United Kingdom

Susan Tilney

Paterson Principal

Master of Science (Financial Economics)
Bachelor of Education
Diploma in Mathematical Education

I moved to Hong Kong from the United Kingdom as a young teacher in the 1980’s. Since then my career has taken me to many countries across the globe. I have held senior leadership positions in International Schools in Hong Kong, the Bahamas and most recently South Korea.

My philosophy of education and of life is exemplified by an open-minded, balanced and caring approach where human relationships and clarity of communication are of the utmost importance.

At the centre of everything is always the learner, student safety and well-being, as we continuously partner together to develop confident, skillful, knowledgeable, compassionate young people who will truly make a difference in the world.

In my leisure time, I enjoy a round of golf, swimming and choral singing.

New Zealand

Ariana Rehu

Elementary School Assistant Principal, PYP Coordinator

Bachelor of Teaching & Learning (Education)

Originally from New Zealand, I have been teaching for 14 years and have spent the past 10 years involved in International Education in the Middle East and in Singapore. I have been a teacher at ISS International School for the past 7 years and now hold the position of Elementary School Assistant Principal and PYP Coordinator. I am committed to helping students become who they want to be. I believe in providing and guiding meaningful learning experiences for the students so that they know what they are learning, how they are learning and, most importantly, why they are learning it.


Yvonne Hayward

Grade 1 Teacher

Bachelor of Education (Hons)

I am a global citizen; my nationality is Scottish, I spent 15 years of my childhood in Pakistan, where I was educated at an International School, and I have a home in a lovely village in England. After studying primary teaching, in Scotland, I taught in the lower primary for four years. I then moved to Brunei and taught for a further eight years in a variety of age groups.

I value each child in my class as an individual with unique strengths and varied learning styles. I am committed to providing each child in my care with relevant and meaningful learning experiences where we enquire about the word we live in and how we can all become more responsible global citizens. I am passionate about sustainability and educating children at an early age about choices they make which can have a positive impact on our planet.

United States of America

Claire Park

Grade 2 Teacher

Bachelor Of Arts (International Development Studies)
Certificate in Diversified Liberal Arts
Master Of Education (Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development)

I believe that all students arrive in the classroom with individual strengths and varying learning modalities. It is my job as the teacher to facilitate student learning by capitalizing on their innate sense of wonder and discovery.  Having had the opportunity to grow up on two different continents, I view diversity as a source of strength in education.  Every classroom is a place where students discover their own agency and cultivate their identities as artists, authors, scientists, and mathematicians.  As a life-long learner, I look forward to growing and discovering alongside my students at ISS.


Daria Ignatova

Grade 2 Teacher

Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing and Advertising)
Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (Primary)

I realised I wanted to be a teacher when I was 16 years old. When I finally got the opportunity to become one, it was a dream come true. I enjoy learning and stretching myself further to be a better educator. My teaching philosophy is simple – I believe there is no such thing as a “normal” child. There is no clear definition to it and every child is great and talented in their own way. Although some children may not show their strength or talents, I know each child has it – he/she just needs an opportunity to be comfortable and open up.

As for myself, I enjoy music and love playing guitar, piano and singing. I grew up in Tokyo, Japan so I know three languages; Russian, Japanese and English. My hobby I like to share with my students is the Japanese paper folding art – Origami.


Sophie Crawshaw

Grade 3 Teacher

Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Primary)
Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Jurisprudence

I am originally from Northern Ireland and have taught in London, Shanghai and Singapore.

What I enjoy most about teaching is the collaborative environment that schools nurture. With class-mates, friends, peers and the wider school community there is a shared goal of discovering the world around us and learning together. Of trying new things, achieving new goals, celebrating successes and persevering when something is tricky. Everyone in school is heading in the same direction, cheering on the person beside them in a happy, safe and secure environment.


Shagun Batlaw

Grade 3 Teacher

Master in Teaching, USA

It is frequently believed that some teachers leave a mark on their students. In my case, every batch of students has brought a memorable experience. Learning is a life-long process and I have learnt something new from every group of students that I have taught, whether it was in the public school system in America or in international schools in Singapore. I love the interaction with my students. They make me smile and occasionally take my breath away with the clarity of their thoughts. I suppose being a mother to two teenagers helps because I love to be in their company. We connect our learning with current news events around the world, and this is a topic close to my heart. There is nothing more satisfying than watching my students’ learning curve.


Vanessa Adamberry

Grade 4 Teacher and K-8 Activities and House Event Coordinator

Bachelor of Education
M.Ed student in Advanced Teaching

My teaching career began 15 years ago in Sydney, Australia teaching Grade 1. Since then, I have taught in both Sydney and Singapore across a range of different elementary grades and also as a SEN teacher. I have been teaching the IB PYP framework for over 10 years and I am currently pursuing my Masters of Education in Advanced Teaching. This is my second time living in Singapore having previously taught here between 2008 and 2014. This time I am here with my two children and my husband who graduated from ISS in 1999.

