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Highly Qualified International Teachers

Over 70% of our teachers hold Master's degrees in their specialist subjects

Alongside our students, the core of ISHCMC – American Academy is our teaching staff highly experienced, dedicated, caring and passionate about their subject and student age range. Without exception, they are excited and motivated to work within our dynamic international community.

Open-minded and curious, they engage with students in helping to open their minds and form connections across disciplines and emphasize proactive, collaborative learning.

Our teachers benefit from continuous professional development as part of their own lifelong learning journey, via tailored courses, workshops, conferences and lectures by leading international educators and supplemented by regular team building activities. They – and in turn, our students – also benefit from being part of the Cognita family of over 60 schools across 3 continents, providing unique opportunities for global information sharing and cultural exchange. 

ISHCMC - American Academy Faculty

ENGLISH DEPARTMENT

Rachel DeRozario

English Department Head

Rachel DeRozario

Rachel has enjoyed teaching and living internationally for more than 30 years. She has taught all grades 6-12, as well as university programs. She currently teaches Grade 9 and 10 English at ISHCMC-AA. She is particularly interested in promoting understanding of the adolescent mind, and identity development in Third Culture Kids. She has been involved in curriculum writing, and has been a presenter at the EARCOS Teachers’ Conference. Rachel grew up with an Australian passport but continues to be a global nomad, having lived in more than 6 countries and over 25 homes with her husband and three college-aged children.

Education Background:

  • PhD Education (EdD), Open University (in-progress)
  • MSc (Science), University of Leicester, UK
  • Bachelor of Economics, Monash University, Australia
  • TESL/TEFL Certification, UK and TESMC, Plymouth State University, USA
  • Restorative Justice Certified Train the Trainer, Colorado State University, USA

 

Garry Forde

Humanities Teacher

Garry Forde

Garry is originally from Cork, a city near the south coast of Ireland. He initially graduated with a BA in German and Economics before deciding to pursue his desire for a career in teaching. He has been teaching in Vietnam for the past six years, which has allowed him a great opportunity to learn Vietnamese as well, in line with his love for languages. Garry previously completed his Postgraduate Certificate in Education through the University of Sunderland in the UK and is extremely excited to be joining the team at ISHCMC-AA this year. Garry is a huge sports enthusiast, and lots of his free time is spent playing, coaching or watching football.

Education Background:

  • BA Economics, University College Cork, Ireland
  • BA German, University College Cork, Ireland
  • TEFL UK certification
  • PGCE University of Sunderland, UK

Susan Scott

English Teacher

Susan Scott

Susan Scott has been teaching for over 20 years; this is her 4th year here at ISHCMC-AA. Originally from Philadelphia, PA, she has lived and worked in New York City; London; Cairo; Rock Hill, South Carolina; and China. Her educational passions include helping students experience a rich and varied reading and writing life. Research in reading and writing development continues to fascinate her and she reads broadly on these subjects. She enjoys travel, reading all types of fiction, and yoga whenever possible. That interest in yoga and mindfulness have helped her focus on being present, and she enjoys teaching mindfulness strategies to students. Something you should know about her - her absolute favorite dish for the last three years has been mì quảng chay!

Education Background:

  • BA Communications, Temple University, USA
  • MEd, Columbia College, USA

Sarah Meston

English Teacher

Sarah Meston

Sarah is originally from San Francisco, California, in the United States. This is her 16th year teaching English, and her career has taken her from classrooms in the U.S. to Colombia and Ecuador in South America, and now Vietnam. Currently in her fourth year at ISHCMC - American Academy, Sarah is teaching 11th Grade English classes and SUPA Creative Nonfiction. She loves traveling and learning about different cultures and is full of gratitude for the amazing experiences she has had living on three different continents. Before teaching, Sarah had another career in journalism, as the assistant editor of a magazine. She loves writing and reading and secretly hopes to publish a novel someday.

Education Background:

  • MEd, Pacific University, Oregon, USA
  • BA Journalism, University of Oregon, USA

Ryan Shields

Librarian, Health & Safety Lead

Ryan Shields

Ryan is from western Canada. Ryan has taught in British Columbia, South Korea, Turkey, and in Vietnam. This is Ryan’s fifth year at ISHCMC-AA. Ryan is the librarian at our school, and he can almost always be found working in the library space. Ryan’s interests range from languages, text, science, technologies, and the outdoors to music, mainly the guitar, and home recording. If you share any of these interests, swing by the library and say hi!

