About Us » Staff

Staff

Primary School

 
 
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Mr. Matthew Spencer
Head of Primary &
Year 6 Teacher

I was born in The Bahamas but left when I was 8. We lived in Australia after that and I completed my education there.

I returned to Nassau in the mid nineties and worked at St Andrew's  International School for much of that time. I have always enjoyed the primary years and the PYP so coming to Grand Bahama was a good move and I enjoy working here in Freeport. 
My international experience includes Japan and Myanmar and I have taught at a variety of levels including English to university students as well as teaching middle school and high school. I am very much an outdoors person and I enjoy sailing, surfing and staying fit. This relates well to teaching in the upper primary and I am a strong proponent of camps and connecting with the environment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mrs. Erin Cordes
Year 6 Teacher
PYP Coordinator

I am the Year 6 teacher and the Primary Years’ Program Coordinator. I am originally from a rural town in The Hudson Valley in New York. I have worked in other schools in New York, Massachusetts and Grand Bahama. I moved to Grand Bahama Island almost 15 years ago. I have two wonderful boys who attend LIS. I love our school and The Primary Years’ Program! It is a place where the children want to come to everyday and they get excited about what they are learning through the inquiry process. I love working at Lucaya International School because it aligns so closely with my own teaching philosophy. My goal is to teach students how to think for themselves, to become active learners and become responsible for their own learning. It is important for me to assist in developing the whole child while creating global citizens who are able to react to real-life situations by taking action to make the world a better place.

 
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Ms. Lucianna Gomez
Year 1 Teacher

I was born of both British and Bahamian parentage in London, UK and moved to the Bahamas in 1974 schooling both at Queens College and  Kingsway Academy in Nassau. I returned to the UK in 1981 winning a Scholarship to Brighton and Hove High School for girls and then on to Brighton College for V1th form prior to receiving a  Law Degree (LLB) at the University of London .

I trained as a Foster Carer for children with Emotional and Behavioural needs and this is when I found my passion for working with children. Upon completion of my Post Graduate Certificate of Education I began teaching at Stablecare School, East Sussex, UK. This was a small private institution for children with social and behavioural challenges who were unable to remain in mainstream education. During my 5 years there  I  became Vice Principal and was also the Exam Co-coordinator for the London Board  GCSE and A level Examinations.

I moved to Grand Bahama Island in 2006 and taught at Sunland Baptist Academy for the last 12 years in their Early Childhood Department and was  Co- Head of the primary school in 2011.

I was delighted in 2018 to be given the opportunity to join the staff at Lucaya International School  as the Year 1 teacher. The Primary Years Program fits well with my philosophy on allowing the child to be fully involved in their learning experiences.

The inquiry process allows for a well rounded experience in the classroom and I hope to be able to share my love of reading and learning with the children during this important foundational stage of their journey.

I love the island life and enjoy spending time on the beautiful beaches or being out on the water. I enjoy art, a good book or just relaxing with friends and family.

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Mr. Rashad Godet
Year 4 Teacher
I was born and grew up in Freeport on the quiet island of Grand Bahama, to loving parents who taught me through their diligence, sacrifice and hard-work that nothing of value was ever accomplished in life without planning, discipline and determination.  I received my formal education from Sunland Lutheran School, Mary Star of The Sea and, finally, Grand Bahama Catholic High from which I earned my Diploma in the summer of 1991. I then relocated to Florida and attended Florida Bible College in Kissimmee, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. After teaching 3rd grade for eight years at Florida Bible Christian School in Miramar, Florida I returned to Freeport with my family. It was here at Lucaya International School where I found my “2nd home” and was introduced to the philosophy and teaching practice of the Primary Years Program. A vast difference from the traditional pedagogy and conventional curriculum I was accustomed to, I quickly developed a genuine respect and appreciation for the PYP outlook and its exciting approach to life and learning.
 
