About the authors

Zena Taha Bjorgen

Ruth West

Zena has over 13 years experience with teaching and educational technologies. In her teaching journey, Zena taught Mathematics for 4th and 5th graders and the IB DP Information Technology in a Global Society. Zena started teaching in a brick and mortar international school in Amman, Jordan, but her passion for technology led to online teaching in 2012 with Pamoja Education. This makes most of her experience with education focused on online education and blended learning.

During her career with Pamoja, Zena served as a teacher as well as a member of the Professional Development team and the Online Community Support team. Her responsibilities include developing and facilitating online teacher training courses and creating support content for our online community.

Ruth is an experienced educator with a degree in Law and Economics, Post Graduate Certificate of Education in Economics, an MSC in Managing School Improvement and the National Professional Qualification for Headship (UK). With 21 years of teaching and educational leadership in the UK, Australia, and international schools. Ruth has worked online and in schools implementing GCSE, iGCSEs, A Levels, GNVQ, BTEC, the IB and the Queensland Certificate of Education. Ruth has held a number of educational leadership positions which have all focussed on supporting teachers to improve classroom practice, curriculum delivery, and pedagogy to help increase student outcomes. In her career, Ruth has won educational awards including twice winning a regional Educator of the Year award, a national award for Excellence in Teaching of Financial Literacy and a regional Excellence in Educational Leadership award.

Brad Opfer

Jason Schiessl

Brad is an experienced international educator with a demonstrated history of innovative teaching and leadership in a variety of environments. Brad has worked in schools across the globe and online implementing the IB, US, UK, and Ontario (Canada) curriculum. He has a master’s degree in secondary education, a professional teaching license in mathematics education from the state of Colorado, and is a Google Certified Level 2 Educator. Brad has been involved in many aspects of professional development in education, with a recent focus on inquiry, approaches to learning, concept-based learning, and developing a growth mindset.

After earning BAs in Secondary Education and Theatre as well as a BFA in Theatre Arts, Jason entered the educational field and has served as a teacher and instructional leader for the past 20 years. During this time, he served as the Steering Task Force Chair for the Florida Department of Education working on standardized testing development and establishing Florida’s current Sunshine State Standards. While working with the FLDOE, Jason evolved from solely teaching students in a traditional classroom to teaching International Baccalaureate students online with Pamoja Education. He soon moved into the Course Advisor, Teacher Training and Online Community Support roles, all of which are focused towards helping teachers build upon their strengths as educators. Jason is heavily invested in not only helping others to improve their pedagogy but is always striving to learn how to apply new approaches to his own instructional practices.