Education Leadership Team

Bodo Heiliger
Head of School

  • From Radolfzell, Germany; and Allendale, New Jersey
  • Bachelor of Arts from Colby College
  • Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • In education since 2002; at ISP since 2016

International School of Portland is a truly unique and inspiring place of teaching and learning. It embraces the ideals I hold dear to my heart of global citizenship; the beauty and diversity of language learning; as well as the power and possibilities of the IB Primary Years Program.

Over my time in education, I have taught in nearly all elementary grade levels in various schools across the United States and in Germany. I have been fortunate to have trained as an IB PYP Workshop Leader and a Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction Trainer, which allows me to lead workshops for ISP and schools across the world on how to teach and implement the PYP and concept-based teaching and learning.

Every day I become even more excited to be a part of this dedicated and diverse group of educators, students and parents. I love working collaboratively with the entire community and appreciate the great responsibility I have of helping support ISP’s continued growth and success.

Maria Abad
Head of Early Childhood (PreK-Kindergarten)

  • From Cuenca, Ecuador
  • Bachelor’s in Education from Pontificia University of Cuenca
  • Teaching Certificate from Pontificia University of Cuenca
  • Teaching since 1987; at ISP since 1993

I love working with young children. They are so eager to learn and so open to the world and to new experiences. My interactions with the kids are always the highlight of my day, whether it’s when I visit their classrooms, in the waiting rooms, or when they run into my office in the middle of a meeting to give me a hug.

I originally became a teacher simply because I wanted to work with people, but after just my first year of teaching I knew this was the job for me. Now I can’t imagine being in any other field. It fills me with such joy to get to be a part of our students’ lives, watching them grow, develop and acquire life long skills, and to be a part of this school. Our mission and community are really what I love most about ISP. We all come from different places and parents choose this school for their children because they recognize the value in that diversity as well as our strong academic program.

My hope for all the students at the International School is that they continue what they start here, that they gain the skills needed to function well in society, and go out in pursuit of their dreams. I love hearing from alumni students. As they become young adults, they realize the importance of their time at ISP. They realize that they’ve walked away with so many life-long skills, not only the ability to speak two languages. It’s great to see where those skills have taken them in life.

Click here for an article about Maria.

The school celebrates 20 years with Maria & Jossie

Dr. Pamela Chandler
Head of Elementary

  • From Boston, MA
  • Bachelor of Arts from Pine Manor College
  • Master of Science in Education from Simmons College (University)
  • Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of New England
  • In education since 1997; Joined ISP 2021

For as long as I can remember, my passion has been to inspire, nurture and educate children and adults.  Over the past 24 years I have worked in various capacities within the field of education.  I have been a classroom teacher, literacy coach, director, consultant, grade head and PYP Coordinator.  I have worked in public schools and independent schools in the US and internationally.  All of which have prepared me for my journey here at ISP.

I am so thrilled to be a part of such a unique community of teaching and learning. A place that has interwoven global citizenship and cultural awareness into such a robust three-track language immersion program.  I emphatically believe in the impact of inquiry and conceptual based learning and am excited to support our teachers in delivering rich, authentic learning experiences.

My leadership style is a cross between a visionary and a coach.  I believe in propelling individuals forward on the path of change, when necessary.  In doing so, I encourage and support the development and upskilling of others.  I strongly believe that collaboration and communication are key to the success of a team.  I am reflective in my personal life as well as in my professional practice, and believe that it is important to set goals, assess and adjust where necessary as an individual and an organization.  I am looking forward to nurturing and supporting an environment that values diversity, growth, and well-being.

Kelly Rogers
PYP Coordinator

  • From Alexandria, VA
  • Bachelor of Arts from University of Virginia
  • Master of Teaching from University of Virginia
  • In education since 2009; at ISP since 2018

From a young age I knew that I wanted to work with children, and through my experiences in various schools and roles both in the US and abroad I also discovered a passion for working with teacher teams to build and develop the students’ experience. I am an enthusiastic supporter of the opportunities that the International School offers its students. To learn in an international and multi-lingual environment helps children develop an understanding of the beauties and complexities of our world, and the PYP provides a solid framework for deep understanding.

I am joining ISP from Washington, DC, where I was most recently math curriculum coordinator. I am very happy to be in Portland and to take advantage of what the area has to offer. If I am not at work you might find me kayaking, cooking, traveling, or reading.

