Primary

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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Nicola Fallows

Teacher
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I originate from England and have been teaching young children the British National Curriculum and British Early Years Curriculum in the UK and at HeadStart for the past 5 years. My qualifications consist of two degrees, a Master’s Degree in Criminology and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology/Criminology. This was followed by a PGCE in Primary Education focusing on the KS1 and KS2 British curriculum. I have over twenty years’ experience in the field of industry and believe that many of these attributes have been reassigned into the classroom environment. Teaching in an English School is fast paced and challenging and I have gained extensive experience with the teaching of synthetic phonics and value the importance of this programme in order to give children a secure foundation to understand the complexities of the English language. Working within the British curriculum has also given me the opportunity to teach lessons within the Creative Learning Journey. This has provided me with opportunities to provide innovative, cross curricular objectives which aim to motivate the children, raise self-esteem and increase knowledge and understanding of the world, through rich conceptualised learning. I feel passionate about creative teaching and learning having seen the benefits that are produced and how learning has been accelerated. I consider myself to be a friendly, approachable, kind and compassionate person, but can present myself as firm but fair when the occasion is called for. I freely communicate with parents as I view our relationship as essential in order to ensure that each child is happy, secure and progressing within the learning environment – my door is always open. I enjoy being part of the HeadStart team and look forward to the new academic year of learning and building a relationship with you and your children.

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Ivy Carlos

Deputy
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My name is Ivy B. Carlos, Deputy Teacher of Year 1 Blue. I am from the Philippines. I finished my Bachelor’s degree in Education majoring in Early Childhood Education (ECE) from the University of Northern Philippines at Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. I experienced teaching Year 1 and Year 3 in my country. I have been working at HeadStart since 2013 and I can say that I am enjoying my stay here. I started working in Reception before moving to Year 1. I love working with children and I aim to support them to enhance their learning abilities with the best that I can. I believe in the saying “Teachers who love teaching teach children to love learning.” I am looking forward for another great and fun year teaching Year 1 Blue.

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Michael Millington

Teacher
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I am a proud Englishman, originating from Gloucestershire, in the South West of England. This is my second year teaching Year One at HeadStart International School and my eighth year working in education. I graduated from Loughborough University with a ‘Masters in Engineering’ in Mechanical Product Design in 2008. After a brief and unrewarding time in the engineering sector, I relocated to South Korea to teach English in a state elementary school. Taking great reward from my teaching experiences I returned to the UK and completed my Post Graduate Certification in Education (PGCE) at the University of Warwick. I have taught in an international school in Luxembourg as well as state schools in the UK as a Key Stage One specialist. My enjoyment has always lay in Key Stage One, where there is a greater requirement to nurture a child’s wellbeing alongside their desire to learn. I pride myself in the positive, caring and nurturing approach I have to my role. I take great reward from the pastoral care that is fundamental to this age group. I believe education should not only enable a child to gain knowledge and skills to pursue a successful working life, but to provide them with the experiences, opportunities and support to be content in life. I achieve this principally by nurturing a lifelong desire to be curious and learn, relate and co-operate with everyone they encounter, as well as discover a multitude of ways of expressing their personality, ideas and ideals. In my classroom, pupils will experience a positive environment where they are encouraged to explore learning experiences and challenge themselves, drawing upon their prior learning and creativity to solve problems and ask questions to develop their own deep understanding.

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Melanie Denzo

Deputy Teacher
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I am Melanie Denzo from The Philippines. I graduated at Naval State University taking up Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Major in General Education. After I finished college I took the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) and passed it. I have one year of teaching experience at Phuket, Thailand. With the previous experience I taught Mathematics on the primary levels and one class of first year high school under the English Program that the school offered and also I taught English subject for Grade 4 and 5 of primary level under the Thai Program. As I experience the real world of teaching I do realize how important is the art of communication in order for the teaching and learning process to reach the peak that every school is aiming for. I have been in HeadStart since 2014. As a Deputy Teacher of this prestigious school that I’m currently in makes me so honored to be a part of the team. I will give everything that I can distribute to the goals that this school has and one of this is to make myself a good example in the eyes of the children and to everyone. Having been assigned to year 1, I believe that it is a challenge and an honor to be at the foundation of HeadStart International School’s giving quality and enduring education for my students. I am much honored to be one the person that will accompany and help the Year one’s on their first year of primary. I will surely do my very best to provide the essential things that each students needs to have and to learn.

