ISE’s highly experienced and committed international faculty comes from a range of countries, such as America, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Croatia, and China. There are 42 Teachers at ISE who are certified in their subjects. Our faculty has numerous educational leaders, IB trainers, IB examiners, and curriculum writers. In addition, our faculty regularly attends professional growth opportunities so they can be updated on “best practice” in education.
Here are the faculty and staff biographies. We are very proud of our experienced professionals. Please read about and welcome to our new teachers coming to ISE in 2018.
High School Principal/Superintendent
Hometown: San Diego, California, USA
Hello ISE! I want to thank you for the honor to work as your new Superintendent at International School Eastern Seaboard. I am originally from the Seattle, Washington area. I have a large family with four brothers and a sister. I have attended Washington State University, Michigan State University, Western Washington University, and National University. My overseas experience over the past 32 years has taken me to Taiwan, the Philippines, Paraguay, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia and Myanmar. My family and I enjoyed each country, and as a father I am blessed in that living abroad allowed my children to experience a wide variety of cultures, languages, and traditions. I have three children; two sons who are living in California, and a daughter who is living in Florida. Depending on their work schedules or school responsibilities, I hope to bring them out soon, to not only show off the school, but also to have them meet and interact with the interesting people and fascinating culture that Thailand has to offer.
Middle and Elementary School Principal
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Holly is from North Carolina in the United States. She has been working in education and child advocacy in the USA and Asia for over 17 years. She is passionate about her work with teachers, children and families, and is happiest in the classroom where she previously taught children from age 3 to 14. Holly is joined at ISE by her husband Derick and her three children, Lee, Hensley and Ann Bowen.
High School Faculties
PK-12 Cybrarian and IB EE/CAS
Hometown: Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
Kristen grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, USA. She has been an educator for 22 years and her travels have taken her to Syria, Paraguay and, for the last 18 years, Beijing, China. Kristen has degrees in Elementary Education, EAL, and English Literature. In 2013, she received her certification in Library Media from the University of Washington in Seattle. She is married to Reuben Bathgate, who will be teaching Grade 1 at ISE and they have two children, Henry and Esme. Kristen loves to travel and cook and is extremely passionate about books and literature and getting kids excited about reading! She hopes to bring this enthusiasm to her new role in the library to encourage children to become lifelong learners through a love of reading, asking questions, using technology, and finding out about the world! Kristen is very excited about moving to ISE and is looking forward to learning about beautiful Thailand, the culture and the people.
Music and Band
Hometown: Mesa, Arizona, USA
Mr. Harout Boyajian is from Phoenix, Arizona, USA. He received both his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Music Education (instrumental emphasis) from Arizona State University. Prior to his appointment at ISE, he worked at Chandler High School, Arizona’s largest International Baccalaureate high school, as well as elementary and junior high band programs. Bands under his direction have received Superior and Superior with Distinction ratings at music competitions/festivals and high marks at district assessments. He also enjoys utilizing music technology and engaging students in the composition process. As a saxophone performer he has played in such groups as the Tempe Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Joseph Wytko Saxophone Quartet, and the Phoenix Symphony.
Anchorage, Alaska, USA
Daniel Griswold was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and a Master of Science in Mathematics from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He received a Masters of Arts in teaching from the University of Anchorage, Alaska. He taught for 5 years at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, before transitioning into the Anchorage School District, where he worked for the last ten years as a mathematics teacher. He enjoys ultimate frisbee, cycling, hiking, camping, reading science fiction, and rock climbing. His wife, Staci, is also teaching at ISE and they look forward to exploring the culture and country of Thailand.
IB Coordinator & English
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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 in 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.
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.
Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Richard Kennedy came to Thailand eight years ago to begin a teaching career applying a range of experiences gained from working in the high tech industry. Being an educator is about helping individuals see their world, discover their creative potential and find solutions to challenges. Science and math provide many opportunities for developing skills to evaluate situation, apply technology and develop solutions. It’s great to see learners achieve new understanding and accomplish a goal. On a personal level I enjoy running, basketball, golf and other sports. My education includes a BS Electrical Engineering, University of Wisconsin, an MBA, Benedictine University and a Post Graduate Education, University of Nottingham. I look forward to being part of ISE and growing with the learners and teaching team.
