how we teach

Our teachers combine a wealth of experience with a passion for education.  We'll inspire your child to achieve more than they ever imagined possible.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT

Being a member of Nord Anglia Education, the global family of premium international schools, means we attract the world’s most sought after international educators. It's one of the many reasons why 97% of parents say their child receives 'a high quality education at BISC - South Loop'.
primary
  • Senior Leadership 
  • Primary Leadership
  • Secondary Leadership
  • Secondary Leadership

Meet our Team

Every member of the South Loop team contributes to our reputation as a world-renowned educational institution.
Principal
Mike Henderson
Mike spent 20 years working in England before securing his dream job in the US.
Mike Henderson - Principal
Mike hails from a long line of teachers and spent the first 20 years of his career as a math teacher in England. He took on more responsibility with each role, before eventually achieving his childhood dream of becoming a headteacher. He led a secondary school for three years before the opportunity arose for him to take his skills to Washington, D.C. as Head of Secondary at the British International School. Mike is passionate about empowering his teachers to help students master their subject matter, while having fun and making memories along the way.
Anique Seldon
Director of Admissions, Marketing, and Communications
Anique worked in law and non-profit leadership before moving to education. She has experience working for day and boarding schools in New England and Illinois.
Anique Seldon - Director of Admissions, Marketing, and Communications
Anique’s career began in law, in which she practiced pharmaceutical liability. But eager to gain some international experience, she secured a position in New York as an intern at a law firm. She began volunteering as Assistant Director of an AIDS foundation, before returning to the UK where she assumed the role of Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s organization CARE. Anique joined South Loop after four years as Director of Admissions and Marketing at one of our sister Nord Anglia schools in Boston. Her binational background has given her strong insights into the benefits of different curricula and demonstrated for her first-hand the value of a global education. 
Kawanya Jones
Finance and Operations Manager
Kawanya’s career ranged across several industries before she got into education. 
Kawanya Jones - Finance and Operations Manager
A Chicagoland native, Kawanya is a results-oriented finance and accounting leader with over 20 years of experience. Throughout her illustrious career she has focused on helping organizations create sound financial and accounting infrastructures through strategic planning, departmental restructuring, and change management. Her work has spanned several industries, including banking, insurance, and education.
Dr. Zerek Mayes
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Zerek has spent his career empowering young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. 
Dr. Zerek Mayes - Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Zerek is passionate about leading change in education, especially in urban contexts. He is a champion of students from every background and experience, and his professional roots are in special education, mental health, culturally responsive teaching, social–emotional learning in the classroom, and trauma-informed teaching in urban communities. Zerek obtained his doctorate from the University of Central Florida, where he focused on leadership in urban special education. 

 
Lindsay Kafitz
Director of Counseling and Student Support
Lindsay joined BISC - South Loop with an impressive résumé in college counseling and admissions. 
Lindsay Kafitz - Director of Counseling and Student Support
Lindsay hails is from Chicago and has 15 years of experience in college counseling and admissions. She spent the first half of her career working in selective college admissions across several universities, before transitioning to serve as Associate Director of College Counseling at Lake Forest Academy. Before joining South Loop, Lindsay served as Director of Counseling at the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund. 
Debra Schaefer
Learning Support Manager
Debra has had a rich and varied career, empowering women and children across several struggling nations. 
Debra Schaefer - Learning Support Manager
Debra has devoted her life to becoming a Renaissance scholar, having studied in various fields spanning STEM and the humanities. Teaching has taken her across the globe, and she has worked as an academic consultant for startup schools in several developing or war-torn countries. Debra has also spent time volunteering as an educational consultant in Vietnam and Bangladesh, where she helped schools, orphanages, and an underground women’s rights organization. Before moving abroad, she founded a private school in Florida driven by the idea that every student can achieve “individual excellence.” Debra is excited by South Loop’s dedication to learning from a global perspective, and our commitment to instill in students a global outlook to support their ambitions. 

 
Danny Cerero
Site Manager
Danny maintains the school facilities and is a vital cog in the BISC - South Loop machine. 
Danny Cerero - Site Manager
Before joining the British School of Chicago in 2006 in our old building on Bryn Mawr, Danny spent five years working with forklifts, Bobcats, man lifts, and big machinery. When we opened our South Loop campus, he transferred to work as site manager at the new building. Danny maintains the school facilities, coordinates special events, and is instrumental in the day-to-day running of the school. 

