Meet the Admin Team


Meet the Admin Team

Purpose Statement

The Admin Team is the senior leadership team of the school, and our purpose is to lead the school towards fulfillment of the mission, the strategic plan and the core values of the school. The leadership team functions in accordance with best practices, as well as our accrediting bodies and local government regulations; and is responsible for the design and implementation of both the strategic and the operational functions of the school.


Rob Van der Eyken


Robert van der Eyken is the Director of Academia Cotopaxi American International School in Quito, Ecuador. Robert joined Academia Cotopaxi after a career in international schools around the world. He was inspired to become an educator after attempting to bicycle and motorcycle around the world and returned to Canada where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and a Bachelors of Education from Nipissing University. He was a teacher in Namibia in southern Africa, a teacher at a remote First Nation community in northwestern Ontario, Canada,  a teacher then Vice Principal at John F. Kennedy American School in Queretaro, Mexico, a Middle School Principal at American School Foundation of Monterrey, a Middle School Principal at Euroamerican School of Monterrey, the Head of School at Hangzhou International School in China, the Director of Casablanca American School in Morocco and most recently a consultant and teacher in the Republic of Macedonia. He has also obtained a Masters in Education from Framingham University in Massachusetts and a certification in Early Childhood Education in Mexico. With Robert's vast experience of more than a quarter of a century in international schools, he believes that a school is a reflection of the future we desire for our children and the world. With the innovative and talented teachers at Academia Cotopaxi, IMAGINE and the ONE Institute, he is honored to lead a school that strives to forge a better world and is proud to support the school's mission and be part of a very special learning community. You can contact him at


Todd Hollett

Director of Technology

Todd Hollett holds an M.A in Educational Organization and Leadership from Columbia Teachers College and a B.A. in International Relations with a focus on Community Development form the University of Georgia. He has worked in Educational Technology since 2004 in the United States, Brazil, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Hong Kong. He holds certifications in Educational Psychology and Instructional Technology, Middle Grades Social Studies, and PK-12 ESOL.

Todd believes that technology, both in and outside the classroom, is a tool that we use in balance with all other aspects of our lives. Please feel free to reach out to him with any of your questions at



Fred Bordaguibel

High School Principal

Fred was born and raised in the South West of France. He obtained a Masters in French as Foreign Language and he continued his studies in Lancaster, UK, to have a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. Before joining Academia Cotopaxi in 2014 Fred worked in London, in the UK, and in Istanbul, Turkey, as teacher, head of department and International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) Coordinator. Fred has lots of experience guiding students through their High School life and he particularly enjoys connecting with students and families to provide appropriate support and make High School a challenging and powerful experience. Fred is married to Stephanie and their son Dorian attends Academia Cotopaxi. You can email Fred at and follow his wonderings on his website.


Gina Del Hierro

Director of Human Resources

Gina is Ecuadorian and passionate about cultures around the world. She returned to Quito in 2015 after a six-year experience abroad in Mexico and Dubai. Gina holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and has worked in variety of areas - Finance, Strategy, HR and Talent Management - with multinational companies. She embraces a spirit of leading change and of generating high impacts that come with positive change both in business and people. Gina dreams big and believes in continuous improvement. Gina is pleased to be part of the educational world at AC and is inspired by our community that continue to grow, learn and contribute. Her email is


Kathy Burns

Director of Admissions and External Relations

Kathy grew up on the U.S. east coast states of Maryland, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. She studied Finance at the University of Georgia and has a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kathy has over fifteen years of corporate development and finance experience working with various large multinational corporations and collaborating with diverse and multicultural teams. Kathy recently took these skills to the international school community and before heading to Quito in 2015, she was the interim Head of Admissions for the American School of Barcelona. In her free time she loves to travel with her family, spend time outdoors and test new recipes in the kitchen. Contact her at


Sheryl Gruber

Middle School Principal
Sheryl is joining the administrative team at Academia Cotopaxi this school year. She has spent the past five years at Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS) as a Middle School Learning Leader. Prior to JIS, she taught at Taipei American School and the International School of Islamabad. Her experience in the field of education also includes working with and directing nonprofit organizations in Rwanda, Bolivia and Borneo. She holds a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Minnesota and a certificate in International School Leadership. Sheryl is delighted to be returning to the mountains of South America and being part of the learning community at Academia Cotopaxi! Please contact her at


Mauricio Mera

Director of Business and Finance

Mauricio holds a business administration degree from the Universidad Católica de Quito and an MBA from the University of Dallas (USA) with a focus in Corporate Finance. He is Ecuadorian and married with three children. He has worked at AC since 1997 as Director of Finance. His previous experience includes: banking, financial analysis, external audit and insurance. His email is


Paola Pereira

Elementary School Principal

Paola is the Elementary School Principal (IMAGINE through Grade 5) at Academia Cotopaxi. Development and learning have inspired her since childhood and she has been professionally involved in education for over 20 years. Paola’s pedagogical and leadership background includes US undergraduate studies in early childhood & elementary education, a master’s in special education and a Principal’s certificate from The Principal’s Training Center. For fun, Paola looks for opportunities to have conversations with others (her husband, children, siblings, parents and grandparents…, old friends and new friends), to laugh together, to accompany others in their successes and challenges, and to learn from them by listening, by watching, by reading. Email her at