TEDx Students – Emily & Todd

TED and its younger cousin TEDx, are powerful platforms designed to help us share “ideas worth spreading.”  In this episode, we talk with two high school students that presented at the worldwide event, and shared their thoughts with our ISB community.

Emily Merritt discusses apathy and the voice of youth in politics. Meanwhile, while Todd Amatayakul is rewriting the age-old question ‘What do you want to be?’ into ‘How can you impact NOW?’ They share surprising moments of being chosen, some TEDx B-side topics, and secrets of living your passion to keep you balanced.



Todd Amatayakul is a 17-year-old studying at International School Bangkok. His recent works with entrepreneurial projects in the educational toy field have led to his interest in youth empowerment. Through this newfound passion, he had the opportunity to work with youth in international schools around Bangkok.


Emily Merritt is a 16-year-old British-American who has lived in Eastern Asia for most of her life. She loves learning new things and solving problems, and hopes to apply these passions through education in the physical sciences.


Using the Power of Images to Fight Animal Trafficking with Kayleigh Ghiot

The illegal wildlife trade is a persistent and still growing problem faced by our planet. As the world population continues to expand, the demand for exotic animals expands as well. ISB marketing expert, Kayleigh Ghiot, discusses and shares her passion for countering the illegal wildlife trade. 

Using the power of images and video, Kayleigh highlights the emotion of the issue and brings its reality to our doorstep.

Kayleigh Ghiot

Kayleigh is an experienced photographer, graphic designer and communications specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit industry.  See her work on her website: www.kayleighghiot.com


200 Meters From The Summit: Mountain Climbing Denali With Rob Tyler


As we progress through life and work to do interesting and helpful things, natural obstacles appear along the way.  Sometimes we know those obstacles will be there and other times we are surprised by them. Rob Tyler, ISB’s business development specialist, encountered both expected and unexpected obstacles and he worked to climb Denali in Alaska, USA last June.  

Rob shares his story and helps us understand that while climbing brings him a sense of control, sometimes it is those elements beyond your control that gives you the most pause and opportunity to reflect.


Rob spends a lot of time mountaineering and trekking and in June 2019, he spent three weeks attempting to summit Denali in Alaska.

Rob is a Canadian-born British raised in Hong Kong. A business developer at heart, he worked in the private sector in a number of environments ranging from hostile (Afghanistan and Yemen) to exciting emerging markets like Myanmar and Papua New Guinea.


The Mario Framework brings a feedback and lesson system to learning support classrooms

As a learning support teacher, you may have heard and used a variety of techniques to help your classroom run more efficiently and effectively.  Yet maybe you felt the need for a specific system that organizes student learning and increases student feedback.

Phil Bowman, my guest today, talks about this Mario Framework. A framework designed for learning support classrooms and teachers.

Philip Bowman is a learning support teacher in his ninth year at International School Bangkok. His career in special education began over 14 years ago, shortly after being diagnosed as an adult with ADHD. Drawing on his personal experiences with ADHD and varied background in science, research, liberal arts, special education, motivation, mindfulness, and video games, he created an empathetic and playful approach to learning support that focuses on sustainable results through personalized learning. 

Philip believes that, in addition to in-class support, all students with exceptionalities should have access to effective learning support classes that target overall learning and life-long success. He recently founded the MARIO Framework to help further this mission by providing a shared space for learning support teachers to build and/or improve their own ideal classroom.

What Really Happens at the Environmental Wilderness Site (EWC)

Erin “Stan” Stanley and Ryan Moran lead the Wild Panthers program. They take Middle School students out to ISB’s adventure camp near a reservoir and provide fantastic experiential learning experiences for our students.

You may have wondered what a typical day “out there” looks like.  Stan and Ryan share the mission behind the program along with the daily activities that take place there every week.

Stan (Erin Stanley) is one of the teachers in the Wild Panthers Outdoor Education team. She previously worked as an environmental educator and has spent 13 years working with students on outdoor trips. Stan believes that experiential learning and exploring can be a key to understanding and developing for all learners.