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Paul Williams

Teacher
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Hello and sawadee krap. My name is Paul Williams and this will be my second year teaching outside of England. I was born in Glasgow, Scotland but grew up in the south of England, close to London. I am excited about the upcoming academic year and look forward to meeting you all. I graduated in Business Studies at the University of Greenwich in 2001. I then worked in the business sector in London for around 4 years. I then completed a Primary PGCE at Canterbury Christ Church University and graduated in December 2005. Before moving to Thailand, I spent 11 years working in and around the east of London. I value the role that I hold and take great pride in the work that I do. I believe that being a teacher gives me the opportunity to develop children and ensure that they all meet their full potential. I like my learning environment to be vibrant and stimulating and a place that celebrates the pupils learning. I believe that it is important to develop independence and resilience in the children I teach. It is important that the children have fun at school because this will lead to them being engaged in their learning. I expect children to learn to reflect on their own learning and to set themselves goals for the future. I feel that good working relationships are key to success. I have a love of travelling and have been lucky to visit a number of places since moving to Thailand, including the Gili islands, Lombok and Bali. I have even climbed volcanoes, dived with sea turtles and photographed the Milky Way! As previously said, I am excited about the year ahead and if you ever need to speak to me about any matter then I am always available to sit down and discuss these with you.

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Rowena Mercado

Deputy Teacher
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Hello. My name is Rowena Mercado and I am from Manila in the Philippines. This is my 2nd year at HeadStart as a deputy teacher for Year 6. I’ve been living and teaching in Phuket for almost 9 years now and I could say that my experience has exposed me to different challenges and opportunities in teaching. After my Bachelor of Arts degree in management, I took up my degree in Early Childhood Education and qualified as a professional teacher. As a well-rounded educator I have had the chance to teach and assist different levels of students, including those challenged by autism, learning disabilities and children who functioned on and above their year level. I encourage students’ learning by incorporating creative and fun activities, hands on discovery and through various materials. These methods prove to stimulate students’ social, emotional, physical, and academic growth. I am excited and looking forward to fun learning experiences in this new academic year.

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Alejandro Cuesta

Teacher
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Sawasdee krub! My name is Alex Cuesta and this will be my second year teaching at Headstart School. I was born and raised in Albacete, a small town in Spain. I graduated from the University of Castilla-La Mancha in Spain with a Bachelor of Education in 2010 and although I started teaching in my home country, most of my working experience comes from the UK where I have lived for 5 years. I have taught mainly lower primary students and particularly Year 2. I have also had the opportunity to work in Special needs Schools. I am usually described as a cheerful and flexible person with great sense of humour. I am also defined as an enthusiastic teacher with strong management skills and great ability to motivate students. Children find my teaching engaging and have a great time while learning. However, I place a big emphasis on discipline ensuring every child follows the class rules at all times. I usually prompt children to ask questions during class in order to stimulate their imagination and motivations. I believe it is important for students to develop skills working both independently and collaboratively and I provide a variety of opportunities for students to develop such skills. I have very high expectations of my students to reach their maximum potential and I am really looking forward to starting this academic year.

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Maripet Porte

Deputy Teacher
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I am Maripet Victoria from the Northern part of Philippines. I lived in a town named La Trinidad, just 6 kilometers away from the “Summer Capital” of Philippines which is Baguio City. I studied at Benguet State University with a degree in Secondary Education. I worked as an Online English Tutor for 4 years after graduating. After that, I worked as a Violin and Basic Piano Teacher at a Music School, at church, and as a private tutor for about 5 years. Though I graduated with a degree in Secondary Education, my work experience gave me an opportunity to work with different age groups from ages 3 to 49. Those experiences made me understand the true meaning of teaching and learning and that is, age does not matter in learning and in teaching, as long as we have the passion for it, we are able to accomplish so much. This year, I am given an opportunity to work as one of the Deputy Teachers of Headstart. I am very excited to learn more and be able to share what I’ve learned.