Education Background:

  • BA English Honours, Simon Fraser University, Canada
  • BA High School English Education, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • MEd Educational Technology, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Diploma in Teacher Librarianship, University of British Columbia, Canada

Jennifer Weeast

English Teacher

Jennifer Weeast

Jennifer is from a small town in Montana, USA. She has 8 years of teaching experience in Costa Rica, South Korea, and Vietnam. This is her first year at ISHCMC-AA. She has taught students of all ages, but finds that middle and high school English Language Arts is her favorite. She is an avid reader and would spend all day reading or talking about books if she could. Apart from reading, in her free time you can find her whipping up new recipes in the kitchen, playing board games, or traveling.

Education Background:

  • MEd Teaching English as a Second Language and Bilingual Education, Jones International University, Colorado, USA
  • BA Education, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, USA
  • State of Montana Educator License - Core subjects K-8, ESL K-12, Spanish K-12

LANGUAGE SUPPORT DEPARTMENT

Phil Anderson

Language Support Department Head

Phil Anderson

Phil Anderson hails from Arlington, Texas, USA. After teaching 4 years in Texas, Phil moved to Vietnam to continue his teaching career. This is Phil’s 6th year at ISHCMC-AA; however, he has been working in Vietnam for just over 9 years. With experience in teaching in a variety of grade levels, Phil is now the head of the Language Support Department at ISHCMC-AA. Phil enjoys reading, exploring the world, and baking.

Education Background:

  • BA Interdisciplinary Studies with focus on Education, University of Texas-Arlington, USA
  • Texas Teaching Certification in English/Social Studies/ESL, USA

Elizabeth Eckenrode

Language Support Specialist

Elizabeth Eckenrode

Elizabeth Eckenrode is a native of Dallas, Texas and this is her third year at ISHCMC-AA. She has previously taught in the United States, Costa Rica, and South Korea as a classroom teacher and for the last four years as a language support teacher. She firmly believes that each student has their own unique strengths and supports them in reaching their full potential - no matter their language level! When Elizabeth is not playing around with new educational technology tools she relaxes by playing video games or reading a good book.

Education Background:

  • MA Educational Technology, Michigan State University, USA
  • BS Elementary Education, Oklahoma State University, USA
  • Texas Teacher Certification - Core Subjects 4-8 & ESL Supplemental, USA
  • TEFL/TESOL Certification

Paul Gillespie

Language Support Specialist

Paul Gillespie

Paul Gillespie is from the Curragh, a rural area in Kildare, Ireland. He has taught internationally for the past 5 years. Paul moved to Vietnam, from Pohang, South Korea, in 2017. This is his first year at ISHCMC-AA, in the language support department. He has experience teaching multiple grade levels and supporting language learners of all abilities. Aside from pursuing a career in education, Paul has spent much of his life riding horses all over the world. Paul spends his free time training for martial arts and playing board games.

Education Background:

  • MA Education, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, England, UK (in-progress)
  • PGCert Education, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, England, UK
  • BA Theology and English Literature, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland

Amy Swenson

Language Support Specialist

Amy Swenson

Amy Swenson has been an educator for over 23 years and has had experience teaching in 4 different countries before moving to Vietnam. She has been a teacher in the USA, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Brazil and is now joining us here at ISHCMC - American Academy as a language support teacher.

Amy is passionate about helping children learn and grow as they prepare for the future.
She spends time getting to know each student and helps meet their individual needs. Amy enjoys spending time at her cabin on the lake in Minnesota, USA during her summer holidays. Fun fact about Minnesota. They have over 10,000 lakes! Amy has one daughter who is in her second year of college at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota. It is no surprise that she is going to school to become an educator like her father and mother.

Education Background:

  • BS Education, Saint Cloud State University, USA
  • MA Teaching and Learning, Saint Mary’s University, USA

Joël Krasso

Language Support Specialist

Joël Krasso

Originally from Miami, Florida, Joël Krasso has taught in the USA, China, and Vietnam in both primary and secondary schools. In addition, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Florida Atlantic University. This is his third year teaching at ISHCMC-American Academy in the LSD department. Joël is an avid reader, travel enthusiast, sports fanatic and is passionate about languages and cultures; In fact, he speaks four languages!

Education Background:

  • MAT English Language Teaching (ELT), London Metropolitan University, UK (in-progress)
  • Maine Educator Certificate, ESOL, French, USA
  • Teaching English as a Second Language, Arizona State University, USA
  • Cambridge ESOL CLIL Certificate
  • BA Sociology, Florida Atlantic University, USA

MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENT

Samuel Down

Mathematics Department Head

Samuel Down

Originally from London, United Kingdom, Sam has twelve years of teaching and leadership experience. He graduated from the University of Plymouth with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. He trained to be a Teacher of Mathematics at the University of Brighton; completing this with Masters credits and has a passion for his subject. Sam is currently working on his MSc in Educational Leadership and Management from the University of Portsmouth. In his spare time he enjoys drawing, painting and running.

