+66 76 336 076 info@uwcthailand.ac.th

Our Teaching Staff

Our teachers are all qualified to teach internationally. About half of our faculty members have post graduate degrees, and they are highly trained in the IB. Several teachers are members of the IB Educators’ Network: a group who are called upon by the IB to participate in authorisation and evaluation visits of schools, to consult with new schools, and to offer training sessions all over Asia.

Specialist Staff

Photo of Jessica Beloded Jessica Beloded Learning Support (Arrowsmith Program)

Jessica is originally from Vancouver Island, on the West coast of British Columbia, Canada and joined UWC Thailand in 2011. She is a proud Peruvian/Canadian who has made it her life’s mission to travel the world and work in diverse and inspirational educational contexts. Jessica has spent the last two decades working in Canada, Australia, Germany, and now Thailand. She strives to individualise her approaches to teaching and learning in order to meet the needs of whomever she is working with. Additionally, sprinkling social emotional learning and mindfulness into each day is a priority, so those around her can learn tools and strategies to support their own development in line with our school’s motto: Good Heart, Healthy Body, Balanced Mind. Jessica has worked in Grade 2, 4 and now Secondary Learning Support at UWC Thailand. She is also currently acting as Aquatic Director and Secretary to the Executive Board of Governors for the school. She has a BA in Education from the University of Victoria, and a MA in Educational Leadership and Management from Royal Roads University in Victoria. She is here with her husband Zhenya, and her two children Mia and Ellie. Jessica’s passions are cooking (without a recipe), outdoor activities such as rock climbing and paddle boarding, personal fitness, and travelling the world.

Photo of Rob Carmichael Rob Carmichael Director of Outdoor Experiential Education

Rob hails from Northern Ireland and joined UWC Thailand in 2019. Rob has always been driven to seek out adventure. This has led him to both travel and work in a number of countries including the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Korea and now Thailand. He states he feels fortunate to have a wife who is equally ambitious in her will to explore and in the past few years they have added their son and daughter to their expedition party.

Rob has worked within the field of Education (either in a classroom setting or outdoors) for his entire career. With a strong background in a number of outdoor activity disciplines including kayaking, sailing, hiking and paddleboarding Rob has amassed a wealth of experience in leading students in a variety of challenging environments, including multi-day expeditions.

Rob states that amongst his favourite things about working at UWC Thailand is that he loves to collaborate with staff across the school and enjoys having the opportunity to facilitate engaging outdoor classes with students in every grade level.

Photo of Katharine (Katie) Feather Katharine (Katie) Feather Diploma Program Coordinator and DP Biology Teacher

Katie is an experienced DP Biology teacher and examiner who has lived and taught in Taiwan, London, New York, Dubai and now Phuket. Her undergraduate degree was in Physiology at the University of Leeds, and she has a Masters in Education where she studied ‘Leading Innovation and Change’. She loves to get to know all the DP students through her work as DP Coordinator. She is a keen triathlete, having entered many races including an Ironman 70.3 where she very much embodies the ‘Sports for all’ philosophy! Katie is an animal lover and can often be spotted with her dog Tammy, who has just trained to become UWC Thailand’s second therapy dog.

Photo of Joel Fisher Joel Fisher Learning Support (Arrowsmith Program)

Joel joined UWC Thailand in 2017 after having previously worked in both Australia and International Education Institutions for 20 years. He has a BA in Education from Monash University and a Graduate Diploma in Multimedia in Education from Swinburne University. Joel has been a certified Arrowsmith Practitioner since 2017 and has previously predominantly worked in Numeracy and Learning Support roles. Joel develops positive working relationships with students and empowers students to be owners and drivers of their learning journey. He is passionate about ensuring students grow to be the best person they can be: socially, emotionally and academically using a range of tools, tips, tricks and techniques unique for each child. Joel was joined in 2019 by one of his three daughters who has since successfully completed her studies at UWC Thailand. Joel loves the outdoors and in particular the surfing that Phuket can provide during the monsoon season, as well as travelling and exploring all corners of Thailand at every opportunity. Joel is an animal lover with two rescue cats and supports the Phuket Soi Dog Association as well as acquiring fundraising from Australian donors.

Photo of Jen Friske Jen Friske PYP Coordinator

Jen joined UWC Thailand as the PYP Coordinator in 2019 with her husband, Kolin and their 2 spoiled Canadian cats in tow. Prior to arriving in Phuket, Jen was at a PYP school in Alberta, Canada where she taught for 10 years; 8 of which she was in the PYP Coordinator role as the school went through candidacy, into being authorized as an IB world school. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Primatology, and a Bachelor of Education degree in Elementary education through the University of Calgary, and a Masters in Education from the University of Alberta with a research focus on the student perspective of the PYP Exhibition. A firm believer in emotional engagement in learning, Jen is passionate about exploring learning designs that provoke learner curiosity and intrigue. She loves the collaborative nature of the PYP and values the opportunity to learn alongside, as well as support, the many talented and knowledgeable colleagues and students she works with on a daily basis. Jen knows this is a special place to work, with many unique qualities and an emphasis on a more holistic approach to learning that other schools can only imagine being able to achieve. She is enthusiastic to continue building a space where we can share the stories of the countless amazing experiences our learners are provided with throughout their time at UWC Thailand for our own community, as well as other schools, to be inspired by and learn from. Outside of school life, Jen spends her time volunteering with the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project here in Phuket, exploring the local environment at every opportunity possible (recommendations for great local coffee shops are always appreciated!), travelling further abroad (whenever the opportunity presents itself again), running, and enjoying a sunset on the beach with friends.

Photo of Heidi Oxley-Whitnell Heidi Oxley-Whitnell CAS & Service Learning Coordinator and Secondary P.H.E Teacher

Heidi joined UWC Thailand in 2015. Previously the Vice Principal of Student Life at the Aga Khan 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 Creativity, Activity and Service (“CAS”) coordination and teaching PE in the Secondary School, Heidi is responsible for ensuring that service remains a central component of a UWC Thailand education with all students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 involved. Her role at UWC Thailand has enabled the students to build sustainable community relationships, develop strategic plans, and create legacy projects. Recently Heidi has been sharing her CAS skills and knowledge with over 50 CAS coordinators from around the world, delivering monthly seminars as part of the Faria Mini PD program. Outside of school, Heidi loves to work out and take on physical challenges whether it be cycling 1000km in a month or training for a 10km open water swim. She loves to cook and bake, which makes her husband Jason very happy.

