Foundation

Our Academic Staff members are at the very heart of our School. It is their enthusiasm and commitment in providing learning to our students that inspires our high standards and continued success.

HeadStart’s over 70 specialist teachers have British, Australian, US or similar internationally recognised qualifications which include Bachelor and Master Degrees and Doctorates. They bring with them a wealth of current experience from their home countries and from other international schools. Teachers in Foundation and Primary School are supported by a team of qualified teaching assistants.

The dedication and commitment of our Operational Staff in supporting the day-to-day running of HeadStart ensures that our students receive the very best in learning and extra-curricular activities.


‘Throughout the school, teachers’ subject knowledge and understanding of how students learn are strong. Relationships between students and teachers are positive. The ratio of qualified teachers to students, especially in the early years and lower primary classes, is high. ‘Deputy’ teachers, who are fully qualified teachers in their home countries, support class teachers. Due to their expertise, they make a significant difference to the rates of progress that students make. Teachers know students well and assess them accurately. This enables teachers to plan work that matches the ability of individual students and caters well for their varying needs.’ Education Development Trust (EDT) Accreditation Report, June 2017

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Danielle Jones

Teacher
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My name is Danielle Jones and I am looking forward to my second year of teaching at HeadStart International School, Phuket. I am from the United Kingdom and grew up in Manchester where I studied for a BA (Hons) in Primary Education and have taught to both the English National curriculum and the EYFS Development Matters Curriculum. I have been teaching for almost 4 years in a range of schools in the north of England from Reception to year 1. I specialised in D&T and Drama. I have continued to develop my love of these subjects through my role as D&T co-ordinator at my most recent post and after school drama club, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I have also danced from an early age, competing in Latin and Ballroom competitions at National level. I feel lucky to have been given the opportunity to develop my career in a country which embraces a rich diversity of cultures and traditions. I thoroughly enjoy working in a busy environment where each day is different and I am confident, passionate and enthusiastic about working with children and giving them the best start in life.

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Corazon Liguid

Deputy Teacher
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My name is Corazon Oliveros. I am a Filipino, born in Davao City, Mindanao in the Southern Philippines. I studied Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering at the University of Mindanao, Davao City, Philippines from 1978 to 1983. In 1986, I also gain Bachelor of Science units in Elementary Education. I arrived in Phuket, Thailand in 2005. Since then, I had several experience as a private tutor for children in Grades one, three and four. Before joining the HeadStart Team, I worked as a Teaching Assistant at Phuket International School in Rawai from 2008 to 2009. I have worked with HeadStart International School Team for the last eight years. I am very proud and happy to be working at the brilliant new campus.

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Angela Coloma

Deputy Teacher
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My name is Angela Joy T. Coloma, originally from the Philippines. I have been staying in Thailand for a year. I graduated in Mariano Marcos State University College of Teacher Education. Holder of Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education, major in Preschool Education. I am an open-minded person because I am willing to learn more for the development of my career and skills as well. This is my third year at HeadStart. I worked with Early Years for the past two years. I am passionate about teaching young children and love working with them. I am grateful to be a part of the Preschool team. I am looking forward for lots of fun while learning creatively.

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Wasana Promthong

Art Teacher
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I am Wasana Promthong and a native of the province of Trang in southern Thailand. I am the daughter of a policeman. I graduated with a degree in Fine Arts at the College of Fine Arts in Nakon Sri Thamarat and later on continued as His Majesty The King's scholar at the King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Lat Krabang in Bangkok, thus obtaining a degree in Fine Arts in 2009. Immediately after, I taught Arts for one year at Samian Naree school in Bangkok. I then moved to Phuket in 2011, and taught Arts in Kajongkiet Suksa school. While working at the school, I opened up my personal Art Gallery in Phuket town. I enjoy teaching my students. I love to observe their development and enthusiasm. As a teacher, it is my vision and duty that my students learn and absorb the knowledge and education that I am imparting to them.

