BLOOMSBURY TEACHING STAFF PROFILES
JOHN CALVERT (BA Hons, PGCE, NPQH, NPQSL) - Principal
Firstly, may I say how absolutely thrilled I am to be joining the Bloomsbury team and moving to Hatyai. A city I visited many times when I lived in Penang, Malaysia, 20 years ago. I am really looking forward to be working in such a community minded school with high aspirations for all its learners. I have been a Head teacher/Principal in a number of different schools. Most recently, as an Executive Head teacher responsible for two London schools, I have led large schools of 780 pupils and smaller schools of 200. I have been a Senior Leader in schools with mainly EAL students, outstanding smaller rural English schools and international schools.
I have a real passion for everything to do with education, I believe that no barriers should be placed upon a student's potential and that with the right opportunities, anything is possible. School life in its entirety should be central to this. I believe we are all learners and that enabling high quality learning opportunities for students benefits teachers and leaders as well. Helping to shape student lives and instilling curiosity, respect and personal high standards by allowing them to carve out their future through educational opportunity, should be at the heart of a school community.
I am originally from Holywood, Northern Ireland (pronounced Hollywood, like in America). It is a small town by the sea, where the hottest ever temperature is 30°C. However, I have lived most of my adult life in Bristol, England which is where I went to university. I have a wife who will be joining me later, a daughter and two delicious grandchildren. While I was a keen rugby and football player, I am now a keen spectator of both sports. However I do paraglide, play golf, scuba dive, windsurf and sail.
I look forward to meeting you all and becoming part of the school community in December.
MARK ELLIS (BA, PGCE) - Head of Primary/Pre-Primary
Sharing the joy of learning and celebrating our achievements is one of my biggest motivators in being an educator. Another is the neuroscience of learning. The fact that we never stop learning and our ever increasing understanding of how we learn keeps me enthused and young at heart, which is useful, especially considering my teaching career spans three decades and two centuries! My teaching and leadership experience from the UK has been enhanced by my teaching and leadership experience in Asia including teacher coaching. Enabling learners to understand how we learn and to take responsibility for their own learning helps to create vibrant learning communities, of teachers, pupils and parents. I am looking forward to helping our school become the best possible learning community that it can be, celebrating our successes and challenges as all part of our learning journey.
DAVID TANSEY (BA (Hons), PGCE, NPQH) - Head of Secondary
My own education and my career in education have provided opportunities that I never dreamed of when I was growing up in Liverpool, England. For the last five years, I have been the principal of international schools in Yangon, Myanmar after holding similar roles in Kuwait and Bahrain in the middle east. Prior to that, I was the Headteacher of two secondary schools in the north of England My specialist subject is English Language and Literature and I am looking forward to teaching A Level English at Bloomsbury. Outside school I enjoy running, swimming, cycling, and playing the drums, all of which I do with great enthusiasm and very little talent. My aim is always to help young people develop the knowledge, skills, understanding, and values they need to thrive in and make sense of their rapidly changing world.
ANDREW STRUBELT (BSc, PGCEi) - Head of EAL
My name is Andrew Strubelt and I am from Los Angeles, California. I have a Bachelor of Science from California State University, Long Beach and a PGCEi from the University of Nottingham, UK. My passion for teaching can be observed by the tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm in every class. Even though I have taught English as an Additional Language or EAL for over fifteen years in Thailand and China, I can still say that I truly enjoy my job. Everybody can learn English, it takes time and motivation but it can be done. During my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family.
CORRINA GRACO (BA) - Reception
My name is Corrina Graco, and I’m originally from a small town just outside the city of London, however, for the past 4 years I have been living in Thailand with my husband and 3 cats.
We spent 6 amazing years from 2001 travelling to many beautiful countries around South East Asia, and then onto Australia. In 2006 I decided to move back to the UK where I completed my degree in Early Childhood and Youth Studies. I have a passion for working with young learners and have in my experience, have had the opportunity to work with children aged 2-6 years. I have also completed my TEFL which gave me great knowledge and an understanding about Thailand, culture and people.
