Blake Roberts, Learning Specialist at Chadwick International School, Songdo,

Blake is currently a Learning Specialist at Chadwick International School located in Songdo, South Korea. This is his 3rd year at Chadwick and has helped see the program grow in fostering the idea of “treating the symptoms but not the label”. Since Blake has arrived at Chadwick International, the program has taken more of a focus on improving supports and documentation for our support students best interest.

Blake hold his Bachelors in Special Education K-12 from the University of Virginia College at Wise and is working on his Masters in Educational Leadership through George Mason University (May 2020). Blake comes to Chadwick International with a range of experience in both public and private schools. He was the department chair of the Special Education at his school in the United States for 4 years and has worked in numerous special education environments from co-teaching to self-contained classes. Blake’s currently role at Chadwick International is focused on students in Middle School and co-teaching two Math and Science classes.

Blake is passionate about breaking down the barriers to support in South Korea and improving a culture of support within his school/South Korea. We really are thrilled to revive the SENIA – Korea chapter this year and look forward to expanding the chapter!

Justine Yeates is Head of the Learning Support Department at Dwight School Seoul

In her current role, Justine Yeates is Head of the Learning Support Department at Dwight School Seoul. Challenging educational settings to embrace sound inclusive practice, has been a lifelong passion of Justine. She enjoys overseeing the department and teaching individualized support for students who have specific learning needs, in English as an additional language, specific developmental needs and students who are identified as gifted and talented. The recent growth of the learning support center, demonstrates the necessity to continually improve the equity of services for families and provide a sustainable model of teaching and learning.

With over thirty years in early childhood, primary, secondary and tertiary education areas, Justine holds a Master’s degree in Counseling from the Department of Psychological medicine and Education at Monash university, Graduate Diploma in mental health for the teaching profession a ‘mini’ graduate certificate in gifted and Talented education (UNSW), a certificate of Montessori teaching (USA), Diploma of teaching (Melbourne). This portfolio of education has provided a range of opportunities to support
young people in their academic, cognitive and social development and to celebrate, assess and understand diversity among students, teachers and parents.

Justine previously taught education at Victoria University in Melbourne for many years, and at the same time developed her own business in Melbourne, delivering intervention to children in schools, kindergartens and working with families in a home setting as a consultant to families and young children with ASD. Justine spent over 20 years teaching in the USA, Switzerland and Australia. She coordinated speech and language programs for children with a disability for ‘Baptcare’ in Melbourne, evaluated by the Murdoch Research Institute in Melbourne. She took part in developing an online learning course for Autism awareness for General Practitioners in Australia.

Her recent highlight has been presenting in Singapore 2018, and Hong Kong 2019, on the topics of ‘Diversity and Inclusion – How Inclusive Are We?’ and ‘Agile Engaging and Inclusive
an Innovative Learning Support Centre’, at the International Baccalaureate Heads of School Conference and at the IB Leadership Conference.

Tonya Garrick, Student Learning Support teacher at Yongsan International School of Seoul

Tonya is currently a Student Learning Support teacher at Yongsan International School of Seoul in Seoul, South Korea. This is her 5th year at YISS and she has helped the program grow and progress in an effort to support their diverse group of learners. Along with spending time with her family, Tonya’s passions include being a lifelong learner and ensuring that others feel valued and part of their learning community.

Tonya holds her Masters Degree in Special Education and comes to YISS with a range of experience including public and private school. One thing she enjoyed about teaching in the U.S. was the ability to be involved in the Special Olympics with her students. Tonya’s current role at YISS is focused on teaching and supporting students in middle school, while also coordinating the SLS program throughout the middle and high school.

Tonya is hopeful that the barriers and stigma around students that need support will continue to diminish while a culture of support continues to develop within the schools in South Korea and around the world. As a mother of 3 children, she understands what it means to be a parent advocate and the value of collaboration. Tonya is excited to be part of the SENIA Korea chapter and looks forward to helping support others in the area of educating the whole child and all students who we are privileged to serve.

Bryan Coogan,  Head of Learning Support at Seoul Foreign School. 

Bryan Coogan is from the United States, born and raised in Syracuse, New York. He has a Master’s degree in Special Education and General Education from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York. Bryan has been teaching internationally now for 8 years. He worked in Dubai at GEMS World Academy for 4 years as a Learning Support teacher, before moving to Seoul Foreign School in 2016. Bryan is currently the Head of Learning Support at Seoul Foreign School. He works in the 8th grade as the LS/EAL teacher and Design teacher for that grade. He is passionate about working in Learning Support and enjoys supporting all the students in the 8th grade.

Katie Nolan, Student Support Specialist at Korea International School.

Katie comes with a range of experience in teaching, counseling, and coordinating educational programs in a variety of settings. After earning her B.Ed in Education from Loyola University Chicago, Katie started her career in education teaching ESL in Seoul. Over the following years, Katie taught Special Education and served as Department Head in high needs schools in Chicago, IL and Aurora, CO, USA. During her time in Colorado, Katie fell in love with outdoor education, and created hiking, skiing, and bicycle programs for the K-5 students at her schools. She also became passionate about Social/Emotional Learning, and went on to earn an Ed.S (Master’s) in School Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. A licensed special educator and Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP), Katie currently serves as a Student Support Specialist at Korea International School.

Katie believes deeply in the power of Social/Emotional Learning (SEL). She constantly strives to set students up for as many opportunities for SEL as possible. She prioritizes making ALL students feel valued, important, and acknowledged. In her spare time, Katie enjoys spending time with her partner Ben and their charming bulldog, Jack Albert. She also enjoys SCUBA diving, hiking, and exploring Korea (especially through the food)!