Welcome New Elementary School Faculty, 2022-2023

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Dear Elementary School Students and Parents,

We are very pleased to share with you the names and information about the new elementary faculty members who will be joining us starting in the 2022-2023 school year.

As you know, we spend a great deal of time interviewing the best teachers from around the world to select them for joining the faculty of SSIS. We select candidates who have impressive qualifications, outstanding experience, and a proven track record of success in their field.

We hope you enjoy reading through these biographies to get a sense of our newest faculty members that will be working with your children next year. We are very proud of who will be joining our division and excited to share their information with you.
Kind regards,

Daniel J. Keller, PhD (departing Elementary Principal)
Melanie Sylvester (incoming Elementary Principal)

PS: In addition, at the bottom of this post, we have provided information about the new all-school employees that will join our SSIS community.


ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Jacqueline Caraglior (United States)
Early Childhood, Kindergarten, and Grade 1 Art Teacher

“As an artist, it is my pleasure to teach students technique and encourage art appreciation. As an educator, I aim to foster curiosity, creativity and critical thinking. My goal is to teach all of my students to think like artists!”

When a former student was interested in making an artwork that honored her Chinese culture, Ms. Caraglior, an experienced Montessori Guide and Special Education Teacher encouraged the student to take on the challenge of a large-scale painting. As the student thought of new elements to add to the mural, she recruited other students with specific skills, such as painting a dragon or calligraphy. As a result, the piece combined different elements from a variety of Traditional Chinese Art forms and styles. In the end, the student’s painting not only communicated her artistic vision but also fostered a sense of community.

At the end of a month as Artist in Residence at Dimensions Art Center, in Chongqing, China, Ms. Caraglior held her first-ever solo show, exhibiting eight artworks in response to Chongqing’s unique character of place. She finds lots of inspiration in her travels and is endlessly inspired by new places, food, arts and culture. In addition to painting, Ms. Caraglior enjoys photography and filmmaking, especially with vintage cameras.

She finds that it is the novelty in everyday experiences in a new country that can fill even the most mundane of daily life tasks with surprises and opportunities to learn something new. Ms. Caraglior is thrilled to begin this next chapter and is looking forward to calling Vietnam her new home.

Education: Master of Education (The College of New Jersey, USA), Bachelor’s degree in Art (UCLA, USA)


Liz Carleton (United States) 
Grade 2 Teacher

“Reading is a huge part of my life, and I feel so privileged to share this with my students because it is a gift that opens so many worlds.”

Ms. Carleton shares that her desire to share her love of literacy is a core reason she became an educator. In a recent small group, one of Ms. Carleton’s students confidently exclaimed: “I can read!” Ms. Carleton was thrilled that the student had made so much progress and felt so proud of himself. In elementary school, there is such visible transformative growth in one year.

Currently at the International Community School of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Ms. Carleton has also worked at international schools in South Korea and Italy.

On previous travels to Vietnam, Ms. Carleton has always thought that this is a place she could live. She looks forward to experiencing the delicious cuisine and sublime climate of Vietnam.

When not working, Ms. Carleton enjoys doing yoga, watching movies and painting. And in the past few years, she’s become quite the baker, making french bread, focaccia, southern-style biscuits and some sourdough.

Education: Master of Teaching (University of Virginia, USA), Bachelor of Arts in English (University of Virginia, USA)


Melvin Cass II (United States) 
Grade 4 EAL Teacher

It was during a break in his teaching career, while working for a medical manufacturing company, that Mr. Cass realized that it was encouraging and leading exercises during breaks, helping train new hires and holding conversations that became “lessons” about language, history or culture—the teaching moments—that were the  true joy of that job. And thus, Mr. Cass returned to teaching.

During his 12 years as an educator, Mr. Cass has worked in schools in China, South Korea and Saudi Arabia. When not teaching, he likes doing origami, which he has been practicing since he was in the fifth grade. He also enjoys weight training, drawing, playing the harmonica and reading to his children. His daughter, Ellis, will start grade 5 and his son, August, will be in grade 3 next year. Mr. Cass’ wife, Anna, who has also worked as an educator, is looking forward to getting to know their new home country.

