Ms. Serdia Holcombe
Welcome to the year of the Wildebeest
It is my pleasure to be at AISM for a second year. This year I will be teaching 5th grade and Technology. There is no other antelope like the wildebeest because they take on the characteristics of oxen and horses. Like the wildebeest, I will combine my secondary school experience, my artistic creativity, and my love of technology to create a unique and engaging experience for my students.
Just as wildebeest calves are born ready to walk, my students will hit the ground running starting on day one. As a herd we will utilize the latest technology to create and document our learning experiences. This will prepare my students for a successful transition into upper school next year.
As mama “beest” I will nurture students, be a reliable and dependable leader, and collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure student growth and success. My hope is to develop students that are strong, adaptable, resilient, self-directed learners.
Ms. Mayah Selli
Welcome to the 2018-2019 Year of the Wildebeest.
My name is Mayah Selli! I am excited to begin my second year here at AISM, I will continue as the first grade teacher during the year of the Wildebeest. 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 Primary Education from Saint Xavier University in Chicago, IL. The training that I have received is very similar to some of the characteristics of the Wildebeest, as the training was intense and helped me become more resilient in my focus on assisting my students in their overall success.
The Wildebeest is nomadic and in constant search for new food sources. I want my students to become the same way with their goals and growth. My goal is to have my students constantly searching for knowledge to grow academically and not stay stagnant. We will 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.
The Wildebeest is a resilient animal that is very adaptable to meet the potential difficulties and challenges within its environments. 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 travel on this new path together, as Wildebeest do, and be able to meet student goals and rise to success.
Mrs. Jennifer Oestreicher
B.A. Communication Studies
M.A. International Transactions
Post Graduate Teacher Certificate PreK-Six
Welcome to the 2018-2019 Year of the Wildebeest.
I am so pleased to start my second year at AISM. Like the wildebeest, my life has been a series of migrations. As a global nomad, I’ve lived in six countries and have learned to be adaptable and resilient—just like the wildebeest. About 20 years ago I decided to change careers and switched from being a political economist to being a teacher. I’ve primarily taught early grades—mostly kindergarten in Virginia, USA. I will continue on at AISM as the ECE III teacher and am very much looking forward to working with this year’s class as they grow into young learners ready for first grade.
Young learners will be challenged in ECE III. The main focus will be on learning to be learners as they build stamina and grow academically. They will learn to be adaptable and flexible enough to work though challenges just like the durable, flexible, and adaptable wildebeest. Wildebeests survive and thrive in challenging climates but the biggest key to thriving is community. 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.
Ms. Matsue Wiles
I am Ms. Matsue Wiles and I am thrilled to begin the 2018/2019 year of the Wildebeest.
A little about me…. Originally from Liberia, I grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where I earned my BA in Mass Communications with a minor in Art History. My commitment to service as well as my love for working with kids steered me to the education field where I have served in various capacities for a little over 10 years.
AISM first welcomed me during the 2013/2014, and later during the 2016/2017 school year as a substitute teacher. This will be my second full year here at AISM following the Ebola crises. Last year, I encouraged my students to push through what they believed were limitations as they challenged themselves physically and mentally in order to meet personal goals in Physical Education.
So, what’s gnu this year (wink)? I am SO excited to have our students break in AISM’s new Art Room as this year’s lower and upper school Art Teacher. (Whoo-hoo!) Similar to the herds of wildebeest, traveling distances in search of richer pastures, AISM’s herd has continued to meet challenges in order to cultivate rich experiences that further enrich its students’ academic development and I am looking forward to playing my role in keeping the momentum going this year. As the PE and Art teacher, I will navigate them as they continue to explore and discover their individual strengths, while providing unique opportunities to learn crucial life skills in both courses.
Active, energetic and goal-oriented, the wildebeest is an animal of the herd; their survival depends on their ability to work as a team. Like the wildebeest, we will work together on our journey to set individual and collective goals, challenge ourselves, and stomp through obstacles as a team. With teamwork, determination and persistence, there’s just no stopping us from making this year another successful one at AISM.
Ms. Hassia Ide
Welcome the “Year of the Wildebeest”!
This year, I am pleased to start my fourth year at AISM, supporting and assisting our students who are in a blended learning program. AISM continues, now in our fifth year, to offer some of our education, in part, with an online learning component.
Present trends in demographics, and with our present expansion beyond 9th grade (to 10th grade), mean that our Blended Learning Program (BLP) will continue to grow.
