Ms. SoWon Koo, PreK-K
Mr. Sam Roe, 1-2
Mr. Roe was born in Derby, England, and quickly escaped to nearby Nottingham. He studied History at the University of Leicester and learned about many exciting places and cultures. He first moved to Korea in 2012 and has spent the last eight years teaching in both Korea and the UK. His hero is Sir David Attenborough and he loves learning about animals and the natural world. In his free time, he enjoys reading books, supporting his beloved Leicester City Football Club (‘soccer’), and exploring new places with his family. Mr. Roe is really excited to be joining the KFS team and seeing what adventures this year will bring!
Mr. Micheal Higgins, 3-4
Mr. Higgins was born in Alaska but did not stay long. (Parents did not like the cold!) He has lived in Seattle, San Diego, and western Colorado. Mr. Higgins was an engineering major in college until he was hired to work at a children’s center with 2 – 5 year-olds. He loved it! He has degrees in Mathematics and a variety of teaching credentials. He has taught everything from Kindergarten through college. This is his 38th year of teaching and he still loves the job. His education heroes are Rebecca Abbott and Emily Heck (The first two teachers he observed and worked with, Kindergarten teachers. They were an incredible inspiration to Mr. Higgins!), and Maria Montessori. He enjoys hiking, music, art, and great stories.
Ms. Carlie McEachern, MS ELA
Ms. Carlie is originally from Kansas. (There’s no place like home!) However, she spent the majority of her adulthood in Arizona. Ms. Carlie has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Pittsburg State University and a Master of Arts in Education (Educating Multilingual Learners) from Arizona State University and her teaching certification through West Florida University. Ms. Carlie has lived and taught in Korea for almost ten years. Throughout her teaching career, she has enjoyed learning about and from her students. Ms. Carlie is very excited to explore this year’s curriculum with the brilliant minds of KFS. She is hoping to get everyone excited about and engaged in ELA. Outside of class, Ms. Carlie likes to travel with her family, play sports, and listen to music.
Mr. PJ Baybay, MS Science
Originally from the Philippines, Mr.PJ started his career at KFS in August 2018 but before that, he was a middle school Science teacher in the Philippines and Malaysia. He has been teaching for eleven years now and ten years of those are International Schools following the International Baccalaureate programme and WASC accredited school. Mr.PJ has a degree in Secondary Education major in Biology and completed the academics in Master of Education major in Educational Management both taken in the Philippines. He also took Master of Education in STEM Leadership at American College of Education and is currently enrolled at Philippine Christian University taking up Doctor of Education major in Educational Management. As an educator, Mr.PJ’s experiences have provided him with in-depth knowledge and helped him to grow into a more understanding, reliable, and creative teacher. The learning journey which not only a student, but a teacher goes through is critically important for the progress of the modern world. He feels extremely proud that he plays a role in this.
Mr. Chris Stacey, MS Social Studies
Mr. Stacey earned his B.A in Archaeology and History from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) and in 2004 came to South Korea and taught here for the next nine years. He returned to Canada, received his B.Ed from MUN and returned to South Korea. This is his first year working at KFS and living in Gwangju. He is married and has two children: Martin (10) and Maura (6). When he’s not teaching, he likes to explore different parts of Korea (and elsewhere) and try as many different foods as he can.
Ms. Rhoda Kemunto, MS Math
Mr. Aaron Coyle, HS Social Studies
Mr. Coyle has a B.S. in Secondary Social Studies Education from Temple University and an M.A. in Secondary Social Studies Education from Ursuline College. His teaching certification is from the state of Arizona. Mr. Coyle is originally from Buffalo, New York, but has spent the last 25 years living in Korea. This is his 12th year with KFS. He is married to Keong-ah Coyle and has three children: Emily (24), Johnny (23), and Gabriel (13). Mr. Coyle utilizes an activity-based approach to teaching and enjoys coaching basketball and futsal, in addition to being the Athletic Director for the school. Mr. Coyle loves to travel and to engage in outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, biking, and boating. Naturally, he is very interested in reading, particularly books related to science and history.
Mr. Sean Gillespie, HS ELA
Mr. Gillespie was born in Washington D.C. however due to the military status of his parents he’s lived all around. His teaching qualifications include a Bachelors in History from California State University Stanislaus, 11 years in Special Education in the United States, and 3 years teaching in Korea. Mr. G has worked with all grade levels from Pre-K to Adults with learning challenges. He’s a 5th Degree Black Belt in Shotokan, a part-time Radio Host, huge K-pop fan, and lover of all things video games and sports.
Ms. Arlene Oducayen, HS Science
Ms. Oducayen was born in Batac City, Ilocos Norte in the island of Luzon, Philippines. Her teaching qualifications include a Bachelor of Science major in Biology with 18 units of credit in professional education degree from the College of the Holy Spirit, Manila. She completed her three years international faculty exchange program with the Visiting International Faculty (VIF) in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 2009. She has been teaching secondary science for almost two decades and in three countries, namely, in the Philippines, in the United States, and in South Korea. Ms. Oducayen has worked with students from the elementary level to the collegiate Level and from different socioeconomic statuses, races, ethnicities, and learning capabilities. She considers herself a lifelong learner and takes pleasure in gaining new insights and sharing her own views with others. Ms. Oducayen is interested in health and wellness and enjoys hiking, walking, meditating, and reading self-motivational books. She has been an avid Spartan Race participant since 2014.
Ms. Kassy White, HS Math
Ms. White went to Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania. She got a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics. After teaching in Korea for two years she went back to the US and got her teaching certification in 6-12 Physics and K-12 ESOL. She began working at KFS in the 2nd semester of 2020 (what a crazy time to start!) as a lower-elementary homeroom teacher. This year, Ms. White is joining the high school team. She’s excited for the change of pace. Ms. White is a huge bookworm, board game enthusiast, and amateur baker. Her goal for the year is to read 100 novels.
Ms. Lydia Hong, Art
Ms. Hong earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from School of Visual Arts and a Master of Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design (New School University). She studied and worked in New York City as a graphic designer. She was a graphic designer in design companies, major mass media companies for many years and she launched her own brand bag. Then she wanted to teach art. She has taught from elementary through university for 10 years. She taught at Waldorf school. Ms. Hong teaches art from her heart and she believes that through the process of doing art, individuals experience creative thinking, problem-solving, and the development of their artistic eye. She wants her students to experience art and understand how much it affects their lives. In her free time, she enjoys visiting art museums, galleries, traveling, and walking with her dog.
Ms. Hanna Choi, Music
Ms. Ellie Liao, Chinese
Ms.Liao has finished her Educational Master’s Degree from Hong Kong Education University. While she focused on international education, skill improvement, and an emphasis on teaching Chinese, she brings six years of practical experience in international education. She has taught Chinese in China, Indonesia, and Seoul. Ms. Liao has been praised for her ability to provide innovative instructions and foments student’s self-efficacy. In addition to her experience, she has professional knowledge of several international curriculums such as IGCSE and has finished several IB training programs. Her teaching has covered Primary to Secondary year levels. Ms. Liao’s interests include traveling and cooking.