Secondary

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 90 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.

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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David Pollicutt

Head of English
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My name is David and I joined HeadStart International School in 2018. I am from the UK and grew up in the large port city of Bristol. I studied English Literature at the University of East Anglia, and trained to teach at The Institute of Education in The University of London. I taught in East London for four years, before moving to teach for eight years as Head of English in Viet Nam and China. I am a firm believer in developing students to be natural enquirers, following the Sir Ken Robinson model of best preparing students to use transferable skills for the shifting landscapes of their futures. I seek to encourage an epistemological approach in my lessons, urging students to evaluate the efficacy of the information they consume and the validity of interpretations. I am passionate about literature and will often be chortling at David Lodge’s tragicomedy or swooning at Ian Mcewan’s literary sleight of hand. Outside of the classroom I am a keen student of Philosophy, Politics and Film. I am a particular fan of the intellect and charisma exuded by Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris and the late and much missed Christopher Hitchens. I have a terminal case of devotion to Tottenham Hostpsur Football Club; it teaches me patience and humility.

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Ashley Paice

Year 9 Coordinator and English Teacher
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My name is Ashley and I joined HeadStart International School in 2018. I studied English Language & Linguistics at The University of Manchester and completed my teacher training course at Edge Hill University in Liverpool shortly after. I teach English Language and Literature at HeadStart, and I am also the Coordinator for Year 9. As an English teacher, I always try to make English an exciting journey for all of my students. Competent reading and writing skills are so essential – with a strong foundation, doors can be instantly opened to the many wonders the world has to offer. I also love that I get to play such an instrumental part in shaping the pastoral care at HeadStart International School. Of course, it goes without saying - for students to thrive academically, they have to be happy and healthy. For me, teaching is all about those eureka moments – when a student suddenly ‘gets it’, and the jigsaw puzzle finally slots together - seeing my students brimming with pride and happiness is always a fantastic feeling. As for teaching itself, there is something undeniably magical about it; I really couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. Knowing that I get to shape the lives of so many young people every year makes me feel incredibly lucky. High School can be a tough five years for a whole host of reasons, and being able to help students navigate their way to the end – there’s really no better feeling! Outside of the classroom, I try to live quite an active life. I enjoy working out (although I often have to force myself!) However, my biggest passion in life is running; I feel so grateful to be living on such a beautiful island – and what’s better than exploring Phuket by going on a nice long run? I am excited to be starting my fifth year here at HeadStart International School. It’s been truly wonderful seeing the school develop, and I feel blessed to be a part of such an amazing community.

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Kelly Tuppen

Key Stage 5 Coordinator & English Teacher
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Hello everyone and welcome to my classroom! My name is Kelly Tuppen and I am a Secondary English Teacher, as well as the Homeroom Teacher for Year 10 White. I joined HeadStart in 2020. I have a First Class Honours BA in English Literature and a Postgraduate Certificate of Education for Secondary English from the Institute of Education UCL. Prior to moving to Phuket, I taught KS3 and IGCSE English Language, Literature and some Drama for 4 years at international schools in Yangon, Myanmar, a place very dear to my heart. I have also more recently taught for the rural Canadian school system in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada: ask me about my grizzly bear stories! As an internationally-minded teacher, I take pride in cultivating a plurality of perspectives in my English classroom. I inspire my students to learn how to think, nurturing analytical skills, cultural understanding, open-mindedness and tolerance. Along with developing reading and writing proficiency, I encourage my students to be creative - we might roleplay, hold debates, put a character from a novel on trial and even try to sketch poetic imagery to help us visualise it. Developing independence and confidence in my pupils' communication abilities is central to my role as an English teacher. I also encourage students to see mistakes as opportunities to improve, and never to give up! As an English teacher, I especially love poetry and puns, so you may see some around the classroom. I am very much looking forward to the coming academic year, and feel privileged to explore the magic of the English language with my students and help them to progress. If there is anything you wish to talk to me about, please come to see me. Best of luck to everyone this year.

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Thomas O'Brien

English Teacher
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My name is Tom. I am from London where I qualified as a teacher at the Institute of Education, having previously attended the University of Birmingham. I have taught both English and History at a number of schools in and around London. Since 2006 I have worked in International education, enjoying 9 years in Bangkok in two schools as Heads of History and English respectively. Leaving Thailand in 2015, I worked in Nepal and China and was grateful to have experienced teaching in both cultures. I am very happy to return to both teach and live in a country I regard as my second home, if not first. I love the creativity which English allows in both teaching and learning. I very much enjoy being part of the learning journey and seeing students develop in confidence in the acquisition of language and literature skills, allowing them to become effective communicators. I am passionate about the insight which literature affords us into the human condition and societies both past and present. I have been an avid reader of psychology and philosophy, both of which have helped me come to terms with a lifelong passion for Queens Park Rangers.