English and Physical Education
Lancashire, United Kingdom
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.
Flathead Valley, Montana, USA
Patrick Murphy was born in the beautiful Flathead Valley of northwest Montana where he developed an early interest and curiosity of the natural world. This would later develop into his passion for exploring the natural world through the formal and informal world of science and inquiry. Mr. Murphy pursued his interest in science by pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies at The University of Montana. He pursued his Masters in Education through Montana State University and has been teaching and coaching cross country in Montana for the past 7 years, 5 of which have been teaching biology, integrated earth and space science and chemistry at Hellgate High School in Missoula, Montana. In his free time Mr. Murphy enjoys actively engaging his mind and body in pursuit of new challenges through his own life-long learning, and active healthy lifestyle through reading, travelling, running, backcountry skiing and spending time out in the natural world with his wife-Addie, 3 year old son-Frankie, and dog-Gracie.
San Diego, California, USA
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.
IT & TOK
Fremont, California, USA
Originally from Oregon, Mr. Overacker attended U.C. Berkeley, majoring in Geography. After teaching Industrial Arts, English, and vocational training in California for several years, and obtaining a Master’s degree in Education, he decided to teach overseas. He has enjoyed his tenure at ISE and has had the opportunity to teach a range of grades and subjects. He is currently working with the business office to manage the school operations, as well as teaching IB Theory of Knowledge and Information Technology in a Global Society. Tim will also be involved in the overall operations of ISE.
Seattle, Washington, USA
Ms. Pfennig grew up in Minnesota where she received her Bachelor of Science in Secondary English Education from Bemidji State University. For the last 5 years she has taught in rural Alaska where she learned to live off of the land and explore the wild side of life. This will be her first year teaching internationally and she is thrilled to join the ISE community. When she’s not inspiring young minds, she enjoys outdoor activities, reading, yoga, and traveling.
Technology and Media
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Andrew Werner received a business degree from High Point University and then gained his teaching certification to be a business, marketing and technology education teacher. He’s taught in the career and technical education field for 14 years. Andrew has taught a variety of classes, including digital communications, business marketing, sports marketing, travel and tourism. Andrew has also coached men’s and women’s golf, as well as men’s tennis. He is an avid golfer and is excited about living on a golf course! Andrew enjoys scuba diving, as well, and can’t wait to gain more experience with this in Thailand. Andrew joins the ISE staff along with his wife, Nada, and their sons, Will and Bowen.
Business and Social Studies
Ante is from Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, a small country in the European Mediterranean. After graduating from Vern’ University of Applied Sciences, Majoring in International Trade, Ante has worked in the business sector for 15 years. He went through it all, started in the banking sector, went on to wholesale and imports, worked with companies throughout Europe, and the last few years he has owned and ran a design and advertising agency. Throughout all these years he was involved in the education of high school students, thanks to the companies he has worked with, and he discovered that teaching young minds to grow and learn is his passion. He has never stopped learning, and is thrilled when he can encourage others to learn and grow. That was one of the reasons why his wife and he moved to Thailand and started teaching over a year ago. He also has a beautiful 9 year old daughter. He loves design, in all aspects of life. He likes implementing it in everything he does and this extends to his teaching. He could not imagine a better place for learning and growing than ISE, and he is really excited and grateful to be a part of this amazing family.
Buffalo, New York, USA
Betty Urban was born in Buffalo, New York but when she became an adult, she quickly moved to sunny Pasadena, California. Her first career was in advertising where she found her own agency and ran it for 20 years. After many wonderful years in that fast, ever changing career she became a teacher by completing her teaching degree at Pacific Oaks College with a BA in Human Development with a Focus on Art Education. Over the years she has been an Art Teacher Pre-K-12 for IB, Cambridge and AP for 17 years, a Middle School Dean 7-8 for 4 years and an Art Department Head for a year. After 10 years at an arduous MS/HS in California she moved to Indonesia to teach, then to Vietnam and she is now taking a sabbatical year to learn the French language and culture in the South of France. She is excited to be returning to live in my favorite Asian country and to delve into the emerging contemporary art scene. She looks forward to meeting you all and hopefully playing a lot of tennis, golf and paddle boarding.
