bachelor of Arts in English; Md. Reading Specialist Harding University

Certifications: 7th - 12th English; K-12 Reading

Dear AISM:

I am Mrs. Irene Tehoungue, though my students at AISM  know me as Ms. David.

Welcome to the 2017- 2018 school year of the Mountain Zebra! This year brings exciting new adventures as I maneuver my way from our  cutest young impressionable scholars to our brilliant more mature scholars in my 4th year at AISM. Because our school cultivates a close knit environment, this move promises a seamless transition into the role of teaching 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade Language Arts.

This year while delving into  multiple genres, we will become effective readers and writers and critical thinkers. Students will be engaged in writer’s workshop focusing on strong pieces. I hope to share my love for literature and the english language by engaging in meaningful discussions.

It is my endeavor to help your child prepare for a smooth transition into high school. I imagine the Year of the Mountain Zebra will carry us to great heights.

pdf Welcome letter ECE 2016-2017 (652 KB)

Ms. Cheryl Kiahon

Welcome to the 2017/2018 school year of the Mountain Zebra!

Each school year, I use my professional knowledge and talents to challenge all learners in three areas: rigor, relevance, & relationships. To achieve rigor, I design instructional opportunities that explicitly address standards and essential understanding. To obtain relevance, I tap into the prior knowledge of students to make real-world connections; and finally I foster building relationships by emphasizing our roles and responsibilities in and out of the classroom. Like the Mountain Zebras, we will endeavor to build a community that is close knit and use teamwork to soar to new heights.

The mountain zebras are known to protect and nurture it’s own in especially harsh and challenging conditions. Like them, I will challenge myself, and my students, to apply our knowledge across multiple disciplines, and to predictable and unpredictable real-world situations.

I am excited to be returning to AISM and I look forward to a great year of learning and fun throughout our school community.

Mrs. Flah-Kiahon

pdf Welcome letter Ms Flah Kiahon (99 KB)

Ms. Jihane Fazah

My name is Jihane. I am from Lebanon.
I have been working at A I S M for 9 years teaching Arabic and French, which I also taught for 10 years in Saudi Arabia at a French school and for 2 years in Lebanon as well.

As a native of Lebanon, Arabic is my mother tongue. I went to the university of Lebanon: A French speaking university where I earned a B. A in Educational Psychology.

Afterwards I earned my teaching credential at the French Cultural Center in Lebanon: Learning how you teach.

I have an additional training in teaching students with learning disabilities and training in differentiated pedagogy for teaching French and Arabic (Diversification of the practices and techniques at the disposal of pedagogy).

I especially enjoy teaching at A I S M because of the cultural variety in the student body. I am so excited to gallop through the year of the Mountain Zebra

Madame Jihane Fazah,

pdf Welcome Letter Jihane (90 KB)

Ms. Siji Binoy

Greetings to our new AISM families and returning families.

Welcome to the year of the Mountain Zebra!

I am beginning my fifth year at AISM and I am still excited to start another wonderful school year.

Mountain Zebras have a very intimate and tight-knit social structure. As we are part of a very diverse community, it is my belief that the success of my students is based on our cooperative parent/teacher relationship. Therefore, I look forward to a wonderful partnership with you throughout the year. In the year of the Mountain Zebra, I will endeavor to support excellence and cooperative learning throughout our school day. The Mountain Zebra is the master of balance and a symbol for individuality. I also plan to maneuver throughout the school year to ensure that I find each child's strengths to better meet their individual needs, to help our students achieve measurable academic improvement and meaningful personal growth, as they become life-long learners and responsible global citizens. The Mountain zebra is flexible enough to adapt; it's versatile enough to find different paths and different methods of staying alive in the African wild. During the year of the Mountain Zebra, I am prepared to expand and explore new territories of learning in order to make meaningful contributions to students’ learning. 

I will help our students master new concepts and skills to grow as confident, caring and productive young people. The Mountain Zebra is wonderfully unique in design, quick and sure footed from almost the moment of birth. It also teaches us self-acceptance and to embrace our individual differences. During the year of the Mountain Zebra, the steps we take each day is part of a great journey of making our dreams a reality. I am looking forward to working together as a team to continue to celebrate the victories of AISM.

pdf Welcome letter Ms Binoy (213 KB)

Mr. Andrae Parchment

M.Ed. (Framingham State Uni), B.A. (International Uni of the Caribbean, Dip. Ed. (Church Teachers’ College)

Mountain Zebras are peculiar animals with thick black stripes all over their bodies. They also have the ability to adapt to their habitats in several ways.  These attributes can be linked to AISM students as they move from the comfort of their homes to settle in Liberia. Students sometimes find it difficult to settle in their new environments. They are sometimes shy and are reluctant to make new friends or participate in class.  As your lead Mountain Zebra, I will ensure that all students are protected and provided with the necessary tools needed to adapt to their new school. Students will feel motivated to learn and participate actively in class. I will also be using positive reinforcement to develop students’ esteem and confidence.  As a result of this, students will treasure their individuality as unique students with special skills and talents.

Team work is also a key feature of Mountain Zebras. Like Mountain Zebras, students will be encouraged to share their knowledge and skills with each other. Students will learn the importance of collaborative learning as numerous studies have shown that collaborative learning is effective for all types of students because it promotes learning and fosters respect and friendships among diverse groups of students.

I anticipate an incredible ‘Year of the Mountain Zebra!

pdf Welcome Letter Mr Parchment (375 KB)

Ms. Kerry Kay Rowe

Welcome to the year of the Mountain Zebra.

The mountain zebra is distinct from other zebra species by the thin and relatively close-together vertical black lines on its neck and torso. Like all extant zebras, mountain zebras are boldly striped in black or dark brown and no two individuals look exactly alike. Zebras as very social animals and live in family groups. Family groups sometimes get together to form loosely associated herds. Zebras also have several ways they communicate with one another.

I am very excited to be part of the AISM community for my third academic year the year of the mountain zebra. I am the second grade homeroom teacher. I have a passion for teaching and learning and will like to use my experience to continue to improve students’ learning.

This year, I want to see my students as mountain zebras. Each zebra's stripes are unique, just like each child is unique and special and has his or her own learning needs. I am prepared to also form close family groups to meet students’ needs in our different classes, improve communication and parental involvement in the teaching and learning process to ensure each student succeeds to the best of their ability.

I want every day to be something that can be talked about at home with something new and exciting to learn.

Like Mountains Zebra, I also believe that, as a class, we can work together to achieve success. We can learn from each other in our closely knit family group and climb to higher heights as we work hard this year to achieve greater success.

I am looking forward to a great year of the mountain zebra!

pdf Welcome Letter Ms Rowe (570 KB)

Mrs. Sara Melhem

Ms. Sara Melhem

Welcome to the Year of the Mountain Zebra. I am very excited to be part of the AISM community for another year.

The mountain Zebra have very good eyesight during the day and night. They have binocular vision in the front and can probably see in color. They also have excellent hearing that can detect sounds in the far away distance. Mountain zebra also have a very keen sense of taste and can detect slight changes in the quality of their food. Just like our students who have a deep eyesight and a great vision into the future.

Mostly what I liked about the mountain zebra is the teamwork. Zebra sleep standing up.  And only when they are in groups that can warn them of danger. If they spot a predator, they will bark loudly to warn the others in the group. And this characteristic is very similar to our team at the AISM. We work together, help each other in order to make our students learn and grow.

I am looking forward to a fantastic year.

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