MEET OUR STAFF

Every member of the South Loop team contributes to our reputation as a world-renowned educational institution.
John Biggs
Head of Primary
John worked in a beautiful English village before moving to Chicago in 2007. 
John Biggs - Head of Primary
After graduating with a degree in science, John decided to fulfill his ambition to become a teacher. His first post was at a village school on the Staffordshire Moorlands in England, with picturesque views right outside the classroom window. John moved to the British International School of Chicago in 2007, excited to expand his horizons overseas. He was then appointed Head of Primary at South Loop. John enjoys enhancing the curriculum so it continually challenges and inspires students.
Kate Kaplun
Assistant Head of Primary (Pastoral)
Kate has been with South Loop for over 10 years and is proud to now help other teachers in training. 
Kate Kaplun - Assistant Head of Primary (Pastoral)

Kate comes from a family of teachers andfollowing their footstepswas always her dream. She began her career in England, teaching in two primary schools before looking to continue her professional development internationally. She has been teaching at South Loop since 2010, and loves working as a Year 2 teacher, spending her days collaborating with an immensely talented team of educators. Kate is also proud to be responsible for developing teaching and learning in ICT across the school, and loves being involved with the mentoring and moderating of trainee teachers.

 

Melissa Arana
Assistant Head of Primary (Academics and Professional Development)
Melissa has been at South Loop for almost 20 years, during which time she’s held a range of pivotal responsibilities. 
Melissa Arana - Assistant Head of Primary (Academics and Professional Development)
Melissa grew up in England and began her teaching career at a boarding school and then an independent day school in London. Since arriving at the British International School of Chicago in 2002, she has held various responsibilities, including implementing the International Primary Curriculum and leading us through the Council of International Schools accreditation. Melissa has enjoyed working across different Key stages and is proud of South Loop’s ethos of providing every student with a personalized learning experience to enable them to flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning. 

 
Ryan Williams
Key stage 1 Leader
Ryan’s dream was to teach primary education internationally. He’s now living that dream at South Loop! 
Ryan Williams - Key stage 1 Leader
Ryan always wanted to teach primary education internationally—so he was delighted when the opportunity arose for him to move to the US. Early in his career he moved to a top prep school in London, where he was instrumental in developing the curriculum. Ryan considers South Loop markedly different from other schools he’s worked at because of the buzzing environment, genuine sense of community, and teachers’ dedication to adapting to individual students’ needs. 
Demelza Wheeler-Ozanne
Key stage 2 Leader
Demelza has loved Chicago since she was little—so her role at South Loop was a match made in heaven. 
Demelza Wheeler-Ozanne - Key stage 2 Leader
Demelza had visited Chicago many times as a child—so when she saw the advertisement for South Loop, she knew it was meant to be. She began her career in Scotland, where she worked to develop a rural school’s assessment strategies. Since having moved to South Loop in 2009, she has continued to focus on her professional development. Demelza has worked in different age groups through the primary school and led a number of curricular areas. In 2014 she led the International Primary Curriculum, and this school year was proud to become Key stage 2 Leader in addition to her role as a Year 6 teacher. 
Daniel Quinn
Primary Technology Leader
Daniel has a strong philosophy surrounding education—so South Loop was the perfect school for him. 
Daniel Quinn - Primary Technology Leader
Daniel began his teacher training in Scotland, during which time he gained valuable experience in inner city schools and rural settings alike. He has been lucky enough to travel a lot, so moving to a thriving city like Chicago to do a job he loved was a dream come true! As soon as Daniel read about South Loop’s philosophy, he knew it was meant to be, as it resonated with his own view that education should foster a child’s creativity and encourage them to challenge themselves in a safe environment.
Chloe Robson
Primary English Leader
Chloe believes every child should be empowered with the tools to lead their own learning.
Chloe Robson - Primary English Leader
Chloe grew up in Scotland, and for as long as she can remember it was her dream to become a primary teacher. Throughout her training she was privileged to gain experience in a variety of schools, both inner city and rural. She is experienced in leading literacy to ensure high attainment levels in reading, as well as in leading the transition from nursery to primary school. Chloe views every child as the center of learning, and believes education should be fun, active, and interesting, while developing students’ skills so they can lead their own learning in a supervised environment. 
Greg Nowak
Primary Topic Leader
Greg joined South Loop in 2009 and says every year since then has been as good as the last! 
Greg Nowak - Primary Topic Leader
Greg initially trained in criminology and social policy, gaining fantastic experience as a care worker for children with special needs. He then worked as a primary school teacher before leaving England in 2009 for South Loop, where he was instantly struck by the staff’s enthusiasm, and how they always strove to get the best out of their students. During his time at South Loop, Greg has led teams in nursery and reception classes. More recently he transitioned to teaching in Key stage 2, which has given him further opportunities to enhance his own skills and experience.
Joe Millar
Primary Math Leader
Joe was impressed by South Loop’s dedication to personalized learning—so teaching here was the natural choice. 
Joe Millar - Primary Math Leader
Joe began his career managing a children’s soccer center in Manchester, England. Working with children on a day-to-day basis was a wonderful experience and turned his attention toward a career in education. He worked as a teaching assistant before embarking on his teacher training, and finally taking up his first position as a primary teacher a few years later. Joe joined South Loop because of its commitment to providing children with fantastic learning opportunities and was wowed by our amazing facilities and the resources available to students. 

