Staff

We are lucky to have attracted a dedicated staff, who are passionate about education and genuinely care about their students’ well-being as much as about their academic performance. Please scroll down to learn more about the GIS team.

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Adam Armanski, Principal

I have been working as a teacher and administrator for many more years than I am willing to admit… I hold a bachelor’s degree in teaching English and a master’s degree in American literature. Apart from my teaching qualifications, I also studied art history and German. Since I started teaching, I have always worked at IB World Schools, GIS being my sixth adventure. My previous schools were in Poland, Turkey, China, Kazakhstan and Switzerland, respectively.

I also play a number of roles within the IB’s School Services department, ranging from mentoring IB consultants to training new as well as experienced IB teachers, to examining and visiting candidate schools on behalf of the IB in order to assess their readiness to offer IB programmes.

As the principal at GIS, I want to create an environment in which both students and teachers grow as learners. I am very excited to be able to utilise all my experience to establish an international school that the Gjøvik region can be proud of. However, first of all, I am a proud IB parent, my son Maciek being a Grade 4 student at GIS this academic year.

 

 

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Patricia Phyall, PYP Coordinator and Grade 4-5 teacher

It has been my pleasure to join GIS this year as the Primary Years Programme (PYP) Coordinator and Grade 4/5 teacher. I have been teaching and working as a curriculum coordinator for more than 15 years. I am Canadian and hold a bachelor of education degree (with a specialization in elementary curriculum) and a master of education degree (with a specialization in educational leadership).  I have been living overseas for the past 13 years, residing in Germany, China and Indonesia before my arrival in Norway. I have spent the last 15 years working within the context of the PYP framework, teaching Preschool-Grade 5, as well as acting as the librarian. I have also been the PYP Coordinator at two of my previous schools prior to taking on the role at GIS. I am also trained as a visiting school team member and workshop leader for the International Baccaluareate with a specialization in the Primary Years Programme.

I am excited to lead GIS through the first phases of their journey as a PYP school and look forward to our verification visit in spring 2018. I look forward to the future of GIS and ensuring it is built on firm pedagogical foundations. I also look forward to the day my young daughter, Amara, becomes a Grade One students at our school and part of this wonderfully supportive learning environment.

 

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Gwynne Rasen, Grade 1 teacher

I am a primary trained teacher from Canada. I have taught at the British International School of Stavanger for the past 10 years. I taught pupils from ages 4-5 in their first year of school and more recently I taught special education lessons, including English as an additional language lessons, Maths and Literacy support lessons as well as ran the school library. Whilst at BISS, I enjoyed running after school author study and craft clubs and organizing the Scholastic Book Club as a fundraising tool for the school library. GIS has given me the opportunity to continue the Scholastic Book Club and help enrich the lives of our students.

I strongly believe in a rich Literacy basic classroom curriculum. Books are a way of opening pupils’ minds to the wider world. Stepping into a new story allows pupils the opportunity to experience a new culture, a new view on life or perspective.

 

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Paul Duevel, Grade 2-3 teacher

This is my second year at GIS, but I am no stranger to the international school classroom. I am a US citizen who grew up attending an international school in Stavanger. My time spent in this international environment is very much a part of who I am today. Over the past six years, I have had the pleasure of working in classrooms from the cold of Norway to the heat of Oman. I have taught at three different schools and have experience working with students from preschool through grade five. I received both teaching certification and a Master’s degree in Elementary Education through the College of New Jersey, which has afforded me a unique perspective towards the role I play in your child’s education.

My hope is to create a shared school community where your child feels both motivated and comfortable to take risks and succeed in both curricular and extracurricular activities.

 

Agata Wieczorek

Agata Wieczorek, MYP English, PYP&MYP Art teacher

Teaching is one of the earliest dreams I can remember. Following it, I gained my BA in teaching and MA in the English Language and Literature. I started teaching in Poland when I was still a university student and I’ve loved it ever since.

Initially a secondary school teacher in the IB Diploma Programme and the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP), I gradually moved towards primary teaching in the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), which I find one of my most rewarding professional experiences.