Photo of Len Peters Len Peters School and University Counsellor

Len joined UWC Thailand for the first time in 2009 when the school was Phuket International Academy. He returned in 2014 as the first school counsellor when the school had just started the IB Diploma Programme. His previous experience working in education includes public schools in the United States and international schools in the United Kingdom and India. He has a BA degree in Chemistry and an M.Ed. in School Counselling and has worked in international education for over 20 years. He strongly feels the comprehensive school counselling model, where the counsellor supports the student’s well-being and mental health, and helps to ensure their post-secondary education pathways are the best fit for each student at UWC Thailand. Len is an avid cyclist and loves to spend time in nature, either camping or taking walks. He feels the connection with nature is a vital support for well-being and sustaining a meaningful life. Len is joined by his wife, Pla who works in the Primary School as a Learning Support Assistant.

Photo of Kelsey Petersen Kelsey Petersen Nusery to Grade 8 Counsellor

Kelsey is a school counsellor from Minnesota, USA. She has worked in Minnesota as well as Chiang Mai, Thailand before moving to Phuket. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from Luther College and a Master in School Counseling from St. Cloud State University. She values the importance of social and emotional health and believes it is an important aspect in students being able to achieve to their full ability. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys being active and outdoors doing activities like soccer, biking, hiking, and occasionally running. Kelsey also enjoys travelling, trying new things and eating tacos.

Photo of Steve Wallace Steve Wallace Head of Football

Steve joined UWC Thailand in 2021 from our neighbours at Thanyapura Sports Club after two years as a business development manager and head football coach, during which time he established youth training camps opportunities with champions league clubs Chelsea & Borussia Dortmund, as well as hosting professional club and national team level training camps ahead of pre-season & world cup qualifying matches. He has previously worked for Newcastle United of the English Premier League as a youth coach, consulted with other professional clubs & national football associations on youth academy projects and coached extensively in youth football overseas with developmental & competitive teams, helping many players reach their aim of playing at US universities from NJCAA to NCAA D1. Steve is also an experienced grassroots coach educator/mentor and is the coach education liaison & consultant to Asia for United Soccer Coaches, the largest football member association in the world.

In his spare time he enjoys all sports, music and travel, especially to new countries and cultures!

Photo of Kim Young Kim Young Head of Mindfulness

Kim is a mindfulness facilitator from Oregon, USA. She has worked at both public and international schools in the USA, Northern Marianas Islands, and Thailand. Kim has a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education/Biology, and a Master of Arts in Teaching, with an endorsement in English for Speakers of Other Languages. Prior to teaching, she explored experiential education and obtained a Certificate in Outdoor Leadership. The past years have included mindfulness teacher training with the Mindfulness in Schools Project (UK), Mindful Schools (US), Mindfulness Thailand, and Solterreno Academy (Spain) for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. She believes that bringing attention and awareness to our wellbeing is an essential aspect of cultivating happiness and living a joyful and meaningful life. She brings a playful spirit to learning and honours how we are lifelong learners together. She embraces the attitude that challenges can be transformational experiences. Kim highly values collaborative relationships and trusts that listening to all voices creates impactful learning opportunities for all. She believes in bringing intentionality to our days so that we can deeply and authentically live our values and be the change that we would like to see in both our local and global communities. Kim enjoys connecting with nature, the arts, reading, cooking, walking on the beach, scuba diving, kayaking and river trips. She finds peace, joy, and connection in both solitude and sharing time with friends and family.

Teaching Staff

Photo of Suki Atherton Suki Atherton Secondary Drama/Theatre Teacher

Suki joined UWC Thailand in 2019 and teaches MYP Drama, DP Theatre and Theory of Knowledge. Suki went into teaching straight after attending drama school, where she gained a Bachelor in Education. She has more than 25 years of experience in state and private schools in the United Kingdom and in international schools in Hong Kong, Colombia and Malaysia. More recently she returned to study full time and has a MA in International Education and Globalisation.

Suki is an avid traveller and has trekked and journeyed all over the world. It is this curiosity of understanding how people express themselves and cultural diversity, along with a love of the Arts, that motivates her in her teaching. She believes in the profound importance of creativity and collaboration in education, and that of fostering not only a life-long love for theatre but students’ development of affective and divergent thinking skills. She cultivates a playful, safe place for students to value experimentation and aesthetic experiences.

Suki is here with her son, Gabriel. In her spare time, she enjoys cycling, volunteering, walking her dogs on the beach and going on road trips with her family.

Photo of Srisuphak (MK) Boonbongkarn Srisuphak (MK) Boonbongkarn Thai Teacher

My name is Kru MK. This is my twelfth year here at UWCT. This is my third year as a Thai teacher and one part of the child protection team. Previously, I worked at the primary school as an education assistant and Tree club supervisor. This year I am teaching Thai Language Acquisition and Thai Language and Culture . In my free time, I love to spend time and travel with my family for seeking new experiences.

Photo of Geoffrey Buck Geoffrey Buck Secondary Science, Maths & TOK Subject Area Learning Leader for Science

Geoff is originally from the United Kingdom and joined UWC Thailand in 2018. He is an experienced educator who began teaching in the United Kingdom. He then moved into international education and has since taught the IB curriculum in Tanzania and Thailand. Geoff specialises in teaching IB DP Physics and Theory of Knowledge, although he can sometimes also be found teaching Mathematics and MYP Science. Geoff originally studied philosophy at the University of Bristol and physics at the University of Sussex; he initially followed a career in aviation, working as a commercial pilot and a flying instructor, before returning to university to train as a secondary school teacher. Geoff is passionate about sharing his enthusiasm for scientific inquiry and deep philosophical questions; he enjoys helping students to improve their confidence and understanding of challenging concepts. When not in the classroom, Geoff enjoys the outdoor Phuket life and likes to kitesurf and scuba dive; he also regularly plays tennis and tries to play the piano.