In my spare time, we enjoy visiting many places in and around Asia. I love going to the beach, fishing and kayaking, as well as, having a passion for cooking. I really enjoy teaching in an international environment due to the diversity it brings to the school. My aim as a Pre-Primary teacher is to deliver education in a fun environment through spontaneous and structured activities gained through play and the classroom being a stimulating place where children can flourish in all areas of development.
POPPY WELLS (B.Ed.) - Year 1
My name is Poppy Wells and I am delighted to be joining the Bloomsbury community this year. I have lived in London – England my entire life, so this is a pretty massive (and exciting) change for me. My 8-year-old daughter, Rhia, will be joining Bloomsbury in September and she is just as excited for the new and interesting experiences Thailand has to offer. I have always been passionate about education and knew from a young age that I wanted to be a teacher. This led to my BA in primary education at the University of Greenwich, where I was able to gain experience teaching in EYFS, KS1 and KS2 settings. In my first year teaching, I was awarded London’s Newly Qualified Teacher of the Year which was an incredible honour and means a great deal to me. I am currently in the final year of my MA in Special and Inclusive Education; I am incredibly proud to be finalising my studies remotely with UCL’s Institute of Education – number one in the world for education teaching and research. During my MA, I have learnt a wealth of information about how to support all types of learners within the classroom, but most importantly that every child deserves to be taught in a way that is individual to them and that supports their strengths and challenges. In my spare time, I enjoy eating out, going on adventures with my daughter, spending time with friends and family and when in London, I love trips to the theatre!
ELIZABETH SCHACHINGER (BA, PGCEi) - Year 2
Hello I’m Lizz, and I come from a little village by the sea called Kessingland, in the UK. I completed a BA in English in 2010. After taking sometime to explore the working world, I completed a TEFL and moved to China in 2013 where I taught English as a second language and was lucky enough to meet my husband. We are both teachers, and taught in Vietnam for a year before being lead by our stomachs back to Sichuan, China and their delicious spicy food. After teaching English as a second language for 5 years, I completed my PGCEi from the University of Nottingham in 2018. I believe my experience in Additional language teaching gives me a value insight into teaching non native speakers. Teaching is my passion, and I enjoy seeing how children interpret information to further their learning, it’s a magical process to be a part of. Outside of teaching, I enjoy reading and doing my best to lead an active lifestyle. I enjoy cycling around and exploring with my husband, and enjoy finding some time to practice yoga and mindfulness. I’m looking forward to settling in Thailand after many visits which have made me fall in love with the country and the people.
HARRIET BULLEN (BA, PGCE) - Year 3
My name is Harriet Bullen and I am excited to be joining the Bloomsbury School community this year. I am originally from a small town in North Yorkshire, England, and have a passion for the Arts and Languages. I completed my BA in French and Art History at Manchester University, England, followed by a PGCE teaching qualification. I began my teaching career at a village school in England, teaching EYFS and KS1. However, I have always had a strong urge to live and teach overseas, so in 2012, I decided to move to Egypt to work as a KS2 teacher at an international primary school. Since then, I have lived overseas for 8 years, teaching at international primary schools in Egypt, Malaysia, and China. As a teacher, I enjoy creating stimulating learning environments for my students, in which their individual creativity and curiosity can evolve. I love learning, and I am passionate about encouraging my students to love learning too! In my spare time, I enjoy being outdoors, hiking and biking with my family. I also spend a lot of my time practising yoga, meditation, and holistic healing.