Heather Lenon
Student Support Services Coordinator

  • Bachelor of Arts; Religious Studies and Global Studies from UC Santa Barbara
  • Master of Teaching from Seattle University
  • In education since 2011; at ISP since 2020

After teaching abroad, my family and I wanted to repatriate to be closer to our family, but still maintain the international mindedness and cultural immersion we had experienced overseas.  I couldn’t believe when I found the International School of Portland – a truly “I can have it all!” moment.  I have felt so supported and encouraged as a new team member – the kindness and patience that the ISP community has shown has been greatly appreciated.  When I am not at work I love spending time outside, hiking, camping, and kayaking.  I love to cook with my husband, Aly, and read books with my son, August.  We are so grateful we found our way to Portland.

Senior Administrative Team

Steven Borcherding
Facilities Manager

  • From Washington
  • Studied at Olympic College in Bellingham, WA and Northwest Indian College in Bremerton, WA
  • Affiliations and Certification with APPA, IFMA, MPI, BSI, BOC, and CSI
  • At ISP since 2017

I am very excited to be a part of the International School. Having lived and worked extensively overseas and being part of a community of people from all over the globe I am a strong supporter of multicultural and international education as a tool to bridge world issues that are too large and complex for any one nation or people to resolve.

I have a passion for ensuring that the built environment and facilities work to support education and the mission of the school.

When not mucking about in buildings I am most likely off somewhere in our family boat. I love outdoor activities such as hiking, sailing, fly fishing and hunting wild mushrooms.

Katie Dart
Development Director

  • BA in Sociology and German, University of Portland
  • At ISP since 2021

After beginning my career in university advancement, I couldn’t be more excited to join the ISP team. I am a strong believer in the power of engaged, well-informed global citizens and it is my honor to support such an important cause! My career has taken me from Portland to central Pennsylvania to Tacoma, Washington and back, and I am delighted to return to my adopted hometown.

Outside of work, I’m a homebody and spend most of my time playing with my busy toddler and two active dogs, Mulder and Scully (the treat is out there!).

Allie Olvera
Extended Programs Director and Capstone Coordinator

  • From Durham, New Hampshire
  • Bachelor’s in Linguistics from the University of New Hampshire
  • Master’s in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

In my career as an international educator, I have facilitated over 40 immersive study abroads across 5 continents. Having lived in Guatemala, Peru, Tanzania, Thailand, South Korea, and India, I am my happiest when trying something I’ve never done before. It’s a pleasure to bring my commitment to transformative youth education home and find a like-minded community at International School of Portland.

When not at work, I enjoy reading, cooking, sewing, and scheming my next trip abroad.

Marguerite McAleer
HR Guru, People, & Culture

  • From all over the world!
  • Bachelors of Science in Business and Hospitality Management, Florida International University
  • At ISP since 2016

Marguerite joins the ISP Team with over ten years of HR and general management experience focused on meeting strategic and operational objectives for various industries such as Hospitality service, Manufacturing, and Technology.  Marguerite has been responsible for a variety of HR activities including staffing, training, coaching, employee development, and employee relations. Her attentive, hands-on approach and focus on teamwork aligns well with her new role at ISP. Marguerite’s competencies include performance management, employee relations training, and strategic approach to employee engagement. She believes that success involves team collaboration and ideas, especially fun ones!

Marguerite’s service orientation combined with her proven ability to equip leaders and contribute to operational excellence directly contributes to the needs of ISP’s objectives. It is important that our team members are committed to furthering to the success of our international community, and Marguerite isn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves and work alongside the team to make it happen.

When Marguerite is not at work, you may find her at one of Portland’s many parks swinging on the monkey bars with her son.  If she is not on the playground, she may be assisting with a charity, or simply planning a trip. She has lived in Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Egypt, and Sudan. Feel free to stop by her office anytime with a big smile to say hi. She will be doing the same.

Katharine Simons
Marketing & Communications Director

  • From Washington, DC; San Francisco, CA; and Greenwich, CT
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, Georgetown University
  • Master’s (MBA) in Marketing and Strategy, Yale University, School of Management
  • ISP parent since 2012; On staff since 2014

I am very proud to be a member of International School of Portland, both as a staff member and as a parent.

I have over 20 years’ worth of both online and offline marketing experience, and have held a variety of roles at both Fortune 500 corporations and small start-ups. Most recently, I was a consultant for a variety of firms in the technology, entertainment, real estate, and philanthropic industries. I am so happy to be able to now apply my skills to ISP.

My work and love of travel has allowed me to engage with people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. My prior employment enabled me to spend significant time in India, Australia, and the Middle East, and my family spent a number of years living in Hong Kong while I was younger. I enjoy meeting – and collaborating with – a variety of people, and I hope that you find me to be a supportive ear and an approachable source of information and guidance on campus.

International School of Portland is a wonderful place for children to learn and grow. It provides invaluable gifts of culture, community, and immersive language. I send my own children here, and it is a true pleasure to watch them become confident, caring, and thoughtful world citizens.  I only wish that I had had this opportunity as a child!