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Lauren Davidson

EAL Teacher
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Hello, Sawadee Ka, and Kia Ora! I was raised in the Bay of Plenty which can be found on the North Island of New Zealand. I studied Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Otago in Dunedin; a town that recently regained its record for having the steepest street in the world! I began my career as a teacher in Prague in 2015. I worked as an ESL teacher for adults who wished to develop their English language abilities. I soon realised I had a passion for teaching, so I also started work in an English language school for students aged four upwards. I enjoyed the working with children immensely, which inspired me to continue my professional development and I completed my International Post Graduate Certificate in Education in 2019. I have been teaching in Phuket since 2018 and I began working at HeadStart in 2019. Ever since my first day, I have been amazed by the dedication and professionalism of my colleagues. I have also loved getting to know the students, parents, and the wider HeadStart community. During lessons I strive for all children in my class to make outstanding progress in all facets of their education. It is a real joy to see their development over the year. I believe that children are capable of so much, and it is our duty as parents and educators to ensure that we provide the support necessary to help them reach their potential. If you ever have any questions then please feel free to contact me to discuss them. I am happy to take the time to ensure that we are working together to inspire a love of learning!

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Robert Gratton

Head of Humanities
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“The teacher is of course an artist, but being an artist does not mean that he or she can make the profile, can shape the students. What the educator does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves.” - Paulo Freire I am so happy to finally be here at HeadStart as a teacher of History and Head of the Humanities Faculty. The move to Phuket, along with my wife and two children (also at HeadStart), is a realisation of a long standing desire to work internationally and to work in a school with a strong family orientation. I am an experienced educationalist with over two decades working as a teacher, school leader, teacher trainer and researcher with the UCL Institute of Education. A History graduate, with PGCE in Secondary Education, a Masters in Guiding Effective Learning, and with a decade spent investigating the nature of Collaboration, I have been fortunate to work across numerous innovative and forward thinking projects within education internationally. This has included leading Curriculum development within Sweden, establishing new schools such as the UCL Academy and co-founding a centre for education in the outdoors focusing on wellbeing, creativity and sustainability in Wales. I am an advocate for the human centred approach to individual, societal and global sustainable practice. My passion for the Humanities is derived from a belief that we can utilise an education through the Humanities subjects to empower learners to become critical, compassionate and collaborative global citizens. To become life-long, life-wide learners and to become better prepared for an unknown future. To HeadStart I bring this commitment, this drive and this ambition to use the Humanities to transform the lives of each and every learner.

“Sometimes, you have to step outside of the person you've been and remember the person you were meant to be. The person you want to be. The person you are.” - H.G. Wells
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Dale Benham

Key Stage 4 Coordinator & Geography Teacher
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My name is Dale this is my Fourth year at Headstart International School I started working at HeadStart in 2019. I am from the United Kingdom and grew up in East Anglia in a small market town called St Ives in Cambridgeshire. I studied at the University of Glamorgan, now the University of South Wales, gaining a degree in Physical Geography. I completed my teacher training at the University of East Anglia in Norwich in 2009, earning a PGCE in Geography. I taught in Colchester which is located in the county of Essex. During this time I taught a wide range of children from varying backgrounds and ethnicities in a multicultural school. 6 of these years at this school were spent as a Head of Year to Years 8 to 11. I am passionate about Geography as a subject; I was inspired by my Geography teacher at school which led me on the path to become a teacher. I am enthusiastic and a great believer in providing exciting and interesting lessons to all of the students that I teach. I want them to become independent thinkers, gaining knowledge by learning through their mistakes and making marginal gains in everything they do. I am dedicated to creating a safe, fun and challenging learning environment where the students are at the center of a positive learning experience. Outside of the classroom I enjoy listening to an eclectic variety of music and watching sport (football and rugby in particular.) I am looking forward to another positive year for our school and most importantly our students who are a pleasure to teach.

