2016-2017 Administration and Instructional Staff
The International School Eastern Seaboard (ISE) is pleased to provide faculty and staff biographies. We are very proud of our experienced professionals.
A state of the art facility, an advanced curriculum, and highly qualified faculty enable our students to achieve scholastic excellence. The following distinguished educators were selected by ISE for their outstanding qualifications and for their proven ability to support, and pay attention to, each individual student.
Ms. Naro is originally from Ontario, Canada. She is currently the Superintendent and Elementary School Principal. Heather has a Bachelor of Education degree from McGill University, a Master’s degree of Administration from University of Ottawa, a Master’s degree from the University of San Francisco in Organization and Leadership and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota. Her overseas education career began in 1992 and she has worked in Egypt, China, Saudi Arabia and now Thailand. The Naro’s have two children, Sydney who is grade 11 and Justin who is attending Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, studying media production.
Mrs. Knudsen is from Kingston, Ontario, Canada. She graduated from Queen’s University and received a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) degree and a Bachelor of Education in Intermediate / Senior Education. She began teaching overseas in Cairo, Egypt where she spent four years and met her American husband, Daniel. Together they taught in Switzerland and are happy to return for a seventh year at ISE. Kristen enjoys many activities including swimming, writing, scuba diving, basketball, cooking, traveling and reading. Her newest challenge is keeping up with her son Aiden and daughter Mara.
Ruth Ann Rochanaroon, Elementary teacher
Ruth Ann received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the Philippines, majoring in Child Development. She also completed a diploma in Montessori Education. As a licensed elementary teacher, she has been teaching for 14 years, largely with preschool and kindergarten. She taught Grades 1 and 2 briefly at Assumption College Sri Racha prior to joining ISE in 2007. She is married and has two sons, Elijah who attends ISE and Luke who will one day!
Ms. Cedolin, has lived in Thailand for twenty one years. Her father is Italian and her mother English. She received a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) Degree in Drama Theatre Studies, Performance and New Media from the United Kingdom. She enjoys traveling, cooking and pilates. Nakita is also a graduate of ISE and her brother just graduated last year.
Mrs. Lillis is from Kingston, Ontario, Canada. She graduated from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Arts (Sociology) and a Bachelor of Education in Primary/Intermediate Education. This year she will begin working toward her Master’s of Education degree. Mrs. Lillis has taught in Kuwait and Canada.
Janet McLeod was born in Nova Scotia, Canada and received her Bachelor of Education degree in Regina, Saskatchewan where she has taught for 24 years. She specialized in Reading/Reading Intervention and Outdoor Education and is certified in Special Education. Last year was her first year teaching abroad in Kuwait. Janet loves the outdoors, especially camping, and enjoys practicing yoga, running, cycling, and playing the guitar. She is excited to join the team at ISE and looks forward to a great year!
Ms. Friedrich comes from Fort Wayne, Indiana. She moved to California to attend Concordia University Irvine where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies as well as her teaching credential. She then earned her Master’s in Education while teaching in the California public schools. In 2009, Ms. Friedrich headed overseas teaching in Hong Kong and Shanghai. She is now excited to teach at ISE in Thailand. In her free time, Ms. Friedrich enjoys spending time with her husband, Rich, and her amazing dog, Cooper.
Ms. Szyman is from Naperville, Illinois, USA. She graduated from Clemson University with a BA in Elementary Education and received her MA from the University of Saint Thomas in Educational Leadership and Administration. Ms. Szyman brings 18 years of teaching experience from the United States, Spain, Bolivia and China. Her husband Jason Hershberger is joining the staff at ISE as the HS IB English teacher. In her free time she enjoys cooking, coaching, reading, traveling and spending time with her family. Her son Miles will be joining the ISE family in the 3 year old program this coming school year.
Benjamin Reiber, Elementary teacher
Mr. Reiber is teaching fourth grade. He has seventeen years of teaching experience and is from Seattle, Washington. Ben has taught second, third, fourth and fifth grade students. He taught in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for three years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington and a Master’s of Education degree from Seattle University.
Mr. Gaines grew up on a farm in Eastern Washington. He went to school at the University of Idaho and has taught in the United States, New Zealand, and Kazakhstan. Mr. Gaines enjoys camping, backpacking and being outdoors. He is married to Tara Gaines and they have a son and daughter.
Mrs. Gaines is from Kendrick, Idaho. It is a very small town in the United States. She graduated from the University of Idaho in Northern Idaho with her degree in Elementary Education in 2005. Tara has worked in Idaho, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, and Thailand. She lived in Pattaya for four years, before joining ISE during the 2013-2014 school year. Tara’s hobbies include reading, writing, running, traveling, and anything else that is outside in the sun. She is married to Josh Gaines, and together they have a son and daughter who keep them very busy!
Cindy Kohoutek, Elementary teacher
Mrs. Kohoutek was born and raised in Seattle, Washington and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education with a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Development. She joined ISE in October 2010 working as a substitute. In 2011 she taught world history and music. In 2012 she moved into the elementary school full time teaching music, EAL and PE. Currently she is teaching music and PE to the Pre-K through grade 4 elementary students. In her free time she enjoys running and golfing with her husband.