Having worked in a variety of roles at six IB world schools in five countries prior to GIS, I have developed multiple perspectives on education. In the meantime, I also became a happy mother of Maciek, which added yet another dimension to my teaching. In my eighteenth year in the profession, I still believe I was born to be a teacher and to inspire some of my students to choose this unique profession for themselves.

I strive to make curiosity, passion and commitment shared attitudes in my classroom.

Out of school, I enjoy long runs, challenging hikes, literature, and art in its various forms. I also love learning new languages.

 

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Timothy Mills, MYP Mathematics, Science and PE teacher

I am an American certified teacher with a Master’s degree in education from the University of Iowa. In addition to my teacher credentials, I also hold a Master´s in International Development and over 15 years of international teaching experience.

I have a diverse background having taught a wide-range of subjects from grades 6-12.  My career has taken me around the world teaching in Costa Rica, Micronesia, Dubai and most recently Berlin. In addition to teaching, I have coached several sports and have been an advisor for various clubs and after school activities.

When I’m not in the classroom, I enjoy participating in sports such as tennis, volleyball and innebandy. I’m also an avid runner and look forward to exploring some of the running trails in and around Gjøvik. During the winter months, I enjoy snowboarding and will hopefully learn more about cross country skiing.

I enjoy finding ways to help students make connections between the learning that happens in school and the world outside the classroom. I aim to create a learning environment where students can be challenged and grow with integrity, curiosity and courage.

 

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Geir F. Stavsøien, Music teacher

Music is about creating, wondering and experiencing a meaningful existence through various activities and approaches. Children are curious and creative by nature, and in music they have an opportunity to discover a diverse world, both outside and within themselves.

To teach is to learn. At GIS, my students and I will explore music through creating, experiencing and reflecting. In this task, composition and listening are key activities, constantly supported by conversation about what we do and what we hear, not to mention how we perceive music. By revealing the various layers in music we will also reveal ourselves as musical human beings.

As a composer, I am always subject to the enigmatic force in music and art. Experiencing oneself as a whole but ever growing human being makes every day a thrilling journey. I hope to provide GIS students with similar experiences along the way.

Through my BA in Musicology and MA in Music Education, I have gradually discovered how important the interaction between the subject and the student is. As a father of three I acknowledge the fact that no two children are the same, and that they therefore deserve to be met each in their own way.

 

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Kari Anne Brovold, School Secretary

My duties at GIS vary widely. I take care of many administrative tasks such as communications and translation but I can also be a teacher substitute when needed. I am a qualified teacher and have worked in Norwegian primary schools before joining GIS. I enjoy working in a school environment a lot and love the mix of administration duties and interaction with students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dennis Wanda, Senior Assistant

I come from Uganda, East Africa, but have been living in Norway since March 2011. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Makerere University Business School in Uganda. Currently, I am pursuing further education to achieve my dream here, which is to become a qualified teacher in Norway. I can speak English, Swahili and quite good Norwegian.

I have previously worked as a class assistant at Gjøvik barneskole in the inføringsklasse (introduction class for children with Norwegian as a foreign language) as part of my language and work practice. I love working with children and in my free time, I volunteer at Frelsesarmeen (Salvation Army) PULS in Gjøvik.

I am married with 4 children: Gift, David, Debra and Daron.

My friendly nature makes it easy for me to connect with children and adults from diverse backgrounds. I am so excited and privileged to be a part of the GIS community.

 

 

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Pernille Amundsen, Assistant

I am a native Norwegian from the town of Skreia. I just moved to Gjøvik and finished my last year at Gjøvik Videregående Skole (Gjøvik High School). At GVS, I studied child care and youth work, my goal being to obtain a certificate (fagbrev) as an apprentice in a two-year programme. These two years, I am lucky enough to spend here at GIS, where I was an intern last year. Before my adventure at GIS started I had never been in an international school but I love speaking and writing in English so when I got the opportunity to work at the school I said yes and I am very happy I did. I’ve experienced so much at GIS and I have enjoyed every moment I have spent at the school with the amazing staff and even more amazing students. One of my favorite things to see so far is how much the students have grown from when I first saw them, not only as being able to speak two or more languages, but also as people. These small moments have inspired me and taught me so much, not only about what I can do to help students improve and stay motivated but also about myself.