Education: Master’s degree in TESOL (Buena Vista University, USA), TESOL Certification (Sprott-Shaw University, Canada), Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Lang. and Lit., Japanese  Lang. and Lit., and East Asian Studies (Purdue University, USA)


C. Leon Corpening (United States)
Grades 2 and 3  Music Teacher

“I want students to be able to feel some of the wonder, excitement and sheer awesomeness of music that I experienced that day.”

An educator for 20 years, Mr. Corpening recalls standing in awe along the field of an American football game when he was just 7 years old. As the massive sound of bass drums, snares and cymbals suddenly started up, he was captivated by the sound, size and energy of the band. To transfer that wonder and awesomeness of music is a big part of why he’s a music teacher today.

Before he began teaching internationally, Mr. Corpening had never been on a plane. Since then, though, he’s taught at international schools in Russia and Romania and is looking forward to joining our community and experiencing all that Vietnam has to offer.

When not teaching, Mr. Corpening, who is a big fan of yard games, loves being outdoors. Indoors, you’ll find him playing darts, watching videos of restoring found items or singing in a band.

Education: Master of Music in Music Education (Appalachian State University, USA), Master of Music in Performance (Appalachian State University, USA), Bachelor of Music in Music Education (Appalachian State University, USA), Bachelor of Music in Performance (Appalachian State University, USA)


Katie Cuny (United States)
Grade 3 Teacher

“Teaching is an ever-changing job. Each day is unique and an opportunity to build a new relationship with a student. Building relationships with my students and laughing with them is one of my favorite parts of the job!”

A teacher in the US, Bulgaria and Colombia for nearly 10 years, Ms. Cuny originally started her studies as a child psychology major. In her sophomore year, she decided that she wanted to be able to work with students from all different backgrounds and have a direct impact on their lives, both in and out of the classroom, so she changed her major to education.

Driven to get her master’s degree while teaching internationally, Ms. Cuny started her degree on one continent and completed it on another. She is proud of achieving her goal while transitioning to a new country, school and culture.

Ms. Cuny says that she can’t wait to experience new traditions and holidays in Vietnam. Her husband, Bryce, will join our middle school mathematics department.

Education: Master of Education in Learning, Teaching & Curriculum (University of Missouri, USA), Bachelor of Science in Education, K–6 (Slippery Rock University, USA)


 

Simon DobsonSimon Dobson (United Kingdom)
Upper Elementary Learning Support Teacher

“My favorite moments as a teacher are when students recognize the progress they have made and can see how far they have come through their own perseverance and resilience.”

Mr. Dobson was recently working with a student who can be quite self-critical. He had the student look back on the work he’d completed in the previous school year. “Is this really my work? My work this year is much better,” the student observed. Moments like this, when a student can see how far they’ve progressed and feel proud about it, are among Mr. Dobson’s favorites.

Recently Mr. Dobson completed a program on innovative online teaching (COETAIL) and another on inclusion (LEAD) to become an even better educator. He’s excited to work with a diverse group of educators, continue learning how technology can empower students, and create learning environments where all students can have the confidence to be risk-takers.

Outside of the classroom, Mr. Dobson, who is currently at Hangzhou International School in China, enjoys endurance cycling. Last summer he challenged himself to do a solo bike trip from Hangzhou to Beijing (approx. 1,300 km). Frequent floods and road conditions attempted to turn his journey into a triathlon, but he shares that the challenges he faced led to personal growth, besides being an unforgettable experience.

Education: Special Education K–12 Teaching Certification (Santa Fe Community College Teacher Academy, USA), Bachelor of Arts in Media (Leeds University, UK)


MaKenzie Doyle (United States) 
Grades 4 and 5  Music Teacher

“I have always enjoyed the sense of community and belonging that participating in a music ensemble provides and the united expression that playing music provides.”

Growing up, Ms. Doyle’s home was always filled with music; whether practicing for piano lessons, band rehearsals, listening to records, or spontaneous family singing, music was an essential part of her life. Ms. Doyle knew that she wanted to share her passion for music with others so that they could experience the same creativity, joy and community that creating or performing music with others provides.

She enjoys creating a space for her students to be co-creators of their music-making, taking ownership of their learning and building community in the classroom. Her favorite moments are when students find a personal connection to their music and believe in their artistic potential.