Education Background:

  • MSc Educational Leadership and Management, University of Portsmouth, UK (in-progress)
  • PGCE Mathematics (with Masters credits), University of Brighton, UK
  • BSc Psychology, University of Plymouth, UK

Alan Gray

STEM Teacher

Alan Gray

Alan is from Sligo, Ireland. He has been teaching for 12 years in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Thailand, and Vietnam. He is now joining us here at ISHCMC-American Academy as a STEM and Math teacher. His main passion is being outdoors. He loves running, rock climbing, hiking, and anything else where he can be surrounded by nature. Alan’s teaching philosophy is centered around students taking control of their own learning and using the skills they have learned in class to solve real world problems.

Education Background:

  • BSc with concurrent Teacher Education (Physical Sciences), University of Limerick, Ireland

Sandra Orrego

Math Teacher

Sandra Orrego

Originally, from Colombia. Over the last five years, she has taught Pre-algebra, Algebra 1 for middle school, and Geometry for high school. This year she is teaching Math8 and Integrated Math 9. Before becoming a teacher, she worked for about 15 years as an Industrial Engineer, and a reason why her classes are based on real-world applications that promote critical -thinking, teamwork, communication and creativity. When she is not teaching, she enjoys outdoor activities, yoga, surfing and dancing salsa.

Education Background:

  • MEd Secondary School Math, The College of New Jersey, USA
  • Teacher Certification in Secondary School Math (K-12), The College of
  • New Jersey, USA
  • BS Industrial Engineering, Universidad Autonoma de Occidente, Colombia

Nancy Smith

Math Teacher

Nancy Smith

Nancy is from Scotland, UK, and she has taught in 3 countries with 14 years of teaching experience. She has taught in Scotland, Bahrain and Vietnam. This is her second year at ISHCMC – American Academy. Nancy graduated from the University of Dundee with a BSc Honours Degree in Pure Mathematics. She has a Post Graduate Teaching Certificate in Secondary Mathematics from the University of Dundee. In her spare time, she likes to do yoga, hill walking, climbing, ice skating and reading.

Education Background:

  • Postgraduate certificate in Pastoral care, Guidance and Pupil support, Aberdeen University, UK
  • PGCE, University of Dundee, UK
  • BSc Honours Pure Mathematics, University of Dundee, UK

Pedro Proenca

Math Teacher

Pedro Proenca

Pedro Proenca is from Coimbra, Portugal. Proud of his origins but considers himself a citizen of the World. After the United Kingdom, Congo (DR), and Spain over the last 14 years, destiny presented him with the opportunity to move into Vietnam. Pedro started as a Science (Biology) Teacher but soon became in love with Maths, which made him take the challenge and turn around his career 11 years ago, becoming specialized in Intervention for Maths. A trip is around the corner whenever he can, being Colombia his following country on the wishlist. Another passion Pedro has is skiing, a sport he has been practicing for 30 years.

Education Background:

  • BS Ecotourism (Environmental Science specialism), ESAC, Coimbra, Portugal
  • Certificate of Pedagogical Aptitude (PGCE) - Teacher Training, Coimbra, Portugal
  • Certificate of International Teacher Leadership - The PTC, London, UK

SCIENCE DEPARTMENT

Deepa Rani

Science Department Head

Deepa Rani

Originally from India, Deepa has extensive experience teaching science in India, United States, Nigeria, China, and Vietnam. This will be her 7th year teaching at ISHCMC-AA. Through her experience, she has found that inquiry-based science programs, such as project-based science, significantly increases science concept learning on both lower cognitive level (recall) items and higher cognitive level (transfer and application) items. While teaching, she is a motivator, diagnostician, advisor, experimenter, researcher, collaborator, and learner. She likes hiking through the mountain, relaxing on a tropical beach, and going on boat rides with friends.

Education Background:

  • MA Science Education, Teacher College, Columbia University, New York, USA
  • BEd in Chemistry and General Science JNVU, Jodhpur, India
  • BSc in Chemistry, Botany and Zoology JNVU, Jodhpur, India
  • MA in History JNVU, Jodhpur, India

Gearoid Clarke

Science Teacher

Gearoid Clarke

Gearoid is originally from Limerick, a city in the south-west of Ireland. He attended the University of Limerick where he graduated with a BSc in Industrial Biochemistry. After University Gearoid decided to pursue a career in teaching and moved to the UK where he completed his Postgraduate Certificate in Education and subsequently taught in Norwich for six years. Gearoid has been teaching in Vietnam for three years with one year teaching in ISHCMC-AA. Gearoid is a big fan of the arts and in his spare time loves throwing himself into the world of music, singing and dance and spending time with friends.

