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Australia

Michael Taylor

Middle School Principal, Grade 6 to 8 MYP Coordinator

Master of Education (Educational Technology & Administration)
Bachelor of Education (PE/Health)
Certificate of International School Leadership

I have been teaching since 1986 and on the international circuit since 2006, with stints in Amsterdam, Hong Kong and now Singapore. My formative teaching years were via public education schools in Sydney, Australia.  I started out life as a Physical and Health Education teacher. When teaching these days you will find me in an MYP Technology class and/or IBDP ITGS. When not teaching in class I have held the roles of Head of Administration, Director of Sport, Director of Technology and Deputy Principal and now Middle School Principal. I even had a position as part-time school janitor – way back in the day!

As well as my work in the classroom, I have taken active roles in consulting to education departments in the UK and Australia, a committee member of the International Society of Technology Educators, board member of the Horizon Report, MYP Examiner in Design and Personal Project and written a text book for McGraw-Hill, to name a few.

Outside of the classroom I am member of the Singapore Rugby Union Referees Society and the Hong Kong Society of Rugby Union Referees, try and compete in the occasional triathlon or ocean race, and enjoy cooking a BBQ!

Everything I do in schools relates to student learning and building students of good character, who respect each other and the world in which they live.

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France

Bruno Alen-Lebon

Drama & French Acquisition Teacher

Licence En Lettres D'Enseignement (Anglais)
Degree in Teaching Literature (French / English)
Master of English (Hons) (Elizabethan Theatre & English Stylistic), Université De Rouen

I have been teaching at ISS International School since 2001. Originally from France, I taught English for the French Ministry of Education and French as a foreign language in various UK and Australian Schools and Universities. Always linking the study of foreign languages and theatre, I was in charge of the cultural activities at the French Institute of Scotland in the 80’s in Edinburgh and served as Deputy Director of Alliance Française in both Sydney and Singapore in the 90’s. I have always had a passion for Musical Theatre, which is shared today with my Drama students and the school community through theatre appreciation outings and full-scale productions. I attended my latest professional development workshop in New York in 2014 where I was fully trained and accredited as part of the MTI Broadway Teachers international team to develop musical theatre education and projects in secondary schools.

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Canada

Allan Ballinger

Team Leader Grade 8, Individuals & Societies Teacher

Master of Arts (Southeast Asian Studies), National University of Singapore
Bachelor of Education (Hons) Secondary Curriculum (History & Geography), University of Victoria First Class Honours
British Columbia Teaching Certificate
University of Cambridge CELTA Certificate
ESL in the Mainstream Certificate (ESLMS)
Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) N3 Level

I was born in Vancouver and during my childhood I lived in a variety of logging and mining communities on the west coast of British Columbia. After graduating from the University of Victoria I went overseas as a teacher on the Japanese government sponsored JET Program. This initial experience of living and working internationally sparked a desire to learn more about other languages and cultures. This curiosity to study more about Asia lead me to National University Singapore where I completed my M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies. I enjoy poetry, rugby, travelling and learning languages. I feel very fortunate to be working in such a diverse school setting. Teaching to me is about bringing out the possibility in each student. This passion to be part of the future is why I love being a teacher!

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Malaysia

Serene Chin

English Acquisition Teacher

Bachelor of Arts
Master of Arts

I’m Serene Chin, a Chinese born in Malaysia but raised and bred in Singapore. After post graduation, I taught at the Ekamai International School in Bangkok for two years. Following a short stint at the Singapore Korean School, I joined the ISS community in 1999 and have been teaching Language B English in the Middle School ever since. I believe second-language learners need to be supported emotionally and be in an environment where they can make mistakes and speak up freely. Despite being busy with school, motherhood, family and my dogs, I try to spend the remaining time with my church community, mostly supporting and planning activities for the children, playing the piano and participating in the church choir. Currently, I’m learning to play the church organ. Visiting the sick and elderly are also part of my routine. Perhaps the most challenging experience I have had was climbing Mount Kinabalu in Sabah twice.

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United States

Rene Contreras

ESL Support Teacher

Bachelor of International Business (Instituto Technologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico)
TEFL International TESOL Certification (accredited by Fort Hays State University, USA)
EAL Certification (Seton Hall University, USA)

After years in the business world I entered the education field working at an International, English Immersion, American-style school in Southern China. My experience includes working with middle and high school students as an EAL (English as an Additional Language) teacher, Middle School PE Teacher, Athletic coordinator and coach. I am glad to be working at ISS because of the wide diversity of students from all around the world and living in a world-class city such as Singapore. I will do my best to ensure our kids enjoy school, learning, and achieving to their full potential.

