Meet Our Teachers

Meet Our Teachers

On this page, you will have the opportunity to meet our teachers and leadership team. Over 80% of our teachers are expatriates, mostly from the UK, they are dedicated to provide the best learning experiences to GIS learners. GIS attracts the best teachers in the world thanks to its outstanding professional learning development programme and learning culture.

GISKL Whole School Strategic Leadership Team

GISKL Primary Leadership Team

GISKL Secondary Leadership Team

GISK Leadership Team

GIS Experience

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The Academic Staff

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EYC and Primary Staff List
Name Qualifications Position
Primary Leadership Team
Colter Watt Bsc, USA; MA, UK Head of Primary
Ashley Cornfoot BA (Hons); PGDip, UK Deputy Head of Primary
Jo Rice BA (QTS), UK. Deputy Head of Primary, Head of EYC
Etienne Viser BEd (Hons), South Africa Assistant Head of Primary
Katy Bannister BA (Hons), UK Assistant Head of Primary
Matt Sheldon BA (Hons), UK; MA, UK Assistant Head of Primary
Steve King BA (Hons); PGCE, UK Assistant Head of Primary
YEAR 1
Anne Marie Kirk BA (Hons), UK Year Leader
Victoria Waller BA, QTS UK Teacher – Positive Education leader
Sherri Ottova BA (Hons); PGCE, UK Teacher
Laura Whyms BSc (Hons), UK; PGCE, UK Teacher
Catherine Tamlin BA/BSC, UK; PGCE, UK Assistant Year Leader
Ben Sowerby BA (Hons), UK Teacher
YEAR 2
Madelaine Hoskin BA (Hons), UK; PGCE, UK Year Leader
Karishma Jethwani BA, UK; Liberal Arts, USA Teacher
Katrina Cullen Dip. TESL, UK Teacher
Christopher Soanes BA QTS (Hons), UK Teacher
Fung Yee Pang BA (Hons), UK; PGCE QTS, UK Assistant Year Leader
Jane Kerr BSC(Hons), UK; GradDip, AUS Teacher
YEAR 3
Hannah Stockley BSC,UK; PGCE, UK; NPQML; ASA Level 2 Year Leader
Ellen Harrower BSc, UK; PGCE, UK Teacher
Shalome Benjamin BA (Hons), USA; MA, UK; PGCE, UK Teacher
Ben Hawkins BSc (Hons); PGCE Teacher
Gemma Spedding BA (Hons) UK; PGCE QTS UK Assistant Year Leader
Trevor Snelling BA (Hons), UK; Dip, Aus Teacher
Camilla Wright BA (Hons) UK; PGC UK Teacher
YEAR 4
Anna Goh BA (QTS), UK Year Leader
Laura Hewlett BA (JHons), UK; PGCE, UK Teacher
Sam Garlick BA (Hons) QTS, UK Teacher
Andrew Kirkbride BA, Canada; Graduate Diploma of Education, Aus Teacher
Amy Collins BA, Eng. Literature; Music, UK; PGCE (QTS), UK. Assistant Year Leader
Louise Slann BEd (Hons) Teacher
Thomas Fournier PGCE, BCU; BA; CELTA, UK Teacher
YEAR 5
Peta Cornfoot BA (Hons), UK; QTS, UK Year Leader
Arti Shukla BA (Hons), QTS, UK Teacher
Andrew Morgan BEd (Hons), Australia Teacher – Community Leader
Juliette Colaco BA (Hons) QTS, UK Teacher
Becky Hunter BEd (Hons), UK Assistant Year Leader
David O’farrel MA (Hons. 1); BA, Aus Teacher – Science Leader
Helen McConkey BCom (Irl); PGCE, UK Teacher
YEAR 6
Sean Rice B.Ed, Canada Year Leader
Simon Oates BSc. (Hons), UK; PGCE, UK Teacher
Sophie Clarke BA (Hons), UK; PGCE, UK Teacher
Penny Dougherty B.A (Hons) B.Ed, India Teacher
Gianluca Rocco BA (Hons), UK; PGCE, UK Assistant Year Leader
Todd Thornback BA (Hons) PGCE QTS, UK, NPQML Teacher – Maths Leader
Alan Archer BA (Hons), UK Teacher – Writing Leader
Art & DT
Philippe Delmotte BA (Hons); PGCE, UK Head of Primary Art
Mikaela Koelma BA/BEd, AUS Teacher
EAL
Jane Scott BSc; PGCE; MEd; MTESOL, UK Head
Cecilia Lee Dip. EC.Ed, UK; CELTA Teacher
Christine Joseph BA, S’pore Teacher
Rob Francis BA, USA; BEd, Canada; MA, USA Teacher
Victoria Cuthbertson BA, Canada; BEd, Canada Teacher – Learning Outside
Hannah Waters BA (Hons); PGCE; CELTA, UK. Teacher
Sonya Van Der Walt BEd, AUS; PGC, AUS Teacher
Karolina Cartwright BA; MA, Poland Teacher – Reading Leader
Melalyn Ng Hanhung BEd TESL (Hons), Malaysia; MA Ed, UK Teacher
ICT
Alex Turner BA (Hons), UK; PGCE, UK; Ma, UK Digital Learning Coach
Tine Pendred BA (Hons) & MA (Cand.paed.it), DK Teacher and Digital Learning Coach
PE
Matthew Slimming BSc & PGCE Primary, UK; MSc, UK Head -Dragons
Laura De Vergori BA (Hons); PGCE, UK Aquatics
Dirk Cox MBA, UKCC Level 3 Swimming Aquatics
David Collins N Dip BBs (Hons) PGCE QTS, UK Teacher
Helen Moss BSc,Sport & Exercise Sciences,UK Teacher
Chan Wen Xi BA (Hons), UK Assistant Teacher
Debbie Jones BA (Hons), QTS, UK Teacher – Interhouse Leader
Learning Support
Nicky Griffiths BA (Hons); PGCE, UK Head of Primary Learning Support
Daisy Stella MA, B.Ed., India; Dip.LS, UK; ABA Cert, Ireland Teacher
Trudy Venter Higher Teachers Education Dip, South Africa Teacher
Jordan Stegeman BSc. Special Ed (Hons), USA Teacher
Natasha Yong BA, USA; PGCE, UK; IBCCES, USA Teacher
Nicola Cusworth BA (Hons) PGCE QTS, UK Teacher
Library Teacher
Jennifer Abbot BA (Hons), UK
PGCE Primary, UK
Library Teacher
MFL
Ai Li Gao BA, China; BEd, Canada Head of MFL
Shermaine Wong Tse Mun B.A (TCSL), China Teacher
Farah Fariza Dip in Banking, M’sia; B.ED.TESL (HONS), M’sia; MA, M’sia Teacher
Celine Wong B.ED, China Head of Bahasa Malaysia
Sonia Naidu B.Arts (English), M.Ed.TESL, M’sia Teacher
Hui Wen B.A (TCSL), China Teacher
Abby Ching BA (Hons) Chinese Studies, M’sia; TCFL; TCSOL,M’sia Teacher
 Florence Wee  B.A, Malaysia  Teacher
May Tai B.Edu, Taiwan Teacher
Rumaizah M. Jailani B.Edu, M’sia Teacher
