Staff Community

Dion Norman
Director of Educational Technology

Dion comes to us from Canada where he recently worked in Vancouver at a K-12 IB continuum school as the Director of Educational Technology and eLearning. Prior to moving back to Canada, Dion spent almost two decades living in Korea and Singapore. While living in Korea, Dion met his wife Soeun, where they were married and had their son Alex. When Alex was four, they moved to Singapore and Dion spent nine years at the Canadian International School – another IB school – as a classroom teacher, EdTech Coach and K-12 EdTech Coordinator. Dion has a Masters of Education from the University of Toronto, specializing in technology in education. He is a Google Certified Trainer and Innovator, a Common Sense Education Ambassador and an Apple Teacher. Dion has presented at a number of conferences, including Google Summits, Learning 2, 21CLHK, BETT Asia and at the IB Regional Conference in Singapore. Dion and his family love to travel and experience new cultures.

Janani Srikantha
Grade 2 Classroom Teacher

Janani Srikantha is an experienced IB PYP teacher who worked at the Canadian International School in Singapore, where she was also a learning lead and a literacy lead. Janani’s experiences in technology-rich classrooms fuelled her interest to further understand how technology can redefine learning which drove her to pursue her Masters of Education in Digital Technologies and Education with her research focusing on inclusive education. She believes in every child being able to develop to their full potential in a nurturing environment that supports their curiosity and interests. Outside of the classroom, Janani enjoys boxing, travelling to new places and meeting people, and reading (some of her favourite books are recommendations from students).

Tim Woods
DP Global Politics, Business Management, and Theory of Knowledge

Tim grew up in a part of Canada where there are more lakes than people, so while he enjoys nature, he also loves to travel. Tim taught in Bahrain, England and Belgium before spending the past 8 years at Singapore’s Overseas Family School, an IB DP programme. Tim holds Bachelor’s degrees in History and Education and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. He is also a professionally certified Solution Focused coach. In his spare time, Tim enjoys reading non-fiction books, developing his popular resources for Diploma Programme students and trying to clean off his desk. Tim is joined by his wife Bettina (who loves cake) and their three kids: Levi (who loves Minecraft), Harper (who loves painting) and Reese (who loves Care Bears).

Geoffrey Buck
MYP and DP Science and Maths

Geoff is from the South East of England and is moving to Phuket from Bangkok, where he was teaching at IS Bangkok. Prior to Bangkok he was in Tanzania teaching science and maths at IS Moshi, on the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro. Before teaching, Geoff worked as a commercial pilot and flying instructor, then returned to university to train as a science teacher. Geoff has a passion for outdoor adventure and has been finding inventive ways to incorporate outdoor learning into the science curriculum. He is excited to be moving to Phuket with his wife Stephanie and daughter Marianne, who will be entering grade 10. They are looking forward to enjoying the open space and nature of the island, to hike and scuba dive and to take their dog for walks along the beach.

Stefania Diana
Grade 3 Classroom Teacher

Stephania was born near Rome and had an interesting upbringing spending time between family in Italy, with mediterranean flavours, southern dialects and lots of hand gestures, and other family in the North of England, with beautiful countryside, Sunday roasts, scones and an amazing mix of colourful accents; she likes to think that she took the best from both worlds. Due to this interplay between Italian and British culture early on, she became very interested in languages, both in personal learning and in terms of language development. She graduated in Economics and International Management and during her studies she worked as a teaching assistant at St. George’s British International school, in Rome. She then gained her PGCE in England specializing in Mathematics and Modern Foreign Languages. She counts herself very lucky to have found the IB programme and the PYP with its emphasis on global citizenship, international mindedness and multilingualism at the International School of Siena, where she has worked as a class teacher for the last five years. She enjoys travelling with her family, exploring local food, foraging wild vegetables and wild flowers, reading children’s literature, folding paper, recycling materials to make furniture and sewing. She is also slightly obsessed with maps and globes, fairy lights, geometrical patterns, her two children, Edith and Matthew and husband Michael.

Michael Terrell
Grade 2 Classroom Teacher

Michael was born in England, but is from Irish and Welsh heritage which made watching rugby while growing up a lively experience at our house; it also means he never really knew how to answer the question ‘where are you from?’ He graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a degree in Psychology and is a member of the British Psychological Society. After university, he worked as a headhunter for investment banks and various recruitment companies in the UK until he discovered teaching through a twist of fate – since then, he’s found it to be the best job on planet earth. He gained his PGCE (with a specialism in Mathematics) from Exeter University and has been a class teacher in international schools in Italy for 13 very rewarding years. He is strongly drawn to the PYP and puts student happiness before everything else. He enjoys Mathematical inquiry and likes to use Art as a tool for exploring concepts. Outside of school he is most comfortable in nature, likes adventure travel and wild places (mountains, deserts, forests, other schools), bikes of any kind (which he pretends to fix but usually ends up breaking) and spending time his wife Stefania, his daughter and his baby boy.

Nathaniel Ovelar
Primary Art Teacher

Nate (Cecê) is a 3rd culture kid all grown up, from the United States, Paraguay and Brazil. He teaches Primary Art, has a BA in Cultural Anthropology and Masters of Education from the United States. Nate has been a professional artist and muralist for the last 10 years, painting large murals all over the world (Brazil, Spain, USA, China, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Paraguay, Malaysia, Nepal, Nigeria, and Thailand). He has lived in Thailand for the last 8 years, previously teaching Art at the Australian International School of Bangkok and Webster University. Nate comes from an art background which focuses on cultural issues and community building and his art lessons focus a lot on the humanities and traditional arts. Nate enjoys spending time with his family, listening to world music, painting, having philosophical conversations, studying anthropology, and riding bikes with his son.