MEET OUR STAFF

Every member of the South Loop team contributes to our reputation as a world-renowned educational institution.
Nikki Able
Head of Secondary
Nikki’s dream was to work in the Americas—and it came true at South Loop! 
Nikki Able - Head of Secondary
Nikki was born and raised in Southeast England before attaining a degree in Philosophy and Psychology. She then went on to gain a Master’s in Educational Leadership, before starting her teaching career in the West Midlands. Nikki then relocated to Devon in the southwest to take up a position as Vice-Principal at an outstanding secondary school. It had long been her ambition to work in the Americas—so she was delighted when she joined the Nord Anglia family in beautiful Chicago! 

 
Russell Potepa
Head of High School
Russell had a fascinating career in science before transitioning to teaching it to secondary school children. 
Russell Potepa - Head of High School
After graduating in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Russell researched methods for investigating mammalian cell production, which led to him being awarded an MPhil. He then studied to teach high school biology and middle school science, before starting his teaching career in Manchester, England, where he spent several years focusing on post-16 education. Before joining South Loop, Russell taught in international schools in the UK and France. He has been involved with the IB Diploma Programme for six years, including four as its coordinator.
Rebecca Allister
Head of Middle School
Rebecca has been with South Loop for 15 years, during which time she’s held several prominent positions.
Rebecca Allister - Head of Middle School
Rebecca qualified as a teacher in 2000, and moved to the US in 2005. Her first role this side of the Atlantic was at the British International School in Houston, where she taught IB and IGCSE Geography. The following year Rebecca moved to South Loop, where she has held many positions, including those involving senior leadership and pastoral responsibilities. However, she has never been more excited about a role than she is now as IB Coordinator. Her vision: for South Loop to be known for delivering the best IB programme in Chicago. 

