how we teach

Your child will learn better when they’re happy, our teachers are dedicated to making that a reality.
  • Leadership Team
  • Elementary Teachers
  • Middle & High School


Blair Lee
Head of School
Blair is a versatile, dedicated, and student-focused professional with more than 20 years of experience in educational leadership. With an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Lehigh University (USA), M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the University of Regina (Canada) and B.Ed. from the University of Saskatchewan (Canada), Blair’s previous international experience includes positions at the American International School of Kuwait, Mount Zaagham International School and Seoul Foreign School.
Nathan Burton
Secondary School Principal

Nathan has over 25 years’ experience in education, including five years as Assistant Principal at John F. Kennedy High school.

A North Carolina native and world traveler, Nathan graduated from Western Carolina University in 1992 with a degree in business education.
Now he brings his passions for service learning, global citizenry, and problem-based learning to DAIS.

Ryne Holstrom
Secondary School Assistant Principal

Ryne graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in biology with an emphasis in secondary education. 

As well as his Bachelor’s, Ryne completed his master’s degree in educational leadership and administration at Grand Canyon University in 2018. He has spent 8 years in the classroom teaching both biology and chemistry and is looking forward to supporting our students and teachers to achieve success.

Peter Row
Elementary School Principal

Before working at DAIS, Peter taught Elementary Education in Cairo, Egypt, and Wollongong, Australia.

In 2014, Peter became the Elementary Curriculum Specialist at DAIS before enrolling in the International School Leadership Program through Washington State University and University of San Francisco. He is working on a Principal Certificate and Master’s in Organizational Leadership. This will be in addition to his degree in History and Graduate Diploma in Elementary Education from the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia.

Angela Beach
Elementary Assistant Principal / Curriculum Specialist

Angela graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Learning and Development.

After entering the world of elementary teaching, Angela earned a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Administration from Concordia University Texas. She has seven years of experience teaching elementary school and seven years as an assistant principal in Leander ISD in Austin, Texas.


Miwa Gyoba
Grade 5 Teacher

Miwa graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 2002.

After teaching in Taiwan for two and a half years, South Korea for two years, Japan for one year, and Egypt for three years, Miwa returned to school in New South Wales, Australia to complete a Graduate Diploma in Education at the University of Wollongong. She strives to be a caring and passionate educator valuing each student as a unique individual who has the ability to reach his or her full potential

Cody Gifford
Music Teacher
Cody earned his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Known to the students as Dr. G, Cody teaches elementary general music and high school guitar at DAIS. For almost twenty years, he has taught music in American public schools and international schools in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Israel, China, and the Dominican Republic. For most of that time, he directed bands and orchestras. Dr. G. is also a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, a method for helping students move with grace, poise, and good use of the self.
Katy Hunnicutt
Grade 3 Teacher

Katy has taught in Texas, Kuwait, and Cambodia before joining DAIS.

With a degree in Multidisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Katie has focused on English as a Second Language in her career. She is passionate about education and strives to instill a love for reading and learning in her students.

Martin Moratillo
Art Teacher

Martin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts, and a Master’s degree in Education Management.

Working in education since 1991, Martin taught in the UK and US as an artist and teacher visitor. He also traveled to Pakistan under a UNESCO scholarship to show his artwork and to teach drawing. In Peru, he taught Creativity, Art History and Drawing of the Human Figure in local universities and art schools. Over the past two years, Martin has been giving talks and lectures to local art teachers in different cities of China, regarding Creativity, Art History, and Sustainability in Art Education. 

LiTonya Roy
EAL Teacher

LiTonya holds a Master of Science degree in Education Management.

Prior to DAIS, LiTonya taught in Katy Independent School District for six years as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. She also has experience teaching both first and third grades.

Catherine Stark
EAL Teacher

Catherine has an Undergraduate degree in Communications and Spanish.

Since beginning her adventures in teaching 15 years ago in Spain, Catherine has taught English in the Czech Republic, South Korea, and Turkey, and Spanish in the United States. During that time, she also completed her Master’s degree in Spanish Literature and Linguistics from Ohio University and her teaching license with a specialization in ESOL and English from the University of West Florida.

Kellie Halpenny
Grade 3 Teacher

Kellie graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s in Special Education.

Deciding to take the leap into international teaching straight out of school, Kellie worked at an international school in Malaysia for two years before coming to DAIS in 2017. She loves working with young children and helping them grow into avid lifelong learners, with a belief in hands-on, active learning to build strong foundations.

Benjamin Newton
Design Teacher
Benjamin graduated with degrees in both Political Science and Public Administration.

During his 19-year career in education, Benjamin has taught English as a Second Language, Accelerated Language Arts, Special Education, and International Baccalaureate courses.  In 2009 he became an International Baccalaureate coordinator in Austin, Texas. Outside of the United States, Ben has lived in Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and has taught at international schools in China, and Korea.


Adam Coyer
Mathematics Department Head
Adam grew a passion for mathematics at a very young age and decided to become a mathematics teacher in the 6th grade.

