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

GIS Experience

Get a taste of the joy of learning at GIS.

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The Academic Staff

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
Ann Marie Kirk BA (Hons), UK Year Leader
Sherri Ottova BA (Hons); PGCE, UK Teacher
Andrew Adamski BA USA,PGCE,QTS,UK Teacher
Ellen Harrower BSc, 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
Juliette Colaco BA (Hons) QTS, UK Teacher
YEAR 3
Tiffany Edwards Bsc ,UK PGCE, UK Year Leader
Laura Whyms BSc (Hons), UK; PGCE, UK Teacher
Shalome Benjamin BA (Hons), USA; MA, UK; PGCE, UK Teacher
Camilla Wright BA (Hons) UK; PGC UK Teacher
Gemma Spedding BA (Hons) UK; PGCE QTS UK Assistant Year Leader
Trevor Snelling BA (Hons), UK; Dip, Aus Teacher
YEAR 4
Anna Goh BA (QTS), UK Year Leader
Laura Hewlett BA (JHons), UK; PGCE, UK Teacher
Ben Hawkins BSc (Hons); PGCE Teacher
Andrew Kirkbride BA, Canada; Graduate Diploma of Education, Aus Teacher
Sam Garlick BA (Hons) QTS, UK Teacher
Louise Slann BEd (Hons) Teacher
Thomas Fournier PGCE, BCU; BA; CELTA, UK Teacher
YEAR 5
Peta Cornfoot BA (Hons), UK; QTS, UK Year Leader
Leah Francis BSc,MSc, UK,PGCE, UK Teacher
David O’farrel MA (Hons. 1); BA, Aus Teacher – Science Leader
Nicole Harrison BA,UK, PGCE, QTS Teacher
Rebecca Hunter BEd (Hons), UK Assistant Year Leader
Arti Shukla BA (Hons), QTS, UK Teacher
Andrew Morgan BEd (Hons), Australia Teacher – Community Leader
YEAR 6
Sean Rice B.Ed, Canada Year Leader
Penelope Dougherty B.A (Hons) B.Ed, India Teacher
Sophie Clarke BA (Hons), UK; PGCE, UK Teacher
Simon Oates BSc. (Hons), UK; PGCE, UK Teacher
Gianluca Rocco BA (Hons), UK; PGCE, UK Assistant Year Leader
Alan Archer BA (Hons), UK Teacher – Writing Leader
Todd Thornback BA (Hons) PGCE QTS, UK, NPQML Teacher – Maths 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
Robert 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
Mathew 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 – Student Council Leader
Kathryn Shoesmith BA,UK QTS, 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
Caithlin van de Walt BEd, AUS Teacher
Nicola Cusworth BA (Hons) PGCE QTS, UK Teacher
Library Teacher
Jennifer Abbot BA (Hons), UK
PGCE Primary, UK
Library Teacher
World Languages
Ai Li Gao BA, China; BEd, Canada Head of MFL
Shermaine Wong Tze 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 Teacher
Sonia Purisothanan B.Arts (English), M.Ed.TESL, M’sia Teacher
Abby Ching BA (Hons) Chinese Studies, M’sia; TCFL; TCSOL,M’sia Teacher
Hongrong Li BA,MA, China,B.Ed Canada, OCT Canada Teacher
Florence Wee BA,(English) Msia 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
Emma Cohen-Joppa BMus.Ed, MInt.Ed, US Teacher
Myra Owens BMus, MMus, US Teacher
EYC
Jo Rice BA (QTS), UK Head of EYC
Nursery
Emily Ledger BEd, AUS Teacher
Claire Curran BA(Hons), TEFL cert, 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
Katie Sprung Bsc, PGCE UK Teacher
Michaela Nairn BA (Hons) and PGCE, UK Teacher
Manisha Parmar BA,UK , PGCE 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 Tan 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 in short Position
Whole School Stategic Leadership Team
Mark Ford B.Sc(UK), PGCE(UK) GIS Principal
Joanne Rice BA (QTS), UK Head of EYC
Colter Watt B Sc, USA; MA, UK Head of Primary
Matt Corbett MA.Ed (HK), BPhEd, BTeach (NZ) Head of Secondary
David James BA Hons, PGCE, and MA Ed Director of Professional Learning
Moira Hall BEd (Hons) UK Director of Inclusion
Damian Graizevsky BA Hons, NPQH, PGCE UK Director of Learning
Ashley Cornfoot BA (Hons); PGDip, UK Deputy Head of Primary
Amy Ward B Sc (Hons), MA, PGCE (UK) Deputy Head of Secondary
Emily Hopkinson B Sc (Hons), MA, PGCE (UK) Deputy Head of Secondary
Secondary Leadership Team
Matt Corbett MA.Ed (HK), BPhEd, BTeach (NZ) Head of Secondary
Wong Lee Ping B Sc (Hons) (UK), Dip Ed (M’sia) Senior Deputy Head of Secondary & Maths teacher
Emily Hopkinson BSc (Hons), PGCE, QTS, MA 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 Whole School Art & Design
Anouska Doyle BA (Hons), MA, PGCE (UK) Art Teacher
Rhiannon Stocker BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) Art Teacher / Head of KS3 Art