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Singapore

Linda Du Lin

Mandarin Teacher

Bachelor of Arts (Chinese Language & Literature)
Master of Arts (Chinese Language & Literature)
Certificate of Special Needs in Early Childhood

I started teaching Mandarin to international students at my university in Beijing. That was in the early 1990s when China was just opening up and people were fascinated by its history, culture and big market opportunities. When I moved to Singapore, I taught exchange students at NTU, and I realized that I really enjoyed teaching and meeting people from different parts of the world. Becoming an assistant examiner for the IB Diploma in Chinese since 2007 has reinforced this excitement. At ISS International School, I like to see my students happily making friends, challenging themselves and enjoying their learning. It is fulfilling to see them growing up.

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Australia

Fiona Edwards

K-12 Head of ESL (English as a Second Language), English Acquisition Teacher

Bachelor of Education (English, Bahasa Indonesia)

From a young age I lived in Indonesia and Brunei and experienced Singapore’s urban jungle in my teens. I finished high school and university in Perth, and at first found it difficult to reconcile my new Australian identity. My connection to Asia and my exposure to expat life made a Bachelor of Education in English and Bahasa Indonesia from Curtin University a natural choice. After 8 successful and fulfilling years teaching Bahasa at Perth College, an Anglican girl’s school, it was time for a change of scenery again to feed my travel bug! I spent the next 18 months travelling Asia and Europe, and living and teaching in the UK.

My next and current adventure took me back to South East Asia and ISS International School. It has been wonderful reminiscing about old school days with current students. Being able to give back to and be part of an international school community again has been extremely rewarding!

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Ireland

Colin Gallagher

K-12 Head of Educational Innovation

Master of Educational Technology, Michigan State University
Post Graduate Diploma of Education, Hong Kong University
Bachelor of Science, Open University

As K-12 Head of Technology and Innovation I will be constantly working with teachers, students, and administration to ensure that what we have in place with regarding our technology at ISS International School is being utilised effectively. We will also be researching into current, innovative, and emerging theories and practices in education (and other areas) and investigating whether they are adaptable for use at ISS International School.

I am an Apple Distinguished Educator and a Google Certified Teacher. I’ve spoken at the TEDx Bangkok conference and multiple conferences around Asia. In October of 2014 my first book “Minecraft in the Classroom” was published by Pearson Education. I am an online instructor for Michigan State University in their Masters in Educational Technology programme.

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United Kingdom

Susan Grant

Teacher Librarian

Certificate of Education, Cambridge Institute of Education

I was born, raised and educated in the beautiful and famous city of Cambridge in England. From having an ambition when I was very young to become a teacher, I have now been educating young children for many years.

My teaching career started in England and then I moved overseas with my husband (Graham Grant – ISS International School’s Whole School Library Manager) and daughters. I have taught in Spain, the Canary Islands, Ukraine and now Singapore.

My specialism has been in the field of Early Years. However, a few years ago, I was given the opportunity to diversify and I became a Primary Library Teacher. This has enabled me to share my love of stories and books with students and to educate them in using a school library’s diverse resources.

I hope that the students at ISS International School will learn valuable skills in accessing information and will enjoy their visits to the library.

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United States of America

Marnie Hurst

Multiple Literacies Coordinator, Inclusion & Achievement Coordinator (Differentiation), Music Teacher

Master of Arts (Elementary Education)
Bachelor of Arts (World Arts & Cultures)

Music is a great passion of mine and I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to share this love with my students. I am particularly interested in learning more about various cultures through their arts, and infuse my music lessons with the spirit of empowerment, empathy and mutual respect through the lens of music sharing. The music room is an ideal place to explore creativity, collaboration and skill development.

I am originally from Los Angeles, California and my hobbies are roller skating, dancing, singing, acting, playing the ukulele and reading. I have previously taught preschool, music and dance in Los Angeles, Prague and Manila.

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United States of America

Daniel Inman

Athletics & Activities Coordinator

Bachelors Of Science (Journalism)
Teaching Certification, Physical Education

I first studied journalism and finished my Bachelors in Warsaw, Poland, where I was able to travel and see a lot of Europe. I have been teaching Physical Education since 2006 in the USA and Taiwan. My goal as a PE teacher is to instill a love of movement and life-long learning in all my students. I want the students to have the confidence and knowledge to engage in any activity they want at anytime in their life.

I enjoy being outside doing many different activities, from running and cycling, to exploring and seeing the local art and culture of wherever I am.

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Australia

Dharshini Jeremiah

Middle School Student Coordinator, Science Teacher

Bachelor of Science (1st Class Hons) (Biomedical)
Doctor of Philosophy (General Medicine)
Graduate Diploma (Secondary Education)

I am excited to join Middle School Science. With more than ten years international teaching experience in Australia, United Kingdom and Singapore, I value ISS International School’s impressive reputation for providing an inclusive, nurturing and empowering education – a vision I strongly believe in. My background in Middle School Science using a variety of curriculum frameworks has allowed me to develop a flexible and holistic approach to teaching. I actively try to inspire, nurture and empower students to believe in themselves, realise their potential and become active global citizens who value mutual respect, internationalism, leadership, experiences and service. As a Team Leader for Grade 7, I am keen to make a difference within our Middle School community at ISS International School.