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Dan Nicholson

Teacher
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My name is Dan Nicholson and I am originally from Grimsby, in the North East of England. I have lived in Thailand for a total of 17 years and so I now consider it to be my second home. I began my International school teaching career as an Early Years teacher in Bangkok. After 5 years in the capital, I moved to Pattaya, where I lived for a total of 12 years; working as an Early Years teacher and then a Primary Year 2 teacher. I’ve spent the past 6 years studying part-time for a BSc with the Open University. I took a break in 2015 to earn a PGCE (International) from the University of Nottingham. I then returned to England last year, to complete my degree as a full-time student. I’m a keen amateur cricketer and spent 5 years as a player and committee member at Pattaya Cricket Club, which included several playing trips to Phuket. I also enjoy hiking or cycling anywhere with a beautiful view and the opportunity to encounter wildlife. I thoroughly enjoy the challenge and rewards of teaching pupils from diverse cultural, linguistic and educational backgrounds. I believe in setting high expectations for attainment and behaviour and that a positive attitude to learning is a key component of success. I try to engage students with a combination of individual and collaborative learning opportunities, which allow them to build on their existing knowledge and skills. I think that providing tasks with the right balance of challenge and reward is the key to motivating students and fostering a love of learning. I’m looking forward to starting my first full year at Headstart and getting to know both students and parents in the coming weeks.

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Toribio Fabila

Deputy
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Mabuhay! My name is Toribio III but known to be Mr. Mark and I am the Year 3 Blue Deputy Teacher. This will be my 4th year at HeadStart and I am extremely excited about continuing to work with the HeadStart children. I am from the Philippines and graduate from University of Antique with a degree of Bachelor of Special Education specialising teaching the Mentally Handicapped. I have had the opportunity to teach in various private schools in my country which enabled me to more flexible and adoptable teacher. I have a passion for teaching and molding young people’s minds and I think it is very important to show respect to each child and treat them as individuals. My classroom environment is always a place where children feel safe and secure. HeadStart is a place where there is an emphasis place on school being a happy, safe and welcoming community where all are respected, encouraged and supported to excel and reach their full potential. I am humbly looking forward to meeting you all and continuing the journey in the new academic year!

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Lee White

Teacher
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My name is Lee White and I was born in Scotland but raised in Luxembourg. I am very excited to be back in Year 3 for next academic year. I graduated from the University of Glasgow with a ‘Master of Arts’ in English Language in 2012. After working in a British international school in Luxembourg for 3 years, I then completed my teacher training at Exeter University. I have always enjoyed travelling and living abroad and Thailand is yet another adventure that I am continuing to enjoy. I like working in a multi-cultural environment and I am really looking forward to the next year at Headstart. As a teacher at HeadStart, I bring a passion and energy of lifelong learning as well as, up to date knowledge of educational developments. I believe that setting high expectations for learning attitudes and behaviour encourages pupils to achieve their full potential and feel valued within the class. Furthermore, I consider that incorporating children’s interests is a key component to their engagement and this in turn improves attainment. I achieve this by varying my teaching methods to ensure continued excitement for learning through a book-based approach to literacy, visual-audio-tactile activities, concrete- pictorial-abstract approaches to numeracy, co-operative learning, outdoor activities and the use of technology where deemed advantageous. I am a firm believer in allowing children to explore and deepen their learning both independently and collaboratively through asking questions and researching different topics. I, therefore, engage students in open ended tasks that encourage communication, collaboration and a good deal of curiosity! I support and encourage students to set targets and reflect on their learning and progress. I am looking forward to meeting and working with the children in my care, all fellow staff members and parents and I am very excited for the new school year to begin.

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Clyde Carlos

Deputy Teacher
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Hello, my name is Clyde B. Carlos, Deputy Teacher of Year 3 Yellow. I am from the Northern part of Philippines and graduated at Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) with the degree of Bachelor of Elementary Education. I have 2 years’ experience teaching children in my country before moving to Thailand. I joined Headstart in 2011 and I am very excited for this academic year. Throughout my career, I have gained more knowledge in dealing with different levels of children. I believe that as a teacher I am responsible in helping them to reach their full potential. I am looking forward for another exciting year in Year 3 Yellow.

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Sophie Cunningham

Teacher
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My name is Sophie Cunningham. I joined HeadStart in April 2017 as the Year 4 Blue Homeroom teacher. I am from the United Kingdom and have a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Primary Education from the University of Wales, UK. I thoroughly enjoyed by first term at HeadStart and am looking forward to the next academic year. Before moving to Phuket I was teaching for 12 years in one of the leading Primary Schools in South Wales. I am an enthusiastic teacher with a real passion for education and feel very honoured to be in the profession I am in. I feel that an important aspect of teaching is to create a lifelong love of learning therefore I strive to ensure that the children in my care are excited about learning. I believe that for children to succeed they must be given a safe and stimulating environment in which to learn and I work hard to ensure that I deliver fun, inspiring and innovative lessons to capture their interest and imagination. I am looking forward to getting to know each student over the course of next year and to working with all the staff and students at HeadStart.

