Staff

Faculty and Staff

 

Usha Narra, Principal

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Usha has a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Sciences with a minor in Mathematics. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education as well as a Master’s Degree in Math Education. She has been teaching Math and Physics in Salt Lake City for the past 11 years. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, playing tennis and table tennis, and spending time with her family.

Kari Johnson, Assistant Principal

As a former Spanish teacher, Kari is passionate about the language acquisition process. She received English and Spanish Honors bachelor’s degrees from the University of Utah, a teaching certificate from Westminster College, and a master’s in Educational Leadership from Creighton University. Additionally, she holds her National Board Certification.

When she’s not at work, you’ll find her watching a favorite TV show, sewing a historically accurate Mary Poppins costume (it’s going to take awhile), attending a theatre production with her husband, caring for her mom, riding her bike, or watching from the sidelines as her kids kick a soccer ball, march in a band, or move scenery in a school play. And if she’s not doing any of that, she’s wishing she were in Disneyland. 

Alya Al Mashhadani, Para-Professional

Alya Al Mashhadani has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood from the University of Baghdad. She taught kindergarten for four years in Baghdad, Iraq. She was a lead teacher at Head Start, Utah. She enjoys reading, listening to music, meditating, and traveling.

Shazia Aminzada, Para-Professional

Shazia Aminzada is an accomplished paraeducator with an impressive 20-year career in education. Hailing originally from Afghanistan, Shazia‘s journey in teaching began as a kindergarten instructor before she relocated to the United States in 2000. Her commitment to professional growth is underscored by her certifications from Applied Technology College and Salt Lake Community College. Shazia‘s multicultural background enriches the learning environment, emphasizing diversity and inclusion. Moreover, she is certified in First Aid and CPR, ensuring the safety and well-being of our students. Beyond her educational roles, Shazia‘s extensive experience as a professional translator with CCS, Pentskiff Interpreting Services, and the Asian Association of Utah further enhances her capacity to bridge communication gaps and create an inclusive educational atmosphere. As a lifelong educator, Shazia Aminzada remains dedicated to inspiring and supporting students in their educational journey.

Elizabeth Cooper, Secretary and Office Manager

Elizabeth is the secretary at Utah International Charter School. She is from Missouri but has been here for 11 years. She went to school at Utah Valley University for Early Childhood Education and has been working with children for almost 7 years.

Chelsea Diem, Reading

Chelsea received her Bachelor of Art in English Secondary Education from Montana State University and upon graduating, she moved to Nagoya, Japan to teach English as a second language. When she moved back to America she found a school in California where she taught a variety of subjects such as English, speech, and Japanese. As a teacher at UICS she hopes to help students access the world through literacy and self-empowerment. When she’s not teaching she enjoys riding her bike, cooking, playing in the mountains, and spending time with her husband and dog.

Amanda Fadling, Art

Amanda is excited to be transitioning to a full-time art teacher after working over a year in after-school programming at Utah International. She is from Oregon but has lived in Utah most of her life. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Westminster College and has been involved in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) outreach programming with youth on and off for more than 10 years. The rest of her professional experience was spent working in biotech and pharmaceutical laboratories. Amanda enjoys spending time with her daughters and playing in the mud: gardening, ceramics, and excursions to the Great Salt Lake are some of her favorite pastimes. 

Jamilya Hankishiyeva, Social Studies

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Jamilya Hankishiyeva has a diploma in teaching and a masters degree in Education, Culture, and Society from the University of Utah. She has worked as a secondary school administrator and a teacher. She has also served as a teacher training officer for the United Nations Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organization and as a country coordinator for American Councils for International Education.

Dzana Hercinovic, English

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Dzana has a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics with an emphasis in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the University of Utah. She graduated in 2009 and has since then taught English as a Second Language to adult refugee and international students at an alternative high school for the Salt Lake City School District. She also taught at various other community and social services centers in the Salt Lake City region to a vast population of learners.

Brian Hutchinson, Math

Brian Hutchinson is UICS’s Math teacher for 11th and 12th grades. He received a Math degree from the University of Utah. 

