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SPECIALIST TEAM

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Michael Strunk

Physical Education

​Radford University
University of Saint Mary

 

I was born in Washington D.C and was raised just outside the city in Virginia.  From a young age I knew that my passion would always be in sport. I grew up as a swimmer and played basketball, soccer, baseball, lacrosse and American football. I came to Berkeley to build a competitive sport program and spread my love of physical activity to the Berkeley community. Bangkok has been my home for over 10 years and I really like the endless summers and quality of life here in Thailand.  My hobbies are spending time with my beautiful wife and kids, hiking, riding motorcycles and playing cricket.  I enjoy every minute I spend on this campus and look forward to seeing all the smiling faces when I walk through the school gates.  My job is the best in the world and I am very proud to be a member of the Berkeley family, We Are Berkeley!

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Phoenix Quin

Sustainable Futures / Coding / Primary

​Bachelor's of Architecture - University of Cape Town

Honors Degree in Environmental Management - University of South Africa 

Postgraduate Certificate in Education - Walden University 

 

I am thrilled to be rejoining the teaching team at Berkeley this year as the elementary counselor! My family and I are in our fourth year at Berkeley, and we are so happy and grateful to be a part of this warm and close-knit community. I look forward to getting to know and support each and every one of our elementary student body! I cannot wait to see what amazing experiences lie ahead this year! 

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Erin Jinks

Creative Arts

​Bachelor of Arts, Art Education - University of Georgia, USA

 

Hello everyone! My name is Erin Jinks and I am from Atlanta, Georgia in the USA. My journey abroad began in high school, volunteering in Mexico, building schools and teaching English. In university, I worked with non-profits using art as therapy. Later, I moved to Costa Rica for 2 years where I taught art and music at a K-12 American-International school. Since 2012, Bangkok has been my home where I am married to a Thai man and have been teaching at an International school.

 

From pottery to jewellery and photography to print-making, there is a medium and method for everyone and I want to help children of all ages express their creativity in the classroom. I look forward to getting to know the Berkeley Lion family this year as we make art together! 

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Taylor Beyer

IT and Media Studies

BA in History Education, University of Northern Iowa, USA

Hello! My name is Taylor Beyer and I am thrilled to be part of the learning community here at Berkeley. I am originally from Iowa, USA, where I attended the University of Northern Iowa. There I met my husband, Stewart, who is the Secondary Music Teacher here at Berkeley and together we have two daughters and a cat! 

I have been teaching since 2015 and am passionate about sharing my love for learning with my students. I truly believe in the concept of a growth mindset and embrace my role as a life-long learner. I encourage collaboration, inquiry, critical thinking, creativity and innovation in the classroom and acknowledge and embrace the idea that I have the privilege of not only teaching my students, but learning from them as well. Outside of school I love reading–especially historical fiction and fantasy–, cooking and trying new foods, and above all exploring and spending time with my family. 

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Natasha Avard

Primary Learning Support

BSc (HONS) Marketing and Media & Cultural Studies - Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent, UK

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE with QTS) - Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent, UK

PGCE in Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Inclusion (NASENCO) - University of Wolverhampton, UK

MA Special Education and Inclusion - Northampton University, UK

I’m Natasha and I am part of the Berkeley learning support team. I am originally from Kent (UK) and I have been teaching at international schools in Bangkok since 2013. I am a qualified teacher with specialisms in outdoor learning, language and inclusion. 

In my lessons and interventions, you will see students taking risks, making links and connections, collaborating and taking steps towards ownership of their learning. I welcome open communication in order to understand each student as an individual and aim to create a safe space for all involved. So please don’t hesitate to reach out; forming positive relationships with families and students is very important to me. 

