OUR PEOPLE

OUR STAFF

Our people will help you become the best version of yourself – to become an internationally-minded, well-rounded thinker who is armed with key 21st Century skills and the motivation to create a better world. It takes a special type of teacher to guide a young person on that kind of journey, so we are going to great lengths to ensure we have the right staff in place.

CARE AND SUPPORT

Being part of a smaller school means you won’t be lost in a crowd. Our teachers and staff work collaboratively – it’s a commitment we make as an IB school. That means that all of your teachers will be familiar with your learning progress and will be working alongside you and behind-the-scenes to ensure you’re supported to achieve your learning goals.

You will also have a dedicated POD Mentor who you’ll meet with every week. They will be your go-to person for all matters relating to school life – from your creativity, activity, service projects, to future pathways guidance and general wellbeing.

SKILLS, EXPERIENCE AND MINDSET

Our teachers are strong believers in the value of the IB. They are committed to developing intercultural awareness and international mindedness, and are passionate about working with students to build the knowledge and experiences that will shape their characters and lives. Our academic and professional staff have the teaching and life experiences to guide you to reach your potential.

DISCOVER OUR COMMUNITY

MEET OUR STAFF

Russell Thompson, Principal

I am Russell Thompson, Principal at IES College. For the past 15 years, I have been the Academic Director for our foundation year program at IES College (now Certificate IV in University Preparation Program).  

Passionate about education, excited about our new directions, all while building on our strong foundation, I was delighted this year to accept the position of IES College Principal.  

Prior to working at IES, as a holder of university degrees in Arts and Education, I travelled and worked overseas, including 5 years in several schools in Indonesia teaching English.

I am a hands-on Principal and leader. At IES College, my goal is to provide a safe and open environment for our students, one where our boutique environment simultaneously nurtures, encourages, and challenges our students. I believe that education is the key to achieving well-rounded, happy, and successful world citizens.  

I am very much looking forward to a successful year ahead and many more to come! 

Cassandra Magar, IB Coordinator/English & Literature & TOK

I am the serving IB Diploma Programme Coordinator where I am responsible for the implementation of the IB Diploma Programme at IES College, with responsibilities for pedagogical leadership, programme administration and communication of the IB Mission.

I am a passionate IB educator with over twelve years of experience in teaching and subject coordinating IB Literature, Language and Literature and Theory of Knowledge. A strong believer in holistic teaching principles, I aim to guide students into becoming compassionate and intelligent leaders in our every-changing global community. By establishing a learning environment that fosters critical thinking and self-directed learning, I provide opportunities for students to develop into ardent inquirers, responsible community members and life-long learners.

I have taught the IB Curriculum in the United States, Singapore and Australia. I have a Master’s of Science in Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelor’s of Science in English Education from the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, USA

Clare Chen, Head of Department,Business Management

My name is Clare and I am thrilled to say this is my 12th year teaching and designing the Business Curriculum here at IES College. I was born in Singapore and came to Australia at a young age. I have graduated with a Master in Education Leadership & Management, Graduate Diploma in Education Administration, Bachelor in Education and a Bachelor in Commerce from both The University of Queensland and Deakin University.

This year, I will be teaching International Baccalaureate Business Management at IES College. Apart from my work at IES College, I enjoy exploring a new culture, hiking, cooking, watching movies and spending time with my family. I can’t wait to get to know each one of you. I know we are going to have a blast!

John Daicopoulos
Head of Department, Physics and Mathematics

I have been working with students teaching them physics, engineering, and mathematics for over thirty years. My career began in a rural secondary school in Ontario Canada followed fourteen years later by a move to Australia where I have worked across both secondary and tertiary levels for the last eighteen years.

Along the way my career has included being a labour relations negotiator and mediator, Editor for the journal Australian Physics, and co-author of a university physics textbook. I made the move to Brisbane in 2019 after twelve years as a Physics Lecturer at James Cook University in Townsville.