Photo of Michael Carberry Michael Carberry PYP & MYP PE Teacher

Michael is originally from Australia and has been an international school teacher since 2005. During this time, he spent 6 years in Uganda, Africa and 8 years in Oman teaching both PYP and MYP curriculums. He has taught and coached students in both primary and secondary schools, developing sports teams and creating inter-school and community sports competitions for students in both countries. His major goal is to provide opportunities for all students to appreciate and enjoy physical activities. Michael has an active and involved style of teaching aimed at getting students to participate and reach their full potential.

Photo of Nathalie Chotard Nathalie Chotard MYP and DP French, Boarding house parent

As an international educator, the area that Nathalie finds most satisfying is supporting students in exploring new interests. She enjoys listening, asking further questions in order to understand them better but also guiding their own thoughts and encouraging further reflection.

Photo of Tiffany Eaton Tiffany Eaton Primary Teacher – Grade 3

Tiffany originally hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and joined UWC Thailand in 2019. Prior to teaching at UWC Thailand, Tiffany taught at the International School of Ho Chi Minh City for 6 years in a variety of roles such as Grade 4 teacher, Grade 5 teacher, Math Coordinator and Math Learning Coach of the Primary School. She has also taught in Canada, Central America, Italy, Uganda and China and leads workshops and school site visits for the International Baccalaureate (IB). She has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Global Development Studies, a Bachelor of Education (Concurrent) in Primary/Junior Education and a Masters of Education from Queen’s University in Canada.

Tiffany is here with her husband, Kurtis, and their 3 children, Evelyn, Oskar and Thea. In her (minimal) spare time she enjoys exploring the beach, reading, playing with art, sharing a good meal with friends, exploring new places and can often be spotted chasing after her fun-loving children.

Photo of Frederick Estrada Frederick Estrada Music Teacher

Frederick is originally from the Philippines and joined UWC Thailand in 2011. He is a music teacher for Nursery to Grade 9. Frederick holds a Bachelor of Music majoring in Music Education from Santa Isabel College in the Philippines. During the course of Frederick’s career, he has had the opportunity to be associated with various activities in churches. He has a wide range of teaching experience at public, private, and international schools in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand. In addition, Frederick has been a pianist and music arranger for an acoustic band who travelled around South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, and China. As an educator, Frederick is dedicated, responsible, hardworking and patient. He loves reaching out to each student through interactive teaching, introducing new concepts, fostering a fun learning environment and helping students blossom into well-rounded individuals. Frederick is here with his wife Maricel and son Kian. He enjoys eating, reading, swimming and just having fun with his family and close friends.

Photo of Cameron Firth Cameron Firth MYP and DP I&S DP Homeroom

Cameron is originally from the United Kingdom and joined UWC Thailand in 2017. An alumnus of UWCSEA in Singapore, Cameron joined UWC Thailand after six years teaching in London schools, most recently at Reach Academy Feltham, an innovative through-school. Cameron completed a BA in English literature and theatre at Royal Holloway University of London before completing his PGCE in English through the Teach First educational charity and Canterbury Christchurch University. As an educator, Cameron is passionate, joyful and kind. He is an advocate for student voice and independence and believes in supporting all students in making the classroom a safe and welcoming space. Cameron brings enthusiasm and honesty to the school community, as he always gets involved in campus activities and offers his support where needed. Cameron’s family has doubled during his time in Phuket. Initially just a couple, Cameron and Jo now have an adopted cat, Tiger and a young daughter, Rowan. In his free time, Cameron enjoys sports, exercise, Dungeons and Dragons and other board games.

Photo of Nicolas Frangoudes Nicolas Frangoudes MYP Intensive English Programme

Nick is an ESOL teacher in the Middle School at UWCT, supporting non-native English speakers in Grades 6, 7, 8 and 9. He has lived in Thailand for over 20 years, working at Dulwich International College Phuket, Shrewsbury International School Bangkok and UWCT Phuket. His passions include Mindfulness, Yoga, Surfing and Rugby.

Photo of Ann Iberson-Hurst Ann Iberson-Hurst Subject Area Leader Mathematics, Mathematics Teacher

Ann is originally from the United Kingdom and joined UWC Thailand in 2015. Before moving to Phuket, she lived in Papua New Guinea. She has a teaching certificate from the United Kingdom, and her whole career has been spent teaching Maths (GCSE, A levels, IGCSE, ANC and the IB). As an educator, she is passionate about her subject and hopes to pass her enjoyment of maths onto the students she sees. Her two grown-up children are back in England, but their regular visits here encompass Ann’s passions of snorkelling, diving and being global citizens.

Photo of Wambui Karenju Wambui Karenju MYP and DP Maths

Wambui joins UWC Thailand after having previously taught IB Curriculum for 5 years at Colegio Gran Bretaña in Colombia and 2 years at Braeburn Group of schools in Nairobi. She holds a BSc. in Statistics from the University of Nairobi and a PGCEI from Nottingham University.

As a Mathematics teacher, she enjoys exploring how mathematics may model the real world, but also teaching mathematical concepts that may not necessarily be applied but are celebrations of the beauty of the subject. She enjoys helping students improve their mathematical skills and generating interest that they may come to appreciate the value of the subject.

In her free time, she enjoys swimming, diving, dancing and reading.

Photo of Mike Kelso Mike Kelso MYP and DP Sciences

Mike joined UWC Thailand in 2019. He is a highly experienced international educator with a genuine enthusiasm for his subject and a strong background in school management. He prioritises and values the relationships he develops with both students and colleagues as his basis for any role. Mike has more than 20 years of experience as an IB educator, having taught DP Chemistry, Biology and Theory of Knowledge, as well as MYP Science. He loves and appreciates Science as a way of understanding the universe, and brings this enthusiasm to every lesson. He is strongly supportive of the core values of the IB programme, as well as the academic rigour and opportunities for personal growth built into it. Mike has coaching experience in a wide range of sports (football, rugby, badminton, tennis, surfing and cycling) and is a rock/reggae bass player, composer and recording artist.

