MMS Welcomes New MS & HS Faculty Members

Three highly-qualified new teachers, Parunee Kaosayapandhu, Oscar Perez and Sandy Shaw, have joined the faculty at Mount Madonna School (MMS).

Parunee Kaosayapandhu is teaching high school math and physics classes. She hails from Thailand, earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from U.C. San Diego and a teaching credential in mathematics and physics from San Francisco State University (SFSU). She is currently working on her Master’s in Secondary Education through SFSU and expects to complete it in December.

Parunee is multi-lingual in Thai, Cantonese and English. At SFSU, she received a Math and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI) Fellowship,,which allowed her secondary school classroom teaching experience and mentoring by senior fellows during the fellowship period. She also worked with the NASA scientists during the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Spaceward Bound Mojave 2010 expedition. Her other interests include traveling and cooking.

High school Spanish and martial arts teacher Dr. Oscar C. Pérez, formerly of El Paso, Texas, holds a B.A. in English and American Literature from New Mexico State University, where he was a Robert E. McNair Program Scholar, teaching assistant, peer counselor, and outreach tutor and mentor with the Latino community. Oscar continued his education at Brown University where he earned his Ph.D. in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, after conducting research in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Lisbon, Portugal. A native Spanish speaker, Oscar is also fluent in Portuguese and English, and speaks basic conversational French. In 2011, he was a visiting instructor and teaching assistant at Harvard University in the subjects of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies. His hobbies include martial arts and creative writing.

“I am looking forward to the community environment at Mount Madonna,” comments Oscar. “I am captivated by the faculty and staff’s interest in creating a place where students develop as whole individuals, as opposed to information regurgitating robots. I love teaching languages because they open up the world to people, making them aware of new perspectives and new experiences.  I think that travel is an essential part of becoming a complete human being, and by knowing the language of a place you can really experience new aspects of the culture and of yourself.”

In addition to teaching language, Oscar will offer two high school martial arts classes, and well as some martial arts instruction for middle school during PE.

“I train in various martial arts,” he says. “I am a certified instructor in Jeet Kune Do and Filipino Martial Arts, and I have extensive experience of Muay Thai kickboxing, Capoeira, western boxing, Indo-Malaysian Silat, among other arts. With the students at Mount Madonna, I will be focusing on Muay Thai and Indonesian and Filipino Martial Arts.”

Sandy Shaw will teach middle school art. Shaw, the mother of two MMS elementary students, has a B.S. in Business, with a minor in Art from the University of Akron. After graduating Shaw traveled to Japan to live and work, and she became enamored with Japanese culture. Through the years she has continued her art studies and practice and, since 1999, has exhibited her work extensively. Shaw finds inspiration in the Japanese arts of Ikebana (flower arrangement), Shodo (calligraphy), and especially, Ukiyoe (wood block prints); and admires the works of Gauguin and Matisse.

“I am looking forward to teaching at MMS because the school truly fosters an environment for creative learning and supports each student in reaching their full, individual potential,” says Sandy. “I am excited to share the joy of art with the students. My focus this year will be two-fold: to create a safe environment where the students can let their creativity flow freely without judgment, while at the same time teaching them fundamental drawing and painting skills.” In addition to her passion for art, Sandy enjoys surfing and traveling.