 

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Lucja Maksim, Assistant

I was born in Poland. However, I grew up in Norway. As an active student, both inside and outside of school, I have tried to figure out what it is that I want to do in my life. I am interested in several fields like psychology, languages and law, which I would love to combine with teaching one day. I also know that graduating from the IB Diploma Programme at Gjøvik Videregående Skole last spring was only the beginning of my journey in the international community.

In the afternoons, I enjoy spending time in the gym or out in the fresh air with friends, a book, or a cup of tea. Travelling is also becoming more and more of a passion.

This year (my gap year) is, among other things, the time for me to gain experience and be inspired. I am an assistant in Grade 6-7 at GIS.

 

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Ragnar Görögh, Assistant

I am a Hungarian and I come from Hungary’s Puszta (Pannonian steppe).

I am a certified Multimedia-developer and I also hold a BA degree in English and American Studies. Specialising in Theatre and Communication at university, I studied the use of theatre as a form of cultural and political expression in post-colonial countries as well as the importance and use of drama in education.

Therefore, my educational background and personal research have granted me insight into different religions, philosophies and cultures and have led me to the understanding that each and every person with their own individual background is unique. I aim to help students understand the importance of inclusiveness, mutual respect and finding what is similar as opposed to what is different, which is one of the goals of IB programmes.

I have been swimming since the age of three and I have actively trained for competitions in amateur category for 8 years in primary school. I was a junior pro table tennis player for 6 years and I trained newcomers at my club. Currently, I frequent the gym three times a week and I enjoy hiking and tent camping while listening to and observing wild animals as I go. I have learned to play the cello in classical music school and later the electric guitar in rock school. I still practice on the latter in my free time.

I believe that sport, art, music and singing as well as philosophy and ethics are the cornerstones in any child’s education. My experience in 1-on-1 teaching in English and Hungarian add up to a total of 14 years ranging from primary school to university level. At GIS, I provide in-class assistance in Grade 2-3 and I teach swimming. My third responsibility, when I am not interacting with students, is to provide in-house IT support for the staff.

 

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Miriam Haugen, Learning support

This is my first year at GIS. I am originally from Norway but I have been fortunate enough to live in a number of different countries. My first experience with an international school was when I lived for a year in Germany during elementary school. It was a great experience and gave me an opportunity to learn the English language, which later in life influenced many other decisions. For example, I completed the IB Diploma Programme at high school here in Gjøvik and spent a semester in California as a part of my Bachelor’s degree.

I have a Bachelor’s degree in special education, so my main responsibility at GIS is to assist students who need additional support. I have previously worked with children as well as adults both here in Gjøvik, Oslo and in Stockholm. My main goal is to give students the tools they need to function independently.

 

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Anna Kaczor, Child care

I come from Poland but I have been living in Norway for three years. Last year, I worked as a volunteer in the first class in GIS under the professional supervision of Mrs. Rasen. That time confirmed my belief that I was going the right way. My adventure with childcare started a few years before in the US, where I worked as babysitter.

I have a Master’s degree in Journalism and Communication but I decided to educate myself more. I currently study pedagogy, specializing in preschool and lower primary school education (Grades 1-3). After getting a Bachelor’s degree in this field I would like to continue my education on graduate level at the university in Hamar or Lillehammer.

I am a supporter of Maria Lopatkowa’s Pedagogy of the Heart. Lopatkowa was the first researcher to focus on the role of love in human life and in the educational process.

In my free time, I love reading eighteenth and nineteenth century literature and watching costume movies. My other passions include art history and practical art classes. I am also interested the culture of Italy and Spain, and also love cooking.

GIS gives me an opportunity to work with wonderful children and organize their time in SFO. I enjoy teaching them through a variety of activities, which they call play.