Welcome New High School Faculty, 2022-2023

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Dear High School Students and Parents,

As we wind down this school year, we all begin to think about the upcoming school year and the promise and potential for another exciting year of learning.

We have spent a great deal of time interviewing the best teachers from around the world, and I am pleased to share the names and biographies of the new high school faculty members who will join our division starting in August.

You will find highly-skilled, caring educators whose experience will further support our mission, vision and core values. We couldn’t be more excited to introduce them to you, and for our students to meet them in person in August.

All my very best,

Ms. Jennifer Mendes
High School 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.


HIGH SCHOOL

Jasper Bacolod (Philippines)
High School Math Teacher

“Teaching is not just imparting concepts and assessing the students; it is equally important to connect with students, identify their learning styles and guide them in appreciating the subject so they reach their potential.”

In his first year of teaching, when a few students told Mr. Bacolod that they didn’t like math, he took on the challenge of making math interesting for them. And it worked. After that year, math became one of their favorite subjects.

Mr. Bacolod, who has taught at the Chinese International School of Manila and the University of Santo Tomas, shares that his experience in leadership has given him a unique appreciation of the work that goes into being part of creating a thriving community. He takes great pleasure in seeing the joy on the faces of his students, their parents, his colleagues and staff, and he works to support everyone in the best way possible.

An avid Manga fan, when he’s not teaching Mr. Bacolod enjoys drawing, cooking and spending time with his family. Having heard great things about SSIS, Mr. Bacolod, his wife, and their youngest son are very excited to be part of our welcoming community, especially as it will be their first time living abroad.

Education: Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with a major in Math (University of Santo Tomas, Philippines)


Tucker Barrows (United States)
High School Learning Program Coordinator

“I think self-management is one of the most relevant skills for students to develop: helping them figure out how to manage their time, energy and emotions as they interface with all the responsibilities they have as young adults.”

Joining us from the Lincoln School in Costa Rica, Mr. Barrows, our new HS Learning Program Coordinator, is passionate about helping students develop self-management skills.

When Mr. Barrows’ grade 11 and 12 students shared their own perspectives on self-management with younger students, he felt particularly proud of the work his team had done to support student self-management over the years.

Mr. Barrows, who has lived and worked in several countries and contributed to starting up schools in Israel and China, will be joined by his wife, Natalya, who will teach in our high school division, and their toddler son. Mr. Barrows is hoping to begin a second master’s degree in economics and finance in the upcoming year. In his free time, Mr. Barrows enjoys reading, cooking and exploring with his family.

Excited by the vision of SSIS, its community, leadership team and the teachers he has met so far, Mr. Barrows looks forward to joining our community.

Education: Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and Management (University of London, UK); Master of Arts in History and Secondary Education (Texas Tech University, USA); Bachelor of Arts in History with minors in Philosophy and Spanish (University of North Texas, USA)


Dr. Carlos Adelantado Faura (Spain)
High School Science Teacher

“My main goal is to help students strengthen their curiosity, enhance their critical thinking and find their purpose.”

Mr. Faura, who comes to us from Shanghai American School, is a licensed veterinarian and has taught internationally for several years.

Joined by his Vietnamese-American husband, Long, who is also an international educator, Dr. Faura is very excited to join our school, which he knows has an excellent reputation in Asia.

In his free time, Mr. Faura enjoys running and working out, cooking, reading and spending quality time with family and friends.

Education: Doctorate in Microbiology (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain), Master’s degree in Animal Medicine (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain), Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Science (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)


Kristy Finlay (Canada)
High School Counselor

“I look forward to getting to know my new colleagues and students and becoming fully immersed in the SSIS community.”

With 10 years of classroom experience and 10 years as a counselor, Ms. Finlay is endlessly curious about young people’s stories and feels honored when they share their vulnerabilities. She finds it inspiring to witness their resilience in the face of challenges and to see them grow.

Currently, Ms. Finlay is working towards a Doctorate in Counseling and Psychotherapy. Her previous experience in education comes from schools in Singapore, Qatar and South Korea. She prides herself on her ability to create a safe, welcoming and non-judgmental space for students to come and seek support with anything that is happening in their lives.

Ms. Finlay, who will be joined by her husband, Pete, and youngest daughter, Maya (Gr 9), is excited to learn about Vietnamese culture, explore the country, get to know her new colleagues and students, and become fully immersed in the SSIS community.

