Having amazing teachers is the most important piece to having an amazing school. We hope you are able to meet and get to know our teachers. We've supplied a short bio here in order for you to get an idea of the staff at the school.
Kayla Neys (pre-school teacher)
Kayla is originally from Peoria, Illinois. She attended the University of Minnesota for her Bachelor’s and Master’s and is currently finishing her doctoral studies in educational leadership. She has worked in various educational settings and institutions, primarily working with non-native English speakers. She is a firm believer in hands-on, student-centered learning and embraces the value of diversity in the classroom. She recently moved to Djibouti from Nairobi, Kenya and has been working throughout the Horn of Africa for the last 2 years.
Samantha Brisson (lower elementary teacher)
Samantha has a B.A. in Philosophy and Peace & Justice Studies from Regis University. She spent the past two years teaching fourth grade at an elementary school in Micronesia. Samantha passionately believes in the life-changing potential of a holistic, justice-oriented education. She loves teaching and learning about new cultures and is excited for the opportunity to do both this school year!
Susan Marshall (upper elementary teacher)
Susan Marshall has a B.A. in Sociology and Latin American Studies from Seattle Pacific University, and an M.A. in ESL from Hamline University. She has studied abroad and volunteered in Argentina, Chile, and India, and has worked in adult and youth English education, humanitarian aid, and health care programs with refugees and immigrants and international students Minneapolis, Minnesota and Seattle, Washington in the United States. She is excited to get to know the ISD community and experience life in Djibouti. Outside of work, Susan loves spending time with family and friends, volunteering, traveling, reading, and spending time outdoors hiking, camping, and at the beach.
Tammy Sawyer (ESL/EFL teacher)
Tammy C. Sawyer was born in Washington, DC, and raised in historical Loudoun County, VA. She is the proud mom of four adult sons (two are married) and Grammy to four beautiful grandchildren (three girls, one boy). She enjoys spending time with her family and friends as well as reading (especially anything historical), horseback riding, antiquing, football (go ‘Skins), Civil War Re-enacting and paranormal investigating.
She received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Science w/ a Concentration in Education in 2010 from Ashford University, her Certification in ESL from Bridge University in 2012, and her Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation Certification in 2015 from American Public University.
James Kiai Mukundi (assistant teacher)
James has a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Nairobi University and has been teaching English in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti for six years. James believes teaching from Kindergarten up is about more than simply learning ABC’s or 123’s. James says, “School is a platform for leading by example, an opportunity to instill good discipline, patience, humility, and laughter.”
Mariam Terese Mohamed (assistant teacher)
Mariam has a number of post-graduate certificates and a high-school diploma. She grew up in Djibouti and is well placed to understand the linguistic and cultural issues of the local context. She will be assisting Ms. Neys in the PreK - K classroom this year.
Anja V. Feikingoff (assistant teacher)
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