Ms. Doyle is proud of coordinating and directing her current school community in the annual Dwight Network Music Festival. More than 100 students from grades 4–12, parents, faculty, community members and neighboring schools gathered for a performance at the prestigious Lotte Concert Hall in Seoul. Under her direction, the Dwight Seoul Orchestra and Dwight Seoul Singers have traveled to New York, Shanghai and London for collaborative performances in the Dwight International Music Festivals.

Outside of work, Ms. Doyle enjoys traveling, exploring new neighborhoods and restaurants, taking art or cooking classes, hiking and camping. She is excited to be joining a diverse team at SSIS where she can share her joy and creativity with the elementary school division. Ms. Doyle looks forward to exploring the beautiful country of Vietnam, enjoying the food and immersing herself in the culture.

Education: Bachelor of Music (University of Northern Iowa, USA)


Shawn Edwards (United States)
Elementary School Counselor

“My job as a counselor is to meet the social and emotional needs of our students in whatever ways they need in whatever ways I can. I look forward to the opportunity of supporting the students, families and faculty of SSIS.”

With 22 years of experience in education—10 as a classroom teacher and 12 as a counselor—Ms. Edwards has vast experience in getting students to be comfortable sharing their feelings.

Using creativity through counseling to reach students, Ms. Edwards wants to impart the understanding to the entire community that the social-emotional aspect of student learning is as important as the academic element.

She is looking forward to joining our community and becoming part of a counseling team in our elementary school.

Education: Master’s degree in Educational Counselling (Sam Houston State University, Texas, USA), Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (Stephen F. Austin University, Texas, USA)


Edward Goldstein (United States)
Elementary School Associate Principal

“The best part of teaching is collaborating and creating amazing learning experiences for students.”

For more than 20 years, Mr. Goldstein has dedicated his life to education. He discovered his passion for teaching many years ago as a swim coach. When he realized that he could “coach” full time through teaching, he knew he had found his calling.

After nine years of teaching, Mr. Goldstein made the leap into leadership and has served as a district math coordinator and an assistant principal, giving him a macro view of how schools and districts work. When an opportunity arose for Mr. Goldstein to teach internationally, in Rome, he did not hesitate to return to the classroom, sharing that it was a powerful reminder of not only why teaching is so important but also of what is involved in the day-to-day job of teaching.

His early experience taught him to never give up on anyone and Mr. Goldstein therefore ensures he does everything in his power to help make everyone around him better. He is passionate about supporting staff and students to see things in themselves that they may not yet have discovered.

Certified at Harvard Business School in School Management and Leadership, Mr. Goldstein will be joined in Vietnam by his wife, who is a nurse, and two of their three children who will be attending SSIS. Mr. Goldstein and his family are excited to learn more about Vietnam and look forward to joining our welcoming community.

Education:  Master of Education in Administration and Supervision (Arizona State University, USA), Post Baccalaureate degree in Elementary Education (Arizona State University, USA), Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (Arizona State University, USA)


Terry Kearnes (Canada)
Grade 4 Teacher

“Building relationships and celebrating effort, curiosity and growth is at the heart of my teaching and keeps me returning to the classroom.”

Mr. Kearnes shares that it was Mr. Milner, a teacher from his childhood, who started his own journey into teaching. Mr. Kearnes values and employs the same practices of his childhood teacher who took the time to cultivate relationships with his students, showing them a better self by recognizing effort and personal growth. 
Mr. Kearnes recalls that Mr. Milner was respected because he treated his students like they were going, not where they had been.

Mr. Kearnes, who will join our grade 4 team, has taught in classrooms in South Korea, Canada and Vietnam.

Recently, Mr. Kearnes completed his first marathon here in Ho Chi Minh City and likes to stay active, travel and watch hockey. His daughter, Chloe, will also join grade 4 at SSIS. And Kate, Mr. Kearnes’ wife, will develop her baking enterprise.

Education: Master of Education (Nipissing University, Canada), Bachelor of Education (Nipissing University, Canada), Bachelor of Applied Arts (Ryerson University, Canada)


Tatiana Kladova (Russia)
Elementary School Literacy Coordinator

“I am excited to work for a school that sees its mission in developing and growing each and every child both personally and academically. I am also excited about working with a diverse group of professional educators and learning from them.”

