Coaches

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.

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Natalie Smith

P.E. Coordinator
[email protected]

My name is Natalie Smith and I am from Essex in the UK. I studied Physical Education at The University of Brighton and started the first four years of my career at a school in Essex. I have always had an interest in travelling and working abroad and have been fortunate enough to take part in voluntary work with the charity Football 4 Peace during my time at university and whilst working in the UK. I have delivered values-based coaching across a variety of sports and team building activities to young children for development and conflict resolution in England, Northern Ireland, The Gambia and South Korea, coinciding with training British and international coaches the charities methodology. These experiences along with a Camps International school expedition to Kenya in 2018, inspired me to come and work at an international school and so my journey here at HeadStart began in August 2019. I enjoy participating in a wide range of individual and team sporting activities. My main hobbies are rugby and netball, but I also enjoy hiking and after passing my open water PADI in the summer of 2018, I want to make the most of diving opportunities in this beautiful part of the world. I believe that physical education has an important role within the school curriculum not only due to the physical benefits it offers, but also the social and emotional benefits it leads young people to develop, along with the positive impact on their academic success across the whole school curriculum. My ethos of physical education is that students should be able to experience a wide range of sport and physical activities to develop not only physical skills, but life skills to help them become well-rounded individuals who have the ability to reach their potential and gain the confidence to exceed expectations.

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Jamie Sadler

P.E. Teacher
[email protected]

My name is Jamie Sadler and I am originally from Bournemouth in the UK. This year I will be teaching Primary and Secondary Physical Education, I will also be teaching BTEC Sport too. I graduated from Southampton Solent University with a BA in Sports Studies and then went on to complete my PGCE in Secondary PE at the University of East London. Prior to moving to Phuket, I taught in London and spent 5 years teaching in a leading Independent school in Wimbledon. As a young boy I developed a passion for many sports, especially in school, this gave me many opportunities to develop my personal qualities such as self confidence, discipline and respect. My main speciality is Football; in the UK I played for a club for a number of seasons in the 5th step of the National league system. In recent years, I have taken a keen interest in martial arts such as Western boxing and Thai kickboxing. There are so many positive effects that can come from Physical Education, such as resilience, leadership skills and teamwork amongst others. As a specialist PE teacher, I aim to provide opportunities for my students to collaborate and to share their thoughts and opinions, in order to have a positive impact on their experiences in PE. My teaching ethos is for students to feel confident in their abilities when playing sport so that they feel inspired to participate in lifelong physical activity. If there is anything that you would like to ask me, feel free to contact me on [email protected]

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George Woods

P.E. Teacher
[email protected]

My name is George Woods and I am from London in the UK. I studied Physical Education and Sport at the University of Greenwich, graduating with a First Class BA with Hons in 2017 and completed a PGCE in Physical Education the following year. My specialty sport is Rugby Union, back in the UK I played for a club in the national leagues, but I have a passion for many different sporting and physical activities, which makes teaching PE so enjoyable. I am keen sportsman; however, I feel it is important to show that there is more to PE than just sporting achievement. With this in mind, whilst carrying out my studies at university I won two awards from local organisations for my research into socio-economic factors related to the London 2012 Olympics. PE is a subject that has the ability to develop young people mentally and socially, as well as physically. I aim to carry this holistic approach to learning in my PE lessons and hope that this helps to encourage students to be involved in physical activity or sport regardless of ability, leading to healthy and active lifestyles.

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Zak Brown

Head Swim Coach
[email protected]

My name is Zak Brown. I’m from Bakersfield, California and started swimming at the age of 10. During High School, I helped lead our team to becoming league champions 4 years in a row. After High School, I attended Bakersfield College and continued swimming for Bakersfield Swim Club. During this time, I competed all over California as well as traveling to other states for national level competitions. After 2 years of junior college; I moved to Niagara Falls, New York and competed at Niagara University as a Division One Swimmer. During my stay at Niagara University, I was able to set three school relay records and I received a degree in marketing and logistics. I've enjoyed coaching swimming for over 9 years and have worked with athletes on all levels from beginners to Olympians. I feel very fortunate that swimming has given me the opportunity to meet incredible people from all over the world. Swimming is more than just a sport to me, it's become a lifestyle. The lessons learned through swimming stay with you your entire life. This is my second year with the HeadStart and I am really excited to work with the students to further develop their swimming abilities. Last season our Aqua Panthers hit best times and won the league championships. We have a lot of momentum building into this year and I am excited to lead the team into new heights!

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Sarah Dorman

Swim Coach
[email protected]

My name is Sarah Dorman and I am a 15-year veteran swim coach and lifeguarding/CPR/First Aid Instructor from The United States. Since the age of three I’ve loved being in the water, both recreationally and competitively. I began my competitive swimming career at the age of five and continued all the way through college, so I’m quite experienced in the process of learning and teaching every level of necessary swimming fundamentals. Through my love of swimming and desire to help others learn to enjoy the water, I began teaching in 2003 and was certified as a Water Safety Instructor in 2007 while working toward a bachelor’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh. I’ve held many different aquatic-based jobs, including Lifeguard, Swim Instructor, Masters Swim Coach and Aquatics Director, and have helped design and produce swimming programs for multiple US educational institutions including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University. I have taught students as young as 6-months old and have experience with every age and ability. I can never say no to helping someone learn how to swim. Since 2015, my passion for swimming has led me to teach around the world, coaching students in New Zealand, South Africa, Tanzania, and now in Thailand. Technique work is my speciality, as my training has always relied on developing very specific technical skills. My competition events include 100M Freestyle, 200M Freestyle, and 100M Butterfly, along with Medley and Freestyle relays. However, no matter what level the swimmer, I take a personal interest in all of my students’ progress and cater my classes to meet the needs of every student, not only to improve their swimming skills, but to encourage their love for the water as well.

