Raffles American School celebrates our 2017/2018 School Year Faculty


David Norman

David has mentored youth and coached children for many years in a variety of formats. After leaving retail management, he spent sixteen years in the New Zealand Police and his work with domestic violence and youth gave him a passion to help people succeed and led him to complete a Bachelor of Counselling. He has used this to counsel, guide and mentor groups of men and worked as second-in-charge for three years for a large 24/7 supportive accommodation facility. Dave believes that everyone deserves a chance and thoroughly enjoys building relationships with people to help them better understand themselves and their strengths in order to succeed and reach their fullest potential.  Dave enjoys sporting activities, including coaching and playing football and enjoying being part of the Raffles team. 


Andreina Tilford

Andreina was born and raised in Venezuela as part of a big, loving family. She pursued her college education there and earned a degree in Art and Design. When Andreina started volunteering in schools she realised teaching was her passion, then went back to school for her teaching degree. Since then, she has continued her education by obtaining an ELearning specialist degree and a TEFL certification from the University of Toronto. Andreina is fully bilingual in English and Spanish, and has worked as a lead teacher in Early Childhood for the past 6 years both in her home country and internationally in American, International, and Montessori schools. 


Carrie Aralis

Carrie Geraldine Aralis received her Bachelor of Arts (Hons) majoring in Corporate Communication and her diploma in Business from the University of Nottingham Trent. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Education specializing in Educational Psychology at University Technology Malaysia. She comes from a mixed heritage of Sri Lankan and Dutch which ignited her passion for music and languages. Carrie has spent the last three years as part of the founding team for Raffles American School. She has years of experience teaching in both the local and international streams. Her passion for music began at a very young age. Carrie plays various instruments and is a trained vocal instructor. She believes that music is more than just entertainment. To her, music is an art, a skill, a practice which is an integral part of our everyday lives. Music to Carrie is a more potent instrument than any other for education as it affects the growth of a child’s brain academically, emotionally, and physically. She believes that building relationships and bonds with her students is the most essential way of communicating her knowledge and experience to them.



Carrie O'Donoghue

Carrie O'Donoghue believes everyone is born with an innate creative ability, and that art is a process of exploration and discovery. Her role as teacher is to guide lifelong learners toward their creative goals. Through practice artists inform our world not only about themselves but become the voices of their generation, the visionaries of our future. Carrie O'Donoghue received her Masters Degree in Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from The Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Prior to joining the RAS team, she taught at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The University of Washington and at the primary level for the Ballard Community Center. She has a passion for arts education and, after 30 years as a practicing artist, welcomes the opportunity to bring her experience and knowledge to a new generation of learners. Carrie has lived in and around the South Pacific and SE Asia for the past five years.


Cherie Norman

Cherie comes to Raffles from Auckland, New Zealand along with her husband David. She has three adult sons, a foster son and a foster daughter. Cherie and her family have enjoyed hosting children of different nationalities and still have some ongoing relationships with people around the world. Cherie has a Bachelor of Teaching and Worldview Studies and worked for five years in a mainly Pasifika and Maori community. Prior to this, Cherie worked in a special needs school for seven years. Cherie believes that getting to know and understand a child is the key to a successful partnership in learning. She is particularly interested in helping students develop a healthy sense of self-esteem and self-management skills. Character development and self-responsibility are integral aspects of Cherie’s holistic approach to teaching. She is thrilled to join Raffles.


Erin Pan

Erin received a Bachelor of Science in Food Service and Nutrition from University Malaysia Terengganu and is currently pursuing a second degree in Early Childhood Education at Open University Malaysia. Before discovering her passion for education, Erin worked as a Nutritionist in Naturalistic Management & Consultancy Sdn Bhd. Erin believes that education is the only pathway to change one’s life. For the two years prior to joining RAS Erin acted as an assistant principal for a local language center specializing in teaching Mandarin as a second language. She has many years practice in teaching Mandarin to students of all different backgrounds. Her students have ranged in age from 4 to 64 years old, and have come from countries such as Korea, Sri Lanka, India, Singapore, South Africa, Japan, and Malaysia among others. Erin is a Certified Trainer, recognized by HRDF Malaysia and CeDR Corporate Consulting Sdn. Bhd. She loves to teach Mandarin and enjoys seeing her students not only learn the language, but also discover the associated culture and history.


Gail Johnston

Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Gail Johnston is an open-minded and enthusiastic teacher with over 14 years of teaching experience. She has worked in the International school system in Singapore and Malaysia for 9 years and loves being part of a multicultural working environment. Gail’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Education with a focus on Primary Science from Nottingham Trent University. She has been trained and certified in The International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP) while working in Singapore. In the classroom Gail promotes a stimulating, challenging and caring environment to enable each child to learn to the best of their abilities. She values opportunities to develop the child’s own interests and believes children engage with learning when it is thought provoking, exploratory, hands-on and meaningful to the child. Gail is a keen traveler and sportsperson and is greatly inspired by her family, friends and colleagues.