Education Background:

  • BSc in Industrial Biochemistry, University of Limerick, Ireland
  • PGCE University of Suffolk, UK

Melissa Wiggins

STEM Teacher

Melissa Wiggins

Melissa is originally from Missouri, USA, and has lived in several different regions of her home country. Melissa has taught students from grades 3-10 in her 20 years in the classroom and this will be her second year with seventh and eighth graders at ISHCMC-AA. She loves it when science students explore and learn about the world in which they live. In her free time, Melissa enjoys baking, hiking, and reading. She loves to travel and learn about history and new cultures.

Education Background:

  • M.Ed Teaching and Learning, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA
  • BS Elementary Education, Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN, USA
  • State of South Carolina Educator License, K-8, Middle School Science and Social
  • Studies Certifications, Gifted and Talented Certification

Tuan Nguyen

Science Teaching Assistant

Tuan Nguyen

Tuan is a chemist. After graduating from the University of Science, he had 10 years working at the laboratory of Vinacontrol Group. Since 2010, he has become a member of ISHCMC-AA as the Science Assistance. With almost 20 years working in the lab and our Science Screws, he believes that our children will love to study science in a safe environment.

Education Background:

  • BS Chemistry, University of Science, Ho Chi Minh City
  • BA Linguistics and Literature, University of Social Science and Humanities, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Certificates in Middle School And High school Laboratory Safety Course, Flinn Scientific, Inc., Canada
  • Certificate of Health and Safety for Science Technician, Cleapss, UK

Chad Phares

Science Teacher

Chad Phares

Chad Phares is originally from Colo, Iowa. This is his first year at ISHCMC- AA. He spent the past 3 years teaching Secondary Science in Taichung, Taiwan. As a teacher, Chad has experience teaching a variety of different content areas and skills levels. His philosophy centers around helping all students develop their critical thinking skills while also working towards shaping creative, intuitive, socially just and independent global citizens through inquiry and project based learning. Chad enjoys traveling, participating in sporting events and being with family and friends.

Education Background:

  • BS Kinesiology and Health Science, Iowa State University, USA
  • MAT Science Education, Iowa State University, USA

Julie Helgerson

Science Teacher

Julie Helgerson

Julie is originally from the Des Moines, Iowa area but spent the last 17 years in South Carolina where she taught Biology for 12 years. The need for adventure took over and Julie embarked on a teaching adventure in Southern China. When Covid prevented her from coming last year, she returned home to be near family and is now excited to begin her adventure here in Vietnam. This is her 16th year teaching science and is excited to meet our students in person! Julie loves a good adventure - exploring different cultures/countries, scuba diving or simply hanging out with friends and family.

Education Background:

  • BS Biology/Marine Science, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC, USA
  • MA Secondary Education/Science, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC, USA

SOCIAL STUDIES DEPARTMENT

Seth Laffin

Social Studies Department Head

Seth Laffin

My name is Seth Laffin and I am the Social Studies Department Head. I have been at ISHCMC-AA for nine years. I have always had a great interest in Social Studies, specifically, in World History. I have a BA in History and two MA’s one in American History and another in Teaching Secondary History. I am from Knoxville, Tennessee and enjoy outdoor activities and travel. At ISHCMC-AA, I teach Comparative Government, SUPA Public Affairs, and Grade 10 World History.

Education Background:

  • MAT Secondary Teaching, University of Alaska Southeast, AK, USA
  • MA International Studies, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  • MA American History, Western Carolina University, NC, USA
  • BA World History, University of Alabama, AL, USA

Andrew Ballentine

Social Studies Teacher

Andrew Ballentine

Andrew is originally from Newcastle upon Tyne, England. This is his first year teaching at ISHCMC - American Academy. He has been teaching for 17 years and has previously worked in the UK, Spain and China before moving to Vietnam. Andrew has taught social studies across all middle and upper school grades and his recent experience is teaching AP Human Geography and AP World History Modern. His teaching philosophy is underpinned by enabling students to become prepared for life after school, equipping them with the tools and skills to help them succeed in the jobs students aspire to get and for their everyday lives. Andrew enjoys playing sports such as soccer, golf and tennis, keeping fit, travelling to broaden his knowledge of places and cultures and promoting sustainability for a better future.

Education Background:

  • BA Geography, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  • PGCE in Secondary Geography, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Nicholas Daniels

Humanities Teacher

Nicholas Daniels

Nicholas Daniels, better known as “Nick” is from the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa. After finishing 4 years of studying in South Africa, Nick moved abroad to pursue his dream of becoming a teacher. He went on to study for a Postgraduate certificate in Education through the University of Sunderland. Nick has worked in Vietnam for 4 years, the first of his years was at another international school, but since then he has moved to his new found home at ISHCMC-AA where he is a returning teacher after one year of service. Fun fact about Nick, he is a certified sound engineer and a DJ!