Robert Timmons
Director of Finance & Operations

  • From Columbia, Missouri
  • Bachelor’s in International Studies, University of Missouri
  • MBA from William Woods University
  • At ISP since 2002

Rob came to ISP with prior experience as Director of Finance for SakéOne Corporation and Branch Manager at First National Bank & Trust. Rob has also served on the Boards of the Beaverton Sister City Foundation and the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO). Rob is actively involved in the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS), having served on the Business Officers Conference Planning Committee, as a host in breakout sessions on various topics relevant to independent schools, and as a member of four school accreditation teams. Rob enjoys travel and multi-cultural activities. He is a firm believer in immersion education, and proud to be a part of this quality, ground-breaking institution.

Jan Williams
Admissions Director

  • From London, England
  • Bachelor’s in Comparative American Studies, University of Warwick, England
  • Master’s in History from The College of William and Mary
  • At ISP since 2003

I moved to the United States after undergraduate work, and, after several years on the east coast, I moved to Portland in 1991. Before becoming the Director of Admissions at the International School of Portland, I worked in admission offices at Lewis & Clark College and Reed College.

Administrative & Support Team

Brandy Ascough
Health and Safety Coordinator

  • From Los Angeles, California
  • BS in Science from Portland State University
  • Former Emergency Medical Technician and Emergency Room Technician
  • At ISP since 2017

Aside from my many years in emergency medicine/clinical work, I am an avid world traveler and rescue/rehabilitate animals in my free time. I enjoy playing classical guitar, learning new languages and am an avid reader. You will frequently catch me reading anything from peer-reviewed science journals, electrical code manuals, news, language books, to theater skits. I have a non-stop craving for knowledge and love to teach. I also taught CPR for many years in southern California and love to live an active lifestyle either running, camping, or out on the water on my boat.

International School of Portland is an amazing school as it combines an inspiring mission and all encompassing way of learning. I am very excited to work with such a well cultured society coupled with a teaching environment. The sound of teachers and students speaking different languages throughout the day is music to my ears! I am proud to be on the ISP team!

Candy Trujillo
Executive Assistant to the Head of School/Project Manager

  • From Southern California
  • Bachelor of Science in Education from Auburn University, Alabama
  • Master of Education from Concordia University, Portland
  • At ISP since 2016

Throughout the years, Candy has been an elementary school teacher, education specialist at a local art museum, English language teacher from elementary school to university – both internationally and locally, and in administration. She’s excited to bring her experience to ISP and be a part of such a culturally diverse community.

In addition to her work at ISP, Candy is thrilled to have her child attending our Japanese language track while learning to be a globally minded citizen.

Rebecca Roberts
Event Coordinator/Development Assistant

  • From Portland, Oregon
  • BA in Advertising from Marquette University
  • At ISP since 2017

I spent the first 23 years of my career working in the advertising industry, completing that phase in 2011 after serving as Broadcast Director at a large global agency. I then jumped into chairing fundraising events for several large nonprofits, including the Oregon Episcopal School, where my children attended K-12. I love sharing my passion, knowledge, and experience with the International School of Portland to help further its mission and to further strengthen its foundation. As a parent who endeavored to raise upstanding adults, I admire ISP’s focus on creating global citizens, something so important in our local community as well as today’s world.

In my free time, you will find me on the tennis court prepping for an upcoming match or whipping up the latest baking recipe that my husband and I saw on the Great British Baking Show. In the winter, you will find me on the mountain skiing with my family. I have two children in undergrad and one pursuing grad school.

Lisa Olivares
Alumni & Engagement Manager

  • From Chicago, Illinois
  • BS in Natural Resources and Environmental Science
  • Master’s in Urban Planning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • At ISP since 2015

I have a background in non-profit fundraising and event planning, having worked on and off for nearly 20 years in event planning and membership programs with environmental organizations in Illinois, Utah and Oregon. As Alumni and Community Engagement Manager, I manage the Global Citizens Annual Fund and Alumni Program.

I am also a parent at the International School, and am incredibly grateful that my family and I are part of this amazing community!

Mark Usher
Technology Coordinator

  • From Omaha, Nebraska
  • At ISP since 2012

In addition to working on computers, Mark is also a cooking extraordinaire. You’ll see him donned in a Hawaiian shirt every Friday.

Sarah Loepp
Marketing & Admissions Assistant

  • From Oregon
  • BA in History and German Studies from University of Richmond
  • MA in Publishing Studies from Portland State University
  • At ISP since 2019

I am honored to be a part of a community that values international-mindedness and global citizenship. I love working in an environment where I hear four languages throughout the day! In my free time, you’re likely to find me hiking, reading, watching a Blazer game, or planning future travels.

James Smith
Maintenance- Custodial

Bio coming soon!