David McGuinness BA (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 / KS4 ICT Coordinator
Anna Berney BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) Business & Economics Teacher / Head of Year 10
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 / Assistant IA Coordinator
Sally Cheah B Business, Dip Ed (Aust) Economics & Accounting Teacher / Head of Year 7
Gerard O’Hagan BA (Hons), PGCE (UK), MA Economics Teacher
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
Fiona Matthew BA (NZ), MA, Teacher Certificate (USA) Head of EAL
Noriza Idrus B Ed (Hons), MA (M’sia) EAL Teacher / PSHE Coordinator
Pauline Chee B Ed (Hons), MA (UK) EAL Teacher / Camps Coordinator
Vipula Sharma BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) EAL Teacher/Digital Learning Coach/KS3&4 Careers Advisor
Tine Pendred B Ed, MA (Denmark) EAL Teacher
Michael Riding BA (Hons), Cert TESOL (UK) EAL Teacher
Learning Support
Claire Appleby BA (Aust), PGCE (UK) Head of LS
Ian Hughes BA (HONS) PGCE (UK) Learning Support Teacher
Manjot Chawla B Arch (India) Teacher Assistant
Fatim Hamsa BEd (UTM) , MA (UKM), TESL Teacher Assistant
Patricia Henderson BA (Hons) Science Ed Learning Support Teacher
Denisse Tafur BA Sports & Health (Germany) Teacher Assistant
English
Charlotte Pyne BA (Hons), MA, PGCE (UK) Head of English
Jade Golding BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) English Teacher / Head of Year 11
Mary-Rose Grey MA (Hons), PGCE (UK) English Teacher / Head of KS4 English
Michelle Berry-Khella BA (Hons), A.Ed, M Ed (Aust) English Teacher
Renie Leng B Ed (Hons), MA (Aust) English Teacher
Sara Sheldon MA (Hons), PGCE (UK) English Teacher / Librarian Leader
Adrain Stroet BA (Hons) Grad.Dip.Ed. QTS English Teacher
Jennifer Flounders BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) English Teacher / KS3 English Leader
Rebecca Amos 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 Year 8
Liza Phillips B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Geography Teacher / Head of Community Service
Librarian
Sara Sheldon MA (Hons), PGCE (UK) Librarian Leader / English Teacher
History
Isabel Richards BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) History Teacher / GAP & EP Leader
Paul Hutton BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) History Teacher /MUN Co-ordinator
Jack Sage BA, MA, PGCE (UK) History Teacher / Year6-7 Transition Leader
James Pendred BA (Hons) , PGCE (UK) Head of History
Sociology & Psychology
David Whitney BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) Sociology Teacher / Head of Social Science
Amy Brewer B Sc, PGCE (UK) Sociology Teacher / Head of Queen
Mathematics
Amy Marsh MSc | BSc (Hons) | PGCE | QTS Head of Maths
Anita Collins BA (Hons), Dip Ed (UK) Maths Teacher
Eve Shilton LLB Law (Hons), PGCE, Maths (UK) Maths Teacher / Student Leadership Leader
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
Mark Davison B Sc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Maths Teacher /Head of KS4 Maths
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 & Science 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
Natalie Clark BSc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Maths Teacher / Head of Sultan
Modern Foreign Languages
Thomas Ball BA (Hons) | PGCE | QTS Head of MFL
Li Na BSc, PGCE (UK) Head of Mandarin
Dylan Viñales MA, PGCE (UK) Spanish teacher /Head of Spanish
Julien Barrett BA (Hons), GTP (UK) French Teacher
Lew Jeyeng Cert of Ed (TTC), (M’sia) Mandarin Teacher / KS3 Mandarin Coordinator
Mah Keng Hoe BA (UKM), (M’sia) Malay Teacher
Ronan Jezequel BA, PGCE (UK) French Teacher / 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 9
PE
Mark Springall B Ed (Hons), PGCE (UK) Athletics Director Whole School
Daniel Phillips B Sc (Hons), QTP (UK) Head of PE
Sune Christensen BEd (Denmark) PE Teacher
David Shoesmith BSc (Hons) PGCE & QTS PE teacher / Assistant Athletics Director Whole School
Helen Moss BSc,Sport & Exercise Sciences,UK 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 / Higher Education Counsellor
Jasmin Kaur B Sc, PGCE (NZ) 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 / Head of Physics
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 13
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 MA, BA (US) Counsellor

