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Specialist Faculty




Benedict Dingle, Drama / Design Thinking: Lab Tech 

Benedict Dingle is from Woodstock, Canada. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Acting from Dalhousie University, and a bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Toronto. Benedict joined KISJ in 2014.

I think everyone should read… The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo, and William Shakespeare’s Richard III.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… being near, on, or in the ocean.

I’m inspired by… the simple, everyday kindness of others.


Erik Nicholls, Band / Wind Ensemble

Erik Nicholls is from Brampton, Ontario, Canada, but most recently worked in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He holds a bachelor's degree in Music from Western University, and a bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Ottawa. Erik joined KISJ in 2019-20.


I think everyone should read… Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.


Outside of school, I most enjoy… Making and listening to music, reading, travelling, riding my motorcycle, playing board games and video games.


I’m inspired by... The sheer expanse of the universe and all of the possibilities within it.




Erin Yoo, Strings

Erin Yoo is from Seoul, Korea, but has experience teaching in Michigan public schools and an international school in Seoul. She holds a bachelor's degree in Instrumental Music Education from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Erin joined KISJ in 2019.


I think everyone should read… "Dead Poets Society" by N.H.Kleinbaum. 


Outside of school, I most enjoy... listening to music while jogging. 


I’m inspired by... people who try their best and never give up.





Andrea Wilkins, Art

Andrea Wilkins is from Indianapolis, Indiana. She holds a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Art Education from Indiana University, and a bachelor’s degree in Art from Black Hills State University. Andrea joined KISJ in 2013.

I think everyone should read…. True Perception The Path of Dharma Art by Chogyam Trungpa.

Outside of school, I most enjoy… traveling, practicing yoga and dance, taking photos, listening to music, and spending time in nature.

I’m inspired by… moments of stillness, nature, relationships, and the complexities of everyday life.



Kara O'Connor, Spanish Teacher 


Kara O'Connor is a dual citizen from both the United States and Finland. Growing up, she lived in Alexandria, Virginia; Helsinki, Finland, and Vienna, Austria. She most recently worked at Brent International School in Manila, Philippines. She hold a master's degree in International Counseling from Lehigh University and a bachelor's degree in Spanish and Education from Mary Washington College. Kara will join the KISJ faculty in the school year 2018-2019. 


I think everyone should read "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall. 


Outside of school, I most enjoy spending time with my husband and two children, running, hiking, traveling and reading. 


I'm inspired by the kindness of strangers and by the beauty of nature.



Fei Gao, Chinese

Fei Gao is originally from Kunming, China, but most recently lived and worked in Hong Kong. She holds a master's degree in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and a bachelor’s degree in The Teaching of Chinese Language to Foreigners from Huaqiao University. Fei joined KISJ in 2019-20.


I think everyone should read…The Last Quarter of the Moon by Chi Zijian.


Out of school, I most enjoy photography, traveling, reading and spending quality time with my husband.


I'm inspired by...the hiking in Kjerag.



Kristin Hingstman, Choir

Kristin Hingstman is from Roebling, New Jersey. She holds a Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting from University of Delaware, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Westminster Choir College. Kristin joined KISJ in 2018. 

I think everyone should read… The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Ken Robinson. 

Outside of school, I most enjoy… watching the New York Mets, singing, volunteering for Odyssey of the Mind, and listening to NPR. I’m inspired by... creative design, cognitive psychology, and language. 


I’m inspired by students who try their best.



Ashley Hayes, G6 Tech/Design Thinking


Ashley is from Niagara Falls, New York, but most recently worked in Shanghai, China. She holds a master’s degree in Multidisciplinary Studies in Education from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a bachelor’s degree in Art Education from Nazareth College. Ashley joined KISJ in 2019-20.


I think everyone should read… “The Power of Meaning” by Emily Esfahani Smith.


Outside of school, I most enjoy… listening to podcasts, watching documentaries, reading, and creating.