Mike is married to Silvana, a teacher of DP English Literature, English B and Spanish.

Photo of John Lancett John Lancett Secondary Design Teacher

John joined UWC Thailand in 2019. Having taught in Asia for over 10 years in multiple subjects, he is now the Design Teacher at UWC Thailand. He is a passionate teacher who works hard to put students first. It is his belief that every student can achieve their goals if they are supported as an individual. A belief in offering holistic education to all, and being a well-rounded person is something all students should be striving for.

Photo of Erica Lindberg Erica Lindberg Learning Support and Special Needs Teacher

Erica joined UWC Thailand in 2008 as part of the school’s founding team, and is the Primary School’s Learning Support teacher. Erica is a proud graduate of Kansas State University (GO CATS!) with a Bachelors in Elementary Education and a Masters Degree in Special Education, with an emphasis in Autism, Functional and Adaptive Needs. She has furthered her qualifications through trainings in the Orton Gillingham approach, Autism Exercise Specialist and the ASDAN programme. Erica is highly respected by educators and parents, and adored by her students. She has a kind and energetic demeanor, and is an exceptional listener. The best interest of the child is always her first priority. Erica believes a team approach is the best way to support the child, family and teachers, and always brings ideas and possible solutions to any situation. Erica is here with her husband, Elisha, her two fabulous daughters, Zawadi and Imani, and their rambunctious cat Tinkles. She is beyond grateful for her opportunities to travel and see the world with her family. Erica loves a good challenge in the kitchen, reading mystery novels and spending time with her family.

Photo of Kunlatida (Paula) Luangthep Kunlatida (Paula) Luangthep Primary Thai Teacher

Por joined UWC Thailand in 2020 as a Primary School Thai teacher. Previously, she worked as a teacher in an international school in Bangkok. She graduated from Kasetsart University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Theology from Singapore. She believes that education takes place not at a desk but in everyday life – hands-on, exploratory, and in an active engagement with life. She discovered that UWC Thailand is an excellent environment to instil a lifelong learning culture in students, and she looks forward to teaching at UWC Thailand every day. She is overjoyed to have moved to the beautiful island of Phuket and now considers herself an islander. She spends her free time exploring Phuket’s hotels, cafes, and restaurants, as well as going to different parts of Thailand. Surfskating has become her new favourite pastime, and she aspires to ride and carve like a pro.

Photo of Chris Maclean Chris Maclean DP Global Politics and TOK, MYP I&S, Subject Area Leader for I&S

Chris was raised in international schools and graduated from the IB program. He has lived in 11 countries and at least twice on each continent. Prior to obtaining teaching qualifications, Chris completed a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University and a Master’s in Global Politics from the London School of Economics. Chris previously worked as a Humanitarian Journalist with the United Nations, and as a Social Entrepreneur, facilitating his ability to make classroom concepts relevant through personal stories and case studies. As an educator, Chris feels tremendously fortunate that he gets to teach a subject he loves every day. Chris also coaches basketball. Outside of school, Chris enjoys being active and playing sports, reading while drinking coffee, having meaningful conversations, and going on adventures with his family. His wife Laura Neagos teaches DP, MYP and PYP French. His two children Caden and Elisa both attend UWC Thailand as well.

Photo of Caryl Medilo Caryl Medilo ECC Teacher – Kindergarten
Caryl is originally from the Philippines and is a pioneer teacher at UWC Thailand, having taught here since the school began in 2008. She has spent most of her teaching career overseas. She has worked in Special Education, as a team leader and Early Childhood classroom teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Elementary Education majoring in English from Holy Cross of Davao College. She has been involved in the PYP since 2008 and has completed training and seminars in other IB World Schools. She has completed courses on the Clinical Psychology of Children and Young People (The University of Edinburgh), an Early Childhood Education Certificate (Gowrie, Australia) and a Special Educational Needs (SEN) Certificate (International Open Academy). Caryl has recently joined the UWC Philippines National Committee as a volunteer.
As an Early Childhood Educator, she strongly believes that children learn best when they learn through play. She is a passionate co-constructor of their knowledge and provides the students with a fun, safe, stimulating environment, meaningful experiences and interesting spaces, materials and resources. She is an advocate of inquiry-based learning. As a lifelong learner, she continues to develop her skills and expertise in her chosen field.
She lives in Phuket with her husband, Edison and her energetic dog. Her life balance comes from connecting with nature, trekking, going to the beach and travelling. Her interests include fun runs, organizing events, dancing, exploring new cafes, online shopping, and being with family and friends.
Photo of Dale Meier Dale Meier Secondary Art Teacher

Dale is originally from the United States and joined UWC Thailand in 2013 teaching MYP and DP Art. He has been teaching Visual Arts since 2007. He graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Art Education (K-12) and Secondary Education. After teaching art in the United States, he moved with his wife to Thailand in 2009. Types of Art he enjoys making are painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, and carpentry.

Photo of Kathy Mendis Kathy Mendis Primary Teacher – Grade 2

Kathy joined UWC Thailand in 2019, but has been part of the UWC Thailand community since her daughter began attending Nursery in 2015. She considers herself a multicultural person having been born in Germany, grown up in Hong Kong, and lived and worked in England, U.A.E and America. Kathy originally completed her BSc in Hospitality Management. With her daughter growing up, she decided to change careers, following a similar career journey as her parents, who were both educators. In addition to a BSc, Kathy has a Post Graduate Certificate of Education and is trained in the IB’s Making the PYP happen. Kathy is a cheerful and passionate educator. She has experience working in the Primary School teaching Grades 1 and 3, and is now teaching in Grade 2. She is a frequent world traveler who loves running, horse riding, reading and spending time with her daughter. Growing up, her family spent holidays in Phuket so she has been fortunate to witness the growth and change in the island. She and her daughter are so happy to call Thailand their home and be part of the UWC Thailand community.