Music
Chris Koelma BA/B & MA, AUS Head of Primary Music
Kate Guna M.Mus (Comp) UK; B.Mus (Hons) UK; PGCE (Primary) UK; Dip TESOL, UK; Examiner trainee for AGME, AUS Teacher
Anjulie Bec BA.M, GradDipED, AUS Teacher
EYC
Jo Rice BA (QTS), UK Head of EYC
Nursery
Emily Ledger BEd, AUS Teacher
Niall Crispin BA/BSc (Hons), UK; PGCE, UK Teacher
Ratna Dalal BCom.Ec, INDIA; PGCE, UK Teacher
Reception Teachers
Natalie Staples BEd, UK Year Leader
Joanne Savage BA (Hons), UK; PGCE, UK Teacher
Carlota Serina MA; BA(Hons), Spain; PGCE, UK Teacher
Nicola Bellis BEd, UK Teacher
Michaela Nairn BA (Hons) and PGCE, UK Teacher
Claire Curran BA(Hons), TEFL cert, UK Teacher
Counselling
Mariella Vittetoe Castillo BA (Hons), UNAH Honduras/ MA, Spain. Head of Counselling
Phillipa Hodges BACP (accred), PGDip, BA (Hons) Counsellor
Specialist Teachers
Adeline Chan BEd (Hons), AUS Mandarin Teacher
Cassandra Tan BA, China Mandarin Teacher
Jennifer D’Souza BA (HONS); PGCE and CELTA Learning Support Teacher
Secondary Staff List
Name Qualifications Position
Secondary Leadership Team
Matt Corbett MA.Ed (HK), BPhEd, BTeach (NZ) Head of Secondary & English teacher
Wong Lee Ping B Sc (Hons) (UK), Dip Ed (M’sia) Senior Deputy Head of Secondary (Admin) & Maths teacher
Emily Hopkinson MA BSc (Hons), PGCE,  QTS Deputy Head of Secondary
Amy Ward B Sc (Hons), MA, PGCE (UK) Deputy Head of Secondary & Science teacher
Daniel Norbury B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Assistant Head (Key Stage 3) & Geography teacher
Laura McGregor B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Assistant Head (Key Stage 4) & Biology/Science teacher
Lindsay Round B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Assistant Head (Key Stage 5) & Psychology teacher
Art
Ross Padgett BA (Hons), GTP (UK) Head of Art
Anouska Doyle BA (Hons), MA, PGCE (UK) Art Teacher
Rhiannon Stocker BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) Art Teacher
Sandra Joly B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Art Teacher
Business Education & IT
Mark Solomons B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Head of Business Education & IT
Abigail Kam Suit Theng B Sc, (US) Dip Ed (M’sia) IT Teacher
Anna Berney BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) Business & Economics Teacher
Emma Jones BA (Hons), QTS (UK) Business Teacher/Asst Head of Business Education
James Abela BA (Hons), MA, PGCE (UK) IT Teacher / IT Lead Teacher
Mark Stewart BA, PGCE (UK) Economics Teacher
Richard Faulkner MA, Cert Ed (UK) Economics Teacher
Sally Cheah B Business, Dip Ed (Aust) Economics & Accounting Teacher / Head of Year 10
Design & Technology
Ryan Ball BA (Hons) (UK) Head of Design & Technology
John Allan BEng (Hons), PGCE (UK) DT Teacher
Naomi James B Sc, PGCE (UK) DT Teacher
Drama
Robin Lawrence BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) Head of Drama
Andrew Rankin BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) Drama & English Teacher /Head of Chancellor House
Joe Wyatt BA (Hons) PGCE & QTS Drama Teacher
EAL
Sheila Santharamohana B Ed (Hons), TESL (M’sia) Head of Inclusion (EAL & LS)
Noriza Idrus B Ed (Hons), MA (M’sia) EAL Teacher / Positive Education Leader
Pauline Chee B Ed (Hons), MA (UK) EAL Teacher / Camps Coordinator
Vipula Sharma BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) EAL Teacher/Digital Learning Coach
Adrian Stroet BA (Hons) Grad.Dip.Ed. QTS EAL Teacher
Learning Support Teachers
Azidah bt Othman B Sc Spe Ed (USA) Learning Support Teacher
Daniel De Vier B Sc, State Teaching License, MA (USA) Learning Support Teacher
Manjot Chawla B Arch (India), CELTA / QCF Teacher Assistant
Samia Azmi B Ed (UK) Teacher Assistant
Fatim Hamsa  MA Postcolonial Literature.,B Ed TESL (Hons) Teacher Assistant
Patricia Henderson BA (Hons) Science Ed Learning Support Teacher
English
Helen Prior BA, BTeach, MA (NZ) Head of English
Alexandra Welch BA (Hons), GTP (UK) English Teacher
Emma Newton BA (Hons), GTP (UK) English Teacher / KS3 English Leader
Jade Golding BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) English Teacher / Head of Year 13
Mary-Rose Grey MA (Hons), PGCE (UK) English Teacher
Michelle Berry-Khella BA (Hons), A.Ed, M Ed (Aust) English Teacher
Renie Leng B Ed (Hons), MA (Aust) English Teacher
Sarah Bunn BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) English Teacher / KS4 English Leader
Sara Sheldon MA (Hons), PGCE (UK) English Teacher / Librarian Leader
Richard Beinart BA (Hons), MA, PGCE (UK) English Teacher
Geography
Kevin Allatt B Sc, PGCE (UK) Head of Humanities / Head of Geography
Amy Tyers BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) Geography Teacher
Hector Cook B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Geography Teacher / Head of IA
Liza Phillips B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Geography Teacher
Librarian
Sara Sheldon MA (Hons), PGCE (UK) Librarian Leader / English Teacher
History
Isabel Richards BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) History Teacher
Sophie Hibbert BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) History Teacher / Community Service & Action Leader
Jack Sage BA, MA, PGCE (UK) History Teacher
