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Staff

Primary School

 
 
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Mrs. Nicola Rose
Pre-K, K & Year 1 Teacher
I consider myself to be both Bahamian and British as I am from the Bahamas but was educated in boarding schools in the UK from aged 8 onwards. Home is most definitely Grand Bahama and although storms come and go and the economy has changed here over the years I still wouldn’t trade it for the world. I spent my life wanting to be a movie star and went to performing arts school in London but decided the acting life wasn’t for me so I moved home and was offered a 2 week job supporting a special needs child at LIS…. the rest is history. I loved the school, the children and the wonderful world of teaching so I decided to go back to school and got a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development from the University of Concordia St.Paul and an IPGCE from the University of Sheffield. I am passionate about developmentally appropriate practices in education, especially in Early Childhood. I have 2 boys who have been at LIS since Pre-K and are now in Year 9 and Year 5 and a husband that I’ve known since childhood. I love spending time with my family and friends (who are like family) and my interests are traveling and anything related to boating and the water.

 

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Mrs. Erin Cordes
Year 3&4 Teacher
 

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 2 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.

 
 

I was born in the UK a very long time ago! I trained as a teacher and worked for a couple of years in the UK. I then moved to The Bahamas in 1984 and worked for the Ministry of Education for about 10 years and also met and married my husband. We then had our twins and our daughter Katie is now teaching Geography in the HS at LIS. Shortly after the birth of our children, my husband and I became Bahamian Citizens.

I started teaching at LIS when the school first started and have been privileged to teach in many different areas and subjects. I have watched it grow from the 1 quadrangle to the school we have today. My children attended LIS from Pre-K to Year 13 and graduated with their IB diplomas. 

I took an early retirement for a few years, but was kept busy substituting and also volunteering with Rotary after Dorian and at the vaccine center during Covid. My hobbies include CrossFit, cooking and reading. I also like to Netflix and chill!

I am so excited to be back full time and LIS and so far, Year 5 have been a delight to teach and I know we will have a great year.

 
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Ms. Sharron Waterhouse
Year 6 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! 
 
 
 

Secondary School

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Mrs. Vikki Purvis
Vice Principal
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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Mr. Michael Fitz-Gerald
Design & Technology
 

Michael Fitz-Gerald is the Design and Technology teacher and he is very excited to be at LIS to help develop and expand the Design program.  Michael’s family is from Exuma and he has worked and lived in a wide variety of countries.  Michael holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Fuels and Materials), a Master’s degree in Defence Studies, a PGCE and a level II TESOL certification.  Michael believes that a teacher’s role is to guide and provide access to information rather than acting as the primary source of information.  A student's search for knowledge is met as they learn to find answers to their questions in realistic and authentic situations.  In teaching Design, he feels that giving students access to hands-on activities and allowing adequate time and space to use materials that reinforce the lesson being studied creates an opportunity for individual discovery and learning to occur.

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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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Mrs. Katie Chestnut
 IB / IGCSE Geography
 
As an LIS alumni, I am beyond excited and proud to now be teaching a subject I am so passionate about! I grew up here in Freeport and attended LIS from Pre-K all the way to IB2. Afterwards, I decided I wanted to live where the rest of my family are from... so I moved to the freezing, windy, rainy North East England. At Newcastle University I obtained my Bachelor's of Science degree with Honours in Geography. It was a wonderful experience, but I could not take the weather any longer. Once I graduated, I returned to warm and sunny Freeport and completed a Post-Graduate Certificate of Education, with all of my classroom training at LIS. I then made the decision to gain experience at another private school, but it wasn't long until I was granted the opportunity to return here. This may be my first year teaching at LIS, but personally it feels like I am returning to a second home. This is an amazing and supportive little community that I have always loved! I've also recognised that LIS has maintained a high standard in education, and through the IB programme and extracurriculars I believe our students develop into creative, critical, and independent global citizens. Outside of school, I enjoy being active, traveling, cooking, and I'm fond of activities outdoors - like boating, snorkeling, skiing, and scuba diving!
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Mr. Luis Endara
Primary Spanish

I call the beautiful country of Ecuador home, although I have been happy to pick up a few more homes over the years.  After gaining my degree in Quito I had the privilege of working in The Galapagos islands in conservation and diving.   I loved this work and love the island life.  I started down the teaching path when my wife and I moved to Phuket, Thailand and  I have never looked back.  I am very excited to be here at LIS to continue my teaching career and for my son to have the beautiful Ocean as his back yard.  

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Ms. Amanda Garwood
Mathematics

I came to LIS this academic year and to start my 12th year of teaching Mathematics.  I began my teaching career in the UK after a few years in the marketing world.  After three years I decided to go on an adventure with my dog and sidekick, Lola, and ended up in Basel Switzerland.  The adventures have continued ever since.   After Basel I found myself in Quito, Ecuador, then Phuket, Thailand and now here in The Bahamas.   My family has grown along the way and I am here now with my husband, son and of course the dog.  We are happy to be here and looking forward to all the memories we will make here at LIS and in The Bahamas.

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Mr. Jamie Halpin
IB / IGCSE Physics

I was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada where I spent the first 10 years of my teaching career before I began to wander. I took a year off and sailed my boat from Canada to the Bahamas and on to Panama. I went back to Canada for a year then started my international career with four years in Korea. Then I took another year off and sailed my boat from Panama to Florida. After that, I spent two years teaching in Uzbekistan and four years teaching in China. When I got my job at LIS, I sailed my boat from Florida to Freeport so I could live aboard her. That makes me the only teacher who brought his whole house to Freeport with him! I love pretty much anything outdoors: sailing, scuba diving, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing, and camping in my Volkswagen camper van. I’m looking forward to re-establishing the sailing school at the Grand Bahama Sailing Club and helping out with the Governor General’s Award. At my last school, I ran our program for the Chinese version of the Award. My bike is not as fast as Sylvia’s, but it gets me to school happily from the sailing club every morning.

 

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Mrs. Kerry Gray
IB/IGCSE English

My name is Kerry Gray. I'm an English teacher and Head of Department for English at LIS. I'm originally from the UK which is also where I trained to teach. As well as teaching in the UK, I have taught in South Korea, Russia and the Netherlands. I've held various roles in the schools I've worked in and am experienced with the IB and IGCSE curriculum. My favourite thing about my job is enabling students to thrive academically and personally, and I aim to create a caring and engaging classroom environment where I can be responsive to my students' needs. Students of course are the best part of the job! Living in The Bahamas is a completely new experience for me and I'm enjoying settling in and getting to know our school and this beautiful place in which we live

 
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Mr. Christopher Gray
IB/IGCSE Chemistry

 

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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

   
EBMr. Emmanuel BulalacaoMusic 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.
NKMr. Nigel KirkbyPE 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!
MHMr. Milton Hall
Learning Support, Taino Academy & Services

 


 

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.