CHARLOTTE HUNTER (B.Ed.) - Year 4
My name is Charlotte Hunter and I come from a small Somerset town in the South-West of England. I am thoroughly excited to be joining Bloomsbury school and community as well as making the most of traveling to the beautiful country of Thailand. I have been a teacher for the past 7 years working in both Somerset – England for the first 5 years after I graduated. I have then recently spent the last 2 years teaching in Arusha – Tanzania. I have always been very passionate about working with children and knew at a very young age that teaching was for me! This led me to do a B.Ed. in Primary Education with a specialism in PE, at the University of St Mark and St John in Plymouth. I have experience teaching across the key stages both inside the classroom and on the sports pitches (EYFS, KS1, KS2, and KS3). During my time as a teacher, I have learnt and highly value the importance of building up a positive relationship with the children and creating an active, inclusive, and hands-on learning environment. I feel it is vital that all children have an opportunity to learn and develop through a wealth of challenges, new experiences, and having fun. It is vital that children learn the importance and value of mistakes as they grow and develop. I am extremely passionate about being in the outdoors, exploring different places, and being adventurous. Finally, I love to meet new people and to travel. I am a very active person taking part in many sporting opportunities in the local community. I personally love to play; field hockey, netball, and volleyball.
ELLEN FERGUSON (BA, PGDE) - Year 6
Hi! My Name is Ellen Ferguson and I am very excited to be joining Bloomsbury International School in Hatyai. I am from Australia, in fact almost the very centre of Australia, a small town called Alice Springs. After completing my Bachelor of Arts, Design and Communication from the University of the Sunshine Coast in 2010, I did some volunteer teaching in the Solomon Islands. This experience developed my passion in education and so I returned to Australia and complete my Graduate Diploma of Education in 2011. I have been teaching in central Australia for over 5 years and also 2 years in Queensland. This is my first time teaching internationally and I am eager to learn and gain new skills. I am very dedicated to making a learning environment challenging but with added fun and interest. I particularly like getting to know my student’s skills and personalities and use this to make their learning more enjoyable. I am thrilled to be teaching in Thailand and look forward to learning more about the culture and eating amazing food!
NANCY SACHDEV (BA,MA) - EAL KS1 teacher
Hello, my name is Nancy Sachdev. I have a Bachelor of Business English from Bangkok University, a Master Degree of Education from Ramkhamheng University and a TESOL Certificate from AUA. I am very happy to be a part of Bloomsbury family. I used to teach many Thai and international schools in Bangkok. As a teacher, I still get to learn many new things from teachers, staffs and even the students. Coming to school every day is a blessing for me as I can remember the time when I was a student. I want to share my knowledge with all of the students. I thank Bloomsbury family for accepting me as one of them and I will contribute the best I can.
TOM SCHACHINGER (BA) - EAL KS2 teacher
Hi, Hallo and Ni Hao. My name is Tom and I am super happy to be a part of the Bloomsbury academic team. I graduated in 2002, from Canterbury University, South Africa, were I gained a BCOM Business Management degree. I started my teaching career as an ESL teacher in China in 2004, working in a key government school in ChongQing. In 2008, I took a senior teaching position with EF English First, furthering my education with the company and later becoming a valuable member and the senior director of studies for Sichuan province. In 2010, I then switched to the private sector and started at an IB kindergarten, where I became a certified IB educator. Since then I have been focusing on Kindergarten and Primary schools, working for Etonhouse International School in Chengdu, China. I enjoy learning languages, and can speak German, Chinese and Afrikaans. I’m looking forward to the new challenge of learning Thai. I have a passion for history and culture, I enjoy traveling to historical places across the world. I hope to pass this passion on to the students, guiding them to be the best they can be. I am an enthusiastic outdoor person and enjoy traveling by motorcycle, flying my drone and water sports. According to Confucius, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”, I feel this reflects my approach to education, as well as my own continuing education.
NUTTANANUN NONTHISIT (B.Ed.) - Primary Teacher of Thai
My name is Nuttananun Nonthisit and my nickname is Nid. I graduated from the Faculty of Humanities at Srinakarindwirot University, Songkhla in 1995. My major is Thai studies and I have been teaching Thai for almost 20 years. I am very happy to work here at Bloomsbury. Thank you for trusting us to teach your children.