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Amy Drew

Teacher
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My name is Amy Drew, and I’m very happy to be continuing teaching at HeadStart. This is my third year teaching in Foundation, the previous 2 years having taught Reception class and I’m looking forwards to working with the Early Years children. My teaching career in Thailand started at an International School in Bangkok linked to a top UK private boarding school. There I held a number of roles: running playgroup; specialising in teaching English as an additional Language (EAL) to Key Stage 1 and Foundation Stage; and finally teaching Pre-school within the Foundation Key Stage. I originally graduated from Loughborough University with a Bachelors of Science however I shall not tell you there year, as that will give my age away! Since then I have continued my studies, and have recently completed a postgraduate certificate in International Education from the University of Nottingham to update my teaching skills to the very latest educational theory and practices. Living in Thailand, I’ve enjoyed an education myself, from learning the culture and the language of Thailand to meeting so many experienced teachers at HeadStart with vast knowledge from teaching around the world. I moved to Thailand with my husband, the Director of Studies, and spent 2 years in the city of smiles, Bangkok, enjoying the vibrancy of the city. We then relocated to Phuket, away from the hustle and bustle to the calm and leafy inner island, the tropical beaches, and colourful underwater activity that I see when scuba diving here.

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Rinah Ricohermoso

Deputy Teacher
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Hello! My name is Rinah F. Ricohermoso and I came from the Philippines. I’m so excited to begin my second year working at HeadStart but for this school-year I will be working as a Deputy Teacher for Early Years Yellow with Ms. Amy Drew. I graduated from Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology with a Bachelor's degree in Education on 2004 and spent six years teaching on the lower grade level in both suburban and urban school districts. I passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET), in 2005, as well as the Test of English for International Communication last June 2016. I came here to Thailand last April 30, 2016. My experience enables me to provide my students with a “headstart” in mastering basic skills. I am challenged to be creative, nurturing and most of all patient. In my teaching years, I involved myself in helping young children to engage themselves in a creative learning experience. It allows me to develop better understanding on every child’s needs of learning. I am passionate about helping my students to reach their full potential and breaking out of the box that has imprisoned them and in becoming the kind of person God intended them to be. It is important to me to show love, compassion, and help them understand their true value and worth. I’m perfectly imperfect that’s why I will accept my students’ imperfection but will still stand firmly against behavior that doesn’t meet my expectations or reflect their inner greatness. I can’t wait to begin another year at HeadStart!

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
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Holly Strawbridge

Teacher
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My name is Holly Strawbridge and I am looking forward to teaching Early Years at Headstart this year. I am from the United Kingdom and grew up in Doncaster, however I have been studying for my BA (Hons) in Early Primary Education in Newcastle for the last three years. My post at HeadStart will be my first teaching position and I truly appreciate the opportunity to begin my career in a country and school that promote cultural diversity. HeadStart’s philosophy is what made me apply for this role, as I believe that inspiring and developing a love for learning in the Early Years provides a strong foundation for every child. In my experience, children learn best in exciting, motivating and imaginative lessons that capture their interest and ensure their engagement. For me, this means working in an environment that not only celebrates children’s academic success, but also nurtures their creativity. When children learn through hands on experiences and play, they are able to develop their confidence, life skills and explore for themselves. By having fun and exploring ideas for themselves, children are able to make sense of their world and thrive. Mathematics is arguably the most abstract subject of all and during my training I wanted to develop my ability to teach it effectively and creatively, therefore when given the opportunity, I chose it as my specialism enhancement subject. I recognise the importance of mathematics as a core subject within the National Curriculum and have always enjoyed the challenges posed by the subject. By transmitting my positive and proactive attitude, by making learning memorable with links to the real world, I believe that I will be able to improve the negative attitudes often associated with mathematics, and subsequently positively impact children’s competence and confidence. I also believe that a strong partnership between home and school is essential for the wellbeing of the children. Therefore, I look forward to working alongside you to nurture each individual and allow them to achieve their full potential.