With our online partners (K12, CTY, and University of Nebraska High School), the design, support, and planning of our BLP are individualized for each student in the system. Our classroom teachers, and parent partners, help us implement the online program, while I assist behind the scenes. By monitoring the students’ progress, we ensure, as per our mission, that they are life-long and self-motivated learners who are able to prepare for an ever-changing world.
This year, we would like to see:
- Our AISM students exhibit the resilience of the wildebeest by overcoming all the challenges they might encounter throughout the school year! Just like every year, when immense herds of wildebeest migrate from the savanna to greener pastures … and this migration does not come without challenges, as the journey route crosses rivers … most filled with giant crocodiles!
- Our students share their knowledge and learn form each other, just as wildebeests live, travel and share their grazing lands with zebras!
- Our students start the learning process as soon as they first enter the AISM gates…just as wildebeest calves gain their feet in as little as three minutes …!
Just like the Great Wildebeest Migration, considered one of Africa’s most dazzling series of life … let’s have a spectacular year @ AISM … and robust learning all year long!
Ms. Viola Johnson
Welcome to the Year of the Wildebeest
Dear AISM Community,
It is my pleasure to begin my seventh year at AISM, the Year of the Wildebeest. The same as with the previous years, I will continue my role as principal, social studies/history, and exploratory upper school teacher. I welcome all of our new and returning students as well as a special welcome to our sixth grade students who are moving to our Upper School division.
Just as the massive and strong wildebeest work together as a team to move across the Serengeti and Masai Mara plains, defending the herd against predators, our school community will continue to work together to overcome challenges. Our students are adaptable, strong, resilient, and independent learners whose traits are similar to calves of the wildebeest. The calves of the wildebeest are able to walk soon after they are born and run with the herd a few days after.
To my students, I am eager to start and continue this educational migration with you this year. I hope that I will awaken your curiosity and that you always ask questions. To parents and guardians, we will work together to ensure your children’s success. I hope to meet all of you soon.
Ms. Suba Srikumar
Welcome to the 2018-2019 Year of the Wildebeest.
My name is Suba Srikumar, I am very excited to be part of the AISM community for the second decade and I welcome you to “The year of the wildebeest “. This year, once again, I will be the sixth grade homeroom teacher and will be teaching science for grades 6-9. I earned my bachelor degree in Zoology from Bharathidharsan University, South India.
This year the year of the wildebeest, I would like to use my 10 years of experience to continue to improve students’ learning. As you know the
herd of wildebeest possesses what is known as a “Swarm intelligence”, whereby the animals systematically explore and overcome the obstacle as one, I want my students to possess the same characteristics by creating a classroom atmosphere where all the children develop and explore hands on lesson and also encourage them to work as a team to overcome any obstacles that they may face during the difficult time.
Most of the wildebeest are nomadic and are in constant search for new food sources. I will create an inquiry based learning environment using creative techniques to deliver educational content that will help my students to search constantly for their knowledge and learning.
Another unique characteristic of wildebeest is that they move around in huge herds because there is safety in numbers. Within my classroom, I will create safe and nurturing environment, where students feel safe and secure asking questions or contribute to group discussion in numbers.
And we also work together, help each other in order to make our students learn and grow.
I am looking forward to an amazing “Year of the Wildebeest”
Ms. Casian Morgan
“There is no other antelope like the Wildebeest.”
The Wildebeest is one of the toughest creatures in Africa. They are relentless in their advances and will go the extra mile in huge masses to accomplish what they need to. Here at AISM, it is no different. We are drawn closely to one another patterning the Wildebeest. We use our talents to efficiently protect and nurture our students both academically, socially and emotionally during challenging conditions.
I’m vibrant, playful and possess some very admirable traits like the wildebeest. I’m continually on the move seeking to broaden the students’ knowledge in ways that accelerates their growth.
Like the Wildebeest, I am equipped with several special abilities. I am supportive, intuitive, resourceful and reliable, but most of all, I’m resilient and can adapt to any given conditions to meet potential difficulty in a challenging environment. I am able to accomplish any task given to me, 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.
Ms. Cheryl Kiahon
Welcome to the 2018/2019 GNU school year! This is the Year of the Wildebeests and I am Mrs. Cheryl Flah-Kiahon. I am excited to be returning to AISM for the fifth year in a roll and am looking forward to a great year of learning and fun throughout our school community.
Reflecting upon my twenty years in education, I find three aspects have been most essential to the growth and development of my students: 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 meaningful relationships by emphasizing our roles and responsibilities in and out of the classroom.
