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Jim French, Elementary School Principal

Jim French is from Emo, Ontario, Canada. He holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Xavier University, a master’s degree in Business Administration from Webster University, and a K-12 Principal Certificate from the state of New Jersey. Jim joined KISJ in 2015-16.

I think everyone should read… Creative Schools by Ken Robinson.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… exploring the world and the beauty it holds with my family.

I’m inspired by… the wonder in students’ eyes every morning as they come to school ready for a new day.

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Cynthia Martinez, Elementary School Associate Principal

Cynthia was born and raised in Kerrville, Texas, but lived in Glendale, Arizona for over 20 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Ottawa University, a master’s degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Arizona State University, and a K–12 Principal Certificate. She is currently undertaking a doctorate in Organizational Leadership and Development at Grand Canyon University. Cynthia joined KISJ in 2015-16.

I think everyone should read… The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… spending time with my family and friends, traveling and making new memories. I love going to different beaches around the world to relax, snorkeling and diving, and hanging out with locals.

I’m inspired by… Nelson Mandela’s words, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

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Haneul Ahn (Lina), Grade 2 Teaching Assistant

Haneul Ahn was born and raised in Gangnam, Seoul. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Gachon University, and a certificate of English Academic Preparation from Monash University, Australia. Lina joined KISJ in 2016-17.

I think everyone should read… the complete works of Roald Dahl.

Outside of school, I most enjoy... doing pilates, spending time with friends and family, and going to cafes.

I’m inspired by... reading books.


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Paula Amenta, Grade 2

Paula Amenta was born in Idaho, but spent most of her life in New Hampshire. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Southern Maine, and a master’s degree in K–8 Education with a Reading Specialist Certification from Plymouth State University. She will complete a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Educational Leadership from Plymouth State University this summer. Paula joined KISJ in 2015-16.

I think everyone should read… The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… spending my time outdoors. I love to hike, paddle board, and spending an afternoon at the beach.

I’m inspired by… “We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

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Cassandra Brady, Grade 4

Cassandra Brady is from Apple Valley, Minnesota. She holds a bachelor of arts in Elementary Education from Gustavus Adolphus College. Cassandra joined KISJ in 2016-17.

I think everyone should read… the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… running, cross country skiing, mountain biking, trekking, traveling, and watching movies.

I’m inspired by… the kindness of others.


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John Chin, Technology Integrator

John Chin was born in Virginia and mostly grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a master’s degree in International Education from Framingham State University. John joined KISJ in 2015-16.

I think everyone should read… The Princess Bride by William Goldman.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… playing sports like soccer and ultimate frisbee, hiking, and going to the beach to snorkel.

I’m inspired by… traveling to different places and learning about a person’s thoughts and motivations.

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Cody Comerford, Grade 5

Cody Comerford is from Eagle, Colorado. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science and teaching credential from Loyola Marymount University. Cody joined KISJ in 2015-16.

I think everyone should read… The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… being active. I tend to be labeled a gym rat, but like living an active lifestyle.

I’m inspired by… the beauty in the world.

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Theresa Cook, Upper Elementary School Counselor

Theresa Cook is from Seattle, Washington. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Eastern Washington State University; a Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling from University of Idaho; a Professional Certification in Teaching with endorsements in Elementary Education, Psychology and Sociology from Central Washington University; and a TESOL Certification from Pacific Lutheran University. Theresa joined KISJ in 2013-14.

I think everyone should read… Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… reading, dancing, hiking and talking with friends.

I’m inspired by… beauty in nature.

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Sarah Cornelius, Technology Integrator

Sarah Cornelius grew up overseas, as her parents were international educators. Home is now where she spends time with family: Frisco, Texas and Norman, Oklahoma. She holds a master’s degree in Multidisciplinary Studies from SUNY, a Texas teaching certification in Technology Applications, and a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management from John Brown University. Sarah joined KISJ in 2013-14.

I think everyone should read… the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, because everyone needs a little imagination and magic in their lives.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… traveling and exploring the world. I love learning more about and interacting with people from different cultures.

