Our team

LIFE International School boasts of a highly qualified staff.  Our excellent teachers are specially certified to teach academics to students whose first language is not English.  All staff is certified in CPR and First Aid and have their food handling license in Spain.

Walter Hopkins

Director of LIFE

Walter is from New York. He has a degree in Education, Spanish Language and French with a Master’s degree in Spanish Language. He has taught Spanish and French to children from fifth grade to university students. For six years he was the deputy director of the Spanish as a Second Language program at Michigan State University and for the last three and a half years he has been a professor at Houghton College where, in addition to language classes, he has taught pedagogy, linguistics, and second language acquisition.

Laura Hopkins

Learning and Instructional Support Specialist

Laura grew up in Brazil and the United States.  She began her career in education as an elementary teacher and reading specialist.  In 2018, she completed a Ph.D. in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education at Michigan State University.  For three years she worked as an Assistant Professor of Education at Houghton College where she mentored developing and early-career teachers, primarily teaching courses in elementary education and language and literacy at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

Scot Musser

CSS Founder and Vice director of LIFE

Scot is the vice director of LIFE and the president of the Association of Christian Schools in Spain (CSS). He came to Spain in 1998 and began working at Evangelical Christian Academy (ECA) — an English-speaking American school near Alcalá de Henares. He served as a teacher, business administrator, and finally as the headmaster for 10 years. Scot has a Master in Education, a Master in Christian Education, and is currently completing his doctorate in Educational Leadership.

Carol Paige

Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction

Carol started her educational career as a school social worker in Williamsburg, Virginia. Over the past 12 years, she served in schools in the country of Paraguay as a social worker and teacher and most recently as the secondary school principal and director of curriculum and instruction at Asunción Christian Academy. Carol holds a master’s degree in Social Work and an Ed.S. post-master’s degree in Christian Education Leadership and is currently completing a Ph.D. in Christian Education Leadership.

Carol Musser

Administrative Assistant and Dietitian

Carol was born in Ohio and has worked in a school setting in Spain since 1998, serving as a teacher, a class sponsor, and as co-coordinator of the school’s residence program. She is trained as a Registered Dietitian and is working with LIFE as the food service specialist, secretary, and other support roles.

Susana Chois

Operations Manager and Information Technology

Susy is a Chinese American raised in the USA and Colombia. She holds an MA in Biblical & Theological Studies and a BA in Drama. She has twenty plus years experience in business, international education and media entertainment industries. Her first languages are English and Cantonese, but she also speaks Spanish, Mandarin & Japanese.

Elinor Crow

Preschool Teacher

Elinor has been an elementary school teacher for over thirty years.  She has a Bible School Diploma, an Honours Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education. She taught near Toronto, Ontario, Canada before coming to LIFE.  Elinor has a passion for Hands-On Learning and loves to get her hands sticky doing art, science experiments and baking with the kids.

Alba María Vidrier Gazquez

Preschool Teacher

Alba was born in Valencia. Her passion for the English language took her to the United Kingdom, where she spent three years. Alba loves working with children, and she has been teaching English since she got her degree in English studies in the University of Valencia & Nottingham Trent University. She has experience working with the youngest children and is training now to become a primary teacher.

Leah Heneveld

Elementary Teacher

Leah received her B.S. in Elementary Education with a minor in Spanish and certification in SEI (Structured English Immersion). In 2018, Leah spent the summer as an ESL teacher at a preschool and tutor at an orphanage home in Peru. She completed her student teaching in Nicaragua and gained some teaching experience in Arizona after graduation in 2019.

Mackenze Tezak

Elementary Teacher

Mackenze is originally from Maui, Hawaii. She has a B.A. in Elementary Education and Bible from Moody Bible Institute. After graduating she moved to Nicaragua where she spent 4 years teaching 3rd grade in Nicaragua at an international school much like LIFE. She is passionate about fostering creativity and problem solving in her students.