The New Academic Staff

Find out more about our new teachers.

EYC and Primary New Staff List
Name Qualifications in short Position Bio
Damian Graizevsky BA Hons, NPQH, PGCE UK Director of Learning My name is Damian Graizevsky. I was born in London and remained in this great capital until my mid-thirties, before moving to Dubai, an equally exciting and dynamic city. I am an undergraduate from Queen Mary, University of London and I have a PGCE from Kingston University. I hold additional professional qualifications including Prince2 Practitioner Accreditation, BSME PENTA Inspection Accreditation level 1 and 2, Google Educator Level 1 and 2 and an NPQH from University College London and Institute of Education.
I have been Deputy Headteacher at Kings’ School Al Barsha, since 2014. My roles and responsibilities, have included curriculum, professional development and assessment. Prior to joining Kings’ I worked at several outstanding schools in London, in various senior positions, including Assistant Headteacher, Director of Learning and Head of Humanities.
Outside of work, I enjoy reading, travelling, and spending quality time with my family. I am very excited to be joining Garden International School and living in Malaysia, especially the opportunities for personal and professional growth.
Emma Cohen-Joppa BMus ,MMus , US Primary Music My name is Emma Cohen-Joppa. I was born in Tucson, Arizona, USA and completed my undergraduate degree in Music Education from The University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. After teaching upper primary music and choir for three years in Phoenix, Arizona, I took my first position overseas at The International School of Panama where I taught primary music for five years, and learned conversational Spanish. During my time in Panama, I also completed a Master’s of International Education degree through Endicott College. Most recently I have been teaching primary music in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

My hobbies include cooking, exploring new places, swimming, arts and crafts, making music with little people and adults alike, and cheering for the University of Miami Hurricanes – especially in football (the American version)! My husband and I fell in love with Kuala Lumpur on our first visit and are very much looking forward to settling in and enjoying all that GIS and KL/Malaysia have to offer.

Nicole Harrison BA,UK, PGCE, QTS Year 5 Teacher My name is Nicole Harrison and I am from Swindon in England. I am delighted to be joining the Year 5 team at Garden International this August. Before I became a teacher, I studied Art & Design and Fashion Styling at a University in Manchester. Shortly after graduating, I moved to Oxford to complete my PGCE in Primary Education. For the last 3 years, I have taught Year 3 and 4.

I believe I am truly passionate at inspiring children to become the best versions of themselves through engaging and active lessons. The areas which I specialise in are Art and Design, P.E, ICT and Numeracy. Outside of school, I have enjoyed taking part in community volunteer projects in London, Ghana and South Africa. Once a week I coach gymnastics for a cheerleading team and play netball on the weekends. My other interests include cooking, visiting art exhibitions, travelling and experiencing new places. I am truly looking forward to exploring the wonders of Malaysia and becoming part of the thriving community at GIS.

Caitlin
van der Walt
BEdu ,Aus Learning Support Teacher My name is Caitlin van der Walt and I am delighted to be joining the Garden International School community in August. I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa and moved to Sydney, Australia 10 years ago. I completed my Bachelor of Education at the University of Sydney and graduated with first class honours in Special Education. Whilst studying, I worked as a Teacher Assistant for students with specific learning needs and since graduating from university, I have taught in a multicultural public school in Sydney on Year 1 and Year 2 for the past 4 years.