Education: Doctorate in Counseling and Psychotherapy in progress (Yorkville University, Canada), Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology (Athabasca University, Canada), Bachelor of Education (University of Victoria, Canada), Bachelor of Arts (University of Victoria, Canada)


Mark Hamas (United States) 
High School Science Teacher

“I love teaching and learning and am excited to have the opportunity to be in front of a classroom doing something I truly enjoy.”

In his varied career, Mr. Hamas’ roles have always naturally gravitated toward teaching or training. For nearly 10 years, he’s been an educator who is passionate about his calling and the opportunity to teach.

As the Head of Science at his current school, Mr. Hamas has enjoyed collaborating with teachers schoolwide and advocates for a more project-based, student-centered approach. He also strongly believes that creating a community of professionals who can learn, grow and share ideas is an integral part of an effective science department.

Mr. Hamas is also committed to student success and building meaningful relationships both in and out of the classroom with students, parents and colleagues. He enjoys actively building school community and has served as advisor for HS Student Council and other clubs that aim to improve the school community.

Mr. Hamas will be joined by his wife Zsuzsanna, and daughters, Zsuzsi, 8, and Lili, 5. The whole family is looking forward to joining our SSIS community and making Vietnam their new home.

Education: Teacher Certification Internship Program (Delaware Valley College, USA), Bachelor of Science (The College of New Jersey, USA)


Wayne Hammond (United States) 
High School English Teacher

“It is my belief that good teaching must be based on the relationship between the students and the teacher, on building trust and making connections.”

With over 25 years of experience, Mr. Hammond is a passionate educator who believes in building strong connections with his students and that a truly rich learning environment is one that provides intellectual stimulus as well as social and emotional support.

His wife, Najela, joined the SSIS faculty last year as the Director of Student Support Services. Their daughters, Anouk and Saskia, are presently finishing their first year here at SSIS. Mr. Hammond is proud of and inspired by his family — how they have persevered through tremendous challenges, real difficulties and abrupt change — with dignity, poise and a smile.

Outside of teaching, Mr. Hammond enjoys watching soccer and exploring town on his bicycle. His first impressions of Vietnam are that this country is a pulsating work in progress being built on a deep, rich and fascinating foundation.

Education: Master of Arts in English (City College of the City University of New York, USA), Bachelor of Science in English Education (State University of New York, College at Oneonta, USA)


Kevin Harris (United States)
High School Social Studies Teacher

“I strive to know, support and challenge each of my students. I believe that community is an essential component in developing lifelong learners. In addition to establishing strong connections with students in the classroom, I work with students in a variety of capacities to help them explore their interests and passions.”

Mr. Harris has more than 10 years of experience teaching in high-achieving independent schools in the United States and abroad. Most recently, Mr. Harris taught at The American International School of Abuja, Nigeria. He is a passionate social studies teacher who aims to strengthen transferable skills such as creative thinking and problem-solving while building a strong foundation in historical knowledge.

Mr. Harris is excited to join a new community and share the experience with his family, son William, nearly 2 years old and wife, Kim.

Education: Masters of Arts (Johns Hopkins University, USA), Bachelor of Arts in History and International Studies (Eastern Illinois University, USA)


Melissa Hooper (Canada)
High School Learning Support Teacher

“The first time I taught in a Learning Support class, I knew this was where I needed to be. I love getting to know the students, showing them that everyone has their own unique path to learning and helping them find theirs.”

Coming from a family of teachers, it is not a coincidence that Ms. Hooper became a teacher herself. She is passionate about education and, despite the recent years’ challenges, has recently completed her master’s in education.

Ms. Hooper and her family, husband Brad, who will pursue his creative passions of painting, drawing and photography, and their young daughter, Annalise, are joining our community from Pechersk School International (PSI) in Kyiv, Ukraine. Attracted by SSIS’s great reputation for being a wonderful place to work and raise a family, they are excited to join our community and explore Vietnam.

Education: Master of Education (University of the People, USA), Bachelor of Education (University of Lethbridge, Canada), Bachelor of Fine Arts (University of Lethbridge, Canada)


Jessica Maley (United States)
High School EAL Teacher

“My favorite teaching moments all center around helping students connect with a love of reading.”