Photo of John Miller John Miller MYP DT, EXP, Homeroom, EOTC DP English

John is originally from Seattle, Washington, USA but comes to us most recently from Singapore American School. He has worked in Turkey, Taiwan, and Korea and has travelled extensively throughout the world on mountaineering expeditions. An English teacher with a penchant for technology, John will be working with MYP Design this year. John has a passion for photography and film-making and has worked on many small-scale productions about climbing and the outdoors. He believes strongly in the transformative power of Outdoor and Experiential Education and has worked as a ski guide, a climbing guide and a trip leader. John believes in the power of experience to inform identity and shape character. By recording our experiences and celebrating our identity we can find a place in the world and share aspects of ourselves with others to build greater worldwide tolerance and understanding.

Photo of Amanda Molnar Amanda Molnar DP Economics, Business, Global Politics

Amanda is originally from Canada and joined UWC Thailand in 2021. She has been teaching internationally since 2013. She has called Indonesia, Malaysia and China home and learned so much about herself and the world while living in those places. Amanda has a Bachelor of Commerce and was a Chartered Accountant before making the amazing decision to become a teacher. She has also completed a Masters of Education with a focus on social justice and decolonizing international education. Her research took place in another island community: Bali, Indonesia. Amanda teaches DP Business, Economics and Global Politics, and strives to build community and connection in her classroom.

As an educator, she is holistic, community-focused, contemplative, contextual, and critical of the curriculum.

Outside of school, you can find her exploring markets, cooking, and spending time with her family.

Photo of Jeff Morey Jeff Morey Primary Teacher – Grade 1

Jeff is originally from Canada and joined UWC Thailand as a Grade 1 teacher in 2020. He is a fun-loving educator with over 20 years of primary school teaching experience in 5 different countries. Jeff studied at the University of Calgary to gain a Bachelor of Education degree. Though his family still lives in Calgary, he followed his sense of adventure and immersed himself in the cultures of Japan, England, Taiwan and Thailand when teaching in those countries. Jeff has lived in Phuket for quite some time, having taught here for 12 years before a two-year repatriation to Canada. When he returned to Thailand in 2020, it felt like ‘coming home’. As an educator, Jeff believes that learning through play and following one’s passions are key motivators for learning and tries to ensure that his classes have these opportunities each and every day. Building positive, lasting relationships with his students is Jeff’s primary goal each school year and he is energized by observing their rapid development both academically and socially. When not at school, Jeff enjoys spending time on the beach with his wife and son, playing music together with his band and travelling…well, until just recently that is! With any luck, his family will soon be enjoying foreign adventures again.

Photo of Sidney Nabuurs Sidney Nabuurs DP Chemistry and MYP Science teacher, DP Homeroom

Sidney joined UWC Thailand after previously working in Canada. She received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Master of Teaching degree from the University of Toronto where she specialized in math and science, through a global citizenship lens.

Her goal in the classroom has always been to make learning enjoyable. Sidney wants students to be able to explore, ask questions and be curious about what they’re learning. She is caring and always promotes a safe space to take risks and learn new things.

Sidney is excited to be part of an active, inclusive, and fun community. She loves participating in the many outdoor activities Phuket has to offer!

Photo of Gantamanee (Ying) Narinrat Gantamanee (Ying) Narinrat Primary Thai Teacher

Ying is originally from Phangnga, Thailand and joined UWC Thailand in 2010. She graduated with a Business Administration degree and later received a diploma of teaching from Phuket Rajabhat University. Prior to joining UWC Thailand, she taught Early Childhood at GreenHouse International School and has worked in a number of international organisations (some small, some global), including schools, hotels, and property companies. Getting to know and working with lots of people has given her the experience to work mindfully and be flexible. As an educator, she believes in “keeping yourself learning in anything is helpful also learning can be enjoyable in every way for both teacher and student.” When our students are engaged and invested in their learning and are truly having fun, that’s a big part of how learning “sticks.” Ying’s passions include travelling, exploring different cultures, and arts and crafts. She is currently involved in doing workshops for Thai teachers and students who work in international settings. She is working to bring inquiry-based and visible thinking to the Thai Language and Culture curriculum.

Photo of Laura Neagos Laura Neagos PYP, MYP and DP French Teacher

Laura joined UWC Thailand in 2019 after spending 10 years working as an international school teacher in South Africa, Thailand and China, teaching French, Spanish and English as additional languages. A passionate linguist, Laura speaks 4 languages and loves learning along with her students about the connections that exist between the languages we speak and those that we are learning. Laura is here with her husband, a fellow teacher, and her two young children. In her free time, she loves gathering with friends over board games, playing tennis, enjoying the great outdoors and watching her children learn and grow.

Photo of Kanokwan (Pum) Ongborirukkul Kanokwan (Pum) Ongborirukkul Thai Teacher

Pum joined UWC Thailand in 2011. She has worked in international schools for over 20 years in a variety of locations in Phuket. Her job has shaped her into a teacher who is passionate about awareness creation and humanism to students in Thai Language and Literature and Thai Language and Culture classes. She believes that the IB curriculum is the greatest curriculum for transforming students into versatile human beings capable of living in today’s world. Her education began at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, where she studied secondary education and graduated with honours.

Photo of Nathaniel (Cece) Ovelar Nathaniel (Cece) 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. Cecê has been a professional artist and muralist for the last 15 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 11 years, previously teaching Art at the Australian International School of Bangkok and Webster University. Coming from an art background which focuses a lot on cultural issues and community building, his art lessons focus a lot on the humanities and traditional arts. Cecê enjoys spending time with his family, listening to world music, painting, having philosophical conversations, studying anthropology, swimming in the ocean and riding bikes with his son.

Photo of Saruta (Nok) Paothong Saruta (Nok) Paothong Primary Thai Teacher

Nok is originally from Nakhonsrithammarat. She joined UWC Thailand in 2011, having previously worked for 5 years in her hometown, and for one year at British International School Phuket. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Humanity and Social Sciences from Thaksin University in Songkhla and earned her teacher’s license from the Teacher’s Council of Thailand. She has worked with Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary students. She is currently working as a Thai Language and Culture Integrationist in Primary School.