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Danny Isiguen

Deputy Teacher
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I am Danny Allan C. Isiguen this is my first time to work here in Thailand. I’m from the Philippines. I grew up in Baguio City in the province of Benguet located in the in the Northern part of the Philippines. I graduated with at Benguet State University with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education major in Biology. I have been teaching in the public school for seven years in the Philippines. I always believed that collaborative learning, limited number or small number of students in class could bring more opportunity to students to learn. Knowing also the background or personality of the students makes me more innovative and creative teacher. I also believe that learning take place better in a conducive environment which also drives me as a teacher to be creative in classroom structuring and approachable teacher to my students. I am looking forward to getting started in this academic school year here at HeadStart as deputy teacher to contribute a success to the institution.

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Katherine Dickie

Teacher
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My name is Katherine Dickie and this is my second year at HeadStart and I will be teaching Year 4 Yellow. I am a Canadian citizen from the province of Nova Scotia. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in English from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. My background in teaching started in Stockholm, Sweden where I taught science to years 4, 5 and 6 for two years. I became Head of the Elementary Science Department in my second year. From there I moved to Bangkok, Thailand to become a homeroom teacher for year 1. After being away from Canada for three consecutive years, I made the decision to move back to Nova Scotia where I secured a one year teaching position in a private school teaching year 1. Now I am entering my second year here in Phuket and Thailand continues to feel like my new home. I am so fortunate to be here and I look forward to more experiences in this beautiful country. Teaching is my passion and I find such happiness watching students grow through their learning process. I believe having fun in the classroom is important when it comes to maintaining curiosity. Pupils learn best when they’re active, engaged and working together as a team. I look forward to working collaboratively with the HeadStart teachers, parents and pupils. I am excited to meet the new year 4 class and I know that working together, we can achieve excellent results.

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Jo Ann Capalihan

Deputy Teacher
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Hi, my name is Jo Ann and I am the Year 4 Deputy Teacher. This is my fifth year at HeadStart and I am very excited about continuing to work with children. I am from the Philippines and graduated from the University of San Agustin in 2004 with the degree of Bachelor of Elementary Education. I started teaching in 2005 in my country until I came to Thailand. Throughout my career, I have had the opportunities to educate students, who have had a variety of education needs. This has giving me a fantastic range of experience. I am very passionate about the importance of education. I believe that teachers are life-long educators and we never stop learning ourselves. The more teachers can learn, the more they can impact others. I’m eager to inspire, uplift and share the joy with my student by emphasizing the fun in education and fostering a love of learning. I am sincerely looking forward to our educational journey in the new academic year!

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Lindsay Williams

Teacher
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My name is Lindsay Williams and this will be my second year teaching at HeadStart. In 2005 I completed a BA (Hons) degree in Primary Education and for 11 years I worked as a teacher in London, England, both in KS1 and KS2. Before this I lived in a small town called Barrow-In-Furness in the Lake District. I have a passion for travelling and have visited Thailand a number of times and in the summer of 2015 I travelled throughout the country. Since then, I made the decision to continue my teaching career here in Phuket where I can experience Thai culture and lifestyle while doing what I love – teaching. I recognise individuality and will strive to meet the needs of all students and ensure that each child knows they are valued members of my class. I am committed to creating a safe, challenging and positive learning environment. I believe it is important for students to develop skills working both independently and collaboratively and I provide a variety of opportunities for students to develop these skills. During my time in Thailand, I have enjoyed having the opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture and extend my social and academic skills to suit this. I am extremely excited for the new school year ahead at HeadStart teaching Year 5 Blue and getting to know pupils, parents, and teachers!

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Ayce Rico

Deputy Teacher
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My name is Ayce Rico and I am from the Philippines; I have been living in Phuket since 2010. I am looking forward to my second year as a Deputy Teacher of Year 5 at HeadStart International School. I am very excited about this coming academic year. I have been working at HeadStart since 2011 and throughout the years, I have had the opportunity to work with students of a variety of ages and backgrounds which has enabled me to be flexible and efficient as a teacher. I’ve developed my passion in teaching through helping children engage in their educational experiences from a fun and creative perspective. I hope to encourage the children to enhance their development and also inspire in them a love of lifelong learning.