Working with English language learners, particularly at the high school level, Ms. Maley frequently encounters students who are so busy trying to acquire language skills that they have not considered simply reading for pleasure. She loves reframing their thinking by introducing them to compelling texts and engaging them in book studies where they become immersed in reading and discussion, which helps their language skills grow more than ever.

Ms. Maley is no stranger to Vietnam. Her husband, Bao, comes from a small town outside of Phan Thiet and for nearly 10 years she taught at several international schools in Ho Chi Minh City. For the past five years, Ms. Maley has been teaching in the US and just prior to that at Taipei American School in Taiwan.

Her hobbies include playing the violin, which she has done since age 3, collecting vinyl records and watching Korean dramas with her 12-year-old daughter, Ariana, who will begin grade 8. Ms. Maley and her husband also have a two-year-old son, William. Ms. Maley is thrilled to be joining a vibrant school that is dedicated to professional growth and is inspired by the developments SSIS has undergone in recent years. Her family is looking forward to being a part of the school community.

Education: Doctorate in Literacy, Culture & Language Education in progress (Indiana University Bloomington, USA), Master of Arts in Teaching (University of Southern California, USA), Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology (Temple University, USA)


Chad McGartlin (United States)
Associate High School Principal

“My dad was a gymnastics coach who owned his own gym. I grew up watching him convince people to learn to do things that were previously unimaginable or terrifying, make it all fun and exciting, support their difficult moments and help celebrate their success. Being in this environment day in and day out must have seeped in.”

As an undergrad at Kennesaw State University, Mr. McGartlin piloted a student teaching abroad program in conjunction with Nanjing Normal University in China. He has remained an international educator ever since, working at international schools in Mexico, Ecuador, Cyprus, China and, most recently, at Cayman International School as the High School Assistant Principal. Mr. McGartlin is excited to be joining SSIS as he aligns with its aspirations and is drawn to our school’s sense of kindness and community.

During his 20 years as an educator, Mr. McGartlin has taught history, psychology, and his personal favorite, Theory of Knowledge. He has also served as a Learning Coach, IBDP Coordinator, CAS Coordinator and Extended Essay Coordinator. Passionate about collaborating with faculty and students, Mr. McGartlin’s goal is to ensure that the language of learning and education can be understood and accessed by all.

Before becoming a parent, Mr. McGartlin enjoyed playing any team sport (soccer and basketball in particular) and cooking. While he still enjoys those things, now that he’s busy raising two energetic and artistic young boys, Evan (Gr 2) and Colin (KG), he says that he finds himself spending much of his time practicing authentic servant leadership in a real-world context.

Mr. McGartlin and his family have visited Vietnam several times before and are very excited about returning to a few of those places as well as exploring and creating new memories as a family.

Education: Postgraduate Certificate in K–12 Curriculum Administration (Innovation and Entrepreneurship) (Plymouth State University, USA), In-Field Gifted and Talented Instruction (Valdosta State University, USA), Master’s degree in Secondary Education (University of Alabama, USA), Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Social Studies Education (Kennesaw State University, USA)


Jack McRobert (United Kingdom)
High School Mathematics Teacher

“We are very excited by everything we’ve heard about SSIS, which has all been so positive—we can’t wait to get started!”

In his first year at the International School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Mr. McRobert coached the girls rugby team to victory at a tournament for international schools across Africa. He enjoys playing and watching sports—almost any sport will do.

Mr. McRobert’s fiance, Liz, will be joining SSIS as a grade 2 teacher. They love going to the cinema, cooking good food and traveling.

Education: Postgraduate Certificate in Secondary Maths Education (University of Bristol, UK), Bachelor of Science in Mathematics (University of Bristol, UK)


Cassandra O’Brien (United States)
High School Mathematics Teacher

“My first job after graduating from university was in IT, and I wore many hats: analyst, technical support and training. I loved the training part of my work so much that I decided to make teaching my full-time career.”

Since pivoting to teaching after starting her career in IT, Ms. O’Brien has taught in four countries. Vietnam will be her fifth. Living in Saigon has long been a dream of Ms. O’Brien and her husband, Patrick, who will be joining our middle school division.

To raise money for local organizations that support children and families, Ms. O’Brien offered weekly yoga classes to her school community in Ghana after first completing a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training course in 2019.