Sarah Lawrence
MYP CAS and Learning Support

Sarah has 12 years of teaching experience in diverse roles and settings in the USA, China, Kuwait, Dubai, and Kazakhstan. She has experience in special education, English/literature, humanities, and research. For the past three years as an AP Capstone Coordinator, Sarah helped to develop the spirit of research within the secondary community. Trained in both the IB and AP programs, Sarah has nurtured a passion for promoting inquiry-based learning, critical literacy, and social justice education. Originally from Michigan, USA, Sarah holds a B.A. in Special Education and Language Arts and an M.A. in Education in P-12 schools and post-secondary literacy and leadership from Michigan State University. In her free time, Sarah loves teaching and practicing yoga and mindfulness. Other interests include: running, hiking, scuba diving, and doting on animals- especially the two Bodhi rescue dogs she shares with her husband.

Indu Bedi
MYP English Language and Literature, Drama, and English Language Support

Indu learnt her craft as a teacher of English in England where she taught for 18 years holding a variety of roles including Head of Faculty, Director of Learning and Teaching and both Assistant and Deputy Head. She embarked on her international career 8 years ago with her family and has since taught in Malaysia and Thailand. She is a certified Teacher Trainer with a specialism and a passion for developing pedagogical approaches to support language acquisition, writing and leading training in England and abroad. Indu has also worked for Sunderland University (UK) in supporting and assessing teachers training internationally. Indu has a BA (Hons) in the Humanities, majoring in English Literature, a PGCE in teaching English with Drama, an MA in Cultural and Critical Studies and has completed her National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH). Outside of school, Indu is an avid reader with a particular interest in postcolonial literature and self-development books. She also enjoys running, hiking and being a mum to Anoushka and Taara Lily.

Daniel Glasner
Teacher Librarian

Danny is passionate about student-led action, creativity, inquiry, making, and service. He’s dedicated to making the library an active hub, and a welcoming, inclusive space for every member of the UWCT learning community. He loves all forms of artistic expression, sports, camping, traveling and learning about different cultures. Other personal interests include technology, literature, and music. Born and raised in Canada, Danny has more recently been living and working in various parts of the world such as Turkey, Vietnam, and China.

Elizabeth Lawson
Preschool Teacher

With a total of 7 years living in Thailand, Lizzie lives here with her husband and 3 children. She obtained an undergraduate BA in English Literature from the University of Wales, a post-graduate certificate in Education from the University of Northumbria and a post-graduate diploma in Special Educational Needs from the University of Nottingham. After gaining he teaching degree in the UK, she has worked in various schools across the UK, the Bahamas and in Thailand. She is passionate about creating opportunities for learning through play, creativity and social and emotional learning. She loves listening to the rich discussions that comes from children playing and collaborating on projects that inspire them. She also enjoys traveling, being outdoors and in nature, music, reading and pilates. After half of a year in Grade 2, she is thrilled to be continuing on with UWC Thailand!

Amy Sharp
Nursery Teacher

Amy is excited to return in 2018-19 after a year away from UWCT for maternity leave.

Senior Boarding Mentor for Health and Wellness

Braeda is coming to UWC Thailand from Canada where she spent the past 7 years working in social services alongside the Vancouver School Board. Working in some of the most marginalized communities of the country, she has learned how to be an advocate for youth and operates from a social justice lens. Braeda has a specialty in program startup and curriculum design, with a focus on social-emotional learning through skill-based workshops, experiential learning, community engagement and service learning activities. She truly believes in empowering youth to give them a voice. She enjoys hiking, camping, books, dogs and food. Braeda is excited to start the next chapter of her life in Thailand!

Jaki Graham – Primary School Principal 

An experienced IB PYP practitioner, Jaki holds a Masters of Teaching from the University of Sydney, Australia and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of NSW, Australia. She was a team leader at UWCSEA – East (Singapore) for a number of years. Jaki has been involved in a number of leadership roles in her career – in early learning centres and primary school environments at schools in China, Switzerland and Australia. Her background in Number Talks will be invaluable as we continue to implement this framework within the Primary school. She is passionate about Social Emotional Learning, Positive Psychology and Mindfulness, and enjoys running, pilates, visual arts and water sports such as sailing, scuba diving or SUPing. She is excited by the opportunity to become involved in water sports again- especially sailing as part of living here in Phuket.

Primary Coordinators

Nikki Petyanszki
PYP Coordinator

Nikki has been teaching and leading Grade 3 at the Canadian International School of Hong Kong since 2011, along with being the PYP Literacy coordinator. She has a Masters in Teaching from Deakin University in Australia. Nikki is passionate about volunteer work and raising awareness of environmental and equality issues, Nikki states, “Growing up as a Third Culture Kid gave me many awe-inspiring, challenging and fulfilling experiences around the world. It was only natural for me to become an international educator and continue the expat lifestyle. My upbringing is hugely beneficial to understanding the transient nature of the international students I teach.” Nikki enjoys diving, yoga and hiking, and will be joining us with her husband Chris (Outdoor Education Coordinator) and their daughter Ella.

Nursery and Preschool Teachers

Fiona Doherty

Fiona is an ECEC practitioner who has spent more than 15 years working with young children and supporting the professional learning of educators across a number of early childhood settings in Australia and throughout Asia. Fiona works with early childhood educators and administrators in Australia, thinking with them about inquiry-based teaching and learning, pedagogical leadership, and Creating Caring Communities of Learners. She has qualifications in Early Childhood Education and graduated with her Bachelor degree from the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. Fiona is a passionate advocate of play-based learning and promotes these ideals within her work. Her teaching is anchored by a commitment to nurturing children’s social and emotional wellbeing. Fiona’s main interest lies in exploring and applying mind transformation techniques and meditation.