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Kay Forster

Teacher
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My name is Kay Forster and I will be teaching the Year 5 blue group at HeadStart International School. I am originally from Cheshire, England. However, I began my journey teaching two years ago in Manchester. There I began working as a teaching assistant, specialising in the education of students who have additional learning needs and English as an additional language. There I discovered my own love of learning. I completed a PGCE and a TEFL qualification in 2017 and promptly applied for international teaching in order to marry my passions of travelling and teaching. I feel incredibly passionate about the inclusion and equality of all learners and strive to ensure that the learning environment is welcoming, exciting, engaging and inclusive. Throughout the course of the year I will ensure that the students at HeadStart International School will develop a love for inquiry, questioning, challenges and collaboration. I’m incredibly excited to become part of the HeadStart team, to develop my own skills both culturally, personally and professionally and I look forward to meeting and working within the diverse HeadStart community.

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Melissa Isiguen

Deputy Teacher
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Hi! I am Melissa Isiguen from the Philippines. I graduated at Benguet State University with the degree of Bachelor of Secondary Education, major in Biological Sciences. I’ve been teaching for 2 years as a science teacher in a primary school and 2 years as an ESL teacher with different nationalities such as Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese and Arabs. I am passionate in teaching children and able to immediately grab students’ attention, provide a strong personality and command mutual respect. Highly adaptable, organized, competent and loyal. I am looking forward in this school year in continuing my job as a deputy teacher.

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Tim Eke

Teacher
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My name is Tim and I'm excited to begin my second year at HeadStart School teaching Year 6. I began my teaching training after graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science (Genetics) from Leicester University in the United Kingdom. I gained Qualified Teacher Status at Middlesex University and began teaching a Year 2 class in Finchley, North London. I then worked at a flagship sustainable school in Hertfordshire, where I led English across the school. My third appointment was back in North London, with a promotion to a senior management role leading Mathematics across the school. I also took up post as an Assistant Head in this setting. It was then that I decided I would like to pursue a career teaching overseas. During my thirteen years teaching, I have taught each of the primary age groups. I enjoy teaching all subjects and love when children become 'switched on' to a new area of learning and develop their own passion for a subject. My teaching philosophy places a strong value on creating ‘Growth mindset’ classrooms, where children see failure as an opportunity for growth. In this regard, I have been particularly inspired by Carol Dweck’s research. I enjoy literature, the sciences and sports. I like to play football and tennis, to sail and to climb. It is an exciting time to be apart of the school as it continues its journey towards excellence and I am delighted to work in such a vibrant and diverse community with a team of dedicated and highly skilled professionals.

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Airl Mindaro

Deputy Teacher
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Hello, my name is Airl and I am very excited to begin my second year as a Deputy Teacher in Year 2 Yellow at HeadStart International School. I was born on one of the islands in the southern Philippines named Zamboanga del Sur but I grew up in the northern part -Baguio City. I graduated from Benguet State University with a Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in Biological Sciences. Though I am a Secondary-trained teacher, I have past experiences in teaching little children. I had been tutoring and been a volunteer teacher for primary during summers in my university days. I am passionate in motivating young people to make a change and develop new skills that can be used in their daily basis. I want to inspire students to dream big, do extraordinary things and keep moving even how many times they fail. I establish good relationships with students and parents, and love them despite their unique differences. I believe that every child needs a hand to care and touch their hearts and I am here to be part of their journey. Every time the children come in the classroom, I will do my best to provide a happy, loving and friendly environment for everyone that the children can call it a home. I am looking forward to an exciting year.

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Sophie Webb

Teacher
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My name is Sophie Webb and I come from Portsmouth on the South coast of the UK. This is my first visit to Thailand and I am very excited to be joining the HeadStart community on this beautiful island. I graduated from Plymouth University in 2006 with an honors degree in Geography and Ocean science. After years of volunteering and working with children through the YMCA, I decided to fulfil my dream of becoming a primary school teacher and completed my PGCE through the University of Portsmouth. I graduated in 2008 and have since worked in schools in both the UK and Malaysia. I have worked in management and implemented strategic plans for improvement in several schools. For five of my nine teaching years, I have taught year 6 and hope that I can bring some of my expert skills and knowledge to HeadStart to improve the learning experiences of the children I teach. I have been a science co-ordinator for five years and am passionate about children taking part in discovery based learning where they are provided with opportunities to find things out for themselves. I have high expectations for the children I teach and work hard to ensure they are confident, independent and happy learners who are not afraid to take risks and face challenges with resilience and enthusiasm. I believe that learning should be an enjoyable and well-balanced experience and I encourage children to develop their natural curiosity and adventurous spirit. I am really looking forward to getting to know the children’s individual personalities as well as their parents this year and facilitate a learning environment where all students can fulfil their potential.

