Ken george- founder
My name is Ken George. I am a former special education teacher, assistant principal, and principal. I have served in education for over 15 years. My wife, Jenny, also serves in the education field as a 4K teacher. Currently I serve at AU, training student teachers.
Education and travel are my passion, so this company was a long time in the making. As I have taught and watched students learn I believe now, more than ever, the world is a huge classroom and the greatest venue to learn about ourselves and the people around us!
Currently I work with developing teachers at Anderson University in South Carolina. If you don't see me in the classroom, you might find me sitting by a fire, playing sports, or watching hockey. Thank you for taking time to check us out. Hope to travel and learn with you soon!
Ireland Trip Leader - Tommy Bolger
My name is Tommy Bolger. At the moment, I am an elementary principal at Wren Elementary in Anderson School District One. I have been in education for 22 years as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. My wife, Tracy is also an educator and works at Daniel High school as a math teacher and has just finished her 28 year.
I was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland and emigrated to the United States of America in 1988 when I was 24, and have lived in South Carolina for 30 years. Now you can guess how old I am. We have two children; Jordan is a graduate from Clemson University with a math degree, and hopes to become a high school math teacher. Our son, Dylan is serving in the Air Force for the last three years in Cheyenne Wyoming.
I have traveled all through Ireland as well as England, Scotland, Wales, Spain, Canada, Dominican Republic, as well as 40 of the US states. I have even driven from Alaska to South Carolina. So, you can see, I love to travel and I have always found that it helped me when working with students.
Being able to go visit schools in other countries is a great way for us to see what other educators teach their students and ways that can help you expand your craft and do what we in education call “school espionage.” I hope you choose to join us on our travels.
London Trip Leader - Kayla Delzer
Kayla is a 3rd grade teacher and technology champion in North Dakota. She is a columnist for Edsurge and blogger for Edutopia, where she writes about a variety of edtech and design topics. She has nine years of teaching experience in second and third grade. Kayla holds her master’s degree in Elementary Education and is currently in the process of becoming National Board Certified, the highest mark of professional accomplishment. On July 23, 2015 she delivered her first TEDx Talk, Reimagining Classrooms: Students as Leaders and Teachers as Learners. Kayla frequently travels around the United States as a featured and keynote speaker, and she is proud to be an international speaker with Best Keynote coalition. She has delivered over 50 keynotes, most notably being at Twitter Headquarters. Her work with classroom redesign and flexible seating has become the standard worldwide. She is highly sought after by educational and technology companies to preview and review their products. Kayla sits on several advisory boards of educational companies, and works closely with Remind, Go Ennounce, GoNoodle, Amazon Education, Seesaw, and Creative Teaching Press to name a few. She was also recently selected as North Dakota’s Lead Digital Innovator by PBS. She has authored a book titled Education Write Now, due to be published in December 2017. She is currently writing a book about classroom learning spaces and flexible seating. You can connect with Kayla on all social media platforms @topdogteaching, and her student lead social media accounts @topdogkids.
London Trip - Joy Babcock
Hello! My name is Joy Babcock and I am a recent graduate of Anderson University. I received my degree in Elementary Education in May of 2017. I am now a 4th grade teacher at Joseph R. Pye Elementary School in Charleston, SC. Although I am just starting my career in education, I can’t wait to dive right in with my first year of teaching.
I am very passionate about traveling and I have visited nine different countries over the course of the last five years. I have loved the places I have visited so much that I have even been to some of them more than once! One of my favorite places to go to is England. I am so excited that I get to lead a trip to London in 2018. I was able to go as a participant on the trip to London with Bookbag Tours this summer and it was amazing to observe teachers from another country.
I can’t wait to lead a group to London next summer and guide them through a truly life changing experience. Visiting global schools is a great way to make new contacts all over the world as well as experience unique teaching strategies used by international educators. I hope to see you next summer!
Peru Trip Leader - Miss Maestra (Joyce Estrada Bailey)
Joyce Estrada Bailey is affectionately called Miss Maestra by her students. Maestra means teacher in Spanish. Joyce worked for Gwinnett County Public Schools at Summerour Middle School, an International Baccalaureate World School. She taught ESL, language arts, and global connections. In 2012, she accepted a position at the Ron Clark Academy and started the Spanish program. In 2016, Joyce left her dream job to follow her own dream and started MissMaestra and teaches Spanish and English online. Also, she collaborates with the Latin American Association in Atlanta and leads workshops in adult education and how to bring the world into your classroom. This summer, she hosted, "Easy English with MissMaestra" on the AIBTV Network.
She is a mother of three and enjoys traveling. She believes you should be a traveler, not tourist.
Peru Trip Leader - Jill Shafer (Hello_Fifth)
Jill Shafer, best known as Hello Fifth on social media, is an elementary school teacher in Southern California. In her ten years of teaching, she has taught multiple grade levels and loves each one for different reasons. Jill's passion is engaging learners and she leads regular professional development sessions on reaching all students by thinking outside the box. She holds her masters degree in curriculum instruction and design and has a passion for helping students expand their horizons through global education. Jill believes in the power of relationships and loves attending her students' sporting events, concerts, and shows. Her incredibly supportive family includes her husband Michael and their three young children. She is thrilled to join Bookbag Tours this summer!
Australia Trip Leader - Juan Gonzalez Jr. (teaching3rdwithmrg)
Juan Edgar Gonzalez Jr. is a third grade Texas teacher with a Texas sized love for literacy and student engagement. Over his teaching career, he has taught first, second, and third grade.He loves to develop and share new ways to strategically use literacy to create effective classroom environments, school wide experiences, and passionate readers! In the spring of 2016, his classroom was featured in Scholastic Teacher Magazine. Shortly after, he was asked to be part of the Scholastic Top Teaching Blog team. He now writes monthly for Scholastic.com and shares ideas and his journey in the classroom.
You can follow Juan and his teaching adventures on social media with his handle @Teaching3rdWithMrG
Australia Trip Leader - Shaunda Wasik (upperelementaryadventures)
Shaunda Wasik, is a third and fourth grade multiage teacher in Minnesota who has developed a passion for creating a positive and engaging learning environment for her students. In her five years of teaching she has taught third, fourth and fifth grade. She loves reaching upper elementary students through project based learning, digital activities and student choice. Shaunda holds her masters degree in reading. She strives to create passionate readers through engaging them in authentic reading opportunities and integrating reading into all subject areas. Shaunda believes that relationships come first in the classroom and works hard to build authentic relationships with her students both in and out of the classroom. She is excited to be taking her teaching experiences global and travelling with Bookbag Tours this summer!
You can follow Shaunda and her teaching adventures on social media with her handle @UpperElementaryAdventures