Photo of Matthew Pugliese Matthew Pugliese Primary Teacher – Grade 4

Matt joined UWC Thailand in 2020 after teaching for 12 years in Korea, Colombia, and Vietnam. He believes that teaching and learning experiences should be centred around developing life-long learning habits and skills in order to become resilient people who are capable of adapting to the challenges of the future. He encourages students to take ownership of their learning and explore their curiosity. They feel empowered to make challenging decisions, reflect on their experiences, and make appropriate adjustments. He believes it is important to provide a safe environment for students to express themselves, advocate for their beliefs, embrace mistakes and take risks. Matt enjoys sharing his hobbies with students which include photography, camping, and sports.

Matt is here with his wife, Holly and their baby, Sunny, who is also excited to be a part of the UWC Thailand community.

Photo of Alejandro Ramiraz Alejandro Ramiraz

Alejandro is originally from Mexico and joined UWC Thailand in 2021. Prior to this, he worked for 7 years as a physical educator and athletic director at Centro Educativo Futuro Verde in Costa Rica and 8 years as an intermediate school teacher in the United States. Alejandro holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Sports Science for students from age 3 to 18 and a Masters degree in Teaching with a specialization in bilingual education and language learning. As an educator, he strives to facilitate physical activities that help students become more confident with their abilities, increase their knowledge of health-related fitness and empower them to find their path to an active and healthy lifestyle. When not working with students, Alejandro enjoys playing the guitar, pick-up basketball and volleyball games and improving his ukulele skills while spending free time with his wife and three children.

Photo of Amy Sharpe Amy Sharpe Preschool Teacher

Amy is originally from the United Kingdom and joined UWC Thailand in 2009. She started following her passion for teaching at the young age of 16, working in the local nursery over the school holidays and after school. She went on to study Childcare and Education at Cirencester College and later managed child care centres for Mark Warner holidays, taking her to Greece, France and Egypt. Her next chapter brought her to Phuket where she started teaching at UWC Thailand.

As an educator, she is a fun, caring and imaginative person with a passion for play-based learning and believes play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.

She lives in Phuket with her husband, Fernando and son, Hunter. One of Amy’s biggest achievements outside of the classroom is becoming a World Champion Thai Boxer in 2014. She now enjoys Thai boxing training as a hobby, as well as exploring new places and spending time with her family.

Photo of Elisha Siaji Elisha Siaji ESOL and Learning Support Teacher

Siaji joined UWC Thailand in 2012. Siaji first came to Thailand in 2011. He had the pleasure of teaching and living in Bangkok for a few years before moving to Phuket. Prior to coming to Thailand, he lived in Tanzania. A passionate ESOL teacher in Primary School, Siaji holds a Bachelor’s degree and postgraduate qualifications in Education. Siaji is passionate about languages and is grateful for the diversity that UWC Thailand offers. Being an educator has provided him with an exciting platform to develop and exploit his potential in making a difference in the lives of people from diverse backgrounds. Playing football with the UWC Thailand community is one of Siaji’s pleasures. Often, he will also be seen drumming a djembe, singing and performing oral narratives.

Photo of Ronald Smith Ronald Smith DP Econ & Business, DP Homeroom

Ron is a passionate, lifelong learner originally from Chicago and has lived in Thailand for over 10 years. He has a Masters of Arts in International Education.

In his free time, he enjoys watching and playing sports and has travelled to over 40 countries.

Photo of Natawadee (Ploy) Srithongdee Natawadee (Ploy) Srithongdee Secondary Learning Support, MYP Homeroom

Ploy is originally from Bangkok and joined UWC Thailand in 2018 as a learning support teacher and a co-homeroom teacher for Grade 6. She holds a B.Ed. in Art Education from Chulalongkorn University, a MA in Design Management from the University of Southampton, and an M.Ed. Education for Persons with Special Needs from Mahidol University.

Ploy is a Buddhist who follows and practices Buddha teachings in everyday life, including in teaching. She chose to be a teacher so she can do good deeds in supporting children who are the hope of our future. She applies Buddhist concepts into teaching, especially the Four Sublime States of Mind; Loving-Kindness, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity. She believes this helps nourish her students to meet their highest potential in a peaceful way.

She enjoys working and doing community service with the UWC Thailand community. She loves living on this beautiful island that has stunning mountains and beaches. Her favourite sport is surfing. She is so grateful to be a part of the UWC Thailand community.

Photo of Laurie Stone Laurie Stone MYP Individuals & Societies and MYP English Language & Literature

Laurie is originally from Canada and joined UWC Thailand in 2017. She has been teaching at international schools for over 20 years. Her previous schools were in South Korea, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Peru. She has taught both PYP and MYP, and is DP trained in Psychology. Currently, she teaches MYP English Language & Literature and MYP Individuals & Societies to Grades 6, 7 and 8. She enjoys teaching middle school because the students are both fun & silly but also thoughtful about the world around them. It’s a wonderful time to provide them with challenges, show them it’s okay to fail and learn from it and watch them grow (academically and physically). Although she loves her home country of Canada, she enjoys living in the tropics and near the ocean where she can scuba dive. Laurie is a true lifelong learner and has recently finished her fourth university degree in School Counselling. Her previous degrees are BA Honors Psychology, Bachelor of Education and Masters of Education in International teaching. Laurie is here with her husband Jon Field (secondary principal) and their 3 pampered cats.

Photo of Edward Symons Edward Symons Primary Teacher – Grade 5

Ned is originally from England and joined UWC Thailand in 2014. He has recently completed a Masters in Educational Leadership for Sustainability and is currently also working as UWC Thailand’s Sustainability Coordinator. Previous to moving to Phuket, he spent eight years in New Zealand where he worked as a primary school teacher, as well as running a small landscape design company. He has also worked in Vietnam and Portugal as an ESL teacher. Ned is here with his wife, Olivia and their two children, Elijah and Kyra, who attend UWC Thailand. Ned’s eldest daughter Mai An has recently graduated from UWC Thailand and is starting her tertiary studies in the United Kingdom. Ned loves nature, photography and cycling.

Photo of Olivia Symons Olivia Symons ECC Teacher – Preschool

Olivia is originally from New Zealand and joined UWC Thailand in 2014 as an Early Childhood Center teacher. She holds a BSc in Psychology, a GDP in Primary Teaching and a Steiner Certificate in Early Childhood Education. She helped to set up a Community Kindergarten in New Zealand in 2012. As an educator, she enjoys facilitating play, teaching through songs, movement and nature. Olivia is passionate about supporting student wellbeing and also that of staff. She is currently the Wellbeing Coordinator for the Primary School, as well as being staff co-chair for the Food Committee.