Education Background:

  • BCOM Marketing, Varsity College, Cape Town, South Africa
  • PGCE, University of Sunderland, England, UK

Justine Beghly

Social Studies Teacher

Justine Beghly

Justin Beghly was born and raised in Minnesota, USA. He has ten years of teaching experience in Vietnam, the US, and Korea. His teaching experience is with upper primary, high school economics, world history and US government. As an undergraduate, Justin studied economics at St. Cloud State University and has a Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. This is his second year teaching at ISHCMC -AA. Justin’s interests include spending time with his family, traveling, weight lifting, money management, and listening to Warren Buffett.

Education Background:

  • MS Curriculum and Instruction, Western Governors University, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
  • Teaching Credentials, Business Studies and Social Studies - Florida, USA
  • BS Economics, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN, USA

Mammie Pasane

Humanities Teacher

Mammie Pasane

Mammie was born in South Africa but moved to Scotland where she grew up and later attended university. She obtained a degree in Business Studies at University of Edinburgh, after which she found her true passion to be in education. She successfully completed her PGCE from the University of Sunderland and is going onto her second year of being a Humanities teacher at ISHCMC-AA. Outside of teaching, Mammie enjoys cooking, going to yoga, watching movies and getting lost in a good book.

Education Background:

  • MA Business Studies, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE with Masters credits), University of Sunderland, UK
  • MA Education, University of Sunderland, UK (in-progress)

WORLD LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT

Hoang Anh Nguyen

World Languages Department Head & Vietnamese History Teacher

Hoang Anh Nguyen

Hoang Anh joined ISHCMC - American Academy in 2014. Up to now, he has more than 14 years of teaching experience. He hopes that his students will understand the big picture about each section in History they discuss and learn how to connect to the people of the time rather than just memorizing the dates. In addition to teaching History, he used to be a homeroom and life skills instructor. His favorite quote is, “Teaching is leaving a vestige of oneself in the development of another. Moreover, surely the student is a bank where you can deposit your most precious treasures.” – Eugene P. Bertin. In his free time, Hoang Anh enjoys traveling, spinning, and spending time with family.

Education Background:

  • Postgraduate History, BA History, HCMC University of Social Science and Humanities, Vietnam
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Philosophy, HCMC University of Social Science and Humanities, Vietnam
  • BA Linguistics and Literature, HCMC University of Social Science and Humanities, Vietnam (in-progress)
  • Certification Outperformer at Grassroots Level, HCMC DOET
  • Certified Microsoft Innovative Educator, MIE

 

Phillip Lin

Mandarin Teacher

Phillip Lin

Phillip Lin’s Vietnamese name is Kiệt, he has been living and teaching in Ho Chi Minh City for 9 years. He joined ISHCMC- American Academy 4 years ago as a Mandarin teacher and Sun Bear TV teacher. Phillip is from Hong Kong, and he lived between Kowloon and mainland China. He has a bit of experience with different cultures and foreign languages: he has been to 20 countries and speaks 3 languages, 3 Chinese dialects and now he is learning German.

Education Background:

  • MFA, film production and script writing, HKBU, Hong Kong
  • BA, Advertising and Journalist, ZJU, China
  • Certificate in Teaching Chinese as foreign language, China
  • Certificate in Teaching and Learning, Cambridge, UK

Tam Huynh

Vietnamese Literature Teacher

Tam Huynh

Tam Huynh joined ISHCMC - American Academy in 2010. Up to now, she has more than 20 years of teaching experience. She believes in a holistic approach to learning and wherever possible tries to encourage students to discover their own links to the world outside the classroom. When not teaching, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her family.

Education Background:

  • BA Vietnamese Linguistics & Literature, HCMC University of Pedagogy, Vietnam

Van Anh Nguyen

Vietnamese Geography Teacher

Van Anh Nguyen

Nguyen Van Anh is a Vietnamese native, Van Anh has devoted herself to the benefit of ISHCMC-AA ever since 2005. She has sacrificed her time taking students on charity trips in poverty areas. Her burning passion to help the community has inspired many students to join the Global Issues Network on campus. Van Anh loves to listen to the dreams of the ISHCMC - American Academy adolescents, hoping that every one of them would succeed.

Education Background:

  • BA Linguistic and Literature, University of Social Science and Humanities of HCMC, Vietnam
  • BA Geography, HCMC Pedagogy University, Vietnam
  • Teaching Elementary Certificate Program, Saigon University, Vietnam
  • TESOL Certificate, Asian College of Teachers
  • Certificate of teaching Vietnamese to foreigners, University of Social Science and Humanities of HCMC, Vietnam

Yen Dao

Vietnamese Literature Teacher

Yen Dao

Yen is a Vietnamese Literature Teacher. She has been teaching in Ho Chi Minh City for over 13 years. This is her eleventh year at ISHCMC – AA. She enjoys working with students to explore and learn about Vietnamese cultures. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking and being with family and friends.