Ms. Kladova’s interest in languages began at an early age with language arts and led her to study applied linguistics and teaching foreign languages. As a college student, she tutored school children and adults with different abilities and proficiency levels and also worked as an interpreter and part-time guide.

After receiving her teaching certification, Ms. Kladova began doing research in the field of cognitive linguistics, taking part in scholarly conferences, publishing her own research, co-authoring learning resources and coaching student teachers. Upon receiving her master’s degree, Ms. Kladova discovered an interest in early years education and has been working with young learners since 2009.

Throughout her career, Ms. Kladova, who is currently at Hanoi International School, has sought to develop programs and events that facilitate student learning and involve families. While students were learning online, she worked to find effective ways to deliver reading and writing workshops using existing channels. In all aspects of her work, Ms. Kladova enjoys making a difference in student success and supporting her co-teachers.

Ms. Kladova is hoping to find service opportunities both in the school community and in the local community. She will be joined by her husband, Nik, a film director and amateur photographer, and daughter, Renata, who will join the high school.

Education: Reading Specialist Certification (University of California, Irvine, USA), Master of Arts in TESOL (University of Northern Iowa, USA), Teacher of English and French as Foreign Languages (Herzen State Pedagogical University of Saint Petersburg, Russia)


Danai Maramba (Zimbabwe)
Elementary School Instructional Technology Coach

“I immediately felt at home in classes, guiding elementary students toward selecting appropriate tools to share their learning with the school community.”

Mr. Maramba shares that when he first stepped into his role as Website Manager at Harare International School in Zimbabwe, he immediately felt at home. Since that day nearly 15 years ago, Mr. Maramba has gained extensive experience in international schools in Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Namibia.

People may be surprised to know that although Mr. Maramba likes technology, he’s not an avid gamer. But he does like to put his tech skills to good use, such as when he hosted a hands-on technology conference to equip local Namibian teachers with technology skills and tools for everyday teaching and learning.

When Mr. Maramba joins us in July, he will be accompanied by his multitalented wife and their 12-year-old, who is a keen footballer, tennis player and basketballer.

When he’s not teaching, Mr. Maramba enjoys coffee and hitting a tennis ball with family and friends. He’s excited to join a school that not only states but lives its core values.

Education: Master of Education (The College of New Jersey, USA), Bachelor of Science in Information Systems (Midlands State University, Zimbabwe)


Catherine McDougall (United States)
Grade 3 EAL Teacher

“I am excited to teach the super units this year! There are so many opportunities for authentic language learning in the super units.”

At the end of their last unit, poetry, Ms. McDougall’s current students hold an open mic for parents and staff. After four weeks of reading and analyzing several forms of poetry, the students present their own poems. Some are deep and reflective spoken word, others are hilarious limericks. The activity not only builds community, as students congratulate each other’s accomplishments, but gives them a sense of their own place within it.

In the final stages of her doctorate in International Educational Leadership, Ms. McDougall hopes to complete her dissertation in the next 18 months. When not studying or working, Ms. McDougall likes to work out, read books about time travel, quilt and visit museums.

Ms. McDougall has three children with her husband, Joe. Two of their children will be joining them in Saigon;  Greta will begin in grade 11 and Annika will take some time off of college to join her family in Vietnam. Their other child is starting college in California.

Ms. McDougall is looking forward to collaborating with the other teachers on her team and making learning fun and engaging.

Education: Master of Arts in English Learners (Western Governors University, USA), Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies Education (Western Governors University, USA)


John McRobbie (United Kingdom) 
Elementary School Librarian

“The greatest accomplishment as a librarian is in turning non-readers into readers and exposing them to the endless wonder and joy of reading and all the associated benefits this brings.”

It was while working in a less privileged area of Edinburgh, Scotland, that Mr. McRobbie first discovered the positive impact libraries can have on the lives of its users. His work with tackling antisocial behavior among children and teens gained significant recognition, receiving several prestigious awards and national press coverage. Mr. McRobbie found the work so rewarding that he decided to pursue a career in librarianship and has been a school librarian since 2008.