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Andrew Adviento

Deputy
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Hello, I am Drew and I am the Deputy Teacher of Year 6 yellow and this is my third year at HeadStart. I graduated in 2014, from Benguet State University, Philippines and hold a Bachelors degree of Secondary Education major in Biological Science. In the same year I took and passed the National Licensure examination for teachers (LET). The four year undergraduate program in the said University formed the basis of my perseverance towards achieving an in-depth knowledge in the field of Biology. As a part of my degree course I studied various subjects relating to diverse aspects of science. Besides the college academics I was actively involved in the extra-curricular activities. The driving force behind all this was my aim to develop all the facets of my personality and teaching skills. Moreover, for the school year 2014-2015 I have been working as a Teacher at HOPE Christian Academy in High School Science department. My work has helped me develop a thorough insight in teaching, classroom management, preparing visual aids and the like. Today I perceive that life for me has been a process of conscious evolution. An integral part of this growth has been the value system imbibed in me by my parents, teachers and mentors and an immense liking for science. Lastly, this year I started my Master’s degree online. Thank you and I am so excited to work with you all. God bless!

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Jack Scott

Year 1 White
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My name is Jack and I am now entering my third year as a teacher. I am originally from Portsmouth in the South of England, but have lived all over the UK including Newcastle, the Isle of Wight and Berkshire. Before becoming a teacher, I worked in the outdoor activity industry where I did activities such as rock climbing, canoeing, and hiking. Working with children during my role as an activity instructor made me realise that I wanted to be a teacher. I then studied at the University of Chichester, where I gained a First Class degree in Primary Education and Teaching. Since becoming a qualified teacher I have been working in Year 2 at a school in Portsmouth. I am a great believer in learning through discovery as I know that when I was a student I personally loved uncovering new and interesting things about the world I lived in. My teaching style offers pupils many opportunities to explore new subjects, whilst allowing them to incorporate their own experiences and knowledge. Through varying levels of support and challenge I hope to instil an attitude of independence and resilience that not only better prepares children for their academic future, but also makes them more reflective and autonomous learners. By promoting curiosity and open-mindedness in my classroom, I hope to nurture an inquisitive nature in my students that stimulates a lifelong love of learning. Outside of school, I am a big sports fan and enjoy watching rugby, Formula 1 racing, cricket, golf, and American football. When on my holidays I will always take every opportunity to go skiing, but now that I have moved to Phuket, I may have to find other activities to replace my favourite hobby. Since arriving in Thailand, I have received such a warm welcome that I cannot wait to explore the rest of the country. I am looking forward to starting at HeadStart school and working with all the children and parents.

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Cynthia Rodelaslo

Deputy Teacher
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My name is Cynthia R. Lo, Deputy Teacher of Year 1 White and I am from the Philippines. I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary and Secondary Education in 2010 from the Adventist University of the Philippines at Silang, Cavite. I taught Nursery, Kindergarten, Preparatory and Primary level for two years in my country. I have been working at HeadStart since 2012. I was a Deputy Teacher in Year 1 for four years and Reception last school year. I have passion for teaching children and watching them grows and progress in every aspect of their lives. Teaching is full of challenges but also rewarding experiences. I believe that it is important for parents and teachers to work together to create a positive learning environment for each student to achieve their goals and dreams in life. I am very excited for the start of the new school year teaching Year 1 again.

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Annie Cusworth

Year 2 White
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Hello and Sawadee ka! My name is Annie Cusworth and I am very happy to join the team at Head Start International School to teach Year 2 White Class. I was born in Brighton, in the South East of England and grew up in a small town near to the coast. This will be my first time teaching in an international school and I am very much looking forward to the experience. I have an Undergraduate Degree in Social Anthropology and a Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Education. Prior to moving to Phuket, I taught for 4 years at a Primary School in Lewes, England and I have taught Year 6, Year 1 and Year 2. I really enjoy and value my role as a teacher and take a great pride in ensuring that all pupils in my care receive the support, encouragement and challenge to reach their full potential. Making sure my learning environment is stimulating and engaging is an important part of my practice and I take time to make sure that children feel safe and secure in their classroom. In my classroom, learning activities that are fun and creative motivate pupils and I link learning to pupils’ individual interests; from dinosaurs to Kings and Queens! Developing pupil independence and confidence in their own abilities to solve problems is central to our role as educators and I work hard to encourage pupils to be resilient and love the process of learning by teaching them to keep on trying and never give up! I am very much looking forward to living in Phuket and exploring all that this beautiful and vibrant island has to teach me. Traveling around South East Asia is also something I look forward to and I feel very privileged to be able to visit some amazing places whilst living here. It will be a joy to be teacher for your children this year and to get to know you all. If there is anything you wish to talk to me about please come to see me. Thank you and kohb kun ka.