I’m inspired by… my parents. My father was a technology teacher; I would work alongside him in the lab and always knew I wanted to live the same life.

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Michelle Corton, PreK

Michelle Corton is from Dallas, Texas. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Central Florida. Michelle joined KISJ in 2016-17.

I think everyone should read… Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes; The Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt; and any and all Dr. Seuss books.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… travel, photography, history, “whodunits,” and 5K races.

I’m inspired by… this Dr. Seuss quote from The Lorax: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

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Tessa Cushman, Pre-Kindergarten

Tessa Cushman was raised in the Midwest and East Coast of America. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Childhood Development from Trevecca Nazarene University, and is currently finishing a master’s degree in International Educational Leadership. Tessa joined KISJ in 2015-16, after several years in Cairo, Egypt.

One book that I think everyone should read is… The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. There are so many life lessons to be learned from this book, and my favorite message is that love is sacrifice sometimes.

Outside of school… I most enjoy reading and spending time with my family, and I’m working on learning more about photography.

I’m inspired by… this quote from Dr. Seuss, “The more that you read, the more things you know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

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Gloria DeBaun, Grade 1

Gloria DeBaun is from Fort Worth, Texas. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Business, and a master’s degree in Elementary Education. Gloria joined KISJ in 2014-15.

I think everyone should read… Girls of Riyadh by Banat al-Riyadh.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… cooking, shopping, and spending time with my family.

I’m inspired by… art, people-watching, and reading.

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Patricia DeLuca, Kindergarten

Patricia DeLuca is from Charleston, South Carolina, but has lived in Seoul, Canada, Japan, Kuwait, and Myanmar. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Intercultural Studies from Southeastern University and Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education from Liberty University. Patricia joined KISJ in 2016-17.

I think everyone should read… a book I read recently: When Helping Hurts, by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. It’s helped me redirect my prior ideas and actions about volunteering and giving to charities.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… watching my son grow and change, eating out, and exploring nature, near and far.

I’m inspired by… the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood.

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Sean Doran, Grade 3

Sean Doran is from Vancouver and Halifax, Canada, but has spent the better part of the last decade in Korea. He holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Saint Mary’s University, and a Master of Education in International Teaching from Framingham University. Sean joined KISJ in 2015-16.

I think everyone should read… anything that helps you understand the past and how humans came to be the way we are now. I’m particularly interested in 19th-century Russia and ancient cultures from Europe and the Middle East.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… sports and all sorts of media: I listen to music any free moment I have, and enjoy discovering new shows, books, comics, or movies. I’ve played hockey my whole life, and have studied Kumdo since moving to Korea.

I’m inspired by… anything that is strange, unique, or different.

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David Gowryluk, Grade 4

David Gowryluk is from the thriving metropolis of Holland, Manitoba, Canada. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Education and is currently undertaking a master’s degree in Administration. David joined KISJ in 2015-16.

I think everyone should read… I’ll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… biking, jogging, cooking, playing music, singing, traveling, and dreaming of being on the Amazing Race.

I’m inspired by… good food, good music and good people.

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Matthew Gratz, Grade 1

Matthew Gratz is originally from Bradford, Ontario, and has also lived and taught in Myanmar, Kuwait, and Japan. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Education from Nipissing University and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Guelph University. Matthew joined KISJ in 2016-17.

I think everyone should read… Wonder by R.J. Palacio and The Hatchet by Gary Paulsen because of what the characters overcome in their own adventures! I also enjoy The Snowy Day by Ezra J. Keats because I can relate to the excitement of exploring something new!

Outside of school, I most enjoy… exploring new places, cooking, camping and playing with my son.

I’m inspired by… being in nature and watching my son grow and change.

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Araceli Hampton, ELL

Araceli Hampton is from Austin, Texas. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas State University as well as an ELL/Bilingual Education degree from the University of Texas. Araceli has over 20 years experience in linguistics, and joined KISJ in 2016-17.

