Leadership Team

Kathleen Naglee, the Head of School at the International School in Helsinki, is an award-winning international teacher and educational leader. For the past 29 years she has championed progressive pedagogical practices, diversity and creativity. Kathleen serves as a keynote speaker for various business and educational organizations, with recent topics on leadership, vision, sustainability and internationalism.  She serves as a Commissioner for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. She is the former Chair of the Board  and current Board Member of the U.S. State Department sponsored Central and Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA).

Ben Thrash is currently in his third year as the Deputy Head of School. Ben spent the previous ten years as Principal and Assistant Head of School at two progressive independent schools in New England, USA. He has been an IB school leader and teacher in the oldest US Montessori school and a large international school in Warsaw, Poland. Ben is American and began teaching at-risk youth in NH, CA, and RI before earning a Masters degree in teaching science from Brown University and in educational leadership from Michigan State University. Ben is married to Rachael who teaches English at ISH. They also have two children who attend ISH.

Jenni Katz-Miller has worked at ISH since beginning of 2012. She started as Accounts Manager and was later promoted to the role of Business Manager. She studied Accounting and Business Law in Helsinki School of Economics (now Aalto University) and graduated with her Master’s degree. Before ISH, she worked for a consulting company, in the areas of audit, tax and outsourcing services. At ISH Ms. Katz-Miller leads the Business and Facilities Teams. Jenni is married with four children. She is currently on maternity leave.  Our current business manager is Bronwen Scott.

Minna Tammivuori-Piraux is currently the MYP Division Lead and MYP Coordinator at the International School of Helsinki. She joined ISH in 2002 after having worked in various Finnish schools as French and German teacher. At ISH Minna has been teaching French in PYP, MYP and DP. In addition to her teaching role, she has undertaken different leadership roles as Personal Project Coordinator, Language Acquisition Subject Area leader, MYP Coordinator and Occupational Health and Safety Officer. Minna has a keen interest in supporting students’ individual learning process as well as building strategies for their independent learning. In her spare time, Minna enjoys exercising, reading and spending time with family and friends. Her husband, Olivier, works also at the ISH as French teacher and they have a daughter, who attends ISH.

Ben Bacon is the PYP Division Lead and PYP Coordinator.  He is joining ISH this year after working in international schools in Albania, China, and in independent and public schools in the United States. As an elementary classroom teacher for over twenty years, Ben is passionate about working with teachers, students, and parents. In his practice, he strives to create relationships and foster creative thinking, curiosity, and a quest for understanding. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education degree focused on international education. Ben joins us in Helsinki with his wife Ann, an RN, now studying for her Master’s of Public Health. Ben and Ann also have a daughter Louisa who attends ISH and their son Noah is attending university in The Hague studying governance, policy, and public health.

Mark Kilmer is currently the Diplomas Division Lead and Diploma Coordinator at the International School of Helsinki. He came to ISH in 2001 and has also taught in California and London. Mark’s goal is for all students to experience the joy of learning while becoming fully actualised individuals and citizens. He also teaches the Diploma Film course and spent more than 20 years primarily as a mother-tongue English teacher with experience in grades 6-12, with a particular interest in media literacy. Mark has also taught History, English B, Drama, Economics, Technology and Government/Civics. He has written textbooks, speeches, plays, poems and screenplays, and has been a consultant for educational innovation companies and publishers. He has a bunch of degrees and that sort of thing. He is married with four sons, all of whom attend ISH.