Caryl Medilo

Caryl is a Preschool teacher. She is from the Philippines and has spent most of her teaching career overseas. She has been working at UWCT (previously PIA) since the school was formed in 2008. She worked as a learning support and Early Childhood classroom teacher. Caryl received her B Ed from Holy Cross of Davao College in the Philippines. She worked as a Kindergarten teacher in Bangkok and then as a Special Education and Primary teacher with the Reed International Institute. She has been involved in the PYP for 7 years and has completed training and seminars in other IB World Schools. Caryl has also completed training in Integrating Reggio Emilia approach in Early Childhood. She has taken online courses on The Clinical Psychology of Children and Young People on Coursera (The University of Edinburgh) and Early Childhood on Open2Study (Gowrie, Australia). Caryl is particularly interested in volunteer work and often helps in outreach programmes for refugee children. Her other interests includes Zumba, fun runs, travelling, dancing, biking and swimming.

Olivia Symons

This is Olivia’s third year teaching in the Preschool. She is married to Kru Ned and they have three children who also attend UWCT. Olivia has a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) from the University of Auckland and a Graduate Diploma of Primary Teaching from Massey University. Olivia is from New Zealand and prior to moving to Phuket she lived there and helped to set up and teach in a Steiner-inspired kindergarten. Olivia has previously taught MYP Math and Science at UNIS Hanoi and also been an ESL teacher. Her other interests are her family, holistic health and enjoying nature. She enjoys walking, running, yoga and Pilates.

Nick Garvin

Nick values opportunities that inspire creativity, imagination, making, and play. He loves the arts adventure sports, expedition travels and learning about different cultures. Other personal interests include history, meditation, yoga, and videography. Born and raised in the USA a little over thirty years ago, Nick has more recently been living and working in various parts of the world such as South Korea, Vietnam, Mozambique, and Laos.

Katherine Hansen

Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Katherine earned a BEd and BA through the University of Calgary. She taught in public education for a number of years before moving to Singapore where she was a PYP teacher and learning leader at the Canadian International School. Katherine is passionate about inquiry-based education and a strong advocate for outdoor learning. She believes in technology-rich learning environments where students are encouraged to be open-minded, independent thinkers, and free to take risks. Katherine enjoys traveling off the beaten path, living an active lifestyle, and eating food that feeds her mind, body, and soul.

PYP Teachers

Jessica Lee
Grade 1

Jessica has a B Ed with a specialisation in Math and Science Education from the University of British Columbia and a B Arts in Psychology from the University of Victoria. Jessica has taught internationally at BIS Canada in Seoul, South Korea for 4 years in both Kindergarten and Grade 4. She is passionate about fostering healthy social, emotional, physical and academic development in young learners. Jessica’s interests include travel, yoga, horseback riding, rock climbing, hiking and animals. She is excited to continue developing her ukulele proficiency this coming year.

Thomas Hansen
Grade 3

Prior to joining UWCT, Thomas was a PYP teacher and learning leader at the Canadian International School in Singapore. A strong advocate for service and action, Thomas also held the role of Community Outreach Coordinator at CIS, where he organized numerous school wide events as well as service trips to Cambodia. Before moving to Asia, Thomas taught public education in his hometown of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He is currently pursuing an interdisciplinary Masters of Education in instructional leadership and technology, and holds two undergraduate degrees from the University of Calgary. Thomas is passionate about sport and fitness, and has recently been learning the art of muay thai. He loves to combine his photography and writing skills through his travel blog, and co-authors this with his wife, Katherine, who teaches Kindergarten at UWCT.

Ned Symons
Grade 4

Ned is originally from the south of England. He is married to Kru Olivia with three children (Kyra 6, Elijah 10 & Mai An 13) who attend UWCThailand. Ned has a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) attained from the University of Waikato. His experience includes teaching Primary level in New Zealand, and ESL and Kindergarten in Hanoi, Vietnam. Ned also ran his own business as a landscape designer in New Zealand. He enjoys diving, tennis and photography.

My passion for holistic teaching lies in guiding every child towards developing their own interests and knowledge of the world; their social and emotional skills; their academic skills; and to experience the value in service and a love for outdoors.”

Aloni Cahusac
Grade 4

Kru Aloni has spent just over a decade developing her teaching career as an international educator in Canada, Colombia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok. Born

in Canada, but raised in the warm seaside city of Montego Bay, Jamaica, Aloni feels most at-home in tropical climates. With a spirit of adventure and an adaptable nature, she has braved a few consecutive winters back “home” in Canada, pursuing a B.Sc in Wildlife Biology from Guelph University and a B.Ed in Outdoor & Experiential Education from Queen’s University. Kru Aloni has previously taught in PYP classrooms as well as at UWCSEA where she fostered a love of service learning. In the service realm, she is passionate about marine science, conservation and coral reef restoration. Empowered to educate others about global concerns for our oceans, Aloni loves to share her affection for the sea with students, friends and family. As a PADI open water scuba diving instructor, Kru Aloni loves to explore hidden sanctuaries under the sea and feels most alive when surrounded by sharks, turtles and schooling barracudas. Kru Aloni loves working with teachers and learners inside and outside the confines of traditional classroom walls and feels that UWCT is the perfect place for her to grow, learn and explore.