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Alma Oliva

Deputy Teacher
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My name is Alma G. Oliva, born in Masbate Philippines. I am married and blessed with four children. I gained the degree of Bachelor of Arts Major in English at Mountain View, Valencia, Bukidnon, Philippines. My first job was working with the little ones and this inspired me to specialise and teach young children. Singing and playing musical instruments are my favourite hobbies. I believe in a saying that says “In this world nothing is constant, everything keeps on changing” especially in the field of teaching. As a teacher, we should not stop learning; we should make ourselves well-equipped with knowledge, for we will be passing that knowledge on to our students. I served as a Kindergarten, Primary and Secondary teacher in Private schools in the Philippines for 9 years. I first came to Thailand in April 2007. Initially I worked in Bangkok as a Primary and Secondary Music teacher at Sunflower Trilingual School. Then I moved to Phuket and got a job at HeadStart International School as Deputy Teacher in Preschool, Reception and Year 2. I’ve been working in this school for eight years. At present, I am working as Deputy Teacher in Early Years Blue with Miss Holly. I wish that the school will have more success this year and in the years to come with harmonious relationships between teachers and parents, as we work together to help our students to achieve their dreams.

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Hannah Kuusik

Teacher
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My name is Hannah Kuusik and I am really looking forward to teaching in Reception at HeadStart International School. I am originally from Bristol in the South West of England but moved up North to study French at Sheffield University. This was an amazing experience and I was fortunate enough to spend a year living and teaching in France. After graduating, I continued my studies at Manchester University; gaining a PGCE with Modern Languages Specialism. I have been teaching in Manchester since 2013 and have taught a range of classes from Reception to Year 4. I am passionate about learning and the enriching journey of educational development. It is a huge privilege to work with the young minds of tomorrow and to witness their development and awakening sense of awe and wonder at the world around us. I see my classroom as a little eco-system in which each individual child plays a pivotal role in shaping and nurturing the classroom environment; enabling it to grow into a happy and enriching place of learning. I see children as the key pieces of the learning jigsaw, where through collaborative learning and friendship we can develop each other’s unique strengths and talents. I hope that my classroom at HeadStart will foster a safe and harmonious environment where learning is fun and where children develop confidence, resilience and self-belief. I fully embrace the holistic approach to teaching where the whole child is supported and valued for their own unique qualities. On a personal level, I am passionate about languages and love travelling and meeting new people. I enjoy being active and exploring new places. I am a creative individual and love writing, drawing, knitting and reading poetry and novels. I particularly enjoy running, yoga and swimming so I fully intend to make the most of living and working on the beautiful island that is Phuket.

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Yieneves Durana

Deputy Teacher
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My name is Yieneves, but you can call me Yien. I am from Visayas in the Philippines, from Iloilo City, the city of love. From a young age I knew I wanted to be a teacher, and always helped my brothers, sisters and cousins with their school work. I see teaching as a noble profession, making a difference to each child, and touching young lives. After high school I studied at West Visayas State University, and gained my Bachelor in Education, specializing in Elementary Education, and gaining my teacher license. My other passion is music. In high school I was in the school choir, and performed in concerts across many areas of Iloilo City. I hope to be able to join a choir in Phuket to continue with my passion of singing. I have taught in private schools in the Philippines for many years, and taught children across all grades of Primary and Foundation. I came to Thailand to further my knowledge of the world, and work with children from all nationalities and cultures, which I find very interesting. I joined HeadStart last August 2015 and this is my third year working at HeadStart International School. I am excited as I’m going back to Foundation again; it’s a great team and place to teach. I am very excited to meet the children and do lots of fun.

