English & Library Specialists

ISP students study English with specialist teachers one hour per day starting in first grade. As research shows, there is a natural skills transference between languages that helps students develop literacy in English and in their target language. Learn more about the ISP English program at intlschool.org/english.


English Specialists

Deanna Sundberg
English Specialist

  • From Clayton, California
  • Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology from University of Montana
  • Teaching since 1998; teaching full-time at ISP since 2014

Prior to moving to Portland in 2013, I lived in Barcelona, Spain for ten years where I worked as an elementary English Language teacher. After living abroad for so long, I feel right at home in the international community of ISP and truly value our diversity and uniqueness.

While I feel like I have learned so much in the past 18 years of teaching, the learning continues each year with my new students as I strive to connect with each child and really work on building their confidence with reading and writing. I want to nurture their individuality and creativity and help them feel successful.

Some of my hobbies include traveling, photography, being creative in the kitchen, swimming, sewing, and especially being a mama to my 5-year-old and 10-month-old daughters and spending time with my husband. I became an ISP parent last year, which has been fun and has connected me even more to the school community!

Amber Oerther
English Specialist

  • From Oregon
  • BS Elementary/Middle School Education,Western Oregon University
  • M.Ed/Special Education Endorsement, High School Language Arts Endorsement, Pacific University
  • Teaching since 2010

I have spent the past six years teaching ELA at St. Helens High School, the first three years in a special education resource room and the second three years with high school sophomores. I am excited to come to ISP because I became a teacher to teach elementary school until my career took me in a different direction. My favorite part about teaching is making connections with students in order to help them reach their goals. I believe in challenging all students to achieve more than they ever thought possible. I am thrilled to be working with a new group of students so that we can all learn together in an environment based on culture and friendship.

Outside of school, I am a Zumba instructor. I love dancing and making people smile through song and dance. I also enjoy cooking, reading, knitting and going on adventures of any kind.

Crickett Varner
English Specialist, Academic Interventionist

Originally from the South (Atlanta/New Orleans), I relocated to the Pacific Northwest five years ago. I’ve been an educator for over ten years, and have taught grades from kindergarten to college. When I am not teaching, I enjoy all things Hello Kitty, reading, traveling, and interior design for tiny spaces.

Jacob Muune
English Specialist

  • From Oregon
  • BA in English Literature
  • M.Ed. in Elementary Education

I am excited to be teaching at ISP this year.  Being involved in a learning environment that involves a global community is something that is important to me.  I am looking forward to a year full of new experiences, and new friends.  When I’m not teaching, I am usually outside.  Whether it’s biking, hiking, snowshoeing, playing in some body of water, or camping for a few days, the outdoors is where I love to be.  Playing basketball, kickball, and coaching youth sports take me indoors during the winter, and keep me active.  When times were a little more consistent, I also loved to travel, around the US, and abroad.

Malinda Metcalfe
English Specialist

  • From California
  • BA in Spanish Education
  • Endorsement for TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
  • Teaching since 2004

Growing up in San Diego, my love for culture was fed daily. Since moving to Portland five years ago, I spend my free time pursuing my love for camping and hiking. I love to read, travel to new places where I can use my Spanish, and play video games. As a teacher, I love seeing my students step up to challenges and grow as individuals and as global citizens. I have a passion for language, and being in a school where language and culture are a major focus makes my heart smile. ISP is an amazing school and I’m excited to be part of this close-knit community. I feel like I am finally home.


Dan Kelley
Head Librarian

  • Master’s in Library Sciences, University of Maryland
  • BA in History and Political Science, Indiana University
  • Fulbright Scholar
  • Over 20 years experience

I am delighted to be joining ISP this year! I’m looking forward to working with teachers to help develop strong readers and curious minds. I want to help the kids learn to love stories, and to help them learn to tell their own stories as well! I’m excited to collaborate with the diverse group of teachers on the IB curriculum and to contribute to a community that values international education.

Like most librarians I enjoy reading, gardening and cats. Perhaps unlike most librarians I enjoy playing sports (Ultimate Frisbee, ping pong, basketball and soccer) and competitive board games.  I have a lovely family that I adore, which includes my wife, our 12 year old son and our 15 year old daughter, and a Belgian Sheepdog named Zizou. We like to get out into nature whenever we can, and we are all committed global explorers.

Tomoyo Wells
Library Specialist

  • From Japan
  • B.A. in History from Portland State University
  • At ISP since 2010

I am originally from Japan and have been living in the US for 9 years. I graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelor’s degree in History. During my school year, I spent most of my time researching and writing in the library, because I loved being there. Whether it is the school or my small neighborhood library, there is something about the atmosphere, smell, and sound of a library that I love.

After I graduated from college, I volunteered at the Oregon Historical Society Museum. Afterward, I started working at ISP as a library assistant and I am happy to be part of ISP community.

My goal is to help students find their potential emotionally, intellectually and socially by delivering good stories and providing an environment where they can share their ideas and have access to information to find the answer to their questions.