James Pendred BA (Hons) , PGCE (UK) Head of History
James Wellings BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) Director of Innovative Learning (whole school) & History teacher
Sociology & Psychology
Kate Eldred B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Sociology & Psychology Teacher / Head of Social Science
Lindsay Round B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Pyschology Teacher
Amy Brewer B Sc, PGCE (UK) Sociology Teacher
Mathematics
Amy Marsh MSc, BSc (Hons), PGCE, QTS Head of Maths
Anita Collins BA (Hons), Dip Ed (UK) Maths Teacher / Head of KS4 Maths
Eve Shilton LLB Law (Hons), PGCE, Maths (UK) Maths Teacher
Helen Lopez B Sc (Hons) (UK) Maths Teacher
Jack Campbell BA (Oxon), MA, PGCE Maths Teacher /Lead Head of House/Head of Crest House
John Cartwright B Sc (Hons), GTP (UK) Maths Teacher
Kerry Conlon B Sc (Liverpool), PGCE Maths Teacher
Wong Lee Ping B Sc (Hons) (London), Dip Ed Maths Teacher
Mark Davison B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Maths Teacher /Head of Sultan House
Peter Henderson B SC (Hons), PGCE (UK) Maths Teacher / KS5 Maths Coordinator
Pooma Sathi B Sc (Hons), Dip Ed (M’sia) Maths Teacher
Ranjini Kumari B Sc (Hons) (UK), Dip Ed (M’sia) Maths Teacher
Vijaya Ratnam B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Maths Teacher
Selina Mangin B Ed, Dip Ed (Aust) Maths Teacher
Yap Chin Fui BA (Flinders), Dip Ed Maths Teacher
Will Martinez BSc (Hons) | PGCE | QTS Maths Teacher
Christopher Newman BSc (Hons) | GTP | QTS Mathe Teacher
Modern Foreign Languages
Thomas Ball BA (Hons) | PGCE | QTS Head of MFL
Dylan Viñales MA, PGCE (UK) Spanish teacher /Head of Queen House
Dr Gianfranco Conti B Sc (Hons), PGCE, MA, PhD (Italy) French & Spanish teacher
Andi Lu BA, PGCE (UK) Head of Mandarin
Lew Jeyeng Cert of Ed (TTC), (M’sia) Mandarin Teacher
Mah Keng Hoe BA (UKM), (M’sia) Malay Teacher
Ronan Jezequel BA, PGCE (UK) French Teacher / Asst Head of IA
Rozalina Che Roslee B Ed, Cert of Ed(TTC) (M’sia) Head of Malay
Sophie Barre BA, PGCE, MA (France) Spanish & French Teacher
Veronica Palacin-Burballa BA, PGCE (UK) Spanish Teacher
Charmaine Tang Xin Mien BA (Hons) (M’sia), TCC (Beijing) Mandarin Teacher
Music
Helen Long BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) Head of Music
Andrew Gui B Music (Hons), M Music Ed (USA) Music Teacher
Andrew Taylor B Music (Hons), GTP (UK) Music Teacher / Head of Year 7
PE
Daniel Phillips B Sc (Hons), QTP (UK) Head of PE
Mark Springall B Ed (Hons), PGCE (UK) PE Teacher / Assistant Atheletic Director
Stephanie Barnwell BA (Hons) QTS (UK) PE Teacher
David Shoesmith BSc (Hons) PGCE & QTS PE Teacher
Science
Rebecca Taylor B Sc, PGCE, MA (UK) Head of Science
Adam Robinson B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Biology Teacher / Head of Year 12
Clare Holden B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Science Teacher / KS3 Science Coordinator
Ellena Morrison B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Science Teacher / Coordinated Science Leader
Dr Hayley Wood M Chem (Hons), PhD, PGCE (UK) Chemistry & Science Teacher / EP & GAP Coordinator
Elizabeth Jasmin Kaur BSc (NZ) PGCE (UK) Biology & Science Teacher
Dr James Saunders B Sc (Hons), PhD, PGCE (UK) Biology & Science Teacher
Joseph Rowland B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Physics & Science Teacher
Katherine Deakin B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Physics & Science Teacher
Keith Netcher B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Head of Chemistry
Laura McGregor B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Biology & Science Teacher
Dr Michael Browning B Sc (Hons), M Sc, PhD, PGCE (UK) Chemistry & Science Teacher / Head of Year 11
Vijaya Ratnam B Sc, PGCE (UK) Chemistry, Science & Maths Teacher
Rachel Saunders B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Chemistry & Science Teacher
Ellie Davis B Sc (Hons) Science Teacher
James Prestwich B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Physics Teacher
Matthew Smith MA, PGCE (UK) Science Teacher
Georgina Walters MChem (Hons), PGCE (UK) Chemistry Teacher
James Wright BSc (Hons) PGCE & QTS Physics Teacher
Counselling
Mariella Vittetoe Castillo BA (Hons), UNAH Honduras/ MA, Spain. Head of Counselling
Phillipa Hodges BACP (accred), PGDip, BA (Hons) Counsellor
Dustin Robbins Counsellor
Kuantan School’s Staff List
Name Qualifications Position
Head of School
Tiffany Lacey-Edward PGCE UK, BSc (Hons) UK Head of School, Kuantan
Primary
Nur Ezatul Suriana Binti Mohd Aminuddin M.Ed, M’sia Primary Teacher
Susan Dixon PGCE UK, BA (Hons) English Lit UK Primary Teacher
Lucy Brown PGCE (O) UK, BSc UK Primary Teacher
Thomas Grindley PGCEi CELTA UK, Bsc (Hons) UK Primary Teacher
Secondary
Kimberly Barber PGCE UK, BA Arts UK Senior Teacher, Secondary Teacher
Jane Cheng MSc CN, BSc, CN Secondary Teacher
Emma Grindley PGCE UK, CELTA UK, BSc UK Secondary Teacher
Dr Tuna Altay PhD UK, MSc UK, BSc UK Secondary Teacher
Assistant Teacher
Chong Shiau Yen BSc, Dip in Early Childhood Edu Assistant Teacher
Amy Ang May Yen BA (Hons) English Language Assistant Teacher
M. Nirmala A/P M. Parmasivam Dip in Children’s Services Assistant Teacher

