Our staff 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
A small school means not getting lost in the crowd. Due to the small size of the school, teachers can get to know all their students. Students will receive more one-on-one time with their teachers, who will work alongside them to ensure students are well supported to achieve their learning goals. Small class sizes allow all students the opportunity to have a voice.
Student wellbeing is a key priority for all staff. Students will have access to a dedicated POD Mentor who they will meet with regularly. This is the go-to person for all matters relating to school life – from CAS projects to future pathways guidance and general wellbeing. Students can access additional support such as personal counselling services through the Student Counsellor and learning support services through the Student Support Coordinator.
SKILLS, EXPERIENCE AND MINDSET
Our teachers are strong believers in the IB values and curriculum and are committed to developing intercultural awareness and international mindedness. Our staff are passionate about engaging, challenging, and motivating students to help them reach their learning goals.
DISCOVER OUR COMMUNITY
MEET OUR STAFF
Russell Thompson, Principal
In taking on my new role this year, I feel very privileged to have been given the opportunity to contribute to the development of our high school as we strive to fulfill our mission to provide a safe learning environment in which students can develop the confidence and self-belief to pursue their educational goals and make positive contributions to the community.
While I am new to the role of principal this year, I have served International Education Services (IES) for the past 15 years in the role of Academic Director of our Foundation Year Program which is now being offered as the 10950NAT Certificate IV in University Preparation.
IES College chose to become an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School because our school’s mission and values align with those of the International Baccalaureate. We endeavour to help our students understand their place in the world, to seek answers through enquiry and to be principled. These attributes are all part of the IB learner profile and students are encouraged to develop these qualities through undertaking one of our senior high school pathways which include completing an IB diploma, or an IB certificate along with a Certificate III or Certificate IV qualification.
At IES College we are very fortunate to have a committed group of teachers who understand the importance of supporting students as they first define their learning goals and then work towards achieving them.
Cassandra Magar, IB Diploma Coordinator and TOK Coordinator
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
Kirstin Wait, CAS Coordinator and Language & Literature Teacher
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.
Aaron McDonough, Culture & Community Coordinator and Visual Arts Teacher
As the Community and Culture Coordinator my role has many facets, primarily it revolves around the development of the Core School Culture; I oversee CAS, Camps, 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.
Matthew Miers, Inclusive Access Coordinator and History Teacher
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.
Kaylee Brussow, Senior Student Counsellor
My name is Kaylee and I am the Student Counsellor at IES College. I can proudly say that I have been working at IES College for 8 years. I started working at IES College as a Barista while studying at university. As the organization grew with their UQ Foundation Program, I got the opportunity to work in the Student Services department and that is how I found my passion to help and support young people.
IES College creates an environment that not only educates students in their chosen subjects but also creates an environment that supports students holistically. This can be a challenging but rewarding journey and it is such a privilege to see students grow. My goal as a counsellor is to support and help students to be the best versions of themselves, by helping them build and create unique tools that will assist them through life and their studies.
Mental health is a huge part of our everyday life. Mental health is our thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. It affects how we think, feel, and behave and it also affects how we handle stress, connect with others, and influences our choices in life. Did you know that more than 75% of mental health issues develop before a person turns 25 years old? (https://www.beyondblue.org.au/media/statistics) For this reason, I try my best to speak with all students and educate them on healthy and unhealthy behaviours to help them learn their limits. Life is challenging and unpredictable, however having tools to help through the challenging times can build resilience and opportunity.
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 a 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 College because of the international and culturally diverse focus and because I think the IB curriculum intersects with the values of the school beautifully.
Tim Croxford, Mathematics Teacher
I teach Mathematics at IES College. I have a BSc(hons) from City University, London. After completing university, I undertook 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.
John Daicopoulos, Physics and Mathematics Teacher
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.
Danielle Kay, Chemistry Teacher
My name is Danielle and I am the Chemistry teacher at IES College. I have a PhD in chemistry and am an experienced IB teacher with a love of practical chemistry. My favourite part of teaching at IES College is that with smaller class sizes, I am able to teach in a more practical way, enabling the students to carry out more experiments and see more demonstrations that transform Chemistry from an abstract, hard-to-understand science into a more tangible and understandable one. Outside of school, I spend a lot of time scootering at skate parks and bouncing at trampoline parks with my very active young son.
Joyeeta Lahiri, Careers Counsellor and Psychology Teacher
I am Joyeeta; I teach Psychology and am responsible for Careers Councelling 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.
Emily Munro, Biology and Environmental Systems & Societies 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.
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 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.
Sean Yang, Business Management Teacher
Hi, my name is Sean Yang. I have been working for IES College since 2016. Before joining IES College, I worked in the Accounting and Finance idustry over a period of 9 years. I have a Master’s degree in Professional Accounting from Griffith University.
Currently, I have two roles at IES college. One role is the Business Management teacher within the school and the other is as subject teacher with coordination duties for Accounting in the IES College Cert IV program.
In my spare time, I like to read history books and enjoy traveling around. I think learning should be interesting, and easy. I use plain language to explain and help students simplify the complicated definitions. I have a lot of real-life examples to share with students to make the learning become more meaningful and useful.
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!