RYAN WINDSOR (BSc, PGCEi) - Humanities
My name is Ryan and I was born and raised in Saskatchewan Canada. After completing my Bachelor of Science in Geography I was eager to get out and explore the world. I came to Hatyai in 2007 and fell in love with the weather, the culture and the lovely people. I have been happily teaching here ever since. I find the world to be a fascinating place filled with interesting people, wonderful stories and breathtaking experiences. My goal in teaching is to encourage my students to be just as inspired by our shared human experience as I am. Together we can better understand our past and look brightly towards our future. I feel both excited and fortunate to begin my sixth year at Bloomsbury International School Hatyai and I am eager to start my new role as Secondary Coordinator. In closing, I would like to ask everyone to always remember these two things: 1) Our world is amazing and 2) Never stop exploring!
SANDRA DUNCAN (BA, PGCE) - Year 7 / Art and Design
Hello, my name is Sandra Duncan. I come from a small coastal town in Ireland called Donegal. I have always had a passion for the arts so after my gap year travelling around Europe, I moved to Sheffield, England where I completed a BA Hons in Creative Art Practice. This course allowed me to explore many aspects of the visual arts in both the fine art and craft based disciplines. During my degree I worked in a local school delivering art workshops. It is thanks to this that I decided to pursue a career in teaching and completed my PGCE in Secondary Art in Bangor University in Wales. Since then I have worked in schools across the UK delivering exciting and engaging art lessons in many specialisms, including photography, textiles, graphic design and fine art. In addition to my love of art and travel, I enjoy spending as much of my free time as possible in the water, whether it be swimming, surfing or paddle boarding. I look forward to joining the Bloomsbury team where I hope to provide lessons that will inspire a love and appreciation of art in my pupils.
JOSEPH CHANG (BA) - Year 8 / EAL Secondary
My name is Joseph Chang. I am from Los Angeles, California. I went to Calpoly San Luis Obispo and got a BS in Graphic Communication. I love interacting with children to young adults because of their energy and vitality. The last school I worked for was in Taiwan called Yuteh Bilingual School and I was the Head of Science. I also doubled as a college advisor and was the SAT testing supervisor. Before that, I was the KS4 EAL instructor at Bromsgrove International School in Bangkok. I've also taught in Erbil, Phnom Penh, and Mandalay. In my free time I love to travel and dabble in the stock market. I am also an avid NBA fan, especially the LA Lakers. I hope I can make solid contributions here at Bloomsbury and help our pupils get into tertiary schools in UK, Australia or USA.
SEBASTIAAN LEBER (BA, PGCE) - Teacher of English
My name is Sebastiaan Leber. I am from a town called Frome in the southwest of England. I graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Literature from Middlesex University in London, U.K., and then went on to study for my PGCE at the University of Bath. I began my teaching career in the U.K. as an English and drama teacher. I have and an insatiable curiosity about different people, places, and cultures. It was this curiosity and a sense of adventure that led me to apply at Bloomsbury and I am so happy and honored to have been given the opportunity to teach here in Hatyai. I am amazed and inspired by the people and the culture here every day. I have always loved learning and that is why I became a teacher and why I still have thirst for knowledge and still have so many questions about the world we live in. I firmly believe that learning itself is a skill that can be learned and practiced and that learning is the key to a more fulfilling life. I see it as my duty to help every student I teach to develop a lifelong love of learning that will enrich and improve their quality of life and keep them asking questions!
