Mr. Eric Swan (Grade 11/12) - Program Leader

Originally from California, Eric grew up crisscrossing the United States, moving from California to Indiana, and then back to California during high school Eric spent his college years studying Psychology and competing on the basketball court of Cal State University San Bernardino. Immediately after completing his undergraduate studies, Eric pursued his Master's Degree in Educational Counseling at Cal State San Bernardino & National University. It was only two years after completing his graduate studies that Eric found himself working as the Director of College Counseling at International Bilingual School of Hsinchu Science Park in Hsinchu (Taiwan) and Varsity Head Basketball Coach for four years. From there, he served as the Head of Counseling at Shanghai American School - Pudong and Varsity Head Basketball Coach for three years. Eric is a returning counselor to ISM; he was the Program Leader from the school year 2016 to 2020. Most recently, Eric completed a two-year stint at International School Basel in Switzerland where he worked as the Head of University Counseling.  In his free time, Eric can be found on any given basketball court, surfing, or listening to live music. 

Mr. Swan can be reached at 

Ms. Rebecca Mayo (Grade 11/12)

Born in England, Rebecca moved to Canada as a child where she was educated and began working. Rebecca received her Honours degree in English and Women’s Studies from the University of Guelph in Ontario.  Following that she received her BEd from the University of Windsor.  After teaching for five years, she was able to take her Career and Guidance training from the University of Nipissing.  Rebecca worked at a Canadian high school for 16 years - the first 11 as a higher level English teacher and the last five as a comprehensive counselor.  For the past five years, Rebecca has worked as a comprehensive counselor at Seoul Foreign School, a post that sparked her love for international counseling.  Rebecca is a member of, and has been a presenter for, the International Association for College Admission.  She is also a member of the Council of International Schools.  Joining Rebecca at ISM are her husband Andrew (high school English) and their two daughters Edyn and Calla.  Rebecca loves sports!  She played soccer for her university varsity soccer team and has run a number of marathons including the Boston marathon.  She has coached soccer, tennis, and cross country.  

Ms. Mayo can be reached at

Mr. Jim Barekman (Grade 11/12)

Jim Barekman is a Third Culture Adult (TCA) who has worked in an international school setting for most of his educational career. Born in California, Jim grew up in Canada and has worked overseas since 1989 in Jordan, Israel, India, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Ethiopia, and Austria (twice). Most recently, he has worked as one of the High School Counselors, Grade 11/12 at the American International School of Vienna, Austria. Jim has traveled to 113 countries and is still trying to figure out a way to work in Australia/New Zealand and Antarctica to have lived on all seven continents! His journey has been a team adventure with his wife, Luanne Paproski, (who will be working at ISM in the Middle School) and their three children (who are now all studying in university) accompanying him in experiencing the world.

Working with international students, including U.S. citizens living abroad, has been his life’s work. Helping international students apply to university is an exciting profession as the process and factors influencing that process are constantly changing. As a result of serving a diverse student population, Jim has a strong understanding of his multicultural students and, because he has visited numerous universities both in the United States and throughout the world, has been able to help his students find their “best fit” universities.

Jim is a lifelong learner with a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of the Pacific, a B.A. in Psychology from Concordia University College of Alberta, a M.A. in Educational Administration from San Jose State University, and a M.Ed. in Counseling from Bowling Green State University (where he taught the Introduction to Teaching Course). He is certified as both a math and psychology teacher as well as a school counselor. He completed the UCLA College Counseling Certification with Distinction and has taught their College Counseling for International Students course five times. He has also been an international undergraduate application reader for UCLA for the past three admission cycles. Jim is a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) and its overseas affiliate, the International ACAC.

Jim is excited to be joining the IS Manila Counseling team as he has had his eyes on working here throughout his long career! 

Mr. Barekman can be reached at

Ms. Cerise Roth-Vinson (Grade 11/12)

Originally from Oregon and New Mexico in the U.S., Cerise most recently joined ISM from Taiwan where she lived and worked the past 7 years at Kaohsiung American School. She has a long career in international education working with prestigious U.S. Department of State programs and universities, advising international students and developing leadership. She is passionate about diversity, access, and inclusion in higher education, and has frequently presented at international conferences including EducationUSA, NAFSA, IACAC and others. Cerise has lived, worked and volunteered abroad throughout her life, and has traveled to more than 70 countries, and is especially excited for new adventures in the Philippines! She studied at the University of Oregon for her M.A. degree in International Studies, and received her B.A. in Political Science and French from Southwestern University, one of the Colleges That Changes Lives. She received her certificate from UCLA in college counseling and is an IB and College Board trained counselor, and enjoys being a lifelong learner. Cerise is a current member of the International School Counseling Association (ISCA) and also the International Association for College Admissions Counseling (International ACAC) where she serves on the Inclusion, Access and Success Committee. Her husband, Jeff, is an IB Biology and TOK teacher, and their daughter, Oriana, is in high school and their son, Tumiso, is a middle school student. She enjoys cooking, local markets, community-building, traveling, walking her dog, Koko, while listening to podcasts, and time outdoors with her family. 