Josh Nobles

With a B.A. in Kinesiology, a Master’s in Education and a certificate in Secondary Social Studies, Josh has worked in schools in Shanghai, Singapore, Myanmar and the Dominican Republic. His upbringing and travel experiences have fostered a focus of historical and cultural perspective within his curriculum. As a big advocate for education outside the classroom, Josh enjoys coaching sports, development community service programs and leading environmental clubs. In all aspects of learning, Josh’s philosophy towards education is simple: To educate is to empower; We empower by showing others how to learn; We learn by asking questions, seeking answers and reflecting on the process. Based upon this ideology, Josh practices a project-based learning style that allows students to pursue questions they are interested in while utilizing skills they have confidence with. He believes that by making learning relevant and focused on individual strengths, students become empowered to seek self-actualization. 


Ashley Weeks

Originally from Long Beach California, Ashley is a passionate traveler, educator, and outdoor enthusiast. She graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a degree and credential in elementary education. She is currently pursuing her Master of Science degree, in elementary education, from John Hopkin’s University. Prior to moving to Malaysia, she was working in a high-poverty, urban school in the states, where she was challenged to meet the needs of some of the nation’s most at risk population. Over the course of those two years, she volunteered over 3,400 hours to the school/district, as an Ameri Corps member. Before this, she taught 3rd grade for two years in the Dominican Republic, where she continuously worked to meet the needs of students whose second language was English. Her experiences have led her to the conclusion that relationships are the foundation to any classroom. Relationships allow for academics to flourish by empowering students to take ownership for their own learning. She believes in holding high standards and expectations for all students because she is confident in their abilities to rise up and achieve. She is absolutely thrilled to be joining RAS and teaching 2nd grade this year! 



Lisa Borchart

Lisa joins the Raffles family from Portland, Oregon, USA where she taught 6th grade Math, Science, and Language Arts at a rural elementary school. She firmly believes that all students can learn and be successful in, and beyond, the classroom. She sets high expectations for her students, but provides an engaging atmosphere where students can build upon their existing strengths to become leaders and collaborative citizens. She enjoys being outside, surrounded by nature. Her favorite outdoor activities include camping, hiking, and running. To fuel her busy lifestyle, she enjoys cooking comfort foods and desserts. She also likes trying new restaurants and foods. Lisa brings an upbeat and positive attitude to Raffles and is looking forward to contributing to the community.


Nina Hall

Nina Hall became a teacher because she loves learning, which is probably best evidenced by her string of degrees from the University of Colorado, Massachusetts, and West Florida. Traveling, though, has been her most exciting education. She has traveled to 35 countries, lived overseas for 8 years, and taught ELL, language arts, and history in Singapore, Myanmar, and the Dominican Republic. Nina’s teaching and learning philosophy is founded on fun. After all, when students are enjoying the lesson, they’re interested, paying attention, and excited to engage with the material. This creates a combination that naturally fosters self-motivation and memorable learning. For that reason, Nina works hard to make her classes exciting, particularly through project-based learning strategies that culminate in community-oriented interaction or presentations.  


Owen Caddy

Owen comes to RAS with 12 years experience teaching the sciences to students of all ages in Washington State. Owen believes in engaging and challenging students so they move beyond simple understanding, and begin to see connections and relationships between all branches of science, and ultimately apply their knowledge synthetically across disciplines. He received his BS in Geography from the University of Minnesota. He has worked as a cartographer, natural resource manager, game warden, and environmental educator. Working as an environmental educator opened his eyes to how much he enjoyed working with children; and also how vital it is that today's children gain an exceptional scientific fluency so that knowledge can inform their future critical choices about how we live in our world. He has worked on five continents, in places as varied as Antarctica and East Africa - where he was a Senior Warden for Uganda National Parks.


Nursyahidah Suadi

Nursyahidah Mohammed Suadi has been passionate about Bahasa Malaysia since she was very young. Her keen interest in Bahasa grew from being exposed to a variety of activities and competitions in Bahasa including essay writing, and debate. These activities challenged her Bahasa skills and fostered her lifelong interest in the Bahasa Malaysia language. Nursyahidah received her Biology Science degree majoring in genetics from National University of Malaysia. However, her deep interest in teaching led her to join a children's development center in Selangor. With 5 years of experience of teaching children, Nursyahidah has been handling children with different characters and abilities which enforced her philosophy that every child is different and has their own specialty and ability. Nursyahidah believes that trust is the way to open up a child's heart and mind. Nursyahidah is excited to be a member of RAS's wonderful and dedicated faculty.