I believe in the importance of instilling a love of learning in all of my students and am an advocate for learner agency and the promotion of inquiry-based learning.


Leah Wright

Grade 4 Teacher

Bachelor of Arts (Criminology & Psychology), Canada
Post Graduate Bachelor of Teaching Primary, Australia
TESL Certificate

One of my favorite aspects of working in an international school is meeting such wonderful people from all over the globe and learning about other cultures. In addition to teaching in Canada, South Korea, Vietnam and Singapore, I have had the opportunity to work in schools in New Zealand, Vanuatu and England while training, and have volunteered in schools in Peru, Kenya and Cambodia. Aside from education and travel, my passions include nature, reading and writing.


Janienne Vaughan

G1-8 Head of ESL

Diploma of Teaching
Master of Educational Studies (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
Associate Diploma of Trinity College London (Pianoforte Teaching)

“Do I really know what I’m doing teaching English to Grade 7 Indonesian students?” This question bothered me, even though I had been teaching young, native English speaking children to read and write for 13 years. The sudden jump into international teaching in a high school was huge. Nevertheless I was ready for the challenge, but how could I best meet the needs of these bright faces? Hence began my fascinating inquiry into English language acquisition through post-graduate studies whilst interacting with students from diverse backgrounds in Indonesia and China. They have taught me so much and I’m still learning!

United States of America

Patty Winpenny

K-12 Head of Learning Support & Wellness

Master of Education (Special Education)
Master of Arts (Soviet and East European Political Economics)
Bachelor of Arts (Russian Language and Literature)

My teaching career began with languages and travel. I directed US-USSR programs: CIEE’s College Exchange, Children’s Art Exchange, and Citizen Exchange Council educational trips. As a learning specialist in Vermont, I coordinated services with therapists, speech language pathologists, and neurologists. Wanderlust brought me to Asia, and years in Shanghai deepened my resolve to engage students with diverse challenges in inclusive environments.

Discovering meditation through tragedy (widowed and losing a son), I am grateful for life’s gifts. One son is an engineer, married to a Russian dancer; the other is a commercial beekeeper in Hawaii, married to a teacher. Joy is winter holidays with grandchildren in Hawaii and summers together on our Vermont farm.

Cyclist, swimmer, kayaker, skier, Pilates enthusiast, and dancer, I believe in the transformative power of wellness to help us achieve our best. An optimist, I consider myself a teacher diplomat, and am honored to work at ISS.


Lichun Rong

Mandarin Teacher

Master of Arts(Teaching Chinese as an International Language), Singapore
Master of Arts (Chinese Modern & Contemporary Literature), China
Bachelor of Arts (Chinese Language & Literature), China

My teaching career began in 1997 after graduating from Yanbian University. I have taught courses like Intensive Chinese, Chinese Listening, Speaking and Writing for students from different countries in the universities for more than ten years in China.

I moved to Singapore in 2013 and have taught for 3 years as an elementary school Mandarin teacher and Bilingual Class Teacher at Eton House International School. Teaching Chinese at IB school has inspired and motivated me to explore more about IB teaching and learning.

I am excited to join ISS International School and to be a part of the school community. My teaching philosophy always encourages me to keep on improving myself to meet students’ needs.


Song Peng

Mandarin Teacher

Bachelor of Education, China
Advanced Diploma of Early Childhood Education, China

Being an educator for 11 years in Singapore, I had the opportunity to work with different groups of children ranging from toddlers to elementary school students. When I am working with my students, I enjoy helping them to reach for their dreams and potential. With my interest in art and dance, I love sharing these aspects of my Chinese culture with everyone I am working with as we live in a diverse society where every should learn to child feel valued and treated with respect.

It is an exciting new journey for me to join ISS International School where I would be able to build on my learning journey as an educator in one of the most established international school in Singapore.


Hima Venkateswaran

Visual Arts and Design Teacher

Master of Education (Early Childhood Education)
Bachelor of Science (Chemistry & Biology)
Specialist Diploma in Early Childhood Education & Leadership

I am excited to be teaching Art and Design this year, my eleventh year at ISS. I have been privileged to teach Kindergarten and then Grade One in the past years and now I have this great opportunity to pursue my passion for Visual Arts and Design. I believe students should be invited to think deeply about an artwork, engage at the aesthetic, emotional and intellectual levels and apply the elements and principles of art and design in their work. Art is a language, an expression and a powerful means of communicating with the world. It is self-expression that can be represented through myriad mediums and interpreted in multitude ways. My passion for the arts has always made it an integral part of my teaching practice. Art and design transcend across the curriculum and I look forward to making these connections with the students.

United States of America

Tony Palumbo

K-8 Music Teacher

Bachelor of Music (K-12 Music Education)

After nearly 25 years in snowy New England, I migrated east to sandy Dubai where I began my international teaching career and truly found my calling as a music educator. Prior to teaching, I worked as a professional bass player. This is something I still remain active with today, performing and recording whenever possible across a variety of musical genres. My continued passion for music models the idea of lifelong learning which I try to instill in all of my students. Music is often regarded as a universal language, which, within the international school environment, allows all students the opportunity to develop skills as communicators and inquiring individuals, regardless of their native or fluent languages.

