Faculty

APIS strives for excellence in teaching:

  • To ensure measurable, standard-based student performances and achievements by implementing a cutting-edge curriculum and research-based instructional strategies.
  • To assemble a superb group of educators, who are not only excellent teachers but also accomplished individuals serving as role models.
  • To provide a Christ-centered, loving, and caring community that promotes students’ creativity and passion for learning.
Searching APIS Faculty
  • Kathy Rehfield-Pelles
    K-12 Principal
    M.Ed. Harvard University / B.S. Yale University
    Mrs. Rehfield-Pelles was most recently a superintendent for 12 years for the New York City Department of Education, where she was responsible for 47 Pre-K to 12th grade schools and 18,000 students. Before she was appointed superintendent, she was a principal for 10 years at School of the Future, a rigorous college-preparatory middle and high school in New York City. She began her career teaching math and computer science in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Rome, Italy. Mrs. Rehfield-Pelles majored in Mathematics at Yale University and received her master’s degree in education from Harvard Graduate School. For high school, Mrs. Rehfield-Pelles attended the United Nations International School (UNIS), a flagship international school in New York City. During her free time, Mrs. Rehfield-Pelles enjoys reading, traveling, and meeting new people. She is looking forward to exploring Seoul with her husband, Matt.
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  • Andrew Ris
    High School Assistant Principal
    M.A. Endicott College / B.A. University of Pittsburgh
    Mr. Ris joins the APIS Seoul team after spending four years on the administration team in our sister school in Hawaii. Before that, he worked for five years at an international boarding school in Shanghai, China. He has earned a master’s degree in International Education Administration from Endicott College and a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Pittsburgh. Coming from a family of educators, Mr. Ris feels most at home in a school environment and especially appreciates the strong relational focus at APIS. He’s very excited to learn more about Korea’s rich cultural history and natural beauty, along with his wife and young daughter.

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  • Yuki Sasaki
    High School Science
    B.S. McGill University / PGCE University of Cambria
    Born and raised in Rome, Italy, Ms. Sasaki attended international school for her formative years. After she completed her bachelors at McGill University she began her teaching career as an assistant at Marymount International School for four years. Ms. Sasaki then moved to London, U.K., where she started her career as a biology teacher for Key Stage 3 (KS3) and Key Stage 4 (KS4) Science, helping students from challenging life circumstances navigate their tough realities. Her main passion lies in creating a safe, stimulating, and positive learning environment with her students, to help students acquire skills that enable them to pursue any field they wish to pursue in the future, and also learn from her students who she believes always have some unique perspective to bring to the classroom.
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  • Goeun Anna Sea
    Art
    M.F.A. Boston University / B.F.A. Boston University
    Mrs. Sea moved to the United States at the age of 16 when she was a student at Seoul Arts High School. She continued with her love of art and earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting with a performing art scholarship and Master of Fine Arts in Studio Teaching K-12 from Boston University. Mrs. Sea says that completing her master’s thesis, titled “Emotional Explorations in Visual Arts: An Aspect of Art Education,” in particular, allowed her to hone essential skills as an educator. The research opportunity gave her valuable training in creating and analyzing in-depth unit, lesson plans, and curriculum designs. Mrs. Sea has 16 years of teaching experience from the public school system in Winchester, Massachusetts, U.S., and from APIS, Seoul, South Korea. Outside of the school setting, she also served as a museum educator at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts during the summer for two years. As an art educator, she believes that every individual has his or her own unique character and areas of strength. She wants to help her students to express their identity and discover their potential by using art as a tool and method. As an active member of her church, she went on various mission trips and led Bible study camps for young children in and outside of the U.S. Apart from teaching, she loves to cook, travel, and find good places to eat, but most of all, she enjoys spending time with her husband and her daughter.

