A Letter from Ms. Lana

Welcome to Pioneers Baccalaureate School.  PBS is a truly remarkable school in the north of Palestine and we are immensely proud of the bilingual, international education we provide.  Choosing to be part of our school family is a big choice, one that will open new worlds and opportunities. 


Our school is unique.  We are the only school in Palestine with over twenty international teachers.  With a fifty-fifty split of Palestinian and international staff, our foreign staff is at the heart of our school.  They act as teachers, club organizers, heads of school, and academic department heads.  They work hand in hand with locals to create a cohesive staff, one that exemplifies the cultural diversity we want our students to be at home in. This melding of cultures provides our international Palestinian students a school to thrive in.  This staff has allowed us to graduate the first SAT diploma class in the entire north of Palestine, sending our students to top universities around the globe where they are making the dean’s list and thriving. 


Our teachers go beyond the stereotypes of hardworking, giving, amazing individuals.  By choosing to be here, they are transforming the educational process in Palestine.  By giving of themselves, they are moving the country forward.  They are apart of something much bigger than a school.  PBS is a movement. We hope you’ll join us. 

Lana Khalaf, Principal

Lower School

Chloe O'Connor

Lower School English Coordinator

Shaker Jaber

Lower School Arabic Coordinator

      Mr. Shaker completed his degree in mathematics teacher at Ramallah's UNRWA university in 1997.  He joined Pioneers in 2010 as an administrator, supporting the lower school and the mathematics staff.  Before that, he lived in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Mr. Shaker recently completed his PhD in mathematical teaching methods at Yarmouk University in Jordan. He lives in Nablus with his family and enjoys football.

Kaleb Mazurek

1st Grade English

Kaleb Mazurek is a graduate of Macalester College, where he majored in International Studies and Classical Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Studies. After graduating, he returned to his hometown of Chicago, where he worked as an Assistant Kindergarten teacher. This is his first year at PBS.

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Gabriela Meneses

3rd and 4th Grade English

Gabriela Meneses is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Linguistics and TESL. She is a fluent Spanish speaker and is proud of her Latin-American roots. Growing up in Miami and teaching English to international students from around the world sparked her interest to teach in the Middle East. When Gabriela is not teaching, she enjoys writing, juggling, listening to music, dancing, watching films, and learning Arabic! 

Aaliyah Kara

4th Grade English

     Aaliyah Kara completed her undergraduate degree in English Literature in South Africa.  Inspired by the arts scene in Johannesburg, she has worked both as a performance poet and creative director in arts education.  Now, an associate of the Trinity College London, she wishes to amplify the voices of young people, particularly her students.  When Aaliyah isn’t teaching, she cooks, battles with her writing, and tries to get through her pile of unfinished novels

Shorouq Ahmad

5th Grade Science

12th Grade Physics

     Shorouq is a Palestinian-American, born and raised in the US.  She is a bilingual Arabic-English speaker who studied physics at university.  After graduating, Shorouq moved to Palestine to live with her husband and to join the Pioneers staff.

Middle School

Julianna Hubbard

Middle School Coordinator

6th Grade Math

       Julianna Hubbard is a 2014 graduate of Fordham University with a degree in mathematics and visual arts. She also speaks Spanish, having spent a semester abroad in Spain and organized trips to Nicaragua and Ecuador.  After college,  Julianna served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana, teaching mathematics at a junior high school for two years.  Julianna currently teaches 6th grade math at Pioneers.

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Jasmine Isaksson

7th Grade English

Jasmine Isaksson is a 2015 graduate from the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, with a BA in Anthropology. Prior to Nablus, she has lived in both the UK and Sweden. When she isn't teaching, Jasmine is plotting her next travel destination, attempts to the tame the school kittens and writes stories that she is hoping to publish one day.

Mason Bryant

8th Grade English

Mason Bryant completed his degree in English Literature in Seattle, Washington. He has run a food truck, conducted research  for non-profits, cooked pizza, and taught the 3rd and 4th grade classes at Pioneers. This year, he will be teaching 8th grade English. When he is not teaching, he is playing guitar, reading, or running away from the dogs in Beit Eiba.

Susan Aboeid

8th Grade English

9th & 10th Grade History

Upper School

William Martin

Upper School Head

     William Martin is a 2010 graduate of the University of Montana.  After teaching abroad in Uganda and South Korea, Will began teaching Calculus at the Abaarso School of Science and Technology in Somalia before being promoted to the head of upper school and eventually assistant headmaster. He completed his master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education as well as one year of teaching in Brooklyn, NY, before coming to Pioneers as the Head of Upper School. 

Bryant Hepp

9th Grade English

        Bryant is a 2016 graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in international relations.  He spent his last semester at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy in Baku, Azerbaijan, including an internship at the United Nations Development Program.  He enjoys WWOOFing and permaculture, spending last summer volunteering in South Shuneh, Jordan.

Annabel Lindau

10th and 12th Grade English 

College Counselor

     Annabel is a 2016 graduate of Tufts University with a double major in philosophy and Arabic language.  She attended Middlebury’s language intensive program in Amman, Jordan, cementing her interest in the region. Annabel enjoys academic research on religious pluralism and completed an internship at Harvard’s pluralism project before joining the Pioneers English staff.

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Hannah Kirk Nass

10th and 11th Grade English

         Hannah is a 2019 graduate of the University of Virginia with a degree in English Literature and Global Studies. In college, she learned German and Arabic, spending a summer working in Amman at a sports camp for refugee girls. Before coming to PBS, she worked with incarcerated adults in Charlottesville, Virginia, helping them earn their GED. When she’s not teaching English, Hannah can be found running, reading, or watching rugby.

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Caitlin Symons

Head of Science

     Caitlin is a graduate of the University of Hawaii with a dual degree in medical anthropology and women's studies. Though originally from Los Angeles, Caitlin worked at a clinic in Thika, Kenya before joining the staff at Pioneers in January of 2015. 

Frances Black

Precalculus and Calculus

       Frances is a 2014 graduate of Smith College with a degree in mathematics.  After graduation, she spent two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural northern Ghana, teaching math and advocating for girls’ education.  Frances teaches precalculus and calculus at Pioneers.  In addition to learning Arabic, she also speaks Turkish and loves to watch Turkish TV dubbed into Arabic.

Reem Salah

9th Grade Biology

Reem is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a degree in Psychology and a minor in the Biological Sciences. Because of her years of experience volunteering at an Islamic school, she was inspired to pursue education as her career. After graduating, she moved to Palestine to educate and to be closer to family.