Outside of teaching, I enjoy travelling, trying new food, being active and volunteering in different community projects. I am very excited to be joining the learning support team at GIS and exploring all the wonderful sights and activities Malaysia has to offer.

Leah Francis BSc,MSc, UK,PGCE, UK Year 5 Teacher Hello, my name is Leah Francis and I am very excited to be joining the GIS team in August! I grew up in Leicester, England and moved to Leeds to study Psychology at the University of Leeds. After completing this degree, I continued on to study for a Master’s Degree in Psychology where I gained a deeper understanding of child development and theories of learning. Following this, I moved home to Leicester to study for my PGCE and secured my first teaching position where I am now in my second year, having taught in both Years 5 and 6. I am passionate about education and enjoy inspiring children to be confident, independent and resilient with a genuine love for learning.
In my spare time, I enjoy keeping fit, particularly by playing netball, which I have enjoyed coaching within my current school. I also enjoy spending time outdoors, travelling and exploring different cultures – particularly sampling the various foods! I cannot wait to arrive in KL and begin this new adventure.
Katie Sprung Bsc, PGCE UK Reception Teacher My name is Katie Sprung. I grew up in Liverpool, England where I lived with my Mum, brothers and sister. I went to the University of Glasgow to study Psychology and whilst there I took a keen interest in Developmental Psychology. I completed my PGCE with the charity Teach First at Birmingham City University specialising in Early Years Education. For the past two years I have been teaching a Reception Class in Coventry, England. I am extremely passionate about Early Childhood Education and love nothing more than teaching a child how to learn, especially using the outdoors.

Outside of teaching I love nothing more than curling up with a good book. I also enjoy exploring new places, musical theatre and spending time with my family alongside old friends and new. I am excited to join the multi-cultural team at GIS and cannot wait to explore Malaysia.

Andrew Adamski BA USA,PGCE,QTS,UK Year 1 Teacher My name is Andrew Adamski. I am originally from Wisconsin (USA) and studied Journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I have spent the last 13 years living abroad, starting my international career teaching English as a Foreign Language in Chile, Costa Rica and Vietnam. Following this, I completed a PGCE (Spanish Language Specialism) at the University of Manchester and have since been teaching at an international school in Doha, Qatar.

When I am not teaching, I love travelling, photography, cooking and playing guitar. I am now very keen to return to South East Asia as it is my favourite region of the world. I especially look forward to spending more time outdoors, exploring the country and eating lots of local Malaysian cuisine – especially Laksa! I am also very excited about meeting my new colleagues at GIS and getting to know my new Year 1 class.