Education Background:

  • BA Vietnamese Linguistics & Literature, HCMC University of Pedagogy, Vietnam

Quynh Trang Nguyen

Vietnamese Language Support Teacher

Quynh Trang Nguyen

Quynh Trang graduated from Saigon University, majoring in Primary Education. She is a young and enthusiastic teacher with 5 years of working experience as Vietnamese Language Teacher / MOET teacher at Singapore International School and most recently in Vietnam Australia International School. The 2021-2022 academic year is her second year in ISHCMC-AA. In her leisure time, she enjoys drawing, writing calligraphy and reading books.

Education Background:

  • Teaching Elementary Certificate Program, Saigon University, Vietnam
  • Certificate of Teaching Vietnamese to Foreigners, University of Social Science and Humanities of HCMC, Vietnam (in-progress)

 

ELECTIVES DEPARTMENT

Ryan Geers

Computer Science Teacher

Ryan Geers

Ryan Geers is from Cedar Rapids, Iowa and is excited for his third year at ISHCMC-AA. He previously taught in the United States, South Korea, and Honduras. This is his 10th year teaching and knows it will be his best one yet! In his free time Ryan loves to cook and live an active lifestyle including going to the gym, playing basketball, scuba diving and many more activities.

Education Background:

  • BS Marketing and Business Studies, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana, USA
  • BS Computer and Business Education, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana, USA
  • Google Certified Educator

 

Thomas Zehmeister

Technology Teacher

Thomas Zehmeister

Born and raised in the dangerous wilds of Tasmania, Australia, Thomas has taught predominantly computer science in Australia, South Korea, and Vietnam covering Australian, British, American, and IB curricula. With experience and a fascination in electronics, physics, AI, and robotics, he sought new challenges to build and run a makerspace from the ground up at ISHCMC-AA for the past 3 years. He enjoys working on and teaching STEAM related activities. When not teaching, Thomas enjoys reading, board games, food, and a more laconic vocabulary.

Education Background:

  • BS Computing, University of Tasmania, Australia
  • BS Computing (Hons), University of Tasmania, Australia
  • BEd High School, Science & Computing, University of Tasmania, Australia

Kris Cirullo

Athletics Director, Health & PE Teacher

Kris Cirullo

Kris Cirullo is from Chicago, Illinois. Kris is in her 9th year as a HPE teacher and loving every minute of it! Before landing at ISHCMC-AA, Kris taught middle school and high school Health & PE (HPE) in Chicago, Hanoi and Seattle. This is Kris’s first year at ISHCMC-AA and will be teaching grades 6, 7, 8, 9 HPE this year, as well as Sports Leaders class. Kris is also stepping into a new professional role as the Athletics Director and After School Activity (ASA) Coordinator for ISHCMC-AA. When Kris is not teaching you can find her rock climbing/ bouldering, trying all the sports and activities, doing jigsaw puzzles, working out, travelling, taste-testing donuts, and listening to podcasts.

Education Background:

  • BA English with a Writing Concentration, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, USA
  • TCP Health and Physical Education K-12, Northeastern Illinois University, USA
  • State of Washington Educator License K-12 HPE

Evelyne Versol

Health & PE Teacher

Evelyne Versol

Evelyne Versol was born in Martinique, raised in Paris, France and has been an educator for over 25 years; and she has had experience teaching in France and Vietnam at both French and international schools. Since last year, she has joined ISHCMC - American Academy as a Physical and Health teacher. Evelyne has one daughter who will start her second year of studying Psychology at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Evelyne is passionate about photography, art and all sports and she used to be a professional and international athlete for her country.

Education Background:

  • BA and MA 1( DESJPS ( Diplome D’Etat Superieur de la Jeunesse, de L’Education populaire et du sport) at L’INSEP (The National Institute of Sport, Expertise, and Performance), France
  • Certificate for IB MYP The New chapter level 1, 2 and 3 Singapore and Thailand (IBO)
  • Certificate Transforming Students Learning, Thailand
  • Certified for EAL in the Mainstream, Vietnam
  • Certificate for Positive Education, Vietnam
  • Certificate for Transdisciplinary Education, Vietnam
  • Certified Head coach for National Track and Field, France
  • Australian Swimming Certification, Singapore

Allen Miles

Art Teacher

 Allen Miles

Allen is from Buffalo, New York, which is famous for its snowfall, averaging some 3 meters every winter! He comes from a family of professional educators, and has taught at many schools in the United States and in China. At ISHCMC - American Academy since it opened in 2012, he has built up a strong Visual Arts curriculum, which added ceramics in 2017. In addition, he is Coach of the Boys High School Basketball and Volleyball teams, which captured its first SISAC Championship in 2017, after finishing runner-up the previous 2 years. He is also proud of his Middle School Sun Bears teams, who have won 2 championships while setting a school record 27 game win streak. Besides art and sports, he enjoys reading, astronomy, and spending time with his family.

