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Meet the Faculty

Each week we profile one of our new faculty or staff members. Check back regularly for updates and learn why DIS people make the difference.

For Paula Barona (DIS ‘23), an International Education is Already Paying Big Dividends

It’s been a busy past few months for DIS alumna Paula Barona. Since walking across the stage to receive her International Baccalaureate diploma in June, the native of Madrid has found her way back to Spain to study global business at top-ranked Icade School of Business and Economics at prestigious Comillas Pontifical University - and also sister school Dublin City University (DCU) in Ireland. But then, globe hopping is nothing new to Paula, who has been on the move with her family since age five, living and studying in places as far away as Sydney, Australia and even a prior multi-year stay in Austin, Texas.

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For Viviana Calles, the Unexpected Usually Isn’t

When Viviana Calles describes the setting of her childhood neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina she evokes images from the classic 1957 musical West Side Story, a tale of families outdoors in the evenings, lounging on stoops, sharing convivial stories about life and love with ever-present vats of bubbling pasta sauce nurtured by mamma-mias in every kitchen. Outside in the street, the pseudo-rival gangs of Jets and Sharks, snapping their fingers and prancing along in side-step with love and good humor in the air. Her neighborhood was, surprisingly, an Italian neighborhood. And Viviana (maiden name Oddone), half-Italian by birth.

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For Churchill Way’s Lucile Perret, life is all about place

Anyone who thinks Geography is only about pointing out countries, continents or oceans on a map should sit down for coffee with Lucile Perret. One quickly learns that geographic location is only the starting point, the launching pad for looking deep into the heart of humanity: what makes people tick, how societies grow and define themselves, what makes up our lives as humans on a tiny planet whirling through the vast expanses of space

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Mrs. “L” - Our Belle

Sont les mots qui vont très bien ensemble, très bien ensemble.

When Paul McCartney penned these words for the 1965 Rubber Soul album, he didn’t know a lick of French. He’d asked a friend to translate “these are words that go together well,” and come up with something sort of close, he later said. Though not a perfect translation, he liked the sound of the elegant langue française and the meaning of the words. Then he added a chorus of “I love you, I love you, I LOVE you…” and it became, to all the world, a perfect Beatles song.

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Don’t Forget About Patrick Dennis

To really get the feel for this profile, you may want to queue up Simple Minds’ Don’t Forget About Me. It’s got a cool vibe, just like Patrick. And it’s one of his favorite tunes, too.

The History and English teacher at the Waterview Parkway campus likes much of the mellow, synth-pop music of the 1980s and ‘90s, but the generally quiet and unassuming Patrick also has a hard rock side, opting on occasion to “do a little thrashing” when heavy metal bands tour through Dallas. One recent weekend, he dropped in on Orbit Culture when they swung by with Avatar and Tour of Maya. “That was pretty much a headbanger show,” he says.

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Meet Maria Etetere, Master Juggler

Any avid carnival or circus goer knows that there are many different types of juggler. There’s the toss juggler - one who always keeps at least one object (an apple, a ball, a running chainsaw) in the air while handling several others. There’s the bounce juggler - one who keeps an object springing back from the floor, ceiling or wall (without even looking) while flinging and catching still others. There’s the trick juggler - one who blends together a range of styles and objects (rings, balls, pins, pineapples) while crossing arms, skipping, sitting or dancing.


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Should DIS ever need a poet laureate, Kim Nall is standing by

“I am but a pair of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas.”

Hearing this, DIS 5th and 6th grade English teacher Kim Nall smiles broadly, instantly recognizing the quintessential line from T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” As a published poet herself, she knows these things. And if poetry can be viewed as a window into someone’s soul - as many poets suggest - then for Kim it becomes something much more: a window into seeing the world as a giant, wide-open sphere that deserves to be explored.

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