Kate Watson, Laboratory Technician

I am Kate E. Watson, your Laboratory Technician. Also known as Q. I studied in Australia then flew off to work, study, and travel the globe. I have worked and lived in 6 countries within the STEM education sector and visited a bunch more. This gave me good exposure to a variety of possible solutions for every situation. Having set up labs in 2 different third world countries and worked on a tall sailing ship with no internet, experience has shown me that problems are just hiccups in the end.

Pandemic brought me the possibility of working in Australia again and the joys of being at IES are undeniable. I look forward to the flames, impacts, expansions and general fun of being in the lab, all in the name of science.

Tim Croxford, Mathematics Teacher

 

BSc(hons) from City University, London. Two years in research for a telecommunications company working for the Ministry of Defence (UK).

Following this I taught in England, then Brisbane. Experience includes teaching and HOD responsibilities in a technical college (UK), at Brisbane Grammar and more recently teaching in the IES Foundation Year Program before joining IES College Senior High School.

My interests include travel, reading, tennis, golf and addressing problems within the local community.

Of all the institutions I have taught in IES College has the most welcoming and open attitude, combined with a sincere and capable approach to learning and caring for students.

Yanirza Rodriguez, Spanish Teacher

I am Yanirza Rodriguez a Colombian and Australian citizen, who has travelled extensively and has lived in a few countries around the world. Colombia is a beautiful South American country producing the best aromatic coffee and holding some of the most stunning flora and fauna in the world.

I am an experienced teacher/tutor/lecturer of languages, business and humanities at primary, secondary and university level. I have now joined the IES team because I strongly believe the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is an exclusive and rigorous platform offered to students ready and committed to improving their time management skills while recognizing their common humanity to make this a better world. Consequently, I am delighted to support our students as they take the driver’s seat of their lifelong learning journey in every way I can!

I am also an amateur publisher, who is best known as the author of two bilingual (Spanish/English) booklets added to the State’s National Library catalogue. The publications are known as ‘the Ozy Zorro’s Adventures Series’. They portray a never grown up but ‘good’ ‘Tibbot Kelly’ – the hypothetical Ned Kelly’s twin in a historical and ideal Australian land.

 

Joyeeta Lahiri, Psychology Teacher

 

I am Joyeeta and I teach the IB Diploma Program Psychology at IES College. I believe whatever career students pursue, a background in Psychology takes them a long way. My goal is to help my students connect to this interesting subject, learnings from which they can apply all their lives.

This is my first year at IES College and I consider myself fortunate be a part of this knowledgeable, vibrant, and supportive organisation.

Besides teaching Psychology, I am a qualified Special Needs Educator with considerable experience in assessing, teaching and case managing students with diverse needs. I have had the opportunity to teach students and interact with colleagues from various cultural backgrounds in Australia, India, and Qatar.

I have an Undergraduate Degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Special Education. I am currently studying Master of Education-School Guidance and Counselling from Queensland University of Technology.

I value the following words of my mentor, Dr Daisaku Ikeda, “The task of education must be fundamentally to ensure that knowledge serves to further the cause of human happiness and peace”. Fifteen years in the field of education, I am still passionate about making a difference to the lives of the students I teach.

 

Sean Yang, Subject Coordination Duties (Accounting)

 

Hi, my name is Sean Yang. I have been working for IES College for more than 5 years since 2016. I have built 9 years of working experience in the Accounting and Finance industry before joining IES College. I have a Master of Professional Accounting degree from Griffith University.

Currently, I have two roles at IES college. One role is a subject teacher with coordination duties for Accounting in the IES College Cert IV program. The other role is a subject teacher for Business Management at IES College IB school.

I like to read history books and enjoy traveling around. I think learning should be interesting, and easy. I will help you simplify the complicated definitions and use plain language to explain them to you. Plus, I have a lot of real-life examples can share with you to make the learning become more meaningful and useful to you.

 

Emily Munro, Bioscience Teacher

 

I am the Biosciences teacher at IES College. I teach Biology and Environmental Systems and Societies. I have 11 years teaching experience in high schools across Brisbane and co-authored a series of Biology textbooks for the new ATAR system in Queensland. My move to the IB system has provided the wholistic educational philosophy that I felt was missing in my previous experiences, and it has invigorated my teaching in many surprising ways.