The New Academic Staff

Find out more about our new teachers.

Name Qualifications Position Bio
Nicola Bellis BEd, UK Reception Teacher Hello, my name is Ms Nikki Bellis and I grew up in Wales,in the U.K
I studied Early Years Education at Bangor University and qualified in 1996.
Since then I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching Early Years and Special Needs
children both in the U.K and also in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Thailand. I am
currently teaching Nursery in Phuket and am very excited to be joining GIS and
to have the opportunity to live and work in Malaysia. I adore teaching young children
and truly believe that developing a love for learning in the Early Years provides a
strong foundation for the future lives of our children.Out of school I enjoy swimming,
hiking and spending time with my family. We are all very excited to move to KL and
explore the city and the rest of Malaysia. I look forward to meeting you all!
Helen Moss BSc,Sport & Exercise Sciences,UK PE Teacher My name is Helen Moss and I am very excited to be joining Garden International School in August. I grew
up in Cambridge before moving to the Midlands to study Sport and Exercise Science at the University of
Birmingham. I then stayed in Birmingham to complete my PGDipEd in Physical Education. For the past 3
years, I have been teaching PE at a secondary school in Cambridgeshire. Part of this role has involved
working closely with the local primary schools, to ensure high quality PE provision and additional
extra- curricular opportunities for the students.
I am passionate about inclusive physical education, and strongly believe that the skills learnt in PE help
develop students into well rounded individuals. In my spare time I love keeping active, participating for
local gymnastics and waterpolo clubs on a weekly basis. I also enjoy travelling, having spent my last two
summers in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America and am very much looking forward to
experiencing a new culture in Malaysia.
Claire Curran BA(Hons), TEFL cert, UK Reception Teacher Hi everyone at GIS! My name is Claire Curran and I am very excited to be joining
the school as a reception teacher in the Early Years Centre. I am from Liverpool,
UK originally but moved to Aberystwyth, Wales when I was 10, where I went to
school, college and university. At university I gained a BA in Film and Television
studies and as part of my course studied Drama modules. My journey as an early
years practitioner began years ago in a nursery and I have since loved being part of
children’s early education. I have experience working in summer schools as a drama
activity leader, which has enabled me to meet children from all around the world!
For three years, I worked in an international school in Rome, Italy as a classroom
assistant. During this experience, I worked with children with special needs and I
met and worked with colleagues from various countries. Since gaining my PGCE
in Early Years Education, I have worked as a Reception teacher in Liverpool for two
years. As part of my role, I run an after school drama club and I organise the
eco-committee.I love teaching young children and I endorse active and creative
teaching and learning opportunities, using nature as inspiration.My interests include
running (I have taken part in two half marathons and currently I am training for a
sprint triathlon), yoga, pilates and horse riding. I love a wide range of music and
theatre and enjoy going to events whenever possible.I am really looking forward
to exploring my new home, Malaysia, and of course getting to know everyone at GIS.
Hannah Waters BA (Hons); PGCE; CELTA, UK. EAL Teacher Hello, Garden! My name is Hannah Waters and I’m so excited to be joining you all in August, to teach
English as an Additional Language, in the Primary School.I’m originally from England and was born and raised on the south coast, right by the ocean, which I adore.
For university, I moved to the Westcountry, studying for a first degree in English Language and Creative
Writing, a CELTA, and a PGCE in Secondary English. Since then, I have taught English across all the age
ranges in schools in the UK, in Thailand, and in China.My favourite lessons to teach are ones where we can get creative, and move and talk and sing together,
as we develop our literacy skills. I can’t wait to come and join the amazing GIS Primary EAL team so we
can share our knowledge of how to make your lessons come alive.As for hobbies, I enjoy art, sport and music, but most of my weekends are spent relaxing with my family:
my husband, Andrew Morgan, who is also joining GIS this year; and two children, Felix and Oli. We are
all completely thrilled to be coming to Kuala Lumpur, especially so we can explore outside in the sunshine,
visit the beach, and eat lots of delicious curry!
Maria Carlota Viguer Serina MA; BA(Hons), Spain; PGCE, UK Reception Teacher Hola! My name is Maria Carlota Viguer Serina (Carlota) and I’m thrilled to be
joining the team at Garden International School in August. I am originally from
Barcelona but I grew up in Madrid. After graduating in PR and Advertising in 2006,
I decided to go back to University to follow my vocational career and in 2009 I
graduated in Early Years and MFL teaching whilst working at Santa Maria
del Pilar School. Soon after that I relocated to London where, after a couple of
years teaching in a state school, I decided to complete a PGCE-M in Primary with
Spanish at Goldsmiths University. In 2012 I joined a small independent school in
west London as the Reception and Year 1 class teacher. In 2015 I moved to
Washington DC with my husband and in January 2016 I relocated back to London
where I joined Ark Atwood Primary Academy as the nursery class teacher.I have always been passionate about sports, particularly rhythmic gymnastics which
I started practicing when I was five years old. I retired from competition when I was
nineteen after which I became a coach. For the last eight years I have been a rhythmic
gymnastics coach and judge at Elite Gymnastics Academy in North London, coaching
the current British and English Champion and Runner up.I cannot wait to arrive in KL and start a new adventure with my Reception children!
Anne Marie Kirk BA (Hons), UK Year Leader Hello! My name is Anne Marie Kirk and I am so excited to join the GIS teaching team in August.
I grew up in Darlington in the North East of England, graduating from Sunderland University where
I studied Primary Education and been teaching for 13 years in total; 10 in the UK and 3 in an
International School in Shanghai, China. I am now teaching in a small school in Hartlepool, leading
Computing, ICT, e-safety and managing the school website and social media sites. I am passionate
