Matt Cook, Mathematics
Mr. Cook is originally from Wisconsin where he received his degree in Secondary Education in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. He moved to Guatemala in 2011 and taught at AIS for the school's first 5 years. In the years since then, he has been leading various international educational and service learning trips as well as working at THINK Global School. Outside of school, he loves to travel, read, and be active in the outdoors.
Fernando Aragon, Science
Mr. Fernando has been at AIS since 2014. Originally from Guatemala City, Fernando holds degrees in Chemical Engineering and Pedagogy. He previously taught at the Equity American School and at SEK International School, and has been a cross-curricular Science Activities Coordinator in Costa Rica, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Paraguay.
Liliana Quezel Ajuchan, Secondary Spanish
Ms. Liliana is from Sumpango, Sacatepéquez and holds a degree in Language and Literature, and a B.A in Education. Prior to joining AIS, she worked for 9 years at the American Technological School in Guatemala City.
John Farnham, English
Originally from Los Angeles, California, Mr. John has a B.A. in English from Boise State University (go Broncos), a TEFL certification and is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Education. His wife is from Antigua and they are thrilled to be back in the city they call home. John and his family recently lived for two years in Colombia where John taught at international schools. After returning to Guatemala, the Farnham Torres family spent a year in Panajachel. John is an avid reader who looks forward to bringing his knowledge and love of literature to AIS.
Melinda Sismit, Kaqchikel
Ms. Melinda is the Kaqchikel teacher for 2nd-10th grade. Originally from San Juan Comalapa, Chimaltenango, Guatemala, she is of Kaqchikel-speaking, Mayan descent. She has taught Kaqchikel at AIS since 2016. Previously, Melinda taught various themes, including Adolescent Human Rights, and Leadership, to students of all ages where the language of instruction was Kaqchikel.
Erin Burke, Science
Ms. Erin has a strong passion for science, experiential education, and the outdoors. Her teaching career began in Colorado, the state in which she was born and raised. Ms. Erin graduated from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse with a B.S. in Biology Education. In her undergraduate career, Ms. Erin conducted marine research off the coast of Belize. Here, she studied novel bioluminescent organisms and later presented her findings at several conferences. Ms. Erin has also worked as a naturalist and environmental educator in Homer, Alaska where she affirmed her passion for working with youth through a scientific lens.
Javier Bustamante, Spanish
Mr. Javier has been teaching at AIS siince 2013 and is originally from Bilbao in the Basque Country, Spain. He graduated from the Basque University in Communication Science and Social Studies and is a certified teacher for Secondary School. He also completed doctorate courses in the Basque University and is a SSL certified teacher by the London House in the UK.
Prior to coming to AIS, Mr. Javier worked in journalism and translation in New York City and worked for several schools and language agencies in London, UK.(Linguaphone, St, George, World Language Consultants). He also worked as a Spanish Teacher (Secondary Education) in Guatemala and Spain.
Georgina Gomez, Productividad y Seminario, Guatemalan History
Ms. Georgina has more than 15 years of teaching experience.She was the head of Pedagogy at El Hogar Virgen de la Esperanza. Ms Georgina graduated from Universidad del Valle de Guatemala in History and Social Science and received a Técnico in Innovative Education at the University of Galileo. She also has a special training in Inclusive Education from the University of Haifa, Israel. In her free time she likes to write, and at the moment she is writing about the conditions of girls at risk in Guatemala.
Josh Radick, Secondary Social Studies
Mr. Josh graduated from Benedictine College in Kansas in 2014 with a degree in Political Science. He then taught in Iraqi Kurdistan until 2016 before coming to AIS until 2018. Josh moved back to the US to pursue a career in business but missed the satisfaction felt from teaching and helping students achieve their maximum potential. He is excited to return to Guatemala and rejoin the AIS community this school year.
Cynthia Melendez , English language arts and social studies.
Although Ms. Cynthia was born and raised in Guatemala City for almost 13 years, she has spent the latter part of her life residing in San Jose, California. She attended Colgate University in upstate New York, and graduated as part of the class of 2019 with a Bachelor’s in Educational Studies and Latin American Studies. Post graduation, she spent a year in Colombia working as a Fulbright English teaching assistant, and another year working at a small English-immersion school called Atitlan Multicultural Academy in Panajachel. She is excited to once again be living in one of the places she calls home, and is eager to join AIS’ community of dedicated teachers and students!
Jesse Walsh - Secondary math
Mr. Jesse has been teaching high school mathematics since 2001. He has worked in a variety of settings including private boarding school and public mainstream classrooms. Mr. Jesse graduated from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, and he then went on to receive a Master of Education in Secondary Education from Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts. Mr. Jesse has always believed in the tremendous benefit that comes from the mindful rigor one achieves in the process of studying math. When he is not teaching math, Mr. Jesse has enjoyed homesteading with his wife and six children. They have raised goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, bees, and a large garden, and they have produced gallons of maple syrup each spring. Mr. Jesse is excited about this opportunity to start a new adventure in Antigua.