United Kingdom

Sarah Herbert

Inclusion & Achievement Coordinator (Literacy)

Bachelor of Arts Communication and Sociology, Goldsmiths College University of London, UK
Post Graduate Certificate of Education, Goldsmiths College University of London, UK
Certificate EAL In the Mainstream for the Early Learner, Department of Education and Children’s Services, Government of Australia
Certificate EAT Strategies for the Mainstream Classroom, Teacher Training Center for International Educators, London UK

My career started in 1994 teaching in London.  Since then I have taught in Portugal, Vietnam, Denmark, and The Netherlands.  My career encompasses both Homeroom Teaching and ESL Teaching and I am very privileged to have facilitated the learning opportunities of amazing students.

I enjoy creating a classroom culture where students feel happy to share their thinking in a way that benefits the whole learning community in school.  I believe that appreciating the social and emotional characteristics of students are paramount for educational success.

Highlights of my career include working with colleagues to present a workshop for the teaching community on the use of google sites as a learning platform at the European Council of International School Conference. It also includes working for The New England Association of Schools and Colleges to accredit a school in Nepal.

I love swimming, yoga, and biking.  I also enjoy travelling with my family.


Miriam Mahapatra

English Language Support Teacher

Bachelor of Arts (Economics / Sociology)
Bachelor of Education
Post-Graduate Diploma (Management of Learning Disorders)
TESOL Certificate
Member of the SENIA Board (Special Education Needs & Inclusion Association) Singapore Chapter

There is nothing quite like teaching. Each learner, each class, each day is unique. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in a wide spectrum of educational settings. I began my career In Mumbai, India, as a Primary school teacher. Exploring other avenues, I worked with teams, producing English texts for Primary schools and interactive content for teachers to use in Government schools. The move to Singapore provided the opportunity to work in international schools and to teach the PYP curriculum. In schools, and in workshops I’ve attended, I have been fortunate to collaborate with wonderful educators and gain fresh perspectives on teaching and learning.

Once home, I de-stress by walking my retrievers, maintaining my plants and reading. My family love to travel and we try to find places, off the beaten track.


Smita Punamiya

Learning Support Teacher

Professional Graduate Certificate in Education
Diploma in Learning Disorder Management & Child Psychology
Diploma in Special Education for Persons with Multiple Disabilities (Physical & Neurological)
Bachelor of Science

My teaching career began as a special needs educator in 1998, and since then I have played many roles in teaching children, both in India and Singapore. Being surrounded by children, experiencing their curiosity, enthusiasm and innocence inspires me everyday. I am an advocate of inclusive education and believe that all children are unique and can learn together in the same class. I am excited to be a part of this wonderful institution.

United States of America

Ally Thompson

Grade 5 Teacher

Bachelor of Arts (Communications and International Affairs)
Associate Degree (Culinary Arts)
Teaching Certification (Elementary Education K-6) (*In Progress)

I am originally from the US, but have spent the last three years as a Learning Support Teacher at an international school in Dubai. It is there where I found my passion for teaching and working with young global citizens. I aim to encourage all students to become confident inquirers through the development of literacy and research skills. Having been a lifelong lover of literature myself, I’m eager to assist students at ISS as they discover their own interests in reading, and to nurture their curiosity for the world around them through time spent in the library.


Ronan O’Neill

PE Teacher

Masters Of Education (Pending)
Bachelor Of Education (Honours)

Hi everyone, my name is Mr. Ronan O’Neill and I am delighted to be part of the International School of Singapore family. I come from Ireland where I studied in Trinity College Dublin and received my Honours Bachelor Of Education. I taught in Ireland before embarking on my international teaching career. I love travelling to gain new experiences from different cultures, people and countries. For the past number of years I have had the wonderful experience of teaching the International Baccalaureate in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. I have a huge passion for sport and my interests vary between Rugby, Golf, Swimming, Athletics, Gaelic Football and Hurling. These last two sports of which are unique to my country. I love to see young people succeed in sport, to follow their passions and strive to reach beyond their potential. I look forward to meeting you all and to help each and every one of you in reaching your goals this year.

Turkey, Singapore

Berna Esendemir Sekhon

Counsellor & Learning Support Teacher

Bachelor of Arts- Journalism & Public Relations
Masters in Counselling

I am originally from Turkey and have been living in Singapore since 1994. I have a vast experience on third culture kids who live in different countries throughout their education lives due to the expatriate life requirements.

My interest in education and students well being derives from curiosity and hunger that I have felt, to make them achieve their best potential and to provide them a conducive environment to do so. I believe every student has equal chance and right for education, no matter what the difficulties they are facing.

I have years of experience working with children and adolescents with special needs and my lifetime goal is to reach out to those who have difficulties and help them along the way by providing a support with a holistic approach that they rightfully need.

I have 2 wonderful teenagers who are continuously helping me to be the best I can.