Education Background:

  • MS Multidisciplinary Studies, State College of New York at Buffalo, USA
  • BFA Fine Arts, Ohio Wesleyan University, USA
  • National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan
  • Permanent Art Certification, New York State, USA

Jarrett Fuller

Band Director

Jarrett Fuller

A prairie born Canadian with a concurrent bachelor’s degree in music and education from Brandon University. This will be his second year as a teacher at ISHCMC-AA. Previously he spent seven years thoroughly enjoying teaching beginning band and jazz band in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada to grade seven and eight students. Also had a brief stint in Melbourne, Australia teaching guitar to grade seven to ten students. In his spare time, he enjoys baking bread, playing in diverse musical ensembles, and watching the envy of the National Hockey League, the Winnipeg Jets.

Education Background:

  • Permanent Professional Certificate of Teaching from Manitoba Education, Canada
  • BA Music, Brandon University, Canada
  • BEd, Brandon University, Canada

Dhruv Kalakoti

Outdoor Education Coordinator

Dhruv Kalakoti

Dhruv Kalakoti is from New Delhi, India, and this will be the first year working with ISHCMC-AA. He has worked in the outdoors for 11 years and has run trips in India, Croatia, Germany and Vietnam. He has led trips in varied sports like kayaking, multi-day rafting expeditions, hiking , mountaineering, diving, cycling, off road driving trips and more. As a new member of ISHCMC-AA, he expects his role to support, exchange and share best practices for students in non-formal education. Joyful and active, Dhruv is hopeful of successfully implementing ideas related to outdoor education activities and creating a healthy, exciting learning environment for students in the future. In addition to this he is also a trained facilitator and mountaineer.

Education Background:

  • Certificate in Tourism - Introduction To Travel Patterns And Destinations, Alison
  • Certificate in Outdoor Education, Alison
  • Outdoor Education, Outdoor Recreation And Land Management, Alison
  • Adventurous Journey Supervisor and Assessor Training, Duke Of Edinburgh Award Scheme
  • Basic and Advanced Mountaineering Course, NIM, India
  • Outdoor Education Certificate, Adventure, Alison
  • Child Safe Training, Friends International, Cambodia
  • Pool LifeGuard, Swimming Teachers Association (UK)
  • Wilderness Advanced First Aid(WAFA), Wilderness Medicine Training Center
  • Adult and Child CPR, Wilderness Medicine Training Center

STUDENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT

Rob Wilson

Director of Student Services and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead

Rob Wilson

Rob Wilson has been living and working in Ho Chi Minh City for the past 14 years. He has a background in Drama and Theatre Education. This is his 7th year at ISHCMC- American Academy where he serves as the Director of Student Services. He is an advocate for wellbeing and mental health, and also serves as the 9th Grade Team Leader, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, and member of the Senior Leadership Team.

Education Background:

  • BFA, Acting, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
  • MFA, Theatre Education, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
  • CIS Safeguarding/Child Protection Training - Introduction and Deep Dive Courses
  • Restorative Justice Certified Train the Trainer, Colorado State University, USA

Michael Tower

Clinical Specialist & Designated Safeguarding Lead

Michael Tower

Michael Tower has worked in social work and education for 15 years in the US, Nepal, and Vietnam. Michael is originally from Massachusetts, USA and has worked at ISHCMC-AA for 6 years. Michael specializes in student mental health and safeguarding. He enjoys working with students and parents to support growth through any challenge. Outside of work, Michael enjoys playing with his two kids, cooking, and travelling.

Education Background:

  • MA Social Service Administration, University of Chicago, USA
  • MA Organization and Leadership, University of San Francisco, USA
  • BA Sociology, University of Connecticut, USA
  • Certificate in Post Adoption Studies, University of Connecticut, USA

Rebecca Joslin

High School Counselor

Rebecca Joslin

This is Rebecca’s first year at ISHCMC-AA as the HS School Counselor. Rebecca Joslin is the child of international educators, she was born in Japan and grew up in El Salvador, Nepal, Indonesia and Argentina where she graduated from high school. After graduate school Rebecca left the USA and went back overseas to teach in Venezuela for three years as a K-12 school counselor. Following Venezuela she worked in Latvia for five years doing K-12 counseling, and then Rio de Janeiro for 3 years as a HS school and college counselor. In her free time Rebecca enjoys reading books, traveling and photography.