 
Adam Johnson
Head of Years 12 and 13
Adam is a highly experienced Business Studies teacher, and is proud to lead our students during their final two school years.
Adam Johnson - Head of Years 12 and 13
Adam’s teaching career began in London, where he taught Business Studies, Accounting, Economics, and ICT. He was given the opportunity to take the lead over the school’s specialty, Business and Enterprise, which included coordinating cross-curricular activities and facilitating the use of enterprise in teaching and learning. After a month teaching in Hong Kong, Adam got the taste for international education, enjoying the challenge of applying his skills in unfamiliar surroundings. Since joining South Loop, he’s been impressed by the world-class quality of our teachers. 
Jamie Hubball
Head of Years 10 and 11
Jamie fell in love with Chicago while on vacation here. Now at South Loop he’s living the dream!
Jamie Hubball - Head of Years 10 and 11
On Jamie’s first visit to Chicago on vacation, he fell in love with the Chicago Cubs—and the rest is history. After visiting again in 2018, he dreamed of moving here—and this was to become a reality only a year later. Before joining BISC, Jamie was Deputy Head of Mathematics and Head of Year 7 at a girls’ grammar school in London, and in 2016 received a Teacher of the Year award after being nominated by his students. He was attracted to South Loop after witnessing first-hand our staff’s enthusiasm, and their dedication to personalizing learning to every student.
Laura Towell
Head of Year 9
Laura is a highly experienced PE and Dance teacher, and believes in the power of exercise to enhance learning. 
Laura Towell - Head of Year 9
Laura lived in Dublin until her family moved to Kuwait when she was nine. She studied for a degree in Sports Science and Dance in the UK, then trained to become a PE and dance teacher. Laura’s career began at a school in London, where over the course of four years she was promoted to Deputy Curriculum Leader for Physical Education, then to Behavior Management Mentor, and finally to Curriculum Leader for Physical Education. She was also instrumental in setting up the school’s GCSE in Dance. Laura believes in the power of sport and exercise to connect young people with their physical, mental, and social wellbeing in a way no other subject can. 
Christian Baker
Head of Year 8
Christian spent four years teaching math at a top IB school in Hong Kong before joining South Loop. 
Christian Baker - Head of Year 8
Before becoming a teacher, Christian completed a joint honors degree in Mathematics and Physics, then dabbled in movies and radio before setting his heart on teaching. He completed the Teach First program, which places top graduates in some of the most challenging public schools in the UK. Over three years, Christian worked with students from disadvantaged communities, and his classes achieved record results. He then moved to one of the top 10 IB schools in the world in Hong Kong, spending four years teaching math. Christian loves the vibrant community of South Loop, and believes our “Be Ambitious” statement encapsulates everything he values most about education. 
Jack Bartlett
Head of Year 7
Jack’s life has always been grounded in sport, and he brings that determination and self-discipline to his role as Head of Year 7. 
Jack Bartlett - Head of Year 7
Jack’s life has always revolved around sport, be that playing, watching, or coaching! Before his career in education, he played semi-professional soccer in England, and was head soccer coach at a school in London. He has also played and coached volleyball. After completing his degree in Sports Coaching and Sport Development, Jack qualified as a teacher. Before taking up his current position, he was Assistant Head of PE and Head of Soccer.

MEET OUR TEACHERS

Our teachers are one of the biggest reasons we're known as Chicago's leading international school. 
Jennifer Taylor
IB Coordinator
Jennifer thrives on the opportunity to bring the joys of science to her students.
Jennifer Taylor - IB Coordinator
Jennifer’s passion has always been engaging people in the wonder of the world around them. This drove her to become a science educator. She was previously Deputy Head of Science and Head of PSHE and Citizenship at a school in England, where her work focused on increasing participation at A Level through community and career activities. The opportunity to work at South Loop was once-in-a-lifetime, and Jennifer is delighted to be able to share her love of science in an incredible school while experiencing life in a different country.
Julie Connor
Secondary Head of Math
Teaching and math are second nature to Julie, and she loves channeling her enthusiasm into her lessons. 
Julie Connor - Secondary Head of Math
The daughter of two teachers, Julie knew from a young age that teaching would be the career for her. Her career began teaching math in a primary school in the UK, where she specialized in developing numeracy throughout the school. She then transitioned into secondary education, teaching math in an ICT specialist school. During her 10 years there, Julie took on many responsibilities, including acting as Head of Learning for Life and Work and Coordinator of Citizenship, Community Relations, and Charities.
Matt Davies
Head of Creative Arts
Matt has been at South Loop for 15 years, during which time he’s played a pivotal role in developing our Design Technology curriculum. 
Matt Davies - Head of Creative Arts
Matt underwent his teacher training in Wales before taking up his first post as a teacher in London, where he taught ICT, Electronics, Graphic Design, and Resistant Materials. He then returned to Wales to teach Product Design, Engineering, and ICT, before settling to teach and lead the Design Technology department at another secondary school. After seven years he decided to work abroad, and saw the role at South Loop as an incredible opportunity to develop a Design Technology Curriculum overseas. 
Tom Hunt
Secondary Head of English
Tom saw South Loop as an opportunity to be part of a growing school with a reputation for excellence. 
Tom Hunt - Secondary Head of English
Tom studied English at university before obtaining a Master’s in Literature, Culture, and Modernity. He was motivated to become a teacher because he was fortunate enough to enjoy an education that instilled in him a thirst for learning. Ever since, Tom has been driven to play a part in giving others the same positive experience of education. He finds South Loop unique in its individual care, attention, and encouragement of every student, and is proud to contribute to a community where staff go above and beyond to support learning. 
Sara Lopez
Athletic Director
Sara’s life has been characterized by a love of sport, and she brings that joy and enthusiasm to her role at South Loop.
Sara Lopez - Athletic Director
Sara grew up in a small fishing village in Scotland, where she exhausted every opportunity to participate in sport and physical activity! She was keen to follow in the footsteps of her father, who had been an influential Head of Physical Education. Sara represented her country in shinty, its traditional sport which is closely related to field hockey. She is a firm believer that every student deserves the opportunity to enjoy a healthy and fruitful relationship with sport, regardless of their ability. Before joining South Loop, she worked at one of the UK’s top independent day schools as Head of House, Head of Department, Head of Year 8, and Director of Physical Education and Sport.
Eleanor Samson
Head of Performing Arts
Eleanor has been musical her whole life, and has spent her career playing in and establishing vibrant ensembles. 
Eleanor Samson - Head of Performing Arts
Eleanor has been playing music all her life. After performing with local orchestras and choirs from a young age, she studied music at university, then went on to do her teacher training. Before joining South Loop, Eleanor had taught Music and Music Technology in schools across the UK. She is proud to have established several award-winning extracurricular ensembles, one of which was even invited to perform at Music for Youth’s national festival. 
Sam Cosgrove
Head of Languages
Sam is an experienced linguist, and enjoys showing students the power of speaking another language. 
Sam Cosgrove - Head of Languages
After graduating from the University of Edinburgh with an MA in German Studies (with French) and taking a year to work for a German franchise, Sam started his career in a large 11-18 school in the North West of England. He completed a Masters degree in Teaching & Learning through the University of Manchester in 2020, looking specifically at how students view the use of target language in the classroom. Sam particularly enjoys teaching the I.B. Diploma Program and considers South Loop students some of the most engaged, driven and successful that he has taught. 
Lucinda Wain
Head of Citizenship and History
Lucinda has always been passionate about history, and enjoys applying her skills to South Loop’s enviable curriculum. 
Lucinda Wain - Head of Citizenship and History
Lucinda studied Ancient History at university before undergoing her teacher training in London, where she then worked in several schools over the course of eight years. She is now Head of Citizenship and History, and finds South Loop unique in the ambitious scope of its curriculum, and the way that every student has access to a highly personalized learning experience. 
Ryan Allen
Secondary Head of Science
Ryan is passionate about bringing the wonders of science right into the classroom. 
Ryan Allen - Secondary Head of Science