Catherine Parent 


Born & raised in Montreal, Canada, Catherine has been teaching overseas for over 20 years. She holds a degree in Physical Education from Université de Montréal and a Masters in Education from State University of New York. She has taught dance, PE & health education in Indonesia, Singapore, Lebanon & Tanzania. Catherine will be teaching dance and photography and is also the RAS Curriculum Coordinator. She is an avid swing dancer, underwater photographer, dive instructor, cook & traveler and is excited to share her passions with the RAS community.


Rotimi Afelumo

Rotimi receives his Bachelor's of Science Degree in Physics and Electronics from Bayero University Nigeria. He has over four years experience of work in International school. A certified Cisco professional and Certified Google Educator; Rotimi has worked as the Network Manager, Assistant IT Director and Technology Coordinator at the American International School Abuja. He has a passion for Technology Integration and Robotics. He received his Robotics training from the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy Pittsburg PN. Rotimi is excited to join RAS as the Technology Integration Specialist and Technology Teacher.


Kimberly Price

Kimberly is a native of the United States and has been teaching English in Asia for seven years, having previously worked as an EFL teacher and literacy specialist in Taiwan and Singapore.  She completed her M.A. in Applied Linguistics with a concentration in Foreign Language Pedagogy from University of Massachusetts Boston in 2015, adding to her B.A. in English with a minor in Chinese Studies from Boise State University in 2009.  She is passionate about helping students to gain communication skills and confidence while learning English.  Kimberly believes that learning a language is like opening a door to a new world and she is excited to be teaching the English Immersion Program (EIP) for learners who are new to English.  She seeks to create an atmosphere that will allow students to acquire the linguistic skills necessary to successfully integrate into the classroom as well as gain the intercultural communicative competence necessary for using English in their daily lives. 


Jean Nolan

Jean will be joining RAS from her home in Vermont, USA, where she is in her tenth year as a middle school special educator. She has been an international educator in Nigeria, Brazil, Pakistan, Japan, and Kuwait. Jean earned her B.A. from Wellesley College and her M.Ed. from Harvard University


Steven Jenkins

Steven was drawn to teaching after volunteering as a Peace Corps Volunteer for three years in Jamaica where he taught in a small rural school. His belief that life experience is vital for personal growth is also demonstrated in his work at Habitat for Humanity and managing an eco guesthouse in the mountains of Ecuador. He has earned a Masters of Arts degree in Sociology and a Bachelor of Science majoring in Finance. He is certified to teach secondary social studies. He has eight years teaching experience in Viet Nam, Honduras, the United States, and Myanmar. Steven believes in constructivist principles, that is, students construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. He further believes that it is paramount for schools to teach to the whole child which is why he has coached basketball, led Model United Nations groups, and led students on service learning and cultural exchange trips. He is a sports enthusiast with special interests in basketball and cycling. Steven is married with two young children who attend Raffles.


Jason Bennett

Jason earned music education degrees from Indiana State University and the University of Central Florida. His career path has taken him to public, private, and international schools in the US, Hong Kong, and the UAE. His experiences to date have made him a better teacher, dedicated to finding those unique educational moments that make a lasting difference in students’ lives. Jason tries very hard to find the right balance between the rigor, relevance and, yes, fun that music has to offer. When he's not composing music or uploading a wacky YouTube video, he enjoys vegetarian food and Chinese tea. He's traveled to over forty countries, but has no interest in signing up for a manned mission to Mars.



Elliot Byrne

Elliot is a teacher and world traveler hailing from Raleigh, NC who specialises in teaching English as a second language.  He has taught all around the world, in such diverse places as Korea, Japan, Costa Rica, and San Diego, starting his teaching career in China in 2004.  The ages of students have ranged from 2 to 82 and Elliot has taught in elementary, middle, and high school as well as adult classes.  He believes in having the students experience as much as possible in his class, so while teaching English, he also tries to incorporate other subjects and ideas into his classes to give a wide range of understanding to his students.  Each student is a fellow traveler who is aspiring to great linguistic heights, and Elliot feels that he is a guide who helps them along the way and points them in the right direction.  He loves teaching.  When he is not teaching, you can find him reading a book or rock climbing.  If you see him walking together with fellow teacher Amber M., don’t be surprised, because they are partners in life and have been teaching together since 2011.


Matt Tilford

Matt Tilford is a U.S. native who grew up in California, completed his B.A. in History at Pennsylvania's Bucknell University, earned his M.A. in Urban Education from Tennessee's Union University, and then lived in New York for a year before launching his career in international education. He has taught Secondary Social Studies and English in Venezuela and Myanmar prior to arriving at RAS. Matt is a passionate educator and lifelong learner. He aims to create a classroom environment in which all students feel welcomed, respected, and supported. His approach to teaching is organized and rigorous; he hopes that his students will feel pushed to learn and achieve more than they ever dreamed possible. Outside the classroom, Matt's interests include traveling, reading, writing, playing the piano, and spending time with his family. He is married and his wife is also a teacher at RAS.


