Isabelle has both extensive experience in multilingual education and an extensive international business background.
She started Be Lingual, a premier language program for schools and language immersion summer camp, in 2007 and has acquired broad expertise in the education industry thanks to this eight year venture.
Before switching to education, Isabelle worked internationally for 8 years for a leading hospitality group and for an international finance consulting firm. She holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Booth School of Business (University of Chicago). For her undergraduate degrees, she studied at ESCP Europe in France, the UK, and Germany, and holds business degrees from the three countries.
Born and raised in France, Isabelle settled in the Tri-State area in 2001. In her daily life, she is immersed in an international environment as her husband is Greek Cypriot. Her teenage son speaks three different languages, goes to a top bilingual school in the City, and is fully comfortable with different cultures. “I believe that language education can provide children with improved communication abilities, and help build self-confidence and adaptability – assets that serve children as well as adults, both in their professional careers and in their private lives.”
Daniel Buck, Head of School
Daniel has a Bachelor’s in Performing Arts and two Masters in Primary Education and Education Administration and Leadership. He worked as a primary school teacher for nine years and as deputy head of school in charge of the early years (Nursery – Grade 5) for four years. He has worked in schools in the US as well as Norway, Morocco, Brazil, and many more. Daniel has significant expertise in the International Baccalaureate.
Project-Based Learning, The Primary Years Program (PYP) and Destination Imagination are three of Daniel’s passions as an educator. He loves inspiring young minds to inquire, solve problems, and express themselves about their solutions. Daniel also has a passion for incorporating the Arts, as well as technology, in the classroom. Daniel’s family is bilingual (French and English) and he adores adding foreign words to his own vocabulary, particularly Portuguese, German, and French.
Rotana Suy, Deputy Head of School
Rotana holds a BA in Liberal studies from California State University and an MA in Educational Counseling from National University, Costa Mesa, CA. She is Franco-American with Cambodian roots. She is a native French and English speaker, has a good understanding of Spanish, and is conversational in Khmer.
Her main responsibilities at Tessa will include communication with enrolled families, admissions, and recruiting.
Before joining Tessa, Rotana worked in education for 19 years, including most recently 5 years with the International School of Brooklyn (ISB) and before that 4 years with the International School of Los Angeles (LILA). She performed varied roles in these two schools such as general supervision and admissions. She comes highly recommended by her previous employers and colleagues, who all greatly appreciate her excellent communication skills, professionalism, and hard work.
Alissa Reeves, Lead Administrator
Alissa possesses a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts. She has
over 10 years of professional experience in Business Management. She worked as a Retail General Manager for Goodwill Industries of the Valleys and Pearl boutique. She has served as a Board Member for the Downtown Business Association of Charlottesville, and has organized community events, including a local fashion show under the Tom Tom Festival. Her career journey began in Theatre as the Costume Shop Manager for the College of William & Mary, culminating as a professional Costume Designer for Self Family Arts Center and MFA student/Teacher’s Assistant at the University of Virginia. Alissa is thrilled to be working with Team Tessa and is always happy to assist with the administrative needs of Tessa families.
Padmaja Naidu, PYP Coordinator
Padmaja was born and raised in India in a rich multi-lingual environment. Growing up, she learned to speak, read and write in English, Telugu and Hindi. She has a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Osmania University, Hyderabad, in India. She has a Master in Elementary Education from Walden University, Minneapolis, USA.
Her teaching journey began 20 years ago as an early years teacher in Beijing, China. Since then, she has worked in international cities such as Hong Kong, New Delhi, Guangzhou as an early years and elementary school educator in diverse international settings before moving to New York City early this year. As an IB PYP educator, she is an avid believer in inquiry-based learning that fosters deep conceptual understanding based on big ideas and international-mindedness. As an educator she believes in engaging different sensory modalities in a child by providing varied learning experiences and a literate rich environment. Padmaja is our PYP coordinator, and is enthused at the idea of taking Tessa through the IB PYP authorization journey. IB PYP had been a transformative experience for her both as an educator and as a parent, and she is happy to guide our families through the IB PYP program. She is also teaching Grade 1 students in English.
Maritza Meza, Spanish Coordinator
Maritza was born and raised in Colombia. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Pedagogy of the written language. She has worked with the Reggio Emilia educational approach, which is based on the idea of the child possessing a strong potential for development. In addition, Maritza is skilled in the Blending Learning Model, which provides students with the necessary tools to explore their world with meaningful learning experiences and to become 21st century learners.
She worked at a prestigious private international school in Bogota for 18 years as a preschool teacher and also in a Pre-K English immersion program. One of her pillars as an educator is to respect students’ individual learning processes and maximize their potential in a fun and caring environment. One of her great passions besides education is writing articles related to her educational experiences with children and sharing them with teachers around the world.
Patricia Presse, French Coordinator
Patricia is a French national and was born in Paris. She speaks fluent English and has a good command of Spanish and Portuguese. She was exposed to foreign languages at an early age and understands the intricacies of a new language acquisition. She has worked for more than fifteen years as a French certified primary school teacher “Professeur des Ecoles”. She holds a Masters degree in English and is currently working on a Master of French as a second language. She has taught in French Guiana, England, France; and recently, seven years in the United-States. Her teaching experience ranges from kindergarten to primary, secondary and university levels, involving children with special needs. She also has seven years experience teaching French as a second language and two years experience with the PYP program. She has worked with children failing and helped them restore their confidence by giving them the adequate pedagogical tools and attainable objectives. She has extensively worked on curricula in the different schools that she has attended and is keen about pedagogical innovations and working under different projects. She is a discrete, humble, world citizen, as well as a responsible and an enthusiastic person. Her hobbies are eclectic and range from Zumba, sailing, operas, plays, museums, live concerts. She is an environmentalist and believes that there is an urge to save the planet.
Tessa International School
Come Visit Us:
720 Monroe Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030