Teacher Teams

English and Social Studies Team

Mr. Eric  – 

Hi my name is Eric Bird and I teach English and Social Studies in fifth grade. Originally from Victoria, B.C., Canada, I have spent much of my adult life overseas and have spent the last 10+ years teaching in Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines. I am going into my 10th year here at ISM and thoroughly love working here!!! I am surrounded by amazing teachers and wonderful students. Feel free to pop round my room (P027) to say “Hi” or contact me via email at and I will do my best to answer any questions that you may have about G5 at ISM.

Mrs. McElhinney  –

llo everyone! My name is Joanna McElhinney and this is my second year on the grade five team and my tenth year at ISM.  I have two young boys in the ES program (preschool and grade 1) and my husband teaches grade 6 science.  I am looking forward to an exciting, exuberant and enticing year in grade five. My motto this year is READ READ READ You Can’t Do Too Much! Come on by if you have any questions or just want to have a chat! 

Ms. Elwell –

Hi, my name is Holly Elwell. I am from Kansas City, Missouri. I have taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades. This is my sixth year here at ISM. I look forward to exploring Manila and teaching English and Social Studies.

Hello, my name is Chris Nelson. I am excited to be teaching at ISM and working with the Grade 5 team. This is my third year working at ISM and first time in Asia. I was born and raised by parents that are teachers as well so I have moved around from country to country and school to school. Most of my life I spent in Lugano, Switzerland and Minneapolis, Minnesota. I love to read and tell stories especially about travel and experiences, which we will do a lot of in English and Social Studies!


Math and Science Team

Ms. Melwani -

My name is Karoli Melwani and this is my 5th year teaching Grade 5 Math and Science at ISM. I was born and raised on the small island called Curacao, which is part of the Dutch Caribbean, however, my family is originally from India. Due to my diverse background, I can speak many different languages. This is my twelfth year teaching Middle School students and have previously worked at International Schools in Aruba, Croatia, and Curacao. In my free time I enjoy traveling, yoga, teaching Lego Robotics, snorkeling, and reading. 

Ms. Dolman –

Hello! My name is Carmen Dolman, and this is my first year teaching 5th grade Math and Science at ISM. I have spent the past 7 years teaching in Austin, Texas, which also happens to be my home town. I love traveling, reading, trying new foods, and continuing to learn about new things. I am excited to spend this year getting to know your student as we work through new and engaging content!

Mr. MacLean –

Hi, my name is Robert (or Rob) MacLean. This is my second year at ISM and I am super excited to be here! Originally I’m from Ottawa, Canada, but I have spend most of the last twelve years abroad in Taiwan, China and Australia. Being from Canada I like the cold, which is something I haven’t found a lot of in Manila! My interests include reading, music, travel, and computers. If you have any questions or would just like to talk I am always available at

Hello everyone! My name is Sandra Navar and I am thrilled to be returning to teach Math and Science at ISM. I have taught 5th grade for many years in the US and Poland. I LOVE Math and Science and look forward to lots of inquiry, investigation, and problem solving! Traveling is one of my favorite things to do and I’ve enjoyed exploring Asia since moving to the Philippines in 2010. I also love to read, so please send any book recommendations my way!