Ms. Potisit is beginning her eleventh year at ISE. She has Master’s degrees in Linguistics and Education. She works in the EAL department and is part of the first and second grade team. She enjoys sports and exercising. Kelley has three children at ISE, Justin, Brina and Nathan.
Maria Pannakan, Elementary teacher
Ms. Pannakan is originally from England, but has been living and working in Thailand for 20 years. Maria previously taught at Assumption School in Sriracha. This is her 16th year teaching elementary EAL. She has an elementary teaching certificate from the College of New Jersey and a degree in Law from the UK. She is married and has two children, Mak and Fern.
Ms. Hull received a double major in social work and sociology from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. After serving as a health education worker in Sierra Leone, West Africa, she completed a Master’s of Arts in Teaching degree at the University of St. Thomas and a K-12 ESL teaching license at Hamline University. Ms. Hull is delighted to be beginning her 22nd year of teaching and her fourth year at ISE. In her free time Ms. Hull enjoys dancing, yoga, reading, cross stitching and experiencing new places.
Khun Jintana graduated from Thammasat University, Thailand and Fordham University, USA with a Master’s in Social Work. She has a Thai teaching degree from the Rajchapat Suandusit Institution and subsequently earned a Thai teaching degree from Sukhothaithummathiraj University. In 2001 she joined the ISE Thai program. Jintana is married to Khun Nikorn and has one daughter, Issaree. In her free time she enjoys her family, reading and traveling.
Khun Watchara (Jim) has been working at ISE since 1995 as a teacher assistant in kindergarten and grade 2. She has taught Thai art for MS students and a Thai Culture class. She holds a Bachelor of Art degree from Ramkhamheang University. She received a teaching certificate from Sukhothaithummatiraj University and is a MOE certified teacher. She is married to Khun Suparat and has two children. In her free time, she likes to practice Dhamma and meditation with her family.
Mrs. Kristen Applegate grew up in Central Iowa in the US. She received her Bachelors, Master’s and PhD at Iowa State University before taking her first teaching position at Columbus State University in Columbus Georgia. She has also taught Art in the Phoenix, Arizona area and most recently in Saudi Arabia. Kristen and her husband Todd have two children; Olivia who lives in Portland, Oregon and Mia, who is a student at ISE. In her free time Kristen enjoys scuba diving, tackling home improvement projects and traveling.
Mr. Applegate spends his summers in Bellingham, Washington in the US. He graduated from Columbus State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Arizona State University with a Master’s of Education Principalship. He has earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and a 3rd Degree black belt in Tang Soo Do. His wife, Kristen and daughter, Mia came to Thailand after 3 years in Saudi Arabia. Todd spends his free time drawing, painting, scuba diving, exploring the wild, coaching and playing football, training in martial arts and playing guitar.
Khun Jimol was born in Bangkok, Thailand. She graduated from Suan Dusit Teacher College and Ramkhamhaeng University from where she holds a Bachelor degree. Jimol taught elementary and secondary school in Bangkok for five years. She spent fifteen years working with The Consortium (World Education) teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) to refugees. She has conducted workshops and training for students
at Burapha University, Udon Thani Teacher College and Chachoengsao Teacher College. Her hobbies are carving, cooking and watching TV. She joined ISE in 1997.
Mr. Campbell is originally from Phoenix, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Intellectual History and Philosophy. Mr. Campbell also went on to receive his Master’s in Education from Northern Arizona University. His overseas experience began with serving in the United States Peace Corps with his wife Jennifer in Thailand (Sisaket Province). Post Peace Corps, they taught at international schools in both Cambodia and Guatemala. Mr. Campbell’s interests include reading, poetry, art, classical/operatic music, geopolitics, environmental conservation, films, travel and sports (especially rugby).
Mrs. Campbell is originally from Tempe, Arizona. She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and a Masters’s in Education Administration. She began teaching in 1994 and her professional experience also includes work in finance. Her overseas experience started in the US Peace Corps serving as an Education Specialist in Sisaket, Thailand for two and a half years. She then taught at the International School of Phnom Penh and in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Mrs. Campbell is thrilled to have the role of CAS and Service Learning Coordinator this year!
Mr. Hershberger began his international teaching career 15 years ago in Barcelona, Spain, where he taught for 9 years, becoming the English department head and assisting in transitioning the school to the IB DP program. Here he also met his wife, Christina Szyman. They moved to Santa Cruz, Bolivia and while living there he and Christina had their son, Miles. After 3 years in Bolivia, Jason and family moved on to teach in Qingdao, China. He is excited to now join the ISE team to teach DP Language A, Language B, and 10th Grade English.
Khun Prareena graduated from Suan Dusit University. She has a Thai teaching degree from the Rajchapat Suandusit Institution and subsequently earned her Master’s degree in Education (Education Administration) from Suan Dusit University. Khun Prareena has many years experience of teaching Thai at various schools in Bangkok such as Rujtseriwittaya and Saint John’s International School. In 2014 she joined the ISE Thai program. In her free time she enjoys many activities including reading, cooking, eating and taking care of puppies.