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Mani Rasheed

Humanities Teacher
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Nice to meet you all, I'm going to be your new Geography and history teacher and I'm really looking forward to teaching you all. I am from England where I began teaching in Manchester and I am completely new to Thailand. I decided to move here because I love adventure and meeting new people. I am passionate about teaching and think that it is such an important job and I am planning to put my all into this to make sure you all have a really good, helpful, knowledgeable and empathetic teacher for as long as I'm here. Other than my job, I am also passionate about football too, I love playing, watching and talking about it. I have always been an Arsenal fan but please do not mention this if Arsenal lose on the weekend! My favourite football players are always creative midfielders like Zidane, Ozil and De Bruyne and this is what type of player I (like to think) am when I play football. I also love playing video games too, especially my playstation 5! My favourite games include FIFA, CoD and Gran Turismo at the moment. I also enjoy watching films and tv shows including anime and some of my favourite animes are Hunter x Hunter, Death Note and Attack on Titan to name a few.

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Simon Downes

Business Teacher
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Hi and Sawadee kap! I’m Simon Downes from the UK. Over the years, I’ve collected a mix of qualifications, including a Degree in Business & Linguistics, a Postgraduate Degree in Education and a Master’s Degree in Education. After teaching English and business in the UK, I moved to Thailand to teach in Chiang Mai, in 2014. I’m excited to continue my Thai journey in Phuket. As a teacher, I focus on creating a friendly, positive class atmosphere. This can encourage learners to take risks, and even make a few mistakes, which accelerates learning. I also find the yearly teaching cycle allows me to evolve my teaching; steadily incorporating fresh resources and technologies. Business ideas are core features of our HeadStart class experience. I like to bring our studies ‘to life’ by encouraging students to consider how they personally experience and interact with business ideas in their own lives. I’m more of a generalist than a specialist so I have a wide range of interests, including arts, sciences, economics, philosophy, psychology; the list is very long. I’m very curious so I’m hoping to learn about what interests you and how I can best support your learning. So, I’m looking forward to fresh adventures at HeadStart School. Thailand has taught me many things, particularly about the power of a smile, and confirmed that ‘It’s never too late to have a happy childhood’.

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Yardenna Jones

BTEC Coordinator
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My name is Yardenna Jones and I joined HeadStart in 2019. I am from the UK and I grew up in South Wales. I have a BA Honours degree in Journalism which I studied at Southampton Solent University. After university I assisted in the set-up of a small business, a fashion retailer in Bournemouth. I also continued with my love of journalism and travel by becoming an assistant editor of a travel & lifestyle magazine. Educating others and working with young people had always been a passion of mine, and I was keen to further my lifelong learning as I believe this is important continue with personal growth and development. With this in mind I moved to London and studied a DTLLS (Diploma to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector) with Business and Travel & Tourism being my subject specialisms because of my industry experience. In the UK I was working at Brooklands College in Surrey and Westminster Kingsway College in London. I have now been teaching these subjects with awarding bodies BTEC, OCR City & Guilds and NCFE for 8 years and I am very experienced with the 14-19 age group. I love working with these ages- it's such an exciting and significant time for students. I’m very passionate about creating a positive learning environment and want to inspire my students to be independent and motivated during this crucial time of becoming a young adult. I am so excited to be continuing with the delivery and coordination of the BTEC programmes at HeadStart. For a learner It can be such a valuable experience and enjoyable way of achieving a qualification. Watching a student grow and learn an array of transferable and employability skills in a holistic environment is a wonderful experience for all involved. Outside of the classroom I practice mindfulness, enjoy hiking around Phuket and I am passionate about spreading the importance of sustainable living. I have travelled much of South East Asia and look forward to more adventures this year as travel is a great passion of mine!

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Samuel Kasim

BTEC Travel & Tourism
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Hello! Thank you for your interest in Travel & Tourism and Headstart! I am Mr. Kasim; from London, England. Since I was young I have dreamed to travel the world and learn about new cultures. These interests naturally pulled me toward tourism and I would study BTEC Travel & Tourism at a local college like many of the students here. I then gained my BA in Tourism Management at St Marys University and my MA in Anthropology of Travel, Tourism & Pilgrimage at SOAS University. I spent many years working within the events and hospitality industry as an Event Steward, working at many popular entertainment venues and famous events including concerts, festivals, sporting competitions, special celebrations and cultural events. I have travelled the world for education and leisure, to many destinations including the Caribbean, East Asia, Europe, the Middle East and beyond. As the travel bug caught me, I found myself drawn to teaching. I started my career at an American School in Taiwan, teaching Social Studies and English. My enjoyment here encouraged me to make this my career and I chose to develop myself to become the best teacher I could. I returned to the UK and after working as a teaching assistant with a supplementary learning provider, I would gain my PGCE at UCL: Institute of Education. I then gained my QTLS certification and worked in London at a Sixth Form College as a Travel & Tourism teacher for a few years.