about creative learning both inside and outside the classroom and strive to make education fun.I love sport ­especially football, both playing and watching. Being a mom of two children, I spend
most of my spare time with them; building Lego, trampolining, swimming, going on bike rides and
adventures. We cannot wait to move to Kuala Lumpur and start our new adventure!
Laura Hewlett BA JHons, UK; PGCE, UK Year 4 Teacher My name is Laura Hewlett and I am looking forward to meeting you all. I am delighted to be joining
Garden International School as a Year 4 teacher. I am from Liverpool originally although I have lived
in York since I moved here to study for my Undergraduate degree at York St John. I am in my
second year of teaching and have been at my current school since I trained here through School
Direct.Before I qualified as a teacher, I spent 7 months in Malawi volunteering and hope that one day I
will be able to return. In my spare time, I enjoy playing netball and would love to get involved playing
out in Malaysia. For the last couple of years, I have coached junior netball in York and perhaps
enjoy this even more. My other interests include: reading, keeping fit, meeting new people and
travelling- something I am looking forward to being able to do again.
Andrew Kirkbride BA, Canada; Graduate Diploma of Education, Aus Year 4 Teacher Hi everyone! My name is Andrew Kirkbride and I’ll be joining the GIS team as a Class Teacher in Year 4. I am originally from Canada and have taught in schools in a variety of countries including Australia, England and South Korea. Activities I have led and been involved in are, football, volleyball, basketball, t-ball and table tennis. In my free time, I enjoy playing golf, scuba diving and sampling new food from different countries.
Nicola Cusworth BA (Hons) PGCE QTS, UK Learning Support Teacher Hi, all! My name is Nicki Cusworth and I’ll be joining the Primary Learning Support team this August. I grew up in Yorkshire, England, before relocating to study English Literature and Language at the University of Liverpool. Following this, I returned to my sixth-form college as a Learning Support Assistant for pupils with a range of educational needs. This experience inspired me to pursue a career in inclusive education, so I returned to Liverpool to complete my PGCE, and stayed in the city to teach at a school for pupils with ASD and moderate learning difficulties for two more years. Eager to see more of the world, I then took up an international teaching post in Ningbo, China, where I was privileged to support students with a variety of individual needs. I am passionate about educational inclusion for all, and I am very excited about working with all students and staff at Garden International School. I am thrilled to be moving to Kuala Lumpur as I have heard nothing but great things about the city. My interests include reading, photography, and travelling. I’m looking forward to meeting you soon!
Todd Thornback BA (Hons) PGCE QTS, UK, NPQML Year 6 Teacher and Maths Leader Hi everyone! My name is Todd Thornback and I will be joining the Year 6 team at GIS in August. I grew up in Devon, England before completing my under-graduate and post-graduate degreess at the University of Brighton. I taught in schools in Surrey and Sussex where I completed my National Qualification in Middle Leadership and gained master’s credits in the teaching of PSHE. I then embarked on an international teaching opportunity in China, where I spent 2 years teaching and leading Year 2 and Year 5. I really enjoy taking part in sport inside and outside of school and like to meet new people and see new places. I am really looking forward to experiencing the delights of KL, especially the food. I’m looking forward to meeting all of you after the summer holidays.
Chris Soanes BA QTS (Hons), UK Year 2 Teacher Hello! My name is Chris Soanes. I am originally from York, U.K. but have lived in Liverpool for the past nine years. I studied at Liverpool Hope University for a four-year BA (QTS) in Primary Education with Human Biology. During my studies, I taught all over the local area; I also studied and taught in Plattsburg, New York State, USA for six months. I have taught in a Liverpool primary school for the past four years. For the first two years, I taught Year 5. For the last two years, I have been teaching Digital Literacy and Computer Science from Reception to Year 6. (It has been quite difficult learning 412 names!) I very much enjoy nurturing children’s enthusiasm, creativity and ‘learning skills’ in environments that support self-directed learning, using technology as a supporting tool. Outside of school, I enjoy being active. I play hockey; have cycled from John o’ Groats to Land’s End – climbing the UK Three Peaks on the way – and have ‘competed’ in triathlons. Music is also a passion of mine (especially watching live music). I’m very much looking forward to moving to Malaysia and being part of the GIS community. I can’t wait to explore the country and its cuisine too!
Natalie Staples BA (Hons) QTS (UK) Reception Year Leader Hello! My name is Natalie Staples, I am thrilled to be joining the Garden International School as Reception Year Leader in August. I grew up in Leicestershire before graduating from the University of Leeds with a Primary Education degree, specialising in the Early Years. For the past 5 years I have taught Reception in London as well as being the Early Years Phase Leader and leading Phonics across the school. I have been very fortunate to lead many changes for improvement in school, including redesigning an exciting outdoor learning environment. Alongside teaching, I have also helped to create a new Early Years Curriculum and trained teachers worldwide to implement it effectively.
In my personal time I enjoy playing netball, travelling and discovering new experiences. I hope to try a PADI diving course whilst in Malaysia! I am really looking forward to joining the GIS community and exploring the delights of Asia.
Andrew Morgan BEd (Hons), Australia Year 5 Teacher and
Community Service Leader
G’Day to everyone at GIS! My family and I are so much looking forward to moving to KL and meeting
everyone in the GIS community. I graduated with a Bachelor of Education from ACU Aquinas in
Australia many, many years ago and have since gone on to enjoy over 20 years of wonderful teaching
experiences both in Australia and the UK and more recently on the International circuit at Bangkok
Patana School in Thailand, and Dulwich College, Shanghai in China.As you could probably tell from
my greeting, I am from Australia – more specifically, a small town in Victoria named Geelong.
I have a very strong background in environmental education and hope to bring some of my ‘green’