Ms. Roth-Vinson can be reached at

Ms. Jessica Lee (Grade 11/12)

Before joining the ISM counseling team, Jessica has served students from Asia Pacific International School in Seoul for 3 years as the Director of College Counseling, and before that at Branksome Hall Asia in Jeju for 7 years as the University/Guidance Counselor. Before becoming a school counselor, she taught middle school and high school Spanish in California.

She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Korea University and her Master’s Degree in Education from Stanford University. She is  a current member of the International Association for College Admissions Counseling (International ACAC) and is a certified Youth Mental Health First-Aider. Jessica was born in Seoul and raised in Buenos Aires, where as a Third Culture Kid she was able to develop friendships and make connections with people from very different backgrounds. This helped her develop cultural sensitivity, appreciate diversity, and become a proud Third Culture Adult. She is married and a doting mom of a 7-year-old bundle of energy, who will also join ISM as Grade 2. She loves traveling, photography and jazz music, and is very excited to explore the unknown in the Philippines."

Ms. Lee can be reached at  

Ms. Alexandra Berry (Grade 9/10)

Alexandra is joining ISM from New York City. Originally from Connecticut, USA, she received her B.A. in International Studies from Endicott College and is currently pursuing her College Counseling Certificate through UCLA. Having spent time living in Spain and Ecuador she found her passion to be in international education. Alexandra worked at the University of Bridgeport as an Advisor in the Center for International Students and Scholars and most recently at Marymount Manhattan College as the Assistant Director of International Admissions.  Alexandra is a member of the International Associations for College Admission Counselors (IACAC) and the Council of International Schools (CIS) where she regularly attends conferences to stay up to date on relative topics and trends. When she is not working, Alexandra loves going to the beach, hosting family and friends for dinner, and traveling to new places. 

Ms. Berry can be reached at

Mr. Ben Paulson (Grade 9/10)

Ben is in his 13th year at ISM and his 3rd year in the counseling department. Prior to counseling he taught IB Biology, Chemistry, and Theory of Knowledge, coached volleyball and basketball, and served as Grade Level Coordinator. Originally hailing from Chicago, USA, he completed a BS in Biology and Secondary Education at UW-Madison, an MS in Chemical and Life Sciences from the University of Maryland and worked in international schools in Myanmar and South Korea before calling the Philippines home. He is a dedicated lifelong learner, holding certificates in international school counseling, mindfulness education, cognitive behavioral therapy, solutions-focused therapy, and most recently a PGCert in Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health at King’s College London. He previously worked as a research assistant studying the neurobiology of rhesus macaque monkeys, has sat at silent meditation retreats around the world, and opened the first floatation therapy center in the Philippines. He is passionate about applying the latest scientific findings, as well as insights from the practice of mindfulness, to help students and their families cultivate happier, healthier lives. He hopes a biography written in the third-person will make you take him seriously, but not too seriously. 

Mr. Paulson can be reached at

Ms. Nyla Caras (IB & Grade 11/12)

Nyla is the IB/AP secretary of Mr. Patrick Hillman, IB/AP coordinator of ISM. She is also the secretary of counselors - Mr. Jim Barekman and Ms. Cerise Roth-Vinson. She is responsible for all things IB and AP, college applications and other duties assigned by her immediate supervisors. Nyla graduated with a degree in AB Economics and a minor in Development Management from the Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU). Prior to ISM, she was an intern in Fleishman Hillard - a PR agency in Indonesia and a research assistant for Davis Projects for Peace. On her downtime, she loves to whip up Indonesian food and is a self-proclaimed brazilian jiu - jitsu addict. 

Ms. Nyla can be reached at

Ms. Arni Supan (Grade 11/12)

Arni used to work in a corporate human resource department specializing in compensation & benefits before she joined International School Manila . She is the secretary of Mr. Eric Swan, Ms. Rebecca Mayo and Ms. Jessica Lee.  Her main tasks include College Applications, College Visits, Digital Presence and Support for most HS Counseling events. Arni is currently taking up her Masters Degree in Psychology with concentration in Human Development at the University of Philippines, Diliman. A sports enthusiast with inclination to basketball and volleyball, she is also a wife and mom of three amazing boys

Ms. Arni can be reached at 

Ms. Kat So (Grade 9/10)

Before she joined International School Manila, Kat used to work in a preschool as an administrator and also taught 2-year-old kids. She is the direct assistant of  Ms. Alexandra Berry and Mr. Ben Paulson, the Counselors for Grades 9-10. She is also in charge of the new student files, testing, and assists withdrawing students with their documents. Kat enjoys trekking and spending weekends with her family.

Ms. Kat can be reached at

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