Stephanie Seretti

Stephanie Seretti received a Bachelor's of Mass Communication and began her career path in business, where she traveled internationally promoting travel to university students.  She then decided to go back to school to get a Master's in Journalism, allowing her to continue travel the world. Stephanie found herself in Kenya where she volunteered at an orphanage, teaching English and helping out at the school.  It wasn't until this point that she realized teaching was her passion.  Being inspired, she went back to school, getting a teaching certification in 7-12 English Literature and Composition.  From there, she has taught a total of 6 years in Colorado, Belize, Bali, and Vietnam, and is very excited to be starting her next adventure here in Malaysia.  She will be teaching MS/HS English and leading the gymnastics program after school.  Her philosophy in the classroom is centered around self discovery and inquiry.  If students question and connect personally to the texts, they gain a deeper appreciation for what they are reading.  She believes that students learn from one another and brings a sense of community to each and every class.  In her free time, she is usually keeping active in the outdoors, doing yoga, reading, or traveling.  


Julie Roberts

Julie Roberts is from Florida. She was born in Jacksonville, FL., raised in Gainesville, Fl.., and lived many years in Tampa,Fl. Julie graduated from the University of South Florida in Tampa  with a degree in psychology and has since completed a TEFL certificate and has almost completed a master's degree in education. Julie comes to RAS with over 10 years of international teaching experience at the pre kindergarten, kindergarten and elementary levels. She has taught in Albania, Kosovo, Turkey, South Korea and Mexico. She also lived in the UK where she worked as a Social Worker but realized she truly enjoyed teaching. Julie also has many years of working with children in multiple areas of child protection. 


Melissa Diaz

Melissa graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2007. She's a world traveler because she was raised in a military family and was stationed in different countries. She moved back to Killeen to teach 2nd grade for 4 years. She decided to take some time to travel the world. Afterwards, she moved to Bolivia and taught 1st grade for 3 years at Santa Cruz Cooperative School. She learned Spanish and enjoyed taking a few months to travel through Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. Life is full of adventures. Melissa enjoys creating meaningful relationships along the way. She's passionate about videography, kayaking, and, of course, molding lifelong learners.


Tee Qiao Yuin

Tee Qiao Yuin has studied Chinese Language and Literature (Teaching Oriented) at the Nanjing Normal University where she earned a Bachelor Degree of Art. She had the internship experience at China High School. She believes that education can change lives if students are immersed in learning. She enjoys teaching and learning with students, and, during her spare time, she enjoys reading the latest research on literature and education.


Amber McIlraith

Amber holds a California Teaching Credential and has taught students of all grades and abilities. She loves to teach and travel abroad due to the unique experiences it offers and the diversity of people she meets. She strives to create a student centered classroom where each student has an equal opportunity to achieve his or her learning goals through active participation. She has taught in her hometown of San Diego, South Korea, and Costa Rica. Before coming to Raffles, she spent the previous two years teaching in Jinhua, China. She
loves to stay active through rock climbing, running, cycling, swimming, yoga, slacklining, and surfing but her all time favorite sport is football (soccer). In her free time, you may find her picking up a new hobby or practicing Mandarin Chinese.


Megan Nenke

Megan grew up in Boulder, Colorado but spent every summer and winter break traveling to visit her dad and step-mom in Singapore. She fell in love with Australia while on holiday and finished her university studies there. After interning at an international school in Singapore between her Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diploma of Education, both from the University of Notre Dame Australia, she knew that one day she wanted to work in an international school. Megan has taught at a large school in the mining town of Kalgoorlie in outback Australia, and then migrated to her husband’s farm and taught K-10 Physical Education in the nearby town at a very small school. She comes to us from teaching at a very diverse school in rural Australia where she fostered a welcoming environment for all her students. Megan believes in a holistic approach to education and values getting to know her students and all their personalities, inside the classroom and on the playground. She enjoys spending her time with her husband and young son swimming and getting outside, as well as exploring new places.


Brittany Befumo

Brittany graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2015 with a degree in Secondary English Language Arts Grades 6-12. Then  moved to China where she taught English to students of all ages and proficiency  levels. Brittany has also completed a Master's degree in Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) online through Sam Houston State University before moving to Malaysia. She very excited to be here and am looking forward to an excellent school year!

  Apply Now

Now accepting applications for the 2017/2018 school year.

  RAS Learning Outcomes  
  Raffles American School is a learning community that empowers students to achieve their academic and life potential.  
                            Raffles American School

Raffles American School
Jalan Raffles ,79050 Iskandar Puteri.
Johor. Darul Takzim. Malaysia

Protection Policy

© Copyright Raffles American School 2017. All Rights Reserved.