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Candice Smithie

Teacher
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My name is Candice Smithie and I will be the Reception homeroom teacher for the Blue class. I am a Foundation Phase and Early Childhood development teacher, qualified with Cum Laude through the University of South Africa. I am from the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa. I have lived and taught in Thailand for two and a half years, teaching in a Thai and an International school. From the minute I arrived in Thailand I knew it would be impossible for me to leave. I love the culture, the weather and being able to live on the idyllic island of Phuket. I have been working with children of various ages and abilities over the past 6 years and have found a true passion in teaching children from different countries and learning about their different cultures. I have a natural way with children and a very warm heart in wanting to help mould them for their future and not merely be their teacher, but their mentor and role model. I believe that each child is unique and should always be allowed them to think for themselves. I plan to help each student grow and develop into the best of themselves, to have fun while learning and to enjoy every moment of their time at school. I am really looking forward to beginning my journey at HeadStart and working alongside my amazing colleagues.

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Rebecca Robielos

Deputy Teacher
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I am Rebecca Robielos from Manila, Philippines. I completed my Bachelor Elementary Education in March 2000 at the National teachers College in my country. After I graduated, I worked at a local school in Manila for two years handling children at their foundation stage. I joined HeadStart team last March 2011 where I supported the Reception class. I already handled students from the Foundation stage of pre-school up to Reception classes. And also, last year I worked as a Deputy Teacher in year 1 Blue with Miss Nicola. This year I am going back to Reception alongside Miss Candice and I am looking forward to support the children in the Key stage 1 with all areas of development. I can’t wait to see children and get started!

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Fiona Whittaker

P.E. Teacher
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I have been involved in education for over twenty years and during this time I have been fortunate to have experienced a wide variety of educational establishments both in the United Kingdom and in Hong Kong. My initial teaching was at Secondary level where I quickly developed to become Head of Girls PE and then moved to Hong Kong where I was instrumental with the designing of new sports facilities. Teaching in such a diverse multicultural environment was certainly one of the highlights of my career. Upon my return to the United Kingdom I continued to teach PE at a Secondary School until the birth of my daughter. I took five years out of education in order to establish the fundamentals of pre-school education with my daughter at home: incorporating art; music; dance; reading; playing; singing and many other stimulating activities which ensured she was ready for mainstream schooling at the age of five years. After this most rewarding time of my life I was then ready to return to teaching; but this time at Primary level. I then taught for thirteen years at an Independent Preparatory School in the United Kingdom, teaching PE and Swimming from Reception to Year 8. I believe that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind. I always promote active involvement from every child and believe that regardless of sporting ability every child can enjoy and have a positive attitude to sport, health and fitness, thus promoting the “Sport for All” policy; ensuring a lifelong love of sport and physical activity. Lessons must be fun and enjoyable so that children learn and develop. Having a Secondary specialist background in PE ensures high expectations and learning above the norm; the less able can enjoy, grow in confidence and improve their ability. I believe that all children should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential and try to incorporate this idea when teaching by creating a stimulating and active environment all. To perform well the children need to be organised and dedicated, this is important not just in their PE but also to prepare them for their everyday school life; being competitive is also a big part of PE and they need to understand how to deal with this inside and outside of school.

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Myriam Adams

Music Teacher
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My name is Astrid Myriam Adams and I’m originally from Switzerland with a British dual nationality. From a young age I had the privilege of attending schools where singing and music held an important place in the curriculum. As a teenager I learned to play guitar as accompaniment to contemporary songs, and music, singing and performing were always an important part of my life. After moving eastward and experiencing the delightful Thai culture in Bangkok for some years, I relocated to the Middle East. There I participated in regional music festivals and concerts, performing as a singer and back-up vocalist. In cooperation with local NGOs, and the Ministry of Education in Damascus, my husband and I worked to bring meaningful entertainment to underprivileged children, performing theatre/music plays for children all over the country, including remote villages. I always believed that music is a powerful healer and joined a psychological relief program, contributing engaging activities at a large children’s hospital ward for five years, and was instrumental in introducing “The Rhythmic Arts Project,” to the region, a program that is still active there today. In 2012, I trained as a facilitator of an early childhood music & movement program, and launched weekly parent/child classes, called Music Together, popular with many expat families, in cooperation with Enana Ballet Academy in Doha, Qatar, for a period of two years. I have also trained in the Kodaly method of teaching music to the Foundation Stages, and hold a Child Development Certificate from Ncfe in the UK. In the past three years, I have enjoyed making music an accessible and joyful experience for Headstart’s youngest students, and I look forward to continue inspiring a love of singing and music-making in young children through all available means, which are many at Headstart.