I think everyone should read… The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… traveling, sewing, cooking, reading, camping, dancing, and going on hikes.

I’m inspired by… Nick Vujicic: “I am happy—why aren’t you?” Nick was born with no limbs and has inspired thousands of individuals to take a closer look at all the precious gifts of life.


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Baya Khodja, Elementary School Substitute

Baya Khodja is from near Manchester in the U.K, but has lived and taught in South Korea for many years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Studies from Sheffield University and a master’s degree in Elementary Education from The College of New Jersey. Baya joined KISJ in 2016-17.

I think everyone should read… Danny, Champion of the World by Roald Dahl and Shipping Out by David Foster Wallace.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… discovering and sharing old records, and camping with friends and family.

I’m inspired by… music, nature, and people passionate about their craft.




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Su Jeong Kim, Korean Language and Social Studies

Su Jeong Kim is from Jeju, Korea. She holds a Master of Arts from Jeju National University, and a bachelor’s degree from Jeju National University of Education. Su Jeong joined KISJ in 2016-17.

I think everyone should read… Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… scuba diving, playing clarinet, reading books.

I’m inspired by… reading a good book.   


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Eun ah Ko, Korean Social Studies

Eun ah Ko is from Jeju, Korea. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Studies Education from Jeju National University, and joined KISJ in 2014-15.

I think everyone should read… Joachim de Posada’s Spread Your Wings.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… doing SKY yoga, and reading books.

I’m inspired by… William Arthur’s words, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”


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Astrid Lange, ELL

Astrid Lange has called many places home, including Colorado, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Thailand, and Japan. She holds a School Principal certification and teaching certifications (Early Childhood, Bilingual K–4, Bilingual 4–8, Secondary Spanish 9–12, ESL K–12) from Colorado and Texas, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and a master’s degree in Organization Change and Educational Human Resource Development from Texas A&M. Astrid joined KISJ in 2015-16 from Niwot High School, where she was an IB CAS Coordinator and World Languages teacher.

I think everyone should read… The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… dance, photography, hiking, singing; being a music DJ for community radio; taking part in the annual Houston Art Car Parade; and traveling!

I’m inspired by… those around me, those I meet, and nature.

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Gyeong-A Lee (Raina), Korean Language

Gyeong-A Lee is from Jeju, Korea. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Korean Language and Literature from Jeju National University, and joined KISJ in 2014-15.

I think everyone should read… The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… watching movies.

I’m inspired by… Carlo Goldoni’s words, “The world is a beautiful book, but of little use to him who cannot read it.”

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Gina Lende, Grade 2

Gina Lende grew up in Lincoln City, Oregon. She holds an associate degree from Boise Bible College, a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Northwest Nazarene College, a master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Oregon, and a TESOL certification. Gina joined KISJ in 2015-16.

I think everyone should read… Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. For parents, this is an important book because it explains how providing opportunity for your children to experience particular activities on a regular basis can lead to them becoming an expert at that activity. Statistics and stories about real-life situations and people make it a very interesting read.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… dancing, exercising, swimming, rollerblading, and biking and more. When I’m moving and active, I am really happy!

I’m inspired by… art. Just the experience of art can be amazing, life-changing therapy.

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Lee Maloney, Physical Education

Lee Maloney is from Saint John, Canada. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a bachelor’s degree in Sports and Exercise Psychology from the University of New Brunswick. Lee joined KISJ in 2015-16.

I think everyone should read… The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… being active (weightlifting, playing football, basketball, soccer), listening to music, watching YouTube or movies, and spending time with friends and family.

I’m inspired by… incredible music and other forms of art; passionate and talented people; the gradual development of young students and student-athletes that I am fortunate enough to teach and coach; and lastly my past, present, and future.

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Sarah Millar, Grade 1

Sarah Millar is from Grimsby, Ontario, Canada. She holds a Master of Education in Teaching (Primary) from Griffith University, Australia. Sarah joined KISJ in 2015-16.

I think everyone should read… The Missing Piece and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… soccer, hiking, photography, and traveling with my husband to new countries we have not yet visited.