A passionate musician, Mr. McRobbie loves playing, listening to and seeing live music. He has lived in Hanoi for the past three years with his wife, Maren, a university lecturer in tourism and events. Mr. McRobbie also loves traveling, preferably by rail, and recently completed a train journey that took him from the Netherlands through Germany, Finland, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and finally ending in Indonesia.

Education: Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Studies (University of Strathclyde, Scotland), Master of Arts in History of Art (University of Aberdeen, Scotland)


Rik Nijenhuis (Netherlands)
Grade 5 Teacher

“Being an optimist is neither an accomplishment nor a reason to be proud, but it has been the most helpful attitude/trait in both my personal and professional life.”

As a teacher, Mr. Nijenhuis shares, you get to hang out, form a bond and laugh with a group of young, open-minded people for an entire year. You get to see tangible progress of the work you do together, and you make a valuable change in other people’s lives. Teaching, he says, is obviously the best job imaginable.

SSIS’s clear vision, great reputation, and location in a country with a rich natural and cultural landscape are what attracted Mr. Nijenhuis and his wife, Sam, to SSIS. Sam will also teach in our elementary school where they will be joined by their son, Huck (Gr 2). Their daughter, Luisa, will be entering middle school. Their entire family is excited about their move to Saigon.

Mr. Nijenhuis’ hobbies include exploring nature, drawing, writing and history.

Education: Texas State Teacher Education Program (Huston-Tillotson University, USA), Master of Law (University of Groningen, the Netherlands)


Samantha Nijenhuis (United States & The Netherlands)
Grade 1 Teacher

“The relationships I build with my students (and my colleagues) are what make my job so rewarding.”

Ms. Nijenhuis believes that building relationships and making connections make a significant difference in the academic engagement of her students. She always strives to learn more and loves to continue growing as a teacher. Among her recent achievements is finishing a two-year course in the science of reading (LETRS).

Previously, Ms. Nijenhuis has taught in schools in Senegal, Switzerland, South Korea and the US. She will be joined by her husband, Rik, who will also be teaching in the elementary school, their daughter, Luisa (Gr 6), and son, Huck (Gr 2).

When not teaching, Ms. Nijenhuis enjoys hiking and spending time in nature as well as reading, cooking, and playing games. Ms. Nijenhuis is excited about the exponential learning curve that comes with moving to a new place; meeting new people, exploring a new culture, learning more educational practices and more.

Education: Master of Education (Endicott College, USA), Bachelor of Arts (Grand Valley State University, USA)


Jenni Redman (United States)
Grade 5 Teacher

“Attending the week-long Harvard Project Zero Summer Institute a couple of years ago was a professional highlight.”

Currently with the International School of Beijing, Ms. Redman likes to be an active member of the community. For the past two years, she’s been the production manager of a performing arts festival, and throughout her four years teaching in Zambia, she also helped organize professional development conferences and workshops for faculty.

Ms. Redman believes in choice and voice in student projects and loves to watch students’ incredible growth, passion, and dedication when they are allowed to direct their own learning. She will be joined by her husband, Jeff, who will teach high school drama. They have two children, a daughter, Lydia, who will enter grade 11, and a son, Daniel, who is a college sophomore.

Ms. Redman, who recently learned how to crochet, enjoys travel, going to cafes and gluten-free-friendly restaurants, and exploring museums, theater and live music.

Although they’ve never been to Vietnam, Ms. Redman and her family have always had it on their travel wish list and are looking forward to exploring this fascinating country.

Education: Master of Arts in Teaching (University of St. Thomas, USA), Bachelor of Arts in Theatre (Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, USA)


Denise Serna (United States)
Grade 1 EAL Teacher

“I am proud of the work I have done over the years with students who experience greater challenges with school or transitioning into different academic environments than they are accustomed to.”

As a high school senior, a teacher recognized Ms. Serna’s love of writing, her curiosity and her drive to understand different cultures. The teacher created an opportunity for Ms. Serna to work with a local poet of Native American heritage. It was educators like this, and her love of literature, that drew Ms. Serna into teaching.

Ms. Serna relishes being a small facet in her students’ growth, introducing them to fantastic literature and helping them to build confidence in their abilities, skills and overall creativity.