initiatives to the role of Community Service Leader at GIS.
Apart from teaching, my life revolves around my wife, Hannah Waters (who will be teaching EAL in the
Primary School at GIS) and my two precocious boys, Felix (4) and Oliver (2). I enjoy playing and
watching all types of sports and I love to travel and see the world. After 3 years in chilly China, we are
very excited to be moving to tropical Malaysia and we look forward to seeing you all in August.
Camilla Wright BA (Hons) UK; PGC UK Year 3 Teacher Hello, my name is Milly Wright. I am very much looking forward to joining Garden International School in
August, and I cannot wait to meet everybody – pupils, parents and staff!I am currently living in Malaysia, teaching in a British International School south of KL. Previously, I had
taught for 7 years in a lovely Catholic school in Buckinghamshire, England, where I was the English
Subject Co-ordinator and Head of KS1 and EYFS. I have had nine wonderful years of experience
teaching from Year 1 to Year 6, and I am looking forward to working with my new year 3 class.I feel passionate about education being enjoyable and offering children experiences that will build
them up as individuals, with the confidence and resilience to try anything without fear of failure. As
much as possible I like to promote collaborative learning opportunities in which children listen to and
learn from each other, bringing their new and unique ideas to group projects, and I am excited about
getting stuck into some new ventures at GIS.My current passion is scuba diving, a skill I have learnt and cultivated over the past year while living in
Malaysia, and I’ve been diving at every available opportunity! I am developing my skills as an
underwater photographer, but I fear I have a long way to go! I also enjoy cooking as well as eating out
at restaurants with my husband, James Wright, who will be teaching physics in the secondary school.
Sophie Clarke BA (Hons), UK; PGCE, UK Year 6 Teacher My name is Sophie Clarke and I come from St Albans, a city in Hertfordshire. I went to Nottingham Trent
University, where I studied English with Media Studies. I loved Nottingham so much that I chose to stay
there to undertake a Primary PGCE at the University of Nottingham. After becoming a qualified teacher,
I moved back to St Albans, where I have been teaching since at Wheatfield’s Junior School in Years 3
and 5, and leading geography and DT. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at this school and am really
looking forward to joining the team at Garden International.Outside of school I enjoy experimenting with cooking and baking, so I am eager to experience the
diverse food that Malaysia has to offer. I’m really looking forward to meeting my Year 6 class and can’t
wait to embark on a new adventure!
Kathryn Shoesmith BA (Hons) QTS (UK) PE Teacher Hi! My name is Kat Shoesmith and I’m really excited to be joining the GIS community in August. I grew
up in Holland in a teaching family and attended The British School in The Netherlands for my whole
school life. Subsequently, I have first hand experience of how supportive and welcoming expat
communities are.I studied Physical Education and Teaching at the University of Chichester for 4 years, graduating in 2009.
My first teaching post is where I have taught for 8 years in a small girls’ Catholic secondary school in
Essex.I’ve been Head of Department and School Sports Coordinator for the local borough for 6 years,
running primary school competitions and supporting the delivery of high quality PE in local primary
schools.Outside of teaching, I enjoy playing netball, watching Rugby and Gymnastics. I coach gymnastics at a
small dance school, teaching gym tricks for their dance routines.My husband and I are moving together to KL to work in the thriving GIS PE department and we are really
looking forward to meeting you all and seeing more of South East Asia.
Arti Shukla BA (Hons), QTS, UK Year 5 Teacher Hello, my name is Arti Shukla and I am delighted to be starting my overseas career at GIS. After
completing my degree at Wolverhampton University, I spent a few years working on cruise ships as a
photographer. Following this, I ran my own photography business whilst volunteering at local schools.
After qualifying as a teacher on a Graduate Teacher programme in my home village, Perton, Staffordshire,
I began my career at Wolverhampton Grammar School (an independent British school). Currently, I am
Year 4 class teacher and junior school computing coordinator.I have a passion for charitable work and am looking forward to inspiring and engaging children to be good
citizens. Alongside teaching, I love to travel and am very much looking forward to exploring Asia whilst
living in Kuala Lumpur. I am extremely eager to begin this exciting adventure at GIS.
Jordan Stegeman BSc. Special Ed (Hons), USA LS Teacher Hi there! My name is Jordan Stegeman and I am thrilled to be joining the GIS Learning Support Team
next year! I’m American from a small midwestern town in Illinois called Quincy. I attended Southern Illinois
University of Edwardsville to study Special Education and received my Bachelors Degree in the summer of
2011. After graduation, I was hired to lead a classroom of students with severe and profound disabilities.
I spent 3 years working in my hometown before I got the inevitable itch to see more of the world and to
explore interesting career opportunities abroad.
My first big jump was to Dulwich College in Beijing, China where I spent 3 years coordinating a Learning
Support department and teaching students with EAL needs. My time in Beijing has been the most exciting
learning experience of my life. Although, I am quite sad to leave my friends and school in Beijing behind,
I am even more excited to explore the beautiful country of Malaysia! I love to travel, learn new languages
and most of all try new food! I am really looking forward to the beautiful blue skies, yummy food and travel
opportunities that await for me in Malaysia!
Dirk Cox MBA, UKCC Level 3 Swimming Director of Aquatics Hello, all at GIS. I am very much looking forward to meeting you all in August. I will be traveling
with my wife Sally and my 3 year old daughter Martha.
We currently live in ‘William Shakespeare’s’ birthplace of Stratford Upon Avon . I am also
(currently) the Head Coach and Senior Performance Coach to Stratford Upon Avon Sharks
Swimming Club.
I am extremely passionate about coaching and I have been Teaching and Coaching for the past
25 years. I am a Level 3 qualified Senior Swim Coach and, my coaching philosophy revolves
around promoting and producing – ‘Process focused, resilient and self-reliant swimmers who
are striving for excellence’. We can’t all be Olympic Champions, but we can all strive to be the