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Paul Goodwin

Business & Economics Teacher
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Sarah Gratton

University Counsellor & Psychology Teacher
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My name is Sarah and I am new to Headstart International School in 2022. I am from the UK and grew up in West Sussex, England. I studied Psychology at the University of Westminster, then went on to train to teach Psychology at the Institute of Education. For over 11 years I worked in an Inner London school and Sixth Form teaching Psychology and Health and Social Care. I worked as both Head of Department and Head of Faculty within the school and completed my MSc in the Psychology of Education as well as my NPQSL. In 2019, a desire for a change of pace and the opportunity to travel saw me and my young family relocate back to Sussex and spend some time travelling in South East Asia and Australia. Most recently, I worked as a Wellbeing Lead to support Sixth Form students' mental health and wellbeing through the Covid pandemic. I am an advocate of holistic education and love teaching Psychology. I am so excited to join Headstart as a Psychology teacher and University Counsellor, supporting students as they prepare for the next chapter of their lives. I am a qualified yoga and youth yoga teacher and outside of school I enjoy yoga, swimming, and going to the beach! I love travelling and have spent many school holidays in South East Asia. I am very excited to have the opportunity to live and work in Phuket with my husband and two children, and to explore the island and its surrounding countries.

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Daniel Portelli

Head of Maths & Computing
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My name is Daniel Portelli and I joined Headstart in January 2021. I am from Kent in the UK and moved to Thailand with my wife in June 2019. After my BSc at the University of Kent, I went to work for the UK government on engineering projects, then afterwards did a PhD in mathematics – more specifically mathematical modelling which is basically developing new mathematics to create virtual environments that are representative of real-life as possible. Why? To put simply, every time to drop your phone and it doesn’t break, this is due to mathematical modelling. Rather than building 1000s upon 1000s of phones to test under thousands and thousands of different conditions which would cost so much time and money, it is cheaper and more efficient to simulate these tests on a computer. To do this, however, you need to create a reality that is almost as real as real life, which is extremely challenging, both mathematically and computationally and requires the combination of knowledge and skills of mathematics, physics, computing and engineering. It was during this time I had a conversation with a friend of mine who asked me why in schools did they not teach us the more fascinating, challenging and interesting aspects of mathematics. Why did we have to wait until university to get those rewards. I decided then and there that I would bring this to schools and the best way to do this was to become a teacher. I obtained a Mathematics Teacher Training Scholarship from the Institute of Mathematics and did my teacher training PGCSE at Imperial College. After this, I taught GCSE and A-Level for several years at an international school in the UK, then moved to Bangkok as a Head of Department for another few years, before I joined Headstart as Head of Mathematics and Computing. I am very happy to be at Headstart and believe the school and the students to have huge potential. I see my role as helping all students of mathematics achieve not only the best they can academically but to fall in love with mathematics. Hopefully, even just by reading my profile, you have gained a bit of new insight into the nature of mathematics. In my free time, I like to go on walks, read, write, cook and spend time with my family – including my blind cat Beep-Boop. I am also a qualified public speaker from Toastmaster International.

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Letitia Bekker

Maths Teacher
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My name is Letitia and I am from South Africa. I completed my degree in BSc Chemistry and PGCE at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. I have a passion for young people and through teaching I want to make a difference in students’ lives. I firmly believe in student oriented education where learners must be fully involved in their education and I am willing to go the extra mile for each learner. My teaching experience in South Africa included working at IMPAK as a part-time teacher while completing my studies after which I moved, as a full time teacher to Hoërskool Warmbad which is a parallel medium High school teaching Mathematics and Physical Science. Besides teaching I love to travel, scuba dive and to camp. In 2015 my husband and I decided to move to Thailand where I taught Science at an English programme school in Rayong and in January 2016 I joined the Mathematics team at HeadStart International School. I am looking forward to continue working with staff and students from around the world and cannot wait to see what the new academic year holds.