In her free time, Ms. O’Brien loves to hike, swim, do yoga and read. She and her husband have recently gotten into birdwatching. She is also a certified rescue diver and shares that she would be a dive instructor if she weren’t a math teacher. When not teaching, Ms. O’Brien is an avid traveler who enjoys learning new languages.

Education: Master of Arts in Education (Alliant International University, USA), Bachelor of Arts (Duke University, USA)


Steven Petraglia (United States)
Director of High School Counseling and University Guidance

“It gives me great personal and professional satisfaction to know that I am a positive force in my students’ lives.”

Entering his 12th year as an international educator, Mr. Petraglia will be joining us from the American Overseas School in Rome, Italy.

Mr. Petraglia began his international school career 12 years ago at Qatari IB World School Al-Jazeera Academy, where he created a college and career counseling program from the ground up.

Helping young people while seeing the world has been a great privilege, says Mr. Petraglia, who shares that he’s been fortunate to have lived a life full of accomplishments—earning sports scholarships, serving as his graduate school’s salutatorian, and speaking in front of audiences as large as 700. But his greatest accomplishment and what he’s proudest of is his family.

Mr. Petraglia’s wife, Rishma, and sons, Noah and Daniel, are excited to explore Vietnam, to try the food and coffee, and to learn more about the culture.

Outside of work, Mr. Petraglia enjoys listening to music, running, cycling, Muay Thai training and riding motorcycles.

Education: Master of Counseling in Educational Settings (Rowan University, USA), Bachelor of Education (University of South Florida, USA), Social Science (University of South Florida, USA)


Sara Refai (Lebanon)
High School English Teacher

“The better the students know themselves, the better they can think critically, creatively and empathetically, and well-chosen texts provide such a great stage for this kind of work.”

Several years ago, after deciding to take a break from her work in corporate communications to teach and see the world, it became clear to Ms. Refai that teaching was something she was passionate about.

Since leaving the corporate world, Ms. Refai has taught at several international schools around the world, from the US to Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine.

When not teaching, Ms. Refai enjoys reading or being in nature, hiking or biking. She’s looking forward to learning about a new part of the world, its history, culture and language.

Education: Master of Arts in Educational Leadership (American University of Beirut, Lebanon), Master of Science in Social Psychology (London School of Economics, UK), Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (American University of Beirut, Lebanon)


Jeff Salvati (United States)
High School Social Studies Teacher

“The core values of SSIS, along with the [school’s] long-term vision, were two of the most important factors in our family’s decision to come to Vietnam.”

When a broken arm benched Mr. Salvati during the soccer season of his junior year in high school, the “on the bench chats” he had with his head coach instilled him with a true joy in teaching, coaching and helping others.

Twice in the past six years, Mr. Salvati has been awarded placement with the Centers for Geography Education in Oregon, which has taken him to Portugal, Spain and Greece to learn about their cultures.

Mr. Salvati loves to be active and enjoys playing soccer, running, biking and hiking with his family—wife, Linnae, and daughters Mila and Soleil, all of whom are also excited to join SSIS.

Education: Master’s degree in Educational Technology (Boise State University, USA), Bachelor’s degree in History, and Bachelor’s degree in Education (Oregon State University, USA)


Linnae Salvati (United States)
High School Spanish Teacher

“The gift from my high school teachers of lifelong learning is one I cherish deeply, and it is this specific gift that I try to impart to each of my students.”

As with many other teachers, Ms. Salvati’s “why” comes from the collective of school teachers she had throughout her own education who never let the learning end, providing her new challenges as soon as she had mastered something. She shares that it was the thrill of never reaching an end of learning that captivated her mind and soul, pulling her into a life as an educator.

In 2020, Ms. Salvati received the Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Fellowship, an achievement she’s particularly proud of. Competent in three languages, and working on her fourth, Ms. Salvati is looking forward to soon adding Vietnamese to the list.

A curious lifelong learner who loves to try new things, Ms. Salvati has many interests, like singing in the local chorale, being active outdoors and engaging in activities that deal with food sustainability and security.

Ms. Salvati loves the vision of our school and is thrilled to join a team of equally passionate educators at SSIS. She will be joined in the high school by her husband, Jeff, a Social Studies teacher, and her two young daughters, Mila (6) and Soleil (4), will join our elementary school.