best that we can be in the here and now.
In addition to my Coaching Qualifications, I also have Financial Qualifications with the
Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments and a Masters Degree in Business
Administration (MBA) from Birmingham Business School.
My personal interests and hobbies are all musical and I have played Keyboard and Guitar in
many bands over the years (when time allows!)
Nicola Cusworth BA (Hons) PGCE QTS, UK LS Teacher Hello, everyone! My name is Nicki Cusworth and I’m very much looking forward to joining the
primary Learning Support team at GIS. I’m originally from a relatively unknown village in
Yorkshire (England), though I relocated in 2008 to study English Literature and Language at
The University of Liverpool. On completion of my bachelors degree, I worked for one year in
post-16 education supporting students with additional needs. This fulfilling and rewarding
experience led me to complete my teacher training in secondary English, during which time I
also completed two placements in primary special school settings.Following this training, I was fortunate enough to teach middle school pupils in an outstanding
special education school in Liverpool, where I stayed for two years. Living overseas has been
a lifelong ambition of mine, so moving to Ningbo, China in 2015 to teach EAL students felt like
the next natural step. During my time here I have enjoyed teaching Year 3, meeting new people
from all over the world, adapting to a different culture and climate, and exploring some other
wonderful places in Asia.I am passionate about reading and travelling, and I have recently started taking yoga classes.
I am sure that many new learning experiences await me in Malaysia, and I’m so looking forward
to making a positive contribution to the GIS community.
Victoria Waller BA, QTS UK Year 1 Teacher and
Positive Education Leader
Hello everyone! I am very excited about joining GISKL in August and getting involved in the
amazing school!I am originally from London, UK, and grew up between the New Forest and Cheltenham
(South and mid-England), where I developed a love for walking and adventures outdoors. After
completing my BA in Geography at King’s College London, I moved to France to teach English
for two years. It was fantastic to be immersed in a new culture and have access to the alps!
After returning to London, I joined an excellent and highly driven primary school, where I
completed my Teacher Training through School’s Direct. I taught across the school,
developing the Geography and Art curriculum and specialising in Year 1 and 2.I am currently teaching the Year 1 and 2 class at GIS Kuantan. I am passionate about the values
and learning environment at Garden and have thoroughly enjoyed being part of this
dynamic and supportive community this year. Building positive relationships with students,
colleagues and parents is immensely important to me and I am looking forward to supporting
the wellbeing and relationships at GISKL.My husband and I have enjoyed our adventures in Malaysia so far: snorkelling, jungle trekking
exploring a range cultures and delicious food! We are excited to be moving to KL and
meeting you all in August!
Sherri Ottova BA (Hons); PGCE, UK Year 1 Teacher and
Positive Education Leader
Hello! My name is Sherri Ottova and I will be joining the Year 1 team next academic year. I hold
a Primary PGCE with Modern Foreign Languages from Goldsmiths, University of London, as
well as a BA (Hons) degree in English Literature and Language. I was born and raised in London,
UK and have recently moved to Malaysia from Melbourne, Australia. This term, I am really
enjoying getting to know the pupils in Reception before transitioning with them to
‘Big School’ next year! Prior to Australia, I have also taught KS1 and KS2 in Thailand,
Czech Republic and London. As an educator, I love planning creative, ‘hands on’ activities and
taking learning outside of the classroom. I am particularly interested in language acquisition
and have developed many teaching and learning strategies in English.Some of my favourite hobbies include yoga, writing, cooking and practicing acrobatics on the
flying trapeze! I also enjoy taking time out to read a good book and going on adventures. I am
looking forward to being kept busy with the many wonderful travel opportunities in Malaysia
and making learning fun and rewarding with my new class at GIS.
Name Qualifications Position Bio
Amy Marsh MSc | BSc (Hons) | PGCE | QTS Head of Maths Hello, my name is Amy Marsh and I will be leading the Mathematics faculty. I have been teaching at a boys’ grammar school in the UK for the past ten years; I was Head of Mathematics for the last six of those. I am particularly interested in Geometry and Trigonometry, and enjoy preparing students for university entry. I enjoy travelling and wildlife, and am a keen gardener.
Charmaine Tang BA (Hons) Chinese Studies,
Teaching Certificate of Chinese as a Foreign Language in Elementary and Secondary Education (Beijing)
Mandarin Teacher Nĭ Hăo, my name is Charmaine Tang and I will be working as a Mandarin teacher in the secondary school at GIS. I am from Malaysia and have been teaching Mandarin since 2012. I enjoy teaching and learning with children. I always engage in continuous learning in order to broaden my knowledge and experience to overcome the challenges at work. I love to travel as I have a real passion to experience different cultures.
Christopher Newman BSc (Hons) | GTP | QTS Maths Teacher Hello, my name is Chris Newman and I will be joining the Mathematics department. I am originally from Cheshire, U.K. and join GIS from a Grammar School on the Wirral. I am really looking forward to starting at GIS, this is my first international teaching post so I cant wait to start teaching in this exciting environment and exploring KL. I am very passionate about Mathematics, particularly pure Mathematics. My hobbies are running, tennis and golf.
David Shoesmith BSc (Hons) PGCE & QTS PE Teacher Hi! My name is Dave Shoesmith and I will be joining the secondary PE department. I have been teaching in England for the past 8 years but am really excited to start at GIS. I went to school in The Netherlands and so know a little about international schools. I love all sports but am passionate about Rugby, Tennis, Athletics and general fitness.
Ellie Davis BSc (Hons) | PGCE | QTS Science Teacher Shwmae! My name is Ellie Davies and I will be joining the Science faculty at GIS. I have been teaching Biology at a school in Wales for the last 3 years. This is my first international post and I am looking forward to innovative teaching and getting involved with the schools wider co-curricular activities programme. I am a keen adventurer and therefore very excited for the travel opportunities available.