Hu Gil "Tim" Park
Tim Park came from Korea. He obtained the Bachelor's degrees of Korean Education and English Education in Korea in 2002. He got the TESOL certificate in 2015. He had taught students Cheong Myeong High School in Korea for 9 years, from 2008 to 2017. Before he came to ISE, he taught students in Wuxi Korean School in China for 2 years, from 2017 to 2019. Additionally, He has working careers in a book publishing company for 6 years. He worked for the company as a book editor and a copy editor. Now he has been living here with his wife and 2 kids.
Middle School Faculties
Mukilteo, Washington, USA
Mr. Brooking is super excited to be teaching grade 6 at ISE. He is from Mukilteo, WA, and graduated from Western Washington University with an Environmental Economics degree, and later a Master’s in Teaching from City University in Seattle. Mr. Brooking started his teaching career in grade 3 and 4, but for the last 10 years has taught reading, writing, social studies, and math in grades 6-8. He loves exploring and staying active with his wife and two kids, Reenie, Price and Parker. Some other passions include coaching and playing sports, enjoying music, traveling, camping, and hiking and anything outdoors.
Grosse Pointe, Michigan, USA
Aderley Murphy grew up in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and has taught for eleven years in Montana. She lives in Missoula with her husband Patrick, who will also be teaching at ISE, and her three year old son Frankie who will be attending ISE. When Aderley is not working with children, she is travelling, hiking, reading, or just enjoying being outside and with her family. Aderley attended Universidad Catolica de Santiago for one semester in Chile, where she studied Latin American literature. She graduated from University of Montana with a degree in Spanish and later returned to school at Prescott College in Arizona to obtain her secondary teaching endorsement. Aderley was challenged in a very productive and positive way during her studies in Chile and believes that living abroad is an invaluable experience that brings so many benefits and opportunities to a person’s life. Aderley is enthusiastic about meeting the ISE community of teachers, administrators, students, and parents and cannot wait to start this new exciting chapter in her life.
Social Studies & English
Seattle, Washington, USA
Mr. Neyens grew up in Seattle, Washington, but has lived and taught for the past four years in rural Alaska. He graduated from Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Master in Teaching in Secondary Education. He has taught middle and high school social sciences and loves to bring a cross-curricular approach to history. With his free-time, Daniel loves to build things, go on outdoor adventures, read great books, and practice guitar.
Shane and his family are excited to join the ISE community. Having been accustomed to sub-zero temperatures in Canada, he is happy to leave my show shoes behind for the warmer temperatures in Thailand. Shane and his family have been in China for several years working and raising their two-year old Martin. His daughter Makéla loves dance, improv and STAR WARS. My passions are education, health, film and music. Sally’s really into traveling, trying new foods and meeting new people. Martin sleeps a lot when it’s hot. We look forward to meeting all of you.
Elementary School Faculties
Austin, Texas, USA
Bert Bassett taught for seven years in Austin, Texas, before beginning his international teaching career in Vietnam and then moving to Qatar. After spending two years at each location, he, his wife and two daughters are excited to call Thailand home. Bert obtained a Master’s Degree in Education from Arkansas State University after receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from the Texas State University. In his spare time, he enjoys experiencing new cultures with his family, reading a variety of books, practicing the guitar, and most things sports related. He began learning to play the guitar over the past year and likes to get together with his friends to play. He has always been active and enjoys sports. He practices yoga daily,
Seattle, Washington, USA
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.
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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.
Dunedin, New Zealand
Reuben hails from Dunedin, New Zealand, and has spent the last 15 years working in Beijing, China. He is married to Kristen Billings who will be the school librarian and they have two children, Henry, grade 6 and Esme, grade 1, who will be attending ISE. Reuben loves working out and going to the gym, and is an avid armchair sports fan. He loves to listen to music and read a good book. In his spare time Reuben likes to spend time with his family exploring. He runs a small edtech company and when time allows he enjoys bone carving. Reuben is extremely excited about joining the ISE family.