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  • Robert Sim
    High School Coordinator / English Language Arts (ELA)
    B.Ed. Trent University / B.A. McMaster University
    Mr. Sim earned his bachelor’s degree with honors from McMaster University, where he majored in English literature. After graduating, he moved to Toronto where he worked for several years as a recording engineer at Reaction Studios. In 2006, Mr. Sim made the decision to come to Korea to teach English as a Second Language (ESL). Inspired by his experiences in Korea, he returned to Canada to study intermediate senior English and history education at Trent University. At APIS, Mr. Sim teaches High School (HS) English, Middle School (MS) Writer’s Workshop, and recording arts. In addition to those things already mentioned, Mr. Sim also enjoys reading, feeling frustrated on the tennis court, and occasionally laboring his way up mountains.
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  • Emily Sonneland
    Grade 4
    B.A. Whitworth University
    Ms. Sonneland grew up in the mountains of Idaho before moving to Washington state with her family. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Whitworth University with a minor in English. Miss Sonneland is an OCDE Project GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition and Design) teacher and is passionate about working with English as an Additional Language (EAL) students and helping them reach their full potential. This will be her fifth year teaching and first year at APIS. Building community, bringing joy to learning, and helping students build self efficacy skills are at the core of her teaching. In her free time she enjoys reading, baking, spending time with her family and friends, and making pottery.
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  • Sarah Swanson
    High School English Language Arts (ELA)
    B.A. University of Wisconsin – Platteville
    Ms. Swanson studied at the University of Wisconsin to earn a Bachelor of Arts in English and History with a Minor in Comprehensive Social Sciences and Emphasis in Psychology. In addition to teaching, Ms. Swanson has been a unit director for the Boys and Girls Club organization, a Forensics coach, and a cheerleading coach. She looks forward to being involved with the APIS community. During her free time, Ms. Swanson enjoys reading classic literature, historical fiction, modern fiction, biographies, and memoirs and brings that love of literature into her classes as well.
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  • Adella Woo
    High School Math
    M.Ed. Korea University / B.A. & B.Ed. University of British Columbia
    Ms. Woo graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Education in Secondary School Mathematics from the University of British Columbia. While in school, she was elected to the Golden Key International Honor Society and worked as a teaching assistant at the math department. Upon graduation, she took her first leap into the classroom as a math teacher at a private school in Vancouver and a Korean 12 teacher in Burnaby, Canada. While in Korea, Ms. Woo worked for ACT Education Solutions and the Princeton Review by developing assessments and preparing students for college. She also has experience in developing curriculum and training teachers in math instruction. Because of her background and experiences in Korea, Canada, and the United States, she appreciates the balance of distinct cultures and enjoys working with a diverse group of students. Ms. Woo believes that everyone should have the opportunity to stimulate their curiosity in mathematics while in a caring environment. She encourages all students to challenge themselves to greater heights by competing at math competitions and by finding real-world applications related to math. During her spare time, Ms. Woo enjoys dancing, watching the LG Twins, and spending time with her husband and her son.
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  • Cameron Wright
    Elementary School Coordinator / Grade 5
    M.Ed. Framingham State University / B.S. Indiana University
    Mr. Wright is from Indianapolis, Indiana, and graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in English education and completed his Master of Education in International Teaching at Framingham State University. He has been teaching for over five years. He is passionate about helping students learn to take ownership of their own learning so that they may become lifelong learners who never stop seeking knowledge and looking for ways to improve themselves. John Dewey said it best: “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”
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  • Ruth Gina Yoo
    K-12 English as an Additional Language (EAL) Coordinator
    M.Ed. Seoul National University / B.A. Yonsei University
    Ms. Yoo grew up attending international schools in Singapore and Korea. She earned her Master of Education in English Language Education from Seoul National University and earned her Bachelor of Arts from Yonsei University. Ms. Yoo comes with experience teaching English as an Additional Language (EAL) students in IB schools and teaching Korean students in Korea's most prestigious language education group. Ms. Yoo also worked as a news reporter at a radio station in Seoul and hosted numerous international conferences, including the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics Torch Relay. Since Ms. Yoo had a similar upbringing to students at APIS as a bilingual student, she hopes to support the EAL students in a way that they can fully meet their potential and excel in life.
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