 
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Ms. Sharron Waterhouse
Year 2 &3 Teacher
After graduating with a BA Hons Degree and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Hull University, I began my teaching journey in the UK. It wasn't long before my career path took me all over the world! I have worked in Asia (where I received my TEFL Certificate), Europe, New Zealand, U.S.A. and South America. In 2004, I decided to hang up my rucksack and settle at LIS - where the world now comes to me!  My biggest aim in the classroom is to encourage my children to feel comfortable, secure and happy in their working environment. Once this is achieved, then their potential knows no bounds! I expect my students to work and play hard - after all, ‘play is the work of children’ is it not? At the end of the day, if my students have had an opportunity to learn, inquire, create, imagine, construct and at the same time have fun, then I can go home feeling satisfied. I love the Primary Years Program for not only encouraging all the above, but for allowing the students to be responsible for their own learning, and to follow their bliss. Moreover, I am most passionate about the 'action' component of the Program, which inspires the children to make their world a better place. LIS is a melting pot of nationalities and therefore, I believe, the perfect breeding ground for such world changing action! 
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Mr. Brian MacDonald
Year 5 Teacher
 

Secondary School

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Mrs. Vikki Purvis
Head of Secondary
IB Mathematics
I am the Head of Secondary and am currently teaching IB Mathematical Studies. I love working at LIS because it creates global citizens and prepares our students to follow the IB Diploma Programme which is not only academically challenging, but produces well-balanced young adults who are well prepared for success at university and life beyond.  My children have attended L.I.S from Pre-Kindergarten and we have all benefited enormously by sharing the learning and teaching experiences with a diverse range of staff and students from around the world.  My interests revolve principally around my family and I enjoy helping out at various organizations on the island. My hobbies are largely artistic based - I enjoy photography, DIY and craft work and love a long, quiet walk on the island's beautiful beaches.
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Ms. Stephanie Doland
IB Coordinator
Guidance Counselor
I came to the island of Grand Bahama for a one year teaching experience eleven years ago and never left! I have been working at LIS for six of those eleven years. I am originally from wine country in beautiful upstate New York where I received my B.S. in Art with a minor in Art History from SUNY Brockport. I furthered my education at Alfred University where I received my M.S. in School Counseling and New York State certification as a Counselor. It is great to be part of the international community at LIS. I love working in an environment where new ideas and creativity are so welcomed. I currently serve as the School Counselor, Learning for Life teacher and IB Coordinator.
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Dr. Sylvia Bateman
IB/IGCSE Biology
I was brought up in rural England, where I gained by qualifications in Biological sciences. I then moved to Jamaica to instruct Gliding and soon returned to the classroom, after 15 years teaching in Jamaica I moved to the Bahamas.  I am now in my 5th year at LIS and enjoy teaching and contributing to the development of our young students. I strongly believe that students should be exposed to the outdoors and encourage them to participate in The Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. I am known for my determination never to bring a car to school and to cycle everywhere.  I participate in local triathlons and am also a keen scuba diver instructor.
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Mrs. Meghan Cash
MS English & Art and IB French
 

I was born and raised in Canada, however I have been living and teaching in Freeport, Grand Bahama for the past three years. I received all of my education in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, where I attended Laurentian University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in French and Religious Studies. I then attended Teachers College and received my Bachelor of Education. I began my teaching career at a high school in Bonnyville, Alberta Canada, where I was a double department head for Fine Arts and English. I also taught French, Home Economics, and Religious Studies. After four years under my belt in the cold north, I had decided to follow my heart to the beautiful and tropical island of Grand Bahama! I taught at a local  school for three years, and now I am absolutely elated to start my new adventure at LIS. I am a passionate individual who enjoys learning and growing and I look forward to professionally advancing in my career! In my free time, I adore drawing/painting, journaling, reading, going for beach walks, boating, spearfishing and golfing.

 

 

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Ms. Allison Crowe
IB Visual Arts
 

I call wherever I am living home- though I hail from Boston, Massachusetts. I moved constantly growing up, and even attended 3 international schools in South America! I guess that is where I acquired my lifelong love for travel. I got my masters in teaching fine arts expressly to work at international schools. I love the rich exchange between students and faculty from so many cultures. Prior to LIS, I taught IB Art at Frankfurt International School in Germany where we had 52 nationalities attending.  Personally, I have a 19 year old daughter who is an Apparel Design major at Rhode Island College of Design. I enjoy taking workshops in the summers, swimming in the ocean and cooking with friends. I love the warm LIS community and beautiful environment here and feel grateful everyday to be a part of it!