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Linh Nguyen

Maths Teacher
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Howdy, my name is Linh Nguyen (pronounced “Lynn Win”) and I am a Secondary Maths Teacher, as well as the Homeroom Teacher for Year 8 Yellow. I joined HeadStart last year in 2021 and am excited for this year ahead. This upcoming academic year will be my 9th year of teaching Secondary Maths (4 years in Texas and 5 years in Phuket). I graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Education. I believe my upbringing, values and experiences as a Vietnamese American have carried over into my career as an educator and widened my perspective of teaching and how I connect with my diverse group of students. With a devoted outlook towards lessons, I hope to instill work ethics and the value of compassion and community. I challenge them to be independent learners, who are resilient and will accept and learn from their mistakes, but also to be cooperative learners, who are not afraid to ask for help and work through the problem together. My door is always open if you need anything. I am looking forward to the next academic year, seeing familiar faces and getting to know the new students at HeadStart. And I can’t wait to see what this year holds for us! Let’s make this year a memorable one, y’all!

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Sara Wilson

Maths & Psychology Teacher
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Greetings! I have been a member of the HeadStart teaching staff since August 2019. I am from New Brunswick on the East Coast of Canada. I attended two universities in the Atlantic Provinces before fulfilling my dream of becoming a teacher. At Mount Allison University, I obtained my Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Mathematics in 2010. I then obtained my Bachelor of Education degree at St Francis Xavier University in 2012. Thrilled to travel and to gain international teaching experience, I accepted a secondary mathematics teaching position in Colchester, UK in 2012. I enjoyed seven years of teaching a wide range of children from varying backgrounds and ethnicities in a multicultural secondary school. My passion for mathematics and learning brought me into teaching, but getting to work with brilliant young minds and personalities is what reenergizes me every year. I aim to cultivate real enthusiasm and appreciation of mathematics with my students through dynamic and methodical teaching practice. I hope to encourage a cooperative and supportive learning culture in my classroom, where we learn from mistakes and actively engage our minds in every facet of the subject. In addition to our learning, it is a joy to see students having opportunities at HeadStart to become more well-rounded individuals through clubs and activities. In 2021, I introduced the A Level Psychology course to HeadStart students, which I have enjoyed teaching alongside IGCSE and A-Level Mathematics. Outside of the classroom I spend as much time as possible exploring, travelling and embracing new experiences. I have a particular fondness for water sports and spend much of my free time in the water. I also try to balance my love of food with my love of health and wellbeing, so when I am not eating, I am trying to keep active.

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Ross Armstrong

ICT and Computing Coordinator
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My name is Ross I began working for HeadStart International School in August 2018, as well as being a teacher I am also the school’s computing coordinator. Overall, this will be my seventh year of teaching Computer Science and IT. I am from Bushey, just outside London, in the UK. I first studied Psychology at the University of Essex and in-between term time worked for a computer company as an Engineer. After two years I then decided that I wanted to become a teacher and commenced on a fulfilling journey by doing a Computing course at Reading University and, finally, my PGCE at UCL’s Institute of Education. I have experience in various types of schools and I have run school clubs such as CCF, which is a cadet force for both the Army and RAF. This included teaching (and learning myself!) a whole squadron how to sail, kayak, canoe and mountain bike – I also learnt how to pilot a small plane! I’m a firm believer that a student’s experience of school should extend beyond academic success. Being able to offer students extracurricular activities is an important process of growing up, making friends and understanding commitment within a team. I like to live an active lifestyle which I believe can be transferred into a classroom – I have taken part in Triathlons and running races (some in Phuket!). One of the main reasons I went into teaching was to be able to visit cultures around the world and truly immerse myself in them; HeadStart has given me the opportunity to do this. I’m extremely excited to make a positive impact with my new role at HeadStart, making my mark on an already thriving institution.

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Alicia Niemand

Year 8 Coordinator & ICT Teacher
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Hello everyone! My name is Alicia and I have been working at HeadStart since October 2018. I am entering my night year of teaching meaning I am extremely well equipped for the exciting year ahead. I have taught in a variety of settings; including my home country of South Africa, the Middle East and other parts of Thailand. I studied to become a teacher at the University of Pretoria; gaining a Bachelor of Education degree. I then taught ICT in South Africa for two years before embarking on my international teaching career; where I have spent the past six years as both a homeroom, IT, ICT and IB MYP Digital Design Teacher. I strive towards perfection for both myself and my students, working each day to ensure outstanding practice and outcomes. I am very passionate about my subject which means I have a breadth of knowledge to share and can do so in engaging and stimulating ways. I am a stimulating, eager and dedicated person with a natural ability to build rapport with students. My high quality approach ensures rapid progress and results. With a devoted outlook towards lessons; through differentiation, challenge, a happy and humorous approach, my teaching style has been positively welcomed by learners over the years. As well as being a passionate teacher, I also love fitness and sport. I love training in a range of physical activities; including Crossfit, weight-lifting, cycling, team sports, coaching and refereeing. With this, I have played provincial field hockey for my country and also represented an established Emirates rugby team while living in Dubai. I look forward to continuing touch rugby with the staff and students this year. I am looking forward to the next academic year, seeing familiar faces and getting to know all of the new students. I’m happy to be spending my time at HeadStart and in Phuket.