Nicolette Robertson
Grade 5

Nicki joined UWCT from the Australian International School, Hong Kong, where she has been a team leader of the Year 6 cohort for a number of years. Nicki holds a Bachelor of Primary Education from the University of South Africa, majoring in Physical Education and Geography. She has also completed The Advanced Leadership Program for Female School Leaders within International Schools. Nicki’s interests include mindfulness, netball, yoga, tennis, watching sports, reading, and socialising. Her husband, Jason is a professional golfer and her daughter Ashley.

Laurie Stone
Grade 5

Laurie has moved to UWC Thailand from The Canadian International School of Hong Kong. During her 17 years of teaching, she has worked in Canada, South Korea, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Peru. Laurie has held various teaching and leadership roles, and is trained in all 3 IB programmes (PYP, MYP and DP). She holds a Masters of Education from Framingham University, USA, Bachelor of Education from University of Windsor, Canada and a Bachelor of Honors in Psychology from Laurentian University, Canada. Along with teaching, Laurie has a passion for coaching and really enjoys coaching Volleyball and Basketball. Her other interests are scuba diving, travelling, animals (especially her 3 cats), watching movies and fitness training. Laurie is joined by her husband, Jonathan Field, the UWCT Secondary School Principal.

Naomi France
Grade 1

Subject Teachers

Kanungnit (Boom) Kietthawornwong 

Khun Boom joined the school in September 2009 as a Thai Language and Culture teacher. She has a B FA in Fine and Applied Arts (Dance) from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, and a Graduate Diploma in Teaching from Rajabhat Institute. She also has a M Ed in Educational Administration from Bangkokthonburi University in Bangkok. Before joining the school, Khun Boom taught Thai Language and Culture from 2003 at the British International School in Phuket.

Gantamanee (Ying) Narinrat

Khun Ying graduated with a B.A Business Administration, Bangkok University and a Graduate Diploma in Teaching from Phuket Rajabhat University. She has started teaching Thai language to international students at the Horizons Learning Center (Greenhouse International Preschool) also worked with small groups, one on one and as a Thai/English translator.  She enjoys working with young students in primary with her 13 years teaching experience.  She is currently working towards a number of online qualifications, including the Clinical Psychology of Children and Young people from the University of Edinburgh, and The Bilingual Brain from the University of Houston. Khun Ying is teaching Thai to students across all primary grade levels. Khun Ying’s interested in travelling where she can sees new places and different cultures also enjoys art, craft, music, reading and snorkeling.

Frederick de Guzman Estrada

Frederick graduated with a B Music (Dist) and was previously teaching Kindergarten to Grade 5 in Sinarmas World Academy, Indonesia. Frederick has been teaching IB PYP Music and working as a pianist/organist in a number of schools in the Philippines and Indonesia since the early 1990s. He has led and played in bands in different countries and is a keen keyboard player. Frederick is here with his wife and son.

Weiwei Zang
Chinese Language B

Weiwei comes from Qingdao of Northern China, also a charming city with beautiful ocean and beaches. She teaches Mandarin Chinese to Secondary students here. She has M.Ed. and B.A. degrees. Prior to joining UWCT, she taught in Shanghai and Qingdao. Weiwei enjoys arts and does Chinese calligraphy and brush painting for pleasure. She also loves laughs, nature, animals, reading, yoga and yummy flavours.

Frederic Ronsyn

An experienced International teacher having worked in 3 continents, Frederic has recently been at the International School of Lausanne since 2014 as the school’s French teacher. He has a B.Ed in teaching French and French Literature and a Post Graduate Certificate from Bath University, but previous to his teaching career he was a professional cartoonist and freelance illustrator. He enjoys painting and is looking forward to joining UWCT with his wife and two children.

Jonathan Field – Secondary School Principal

Jon has spent the last 18 years working in 3 programme IB World Schools on 4 continents. He has held numerous positions in schools in Switzerland, Tanzania, Peru and Hong Kong, and for the last 4 years was ‘Whole School Director of Learning’ at the Canadian International School of Hong Kong. Jon considers himself a true life-long learner who strives to stay up to date with the very latest research on how we all learn best. He passionately believes that when we are all comfortable taking risks and learning from our mistakes we will feel empowered to pursue our interests and provide the very best learning environments for our students. Jon enjoys scuba diving, traveling, reading, rock climbing and football. He has developed a deep reserve of resilience through a lifetime of supporting Aston Villa Football Club.

Secondary Coordinators

Chris Daws
DP Coordinator

Previously at the British International School of Jeddah as the Diploma Coordinator, Chris holds a Masters in Sports Science and the Business of Football, and a degree in Economics. He is an IB Examiner and writer for Economics and will be involved in the Humanities department, while also teaching Business Management at the Diploma level. He enjoys football – previously being the Team Manager for the Iraqi Football Team at both the 1996 and 2004 Olympic Games (In which they came 4th). He’ll be joined by his wife Suzanne (as a Science teacher) and their children – Fletcher, Taylor and Hunter.

Secondary Teachers

Phil Sanchez
Humanities and Language A

Having worked at UNIS for the last 5 years, and served as  MYP Co-ordinator at UWC Thailand in 2016, Phillip comes with significant experience in facilitating both Humanities and English (Language A & B) MYP and Diploma classes.  He holds a Master of Arts in Teaching and a passion for language acquisition.  As he states: “Regardless of the curriculum or which capacity I teach in, I bring with me an enthusiasm for language learning that I believe is contagious in my classroom, not only for my students but also for me as well.”