The wildebeests, which are natives to the harsh African Savannah regions, thrive because of their resiliency and their superior ability to work as a team. These migratory animals move great distances each year and so like them, we too will work together as a team to foster growth and development in every member of our school community. Using data to drive instruction in the classroom will be the key mode of our migration. No matter what each of our starting points is, the goal is that each of us transition to a new and improved position.
Like the Gnus, we will migrate to greener pastures this year!
3rd Grade Homeroom Teacher
Ms. Siji Binoy
Welcome to the year of The Wildebeest!
Hello, I am Ms. Siji Binoy and I am very excited to be a part of the AISM community during this wonderful school year: “The Year of the Wildebeest”! The transition to a new academic year is always full of excitement, exploration, and challenges.
I will be a part of your child’s development this 2018/2019-school year, here at AISM, as the Mathematics teacher. I have had the pleasure of beginning my sixth year as a teacher at AISM, in addition to fourteen years of teaching experience. I earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mathematics from Mahatma Gandhi University, and earned my certification in 2005.
Wildebeests are well known for their annual migration to new pastures. These attributes can be linked to AISM students, as they move from the comfort of their homes with anticipation and enthusiasm about new possibilities and new beginnings; setting new goals and facing new challenges; seeing old friends and making new ones. As your lead Wildebeest, 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’ self-esteem and confidence. 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 them achieve measurable academic improvement and meaningful personal growth, as they become life-long learners and responsible global citizens. Wildebeests are energetic, active, playful and surefooted from almost the moment of birth, while they migrate every year with herds of zebra and antelope. This teaches us self-acceptance and to embrace our individual differences. During the year of the Wildebeest, 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.
Mr. Andrae Parchment
M.Ed. (Framingham State Uni), B.A. (International Uni of the Caribbean, Dip. Ed. (Church Teachers’ College)
I am Andrae Parchment, and I hail from the beautiful island of Jamaica. In this my 13th year in the field of education, I’m very elated to guide my students through ‘The Year of the Wildebeest’. I truly have a penchant for teaching, and I’m guided by the philosophy that “Every Child Can Learn, Every Child Must Learn.”
Like the Wildebeests who are constantly in search for food and are very active throughout the day, I strive to create an inquiry classroom where my students develop a quest and passion for knowledge. My students will engage in differentiated activities to suit their learning styles and needs.
One of the key skills of Wildebeests is communication. Wildebeests communicate through sight and smell, but are also very vocal. In our classroom we will work together to communicate effectively through the use of verbal and non-verbal cues. Students will also engage in reading buddy activities with younger students.
Whilst Wildebeests are mainly found on plains, they are nomadic, and so they are constantly on the move. As a class, students will develop a deeper understanding of what it means to be a risk-taker and move out of their comfort zones and try new things. Students will also become aware that there may be hurdles along the way but through the use of collaborative strategies they will maximize their full potential.
Let’s get ready for an incredible ‘Year of the Wildebeest’.
Ms. Kerry Kay Rowe
Welcome to the Year of the Wildebeest!
My name is Kerry Kay Rowe, and I am very excited to be part of the AISM community. This year marks my fourth academic year at the American International School of Monrovia.
As we embark on a new academic year, the year of the wildebeest. It is my aim to contribute my experiences and talent to positively impact the lives of each student that enters the door of the second grade classroom. Just like the wildebeest, a creature of the wild, that contributes greatly to the world in which they live, every child has as a part to play in the classroom and our school society.
It my hope that my students will be like the enduring wildebeest. We want them to remain focused on established goals and plans in the midst of difficult situations, because each classwork should represent their best effort regardless of its struggles. I want every day to be something that can be talked about at home with new and exciting things to learn.
As wildebeests migrate in one circle or loop in search of grass to eat and water to drink, I also believe that, as a class, we can work together to achieve success. We can learn from each other and move to new learning paths and goals as we work hard this year to improve our learning.
Let us take our academic journey together leaving sparkles everywhere like a herd of wildebeest in the wild!
I am looking forward to a great year!
Ms. Sara Metwary
Welcome to the 2018-2019 year of the wildebeest
My name is Sara Metwary! I am very excited to begin my third Year at the AISM. I earned both my Bachelors and Masters in Literature from Lebanese University. I will continue as the French and Arabic teacher during this school year.