I’m inspired by… Dr. Seuss – “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

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Allan Moore, Physical Education

Allan Moore is from Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Psychology and Business from the University of Calgary, and a bachelor’s degree in Middle School Education from the University of British Columbia. Allan joined KISJ in 2013-14.

I think everyone should read… A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… playing—doing anything adventurous and active with the people I care about the most, my family and friends.

I’m inspired by… the amazing accomplishments of the people around me. My family, friends, students and the cultures that I see everyday are a consistent reminder as to how special and precious life is and how fortunate I am to enjoy this journey with them.

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Amy McAdams, Kindergarten

Amy McAdams is from Portland, Oregon. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Sciences from Oregon State University, and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Early Childhood Education from Lewis and Clark College. Amy joined KISJ in 2015-16.

I think everyone should read… A Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… being with family and friends.

I’m inspired by… my sister and brother, and all of the amazing things they have accomplished.

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Hyejung Mun, Korean Language and Social Studies

Hyejung Mun is from Jeju, Korea. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Jeju National University of Education, and joined KISJ in 2016-17.

I think everyone should read… Le Comte de Monte-Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas père.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… spending time with family.

I’m inspired by… everything that comes around.


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Josh Greaves, Art

Josh Greaves is from Shawnee, Kansas. He holds a master’s degree in Educational Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Art Education from the University of Kansas. Josh joined KISJ in 2015-16.

I think everyone should read… A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… movies, hiking, drawing, and exploring.

I’m inspired by… Mahatma Gandhi, who said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

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Hailey Henak, ELL

Hailey Henak is from Seattle, Washington. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Central Washington University, and a post-bachelor’s certificate in TESOL from Seattle Pacific University and The School of Teaching ESL. Hailey joined KISJ in 2015-16.

I think everyone should read… Wildwood by Colin Meloy.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… spending time with family and friends: going to the movies, shopping, or sharing a meals together. I also like to try new foods from a wide variety of cultures and cuisines.

I’m inspired by… people around me who live their lives in an exemplary manner: in their actions toward others, attitude, or overall way of acting in everyday life. When I am around people exhibiting character traits I would like to develop in myself, I am encouraged and challenged to do better.

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Katrina Hoelzen, Grade 3

Katrina Hoelzen is from La Crosse, Wisconsin. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. Katrina joined KISJ in 2015-16.

I think everyone should read… J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… rock climbing.

I’m inspired by… my students and my travels.

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Jaein Hyun (Jane), Grade 1 Teaching Assistant

Jaein is from Ansan, Korea, and joined KISJ in 2016-17.

I think everyone should read… Wicked by Gregory Maguire.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… traveling, watching baseball, and hiking.

I’m inspired by… children.


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Francis Jaramillo, Music

Francis Jaramillo is from Detroit, Michigan. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Wayne State University, and joined KISJ in 2014-15.


I think everyone should read… Siddartha by Hermann Hesse.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… music.

I’m inspired by… life.

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Alana Keith, Grade 4

Alana Keith is from Baltimore, Maryland. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary/Middle School Education and a master’s degree in Educational Administration.

I think everyone should read… Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss. Although it looks like a children’s book, the wisdom and sage advice the good doctor dispenses is certainly applicable to everyone. One of my favorite quotes from the book: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” Words to live by!

Outside of school, I most enjoy… spending time with my husband, Bryan, and our daughters, Brielle and Malene—especially when we are outside in the sunshine! I also love to sing, play the piano, and practice yoga.

I’m inspired by… kindness. Genuine, unconditional, heartfelt kindness.


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Yuri Kim, Korean as a Foreign Language

Yuri Kim is from Seoul, Korea. She holds a bachelor’s degree in counseling, children’s education, and children’s art education, as well as a teaching certification for Korean as a Foreign Language. Yuri joined KISJ in 2016-17.

I think everyone should read...  Morgan Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… having coffee with friends and traveling with my family.

I’m inspired by… Tolstoy’s words: “True life is lived when tiny changes occur.”