Jon Disher

Jon is from New Zealand and teaches Mathematics for both the middle and secondary schools. He completed his Bachelors Degree at Massey University NZ, and his Masters of Education (Math) at the University of Queensland, Australia.
Jon has taught internationally for 10 years in Japan and China using the IB Curriculum. He enjoys playing and coaching basketball, scuba diving, traveling and crossfit. Jon’s wife Joanna will be teaching Physical Education and his daughter Makenzie is joining grade 3.

Heidi Oxley-Whitnell
Service Learning Coordinator, P.E.

Previously the Vice Principal of Student Life at the Aga Kahn Academy in Mombasa, Kenya, Heidi has had extensive experience as the Head of PE at schools such as UNIS, New York, and The International School of Manila. She is committed to the concept of service learning and has led students working on projects in places such as Kenya, the Philippines and Cambodia. As well as CAS coordination and teaching P.E in the Secondary School, Heidi is responsible for ensuring that service remains a central component of a UWCT education with all students from K-G12 involved.

Patrick Diehl

Patrick has spent the last ten years teaching AP Physics at Hong Kong International School.  He has also taught chemistry and physics at Ashley Hall School, in Charleston, South Carolina, USA for nine years. Prior to his secondary school science career, he was a researcher in the field of Solid State science, conducting materials research mainly using High Resolution Electron Microscopy.  He is a Reader of the AP Physics exams and a Consultant for the College Board.  Patrick received a B.S. in Chemistry from Rochester Institute of Technology, a M.S. is Materials Engineering from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. in Science and Engineering of Materials from Arizona State University.  Patrick is joined by his wife Nancy and his daughter Phoebe.  He enjoys activities such as hiking, fitness training, and rowing.

Andrew Raftery
Mathematics, Physics, Boarding Houseparent

Andrew has enjoyed working in school and residential settings in Australia, the US, Germany, and most recently as a houseparent in Kigali, Rwanda. Teaching mathematics and physics in IB world schools over the past 4 years, as well as an IB assessor in mathematics, he has an extensive knowledge of the IB program. Andrew possesses a Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne and a Graduate Diploma in Education from Latrobe University. He is joined by his wife and fellow teacher, Leith Pierce and their two children Annan and Suther. Andrew enjoys being involved in most team sports, having played competitively and socially, rugby, basketball, football (all kinds) and badminton. He also values the individual pursuits of golf, yoga and hiking.

Leith Pierce
English & Humanities

Leith is originally from New Zealand and completed her BSc (Victoria University) and MA (Massey University) through Wellington institutions. Her Post-Graduate Diploma in Education was at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and her teaching career began in Victorian schools. Most recently she has worked at IB schools in Munich, Germany and Kigali, Rwanda. Her teaching experience extends across a wide range of subjects spanning English, Humanities and the Arts. Leith is part of the boarding community at UWCT together with husband Andrew as Houseparent and their young children, daughter Annan and son Suther. She is a trained yoga teacher and has a long history of participation in and instruction of physical pursuits ranging from dance and circus arts to hiking and hockey (field).

Jalal Tarazi
Science, DP Biology, DP Environmental Systems & Societies

Jalal was born in Beirut, Lebanon but grew up in Connecticut, USA. With a Lebanese father and a Dutch mother, his love for international culture and travel started from a young age. Jalal has taught in Connecticut, Bahrain, Hawai’i, Bangkok, and is now in his third year at UWCT.  He has a BS in marine biology and an MS in environmental education. Although he has taught every science course in his 14 years of teaching, his love is mostly in the environmental sciences and in the marine sciences specifically.  Along with teaching sciences, Jalal enjoys sports activities such as volleyball, soccer, swimming, and basketball and is an avid SCUBA diver.

Joanna Firth

Joanna is originally from the North West of England and has spent the last four years teaching Science in London.  She completed her BA and MA at the University of Manchester and her D.Phil in Political Philosophy at the University of Oxford. She holds a Post Graduate Certificate of Education and trained to teach via the Teach First pathway.
She is excited to join the international team at UWCT and fully immerse herself in boarding house life. In her free time, Joanna likes reading, singing, exercise, and trying new food.

Cameron Corbett
English and Theatre

A graduate of UWCSEA, Cameron has spent the last seven years working and teaching in inner-city schools in London. This is his first international teaching post; he is delighted to return to live in Asia. His undergraduate qualification is a BA in English and Theatre Studies from Royal Holloway University in London, which was followed by a PGCE, through the Teach First programme, from Canterbury Christchurch University. He is thrilled to be joining the boarding team and looks forward to inflicting his passion for the outdoors and sports on the students in the boarding house!

Pongtida (Gwang) Geawsoonrnern 
MYP & DP Language A Thai, Thai Language & Culture

Khun Gwang joined UWCT in September 2008, as the Thai Language and Culture teacher. Khun Gwang has a degree in English from Prince of Songkla University, and a M A in Linguistics from University of Delhi, India. She has taught at Woranari Chaloem School, Songkla and in Nakhonratchasima.

Kanokwan (Pum) Ongborrirakkul
MYP Language B Thai, Thai Language & Culture

Khun Kanokwan (Pum) graduated with a B Ed (2nd Hons) from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok and a M Ed (Curriculum and Teaching), Sukhothai Thammathiraat University. For the last 10 years she has been teaching Thai Language and Culture in an international school in Thailand. Khun Kanokwan is to develop additional strategies for UWCT students to develop their Thai Language and Culture acquisition.

Weiwei Zang
Chinese Language B

Weiwei comes from Qingdao of Northern China, also a charming city with beautiful ocean and beaches. She teaches Mandarin Chinese to Secondary students here. She has M.Ed. and B.A. degrees. Prior to joining UWCT, she taught in Shanghai and Qingdao. Weiwei enjoys arts and does Chinese calligraphy and brush painting for pleasure. She also loves laughs, nature, animals, reading, yoga and yummy flavours.