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Naun Luna

Physical Education

​Graduate Diploma of Physical Education  - Universidad Pedagogica Nacional Francisco Morazan, Honduras

 

Hello! My name is Naun, and I am so happy to have the opportunity and honor to teach PE to the Future Champs of Berkeley International School. I have been teaching PE since 2002. I have had the opportunity to teach PE in Honduras for ten years and four years in Egypt. I am looking forward to challenging students to use critical thinking skills to solve problems, build social skills and self responsibility through a rigorous physical education program that will provide students with the knowledge and skills to enjoy athletics. I grew up having the opportunity to practice many sports and outdoor activities, which lead me to my passion for Physical Education. I hope to inspire my students to pursue their passions. My wife (Kelly Taylor Gr.1), son and myself love visiting beaches and we look forward to visiting the beaches of Thailand!

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Melissa McKay

Primary Art Teacher

BA Art/ English Literature - St. Mary’s College, USA

Postgraduate Certification in K-6 Education - Colorado Mesa University, USA

 

Hello! My name is Melissa and I am from a small town (population 1000!) in the mountains of Colorado, USA. My first international teaching position was in Bangladesh and now I am here, my dream job. I taught elementary art for over 10 years, as well as running the school library in Colorado. Books and art, my favorite things! Also, I have a Thai “daughter”! We hosted a foreign exchange student from Chonburi, Thailand who now works in aviation in Bangkok. I believe everyone is an artist and we express our creative self in many different ways. I feel like being here is meant to be and look forward to our artistic journey together.

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Jasmine Tyler

Librarian

B.A. Literary Studies - Granite State College, USA

M.Ed. English Education - Plymouth State University, USA

Hi, I’m Jasmine and I’m very excited to be joining Berkeley. I’m originally from northern NH, but moved abroad in 2011 to teach in the UAE, and most recently, in Egypt. Teaching English is a passion of mine and I love exploring how texts, time periods, and culture teach us more about the world. I’ve had a special focus in my education in encouraging students to find their voices in writing,  as they become both better communicators and more self-aware. When I’m not teaching, I like to travel, explore beaches, read, and catch up with family and friends. 

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Stewart Beyer

Secondary Music

BME in Music Education (Choral/General), University of Northern Iowa, USA

Hi, my name is Stewart Beyer, and I love music! As of 2022, I teach Secondary Music here at Berkeley. My wife, Taylor, handles IT & Media, and together we have two lovely daughters. I enjoy all types of music and music performance, but my favorite thing to do is sing and play guitar. I write music and perform as often as I can. Beyond singing and playing guitar, I enjoy playing ukulele, piano, drums, and anything brass. It brings so much joy to my heart to know that music plays such a central role in the incredible educational experience at Berkeley.

Beyond music, I am an avid video gamer and tennis/ping pong player, and though it probably goes without saying, I thoroughly enjoy traveling and experiencing different cultures firsthand. My love for international teaching and living derives from my student teaching experience in Seongnam-si, South Korea and my time spent as a music specialist in Mumbai, India. I believe celebrating everyone’s commonalities and differences as world citizens is one of the noblest pursuits, and music serves as an excellent medium through which we can achieve such an endeavor.

Catch me smiling, singing, and whistling around the campus any day of the week!

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Jessica Melton

Learning Support

B.A Integrative Studies: Organizational Administration, Minor in Consciousness and Transformation - George Mason University, USA

Postgraduate Certification in K-3 Education, Moreland University, USA

M.Ed Teaching Multilingual Learners, Moreland University, USA

 

Hi everyone! My name is Jess and I am originally from Northern Virginia. I have been living in Thailand since 2016 and am so excited to join the Berkely family this year! I started my teaching journey in Thailand in a rural town called Pranburi, but eventually made my way up to Bangkok for the fast paced lifestyle. Although I’ve joined the K1 team as a homeroom teacher, I have experience both as an Early Years Art Specialist, and an Early Years EAL Specialist. I believe in creating a learning environment that is inclusive, culturally responsive, and child-led. I am looking forward to collaborating with you all to make sure each child’s thoughts, ideas, and interests are heard and explored. Outside of the classroom, I have lots of hobbies! I like to make music, play sports, learn Thai, make art, eat spicy food, read, and travel to new places.

