Meet our Team
Experienced, professional educators
Our teachers are native and multilingual speakers with extensive experience living, attending school, and working outside of the US. Our academic team members are experts in early childhood education and language acquisition.
All full-time staff is trained in First Aid and CPR.
Founder and CEO
Raising two trilingual children in San Antonio inspired Katia to found ISSA as a support for other parents raising multilingual children. She calls San Antonio home, but living on three continents taught Katia the importance of breaking language barriers. Katia holds a Master’s degree in finance from Financial University in Russia and a Master’s degree in nonprofit leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. She brings 15+ years of business and entrepreneurial experience to ISSA.
Prior to founding ISSA, Katia served as Vice President of Customer Success for Rallyware, a SaaS company, and before that as Manager of Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship for Samsung Electronics America, where she developed an award-winning environmental stewardship program for children across the United States.
Head of School
Mary Field holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University. Her thesis was focused on language learning in a dual-language Chinese kindergarten. She holds certification from the Chinese Ministry in Education (Hanban) in Mandarin Chinese. She also holds certificates of study from the Chinese University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, the Southwest University for Nationalities in Chengdu, and Soochow University in Suzhou. She earned her BA from Fordham University in New York. Prior to joining ISSA, Mary taught in an IB-accredited kindergarten in China and developed other Chinese immersion programs in Austin and San Antonio.
Having spent seven years living in different cities of China—including San Antonio’s sister city of Suzhou—Mary brings a rich understanding of Chinese culture to ISSA.
Spanish Lead teacher / Academic Coordinator
Born in Santiago de Chile, Caroline Olivares brings over 10 years of professional teaching experience with a special emphasis in Literacy Education. Teacher by vocation and artist by hobby, she loves painting, drawing, and crafting arts.
Caroline brings extensive knowledge in academic management, curriculum development, and school programs implementation, which she gained during her teaching career in Chile, prior to joining ISSA.
Caroline received Licenciada en Educacion/Bachelor of Education, with specialization in Elementary Education, from Universidad Diego Portales. She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Curriculum and Educational Administration from the Universidad de Santiago de Chile and the UNESCO Graduate Diploma in Environmental Education from the Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi.
Xiao Wun (Athena)
Mandarin Chinese Lead teacher
French Lead teacher / Director of Admissions
Preschool and Elementary School Teacher (Mandarin Chinese)
Originally from Sichuan Province in China, the home of Giant Pandas, Shuang has a passion for teaching young children. She started working in our Saturday program and, shortly after, joined our full-time school faculty in 2021. She applies her creative background in event planning and marketing to activities and lesson planning at ISSA. Shuang holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.
Preschool Teacher (French)
Liliane brings more than 25 years of teaching experience to ISSA. She taught French language, literature and science to children in preschool through middle school in public and private schools in Lebanon.
Teacher Assistant (Spanish)
Originally from Mexico, Carmen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Family Therapy from the Universidad Autonoma de la Laguna. She brings her extensive experience in psychological counseling to ISSA. Some of her previous and most recent experience lies in teaching children of preschool and elementary age.
Teacher Assistant (French)
Originally from Rwanda, Lionel lived and studied in Belgium and France since he was 6 years old. He attended the University of St. Louis in Brussels, Belgium before moving to the
United States where he graduated from Texas A&M International University in Laredo with a BA in Arts and Sciences. He worked as youth counselor in the Upward Bound Program prior to joining ISSA.
Lionel likes history and politics, he enjoys music, plays soccer and is a huge sports fan.
Born in Switzerland, raised in France and Texas, Audrey Brunner is a bilingual professional with an international perspective. She primarily teaches French immersion classes for children 6-12 years old. With law school on her radar, Audrey is finishing a B.A. in Politics and Law at UTSA and works as Creative Director at SATX Consultants.
Mandarin Chinese Teacher
President and CEO, Mount St Mary Academy and Foundation
Pattie lends us her wealth of knowledge and experience as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. She received a PhD in education with a focus on international education and entrepreneurship from the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio. She earned her master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2004, as well as her bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1995.
Public Relations & Communications
Judy’s communication background is extensive. She has more than 30 years of experience in corporate and agency public relations. She also has served in market research, advertising, corporate marketing, and communication roles in multiple organizations.
Chief Executive Officer, Codeup
Codeup is a San Antonio-based career accelerator that uses an immersive approach in training software development to students with little to no prior programming experience. Jason serves as CEO and is also on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Tech Bloc. He has invested in local startups, founded several companies, and is an active member of Vistage, an international speaker, a TechStars Mentor, and published author.
Vice President of Operations, Toptal
Christy is a global business operations and strategy leader, with more than 10 years of experience in management consulting and P&L ownership. Her rigorous academic background includes a B.S. from MIT and an MBA from Columbia Business School. She helps ISSA improve its operational performance to ensure a sustainable financial future.