Director's Dispatch: New Teachers for the 2018-19 School Year


I am pleased to announce our 13 new teachers for next year. They come from seven different countries and have over 200 years of experience combined. I've included their short bios and quotes from their references below so you can start getting to know them. We are looking forward to welcoming them in person next year!

Keith Bailey – High School Film, IB Film, English Over the past 30 years, Keith has taught a wide range of courses including IB English, IB Film, IB Theory of Knowledge, English, Journalism, Media Studies, and Photography. He has worked in India, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom. Mr. Bailey earned a Bachelor of Laws from Exeter University and Post-Graduate Certificate of Education from Leicester University. “Keith is an excellent English and Film (IB or otherwise) teacher who continue to work towards making our school better each year.”

Michele Bailey – High School French, IB French Michele has been teaching French to secondary students for over 20 years including 16 years experience teaching in IB French. She has worked in India, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom She holds an undergraduate degree from Lycee Val de Seine in France with a trilingual qualification in English, French, and German. She also holds a Masters in Foreign Applied Languages from University Paul Valery and a Cambridge Proficiency in English from Colchester Institute.

“Michele is an outstanding educator. Inside the classroom she is a master teacher and is able to differentiate her lessons to suit the diverse learning needs of every child - she really knows her students.”

Charles Brondel – High School Social Studies, IB Psychology Charles has ten years teaching experience working in both South Korea and the United States. He started his career as a Special Educator and has eight years experience teaching high school social studies and Advance Placement courses. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Secondary Education from the University of Vermont.

“Charlie Brondel is one of the most beloved teachers at our school. He cares for the students and truly teaches and engages them.”

Jacob Haag – High School Science, IB Chemistry Jacob has taught for 15 years working in China and the United States. He has taught IB Chemistry, AP Chemistry, MYP Science, Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, and Physics. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Valley City State University in the United States.

“Jacob has a reserved approach to school life that belies a fierce interest in and understanding of the workings of the community. He is a wise practitioner with excellent subject knowledge and consistently successful teaching, and he engages well with his classes.”

Sohee Han – High School Math, IB Math Sohee has five years teaching experience working in South Korea. She graduated high school from the Jakarta International School and holds an undergraduate degree from Boston University. She has taught Advanced Placement Math in addition to other high school math courses. She has also served as the Math Department Chair at her last school for the past two years.

“Ms. Han is an incredible teacher. She is a reliable, motivated professional who has garnered respect from both students and parents.”

Brian Higginson – Secondary School Drama, IB Theater Brain has over 30 years teaching experience working in Myanmar, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He has taught AP English, Drama, English, and Media Studies. Mr. Higginson has a Certificate in Education from University of Birmingham, a Bachelor Degree in Drama, and a Masters in Creative Writing.

“Brian is a brilliant Theatre teacher - his years of experience show in both his knowledge of content, skills and intentions and in his strong relationships with students.”

Elizabeth Hollister – Elementary English Language Learning Elizabeth has over 25 years of experience working in both elementary and middle schools. She has been an elementary classroom teacher including three years as a PYP teacher and a middle school language arts and humanities teacher. She has worked in Myanmar, Tanzania, and United States.

Elizabeth earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in English from Amherst College and is certified in Early Childhood Education and English/Language Arts from grades 4 to 12. She also has a certificate in teaching English as a Second Language.

“Elizabeth is a very centered and focused teacher who plans effectively and is well organized. She cares deeply about each of her students and wants them tolove the joys of writing and reading.”

Joe Johnson – Middle School English Joe has taught a wide range of English courses in both middle and high school over his 20 plus years as a teacher in the United States. In addition, for the past nine years he has organized educational trips for his students in the summer to the United Kingdom. Joe holds an undergraduate degree in English from Middle Tennessee State University. He has coached a wide range of sports including volleyball and basketball.

“Mr. Johnson's strongest suit is his dedication to his students' success in the English classroom. He exhibits enthusiasm and competency in English instruction, and he is always looking for and utilizing ways to help his students find success in his classroom.”

Dr. Nneka Johnson Dr. Johnson is currently the Lead Instructional Technology Specialist for Woodward Academy, the largest independent school in the continental United States. Originally from Guyana, Dr. Johnson has a BA in Sociology and Urban Studies from Queens College in New York, MS in Instructional Technology from Georgia State University, and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Mercer University in Atlanta. Her dissertation was on adolescents and social media. Nneka has also been trained in design thinking at the Stanford d.School. In addition to 12 years at Woodward Academy, Dr. Johnson has also taught in Australia and worked in the technology industry.

“After many years of working with schools in the areas of both academics and operations, I have come to regard Nneka as one of the best in her field. She is clearly gifted in working with people, and has a great deal of knowledge, skill and passion for her work.”

Hailey Michelsen – Middle and High School Physical Education Teaching is Hailey’s second career. She was originally an Emergency Medication Technician working in medical centers before moving to Myanmar to become a science and physical education teacher. She has been teaching for two years. Hailey holds an undergraduate degree from Washington State University. She played volleyball at the collegiate level and can coach basketball, track, and swimming.

“Hailey's background in the medical and science field make her an ideal P.E. teacher. Not only is she great with kids, but she can teach P.E. with the important scientific context that so many other P.E. teachers miss. She is a team player as well as confident leader.”

Janna Riley – Middle School Art Janna has over ten years experience teaching art in elementary, middle, and high school. She has worked in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and Venezuela. Janna holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Arizona State University and a Masters in Art Education from Florida International University.

“Janna is an excellent teacher and delightful to work with. She works very well both with children and with adults, and comes up with very creative projects for them to do. She is patient and good at explaining techniques, and her unfailing cheerfulness always creates an atmosphere where students feel encouraged to learn, experiment and create.”

Vivienne Verschuren – High School Math, IB Math Higher Level Vivienne has been teaching math for over 20 years, mostly in the high school. She has worked in Tanzania, the United States, and Venezuela. As a student she attended international schools in Belgium and Nigeria and was an IB student herself. Vivienne holds Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Psychology from Trinity College and Masters in Math Education from Florida International University.

“Viv is a highly capable, experienced educator who is thoroughly committed to her students and respected by her fellow teachers. She works hard, strives for excellence and has proved to be a great asset to our school.”

Aryanna Wetteland – Middle and High School Science In her five years of teaching, all in China, Aryanna has taught ESL, math, and science. She is an experienced MYP teacher. Aryanna holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Irvine, and a Masters from National University in California.

“Ary is a tremendous teacher, with great sense and care for her students. She finds a positive angle on every situation, and is devoted to the children.”

The International School of Dakar

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