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Iain Ross

Maths & Computing Teacher
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My name is Iain. I began working for Headstart International School in August 2022. Prior to qualifying as a teacher, I worked in outdoor education and have worked in UK, France and with Outward Bound in Hong Kong. At this time, I made my only previous trip to Thailand, when I visited Bangkok and travelled to Railay Beach where I enjoyed the fabulous rock climbing and my first experience of scuba diving. On returning from Hong Kong to UK, I began training as a teacher. I have since been employed in a number of schools in Devon and Cornwall in the south-west of UK, and as a school leader of a referral unit for challenging students. After gaining NPQH, I established my own company and worked throughout the UK providing support to local authorities and interim leadership to struggling schools. For the last 7 years I have been employed as a maths and computing teacher and Head of Faculty in a British school in Cyprus. I enjoy teaching students skills that they will use in later life, and also helping them develop into young adults. When I am not teaching, I enjoy music, adventure sports and travelling. My wife and I have travelled through New Zealand and Australia where we gained our diving qualifications. I have also travelled to several countries in Europe, including riding through Turkey to compete in a week-long motorcycle rally in Greece.

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Dan Marsh

Head of Science
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I am excited to join the Headstart family this year, along with my wife and daughter. I am the Head of Faculty for Science and teach Physics at IGCSE and A-level. I completed my BSc Honours degree in Marine Chemistry in 1999, and then a Doctorate in Chemical Physics developing optical fibre sensing devices, both in the UK. I then spent six years as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Bristol and Nottingham Universities, where I worked on designing a range of technologies which depend upon self-assembly at the nanoscale, and was briefly a Visiting Professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. In 2008 I moved into international education as a teacher and Head of Faculty in Kuwait for six years. This is my ninth year teaching in Thailand, having been in Bangkok for eight years prior to moving to the lovely island of Phuket. Whilst in Thailand I have completed a PGCE at Masters level (with Distinction) through Keele University, and also a NPQ in Middle Leadership through UCL’s Institute of Education. I have a great belief in the power of education to enrich and transform the lives of young people, and to prepare them for an independent life in an uncertain future. I encourage all students to pursue a broad program of learning, both formally and informally through the excellent programs on offer here at Headstart, so as to develop their personal resilience and confidence as they progress through school. I am a member of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award global training panel, training new Award Leaders, and pursue my own adventurous journeys in the wilds of Thailand and the wider-world as a keen photographer with a love for the outdoors.

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Christopher Brown

Science Teacher (Biology)
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My name is Chris and I am happy to be returning to HeadStart International School for my sixth year teaching science here. I grew up in North West England and completed my degree in Biochemistry at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, before doing my PGCE in Secondary Science at the University of Manchester. I continue to enjoy putting this experience to good use at HeadStart where I can share my passion for science with students from so many different backgrounds. I feel that all young people have a natural curiosity and drive to understand the world around them, which makes teaching science a pleasure. I aim to keep this curiosity and excitement alive in my classroom and strive to make sure that my students see science as something interesting that they can relate to their own day to day lives. My science lessons allow students to explore ideas and discover answers for themselves as much as possible, giving them hands-on experience of what it really means to be a scientist. I feel very lucky that I am able to combine my love of teaching with living in one of my favourite places in the world.

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Patrick Brown

Science Teacher
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My name is Patrick Brown, I am from Rochester, Kent in England. I graduated with a BSc from The University of London. After working at Greenwich University for 18 years I completed a TEFL course in 1999 and then went on to a PGCE at Canterbury Christchurch University in 2006. I have worked for 8 years teaching science in the UK, 6 of them as Deputy Head of Science. I’m starting my Eighth year teaching at Headstart and look forward to helping pupils develop their skills in scientific enquiry and critical thinking, which I firmly believe help to enrich their overall experience in life and important decisions they will make in it. I am a keen cyclist and photographer and continue to put both these skills to good use on this beautiful island.