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Ar-tit Benawang

Assistant Swim Coach
[email protected]

My name is Ar-tit Benawang and I am a swimming coach here at HeadStart. I have my high school qualifications from the Padang Besar Tinsulanonda School.I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise and Sport Science from the Institute of Physical Education–Krabi Campus. I also have certification as a Swimming Coach which I obtained on 30 December from the Thai Swimming Coach Association of Thailand. I have worked at HeadStart International School since 2011. It has been a great opportunity for me to work here. I enjoy the exercise that I can fit into my schedule due to excellent facilities. There are even sports that I have participated in that I have never had the chance to play before making it an overall great experience.

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Somtavin Chuchuay

Assistant Swim Coach
[email protected]

Hi. My name is Khru Pui! I graduated from the Padang Besar Tinsulanonda Highschool School. I have a Bachelor’s Degree from the Institute of Physical Education–Krabi Campus, Arts Program. On December 30th, 2008 I received a Swimming Coach Level 1 Certificate from 'The Thai Swimming Coach Association of Thailand.' I have worked here at HeadStart International School since the 5th of January, 2016. It has been a good opportunity for me to work here as I can exercise and play several sports here due to the good facilities. There are several sports that I have never played before like table tennis and soft tennis that I enjoy learning. In this job I can be a coach and learn and play new sports at the same time. It has been good luck for me to work here.

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Stef Frost

Head Football Coach
[email protected]

My name is Stef Frost. I’m from Nottingham, England and football has always been my passion. Being a professional footballer was always the dream for me and this came true at the age of just 16 years old. As a young player I joined the academy of the English Professional club Notts County FC. I progressed through the academy ranks from U10s to eventually the Notts County FC first team making my debut against Carlisle United in front of over 11,000 fans. I was awarded the Notts County FC Young Player of the year award and the Youth team player of the year award that same year. I am currently the third youngest player to ever play professionally for Notts County FC. I have also been fortunate enough to play against the likes of Manchester United, Leicester City, Everton, Aston Villa as well as against many high profile players such as premier league goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, England defender Gary Cahill and Inter Milan’s Ashley Young. Due to an Injury which has halted my football career I turned to coaching and I now have over 13 years experience in coaching also gaining my UEFA Licence and FA Youth Award. My coaching journey has taken me from England to Thailand, Australia and New Zealand and has included roles with professional clubs Nottingham Forest FC and Wigan Athletic F.C. I am extremely excited to be the Head Football coach at HeadStart International school and to have the opportunity to build a fantastic footballing program for our players to learn and practice in a fun and positive environment. It is very important for every player to leave each footballing practice having learnt either a new skill either being technical, physical, psychological or social. It is a combination of all these skills which our young players need to improve and succeed in Football and through their journey in life.

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Blaine McKenna

Assistant Football Coach
[email protected]

My name is Blaine McKenna and I am from Belfast, in the UK. I have been playing football from as young as I could walk and spent my youth career playing for national league teams in Northern Ireland and was selected for county and national team squads. I had a trial at a professional club in England but soon realised that I wouldn’t play at the top level, so I set my sights on coaching abroad. My goal was to coach in five countries but I have surpassed that by coaching in 11 countries on five continents, during my 12 year coaching career. I have spent the past five years working in Asia, including a spell as Academy Director of a Thai League club in Ubon Ratchathani. This was an amazing experience culturally and professionally as we were able to create a pathway which saw players signing professional contracts and making their debut in the first team. My big passion is driving performance across all areas of life and have been fortunate to deliver life skills performance programmes with a range of international gymnasts and footballers. I have previously worked with players who have gone on to earn professional contracts at a number of English Premier League clubs and I’m currently working with international players and a national team head coach as they prepare for the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. I’m excited about contributing to a HeadStart football programme which not only takes footballing ability to the next level but introduces skills which can help young people in the classroom, socially and in everyday life. The transfer of these skills to other areas of life is what fascinates me and drives me to research, study and experiment everyday to ensure we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of young people. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

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Fabienne Mester

Dance Programme Manager/Active Learning Coordinator
[email protected]

Born in France, I commenced my training as a classical dancer at the age of 8 and later moved on to contemporary at 14. I have since then absorbed numerous contemporary techniques like Jose Limon, Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham and Contact dancing. I performed with various contemporary dance Companies in France, and in 2004, joined Lewisham College Performing Art in London to get my Advanced Degree in contemporary. During the last 12 years between London, France, Australia and Thailand, I have acted as a dancer, teacher, choreographer and dance consultant in different dance styles like Jazz, modern, ballet, contemporary, musical theatre and acrobatics. I intend to bring to HeadStart International school’s community the spirit, the technique and the love of dance based on 4 points: Time, Space, Awareness and Fun. In September 2015, I joined as HeadStart Dance Programme coordinator offering an extensive dance programme for youth ages 4 to 18 y/o with a variety of classes in Ballet, Hip Hop, Modern/jazz, ballroom, contemporary, acrobatics and gymnastic. My mission is not only to properly place all students in classes that will maximize their development and progress, but also to guide them towards realising their full potential and help them to become amazing, creative and generous human beings.

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Joel Adams

Coach
[email protected]

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