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Mrs. Tara Doherty
Middle School Mathematics and Humanities
I am currently teaching Middle School Geography and Math.   Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, I attended Acadia University and received an undergraduate degree in Sociology and English. The following year, I returned to Acadia’s education program where I completed my Bachelors of Education degree specializing in assessment and inclusive education.  I moved to Freeport 12 years ago with my husband and we now have two children who attend LIS.  In my free time, I enjoy travelling, exercising and relaxing on the beach with my family.  I believe the high standards and quality education that students receive at LIS offers endless opportunities for them to compete on an International level and I feel it is a privilege for me to come here to work with children every day.  The PYP’s inquiry approach is, in my opinion, the most effective way for a student to develop everything they need for a successful future.
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Mrs. Juliet Drackett-Hall
Middle School Mathematics and Science
 I have been working at LIS since 2009. I teach middle school science, lab science and mathematics. I am originally from Jamaica and am an alumna of The Mico University and The University of The West Indies where I acquired my teaching qualification. I have been a teacher for 25 years yet I am still humbled by the privilege I have been afforded to help mold young lives. I miss performing and travelling with the world renowned Carifolk Singers of Jamaica but I enjoy singing with The Apple Elliot Band while in The Bahamas. I also channel some of that creative energy by assisting with directing LIS high school productions, singing with other local groups and occasionally being involved in theatre productions. I enjoy walking and painting. It is my aspiration to one day master playing the guitar. I also love watching a good movie, laughing, listening to music, relaxing with my family on the pristine beaches and playing with my daughter who attends LIS
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Mr. Simon Edwards
 Engineering and Design
 
 
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Mr. Luis Endara
Spanish
 
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Ms. Amanda Garwood
Mathematics
 
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Mr. Luke Hopper
IB/IGCSE Geography
As a passionate geographer, surfer, environmentalist, educationalist, (amid many other things) I strive to pass a love, respect and appreciation of the world around us to our students on a daily basis. I have been a British and International Teacher for 8 years following on from a varied career spanning sport to consultancy. My teaching career has so far involved around working in outstanding schools both in the UK and Europe gaining excellent experience in both teaching and management, which I look forward to continuing at LIS. I facilitate the learning of IB DP Geography and iGCSE Geography as well as leading the Humanities Dept. Travelling with my wife Zoe and two boys Marley and Roo, we are trading one very different coastline for another, as we come from Cornwall on the SW peninsula of the UK. Our free-time is spent being active and mainly in, on or around the water. 
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Mrs. Eleonore Lescure
IB/IGCSE French
I am a native French speaker, born and raised in Paris. I graduated from the University of La Sorbonne where I earned a post graduate diploma in History and Geography and started a PhD program. I taught for 13 years in France as a certified teacher. With my husband and 2 children, we arrived in Freeport in 2018. My daughter and my son are both students at LIS and are as excited as I am to join the LIS community. I teach IGCSE and IB French B programs and love the challenge of learning French and the Francophone culture to students.
 
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Mr. Brad Nelson
IB/IGCSE Chemistry

I was born in California, raised in Utah, but call Idaho home, which is where I spent most of my teaching career. I have been teaching chemistry, biology, and math for the last 20 years and have been involved with international and IB schools for the last 10. I have taught in the Cayman Islands and most recently Doha Qatar. In my free time I love to kiteboard, mountain bike, hike, backpack, and rock climb. In the summer I love living out of a van and exploring the Canadian Rockies. I have been a dedicated bike commuter for the past 30 years and will be chasing Sylvia into work on my bike. I love teaching and look forward to working with the students at LIS.