Education Background:

  • BS Psychology, University of Southern Maine, USA
  • MEd School Counseling, Suffolk University, Boston, USA

Phuc Truong

Student Services Support Coordinator & Registrar

Phuc Truong

Working for ISHCMC since 1996 in various positions and this is her 8th year she has been at ISHCMC-American Academy as Registrar, she is also a member of the Child Safeguarding/ Crisis management and Student Services Department. Phuc enjoys traveling, gardening, drawing, and reading children’s books. She loves to talk to the students and spends time with her family.

Education Background:

  • MA Business Administration in Independent Program, Yuin University, CA, USA
  • BA English Linguistics and Literature, University of Social Sciences and Humanities of HCMC, Vietnam

Thao Nguyen

School Communications & Parent Liasion

Thao Nguyen

Born and raised in Nha Trang, Vietnam, Thao went to school in the United States from 2008 to 2011 to earn her Master Degree in Business Administration. Thao worked at the International Student Admissions and Multicultural Student Affairs at Oklahoma City University during her time in the United States; and served as location manager for a Canadian preschool system prior to ISHCMC-American Academy. From 2011 to 2013, Thao worked for an Oil & Gas training facility in Vung Tau as their Business Development Manager. Thao joins ISHCMC-American Academy to facilitate communication between the school and our parent community. Thao enjoys cooking, swimming and traveling in addition to collecting jewelry.

Education Background:

  • Master of Business Administration, High Honors, Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma, USA
  • Bachelor of Arts in Education Administration, Honors, University of Social Sciences & Humanities, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Lien Do

Teaching Assistant

Lien Do

Lien has been working as a Teaching Assistant and she is now in her 3rd year at ISHCMC-AA. Before joining the school, Lien spent 3 years at an English tutoring center in the same role. Having found her interest in education, Lien loves working with kids who are considered seeds and hopes for the future. In her spare time, Lien is passionate about reading, working out and learning new things.

Education Background:

  • BA Finance & Banking, Phuong Dong University, Hanoi, Vietnam

Minh Trang Nguyen

Teaching Assistant

Minh Trang Nguyen

Trang has been working as an English teacher and teaching assistant in different schools for nearly 10 years. She taught English at SEAMEO English Center and then joined Australian International School as Support Teacher. This is the third year she works at ISHCMC-AA as Teaching Assistant for different grades. She loves working with students of a variety of ages and backgrounds.

Education Background:

  • BA English Linguistics and Literature, University of Social Sciences and Humanities of HCMC, Vietnam
  • TESOL Certificate, American Tesol Institute at HCMC, Vietnam.

Jeffrey Dickau

Learning Support Coordinator

Jeffrey Dickau

Jeff Dickau has been working in the field of education for over 15 years. During this time, he has served as a teacher and curriculum coordinator at a private special-education facility in Connecticut, USA, home-schooled a student in Haiti, as well as taught college courses in both rural and urban America. This is his third year at ISHCMC-AA. In addition to teaching, he also has coached basketball, football/soccer, and tennis. Jeff enjoys exploring new places, exercising, and listening to lectures in his free time.

Education Background:

  • MsEd Secondary English Education, University of Bridgeport, Waterbury, Connecticut, USA
  • MA Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA
  • BA English, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA
  • State of Connecticut Endorsement in Secondary English Education and Comprehensive Special Education, USA

OFFICE ADMIN

Larissa Harwood

Office Manager & PowerSchool Coordinator

Larissa Harwood

Larissa Harwood is originally from the state of Victoria, Australia. Larissa is in her 10th year at ISHCMC-AA. Before moving to Vietnam Larissa has worked at international Schools in Surabaya & Jakarta, Indonesia. Her broad and varied experience working in various industries, qualified International Travel Agent, Assistant Circulation Manager at the Geelong Advertiser Newspaper and Commercial Property Manager for a leading international real estate company have prepared her well for her current role as Officer Manager and Power School Coordinator. She is a passionate sports woman who plays Gaelic Football here in HCMC with Na Fianna Club and a staunch Football supporter for her precious Geelong Cats.

Education Background:

  • Diploma in Business Studies
  • Diploma International Travel
  • Diploma in Real Estate

Thi Tran

IT Service Coordinator

Thi Tran

Thi joined ISHCMC-AA in 2008. She has been working here for 13 years. She enjoys working in an educational environment. She loves to go to work and loves to see the students every- day. When she has free time, she likes to do yoga and shopping.

Education Background:

  • BA Computer Science, Open University
  • BA English Linguistics and Literature, HCM City University of Social Sciences and Humanities
  • MCSA, MCSE Certificates