In her free time, Ms. Serna, a talented artist, works in various techniques—painting in oil, watercolor, acrylic or creating collages. She is thrilled to join SSIS and a community of educators who value diversity, equity, and justice and who put these values into living practice within the school framework.

Coming from The American International School of Muscat (TAISM) in Oman, Ms. Serna will be joined by her husband, Shayan, an avid photographer and chef, and their youngest son, Elijah.

Education: Master’s degree in TESOL (St Cloud State University, USA), Reading Specialist Licensure (Hamline University, USA), Bachelor of Arts (The University of Texas-San Antonio, USA)


Patricia Walton  (USA/Canada)
Grade 1 Teacher

“One of my favorite teaching moments is when my students take ownership of their learning.”

Hearing students share their learning goals and progress with their parents during parent conferences is one such moment, shares Ms. Walton, who will be a new grade 1 teacher in our elementary school.

During the past 10 years, Ms. Walton has taught in Jordan, Switzerland and Pakistan. She’s looking forward to learning about the Vietnamese culture and trying some of the delicious food she’s heard about.

Ms. Walton’s husband, Steve, will be teaching in our high school division, where their son, Adam, will begin in grade 10.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education (Florida Atlantic University, USA)


Natalie Whiteley (United States)
Kindergarten Teacher

“Young learners have a sense of wonder and fascination with the world that has inspired me to learn more about [childhood] development and to pursue a career teaching early years.” 

At her current school, Ms. Whiteley had the opportunity to create a developmentally appropriate fully play-based program for preschool-aged children. She is passionate about making learning imaginative, creative and engaging for her students.

For nearly 10 years, Ms. Whiteley has enjoyed learning about early childhood development and education. She is excited about the strong sense of community at SSIS and the opportunities for continued personal and professional growth.

Ms. Whiteley’s husband, Nathan Larson, has been a teacher in our high school art department for several years. They have an infant son, Leon. Outside of work, Ms. Whiteley enjoys escaping into nature, baking cookies and solving jigsaw puzzles.

Education: Master of Science in Teaching and Learning (Colorado State University, USA), Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences (Washington State University, USA)

ALL SCHOOL

Elisia Brodeur (United States)
Communications Officer

“I love that SSIS focuses on so much more than academics and that the school is always looking to improve and invest in its infrastructure and programs.”

Ms. Brodeur brings almost 20 years of experience as an editor in the field of educational publishing and 5 years as the Communications Specialist at Ruamrudee International School in Thailand. She is particularly proud of her contributions there, including single-handedly writing and editing the school magazine (published 3 times a year), collaborating to redesign the school website, and her work to improve the school’s overall communication systems and processes.

Ms. Brodeur is also passionate about building community and sought out various ways to support and celebrate the students, parents, and faculty at her previous school. She is very much looking forward to helping with the communications at SSIS and being an active member of our community.

Although Ms. Brodeur will be joining SSIS this coming school year, she and her family became part of the SSIS community in 2021. Her husband, Kevin, teaches middle school language arts, and their sons, Duncan (Gr 10) and Tobin (Gr 8), are very happy here. She feels that the school’s values align with their own and can already see how much their children have blossomed since being here.

When not nerding about words or nitpicking over grammar, Ms. Brodeur enjoys being in nature (except for the bugs), reading, jigsaw puzzles, watching movies, traveling and having conversations with her kids, who she suspects are now officially smarter than she is.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Communications Processes (University of Humberside, UK)


Kimberly Harris (United States)
EC–12 Learning Coordinator

“My curriculum coordinator interest stemmed from my second teaching position when I noticed big gaps and overlaps in the program.”

While teaching at a previous school, Ms. Harris realized that she was interested in moving into a position that focused on improving curricular design and articulation. She was pleased to take on such a role, especially as she enjoys working with teachers at all stages of their careers.

Ms. Harris has worked at international schools in Nigeria and Mexico, as well as at several well-regarded independent schools in the US. Her husband, Kevin, will join the high school. They have one child, William, who is almost 2 years old. When not working, Ms. Harris likes to spend time with her son and husband, cook, read, run and spend time in nature.

Education: Master of Arts in Teaching (Johns Hopkins University, USA), Bachelor of Arts (Eastern Illinois University, USA)


Dr. Dan Long (United States)
Director of Activities and Community Engagement

“Watching students connect with each other, grow in confidence, jump in and get involved in school life, and share joy with others is fantastic.”

