About CAIS

Faculty & Staff Directory

教职员
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Emily Applegate

Kindergarten – 1st Grade Learning Specialist

Location: 150 Oak Street

  • M.A. in Elementary Education, The George Washington University
  • B.A. in Human Development and Family Studies, Cornell University

Began at CAIS in 2012

Originally from upstate New York, Ms. Applegate moved to SF ten years ago to escape the winters! Her undergrad at Cornell University is in Human Development and Family Studies and her grad work at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. is in Elementary Education. She has taught many different grade levels in Virginia, New York and San Francisco. She enjoys singing alto in The San Francisco Choral Society (pre pandemic, of course!) She also loves working at the de Young and the Legion of Honor on the weekends and during the summer months. To keep busy, she adopted two crazy cats in 2019 who keep her up at night, but are very cute!

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Stephen Bajc

Director of Finance and Operations

Location: 19th Avenue Campus

Began at CAIS in 2017

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Amelia Bell

Second/Third Grade Green Lead English Teacher

Location: 150 Oak Street

  • ME through the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute
  • BA in Spanish Literature, Carleton College

Began at CAIS in 2018

Ms. Bell brings experience with differentiation to support students’ learning styles, and her ability to implement our Responsive Classroom and Social Thinking frameworks in the classroom supports students’ social-emotional learning. Ms. Bell holds a Bachelor’s in Spanish Literature from Carleton College and received her Master’s in Education through the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute (BATTI). A linguist herself, Ms. Bell has near-native fluency in Spanish.

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Jeffrey Bissell

Head of School

Location: 150 Oak Street

  • Ph.D. in Chinese Language and Literature, University of Wisconsin
  • MA in Chinese Language and Literature, University of Wisconsin
  • BA in History, Lawrence University

Began at CAIS in 2010

Head of School Jeff Bissell came to CAIS after 11 years as Director of School Year Abroad in Beijing, China. Prior to that he served as Adjunct Professor of Chinese Language at Marquette University and teacher at Shenyang University of Technology in Liaonin Province, China; Nicolet High School in Milwaukee, WI; and Waupun High School in Waupun, WI. Dr. Bissell currently serves on the boards of the California Teacher Development Collaborative; Keystone Academy in Beijing, China; Chinese Early Language Immersion Network at Asia Society (CELIN); and the 1990 Institute. Past board service includes The Mandarin Institute, Western Academy of Beijing and the JUMP! Foundation.

He was named to the task force for the 1 Million Strong initiative spearheaded by Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping to expand to 1 million the number of US K-12 students studying Mandarin by 2020.

HONORS AND AWARDS

THE ASIANWEEK FOUNDATION, ASIAN HERITAGE STREET CELEBRATION SCHOOL AWARD, 2012 For dedication, excellence and achievement in promoting cross cultural diversity
US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, BUREAU OF EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS, FULBRIGHT FELLOWSHIP, 1994-1995 For doctoral research in Taipei, Taiwan
US DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, FOREIGN LANGUAGE AND AREA STUDIES (FLAS) FELLOWSHIP, 1993-1994 For doctoral research
US DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, FLAS FELLOWSHIP, 1993 For graduate studies
US DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION FLAS FELLOWSHIP, 1993 For intensive summer session Japanese study
COMMITTEE ON INTERCOLLEGIATE COOPERATION FELLOWSHIP 1992 For intensive summer session Japanese study
US DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, FLAS FELLOWSHIP, 1991-1992 For graduate studies

ADDITIONAL EDUCATION

TSINGHUA UNIVERSITY 清华大学, Beijing China
Senior Scholar Program at Inter-University Program (IUP) for Chinese Language Studies, Summer 2014

LIAONING NORMAL UNIVERSITY 辽宁师范大学, Dalian, Liaoning Province, China Advanced Chinese language studies, 1989

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Marek Booth

Third Grade English Teaching Associate

Location: 150 Oak Street

Began at CAIS in 2021

Marek Booth is a native of San Francisco who has now returned to his roots here in the City after roughly 10 years living abroad. During that time, he lived in southeastern China in the Fujian province, Germany (west & east), as well as in Japan (Tokyo as well as Kyushu). He is a passionate hiker and took on the Pacific Crest Trail a couple years back. On top of that, photography was and still is a big part of his life, along with musical instruments and singing.

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Cristina Calcagno

Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development (English)

Location: 150 Oak Street

Work Phone: 415-865-6078

  • M.A. and Teaching Certificate, Wayne State University
  • B.A.in Psychology and English/Creative Writing, Kalamazoo College
  • Cross-cultural Language and Academic Development Certificate, Stanford University
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Caroline Carr

Fourth Grade Red/Gold Lead English Teacher

Location: 150 Oak Street

  • M.S.Ed. Bank Street College of Education
  • B.A. in Religion, Whitman College

Began at CAIS in 2020

Ms. Carr graduated from Whitman College with a B.A. in Religion, followed by her M.S. Ed. from Bank Street College of Education. While volunteering in India for a year, she began teaching English and fell in love with the profession. After returning home, she taught 3rd grade at the Katherine Delmar Burke School here in San Francisco before moving to New York to work at Brooklyn Friends School. She joined CAIS in 2020. Her warmth, charisma, and compassion are hallmarks of her teaching style. When she isn’t working or quarantined, Ms. Carr loves to travel and hike outdoors.

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Chiung-Wen (Wen) Chang

Fourth Grade Green Chinese Teacher

Location: 150 Oak Street

Began at CAIS in 2008

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Elaine Chang

Director of Admission and Enrollment Management

Location: 150 Oak Street

admission@cais.org

  • M.A. in Gifted Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum and Teaching, Teachers College, Columbia University

Began at CAIS in 2021

Having served as CAIS Preschool Chinese lead teacher, Elaine Chang has now moved into the newly expanded role of Director of Admission and Enrollment Management.

Born and raised in Taiwan, she earned an M.A. in Gifted Education and a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University. Elaine has been teaching various subjects to students at different ages with diverse backgrounds for 14 years. She enjoys learning and growing with her students by having group discussions, one-on-one sessions and hands-on activities. Prior to joining CAIS this fall, Elaine taught kindergarten at Avenues: The World School in New York City for five years. She also worked at Hollingworth Preschool and HudsonWay Immersion School in NYC and Shu Ren International School in Berkeley, California. In her spare time, Elaine enjoys drawing animals, painting, cooking and spending time with her family.

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Renee Chang

First Grade Chinese Teaching Associate

Location: 150 Oak Street

Began at CAIS in 2016

Chang Laoshi is originally from Kaohsiung,Taiwan. She has been teaching for 21 years which includes seven years at Mandarin immersion school,14 years at Montessori school, and this will be her 6th year at CAIS. She really enjoys teaching the children.