Anita Churchville coordinates the K-12 High Ability Program at the American School of Bombay. She previously created and coordinated the Gifted and Talented Education program at the American School of Doha and at Academia Cotopaxi in Ecuador. In addition, she worked as a program specialist in the Los Angeles Unified School District in California, USA, supporting 16 schools. She has a master's degree in special and gifted education and an educational diagnostician certification. She has presented conference sessions at the IB Regional Conference (The Hague), the Istanbul NESA regional conference and the NESA regional conference in Bangkok.
Lindsey Anderson is a Learning Coach at the American School of Bombay where she partners with general education teachers and students to support the success of all learners through the application of both universal and specialized academic supports.
With nearly 15 years of working as an educator everywhere from a local rural elementary school in Honduras to urban schools in Washington, DC to ASB, Lindsey has learned what it takes to reach ALL kinds of students – and it’s not necessarily gadgets, games, or the latest pedagogical fad. Instead, it’s about how well you know your students and are able to use design strategies to create flexible, authentic, and rigorous learning experiences that can meet the needs of all learners from the start.
Lindsey has been recognized by her own students and national educational associations with awards for her teaching, and educational programs that she helped to develop have been replicated by independent schools and school districts. In addition to her roles as a teacher and administrator, Lindsey has extensive experience providing professional development to educators as both a consultant and lecturer.
Lindsey holds a MA in transition special education and an EdD in applied neuroscience and special education both from The George Washington University.
Marilyn Friend, Ph.D. Professor Emerita, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro has spent her career as a general education teacher, special education teacher, researcher, professor, administrator, teacher educator, and staff developer. She is Professor Emerita of Education in the Department of Specialized Education Services at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and she is Past President of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the largest International Professional Organization dedicated to improving the educational success of children and youth with disabilities and/or gifts and talents.
Dr. Friend has consulted with school professionals nationally and internationally (more than 3000 presentations and projects in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia) as they collaborate to educate their students, assisting them to create classroom partnerships through co-teaching, to form productive and efficient work teams, and to foster inclusive practices. She is the author or co-author of three widely used college textbooks on special education; a variety of co-teaching materials for teachers and administrators; more than 60 articles about collaboration, inclusive practices, and co-teaching; and a highly popular video series on co-teaching and other inclusive practices. Her work was recently recognized when she was named the 2016 recipient of the Teacher Education Division/Pearson Excellence in Special Education Teacher Education Award.
Alexander Johnson is born in the United States and raised in Brazil, Alexander is a third-culture kid and third-generation international educator. With a background in game development and a passion for technology, he moved to India and began working in education, where he has remained for the past seven years. Working for most of his career in the elementary school as a technology integrator, he has seen firsthand the incredible potential for innovative change through the effective use of technology. An Apple Distinguished Educator, lucky husband, proud dog-father, and a lifelong learner. In his free time, you will find him engaged in virtual reality, reading, spending time with family or learning a new tool. He is currently the EdTech Coordinator at the American School of Bombay, where he works to ensure that the integration of technology aligns with pedagogical best practice and enhances student learning.
Rohit Kumar, through his work and education, has come to believe that schools are places for an enriching socio-cultural dialogue that can empower or subvert its pupils, depending upon how the school is imagined, designed and brought into action. Rohit holds an M.A. in Education from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and Masters in Software Systems from Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai, India. However, he thinks his most important learning comes from two other experiences. One, teaching at Akanksha Foundation’s Social Leadership Program for three years where he worked with youth from low income homes and at ASB’s Global Leadership class, where he works with youth to engage with their multicultural selves. Two, being part of the summer staff team at Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) project by Wellesley Center for Women, Wellesley College, USA where he co-facilitates diversity workshops for educators.
Since 2015, he is working with American School of Bombay on Community and Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives where he work with students and teachers on service learning, intercultural competence and CSR advisory programme. He has also co-founded Khoj Community School, a project for whole-school approach to Social Emotional Learning (SEL) with a focus on concept-based curriculum, multicultural education and community development.
Christopher O’Shaughnessy is a passionate and versatile author and speaker who uses a unique blend of story-telling, humor, and provocative insight to engage in the transient world of the international community. Chris specializes in working with Third Culture Kids (TCKs) who are broadly defined as young people who have spent all or a portion of their developmental years in a culture other than their parents’ culture.
Chris’s book, Arrivals, Departures and the Adventures In-Between, has received high praise from students, teachers, and other experts in the TCK and international community as a resource that is both enjoyable to read at a student level, and able to instill truths, insights, and skills essential to navigating life successfully as a TCK.
Born in England as a military brat to American parents, Chris has lived and worked across the globe and to date has ventured to more than 90 countries. Tales from these experiences form part of the fabric of Chris’s engaging presentation and have helped shape his passion for helping the youth of the international community grasp their distinctive cultural heritage, navigate the challenges presented by a multifaceted and uniquely transient lifestyle, and realize the benefits they bring to an ever-globalizing world.
Chris studied at Ridley Hall, Cambridge in the UK for a degree in partnership through Oxford Brookes University in Youth & Community Work & Applied Theology. He served as a Community Director in the UK and Middle East, working with the US Military Chaplaincy for eight years before becoming a full-time speaker.
Velica Pernell is a Language Arts teacher at the American School of Bombay. She has an M.A. in English Curriculum and Instruction from North Carolina State University, and with nearly 15 years of teaching experience, employs a balanced literacy approach through Reading and Writing Workshop.
Working in a variety of socioeconomic schools, Velica, a former Equity Co-chair, has often observed the disparity among educational institutions and the marginalization of voices in school settings. Combining this knowledge, with her love for books, she is continually looking for ways to leverage literature to explore issues of class, gender, race, etc. Velicia believes that this creates a more balanced English curriculum: one that emphasizes students’ rights to literary voices that reflect complex identities as a means for self-understanding and a window into the lives of others.
Ruth Van Reken is a US citizen who grew up in Nigeria as a second generation third culture kid (TCK) and raised her three daughters in Liberia. For over thirty years, Ruth has traveled extensively speaking about issues related to global family lifestyles.
Currently, she is seeking to understand how lessons learned from the TCK experience can transfer to others raised among many cultural worlds for various reasons. Ruth is the co-author of Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, various other writings, and co-founder and past chairperson of Families in Global Transition.
Andrew Watson is an author, teacher, national and international speaker, who has been connecting brain research with independent schools for the better part of a decade. A one-time dean of faculty and an award-winning teacher with 16 years of experience, Andrew now explores practical classroom uses of neuroscience and psychology research. Founder and President of Translate the Brain—an educational consultancy—he has worked in dozens of schools: from Johannesburg to New Jersey, from California to Cairo. His book Learning Begins has been called “an invaluable resource: lucid and approachable,” offering “research-based strategies and concrete examples that can be implemented immediately.” A graduate of Harvard College, Andrew holds an MA in English Literature from Boston University and an M. Ed. from the “Mind Brain Education” program at Harvard University.
Lily Poe graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. She currently teaches at the American School of Bombay in the middle school. She supports students in the High Ability program in mentor cohorts and through Enrichment classes. Additionally, she provides coaching and support to teachers and students through the Learning Support program. Her passions lie in supporting the social and emotional needs of students and individualizing instruction for learners, assisting them in identifying areas of growth and building self-advocacy skills for self-defined success.