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Kemchan Mirjah

Physical Education

P.E. Teacher for Kindergarten and grades 1 & 2

Suffolk Community College

Rasmussen University

 

Greetings! I’m Kemchan and I’m very excited to be here at Berkeley! Last year I started out as a substitute teacher and got to know almost all the kids here. When I wasn’t in the classroom I was volunteering my time as an assistant to Mr. Naun and Coach Mike. Now, I get to be a full P.E. teacher! Before coming to Berkeley I was a Physical Trainer for 23 years. I’ve helped people of all ages reach their physical goals, whether it was weight loss, therapy, or training for an event.  I’m originally from New York, moved to Seattle for a while and now I’m here! I’ll be teaching the younger kids how to use their bodies to move, be coordinated and balanced, and have fun doing it!

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Chrisitne Archer

Theater & Performing Arts

​B.A. Drama and Physical Theatre - St Mary's University, UK.

BTEC in Performance (Musical Theatre) - Kingston College, UK.

 

Hello Berkeley Lions! My name is Christine and I am so excited to be at Berkeley. I have always been in love with performing arts from a young age, taking part in any musical I could! I have performed in some  great shows, such as: Annie, Sound of Music and West Side Story. While living in Dubai, I was lucky enough to share the stage with actors from the West End in the production's of Hairspray and High School Musical 1&2. I hope to instill the same love for Drama into my students by creating a fun, creative and collaborative classroom. Let's get our jazz hands ready! 

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Ellis van Maarseveen

Secondary Theater Director

M.A. Theatre Studies - University New England, Australia, (G.J Borny Award)

B. A. Theatre Performance - Maastricht Theatre Academy, the Netherlands

 

Hello Berkeley Community, my name is Ellis and I teach Performing Arts in Secondary, as well as Film Studies for HS. I trained as an actress and later as a teacher of drama, so while teaching I’ve always kept my connection to the performance industry by acting for theatre, TV and film, directing theatre, doing voice overs in the UK, The Netherlands, Japan and Thailand, and by writing plays. 

I worked in TV documentary production in the UK, and am an ISTA artist, an organization through which I taught many students in many parts of the world. Berkeley is my first American curriculum school as I used to teach at several international IB schools. I grew up in The Netherlands and have spent many years living in London (UK), in Japan - and now in Bangkok!  

My aim in education is to get students to find, and gain confidence about, their personal creativity. In turn, this is bound to give them confidence in their futures as IT specialists, doctors, economists, politicians or designers - to name just a few. Drama is a lot more than performing a part - it’s about collaboration, taking risks, being caring and discoveringa professional discipline. Let’s put this show on the road!

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Keiko Espiau

Primary Music

B.A. Music Education, Humboldt State University, USA

M.A. Music, Portland State University

My name is Ms. Keiko and I have been teaching primary music for 15 years; I have taught primarily in the United States but recently in Vietnam. I was born and raised in California but my mother is Japanese and my father was German American. I  am very happy to join the Berkeley community and to begin sharing the joy of music with the children!

Outside of school, I enjoy playing musical instruments such as ukulele, guitar, hurdy gurdy, and hand drums.  I love learning new languages, studying and  listening to music from many countries, traveling, hiking, trying new foods, and spending time with my husband and son who are joining me on this adventure. 

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Shelly Schutte

Learning Support

BSc, PGCE Science and Mathematics Education - University of Cape Town , SA

BEd Hons Educational Support (cum laude) - University of Stellenbosch, SA

M.Ed Educational Support - University of Stellenbosch, SA (ongoing)

My name is Shelly Schutte and I am excited to be joining Berkeley International School as the Secondary Learning Support Teacher. I grew up in the beautiful oceanside city of Cape Town, South Africa and, after visiting and working in Thailand in my young adulthood, developed a deep love of Thailand and its people.

Early in my teaching career, I discovered a passion for learning support and have been lucky enough to work in a variety of schooling environments in both South Africa and Thailand. These experiences, along with my academic research into educational resilience, shaped my understanding of how different students learn. I am passionate about using a multisensory, whole brain approach to learning and addressing learning barriers, and love investigating student interests and adapting classes around these. In my free time, I love hiking, reading and cooking. I'm happiest on a beautiful mountain trail or curled up in a comfortable chair, with a good book and a dog or cat in my lap.