Crossing a river full of crocodiles is not anything you or I would probably ever want to do but I believe that our students in this school year will be like the Wildebeests who have to face crocodiles and other predators during their annual migration, a trip they take every year. This is something that we will be working on together. I want my students to face all the difficult challenges in learning another language, I will be able to give my students multiple opportunities for success and growth through differentiated assignments.
I am looking forward to a great year.
Ms. Gabriela Cabrera
Dear AISM Community,
Welcome to the Year of the Wildebeest!
My name is Gabriela Cabrera. I am from Venezuela; I’m happy to be back to the AISM community, for my second year at AISM and my fifth year as a teacher. This school year I will be teaching EYP 2. I have a specialization in Early Childhood Education, from Augustana University, South Dakota, and I am currently working on a second certification in this same teaching specialization.
The Wildebeest is a resilient animal that moves around in massive herds in their constant search of food sources. As the abilities of the Wildebeest, I want my EYP students to be adaptable to the new challenges that will come along the way. I will be sure to provide them a friendly environment and support that encourage them to work together; where they can explore and expose their creativity, …. but at the same time being flexibles with the constant changes that will come and will prepare them for what comes next.
I strongly believe that parental involvement is extremely important to be successful in the classroom. I’m looking forward to meeting my new students. We have a great year ahead of us!
Ms. Nicole Hicks
Welcome to the Year of the Wildebeest!
My name is Nicole Hicks and I am very excited to be returning to AISM! Even though some time has passed since I last taught here, I am just as ready to pick up and help out with our youngest group, EYP I. This year the EYP team will consist of Ms. Gabriela, Ms. Smith, and myself.
During the Year of the Wildebeest AISM is expecting a sizable number of students in the EYP program. This will require, that as teachers, we prove to be adaptable and maneuverable in order to meet our students’ needs and help our youngest members start their school career off on the right foot. Similar to the Great Wildebeest Migration, where numerous wildebeest and other grazing animals travel great distances in search of food and water, in the EYP program we will search far and wide for fun and exciting topics that will help our EYP students learn as much as they can and meet their full potential as they start their first year of school.
Newborn wildebeests are able to walk shortly after birth and not too long after they join the adults as they continue their great migration. Soon, EYP students will be immersed in a new environment, where they will learn many new things and with the guidance of their parents and teachers they will be able to successfully transition into this exciting year of learning and develop the resilience needed to keep going on this educational journey.
Ms. Elisha James
Welcome to the 2018 – 2019 Year of the Wildebeest!
I am Elisha-Christina James and I will be the Upper School English teacher for this year. This begins my third year here at AISM as an English teacher and I am very excited to be back. I earned my B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I later earned a Masters in Education from the University of Phoenix with a focus on Curriculum and Instruction. My initial training was in business with a career in the Human Resources field. Like the nomadic Wildebeest I migrated toward what I believe was better pastures. Being a teacher isn’t easy and I know that I work much harder in the Education field more than I ever worked in Human Resources. But the work is worth it as focus on the overall success of my students.
One of my goals as a teacher is to get my students to love to learn! I hope to create an environment in which they actually enjoy coming to class, working in class, and are super excited to do homework (yeah right!!!) But hey, I can try anyway. Wildebeests are resilient animals that have learned to overcome the difficulties and challenges in their environment. This year will not be easy for students transitioning from grade 5 to grade 6. However, I am here to guide students to being the best they can possibly be. Looking forward to the new year!
THIS IS A.I.S.M.!
Ms. Lama Mattar
Greetings to all the AISM Families, new and returning ones,
My name is Lama Hajj, and I am from Lebanon. I graduated as drama director from the Lebanese University faculty of fine Arts; I worked both in the private and educational fields since then. I started as the assistant director and senior tape librarian at OSN (Orbit Show Time) for 5 years, and then became a Drama teacher in CCS school in Lebanon for 3 years, so I am aware of both the art and the science of teaching.
It is my first year at AISM, and I am very excited to be part of the AISM Community during the Year of the Wildebeest! As a foreign language (French and Arabic) teacher, I know that every new word can be a challenge to learn for some of our students; that’s why we believe that working together – the parents, the students and the teachers – will lead to success.
Working with a comfortable and highly supportive team makes AISM a healthy place to learn; it is like the grassland for the wildebeest, with plenty of sunlight and limited shade, but filled with learning and knowledge, with no limits!
I believe that our students are able to succeed and thrive … as fast as the wildebeest calves take their first steps.
I am looking forward to a great year of the wildebeest, and to meeting every one of you!