 Mr. Hutchinson’s business career has an applied math history. He opened his first business in San Diego, where he pioneered new aerospace-inspired manufacturing technologies for grand-prix offshore sailboats. After building a string of championship winning racing boats for several top international teams, he spent two years on the R&D team for the eventual winner of the America’s Cup. He then joined forces with the team’s winning skipper and designer to produce an internationally popular racing sailboat. While in the industry Mr. Hutchinson co-founded a company, which engineered and produced a line of high-performance composite sports equipment, including the carbon fiber frame sets for the world’s first production carbon mountain bike.

Following the birth of their son, Mr. Hutchinson and his partner returned to Salt Lake City to be closer to extended family. They enjoy skiing, biking, hiking, and kayaking throughout Utah. On special occasions, they get to mountain bike or ski with their son who, coincidentally, is a senior engineer for a major aerospace company. 

 Mr. Hutchinson is looking forward to coaching UICS students this winter in an after-school cross-country skiing program.

Marty Kasteler, Special Education

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Mr. Kasteler has a degree in History from the University of Utah and completed the Alternative Teacher Preparation in Special Education from Utah State.  He worked as a para-educator at Olympus Junior High while completing his education.  After graduating, he taught math and ran the behavior unit at Hunter Junior High before joining the staff at Utah International.  In addition to working his day job, Mr. Kasteler also worked and volunteered at various programs for “at risk” youth.  When not teaching, Mr. Kasteler enjoys building and sailing boats, biking, camping, and spending time with his wife and two dogs.

Dave Lindsey, History

Dave Lindsey has a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Fullerton majoring in Communications and minoring in English.  Dave also holds a History endorsement and has a passion for understanding the details of history.  He is currently taking classes to complete his secondary teaching license through Utah’s APPEL program.  He worked in auditing, sales, sales support, customer relations and technical support before becoming a teacher of history.  When not teaching Dave likes to hike, ride his bike, explore the outdoors and take road trips.  He loves to travel and spend time with his wife and three daughters. 

Andrew Maguire, Science

Andrew Maguire was born and has spent most of his life in Salt Lake City, Utah. He received a BA in German and a BS in Economics from the University of Utah in 2017. Throughout his early career, he has worked as a youth mentor and guitar teacher. Education and music are two things that he is very passionate about.

Isha Matan , Para-Professional

Ms. Matan has a Bachelor’s degree in Social and Behavioral Science from the University of Southern Maine, as well as an associate degree in Human Services from Central Maine Community College. She worked as a behavioral health case manager and also worked as a whole family case manager. She enjoys watching lifetime movies, spending quality time with her family, and traveling. 

Tracy McDiarmid, Math

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Tracy has a degree in Liberal Studies from Cal-State Fullerton, with an emphasis in middle school math.  Mrs. McDiarmid received a secondary teaching credential from Point Loma Nazarene University for mathematics.  While attending Cal-State Fullerton and raising two children she worked at Raney Middle School in the Corona-Norco Unified School District in Riverside County as an academic aid for in-class suspension.  This is where she developed her love for students in the middle grades.  Mrs. McDiarmid is also fluent in French, which she learned while serving a church mission in Quebec, Canada.  She has taught algebra and test prep classes to at-risk youth at the high school level while teaching in California and also 7th and 8th grade during the last 6 years.  Mrs. McDiarmid grew up in Utah and is so happy to be moving back and loves spending time with her family, hiking, skiing, running outdoors, yoga, gardening, and improving her teaching practice.  She finds Utah quite cold and is excited for winter to run its course.

Holly Minshew, Social Studies

Holly Minshew is the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Social Studies Teacher at Utah International. Her undergraduate degree is in Humanities and French Literature, and she holds a Master’s degree in Education. Holly has taught third through sixth grades in all subject areas. She taught French and ESL at Hillcrest Junior High in 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. Holly has worked in classrooms for 17 years as a substitute, a paraprofessional, and a full-time teacher. 

Holly loves hiking in the mountains and being outside. She is a passionate crafter and maker and adores handmade, organically created things. Her four kids are the best part of her life.

 

Ashlee Mullender, Health & P.E.

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Ashlee Mullender has a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Education with a minor in Linguistics from the University of Utah. She also has an ESL endorsement to teach English to students who speak other languages.  Ashlee worked for the Salt Lake City School District as a Substitute Teacher for the and also worked at West High School as a paraprofessional for five years with students in the Special Education Program. Currently she is working on a Masters Degree in Special Education for mild/moderate disabilities k-12. Ashlee is looking forward to providing the school community with quality information regarding Physical Education and Health Education.

