Katie Kirby arrived in Rwanda this June but not for the first time. She first came from 2013-2015 and did her master’s degree research about special needs education in Rwandan primary schools. This work allowed for expanding her experience in the special education field from her three years of teaching in the USA. Katie got into the field of special education because she loves teaching and believes that all of God’s children, including students with exceptional educational needs, should have access to high quality education. Following the completion of her master’s degree, she worked for a health NGO managing a cancer training grant in Rwanda. She returned to her original career in special education this past September and now is happy to bring her growing knowledge to the learning support team at KICS. She lives in Kigali with her husband, Miles, and their two-year-old daughter, Ruth. As you can tell, Katie loves Rwanda and can’t stop coming back for more of this wonderful country. She is excited to bring her special education experience to KICS to help serve students in the primary and secondary levels. She wants to continue to learn more about how all children with disabilities in Rwanda access education and be a part of advocating for their success. She is thankful to be part of the vibrant community at KICS, and especially the talented Learning Support team.
This is the second year for Ms. Natasha Cassiere (Mrs. G) to be in Rwanda. She and her family (four kids and husband) moved here from Sudan. They are Dutch by nationality, but she is Sri Lankan by birth. 10 years ago, when her eldest son began school, she began as a parent volunteer and started observing students and how they learn. She has a bachelor’s in education, a diploma in child psychology, and ten years of experience in psychosocial and conflict transformation work and management consultancy. While volunteering in different schools she realized how differently each student reacted to the same material and instruction presented to them. Not having the pressure to deliver a set curriculum, but to be able to just sit and observe students and their learning process, gave her some insight into what their barriers might be to learning and what factors enabled their learning. This encouraged her further to follow a master’s in special and additional learning needs. KICS subsequently offered her this position as a Special Education Teacher. She looks forward to supporting the students and teachers in the coming years.
While Michele Black is not new to teaching, she is new to KICS for the 2019/2020 School year. Michele has been an educator for 29 years in the nursery sector. This year she joins us teaching Grade 2B and to quote her, they are the ‘big kids’ compared to what she is used to. After just a few days of being with the ‘big kids’ she’s happy to be back in the saddle after four years of serving God in Rwanda. Michele moved to Rwanda in 2015, initially to train nursery teachers. She wrote a curriculum to educate nursery teachers across the country. She originally came to Rwanda in 2007 and worked with Mineduc and by 2010 she had trained up to 5,000 nursery teachers, impacting the lives of over 610,000 children through education. Today she believes strongly that, like Moses, she was called to do something she herself doubted but others could see the potential in her as she heard God saying, ‘Use what I have given you – look what’s in your hand!’ Michele comes to us from Sydney, Australia and since she’s been living in Rwanda, has adopted a Rwandan daughter who gives her much joy and delight. One of her favorite bible verses is Proverbs 16:9 which says: ‘Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s plans which always prevail’. She’s looking forward to the rest of this school year and calls it a privilege to work with your children on a day to day basis.
Stephanie Curtis has been in Rwanda and at KICS since 2017. Although this is her third year at KICS, it is her first year of teaching. Stephanie is teaching Middle School Art and High School Photography and Media Design.
“Where are you from?” is one of the hardest questions to answer for Stephanie. She is from Singapore and the United States – from Delaware, to North Carolina, to Ohio and many places in between. Stephanie and her husband, Jordan, have one son named Jackson. Jordan teaches Secondary Bible at KICS and Jackson has played a role in past KICS Drama productions. They decided to move to Kigali because at KICS they have the privilege of leading students who will shape the future of Rwanda. It has been a joy making Rwanda home and Stephanie looks forward to deepening relationships with students as they grow in understanding the character of God, the incredible Creator!
Camille Alsop is teaching fourth grade English Language Arts, Social Studies and Science and she first joined KICS in January 2019 to teach fifth graders. Her journey as an educator began in 2007 when she was teaching ESL to adults, and she later progressed to teaching high school English Language and Literature in the UK and Zambia before moving to Rwanda. Camille is from Malawi and grew up in Namibia, Cote d’Ivoire, and England. She is an avid reader, a foodie, and occasional mountain biker! She loves that KICS is a diverse community of families and nationalities and finds the KICS values-driven vision inspiring as it speaks to the whole person and compels parents, teachers and students alike “to impact the world for Christ” wherever they go.
Adam Koelling is the new Bible Teacher for 4th and 5th, as well as the Primary School Chapel Coordinator. He and his wife, Emily, have been married for 17 years and have 2 girls, Abbott (5th grade) and Hannah (1st Grade). Adam has a master’s in communication disorders and worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist for 10 years before being called into ministry in 2013. He then served as the Missions Pastor at his home church in Longview, Texas for 4 years. During that time, Adam led over 10 mission trips to East Africa and God quickly began wooing his heart to Rwanda. In July 2018, the Koellings moved to Kigali and spent their time outside of KICS serving the local church in any way that they could to help strengthen leadership and discipleship. Adam is excited about his new role as Bible Teacher because he is passionate about investing in young lives to help them grow in their love and passion for Jesus and their understanding of the scriptures.
Lamberte Ineza Matasi also known as Maya is a young Burundian woman, married to Fabrice Nzeyimana. She grew up in Lusaka, Zambia, where she lived for much of her life. She felt the call to go back to East Africa to serve God in her homeland. In 2015, Maya and Fabrice moved from Burundi to Rwanda and joined a local church as full-time worship leaders where she served for three and half years. Prior to moving to Rwanda, she worked for a Christian school and had heard about KICS. She fell in love with the school because it was such a model Christian school in East Africa. Little did she know that God would lead her here one day, to teach. Maya graduated from Lancaster Bible College PA with a degree in Business Administration and Biblical Studies. During her studies, she discovered that she had such a passion for teaching God’s word. She prayerfully waited on God to open the right door which He did and now she is the Secondary School Bible Teacher at KICS. She feels truly blessed and honored to be part of the KICS family and is looking forward to seeing God use her to lead young people to Himself.
Madison Kempton is a science lover from Denver, CO, USA. She has been in Rwanda for a year now, serving at another academic institution as the discipleship coordinator. When it came time to listen to God’s call on her life after her year of service there, she felt him calling her back to science education while staying in Rwanda. Madison is excited to serve at KICS as a secondary science teacher and mathematics teacher – teaching grade seven Environmental Science, Physics, and Advanced Mathematics. Before moving to Rwanda, Madison served for five years as a math and science teacher in a Christian College Prep High School in Denver, Colorado. Madison made the move to Rwanda after praying into what God had for her and feeling like He was calling her back to international waters. Madison is fortunate enough to have her parents here, serving in Rwanda, with her and loves spending time with her family and church family. Madison is so excited to be a part of an international, education based, Christian community and is so expectant for all the ways God wants to move in, through and around her while she serves KICS.
Ana Moyers is one of the new secondary teachers to KICS from the United States. This year she will be teaching grade seven Social Studies, grade eight English-Language Arts, and will be the Secondary English Language Learners Coordinator for the Learning Support Staff. Ana is from the mountains of Colorado; however, she has been teaching in the cornfields of Nebraska for the past five years. Having felt called to international teaching, Ana has always had a love for Africa for the rich cultures, beautiful landscapes, and the kind people. After finishing her master’s degree, she was ready to make the leap of faith. Through much prayer and wise counsel, she committed to KICS because of their focus on growth and commitment to servicing the whole child. Encouraging students to be involved in their communities, care for others, and strengthen their character sets them apart from other schools. Ana is looking forward to making Kigali her home for a while as she continues to grow as not only a woman of God but as an educator. To God be the glory!