Frederic Ronsyn

An experienced International teacher having worked in 3 continents, Frederic has recently been at the International School of Lausanne since 2014 as the school’s French teacher. He has a B.Ed in teaching French and French Literature and a Post Graduate Certificate from Bath University, but previous to his teaching career he was a professional cartoonist and freelance illustrator. He enjoys painting and is looking forward to joining UWCT with his wife and two children.

Valérie  Timsit-Paulin
French, Spanish

Originally from Montpellier, but a French citizen, Valerie’s many experiences have allowed her to become a multi-linguist and a lover of cooking.  Valerie has spent the last 4 years at the North London Collegiate School in Jeju, South Korea, where she is currently the Head of the Languages Faculty. She is equally comfortable speaking French, Spanish or English and has led many language departments in her career.  She enjoys reading, drama, cooking, swimming, crafts and traveling. She will join her husband Oliver, and her two children as part of the Boarding team.

Andrew Webb
Language A English 

Andrew joins UWCT having completed teaching assignments in England and Hong Kong. He holds a Master of Arts (Honours) in English and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education with Qualified Teacher Status. He is passionate about all aspects of language, literature and communication and has significant experience facilitating inquiry-based teaching and learning in both MYP and DP English A as well as Theory of Knowledge. He is particularly looking forward to realising new student projects and learning opportunities at UWCT this year. Andrew enjoys a range of leisure pursuits including travel, hiking, cycling and football.

Kaitlin Kirby
Intensive English, English Language B 

Kaitlin has worked in Thailand for a number of years, both locally, at Kajonkiet International School in Phuket, as well as at the American School of Bangkok.  She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching and has experience teaching English Literature, Humanities, and English as a Foreign Language.  In addition, Kaitlin is a certified swimming coach with a long history in competitive swimming and water polo.  Kaitlin teaches Language B English in the MYP and DP.  When she’s not taking long walks on the beach with her dog Archie, Kaitlin enjoys a wide range of activities including biking, climbing, skiing, and backpacking.

Wendy Ng
Theatre Arts

Wendy hails from Singapore, and brings with her a wealth of experience. She is the founding Head of Drama at St Joseph’s Institution International in Singapore, where she has developed the programme from its beginning, starting in 2009. Wendy holds a Masters in Performance Practice from the University College of Chester, from the UK.  Her interests include competitive swimming, cycling, badminton, photography, and playing the pianoforte. Wendy is joined by her husband Fong, a security specialist.

Dale Meier
Visual Arts

Dale is from the United States and teaches Arts for both Primary and Secondary at PIA. He has a degree in Art Education and Secondary Education from the United States. After teaching Art in the United States, Dale came to Thailand for a new experience and taught Art at Kajonkiet Suksa School in Thailand. Dale comes from a rich art background where his father is a carpenter, sculptor, and painter. Dale has travelled extensively throughout South America, North America, Europe, and Asia and he brings his world experiences into the classroom. Dale enjoys painting, printmaking, drawing, woodworking, mountain biking and surfing.

Jeff Woodrow
Design Technology

Before becoming an educator, Jeff spent over a decade as a visual effects artist, animator and editor in the film industry.  With a passion for both inclusive and industrial design, his diverse skill set makes him a talented and experienced design technology teacher. Check out his website here.

Jeff grew up in Bradford Ontario Canada and holds a BFA from the University of Waterloo, a post-grad diploma in film production from Sheridan Institute of Technology, a BEd from Queens University and a Master of Design from the Ontario College of Art and Design.

A social entrepreneur and educator, Jeff is passionate about social responsibility, sustainability and making connections with people in his community.  Jeff enjoys documenting his experiences.  He enjoys photography, yoga, illustration, running, woodworking, baseball, ultimate frisbee, golf and hockey.  He will join our team alongside his wife Tori and son Garvey.

Ann Iberson-Hurst

Jana Beydoun

Len Peters
Guidance Counsellor, University Advisor

Len was born in the USA, and lived most of his youth in rural Connecticut. He completed his Bachelor’s degree at Syracuse University, and recently, completed a M.Ed. in School Counselling at University of Massachusetts. Len started working professionally in education in 1978 in a special needs public school in the USA. He took a sabbatical for several years to build a sailboat and cruise through the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Caribbean before returning to work in international residential schools in the UK, India, Thailand, and the USA. In 2009, he joined PIA as Head of School, and in 2010 returned to the USA to complete his Master’s. Len has worked as a teacher of mathematics, environmental science, chemistry, and human development, as a pastoral tutor, international field trip coordinator, school director, and fundraiser. His passion is holistic education and the development of each child’s intellectual, artistic, physical, spiritual, and social potential. His hobbies are cycling, backpacking and camping, walking, cooking, and when the mood strikes, Argentine Tango. He is joined in Phuket with his dear wife, Renu.

Heidi Sanchez

Heidi is an experienced PYP teacher and has previously worked at UWCT  with Preschool students in our Early Childhood Centre.  With a Masters Degree in School and Guidance Counselling, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Primary Education, Heidi is committed to the concept of social and emotional learning and an inquiry approach to the teaching of numeracy and literacy skills. She has previously taught at international schools in Hanoi, Tianjin and Manila. Heidi enjoys reading and scuba diving and is hoping to complete her 250th dive this year. Heidi is joined by her husband, Phillip who teaches in the MYP and their son, Kai.