I’m inspired by... creative courage and the curiosity-driven life.  




Laris Goff, G6 Tech Design Thinking / Create Space: Lab Tech


Laris Goff was fortunate to have grown up and experienced all that San Diego, California has to offer. He later spent 17 years living in Portland, Oregon with his wife Margaret, before moving to Shanghai, China. Laris holds a Master of Education from Portland State University, along with degrees in Economics and Marketing from Arizona State University. He joined KISJ in 2017–18. 


I think everyone should read… The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. 


Outside of school, I most enjoy… spending time with family and friends, exploring new cultures and environments, cycling, scuba diving, snowboarding… nature!


I'm inspired by… a warm smile, kindness, art, architecture, food, music, those that question, new experiences that inspire questioning, and my father’s embrace of nature and life.



Kevin Kinahan, Physical Education

Kevin Kinahan is from Whitby, Ontario, Canada, but most recently worked in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He holds a bachelor's degree in Health and Physical Education and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto. Kevin joined KISJ in 2018.

I think everyone should read...Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer.

Outside of school, I most enjoy... playing sports, travelling, listening to Bruce Springsteen and cheering on the Green Bay Packers.

I'm inspired by... my parents.



Catherine Abuja, Physical Education

Catherine Abuja is from Orangeville, Ontario, Canada. She holds a master's degree in Physical Education from The University of British Columbia, a bachelor's degree of Physical and Health Education (honours) and bachelor's degree of Education both from Laurentian University. Catherine joined KISJ in 2019.


I think everyone should read ... "Open Heart Open Mind" by Clara Hughes and "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed.


Outside of school, I most enjoy spending time outdoors, skiing, hiking, spending time with friends and family, and being active in general.


I'm inspired by positivity, challenges, and kindness. 



Drew Currie, Physical Education

Drew Currie is from Kingston, Ontario, Canada, but most recently worked in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He holds a Bachelor degree in Kinesiology with a minor in Physical Geography from the University of Calgary and a bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Toronto. Drew joined KISJ in 2019-2020. 


I think everyone should read "The Inheritance Cycle" by Christopher Paolini, "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau, and "It's Not About The Bike" by Lance Armstrong. 


Outside of school, I most enjoy traveling and outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, stand up paddle boarding, and white water rafting/kayaking. 


I’m inspired by my family, resilience, and by the right song at the right time.



Timothy Yu, Physical Education

Timothy Yu is from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  He graduated from York University in Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology and Health Sciences and is currently pursuing his education degree.  Timothy joined KISJ in 2017.


I think everyone should read... The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay.  It is a fantastic story of why the little things matter.


Outside of school I most enjoy... team sports, eating good food, watching movies and reading educational books.


I’m inspired by... my mother.  Her work ethic and warm compassion for others inspires me to be better everyday.




Jennifer Swinehart, English Support/Substitute Teacher

Jennifer Swinehart is from Racine, Wisconsin, but most recently spent 7 years in Hong Kong. She holds a bachelor's degree in both English and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and a teacher certification from Teach Now (Washington, D.C.). Jennifer joined KISJ in 2018-19.

I think everyone should read "The Color of Water" by James McBride and "Shantaram" by Gregory David Roberts.

Outside of school, I most enjoy cooking, traveling, reading, hitting the beach, and a good game of cribbage.

I'm inspired daily.... life abroad is full of surprises- some days are a win, others are not, but I find great joy in the adventure.




Chris Kleynhans, Design Tech/Substitute Teacher


Chris Kleynhans is from Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Movement Science from the University of the Free State, and completed his Postgraduate Certificate in Education through the University of South Africa.  Chris joined KISJ in 2017.

I think everyone should read… Riaan Manser’s  Around Iceland On Inspiration.

Outside of school, I most enjoy... spending time with my wife, running, bbq’s, being near the ocean and exploring our beautiful planet.

I’m inspired by... people who follow their dreams. 



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