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Monchanok Khancompu

Nanny
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Hello, my name is Monchanok Khancompu. Children call me Nok. I have been working at HeadStart International School for nine years as a nanny. I am currently studying at the Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU) to qualify for my Bachelor’s Degree of Human Ecology. I enjoy working as a nanny in Preschool because it a very rewarding job to see the children progress at a steady pace.

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Uthai Somnuk

Nanny
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Hello, my name is Uthai somnuk. Children call me Uthai. I have been working at HeadStart International School for the past three years as a nanny. Working with preschool children is a fantastic and rewarding job, seeing the children progress through the learning journey. I am proud to be part of the HeadStart team.

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Wilaslak Meunpoh

Nanny
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Sawadee ka! My name is Wilaslak Hmeunpoh you can call me P. Kwan, I am from Trang Thailand. Currently I am studying at Phuket Rajaphat University taken up Bachelor of Science in Tourism major in Management. I have been working at Headstart as a nanny for three years and this will be my third year now in Reception Blue. I enjoyed helping students as they learn new things as they grow. I look forward to working with children this school year.

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Rungnapa Detpakdee

Nanny
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My name is P’Ple. I finished my Secondary at Changko Wittayakom, Chang Rai, Thailand. I have been working as a Nanny at HeadStart for nine years. I love my work and enjoy playing with the children.

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Kamolchanok Kammayee

Nanny
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Hello, my name is Kamolchanok Kammayee or you can call me with my nickname is Kat. I am 23 years old and I live in Phuket. I graduated in bachelor’s degree with Communication Arts from Bangkok University. So, I was a teacher assistant at international school in Bangkok, Thailand. I am glad to see you all! I also believe children can watch and learn from the good environment. Then, I’ll give a good experience and good environment for your lovely kids.

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Sarunporn Pranchan

Nanny
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Hello,my name is Sarunporn Pranchan. You can call me Aom. I am 23 years old. And I come from Trang, it’s about 4 hours from Phuket. I just graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Education, English major from Thaksin Univrsity, Songkhla. Also, I was an English Trainee teacher at Navaminrajudish Thaksin Songkhla for 1 year. My goal is for the students to be happy in school and have fun while they are learning. I work hard and will do my best. It’s my pleasure to meet you.

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Santhani Sridawong

Thai Teacher
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My name is Santhani Sridawong. My nickname is Tae. I’m excited to begin my first year working as a Thai teacher at HeadStart International School. I attended Nakonrachasima Rajabhat University, where I achieved my Bachelor of Education Program in Early Childhood Education in 2005. After graduation, I applied for a position as a Thai Teacher at Satit Udomsuksa Pattaya School to teach Thai in English Programme. I taught students from Reception to Year 1 and I worked there for 2 years. I gained valuable teaching experience working with young children from different backgrounds across several key learning areas. In my spare time, I like travelling, cycling and reading. I like to change my view, expand my horizons, and try something new and different. After travelling, I decided to settle down in Phuket. Then, I applied for a position at HeadStart International School as a Thai Teacher, continuing to teach in Reception and Year 1. I am appreciated of the opportunity that I have been given by HeadStart International school allows me to be a part of a high quality school and looking forward to provide a good learning experience in order to meet school goals and inspires students, parents and colleagues. I look forward to working with the staff, students and parents of HeadStart International School achieve success.

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