During his 30 years as an educator, Dr. Long has had the opportunity to work across all grade levels and is amazed at how much children of all ages—and adults—have in common in terms of wanting to be motivated, encouraged, challenged and experience success.

Having spent more than 18 years overseas in Taiwan and Singapore, Dr. Long comes to us most recently from Taipei American School. He shares that he finds it tremendously satisfying to be part of students’ learning and growing experiences.

Dr. Long and his wife, Melissa, who is a registered nurse, are parents of three grown children. Visiting SSIS three years ago, they were impressed by the people: students, faculty, staff and administrators and are looking forward to joining our team.

Education: Doctorate of Education in Teaching, Learning, Curriculum, Leadership (Northeastern University, USA), Master of Education in Educational Administration (Columbia International University, USA), Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (Houghton College, USA)


Wanda Luinenburg (Netherlands)
Marketing and Events Officer

“As an all-round marketer with extensive experience in numerous industries, I enjoy working collaboratively to produce excellent results for all stakeholders.”

With a passion for sports and events, Ms. Luinenburg is an all-around marketer with extensive experience in numerous industries. An avid soccer enthusiast, Ms. Luinenburg has worked for FIFA’s local organizing committee in New Zealand for the U-20 World Cup and also served as the operational manager for Canterbury United.

Ms. Luinenburg likes to lead an active life, both personally and professionally. She enjoys working collaboratively and is known for motivating others through her energy, dedication, diligence and ability to set up and work to a plan. Ms. Luinenburg’s husband, Josh, will join our high school as a PE teacher. They have an 18-month-old daughter, Jade.

Ms. Luinenberg is looking forward to a new adventure and culture and to exploring new places.

Education: Bachelor of Arts (Hogeschool van Amsterdam, Netherlands)


Ma. Socorro Marcelo (Philippines)
Facility Manager

“I make friends very fast but I am a little bit introverted.”

Ms. Michelle Marcelo is a former Property Manager at an international company in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Originally from the Philippines, Ms. Marcelo has lived abroad for almost 15 years.

Ms. Marcelo believes herself to be a life-long learner and that there is so much more to learn and discover about life if only one is willing to open her heart and mind to learning. When not working, Ms. Marcelo enjoys reading, yoga, and playing badminton.

Education: Siena College of Quezon City (Philippines)


Nicol Stevens (United States)
Health Office Manager

“I am a registered nurse because I am fascinated by science and have a passion for helping others and educating people about health and wellness.”

A front-line worker during the COVID pandemic, Ms. Stevens has been a registered nurse for 24 years. She’s worked in hospitals, outpatient surgery, post-anesthesia care unit, multi-specialty clinic, family practice, eye surgery, and plastic and reconstructive surgery as an RN first-assist and circulator, as well as in the immediate/urgent care setting.

When she’s not working, Ms. Stevens’ other passions include landscaping, taking walks, hiking, kayaking, reading, baking and going to the beach. She’s excited to meet and learn about new people from all around the world, to live in another country, to learn about different cultures and to work in a school with such a welcoming environment.

Ms. Stevens will be joined by her husband, Matt, our new HS Counselor, and children, Brooke, age 10, and Blake, age 14.

Education: Bachelor of Science in Nursing in progress (Western Governors University, USA), Associate degree (Centralia Community College, USA), Associate degree in Nursing (South Puget Sound Community College, USA)


Grant Weaver (United States)
ICT Director

“I’m really looking forward to a new adventure with a school that is growing.  Excited to try and stay one step ahead with technology to support all of the things the school will do over the next several years.”

For 14 of his 22 years as an IT director, Mr. Weaver has worked in IT management at schools. He loves it for several reasons—it allows him to channel his inner nerd and also because he gets to work with a cool and fascinating community, plus the network is quiet over the summer for maintenance.

Mr. Weaver is looking forward to a new adventure in our growing school and all of the great things SSIS will be doing over the coming years. He’s excited to work and interact closely with the local population on a daily basis as he loves getting to know people’s stories. Outside of IT, Mr. Weaver is known for his excellent cooking skills!

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Communications (Lewis and Clark College, USA)