Belvia Noudjougoto, Para-Professional

Belvia is a para-professional at Utah International Charter School. She is from Cameroon and fluent in French, She has been in the U.S. for 14 years.

 

Desirae Patchett, Special Education Teacher

Desirae is currently working on her Masters in Special Education. She received her Bachelor of Science in English, History, Women Gender Studies, and Secondary Education with minors in; Family and human Development and Political Science from Utah State University.  Before attending college Desirae moved to New York where she tutored low income families and helped manage a community center. When she moved back to Utah for school she continued to find jobs working with children. She wanted to help students feel a connection to their education. After graduating from USU she went to work at a charter school that was primarily for students that came from Latino and Polynesian cultures. Desirae also worked online teaching students from China how to speak English. She found her passion helping students that did not think they could learn excel and feel passionate about their education again. As a teacher at UICS she hopes to help students access knowledge and  connect to their learning  in a way they never thought was possible. When she’s not teaching she enjoys spending time with her two beautiful children, family and friends. She loves yoga, hiking and camping, and reading.

Alexander Purser, Music

Alexander received a Bachelor’s Degree in vocal performance from BYU-Idaho then continued his education to receive a Master’s Degree in Opera Performance from Eastman School of Music. Alexander teaches general music at Utah International Charter School in Salt Lake City. In addition, he teaches voice and piano through his practice – ATPurser Studio. When he is not working, he enjoys being outside and playing with his family. 

Angela Rowland, Biology

Angie Rowland has a degree in English from Dartmouth College, and masters degrees in social work and educational leadership from the University of Utah. She has been an elementary school teacher and a social worker, as well as a high school administrator and teacher at Judge Memorial. She was the principal of Utah International from before it opened in 2013 until 2022, and now she is the biology teacher. Ms. Rowland has two grown-up children and likes to read, knit, and do outdoor sports.

Lara Rudloff, School Counselor

Lara has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from George Mason University and a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Utah State University. She has 18 years of counseling experience. She loves working with youth and helping them discover their interests and talents. In her free time she loves traveling, collecting vinyl records, and watching documentaries.

Narad Sapkota, Para-Professional

Narad Sapkota is originally from Bhutan. While living in Nepal, he has worked as a middle and high school teacher in the schools under the Bhutanese Refugee Education Program (Caritas Nepal) and has also taught in different schools of Nepal. He has taught mathematics and other subjects for more than a period of 13 years. As a teacher, he has also done teaching training courses from several International Agencies like UNHCR, Lutheran World Federation, and Caritas Nepal. He has done Title-I Paraprofessional Assessment from Granite School District, Utah, and also has Bachelor in Arts from India. He has been working as an after-school program tutor and para educator at Utah International Charter School since 2014. During his free time, he loves volunteering in the community and gardening.

John South, Physics

John South is originally from Manchester, England and moved to Utah when he was 17 years of age. He was a military officer for intelligence and criminal investigations where he used the fields of criminology, and the real world application of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics to solve crimes and keep our country safe. John has a BSc in Criminology with an emphasis in Forensic Science from Utah Valley University and a MSc in Forensic Science with emphasis in investigations from Southern Utah University. He also spent several years teaching Forensic Science as a visiting lecturer at Weber State University.

One of John’s favorite things is to be married to Sharon and spending time getting into shenanigans. John loves spending time with his “lickle girls” and lads as well. John is a massive Manchester United fan, loves hiking, riding bicycles, and practicing and teaching martial arts. 

Sharon South, English

Sharon has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Northumbria University, England. She also holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from Newcastle University, England. Having taught for 13 years, Sharon has had many opportunities to work with many different students from different cultural backgrounds. Sharon is a mom to two girls and adores spending time with them and her husband. She loves music and plays piano and violin. 

Kim Warren, English

Kim Warren has both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of Utah and a Master of Education degree from Weber State University. Kim enjoys teaching students to find value in what they are learning by helping them make connections with the curriculum through their own eyes and perspectives. She adopts an interdisciplinary approach to teaching, and she uses collaboration in the classroom to engage all students.

 

 

 

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