Education: Master of Arts in Spanish (New Mexico State University, USA), Bachelor of Arts in Spanish (Oregon State University, USA), Bachelor of Education (Oregon State University, USA)


Josh Smith (New Zealand and the Netherlands)
High School Physical Education Teacher

“I am excited to work with young people and help them develop an enthusiasm for physical activity so that they will continue being active long after their school years.”

Mr. Smith feels fortunate to have had inspiring PE teachers in high school and wants to be the same for the young people he works with.

Currently at the International School of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Mr. Smith and his wife, Wanda, who will be joining the SSIS marketing department, have a one-year-old daughter named Jade. When not teaching, Mr. Smith loves to play and watch sports, travel and eat.

Mr. Smith, who recently passed the language and cultural knowledge tests for his Dutch citizenship, is looking forward to working alongside, and learning from, his new colleagues and joining our vibrant community.

Education: Bachelor of Education in Physical Education (University of Canterbury, New Zealand), Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning (Christchurch College of Education, New Zealand)


Natalya Soloveychik (Canada)
High School Social Studies Teacher

“I chose this career so that I can be there for students others have given up on.”

Early in her teaching career, Ms. Soloveychik stayed after school one day to help a struggling student. Other teachers had told her that he would never show up. But she waited. And he came. And together they had a great session. That was when she knew why she had chosen to be an educator—to be there for all students, even those others had given up on.

At the Eastern Mediterranean International School in Israel, a boarding school with a mission of peace, Ms. Soloveychik lived on campus and worked as a houseparent and a teacher. While there she saw youth flourishing, taking responsibility and achieving more than anyone could ever imagine. At the HS graduation ceremony, looking at her students and knowing all the hardships they had been through to get to that moment, she beamed with pride, not only for their success but for herself, for being an integral part of creating such a beautiful school.

Ms. Soloveychik has visited Vietnam twice before and looks forward to moving here. Her son, Ari, will turn one year old when they arrive. In her spare time, Ms. Soloveychik loves to hike, travel, knit and macrame, kickbox, read, and watch international films.

Education: Master of Science in Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health (King’s College London, UK), Bachelor of Arts: Major in Political Science, Minor in Mathematics (York University, Canada), Bachelor of Education (York University, Canada)


Matt Stevens (United States)
High School Counselor

“When I am able to help a student open up, co-develop plans for their future, and empower them to follow through, it is the most rewarding experience.”

One of the great joys of being a High School Counselor, shares Mr. Stevens, is being a strong advocate and supportive adult for his students. He feels his job shares certain qualities of an investigator, uncovering students’ goals, beliefs, passions and career/college pursuits.

For the past 17 years, Mr. Stevens has been working at a high school in Washington (USA), identified as a Top High School by US News and World Report. His most proud moments are when students and parents seek him out during graduation to thank him for the years of support and encouragement; these moments validate everything he aims to provide for his students.

Mr. Stevens is excited to join a school that emphasizes academic excellence and honors individuality and the exploration of self. New to living abroad, Mr. Stevens and his family are looking forward to exploring different places, cultures, and foods as well as living in a warm climate.

Mr. Stevens will be joined by his wife, Ms. Nicol, who is our new Health Office Manager, and their children Blake (Gr 9) and Brooke (Gr 6).

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Psychology (Central Washington University, USA), Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology (Boston College, USA)


Steve Walton (United States)
High School Social Studies Teacher

“I’m looking forward to working and collaborating with a new team in a part of the world that I have not traveled in very much.”

Years ago, at university, a friend asked Mr. Walton, a student himself at the time, to catch him up on a course the night before an exam. After explaining all of the major themes and concepts, the friend observed that Mr. Walton would make a fantastic teacher. The rest is history.

Mr. Walton, whose wife, Patricia, will teach grade 1 in our elementary school, will also be joined by his son, Adam, grade 10. When Mr. Walton is not teaching, he likes to play tennis, cook, and read legal thrillers and historical fiction. He’s looking forward to interacting with the people and culture of Vietnam and learning Vietnamese—at least well enough to get around.

Education: Master of Arts in Educational Leadership (Western New Mexico University, USA), Master of Science in History (University of Southern Mississippi, USA), Bachelor of Arts in History (University of Iowa, 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. Daniel 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)