The Chefs

The SCCS Omelette is the product of the Media Writing Class for the first semester of the 2011-2012 school year comprised of Ximena Fagan, Andrea Gutierrez, Lucia Landivar, Nicolas Handal, Sebastian Vedia, Manuel Saavedra, Nicolas Aguirre, and Fernando Monasterio. Instructor and Blogmaster: David Boldt. (Address all complaints and suggestions to To read more items on the "Omelette," including profiles of new teachers and staff, Middle School Medieval Day, and much, much more, go to

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Teachers in the Lower School

'A New Beginning' in Bolivia

         Alison Clare, a new first grade teacher at SCCS, comes equipped with high expectations and a lovely personality, Ms. Clare is excited to begin the next chapter of her life in the vibrant Santa Cruz community.
            This young lady is from the state of Connecticut, in the US. She studied at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. After graduating she taught as a 7th grade science teacher in La Crosse, Wisconsin. After she did some research in Cochabamba last year she noticed that she enjoyed Latin America. While Ms. Clare was there, she heard that there was an excellent school in Santa Cruz and decided to apply here and hope to make this her new home. She succeeded. "This is a new beginning for me," she says.
Some of her hobbies are cooking, reading, writing, running and, mostly, relaxing. The teaching life style has allowed her to practice all of her hobbies. She loves the hot weather of Santa Cruz and has noticed that the city is fun to be in and that Cruceños are very nice people to deal with.
            Alison Clare decided to teach children at a younger levelk than in the past because she believes that it is very important for young people to obtain a love for learning and strong classroom skills from a very young age to ensure lifelong learning in the future. Clare’s classroom is very colorful and fun, which illustrates her personality and style.
She expects that students come to school every day to learn and enjoy learning because her job in SCCS is not only as a first grade teacher but also to help children grow in a very healthy way. Most of the opinions that she has gathered over the first few weeks in school have been positive, She like the beautiful campus and that the high motivation of the students and staff.
-- Ximena Fagan

From Minnesota, to Spain, to Santa Cruz

Christina Szyman is the cheerful new American fifth-grade teacher who always seems to be fun and polite and wearing a beautiful smile.  And she seems to be just as she appears.
The new 5-A teacher just celebrated her 35th birthday in ¨tierras cruceñas¨ on f July 30. She was born and raised in the states where she claims two hometowns Chicago, where she grew up, and a small town in Minnesota where her parents live now. She constantly thinks about them and hopes to visit them almost every holiday. 
Christina Szyman says she is enjoying her job at SCCS were her husband, Jason Hershberger,  is also a teacher. . The couple was previously working in Barcelona at Benjamin Franklin international school, which was where they met.
 ¨ The difference between the schools is that the school there [in Barcelona] was much more international, ¨ she says. ¨There were kids from all over the world versus more local Bolivians and South Americans here¨. She worked in Barcelona for around five years and enjoyed it very much. She had previously had worked in a school in Minnesota for six years.
Not only is SCCS different from Benjamin Franklin international school, but also from the high school where Christina Szyman attended as a teenager in Chicago. It was a really big school and very sports-oriented. Sports also took a big part of her life because she used to practice lots of basketball, volleyball, and soccer. Her school was considered one of the best in S States.
She says though life in Santa Cruz is really different from living in Barcelona, , things are pretty interesting here. She finds it hard to get used to taking taxis here because in Barcelona she used to walk from one end of the city to the other; and unlike Santa Cruz, the public transportation was really good. But at the same time Szyman is having a good time visiting the markets, and she highlights that the people have been really welcoming and nice with her.
-- Andrea Gutierrez

He wants to follow in Che's tire tracks 

     Jeremy Kes, the new fourth grade teacher, is really into teaching science and math though he thinks of his job as mainly teaching life skills. He teaches how to be organized, how students should care for one another, how to be together, how to respect, and be part of a team. He decided to teach elementary because children are willing to listen.
     Kes is an American teacher who comes from Minnesota. He is the first member of his family to graduate from college, and worked in restaurants to pay for his own college tuition at North Dakota State University.
      He is a big sports fan. He likes baseball, especially watching his favorite team, the Minnesota Twins, on a Saturday night. He also follows American football. In terms of the sports he participates in, he enjoys rock climbing.
       Since coming here, he has gone to the ¨clasico¨ of Blooming and Oriente, and considers himself an Oriente fan because Blooming fans “don’t know how to lose a game.”
    His dream is to travel over Bolivia on a motorcycle. He wants to go to the forests around Samaipata and the national forest in Beni.  
 He chose to come to Bolivia because it was the best job he was offered when he went to a job fair. He was willing to go almost anywhere to get the chance to meet new people, and experience a new culture.
Mr. Kes has his own taste for music. He likes rock music and a little of rap. He likes a group called ¨Arcade Fire¨, and their song called ¨The Suburbs¨ which reminds him of his life growing up in the suburbs of Minneapolis.  
    His favorite meal is steak, so in coming to Santa Cruz, land of the churrasco, he has come to the right place.
-- Fernando Monasterio

A Texan who wants to have fun  -- and teach

            David Bergner, a new fourth  grade teacher in our school,, was born In Houston in 1979. Bergner was raised in Tyler, Texas, and says it was a very fun place to grow up , riding bikes in the street, changing sports cards with friends, and playing sports. He often  played soccer and ping pong, which are common in all Latin America.
David Bergner always wanted to become a teacher because his mother is an educator, and has always wanted to use a second language as a teacher. Bergner says that he always loved school when he was a student, and since then he had the dream to work on one.  He graduated from the University of Texas, in Austin, which is reputedly a fun place to go to university. .
Before teaching in SCCS, David Bergner worked in a school named “Escola Beit Yaacov”, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and also in Lister Elementary School, in Dallas. Bergner chose Bolivia to teach because he has been to Latin America, and knew he would like being here – and have fun.
He knew what to expect in Bolivia because he has been here before as a visitor.  He went to Sucre, Salar de Uyuni, and to La Paz, so he got the idea of how this country was, though he has made some discoveries.  He now thinks the food is much better in Santa Cruz than in La Paz and all those other places.  
During his free time, David Bergner loves to read, attend salsa classes, and hang out with his friends – to have fun. As a teacher, David Bergner says that his challenges are mainly finding enough time to do everything he wants, and allocating his limited resources.

-- Nicolas Aguirre     

She loves kids, cooking, and 'chick flicks'

Silvia Davis is very nice and easy to talk to, eager to help a young reporter get answers to his questions. (I’m glad she is this way because she is my younger brother’s teacher for 1st grade.) This is her first year here at this school and is looking forward to it. She really likes the school and Santa Cruz.

 She was born in Guatemala in 1972 and graduated from Universidad del Valle in Guatemala City where she studied history and social studies.
 She loves teaching and loves kids. She has been teaching for almost 20 years. She has taught all grades, from first to 12th, and met her husband, Kenneth Davis, who is the new dean of students at SCCS, while teaching at the American School of Guatemala in Guatemala City.
The Davises then moved to Caracas, Venezuela, where they again worked together in the same international school, this time for three years. Silvia Davis was the elementary school librarian. The Davises have a daughter, Analee, who is now in the sixth grade at SCCS.
Davis likes to spend her free time watching TV. She enjoys any type of cooking shows but specially loves the Food Network. She also enjoys watching “chick flick” movies. Among her favorite movies are “The Sound of Music” and “You’ve Got Mail.”
  What she likes most about her job at SCCS is coming to school in the morning and seeing all her students and working with them. 

-- Sebastian Vedia