Takashi Kakizaki, Secondary teacher
Mr. Kakizaki comes from Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Japan in 2001 and Master’s of Education degree in Thailand in 2010. He has taught at the Weekend School for Japanese in Sriracha as a Japanese teacher since 2004. His hobbies are skiing, badminton, computers, acting and traveling.
Mr. Knudsen is from Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Mathematics Education in 1991. His international career spans from Honduras, Brazil, Egypt, and Switzerland to Thailand. He enjoys a multitude of sports and activities, most notably golf, scuba diving, strategy games, and swimming. He is married to Kristen, and they have two children, Aiden and Mara.
Mr. Lees is from Lancashire, England. He holds an international PGCE Master’s, a Cambridge University RSA diploma and an honors degree in Economics. Jeremy has worked in England, Australia, Japan and Thailand. He joined ISE in April 2006. In his free time, Jeremy enjoys most outdoor sports, particularly football, golf, swimming, hiking and cricket.
Scott Lillis, Technology Coordinator and Secondary teacher
Mr. Lillis is from Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He graduated from Queen’s University and received a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) degree and a Bachelor of Education in Intermediate/Senior. He began teaching overseas in Kuwait before returning to Canada for five years. Mr. Lillis is excited to be here at ISE with his wife who teaches kindergarten and their cats. He enjoys many activities including baseball, baseball, tennis, photography, traveling, and baseball!
John Murray, Secondary teacher
Mr. Murray has been teaching in Thailand for the past fifteen years. John comes from San Diego, California where he graduated with honors from the University of San Diego. He holds a Bachelor of Diversified Liberal Arts (Spanish) degree and a bilingual (Spanish-English) multiple-subject teaching credential (K-6), and a Spanish language teaching credential. He enjoys free diving, surfing, foreign languages, travel, cooking, painting, and playing music.
Ms. Nam is from Seoul, South Korea, She received a major in Chinese Literature and Chinese language. After living in Taiwan and New Zealand, she completed her MA degree in Teaching Korean and Education at the Yonsei University of Seoul. She has taught in Sungkonghoe University, Hansei University, Seoul, Korean and Andong National University. Ms. Nam is interested in humanities subjects such as history, languages and social studies. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, backpacking, watching concerts and movies, and exploring new places.
Mr. Naro is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. He received a Bachelor of Arts from New Mexico State University and a Master’s of Education from the University of New Mexico. He has taught in Saudi Arabia, China and Egypt. He introduced and taught IB psychology in each of these three
international schools. Mitch has also taught IB history and middle school social studies. His interests include golfing, jogging, water sports and spending time with his family.
Mr. Scott is from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada and this is his first year as the Athletic Director at ISE. Scott has been teaching in Thailand for seven years now, and enjoys living overseas. When he is not at school, Mr. Scott is busy playing guitar, or just enjoying the beaches here in Thailand Mr. Scott has a bachelor’s degree from Calgary, Alberta and an IPGCE from Nottingham in the UK. He is an avid fan of the Edmonton Oilers, Denver Broncos, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Blue Jays.
Originally from Oregon, Mr. Overacker attended U.C. Berkeley, majoring in Geography. After teaching for several years and obtaining a Master’s degree in Education, he began teaching overseas. At ISE he has taught a range of grades and subjects and is currently the IB coordinator and teaches Theory of Knowledge and Information Technology in a Global Society.
Mrs. Price earned a Bachelor of Science (High Honors) in Technical Communication and a Master’s Degree in Science Teaching from NMIMT (New Mexico Tech.). She has taught both online and in the classroom and is fascinated by the potential of combining technology and global connectivity with the classroom. Her husband Shawn and children Peter and Katie are also at ISE.
Mr. Price is from rural northeastern New Mexico, USA. He has a Master’s Degree in Science Teaching from New Mexico Tech. He has been teaching since 1996 and has taught in three US States as well as the island of St. Thomas and in China before joining the ISE faculty. Outside the classroom Mr. Price enjoys traveling, hiking, snorkeling and reading a variety of books. His wife Roxanne and children Peter and Katie are also at ISE.
Ms. Tretter is originally from Ottawa, Canada. She graduated from The University of Western Ontario with her Bachelor of Music Honors in Theory, Composition, and Vocal Performance. She then received her Master of Music in Acoustic Composition from the University of Leeds (UK) and finally her Bachelor of Education from the University of Ottawa. She began as a musician with experience performing in Canada, England, France, Poland, Czech Republic, and Singapore. Her teaching career started in Richmond Hill, Ontario teaching a Concert Band programme, and she has spent the past 5 years teaching an acoustic guitar programme in Singapore. Ms. Tretter is also a PADI certified scuba diving instructor.
Caitlin Weaver, Secondary teacher
Ms. Weaver is from Denver, Colorado. After graduating from Montana State University with a degree in Elementary Education, she taught fourth grade for three and a half years in Denver Public Schools. In the past two years, she has studied full time for a Master’s degree in TESOL which led her to pursue an international position and she is excited to be joining the ISE staff. In her free time, Ms. Weaver enjoys playing volleyball, hiking, climbing, and reading.