Kayla O'Hearn

Elementary Teacher

Kayla O’Hearn received her B.A in Liberal Studies in 2019 and her elementary teaching credentials in 2020 from Sonoma State University (CA). After graduating, she taught at a Christian school, incorporating a Biblical education into their curriculum. She has a passion for helping kids explore their creative mindsets, and helping them grow in their education and faith.

Marta Jimenez

Spanish History and Language Teacher

Marta has degrees in Theology and Primary Education from the University Complutense in Madrid.  She has worked as a primary school teacher since 2008, including 4 years teaching in a bilingual school in Charlotte, North Carolina in the United States.  She has more than 20 years of experience working with children in various contexts, including serving as a camp director and coordinator of humanitarian trips to Romania and India, serving in schools and orphanages.

Kristiina Day

Elementary Teacher

Kristiina received her BA in Liberal Studies with a minor in Spanish in 2006, and has had her teaching certificate since 2007.  She has spent the last 11 years teaching in a wide variety of settings, including a year as an English Language Assistant in a bilingual school in Alcala de Henares.  She has also volunteered in English camps in Tres Cantos and Granada.

Doreen Riedel

Preschool Aide and ESL Instruction

Doreen has a Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 4) from ARA Institute in Christchurch, New Zealand, and is presently working on a degree in Early Childhood Education with Tertiary College, New Zealand. For the past 15 years she has worked as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher in Madrid and has experience teaching all ages and levels of English.

Hannah Westergren

Middle School Teacher

Hannah, born and raised in Madrid, is a native English and Spanish speaker and has spent the majority of her life in cross-cultural contexts. She has a BA in History and Secondary Education from Wheaton College (IL) and is licensed in the state of Illinois. She completed her student teaching in Portugal and has spent the last four years teaching 7th-12th grade ELA and Social Studies in Nicaragua.

Charis Schneeberger

Music and Art Teacher

Charis is the music and art teacher for PK-7th grade students. She received her degree in Music Education from a Bible University in Missouri after 5 years of study and a semester of student teaching. She has taught K-6 Music at an inner-city school for 2 years. She will be running our music and art program.

Samantha Johnson

Preschool and Elementary Teacher

Samantha is a specialist in English language immersion, as well as teaching through fun and nature. She has been working with Linguistic Immersion methodology in the Spanish private school system for six years.  A native of Jamaica, she has a master’s degree in Social Education from the Complutense University of Madrid.

Beatriz Troisi Murias


Betty is trained as a Chemical Technician and worked 10 years as a Microbiologist in the National Institute of Microbiology as well as pharmaceutical labs in Argentina.  In addition, she has worked as a baker and has volunteered with Global Ventures in Tres Cantos, helping with catering during English Camp, as well as organizing workshops and activities for children and adults.

Debbie Banda

Teacher's Aid

Debbie is a recent graduate from Dallas Baptist University. Gaining her Bachelor’s degree in Spanish education. She dedicated several summers as a camp Counselor for Pine Cove, a Christian Summer camp. Debbie has an enthusiastic spirit. She is ready to learn from Senior teachers and help children of different education levels to enhance their learning experience at LIFE.

Donald Paige

Kindergarten PE Teacher and Wellness Teacher

Donald has a Bachelor degree in History and worked at a living history museum in Williamsburg, Virginia as a Journeyman Silversmith and taught Colonial and Revolutionary War history. For 13 years he worked and learned from the silversmiths in Asunción del Paraguay as well as taught secondary social studies at Asuncion Christian Academy before coming to LIFE.

Natalia Amuchástegui Lehr

Marketing Coordinator

Natalia was born and raised in Argentina. She attended an innovative, bilingual educational high school which sparked her interest in individualized instruction. She studied Marketing at UADE in Buenos Aires; and in 2002 she moved to Madrid where she pursued her professional career in Marketing at several renowned technology multinationals. She has a Master’s Degree in Business Intelligence, and has served in various roles in the LIFE project since 2015.

Eduardo Leal

Administrative support

Eduardo began his career in education as an administrative assistant at an international school in Venezuela. For 7 years he led student chaplaincy activities, social work, extracurricular activities and intercultural trips. He has a Bachelor of Arts and Biblical Studies at Grace School of Theology (Texas).