Olivia is married to Ned, a fellow teacher, and they have three children who have all been through UWC Thailand, her eldest graduating in June 2021. Olivia enjoys practicing yoga and mindfulness, walking/running on forest trails with her dog Archie (also a Therapy Dog at UWC Thailand) and spending time with friends and family.

Photo of Jalal Tarazi Jalal Tarazi Secondary Science Teacher

Jalal joined UWC Thailand in 2013 as a science teacher in the MYP and DP. His two children attend the school at opposite spectrums with his daughter starting Grade 12 and his son still in Nursery. His wife is from Thailand and they both moved down to Phuket after Jalal taught in Bangkok for many years. Jalal has also taught in Maui and Bahrain and has enjoyed living in warm climates where he can pursue his passion for marine biology while SCUBA diving in coral reefs and helping to restore mangrove forest ecosystems. He completed his BS in Marine Biology and his MS in Environmental Education and the environment of Phuket is perfect for his interests. Jalal enjoys athletics and takes part in triathlon races in Phuket and Southern Thailand.

Photo of Silvana Vazquez Silvana Vazquez Secondary Languages Teacher

Silvana joined UWC Thailand in 2019. She is currently the Mother Tongue and School Supported Self Taught Coordinator at UWC Thailand, as well as the English and Spanish teacher for the DP classes. She holds a Masters in Curriculum and Teaching and a degree in English Literature. Silvana has worked in international schools in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Auckland, New Zealand and Istanbul, Turkey where she held positions of Head of Languages and IB English team leader. She is also an examiner and workshop leader for the IBO.

As an educator, Silvana brings warmth and passion to the classroom, involving students in a caring and welcoming environment. She forms strong and caring relationships with her students and builds her practice on these.

Silvana lives in Phuket with her husband, Mike, her son, Finn and her dog and best friend, Gaia. When she is not in the classroom having conversations about literature or Spanish culture with her students, she enjoys beach walks, exploring markets, reading, practicing yoga and having some special time with her family,

Photo of Mallory Verick Mallory Verick MYP English, Homeroom, EXP DP English, ToK

Mallory has joined UWC Thailand after 13 years of teaching in international schools throughout Asia and Latin America. She holds a BA in English and Spanish Secondary Education, a MA in English Literature, and an MS in Multidisciplinary Studies. She has taught courses ranging from middle school English Language Arts to university research studies.

She is a passionate educator who believes that an education that targets students’ individual needs and interests is one of the most powerful tools in inspiring younger generations and empowering them to become world citizens.

She is excited to be a part of the UWC Thailand community and loves to be outdoors and active, seeking any opportunity to go kayaking, rock climbing, and hiking. A self-proclaimed animal-lover, she also takes advantage of every opportunity to engage with every street cat and dog she passes.

Photo of Emma Wilson Emma Wilson ECC Teacher – Nursery

Emma is originally from Ireland and joined UWC Thailand in 2019. She has spent over ten years teaching students in early years settings in Thailand, China, Korea and France. Additionally, Emma spent time in the USA leading students on adventurous expeditions on the trails and waterways of Minnesota and surrounding states. She is passionate about teaching and learning and has recently returned to higher education to complete a Masters Degree in Education. As an educator, Emma loves facilitating opportunities for her young students to learn outside of the classroom in the green spaces on campus and the surrounding National Park. Outside of school, Emma loves to spend time enjoying outdoor life at one of Phuket’s many beaches or jungle trails with her husband, Rob and young children, Noah and Ciara.

Photo of Laura Worasaktayanan Laura Worasaktayanan Learning Support Teacher, MYP Homeroom

As a special educator, Laura is patient and empathetic, with an understanding that all learners are facing different challenges in their journey. Laura, together with the team, tries to support the student-parent-teacher connection to find success for all. She is excited by vocational study and student-led projects and loves to learn alongside students. Laura and her family join UWC Thailand after 7 years at another school in Phuket. Before moving to international teaching, Laura worked at a wonderful Special Educational Needs Centre in the South of England. Outside of school, Laura enjoys playing sports, meeting up with friends for long lazy lunches and exploring new places!

Teaching & Educational Assistant Staff

A teacher assistant is dedicated to supporting the teacher with processes of teaching and learning. An educational assistant is typically a qualified teacher in Thailand who is available for substitution needs when the primary is ill or absent.
Photo of Chotika (Oil) Buachai Chotika (Oil) Buachai Learning Support Assistant

Oil is a Phuket native and joined UWC Thailand in 2019 as a Learning Support Assistant focused on students who have special learning needs in Primary and Secondary. Previously she worked in another international school in Phuket and Bangkok for about 8 years of experience as a class teacher assistant for early childhood education. She graduated from Prince of Songkla University with a Bachelor’s degree in Art in the French language. Oil participated in the cultural exchange program in the USA called AUPAIRCARE LIFE in Child Care for 2 years, staying with her host family in San Francisco, California. During the program, she had an opportunity to take an ESL class at the City College of San Francisco and many short courses about babies and toddlers from the clinic centre. Outside of her school life, she spends most of the time with her adopted daughter, homeschooling and doing kids outdoor activities together. Oil’s passions include gardening, drawing cartoons, relaxing on the beach, cafes and restaurants. She loves children, is interested in child development and is always improving her teaching methods.

Photo of Piyada (May) Choochouy Piyada (May) Choochouy Secondary EA

May joined UWC Thailand in 2018 and is an Educational Assistant in Secondary School. Previously she was a Teaching Assistant in Primary School. She enjoys sports and is always looking to learn new things.

Photo of Phatsara (Bowling) Choosuk Phatsara (Bowling) Choosuk Preschool TA
Photo of Phenpornvadee (Ed) Gomolta Phenpornvadee (Ed) Gomolta Nursery TA and Tree Club Lead

Edd joined UWC Thailand in 2016 working in Nursery and Tree Club. She holds a Bachelors degree in human resource management. She loves working with young students.