Ryan Moran worked for a number of years in the field of outdoor education in the USA (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Florida, Colorado) mostly providing people with disabilities opportunities in the outdoors.

Following that, he was a Grade 5 teacher for eleven years in Colorado, USA, Belgrade, Serbia and Beijing, China.  

Social Thinking May Not Be What You Expected

Social Thinking is a social skills curriculum developed by Michelle Garcia Winner. A few teachers here at ISB have taken the training and are helping to spread its ideas across the school.  

Lori Boll and Beth Sauers help us to understand what Social Thinking is and how it can be used in our classrooms to help improve student social skills, communication and behaviors.

Beth Sauers, M.A., CCC- SLP is a New York State licensed and American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) certified speech-language pathologist (SLP). She has had over 11 years of experience practicing as a school-based SLP, working with students in grades PreK-12. Beth began her career in her hometown of Rochester, New York, U.S.A., and then made the exciting transition to international teaching in 2016. She has experience working collaboratively to evaluate and provide services for a variety of speech and language needs, such as: receptive/expressive language, vocabulary, phonological awareness, written language, social communication, speech sound production, fluency (stuttering and cluttering), auditory processing, executive functioning, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), and voice. Beth has provided professional learning to university students, families, and community members, with topics including: the role of the school-based speech-language pathologist, supporting language skills, stuttering, vocal health, and social thinking skills. 

Lori Boll is an experienced Special Education leader with a personal connection to individuals with disabilities.

In 2003, Lori’s son Braden was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. This milestone event changed her focus from teaching elementary students to advocating for all children and their education.

In Shanghai, China Lori worked as a program director for a school focused on students with special needs and went on to co-found the first inclusive school in the city. Currently, Lori is running the new Intensive Needs Program which opened up at International School Bangkok in August, 2017.

Lori has two graduate degrees; one in Reading Education and the other in Special Education and has been teaching for over twenty years in international schools, including American International School Riyadh, Jakarta International School, and Concordia International School, as well as in the United States in California and Colorado.


How Can Parents Help Their Child’s Mental Health?

As parents, we think about our children all the time and as they become older, we may feel less connected to their inner thoughts and feelings.  Are they, for example, stressed out more than we know? Are they experiencing very strong negative, or even positive, feelings?

Amy Smith, my guest today, provides us with a better understanding of student mental health and what we, as parents, can do to better communicate with our children and be there for them.


Amy is a Health & Wellness teacher at the Hong Kong International School as well as a consultant and education editor for Choices, Scholastic’s health & life-skills magazine for teens.

Getting to the Heart of ISB’s PTA with Selma and Emi

Many schools have a PTA and ISB is no exception. Some of us have a strong understanding of how the PTA functions, yet many of us would like to learn more about their inner works of this great program functions.

Or maybe you just want to know more about Friday popcorn.

Either way, President Selma Benmoussa and Graphic Designer and Social Media Coordinator for Touchstone magazine, Emi Tokai are my guests today. They get down to the details of all the great things the PTA does for the ISB community.

Getting to the Bottom of Design Thinking With Jacob Ortwein and Iwan Meaker

Design thinking is rapidly becoming a popular model for problem-solving and applying creativity to new ideas. Its strength lies in its focus on human-centered design (what does the user think?) and the iteration process that allows us to try, fix and repeat until we get it right.

ISB has its own version of the design cycle and the school is working to increase the community’s understanding of what it is and how to apply it in the classroom and other school structures.

Jacob “Jake” Ortwein and Iwan “Iwan” Meaker discuss the design cycle and bring a ton of clarity to how it all works and fits into our work lives.

Anthony Giles Enlightens Us on All the Arts and Activities at ISB

Anthony Giles is ISB’s Director of Arts and Activities at ISB.  He oversees the nearly one zillion options students have both during and outside of school. We pull the curtain back on what happens to organize these events and get a feel for the mission and objectives Anthony and his office hope to achieve.