Having earned his Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh, and his Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, Adam has taught high school mathematics of all levels since 2008. He first started teaching in his home state of Wisconsin before taking overseas teaching positions in Qatar and Costa Rica. He enjoys coaching athletics and continues to pursue personal goals in long distance running and obstacle course racing.
Annie Cui
Mandarin Language Department Head
Annie graduated from Shenyang Normal University in 2008 with a degree in English and Education.  

While completing course work for her bachelor’s degree, Annie took up a half-year internship in a Chinese public middle school, working as a homeroom teacher. She currently holds two official teaching certificates, a National Teacher Certificate and a Certificate for Teachers of Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages. Ms. Cui came to DHS in the fall of 2009. 
Jordan Reed
English Language Arts Department Head
Jordan graduated from the University of Akron with a Bachelor of Art degree in Integrated Language and his secondary teaching certification.

In 2011, Jordan moved to Dalian to teach English in a different environment. Jordan is a lifelong learner who brings his enthusiasm for learning into the classroom every day. His love of writing and literature propels him to help students find a voice that is their own. 
Mark Donagher
Director of Counseling
Mark has been in education for over 25 years as a teacher, Vice Principal and Head of Department. 

Completing his impressive resumé, Mark has held the position of High School Counselor in Canada, Brazil, and China. His qualifications include a B.A. Honors Degree in History from Carleton University, B.Ed. from York University and M.Ed. from University of Toronto as well as being a Specialist in Guidance and Career Education in his home province of Ontario. 
Matthew MacInnes
Athletics and Activities Director
Matthew graduated from the University of Edinburgh and taught in his home country of Scotland before moving overseas to Malaysia.  

in 2008, Matthew took on the Head of Physical Education position at Tenby International School. He went on to complete his Master's degree in International Education Administration through Endicott College in 2014, while serving as the Athletics Coordinator at the American School Foundation in Mexico City, Mexico. From 2017-2021 Matthew was the Director of Athletics and Activities at the International School of Panama and received the NIAAA's highest distinction of Certified Master Athletic Administrator (CMAA) in 2021.  
Olga van Doorn
Performing Arts Department Head

Olga’s mission is to inspire students to love music as much as she does and to be lifelong learners. 

Having previously taught in Africa, southern China, and Cambodia, Olga brings a wealth of international experience and perspective. She holds dual Master’s degrees in Pedagogy and Methodology in both Music and Primary Education, and she has experience teaching all levels of band, choir, and music theory. 

Pradeep Malik
Science Department Head
Pradeep is a fully qualified science teacher who has taught internationally for nearly a decade.

After his teacher training in the United Kingdom at the University of East Anglia, Pradeep worked for a top secondary school in the area. In addition to introducing IB Physics for the first time and starting an initiative to support girls in physics, he organized various events to promote science in the school and wider community. His passion to learn and live in different cultures led to him travel and teach in countries like Thailand, Philippines and, most recently, Russia. He believes students learn best when they see science in action and provides opportunities for students to experiment with their ideas to help them learn.
Rowena Liu
Social Studies Department Head
Rowena holds both her Bachelor of Arts (History) and Bachelor of Education (Secondary) from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. 

Prior to teaching in Dalian, where she has had experience both as a teacher and an administrator. Rowena taught in Vancouver, and Kyoto, Japan. She is passionate about how to integrate technology into student-centric classrooms, inquiry learning and developing students’ transferable skills. She is also an advocate, promoting United Nations Sustainability goals to educate new generations of citizens, especially females, for leadership in their communities and countries. She also holds an Online Learning and Teaching Graduate Diploma from Vancouver Island University, Canada and is currently completing her Master’s, in Educational Leadership 
Scott Pare
Middle & High School Curriculum Coordinator
Scott earned his B.Ed. at Brock University, Canada and his MA at Columbia University, USA.  

In his last school, Scott served two years as K-12 Curriculum Coordinator and four years as Secondary Vice Principal. Before entering administration, he was an English Language, Arts and Social Studies teacher. The 2021/22 school year marked his 25th year in education, as well as working and living abroad. 


Our outstanding and experienced teachers belong to an elite group of professionals aligned to the highest international standards, that share best practices with their colleagues around the world, helping students reach their maximum potential.

At DAIS, we’re the most forward-thinking educators in the world, and we use our global reach to create a learning experience like no other. We have a highly qualified and experienced faculty. 77% of our teaching team hold a Master’s degree or higher.

We commit considerable resources for recruitment every year to hire the absolute best teachers for our students. DAIS's outstanding reputation for educational excellence for the past 15 years allows us to compete for top teaching talent.

The world’s best educators inspire our students to achieve their personal excellence.


Our international teachers continually educate each other and provide support while getting the best ongoing development training available.

Teachers join training at Nord Anglia University, meaning our educators are at the cutting-edge of their profession. We offer an Executive Master’s in International Education from Kings College, providing our teachers with an in-depth understanding of school leadership in international settings. We take select teachers on subject-specific training every year with MIT and Juilliard. Our Regional Education Team provides all teachers with Becoming Bilingual training.


Exceptional teachers make exceptional schools, and our educators are some of the very best. Our learning environment is enhanced by a balanced ratio of national and international teachers. 

Passionate about inspiring young minds and helping students thrive, our teachers never stop learning through local and global, continuous professional development programs – something that attracts talent both in China and from around the world. 
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