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Jaysel Dollolasa

Deputy Teacher
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Hello! I am Jaysel Anne, the Deputy Teacher of Year 2 White. I’ve been working at HeadStart for almost six years and I am very excited for my seventh year working with the children. I am from the Philippines and graduated a four-year Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education (BEED) at University of Antique in 2009. I worked as a Public School Teacher for a year in the Philippines until I got an opportunity to work abroad. In 2010, I worked in a Bilingual School in Chalong before joining HeadStart in 2011. My aim is to support the children to enhance their learning abilities. Being an educator, it is important to discover child’s capacities, strengths and weaknesses in order for the teacher to determine what techniques and practices should be used to provide a learning that encourage children to pursue academic excellence. As well as give the children a safe and motivated environment to explore and experience. I am looking forward to this learning journey. I am very excited this year to meet you all.

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Wei Wang

Mandarin Teacher
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你好(Ni Hao)! My name is Wei Wang and I come from Anhui, China. This is my fifth year at HeadStart. I first came to Phuket in 2009 when I was studying for my master’s degree in Jinan University(暨南大学), China. I taught in Prince of Songkla University for 1 year to get the experience to finish my essay. It was a nice experience and people were very friendly here. Since then, I’ve made up my mind to come again for a job. After my graduation, I got a job in Khonkaen for teaching Mandarin to primary students; I love my students and learned a lot more Thai there as people there do not speak much English. I stayed in Khonkaen for 2 years, and then try to look for a job in other places in Thailand. And I found HeadStart! After working at HeadStart for 4 years, I have seen the growing of the school and me. The students here are lovely and they have a passion to learn Mandarin. They experienced Chinese culture and tasted Chinese food during traditional festivals. They are also curious to learn a totally different writing system (汉字Chinese character). Learning Mandarin not only let them to get to know another language, but also broaden their eyes and teaches them to look into things in different ways. My Mandarin classroom is always filled with laughs as I teach them in a creative way. There is an old saying in China “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. (不闻不若闻之,闻之不若见之,见之不若知之,知之不若行知)Students are encouraged to involve themselves as much as possible in class. I look forward to see all of you in my Mandarin class!

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Jody Leow

Art Teacher
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I come from England and I have worked as a teacher in Phuket since 2001. I have been working as an art teacher with Headstart since 2008 during which time I have enjoyed being part of the school’s expansion. I have always been passionate about art, I studied Fine Art at the University of Brighton in the UK during which time I spent six months studying at Alfred University in New York State. Although my main subject was painting, my studies included working with a wide variety of media. I am dedicated to providing a classroom environment which is stimulating and inspiring to students, which encourages creative expression and allows students to explore and develop their ideas and learn about the art of different artists and cultures.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up” --Pablo Picasso
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Jacqueline Feliciano

Music Teacher
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Hi, my name is Jackie and I am Brazilian-American. I was actively involved in my church and school choirs from an early age, and it was clear that music was my passion. In high school I became the student conductor of our prestigious Camelot Choir for mixed voices, conducting a variety of styles and participating in various music festivals in the state of Florida. I completed my high school diploma and started intensive Musical Theatre training at New World School of the Arts. The highlight of my two years there was being the assistant conductor for the main stage production of Steven Sondheim’s Company. I then transferred to the Florida International University, where I received my Bachelors of Arts in Music Vocal Performance. Since then I have performed in many opera productions, including Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Norma by Vincenzo Bellini and Cricketing, a new children’s opera by Kristine Burns. In 2003 I sang with Seraphic Fire, Miami’s first professional vocal ensemble, performing in various venues around South Florida. I have helped prepare musical numbers and conducted church choirs in various religious festivities throughout the years. In 2005 I moved to Florence, Italy, where I continued to develop my musical abilities with world-renowned children’s choir director Joan Yakkey. I sang with her professional vocal ensemble Tempus Floridum for five years, performing concerts throughout Tuscany and Europe. This is my eighth academic year here in Phuket and I am delighted to be a part of HeadStart’s Creative Arts Department. I hope our talented students continue to shine in our productions and enjoy music as much as I do.