Lucy Keller
Mindfulness Mentor

Lucy is an experienced teacher that has been working in education as a teacher and a leader for more than 17 years and has worked from Early Years to Secondary school. She gained her PGCE in London and also has a BA in Sociology. Studying society, cultures, people and interactions led her to think deeply about humanity. With a lot of curiosity and fascination for life itself, she began to dig a little deeper into what it means to be human, by practicing traditional yoga and meditation to deepen her awareness. This became a way of life and after practicing for many years, Lucy trained to teach yoga and mindfulness. Amongst other training, she is qualified to teach PawsB mindfulness curriculum to primary school, DotB foundations to teachers and is a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher in training. Lucy is particularly interested in studying emotions; how people can learn to embrace them without acting out on them and how people can work with them to enrich their lives. Lucy believes that mindful awareness is one way to really deeply support our mission to unite people for peace. She loves integrating this way of being into other curriculum areas. In her spare time, she loves spontaneous adventures, meeting different people, practising yoga/meditation and walking.

Erica Lindberg
Primary School Learning Support

Erica is the Primary School Learning Support teacher at UWCT, and has been with the school since it opened in 2008. She graduated from Kansas State University with a B Sc in Elementary Education, and MS Ed. in Special Education, with qualifications in Autism, Functional and Adaptive Special Education needs. She has received training in Crisis Prevention, Instructional Support, Student Improvement, Performance Assessment and the International Baccalaureate PYP. Erica worked as a Special Education teacher in the USA before joining us.  She loves reading, traveling, dinner on the beach with her family, and is an avid Kansas State football fan (GO CATS!!).  Erica and her husband, Siaji, enjoying living and working in Phuket together with their two beautiful daughters.

Brian O’Hara

Secondary School Learning Support

Brian has lived and taught in Phuket for over 20 years, but took a 3 year hiatus to the fringes of Siberia to see if all those wonderful stories about Kazakhstan were true. He has taught from Grade 1 to Grade 12 in British, American and International Baccalaureate curricula, in subjects from Maths, Sciences and English, as well as extensively in Humanities. Much of his spare time is tending to his extended family of kids, dogs, cats and assorted trees, while also sitting, walking or playing in the sea at numerous beaches along the island’s shore.

Siaji Elisha
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

Hailing from the shores of Lake Victoria, Kenya, Siaji studied at Kenyatta and Leicester University. Being a charismatic teacher has provided Siaji with an exciting platform to develop and exploit his potential in making a positive difference in the lives of learners from different cultural backgrounds. Siaji‘s wife, Erica is a Learning Support teacher in the primary school, and they have two daughters, Zawadi and Imani.

Nicolas Frangoudes
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

Nick, a specialist teacher of English for Speakers of Other Languages, joined UWCT in 2010. He has been teaching in Thailand for the past 20 years and was responsible for setting up and heading the Second Language English department at Dulwich International College, Phuket, where he worked for 6 years. He also spent 4 years working with the English Department of Shrewsbury International School in Bangkok, preparing students for internationally recognised Cambridge examinations and IGCSE English. Nick has also designed and presented interactive based workshops in Thailand and the UK, aimed at helping mainstream subject teachers in their teaching of non-native English speakers. Outside of the classroom, Nick has many passions, including surfing, yoga, cycling and watching rugby.

Hugo Moore
Arrowsmith Coordinator and Teacher

Hugo gained his BA (Hons) in Sports Science and Education from Christ Church College Canterbury and a PGCE from the University of Cambridge. He has 20 years of teaching experience from schools in the UK, Sri Lanka, Bangkok, Australia and Phuket. He is passionate about bringing cognitive change to students enrolled in the Arrowsmith Program at UWCT. In his spare time he is a lifelong surfer, guitar player and golfer. He likes nothing more than sharing these interests with the students via the co-curricular programme.

Joel Fisher
Arrowsmith Program

Joel is originally from Melbourne, Australia and holds a Bachelor of Education from Monash University as well as a Graduate Certificate in Educational leadership and a Graduate Diploma in Multimedia. Joel’s expertise is with Mathematics, Information Technology and has a passion for Learning Support, facilitating programs to meet a varied spectrum of student needs. Joel has been trained as an Arrowsmith teacher and is currently in that role at UWCT. Joel has experience working with Educational Institutions in several countries including India, Russia and extensively in Australia. Joel has an interest in a number of water sports and enjoys diving and exploring Thailand’s marine National Parks.

Jessica Beloded

Jessica was educated at an IB World school herself and later went on to become an IB workshop leader. She graduated from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada with a B Ed. and very soon afterwards began working abroad. She has an avid passion for travelling, where she meets new people, sees new places and tries new culinary delights. She has worked in countries such as Canada, Australia and Germany before settling in Thailand in August 2012 with her husband and young daughter. Her other interests include all water sports, snowboarding, scuba diving, music and cooking.

Joost Langendonck
Director of Sport

Joost is originally from The Netherlands and is living in Phuket with his wife, Remke and two daughters Mijke and Elke. Joost has moved to UWC Thailand in August 2017 after living internationally for the last 7 years. He has worked in Chile, Germany, Singapore (UWCSA) and South Korea, where he held positions as Head of Department Physical Education, Activities Coordinator and Athletics Director. He fully enjoys the outdoors and his summers are spent on the water and in the mountains. It was a wish as a family to live close to the outdoors, away from the city and to be able to combine this with being part (again) of the UWC movement was the reason to join UWC Thailand.