Myra Owens BMus, MMus, US Music Teacher My name is Myra Owens and I was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado USA and completed my Bachelors of Music at Concordia College in Minnesota. I also completed my Masters degree in Music with a Kodaly emphasis at Colorado State University. I taught music for almost 6 years at various schools in the Denver, Colorado area. Then my family and I moved to Helsinki, Finland where I taught at an international kindergarten for three years.
Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with family, cooking and baking, and running. I am very excited to be teaching at GIS this coming August and I can’t wait to meet all of you.
Hongrong Li BA,MA, China,B.Ed Canada, OCT Canada MFL Teacher Hello! This is Hongrong Li and I’m thrilled to be joining Garden International School in August to teach Mandarin, which is high on my bucket list!
I grew up in China, finished B.A. in Wuhan Teacher’s College and M.A. in English Literature in Hubei University, Wuhan, China.
I taught Academic English for 10 years at Hubei University before I immigrated to Canada in 2001. I subsequently completed Teacher Education program and earned my Bachelor of Education from York University, Toronto, Canada.
I have been with Toronto District School Board since 2003 teaching Kindergarten, Grade 4, ESL, Drama and Media Literacy across the school. I am passionate about inquiry based learning, nurturing motivation and perseverance in students. I am also keen on incorporating technology into my program. When I am not teaching, I am a mom, a traveller, a cook, a foodie, a hiker, a volunteer and a literature lover. Looking forward to start my new adventure and of course to meet with you all in Kuala Lumpur!
Secondary New Staff List
Name Qualifications in short Position Bio
David McGuinness BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) Art teacher Hi everyone – I am looking forward to becoming the new Teacher of Art at GIS. I am originally from Northern Ireland but have spent the last few years away, firstly in Manchester, England and most recently in Dubai, UAE, which has given me a passion for teaching in an international setting. In the past I have enjoyed teaching Art, Graphic Communication and Photography as well as working with the Design Technology departments on Product Design. I have been very fortunate to work for two fantastic schools and really look forward to experiencing GIS and Malaysia. My knowledge of SE Asia is limited and so I look forward to getting to know all of you and learning about this exciting part of the world. I enjoy most sports, particularly golf, running and football and I am particularly excited about spending some time surfing in Indonesia and beyond. Enjoy your summer break when it comes and I will see you in August.
Paul Hutton BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) History Teacher / MUN Co-ordinator I hail from Hartlepool in the UK, and after graduating in History from Lancaster University I completed a PGCE in History at Newcastle University. I have 15 years of teaching and leadership experience in both local and international schools, across the comprehensive and independent sectors of education. I have successfully led both pastoral and curriculum teams for most of my career whilst continuing to play a pivotal role on the ground floor doing what I love most, teaching. The enjoyment I get from being part of a students learning and development never seems to diminish. I am a keen sportsman and in years gone by played rugby union at a highly competitive level. My wife, Yvette and I have previously lived and worked in Kuala Lumpur. I was Head of History and Head of Humanities at The Alice Smith School whilst my wife taught in the Primary School. We have a 6 year old daughter, Thea who was born in KL, and a 5 year old son Quinn. They are enthusiastic about starting GIS in Year 2 and Year 1 respectively. whilst we are all excited about our next adventure in the culturally diverse setting that Malaysia offers.
Natalie Clark BSc (Hons), PGCE (UK) Mathematics / Head of Sultan Hi Everyone, after a short spell teaching in Europe, I am looking forward to returning to Garden to teach with the mathematics faculty again, and to see how all of the fantastic students have progressed. I am originally from Bristol, UK and have taught in the UK for 4 years (maths teacher), Malaysia for 5 years (head of maths) and 1 year in Spain (deputy head of maths). With my partner and my daughter, I am looking forward to travelling around Malaysia and enjoying the good food and weather.
Julien Barrett BA (Hons), GTP (UK) French Teacher I am currently teaching at Haileybury Almaty, located in South East Kazakhstan. For the past two years I have woken up next to an amazing range of mountains which gave me the opportunity to fulfil two of my passions, snowboarding and hiking. The two features of Kazakhstan I enjoyed the most are the friendliness and nomadic culture of Kazakh people. I was born in France, got my hands on different jobs before moving to England. During the 12 years I spent in the UK, I met people who gave me opportunities to work with children. I enjoyed being able to make a difference in their lives and this led me into the path of education. I have a keen interest for sports and traveling, and whenever possible, I try to combine the both together. I also like to learn how to play guitar but it is definitely a work in progress. I am very much looking forward to moving to Malaysia, meeting you all and becoming part of the GIS team. До скорово!