Emily Hopkinson MA | BSc (Hons) | PGCE | QTS (UK) Deputy Head, Secondary Hello! My name is Emily Hopkinson and I will be working as a Deputy Headteacher in the secondary school at GIS. I was previously Head of Sixth Form in a Grammar School in Yorkshire and this is my first international post. I am really excited about this new challenge and can’t wait to get stuck in. I love travel and so I am keen to explore all of Malaysia and beyond!
Georgina Walters MChem BA (Hons), PGCE QTS (UK) Chemistry Teacher Hello! I’m Georgie originally from Yorkshire, UK. I am excited to join the Science department at Garden International School and this will be my first international post. I have a big passion for promoting STEM subjects and have taken on several projects in my previous school. My hobbies include: Hiking, fitness/gym, food, travelling and exploring!
James Prestwich B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Physics Teacher Hi I’m James Prestwich and will be joining GIS as a Physics teacher. I am originally from Surrey in the UK but have been teaching at a school in Oxfordshire. This is my first time working at an international school and am very much looking forward to trying all the food on offer here as well as exploring some more of SEA.
James Wright BSc (Hons) PGCE & QTS Physics Teacher Hi, my name is James Wright, and I’m originally from London in the U.K. I’ve been teaching in Malaysia for two years, and am really excited to be joining GIS with my wife Milly, who will be teaching in the Primary’s School. I’ve been a physics teacher for six years, both in the UK and internationally. I’m looking forward to sharing my love of bad science puns and my enjoyment of all the sciences, as well as continuing to explore Malaysia and trying to scuba dive as many sites as possible!
Joe Wyatt BA (Hons) PGCE & QTS Drama Teacher Hi! My name is Joe Wyatt and I will be joining the secondary Drama Department. This is my first time teaching abroad and previously I was Head of Drama in a Secondary School in Exeter. I am a big foodie and have a huge passion for the Arts, both performing and watching. Another hobby of mine is travelling.
Adrian Stroet BA (Hons) Grad.Dip.Ed. QTS EAL Teacher Hi! My name is Adrian and I originate from Adelaide, Australia. I am an English teacher with over 20 years experience both in the UK and, most recently, the Caribbean. I am ‘beyond excited’ about my new challenge of teaching EAL at beautiful GIS! I read voraciously, love debating and my other passions include the theatre, jazz clubs, cricket and scuba diving. It is a dream to be in Malaysia – and I can’t wait to explore all it has to offer.
Liza Phillips B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Geography Teacher Hello, I am Liza Phillips and I will be joining Humanities as a Geography teacher. I have two decades experience in teaching, working as a Head of Department and Director of Sixth Form. This is my first international post, and I am delighted to be joining my husband and 3 daughters at GIS. Fieldwork and adventure travel are my key passions – I am particularly excited about exploring the ‘Ring of Fire’ volcanoes.
Matthew Smith MSc (Hons) | MA | PGCE | QTS Science Teacher Hello, I’m Matty and originally come from near Liverpool in the UK but have been teaching in Manchester for the past four years. I’m a science teacher who specialises in chemistry and am incredibly excited to begin teaching in KL and sampling all the delights that SE Asia has to offer! I’m also a huge Liverpool fan and love having a kickabout or just going for a run to stay fit.
Patricia Henderson BA (Hons) Science Ed Learning Support Teacher Hello! My name is Trish Henderson and I will be working as a learning support teacher with a focus in maths here at GIS. I have just started my Masters in Education SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) and am looking forward to working on this as it is a part of education I have a real interest and passion for. I like to cook, listen to music especially live music and go to the gym. My husband and I are looking forward to our Asian adventure in Malaysia and beyond.
Stephanie Barnwell BA (Hons) QTS (UK) PE Teacher Hi there, my name is Stephanie Barnwell and I will be joining the secondary school this year. I have been teaching PE and Sport Sceince in England for the last 11 years. This is my first international teaching post, so I am very excited to be teaching in a different environment. I love all sports especially Netball, Tennis and Hockey. I am looking forward to coaching the Dragons teams.
Thomas Ball BA (Hons) | PGCE | QTS Head of MFL Selamat pagi! I am the new Head of MFL and will also be teaching French and Spanish. I am originally from England but have lived in Japan, France, Papua New Guinea and Spain over the past 20 years. My previous role was as Head of Languages at the British International School of Washington in the United States. I am passionate about languages, literature, learning about new cultures and getting the best out of my students. My wife, Carlota, will be teaching Reception at the EYC and we have a son, Dacho, in Year 1. The three of us are delighted to be here in KL and can’t wait to get out Malaysian adventure started.
Verónica Palacin-Burballa Spanish post-graduate degree on Translation and Interprenting/Post-graduate degree in Linguistics | PGCE | QTS Spanish Teacher Hello everyone! My name is Verónica Palacín and I will be joining the Languages department as a Spanish teacher. I am originally from Spain, but I fell in love with learning languages and exploring other cultures very early in my education. I have been living in the UK for the past 9 years and worked as a teacher and a leader at an Academy in London for the past few years. This is my first international post, and I am very excited about the opportunities and the new challenges ahead of me, both at GIS and in Malaysia. I love music, sports and food!
Will Martinez BSc (Hons) | PGCE | QTS Maths Teacher Hi, my name is Will Martínez. I will be teaching maths and IT in secondary. I have been teaching at a British International School in the Canary Islands and before that I taught at a school in London. I am a keen sportsman; I enjoy playing football, tennis and generally keeping fit.

Next Steps

At GIS, we bring out the best in everyone, both inside and outside of the classroom through our unique learning culture where we pursue our passions and strive for excellence; all in the spirit of respect, integrity and well being. Speak with us today to start your learning journey with GIS.


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TEL : +603 6209 6888
FAX : +603 6201 2468
EMAIL : admissions@gardenschool.edu.my

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