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Jessica Ackerman

French Teacher
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I am a Swiss national whose first language is French. I love traveling, diving, rock climbing, horse riding, parasailing, and other sports. I also love music and arts in general, such as painting and drawing. I enjoy meeting new people and experiencing new cultures so it’s very exciting for me to have the opportunity to live and work here in Thailand and to be part of HeadStart. I hold a bachelor degree from the University of Fribourg in teaching French as a foreign language, geography, science of religions, and pedagogy. Earlier I had earned a diploma from the Swiss Association for Literacy to equip me to teach literacy to adults. I worked two years for this Association while studying for my bachelor’s degree. During the second year with the Association for Literacy, while continuing to study, I also began working as a teacher for children and teenagers with special needs. This job afforded me a great deal of valuable experience and growth so I happily remained there five years until I joined HeadStart. I am happy to be here teaching the children. I love my language and feel privileged to impart this love to the next generation here in Thailand on this beautiful island.

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Pailin Issalam

Thai Teacher
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My name is Pailin Issalam and my nickname is Dia. I attended Assumption University, where I achieved my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business. Graduating in 2009, I majored in English and gained additional credits in Hospitality and Tourism Management. After graduation, I applied for a post at HeadStart International School as an Assistant Teacher. I have since worked here for four years. During 2012, I not only worked as an Assistant Teacher, but I also gained the trust of the Thai Department and have been afforded the opportunity to teach Thai to non-native students. This has been a great experience that has allowed me to develop my knowledge and skills to become a better teacher. Furthermore, I have gained the trust of parents enabling me to become a private tutor of English and Thai to Foundation, Primary and Year 10 students. In 2014, I was promoted to the role of Thai Teacher teaching the Thai as a First Language, Thai intermediate and Thai as a foreigner language programme. I am grateful for this opportunity and am confident that it will give me a rewarding experience. I have made it my goal to strive to become the best teacher that I can be and will do my best to develop and encourage my students to speak, read and write in Thai, inspiring in them a love of Thai studies so that they can usefully apply their knowledge to all aspects of their lives. I am very proud to be a member of the professional team of educators at HeadStart. I look forward to the start of the new school year and to working productively with students, colleagues and parents.

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Apinya Kejphu

Thai Teacher
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Hello! My name is Apinya Jekphu. My nickname is Kru Way. My position is a Thai teacher. This is my first year teaching at HeadStart International School. I will be teaching Thai First Language Programme in Year 1 and Year 2. I graduated from Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi in Biology. I have worked as a teacher for Prathom 6 at Chokchai Rangsit School in Pratumthani for 6 years. I have gained a lot of teaching experiences and gathered trust from the parents there where it allows me to develop my teaching techniques ,teaching styles and curriculums. My teaching style focuses on student orientation where students can freely share their ideas, experiences and knowledge. I also encourage my students to be independent and develop their critical thinking. Besides that, my responsibility as a teacher is a source of knowledge, gathering information and transfer to my students. Thank you for all colleques, parents, students at The HeadStart International School.

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Phenpaka Damrongkun

Thai Teacher
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My name is Phenpaka Damrongkun. My nickname is Kru Pim. I graduated from Bansomdet Chaopraya Rajabhat University in Bangkok with Bachelor degree in Elementary Education in 1995 and I hold Master's degree in of Psychology Educational at KhonKaen University in 2003. I started to teach at Saint Joseph Convent School, Bangkok as a Primary Thai Teacher for 2 years and I taught at Rajini School, Bangkok for 3 years. I decided to go home to live with my family in Khon Kaen and worked at the Holy Redeemer School in KhonKaen since 2000 where I was an alumnus and it’s just a walking distance from my home.Then I was appointed to be the Head of Academic Department at Holy Redeemer Northeastern Region School, KhonKaen and it is affiliated and extends to Senior hight school where I worked there for 10 years.In addition, I also worked at Hua Khiew Wittayalai School Khon Kaen as Head of Academic Department from 2015 -2016. Aside of being a Head of Academic Department, I also teach students in Primary in order to maintain and develop my skills in teaching. I moved to the south with my family and started to work at HeadStart International School for the first time. I will be teaching Thai First Language classes in Year 3- Year 5 for this year. I am so thankful for the great opportunity that the 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.

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