PAVANDEEP DHAMRAIT (BSc, PGCE) - Business Studies/ICT
My name is Pavandeep Dhamrait I was born and raised in the UK and come from a city in the midlands called Derby. I have completed a BSc (Hons) in Business Information Systems at Leeds Metropolitan University and then became an IT engineer completing contracts for many large UK companies. I was then offered a job in a Birmingham school where I found my passion for teaching. This led me to complete my PGCE at Newman University College in Birmingham and the start of a new career. I have since taught in UK schools for 9 years before moving to Chiang Mai to teach in an International School which was an amazing experience. I have travelled to many different countries but Thailand is where I felt most at home thanks to the people, culture, cuisine and climate. I like travelling in my spare time, listening to music, movies, cars, IT and the latest technology. I enjoy teaching and inspiring students to help them achieve their full potential. A phrase I was taught at school and one I have experienced throughout life is “Don’t judge a book by its cover”.
CHASE NOONAN (BA, M.Ed.) - Music
Hi all! My name is Chase Noonan. I am from Australia. I grew up in the southwest area of Sydney and have spent most of my life living and working in Australia. In 2013, I completed a Bachelor of Music at Western Sydney University and then went on to complete a Master of Teaching as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of other languages. Upon completing my Master of Teaching degree, I began teaching in Australian schools and other educational institutes. I also have experience teaching in Thai schools, and for the past year I have been working as a lecturer at Walailak University. I have a real passion for music and enjoy sharing that passion with my students while helping them to reach their full potential. I am excited to begin the next chapter of my career at Bloomsbury and share all my knowledge and experience with the students and community.
STEVE WELLER (BSc, MA) - Mathematics
My name is Steve Weller and I started my wonderful journey in a small town in Ontario, Canada. I have been teaching Mathematics, Business, and Economics now for the past 12 years and I've been fortunate to teach in Canada, Egypt, Malaysia, China, and now in Thailand. Before I became a teacher, I completed my Bachelor of Science Honours in Economics and Mathematics and went on to complete my Masters of Science in Adolescent Education for Mathematics in Buffalo, New York. My experiences have helped me develop into a well-balanced, caring, passionate person who is eager to get involved and act as a positive role model for the young minds of tomorrow. I believe that Mathematics is the foundational language for every student's future, which opens doors to many different careers. Some of the key concepts that are inherent to my everyday practices are mindfulness, transparency, social and environmental responsibility, gender equality, human rights, and community. When I'm not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, practicing yoga, running, and hiking.
SUCHAI BORRIRAKSANTIKUL (BA, MA) - Teacher of Chinese
Hello, my name is Suchai Borriraksantikul (Kru Khing) I am the Chinese-Mandarin teacher here at Bloomsbury International School Hatyai. My hometown is Hatyai and I am a 3rd generation Chinese. During my younger years, I met many interesting people from Malaysia and Singapore who spoke Chinese. This encouraged me to learn the language so that I could communicate with people and also keep part of my heritage. I started to learn Chinese-Mandarin and eventually graduated from Prince of Songkla University in Hatyai with a BA in Chinese Studies. I continued my education in China where I studied my Masters in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language at Xiamen University. After I graduated, I worked for the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Xiamen (Thai Business Information Center, BIC). During my time in China, I managed to travel and experience the local culture. My hobbies include playing table tennis and travelling to scenic spots and being in nature as well watching cultural and historical documentaries. I am very happy to be back in my hometown and sharing my knowledge and experience with all the wonderful students here at Bloomsbury.
HAZWANI CHOBNGAM (B.Ed. (2nd hons) - Secondary Teacher of Thai
My name is Hazwani Chobngam (Kru Ya). I moved from Rayong. I hold a B.Ed. (2nd Hons) in Thai Language from Thaksin University. I have had experience in teaching Thai for 20 years. I always enjoy learning new things to improve myself and I also love cooking and creating new dishes.
SCOTT RITCHIE (BSc) - P.E. teacher / ECA Coordinator
Hello! My name is Scott and I'm the Physical Education teacher at Bloomsbury International School in Hatyai. I'm originally from Glasgow in the United Kingdom but have been teaching PE in Bangkok for the past 6 years. I have a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science (Sports Coaching) from Edinburgh Napier University and UEFA football coaching licenses. My favourite sports are football, tennis and athletics.