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Emma Marsh

Science Teacher (Chemistry)
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Having graduated from The University of Wales with a BSc(Hons) in Marine Chemistry, my initial career was in industry as an HPLC and Mass-Spectroscopy Chemical Analyst. I then trained as a Chemistry teacher, gaining my PGCE, and taught in the UK. I have a passion for discovering new cultures and travel which set me on the path of international teaching in 2008, firstly in the role of Head of Chemistry at a large International school in Kuwait before making the move to Thailand with my family in 2014. Since arriving in Thailand I have completed a Masters in International Education with my thesis focusing on culturally sensitive teaching methods. I am currently in the final stages of a PhD, looking in more depth at intercultural education and the ways in which cultural differences can impact learning. Following eight years teaching in Bangkok, I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to move with my husband and daughter to Phuket. Outside of the classroom I am a passionate sports person and when I am not cycling or running, I enjoy sharing my love of horses with my daughter. I am currently in the process of developing my swimming so that I can become part of the Phuket triathlon scene.

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Neil Roscoe

Science Teacher (Biology)
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I’m Neil Roscoe and I have taught Science and especially Biology for over 20 years. My degree is from the University of Leicester and I qualified to teach at the University of Sussex, in the UK. I most recently taught in an international School in Shanghai, China, before coming to Phuket and also in a number of private boarding schools, including Roedean, prior to that. I am especially interested in the natural world and hope to inspire a love of nature in my students. Phuket is an amazing place to study Biology because there is such an abundance of life all around us, from the forests and mountains of the interior to the coasts - which include coral reefs and archipelago. It would be fun to explore all of this further, perhaps with students from HeadStart in the form of field visits as part of our study. When not teaching, I’m interested in travel and flying. I learned to fly small planes in the United States, which has brought many hours of fun. I also enjoy music and sometimes painting (watercolour), which can be really relaxing. I look forward to another year at HeadStart and helping the students to find their niche in life. With all that is going on in the world currently, there has rarely been a more exciting time to study Biology.

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Patrick Graham

Music Coordinator
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Tim Costello

Music Teacher
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Hi, my name is Tim and I am a Music Honours Graduate of Dartington College of Arts in England. I majored in Trumpet, Conducting and Sound Engineering. I have been playing the Trumpet since I was 6 and Piano since I was 11. I studied for my PGCE at Sussex University and my NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Headship), at the National College for School Leadership in the UK. I have been a classroom Music Teacher, Head of Department/Faculty and Senior Leadership for 27 years, initially in the UK, then in the Middle East, Malaysia, Philippines and now on the stunningly beautiful island of Phuket. I have previously played Trumpet with the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Exeter Symphony Orchestra, UAE Philharmonic Orchestra, UAE Symphony Orchestra, Lionel Hampton’s Big Band and the Abu Dhabi Big Band. I am classically trained but also have a real passion for Big Bands and Jazz. I am a Yacht Master and am a keen sailor (if anyone needs crew). I also love to Scuba Dive and I am a PADI Rescue Diver. As a lifelong learner I am hoping to become a Divemaster in the next couple of years. I am passionate about empowering my learners to work hard using enquiry, independence, collaboration and as many learning styles as possible. My teaching style embraces fun, humor, differentiation, challenge whilst expecting the highest work ethic from my learners.

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Kerrie Nacey

Art Teacher
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Hello HeadStart community, my names Kerrie and I am a Secondary Art Teacher as well as the Home room teacher for Year 10 Yellow. This is my first year at HeadStart after moving to Phuket from Bangkok, where I taught for five years. I have a First Class Honors BA in Contemporary Fine Art from Northumbria University, where I found my passion for using sculptural materials and ceramics to make art. You can find me somewhere covered in clay! After studying Art, I studied Art in education and received my Postgraduate Certificate in Sheffield where I taught Art and Design, Art Textiles and Resistant materials at KS3 and GCSE. In 2017 I moved to Bangkok to work in a middle school, where I taught and delivered Art for the whole school from Year 1 to Year 9. I then moved on to continue teaching IGCSE and A level. I have thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to teach an array of year groups, each year has inspired the development of my teaching practice. I am passionate that Art can create change, that it builds confidence, creates conversations and harnesses the power of creativity. Not one shoe fits all, Art can be as flexible, fun and accessible as we make it and I am so excited to be working with such a creative community at HeadStart.