I am passionate about brain development and how the brain learns and organises information. This enduring, deep interest is supported by my personal explorations in art, music and reading. I love teaching in a school where I have the time and space to learn how each of my students approaches the world, and to tailor their educational experiences for maximum, well-rounded effect. I love being a part of this process of building knowledgeable, confident and resilient young people who have been prepared for what life will bring them.

 

 

Aaron McDonough, Visual Arts Teacher and Culture & Community Coordinator

 

As the Community and Culture Coordinator my role has many facets, primarily it revolves around the development of the Core School Culture; I Oversea CAS, Camps, and excursions, coordination of POD, school events, and year groups; Develop/establish/implement/deliver various school programs, parent workshops, and school events strengthening community links; Mentor and liaise with students and staff; Monitor behaviour, and address behaviour issues.

I started teaching in 1999, and have had various roles from, organising Rock Eisteddfod, producing school musicals. Year Coordinator of large cohorts, 250-350 students, a position I held for seven years, and Sports Coordinator for 6 years coordinating sport for 1100 students.

My passion for education began in 1990, volunteering with Red Cross at the Royal Brisbane Children’s Hospital’s Oncology Ward for 3 years, and Camp Quality for 9 years. It was these enriching, challenging, and life changing experiences that lead me to a life working as a teacher.

 

 

 

Kristin Wait, Subject Teacher – Language & Literature A

 

I am the Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) Coordinator, Year 10 Curriculum Coordinator and Language and Literature teacher at IES College.

With over 12 years of experience in teaching across a range of subjects and curriculums, I am a firm believer in the holistic development of the students. I am passionate about fostering critical and creative thinking, and I aim to encourage students to become responsible, compassionate, inquirers who will thrive and contribute meaningfully as global citizens.

I have previously taught English Language and Literature, Physical and Health Education, Drama and Life Orientation in South Africa, the Middle East and Australia. It is a great honour to have joined the IES family, and I look forward to learning and growing with the school.

 

 

 

Matthew Miers, History Teacher and Inclusive Access Coordinator 

 

I believe that all students, when given the right support to develop critical knowledge and skills, are able to understand, engage with, and contribute to the world in their own uniquely important ways.

As Student Support Coordinator at IES, my job is to work collaboratively with students and teachers to recognise the unique strengths of every single one of our students, while putting strategies into place which help them grow.

I am currently working towards a Master’s degree in Inclusive Education, and I have a background in supporting students within inclusive educational settings. I am also the History subject teacher, and I have a Bachelor of Arts majoring in History and English Literature. Prior to IES, I have worked as a Modern History Subject Lead, and also taught English, English as an Additional Language, and Languages.

 

 

 

Amanda Cole, French Teacher

I teach French B and Ab Initio French at IES College. I am an experienced teacher both of European languages and of music and am also a professional classical musician with local, interstate and international experience. In addition, I am a researcher and writer, currently Research Fellow at Griffith University, and my articles have appeared in international peer-reviewed journals. I am very excited about my first book coming out in a couple of months with Palgrave Macmillan on education and the Alexander Technique. I love teaching at IES because of the international and culturally diverse focus and because I think the IB curriculum intersects with the values of the school beautifully.

 

 

 

Joel Rabenhorst, Assistant Teacher for Business Management

 

I am an assistant teacher for Business Management at IES College. I also coordinate the Business Management unit in the IES Cert IV in University Preparation Program. My focus is on explaining business concepts in class and supporting students with written assessment tasks.

It has been my privilege to teach business at IES for almost four years. Learning more about this topic provides students with better understanding of how organisations function and develops practical leadership and teamwork skills which will benefit them in future endeavours. I enjoy teaching at IES College because it provides a friendly and supportive environment for students to excel.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Business from QUT and a Bachelors of Mathematics and Economics at UQ. I’ve also had a range of personal business experiences from touring Chinese business facilities to interning on Eagle Street. My hobbies include playing sports and reading about news, history, and politics.