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Mrs. Heather Oxley
IB/IGCSE English Literature

I moved to Grand Bahama in 2019. This is my 10th destination teaching country and I have been in education for over 30 years. I grew up in Brighton, England and gained my degree from Cambridge University in Classics and English, moving to my first job in Singapore shortly after graduating. Since then I have spent only 3 years living in the UK! Earlier on in my career I worked for the British Council as an English as a Foreign Language teacher and teacher trainer and have a Masters in TESOL Education. I met my husband Steve, who is with me in Freeport, in Japan and as we were raising two young boys, I switched career to become a High School teacher of English and History so that I would be around for them in the school holidays. I qualified in the UK and we moved as a family to Egypt, then Czechia, then Italy. Along the way I have taken on a number of other roles and at the moment am passionate about developing TOK in LIS. I am so glad I switched. I love teaching teenagers; their curiosity is a real boost every morning. 

We are enjoying life on Grand Bahama. We moved here from city life in Milan:  we spent a lot of time (and money) on operas, I played double bass in a symphony orchestra and we travelled round Europe by road and rail. Those opportunities are not available but no matter! We are keen members of the Grand Bahama birders, curious naturalists and cyclists. We have our small boat for fishing and snorkelling and love the island. The lack of a miserable winter is a definite plus and as soon as lockdown allows we look forward to exploring more of the country, the Caribbean and South America.

 
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Mr. Paul Torrington
IB / IGCSE Physics

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Ms. Kendall Umetsu
IGCSE / IB English

Originally born and raised in Maui, Hawaii, I have spent most of my life, and my entire teaching career, on different islands around the world. I earned both my Bachelor degrees from Colorado State University: one in English with a concentration in Education and the other in General History. It is my belief that without literature you cannot have history, and without history you cannot have literature. After graduating I moved to the Kingdom of Bahrain where I taught for five years at an international high school. During my time there I served as an  English teacher, IB English Literature teacher, Extended Essay Supervisor, Head of Department, and co-ran the theater program and high school activities. In my free time I enjoy being in and around the ocean as much as possible, cooking, and of course reading a good book. I look forward to continuing my journey here at LIS teaching IGCSE Literature and IB Language & Literature!

Ms. Tiffany Williams
Head of Student Support
 
 

Specialist Teachers

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Ms. Diana Rodriguez
Primary Spanish

My full name is Diana Carolina Rodríguez Rodrigues but I am known by my students as Ms. R or  Señorita Rodríguez. I teach in the middle and primary schools. Growing up as first generation ‘‘Luso-Venezuelan’’  I am the product of two fascinating cultures. I became passionated about language acquisition and cultural awareness as a child. My professional career in education began officially in 2004. Four years later the British Council and Universidad Nacional Experimental Simón Rodríguez chose me to represent Venezuela. During that time I worked as a foreign language assistance co-teaching Spanish GCSE and A-levels in an upper school in Dunstable, England. I became an international teacher after that experience. In 2011 I graduated UNESR  with a bachelor's degree in education major in TEFL. Later I moved to Panama and attended Universidad Latina de Panamá. Living an working in Panama I earned my professional master's degree in TESOL in 2015 with honors and also became an IB teacher. I moved to Freeport in August 2017 with my dog Moana. We love to travel, eat, walk and spend quality time with our friends. As foreign language teacher am committed to support and nurture the growth of LIS students in the IB profile and principles. ¡Arriba Bucaneros!

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Mr. Emmanuel Bulalacao
Music
I have been teaching here in The Bahamas for 11 years now. I spend my days here in Freeport, Grand Bahama and I am overjoyed to be working in such a wonderful institution, Lucaya International School, as a music teacher. I am living an amazing life with my wife, Margarita, and my two daughters, Maria Regina and Eliza Anne.  I graduated as a Rector Scholar at the University of Santo Thomas in Manila, Philippines, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music - Music Education, a Major in Voice and a Minor in Piano. Even before graduation, I used to be members of the oldest Boys’ Choir in the Philippines -The Tiples de Sto. Domingo and Coro Tomasino which is the College Choir in the Conservatory of Music. I have trained several school choirs and have taught Music Education in the Primary and High School level to at least seven schools in the Philippines and in The Bahamas. I am delighted to teach my students to play various musical instruments like the recorder, piano, xylophone, steel pan drums and voice.
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Mr. Nigel Kirkby
PE
I was born in England and gained my BA in Human Movement Studies and my PGCSE from Carnegie School of Sports In Leeds. I taught in the Uk for a couple of years and came to The Bahamas 28 years ago first living and working in Nassau at St Andrews School  and then Grand Bahama at Walter Parker Primary and BMEs before LIS.  I am currently the Head of Physical Education, teaching and coaching in both the Primary and Secondary Schools.  I have spent my life, living and loving physical activity. These range from activities such as climbing, whitewater rafting, kayaking and snow skiing to scuba diving, boating, sailing and all team and individual sports. However my main passion is the sport of rugby which I have played all my life, coached and managed. I am married with two wonderful children and of course make my home in The Bahamas. My educational focus is based through an ‘understanding of performance’  and my life’s belief is everyone can find a physical activity that they will love and it will positively impact their lives..... they just have to look!...... so go look!
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Mr. Milton Hall
Learning Support, Taino Academy & Services
 