Ryan grew up with a love of the outdoors, which led to him pursuing a degree in Ocean Sciences—but it was during his time at university that he realized teaching was the career for him. Before joining South Loop, he was Head of Science at a school in England, where he oversaw the successful planning, development, and implementation of the latest GCSE and A level Science curricula. For Ryan, this was the perfect opportunity to show students that science can be exciting, thought-provoking, and applicable in real-life situations. His passion for learning has seen him hold other responsible positions across several schools, including leading whole-school training, coaching staff in various departments, and working within the Senior Leadership Team.

 

In an increasingly global economy, the IBDP is the gold standard curriculum. IB students experience an extremely rigorous academic program while balancing other life skills.
Mr. Johnson
Teacher Year 12 & Year 13
TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM AND AT HOME

TEACHER-LED TECHNOLOGY

At BISC - South Loop, we unlock our students' potential by bringing the very best in teaching and technology into our classrooms. We use tech to connect your child to thousands of classmates in Nord Anglia's schools around the world to enrich their learning.

TEACHER quality

Teachers at BISC - South Loop bring into the classroom the highest standards, built on Nord Anglia's world-respected professional development program.
At South Loop, we ensure our teachers:
  • Benefit from subject-specific training from leading learning organizations, such as MIT, Juilliard, King's College London.
  • Have access to Nord Anglia University to collaborate with 10,000 other teachers worldwide, share resources and join best-in-class training exercises 
  • Have leadership pathways through our management training courses, to our Executive Masters in International Education from King's College London.
South Loop Student Close-Up

teaching & learning standards

Globally and locally, Nord Anglia's education teams rigorously assess and assure the quality of BISC - South Loop's international education.


All of our teachers are involved in professional development, and thanks to a global Education Team that drives success in academics, quality assurance, accreditation and safeguarding across our schools, our teacher standards are second to none. 

BECOME PART OF OUR LOCAL HERITAGE

WORKING AT SOUTH LOOP

When it comes to international schools in Chicago, BISC - South Loop's local reputation is based on our high quality teachers. We shape young lives – and you can be part of it.
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WE LOOK FORWARD TO WELCOMING YOU!

Our admissions team would love to hear from you. Why not schedule a Virtual Discovery Meeting with our Director of Admissions to learn more about our program and what makes us special.

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