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Nancy Patalinghug, Kindergarten Teaching Assistant

Nancy Patalinghug is from Cebu, Philippines. She holds a Bachelor of Education in Counseling from St. Theresa’s College, a master’s degree in Multidisciplinary Studies from SUNY, and is currently finishing a certificate in International Counseling from Lehigh University. Nancy joined KISJ in 2015-16 after spending a decade at an American school in Muscat, Oman, where she worked with High Schools students in small-group settings, was a test supervisor and coordinator for SAT, ACT, PSAT and AP, and assisted the college counselor in the applications process.

I think everyone should read… Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… camping, yoga, doing zentangle, sewing, gardening, dancing, and playing with my daughter.

I’m inspired by… the motto, “Bloom where you are planted.”

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Adam Phillips, Music

Adam Phillips has roots in Louisiana but grew up in the Washington D.C. area. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from George Mason University, and joined KISJ in 2015-16.

I think everyone should read… Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… playing sports (mainly basketball and soccer), eating, and watching movies.

I’m inspired by… the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty...I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

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Sara Roberts, Lower Elementary School Counselor

Sara Roberts is from Kings Mountain, North Carolina. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education (K-6) from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, and a master’s degree in Professional School Counseling (K–12) from Georgia State University. Sara joined KISJ in 2016-17.

I think everyone should read… Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… being outside, long talks with friends, reading books, and trying new foods.

I’m inspired by… general kindness and respect for others. I find inspiration in children’s books, play, honesty and laughter.

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Amy Ruppert, Grade 2

Amy Ruppert is from Currie, Minnesota. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Masters of Arts in Teaching for Birth – Grade 3. Amy joined KISJ in 2015-16.

I think everyone should read… The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… reading books, spending time with family and friends, and going to the beach.

I’m inspired by… Albert Einstein.

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Kellie Simms, ELL

Kellie Simms is from Monterey, California. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Art Education from San Francisco State University and a master’s degree in Education from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Kellie joined KISJ in 2015-16.

I think everyone should read… The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… going on adventures outdoors, trying new restaurants, biking, eating spicy food, hiking, swimming, and traveling!

I’m inspired by… Arundhati Roy: “To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget.”

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Melanie Sobool, Librarian

Melanie Sobool has adopted Peachland, British Columbia, Canada as her hometown. She holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Victoria, and trained in Library Science at the University of Idaho. Melanie joined KISJ in 2014-15.

I think everyone should read… as a librarian, I cannot help but recommend the all-time #1 bestseller, the Bible.

Outside of the library, I most enjoy… reading, walking, biking, gardening, spending time with family, and going for coffee with friends. Oh, and I also really like the feel of sand between my toes!

I’m inspired and challenged by… Luke 6:31, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

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Brian Tupper, Grade 5

Brian Tupper is from Southampton, New York. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Elementary Education from the University of North Florida and in Multidisciplinary Education from SUNY Buffalo State. Brian joined KISJ in 2012-13.

I think everyone should read… J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… traveling.

I’m inspired by… my family, my friends, and other educators who share my passion for teaching.

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Stephanie Wallen, Grade 5

Stephanie Wallen is from Seattle, Washington. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Seattle Pacific University, and a Master in Teaching from Seattle University. Stephanie joined KISJ in 2012-13.

I think everyone should read… anything by Beverly Cleary!

Outside of school, I most enjoy… reading, and traveling to new places.

I’m inspired by… the students at KISJ!

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Daniel Wickner, Grade 3

Daniel Wickner is from Maryland. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University, a master’s degree in Computer in Science and Robotics from Keio University, and an Elementary Education Certification from The College of New Jersey. Daniel joined KISJ in 2013-14.

I think everyone should read… The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, as it taught me that language is a toy that even adults play with.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… playing music with my band Fancy Man, playing soccer with my team Jejuventus, and exploring the beautiful views and delicious foods of Jeju.

I’m inspired by… my mother, whose lifelong journey across cultural boundaries motivated me to do the same.

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