AISJ has a purpose built Teaching and Learning Center which is designed to support teachers in all aspects of their practice. We have two specific training rooms and a conference room in which we offer workshops during school, after school and on weekends. The T+L Center can also be booked by teachers and other members of the community for parent information sessions, student workshops, staff meetings and other similar events. 

The Teaching and Learning Team comprises of eight staff whose job is to work with teachers in a range of activities to support professional growth. 

Click here for more information about what teaching and learning looks like at AISJ


Robert has served as a principal in every division from early childhood through high school at schools internationally and in the United States.

Robert joins us from The American Community School at Beirut where he was the High School Principal. He has also served as the PK-10 Principal and later Secondary School Principal at The American International School of Egypt, West Campus in Cairo, the Elementary Principal at The American International School in Abu Dhabi, and the Principal at West Ashley Intermediate School in Charleston, South Carolina.

Robert has taught middle school, high school, and undergraduate courses—and worked as a camp counsellor for 13 summers. He holds a doctorate in School Leadership and Supervision from the University of Virginia with his dissertation focused on Cognitive Coaching, an M.Ed. in Health Education from Temple University, and a B.A.E. in Secondary Education: History from Arizona State University.

As Director of Teaching and Learning, he leads a team of instructional coaches who work with 157 teaching staff from PK through grade 12 across two campuses to support teachers in improving their practices. Robert coordinates staff development and professional learning at AISJ through onsite based training and through a partnership with external consultants and AISA.  He is joined by his wife Kim, who is South African, and two young daughters, Reagan and Katelyn. 


Russell is in his first year as the Director of Technology at AISJ. Prior to that, he served two years as Director of Technology at the American School in London, eight years as the Information and Communications Technology Director at The International School of Beijing, seven years as the Information Technology Director at The Taipei American School, and five years as the Elementary Technology Coordinator at The Jakarta International School. He is a New Zealand citizen and has a Bachelor’s degree and two Graduate diplomas from Massey University in New Zealand. He is married to Lee Chadderton.


After a 13 year educational career in Australia (Tasmania) , Merris moved overseas 21 years ago worked in Kuwait, Qatar, Vietnam, and Hong Kong before moving to South Africa in 2010. Over the years, She has taught a variety of subjects to Middle and High School students  specializing in  the Humanities (Social Studies and English) Home Economics and Health. Her qualifications include a B.Ed. (Education Studies), M. Ed (Educational Administration), and D.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction), she has been an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IBMYP) trainer, and holds certification in English Language Learning and Learning Disorders.  

Prior to moving to South Africa with her family, Merris worked as a Curriculum Director, Program Director, and Middle/High School Principal. She has presented numerous workshops and Professional Development over the years in the NESA, EARCOS, and AISA regions on a diverse range of topics - including  Culture Shock, Mentoring, Developing School Culture, Learning Accommodations, Assessment, and Learning to Lead, and she regularly chairs accreditation team visits for the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (MSA) and the Council of International Schools (CIS). She is also an adjunct professor with Lehigh University in the USA. 

Merris is currently a Teaching and Learning Coach at AISJ and hopes to remain in South Africa until her 11th grade daughter completes her schooling.



Tara developed a passion for service learning on her first visit to South Africa as part of a IBDP CAS program in 2002. The experience was life changing and made her passionate to be involved in service learning to develop sustainable service projects in schools. Tara has worked as a visual art and design technology teacher in Australia, Kuwait and the Philippines, also leading curriculum development as chair on Understanding by Design committee, curriculum council, student’s leadership, IBDP CAS, and service learning programs. Beyond her Bachelor of Education, Tara has also a Master of Educational Leadership and her Principal’s Training Certificate.

In her role as Service Learning coordinator Tara is responsible for supporting teachers in the development of sustainable service learning projects and curricular. Tara also oversees the service learning program pre-k -12 at AISJ as a whole as well as being on the board for the Baobab Foundation.


Fiona has worked across both High School and Middle School in Australia, the UK, Peru, the UAE and South Africa.  During that time she has taught a variety of subjects, including English Literature, English Language, Studies of Society and Environment, Geography and Drama.  She is currently completing her MA Education (International Education) with University of Bath.  A passionate learner, Fiona is particularly interested in innovations in curriculum development and assessment that respond to the diversity of our students and the futures that they may pursue. 

Fiona is one of the Teaching and Learning Coaches who works with teachers from PreK to Grade 12 in developing pedagogical understanding and classroom practices.