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United States of America

Ross Jonas

Math, Individuals & Societies, Language & Literature Teacher

Bachelor of Arts (American History)
California Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials

I was born in California and will return there someday, but until then I am enjoying teaching in Asia. My desire to teach internationally began while I was teaching English in Korea for two years after completing university. From there I was certain that I wanted to be a teacher and so I returned to California to get my teaching credential. Since then, I have taught from Kindergarten to Grade 8 and across a range of subjects. Because each grade and subject has different challenges and joys, I feel as engaged with the teaching profession as when I began fifteen years ago. I consistently strive to maintain an environment of joy and passion for learning in my classes.

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Myanmar

Ma Aye Ligot

English Acquisition Teacher

Bachelor of Science (Chemistry)
Post Graduate Higher Diploma (French Literature & French Language Studies)

I am originally from Myanmar, but grew up in Paris and have lived abroad most of my life. Being in an international community is where I feel the most at home. I arrived in Singapore in 2005 and have been teaching at ISS International School ever since. Prior to this, I taught at the International School of Yangon (ISY) in Myanmar; at Ecole Active Bilingue (EAB) a bilingual international school in Paris; and at the Alliance Francaise de Yangon.

Over the years in my teaching career I have taught several subjects including English for Academic Purposes focusing on the topics of Science and Individuals & Societies in High School. In MYP I have focused on Language B: English and French as well as ESL Science and ESL Individuals & Societies, Physical Science and Social Studies. I also taught French to a team of neurosurgeons from UPSA laboratory’s Pain Clinic, set up at Yangon General Hospital. I have studied Biology at the University of Santa Thomas and attended the TEFLE course at the British Institute in Paris.

 

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Singapore

Miriam Mahapatra

English Language Support Teacher

Bachelor of Arts (Economics / Sociology)
Bachelor of Education
Post-Graduate Diploma (Management of Learning Disorders)
TESOL Certificate

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.

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Singapore

Shirley Matthews

Math & Design Teacher, PE Teacher

Bachelors of Business Administration (Marketing)
Master of Education (Globalisation in Education)

Born and raised in Singapore, I began teaching right after graduating from NUS in the Singapore school system. Shortly after, I got married and began the adventure of living overseas with my husband and 3 kids. Saudi Arabia, Portugal, various states in USA, Australia, Shanghai-China and Singapore are some places that I have lived. My life has been enriched by the many cultures I have experienced, as well as the many wonderful friends I have met along the way. I am also more appreciative of the wonders of languages as being able to speak Malay and Mandarin has helped me significantly overseas.

I started substitute teaching when I came back to Singapore. The interaction with the students, each with their own unique background and personality, is what I truly enjoy about teaching. I have taught a myriad of subjects and grade levels, but my primary interest has been in Math and Design. As a true Singaporean, I can cite eating as a hobby. As such, I enjoy cooking and baking as well as doing home improvement projects.

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United Kingdom

Harry Orgee

PE Teacher

Bachelor Of Arts (Sports Management)
Graduate Diploma (Education)

Having grown up in the UK and been lucky enough to work in some elite sporting environments my passion was always to move into Physical Education teaching. Being able to provide students with the necessary tools and information to live an active and sporting life is key passion of mine, and something that I cherished whilst I was at school. My philosophy is very much based around keeping students active, making teaching period purposeful as well as enjoyable and safe. I have taught in Australia and Singapore and coached rugby at an elite level in the UK.

I enjoy playing touch football, golf and squash as well as embracing the South East Asian culture… especially the food!

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China

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.

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China

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.

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Turkey, Singapore

Berna Esendemir Sekhon

Counsellor, Special Needs 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.

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Australia

Mary-Ann Shelley

Mother Tongue Teacher

Bachelor of Arts
Diploma of Education

Although originally trained in Australia, I have spent the majority of my teaching career in international situations. Having worked in the IB Programme for many years, I have been able to work across both Language A and B curriculum. This has given me invaluable knowledge and experience to bring to the Mother Tongue programme.

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United Kingdom

Jane Taylor

Art & Design Teacher

Master of Arts (Fine Art)
Bachelor of Arts (Hons)
PGCE in Secondary Art Education

From the UK originally, I have also lived in the US, China and Singapore. I have worked in art education for over 15 years in various capacities, and also as an IBDP visual art examiner for the past 8 years and am currently one of the principal examiners for the DP course. MYP visual art presents exciting challenges and opportunities for students to develop their skills and conceptual understanding. As a practising artist myself I love to share my knowledge and passion for the subject.

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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.

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