Remke Langendonck
Head of Physical Education

Remke is an MYP workshop leader and has worked in Chile, Singapore (UWCSEA), Germany and Korea, where she has held various roles as Head of Department, Advisory Coordinator and Activities Coordinator. She is born in the Netherlands, trained as a whole school Physical Education Teacher with a specialism in Sports Management and holds a masters degree in advanced educational practice. Remke is Head of Physical Education and moved to UWC Thailand with her husband Joost and their two daughters Elke and Mijke. She is keen to explore the island by bike and hike through the jungles.

Joanna Andrew
Physical Education

Joanna is a Physical Education enthusiast originally from New Zealand. Most recently she has taught Elementary Physical Education in China at an IB World School. Joanna holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning from Canterbury University, New Zealand. She also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from Massey University, New Zealand. Her sporting background includes netball, basketball, touch and track & field. Joanna’s husband Jon will also be teaching at UWC in the Mathematics department.

Jason McBride – Head of School

Jason McBride joins UWC Thailand after having previously been with schools in Canada, Mexico, England and the UAE. Having spent 14 years in the UAE, he was involved in the founding or significant expansion of three schools, in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It was during this time that he first started working with the IB curriculum; first with the Diploma Programme only, and then later a 2000+ student IB continuum programme.

After his time in the Middle East, Jason returned home to lead another IB continuum school, this time in Vancouver, Canada. After a few years of repatriation; however, Jason and his family (wife, Samantha, and two primary-aged daughters) realized that their passion for the experience that international living provides is where their heart is and so when the opportunity to join the UWC movement arose, they gladly accepted the chance to help one of the newest UWC’s continue its journey.

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Jason received undergraduate degrees from McMaster University (Bachelor of Kinesiology) and Queen’s University (Bachelor of Education), before pursuing his Master’s degree with Michigan State University. Jason is a former TEDx speaker who thoroughly enjoys working with internationally-minded students and adults any chance he can.

Kanok Chupak – School Director 
Kanok has a Masters Degree in Educational Administration from Chulalongkorn University and started her teaching journey from Dulwich International College, Horizon Learning Centre, The Regent’s School and Shrewsbury International School in Bangkok.

She sees herself as a bridge of cultures, people and nations as she was an AFS International Exchange Student in Italy and, acting as a School Director, a Qualified Onesqua Accreditation Officer as well as being a UWC team leader who brings passion, enthusiasm and humour to empower the school’s community (students, staffs and parents) to achieve UWCT’s vision and mission. 

Sukanya Craig (Annie)

PA to Head Of School and School Director

Punla Hongpromyard

Humal Resources Manager

Jason Whitnell
Security Officer, Administrator

Jason has been at UWCT since Aug 2015 with his wife Heidi Oxley-Whitnell, they were previously at Aga Khan Academy Mombasa Kenya for four years. He was previously a watch manager within the United Kingdom Fire & Rescue Service for 23 years. He has a wealth of experience within fire safety, security and risk management and provides support to activities off and on campus. He’s interests are cycling, running, kitesurfing, surfing, kayaking and exploring Asia; his motto is, ‘If you don’t look after body where are you going to live’.

Sutarsinee (Coco) Suanplee

Office Manager

Wendy Van Bramer – Director of Admissions, Marketing &Alumni

Wendy comes to UWC after 28 years at a large international school in Bangkok and more than 30 years of experience in Thailand.  She began her educational career in adult education but soon discovered that she enjoyed teaching children much more and taught ESOL in primary school and then taught grade 6 for many years before moving to admissions and alumni.
Wendy has a BA in Asian Studies and an MA in Applied Linguistics from University of Wisconsin – Madison. She is active in community service and is on the board of the After The Wave Foundation, Thailand and enjoys working with her admissions counterparts in the EARCOS region planning the Marketing and Admissions strand for the annual EARCOS Leadership Conference.
Wendy has been interested in travel and foreign cultures since a young age and as a result was selected to be an AFS International Exchange student to Thailand while in high school. Both of her children were born and raised in Bangkok and are IBDP graduates.  Presently her daughter is working in LA while her son attends school in Wisconsin.  When younger, Wendy was an avid runner but now enjoys swimming and biking when she has the time. As an owner of the Green Bay Packers NFL team, watching American football games is one of her favorite past times.

Thareeya (My) Khamkar

Admissions Manager

Samantha Gayfer
Senior Communications & Philanthropy Manager

Samantha Gayfer moved to Thailand in 2017 after spending two years as the Director of Community Development at Stratford Hall School in Vancouver, Canada. During her time at Stratford Hall, Samantha developed the school’s fundraising department, led a branding update, and overhauled the admissions department. Most notably, she helped lead a passionate community into saving the public park across the street by funding a new playground.

Prior to Stratford Hall, Samantha was on the opening team for GEMS World Academy – Abu Dhabi, and spent a decade as the Director of Communications for Dubai-based IFA Hotels & Resorts. When she’s not working, Samantha is either on an adventure with her two daughters and her husband or in the gym.

Muchanga Zebron (Mu)
Marketing & Communication Manager

Mu has a track record of involvement in a broad range of projects in various marketing teams. She holds a Bachelor of Design in Architecture from the University of Florida and is currently pursuing her Masters in Sustainable Development. Mu has experience in brand development, innovation and marketing teams, and her design background has given her the technical competence to create, manage and run successful communications campaigns. As a UWC-USA Graduate (2008) she is keen to utilize her experience to share the mission and vision of the UWC and support the UWC movement. She loves to travel and had studied, lived and worked in the USA, China, Italy, France, Zambia and most recently Switzerland. In her free time, Mu is an avid Do-It-Yourself enthusiast and enjoys crafts, fashion, photography and cooking. She recently moved to Thailand with her husband Gareth and they are excited to begin their life together in this new community.