Photo of Pramote (Jome) Indam Pramote (Jome) Indam PE EA

Jome joined UWC Thailand in 2018 as an Educational Assistant to the Physical Education department. Previously, he was a yoga, pilates and fitness instructor at Thanyapura Sports Club. In his free time, he loves to exercise and surf skate.

Photo of Sukanya (Lek) Julparn Sukanya (Lek) Julparn Primary EA & Grade 3 Teacher

Lek joined UWC Thailand in 2014. She recently completed her Teaching Diploma Program in Education.

Lek lives in Phuket with her husband, Kai, her son, Carrot and daughter, Praywa. She enjoys gardening, hiking and exploring new areas.

Photo of Duangporn (Ore) Kueasan Duangporn (Ore) Kueasan TA G5

Ore is from Phayao, north of Thailand and joined UWC Thailand in 2009. She moved to Phuket to study and has been working in international schools ever since. Throughout her time at UWC Thailand, Ore has worked with Nursery and Grade 1- 3 students. Ore loves to spend time at the beach, relaxing in the water and also travelling.

Photo of Thanatcha (Bow) Kunok Thanatcha (Bow) Kunok Learning Support Assistant

Bow is originally from Nakhon Ratchasim in Northeast Thailand and joined UWC Thailand in 2009. She graduated from Nakhonrachasima College. She is a single mom of two daughters and has one sister. She loves sports, travel, and the beach.

Photo of Masuni (Zone) Mawing Masuni (Zone) Mawing Art TA

Zone joined UWC Thailand in 2015. He is an art Teaching Assistant who has 20 years of working experience with students in Thai and international schools. He holds a B.Ed. in Art Education from Phuket Rajabhat University. He is from Narathiwat, a province near the border in the south of Thailand. He was one of a few in his village who finished university. Before he started to teach, he ran a gallery called Baan Sea-Nam in Phuket town.

Zone is a determined person who doesn’t give up easily on any obstacle he faces in life. He is also funny and creative. He can create any kind of art, especially watercolour and batik. He loves to teach young kids and have fun with them. His favourite sports are sepak takraw, volleyball, and surfing.

Photo of Arina (Nana) Pathan Arina (Nana) Pathan TA G2

Nana is originally from Thailand and joined UWC Thailand in 2019. She graduated from Prince of Songkla University. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Business English and was an exchange student at the University of Malaya (KL, Malaysia) in Arts and Social Sciences. She loves to work with children at school and spend a lot of time with her three nephews at home.

Photo of Jureeporn (Lala) Puempool Jureeporn (Lala) Puempool Nursery TA
Photo of Chineekarn (Gift) Rattanawong Chineekarn (Gift) Rattanawong TA G1

Gift comes from Narathiwat, Thailand which borders Malaysia, and she joined UWC Thailand in 2011. She has worked with the Kindergarten class at UWC Thailand for 10 years and is currently working in Grade 1. She holds a Bachelor Degree and a Teaching Diploma. She has worked at JW Marriott and Sheraton Hotel as a Kids Club attendant. She is an experienced educator who is extremely dedicated to her role and always has the best interests of the students in mind. She is well organized and always ready to support the teaching and learning in the classroom. Her interests outside school are travelling, sharing and trying new food, shopping, listening to music, dancing and reading.

Photo of Jay-Anne Segovia Jay-Anne Segovia Learning Support Assistant

Jay Anne is originally from Davao, Philippines and joined UWC Thailand in 2015. She is a Learning Support Teaching Assistant in the Primary and Secondary Schools. She holds a Bachelor of Elementary Education majoring in English from Holy Cross of Davao College. She also earned units of a Masters in Early Childhood Education. Her experiences include teaching kindergarten in the Philippines and working as a primary teaching assistant in an international school in Phuket. Jay Anne has completed short courses on Special Education-related topics and training related to her work. She is passionate, responsible, caring and loves to help her students and others.

In her free time, she enjoys singing, dancing, travelling and spending time with family and friends.

Photo of Watchareeporn (Goong) Sukmark Watchareeporn (Goong) Sukmark G4 TA and Tree Club Lead
Photo of Amallada (Beau) Tanavorn Amallada (Beau) Tanavorn Primary EA

Beau is originally from Thailand and joined UWC Thailand in 2012. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Prince of Songkla University, Phuket Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism, Hotel Management.

In her free time, she likes to watch movies. She loves working at UWC Thailand and strives to be a good role model for the students.

Photo of Wattanachai (Nox) Tinsom Wattanachai (Nox) Tinsom Science Lab Technician

Nox joined UWC Thailand in 2012. He was born in Bangkok and moved to southern Thailand when he was young. He attended Dulwich International College and later earned a BS Science from Prince of Songkhla University. As a Science Lab Technician at UWC Thailand, he develops and manages our science laboratory’s high performance and safety standards.

Outside of school, travelling around the world is his favourite hobby. He spends time at the movies, driving and swimming and enjoys travelling with his wife and friends.

Photo of Renu (Pla) Youthongkam Renu (Pla) Youthongkam Learning Support Assistant

Pla was born in Nakhon Si Thammarat, a province in southern Thailand. She joined UWC Thailand in 2015, first working in the library, then taking the position of Learning Support in the Primary School. She began working with students who have Autism Spectrum Disorder and continues to support young students with specialised learning needs. Her educational interests and training were finance and accounting.

Pla loves young children and is continually learning how to best support them. Prior to joining UWC Thailand, she worked with private families in the USA for four years, caring for infants and toddlers. She enjoys collaborating with other educators and especially members of the Learning Support team. While grounded in her Thai culture, she is keen to understand and explore the diverse cultures we have on campus so she may help build cultural competence in the students she works with.

Pla’s hobbies include gardening, cooking all sorts of international cuisines, camping and travelling. Her son, Peach, currently lives in the USA and she is accompanied by her husband, Len, who also works at UWC Thailand.

UWC Mission

UWC Makes Education a Force to Unite People, Nations and Cultures for Peace and Sustainable Future.

UWC Thailand Motto

Good Heart, Balanced Mind, Healthy Body.

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