 
 
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Ms. Lillian Rolle
ICT
I am currently teaching Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in both the Primary and Secondary Schools. I received my early education on the island of Andros and graduated from the College of The Bahamas with a Bachelor of Education Degree in Computer Studies. I enjoy reading, listening to music and collecting recipes. My purpose in pursuing a career in teaching is to directly affect change and make a positive impact on the lives of children. I believe that teachers should be facilitators of the learning process and that students should be encouraged to become engaged, hands-on, problem-solvers with a global perspective and mindset. As a result, students can think of themselves as global citizens with not just a responsibility to their country but to the world at large. Hence, educating the student holistically is the key to human civilization and empowerment. 

Administrative Support Staff

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Mrs. Linda Gembalies -Rahming
 
I am originally from the Black Forest in Freiburg, Germany. Grand Bahama became our home after moving here 21 years ago. Before being the "Friendly Face in the Front Office" at LIS, I worked for multiple companies on the island where I gained knowledge in Retail & Business Management & Accounting and also experience in Education at another local school here on the island. The best part about working at LIS is meeting and working with individuals from all around the world, which exposes us to loads of different cultures. When I am not working , I enjoy the beaches, painting and crafting and spending time with my two (2) children - Angelina and Aiden, friends and family.
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Ms. Crystal Munnings
Office Assistant
 I was born in the quiet settlement of West End, Grand Bahama.  Prior to LIS,  I spent most of my years working as a Fitness Instructor and then went on to  become a certified Massage Therapist.  I have had the honor of representing  the great country of The Bahamas for many years in the sport of Powerlifting,  where I currently hold a national record in the sport.  I have had the pleasure of working at LIS for the past 15 years.  I love LIS because it is filled with diversity, and I continue to learn new and exciting things.  I have two lovely daughters, Alexa and Janna who both attend LIS.
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Mrs. Debbie Winter
Finance Manager
 Born and raised on Grand Bahama, I left the island to obtain an Associates degree from Broward College and a Bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University. My career path started in the hospitality industry with 21 years at the Bahamas Princess Resort, most of those years in the Regional Finance department. Experience in a couple other jobs eventually led me to join my children at Lucaya International School in 2005. Our kids graduated from LIS in 2009 and 2011. I enjoy the small family friendly atmosphere of LIS and I am blessed to have had the good fortune to have worked with dedicated individuals and to witness the development of the little darlings who are entrusted to the faculty and staff of LIS, into successful and productive members of our global society.
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Mr. Keith Strachan
Head of Information Technology & Operations

Originally born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas I am the last of five siblings. I received my formal education at St. Johns College high school where I graduated in 1996. I moved to Freeport in 2004 after living in in Tampa, Florida for 6 years where I was able to obtain an associate’s degree in electronics and computer engineering and completed my bachelors of education degree in operations management technology both from Tampa Technical Institute in Tampa Florida. While living in Florida I had the pleasure of working with America Online for one year and then as a technical support agent for General Electric. In 2015 I received a CCNA certificate for computer networking. Here in Freeport I’ve been employed at the Grand Lucayan Resort for 13 years as a System Administrator in the I.T. department. In 2009 took on the added responsibility of working part time at Lucaya International School also as I.T. System Administrator. I have had one or two nick names given to me but the one that seems to follow me the most is MacGyver. That being said, my hobbies vary.  I can truly say that being at L.I.S has been an adventure that I look forward in continuing for many more years to come.