Anchorage, Alaska, USA
Staci Griswold comes from Anchorage, Alaska and received her Bachelor of Education degree at St. Cloud State University, Minnesota. She has taught elementary children throughout the state of Alaska for 10 years, as well as a year of volunteer teaching in Nepal and Uganda. Staci has recently earned her Masters in Education through the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, with a focus on language and literacy. Staci loves the outdoors, especially trekking, running, rock climbing, and practicing yoga. This is her first year teaching abroad, and she is excited to join the team at ISE along with her husband, Daniel Griswold.
VERENE “REENIE” BROOKING
Mukilteo, Washington, USA
Reenie Brooking is from Mukilteo, Washington. She graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in K-12 Education with a Physical Education and Health focus and also holds a Masters in Teaching from Lesley University. She has taught K-5 for 6 years and ages 2-5 for 3 years and is now excited to teach Kindergarten at ISE. In her free time she loves to exercise, going on runs, doing yoga and being active with her two children. She also loves to cook, travel and spend time outdoors with her family, which includes her husband Kadin, who will be teaching grade 6 at ISE.
Pre School Faculties
Austin, Texas, USA
Maia is originally from Colombia in South America, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design. In 2005 she moved to Austin, Texas where she found her passion for teaching. She started as a bilingual teacher and soon moved on to be a reading specialist having the opportunity to experience teaching and supporting all elementary grades. In 2014, her international teaching experience started in Vietnam where she found the Reggio Emilia approach, a pedagogical perspective that she feels very passionate about. Maia is currently working on her Master’s in Education at Lamar University. In her free time, she loves experimenting with cooking, taking photographs, writing about her cultural experiences, and teaching yoga, while sharing these hobbies with her family. She is very excited to be back in South East Asia and joining the ISE community with her husband Bert and daughters Gaia & Eelan.
RUTH ANN ROCHANAROON
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!
EAL and Japanese
Springfield, Ohio, USA
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.
IMTIAZ ‘IMI’ NADIR
Imi was born in London, England, and grew up in Crawley, West Sussex. He has a Bachelors with honours in Drama and Theatre Studies and recently completed a Master’s degree in Education with honours in Globalisation and International Mindedness. He is very passionate about education, drama, music and sports. His leisure time is also taken up significantly by his love of Taekwondo and Basketball. He holds several awards, including Men’s British Champion (2005, 2008) and 4th place in the World Championship (2007). His working life and non-work interests are often successfully combined through performing, sports and fitness, but he still finds time to enjoy alternative leisure activities, including playing guitar, singing, drawing, visiting the theatre and reading.
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.
Art/ Thai for non-Thai
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.
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.
Student Support Services
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Nada Bowen Werner received her psychology degree from Salem College in 1998, as well as her teaching certification in Elementary Education. She also has certification in teaching children with learning disabilities. Nada brings 19 years of teaching experience in public schools in North Carolina, both in general education classes, as well as special education classes. She has worked in all grades from Kindergarten to Grade 12, as well as serving as Special Education Case Manager where she managed a large population of children with special needs. Nada is passionate about inclusive practices and helping to make sure a quality education is afforded to all students. She is joining the ISE staff along with her husband, Andrew, who will teach technology, and her sons, Will and Bowen, who will be in grades 9 and 6. Nada loves to read, hanging out on the beach, and spending time with her family.
Seattle, Washington, USA
Cindy 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 also holds a degree in business and has fifteen years of marketing experience. She has been teaching at ISE for eight years in both the secondary and elementary school. This year, Cindy will continue teaching elementary music as well as take part in developing the ISE Marketing Program. In her spare time, Cindy enjoys traveling with friends and family and golfing with her husband.
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Derick is from North Carolina in the United States. He has been teaching health and physical education in elementary, middle and high school for over 7 years. Derick is also a personal trainer, outdoor enthusiast, and avid marathoner. He is excited about the outdoor adventures that the move to Thailand will bring.