David Whitney BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) Head of Social Science, Sociology Teacher Hello, I am really looking forward to meeting you all. David is really only used by my Mum, please call me Dave. I have been working in London for the past 11 years at two schools. Firstly in Camden, as a Sociology/Citizenship teacher, secondly as Head of Humanities and Project Based Learning in Tower Hamlets. It’s been great but I can’t find decent roti canai and therefore it’s time for a move! I join GIS as Head of Social Science with the aim to encourage a love of learning for Sociology and Psychology that will stay with the students throughout their life. My primary source of motivation for teaching is to contribute towards young people who have the skills, knowledge and self-efficacy to change the world for the better. I know the students at GIS have these things in abundance and cannot wait to work with them too. I recently got married in Langkawi to Farah, who is Malaysian. Many of our friends are either GIS or Alice Smith alumni, and I have enjoyed the competitive discussions on this by thirty somethings who are clearly still so proud of where they went to school. I really look forward to contributing to the team that can provide an education that stays with people in this way. See you all in August, enjoy your holidays!
Ian Hughes BA (HONS) PGCE (UK) Learning Support Teacher I will be joining Garden as a Secondary Learning Support Teacher. I am originally from Glossop in the Peak District and have a degree in Industrial Product Design. I have spent the last 5 years working at Bangkok Patana School where I was a Learning Support Instructor and Assistant Co-ordinator for Outdoor Education, which includes the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. I have a great love for the outdoors and spend most of my free time out on my bikes, either road riding or mountain biking, so I am now looking forward to exploring Malaysia’s beautiful countryside. I also still enjoy painting, photography and rescuing kittens.
Gerard O’Hagan BA (Hons), PGCE (UK), MA Economics Teacher Hi, I’m Gerry O’Hagan, new Economics teacher. From Scotland originally, I’ve come to Malaysia via teaching posts in London, Jersey, Costa Rica and Qatar. Currently I consider Costa Rica to be home-base, though Nicaragua will likely be my eventual retirement destination for sound economic reasons. As a keen diver, I’m really looking forward to getting some good dives around Malaysia and the surrounding countries. My wife, Aura Lila, has joint Nicaraguan/Costa Rican citizenship and currently teaches Spanish as a Second Language and works as a teaching assistant in the American School of Doha.
Damian Graizevsky BA Hons, NPQH, PGCE UK Director of Learning My name is Damian Graizevsky. I was born in London and remained in this great capital until my mid-thirties, before moving to Dubai, an equally exciting and dynamic city. I am an undergraduate from Queen Mary, University of London and I have a PGCE from Kingston University. I hold additional professional qualifications including Prince2 Practitioner Accreditation, BSME PENTA Inspection Accreditation level 1 and 2, Google Educator Level 1 and 2 and an NPQH from University College London and Institute of Education. I have been Deputy Headteacher at Kings’ School Al Barsha, since 2014. My roles and responsibilities, have included curriculum, professional development and assessment. Prior to joining Kings’ I worked at several outstanding schools in London, in various senior positions, including Assistant Headteacher, Director of Learning and Head of Humanities. Outside of work, I enjoy reading, travelling, and spending quality time with my family. I am very excited to be joining Garden International School and living in Malaysia, especially the opportunities for personal and professional growth.
Charlotte Pyne BA (Hons), MA, PGCE (UK) Head of English Hi! I am delighted to be joining Garden International School as the new Head of English. I am from England and have previously been Head of English in two Secondary schools in Liverpool. I am passionate about literature, Teaching and Learning, travelling and exploring new cultures. I cannot wait to meet the staff and students at GIS and begin exploring KL and Malaysia!
Jenny Flounders BA (Hons), PGCE (UK) English Teacher / KS3 English Leader Hello! I am going to be joining the English Faculty at GIS, and will also be overseeing the KS3 English Curriculum. I am from the South West of England, but I have enjoyed living in Asia for almost 6 years. My husband and I have travelled through Malaysia before, briefly, and we are very excited about exploring more of the country; learning more about the culture; and, of course, sampling more of the local food!
Rebecca Amos BA (Hons), MA, PGCE (UK) English Teacher Hi everyone. I am going to be joining GIS as an English Teacher. I am originally from Yorkshire, but I see Manchester as my honorary home. I am coming from an international school in Doha, so I’m very excited to swap some desert for the green of Malaysia. I have lived abroad previously for four years, teaching EFL in Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan, so I am very excited to be returning to South East Asia. Predictably, I am passionate about reading and theatre, but I also love travelling, eating out and cooking, so I know that I will thrive in KL. I am also very interested in art and learning about new cultures, and have recently tried (re)learning the piano. Finally, with all my interests and hobbies, I like to do yoga to keep me in balance!
Michael Riding BA (Hons), Cert TESOL (UK) EAL teacher Hello again. I am returning to GIS after a short stint in Madrid working for the British Council. Originally from Liverpool, I moved with my partner Natalie to Malaysia in 2012 and lived in Kuala Lumpur for five years. We were lucky enough to have our daughter Marnie in that time. I am very much looking forward to catching up with old faces, meeting new arrivals and getting back up to speed with all things GIS.
Li Na BSc, PGCE (UK) Head of Mandarin Ni Hao! I am the new Head of Senior School Mandarin. Can’t wait to see you all in Malaysia. Born and raised in China, I lived in the UK for more than 10 years and Singapore for 4 years before taking up the role in Garden International school. My training and working experiences both in the UK and Asia have given me not only excellent up-to-date skills in teaching with a practical theoretical basis, but also the invaluable experience of teaching effectively across a wide age and ability range. I enjoy food and the theatre as well as travel which brought me to Malaysia with my family in August 2018.

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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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