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Thomas Dagnall

Art Coordinator
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Hello and sawadee krap! My name is Tommy, this will be my 2nd year here and I am very excited to begin my new role as an Art Coordinator at Headstart. I was born and raised in Liverpool, making me a proud ‘Scouser’. I moved to Lincoln when I was 20 where I completed my Ba in The Visual Arts and Education studies at Bishop Grosseteste University. Whilst there I would spend my summers teaching Martial Arts at a summer camp in the USA. Through my degree studies I explored light in many ways before specialising in its use as a physical medium through installations. I am passionate about all forms of creative expression, I am at my happiest when making and have worked to become adept in many different mediums. I aim to encourage this level of passion and enthusiasm in all of my students. I am a firm believer in arts ability to reach across subject divides and love using this to branch out into cross curricular learning. I have spent my last 4 years teaching Art in an international school in Marbella where I also served as a ‘head of house’ and developed and delivered a contemporary and fresh PSHE curriculum for year 8 and 9 students. Outside of the classroom I love to stay active. Aside from my own artwork I am also a 2nd dan in the Goju Ryu style of Okinawan Karate and I love to play Football, Padel, Yoga and swim in the Sea. I look forward to continuing these activities in Phuket and hopefully learn some more.

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Dean Wells

Design & Technology Coordinator
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My name is Dean Wells and I am from the UK. I grew up in Poole, Dorset but moved to Bristol to study a degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering and then stayed there for 18 years. As a Production Engineer I worked on top engineering projects such as the Typhoon Eurofighter, underwater and flying Unmanned Automated Vehicles and setting up a company for Mitsubishi before eventually going back to university and studying for my PGCE to become a qualified Design and Technology teacher. I moved to Penang, Malaysia in 2013 to work at a new international school where my role was to design and overlook the building of the Design and Technology educational spaces as well as to set up and teach an exciting curriculum for Key Stage 3, Cambridge IGCSE to Key Stage 4 and Product Design A Level to Key Stage 5. I am now really looking forward to my new role at Headstart International school and to continue helping with the progression, positive energy and academic successes of the Creative Arts and DT subjects. I am committed to helping young people achieve their best and striving to ensure they have a happy and successful life. In the past I have also had some varied jobs that possibly reflect my personality and interests, I have taught corporate groups how to sail tall ships, had my own weekly radio show and been a sound engineer for London Westend shows such as Cats and Mary Poppins.

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Joshua Lantegan

Design & Technology Associate Teacher
jlanteg[email protected]

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Korawit Leekleaw

Design & Technology Technician
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Amina Sanden

Head Dance Coach
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Hi everyone! My name is Mina and I am the new Head Dance Coach. I am thrilled to be a part of the HeadStart family and I can’t wait to work with everyone and take our Dance Academy to the next level. It is a pleasure to be teaching these wonderful students, to share my experiences and knowledge with them, and most importantly, to have fun! I have been dancing since I was 6 years old. I studied Jazz dance at Bangkok Dance Studio and Contemporary dance in many different studios. I started competing in dance battles when I was 15 years old. I have performed as a professional dancer in music videos, commercials, and events. I also worked as a dance soloist, choreographer, coach and manager for events and competitions. I have travelled to many countries to take dance classes from dance masters in various dance genres to further my teaching and dancing techniques. I am able to teach many dance genres such as jazz-funk, contemporary, hip-hop, and more. My goal is to help all of our students find their own characteristics and to be able to express them through dance. I will guide them through pathways that will help them achieve their optimal level of success. Dancing saved my life and I would like to pay it forward by helping others achieve something greater.

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Narumon Kunjun

Science Technician
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My name is Kanwara Kunjun or Bow. I graduated from Prince of Songkla University where I achieved a Bachelor of Science, I majored in Biotechnology. I was working as Science assistant during that time. After I graduated, I worked as a lecturer at The Biochemistry department at Taksin University for a year and I used to work as a science tutor for secondary students at Hatyaiwittayalai Somboon Kunkunya School. It has been a great opportunity to join Headstart International School in the position of Science Technician. Two years have passed since joining the team but I still have so much fun working in the school because of the lovely management team and students.

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Wipawee Lhuangon

Art Technician
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My name is Wipawee Lhuangon and I have worked at HeadStart International School since 2019. I initially started as a graphic designer but I am now working as an art technician for the art department. I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Communication Art from Sripatum University in 2018. My favourite thing about working in the art department is that I get to help my students with their art projects and I support them in finding their own creativity. I am really looking forward to this new Academic year, as I am sure students will continue to surprise and amaze me with their fantastic talents. Outside of work I am also really passionate about art. I enjoy spending time in Art and History museums. I love to travel and discover new countries. I enjoy Procreate digital art, going to the beach, listening to podcasts and one of my favourite hobbies is surf skating.

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