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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Michiko Bernstein

Advancement Operations Associate

Location: 44 Page Street

BEGAN AT CAIS 2022

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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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Linda Chang

Preschool Teacher

Location: 42/52 Waller

MA in Early Childhood Education and Bilingual Teaching in Mandarin, CUNY Queens College

BEGAN AT CAIS 2022

Chang Laoshi grew up in Taiwan, and came to the US to obtain her MA in Early Childhood Education and Bilingual Teaching in Mandarin at CUNY Queens College in New York. Chang Laoshi has a soft spot for young children. She is loving, patient, yet principled. Chang Laoshi’s philosophy is to inspire and encourage young minds to inquire about the world around them. She encourages them to search for solutions through observations and hands on experiments using various materials. One of her favorite ways to accomplish this is to read story books with the children and watch for that “a-ha” moment appear on their young faces. In her personal time, she enjoys painting, arts and crafts, gardening, and learning new things. It is Chang Laoshi’s first year at CAIS and she is looking forward to meeting the children and their families.

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Chiung-Wen (Wen) Chang

Fourth Grade Green Chinese Teacher

Location: 150 Oak Street

BEGAN AT CAIS 2008

Celebrating 14 years at CAIS, Chang Laoshi has served the school in a variety of roles, most recently as Chinese Language Support Teacher, a position she pioneered. A certified Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) assessor, she is delighted to bring her deep knowledge of second language acquisition to the classroom. Known for her warm nature and enthusiastic commitment to all things differentiation, Chang Laoshi also brings the unique perspective of having worked with CAIS students and teachers across K-8, showcasing a strong understanding of where students are coming from and where they are headed next.