Prep School Senior Management
Sara Howell (British)
Deputy Head Academic
Previously Assistant Head Academic, Modern Languages teacher and a member of Senior Management at Northcote Lodge, a private prep school in London, Sara brings a wealth of experience. Her previous roles have included curriculum review, staff development, diagnostic testing, coordination of internal and external exams, and Director of Studies.
Sara has a degree in French and German from the University of Liverpool, and a post-graduate Certificate of Education and a Masters in Learning and Teaching from the University of Nottingham. She believes that “happiness and innovation lead to a vibrant and enjoyable teaching and learning atmosphere, which is vital for achievement amongst staff and pupils”.
Sara is keen skier and a PADI advanced diver. She is married with two children, both of whom are in Pre-Prep.
David Dawson (British)
Deputy Head Pastoral, Humanities Teacher
David was previously Director of Studies, geography teacher and Boarding Housemaster at Fettes Prep School in Edinburgh, Scotland (often touted as ‘Eton of the North’). He has been Activities Coordinator and sat on the Fettes Joint Consultative Committee with Governors and Senior School Head. In his early career David lived in Tanzania and Malaysia, and he remains a Trustee of an East African charity.
David has a degree in Agriculture, a Master’s in Rural Estate Management and a post-graduate Certificate in Education from Edinburgh University. He coaches sport (rugby, cricket, basketball, badminton and squash), and enjoys diving and water sports. David believes that Rugby School Thailand’s “holistic approach inspires children to challenge themselves both inside and outside the classroom,” and that “children should be instilled with a love of life and a love of learning.”
David is married with three older children. He lives here with his wife, Corinna, and their two dogs.
Charlie Rowe (British)
Assistant Head, Head of History
Having previously held roles as Deputy Head, Head of History, English Teacher, Head of Pastoral Care, Head of Boarding and Head of Racquet Sports at some top private prep schools in the UK, Charlie took on a new challenge when he joined Rugby School Thailand in 2017 as our Head of Admissions. He rose to the challenge and successfully recruited pupils in excess of expectations – but the lure of school mastering proved too strong and Charlie is now Assistant Head, overseeing the activities programme and the arrival of new children, and Head of History.
Charlie was educated at Cranleigh School in the south of England before obtaining a degree in War Studies at King’s College, London and his teaching qualification at Buckingham University. He is a talented sportsman, playing A team tennis for the Hurlingham Club, Real Tennis, Eton Fives, lacrosse, skis and is a member of the Austrian Alpine Club. Charlie’s passion for history has seen him coordinate many history trips and work as a Battlefield Tour Director.
Charlie’s wife, Bud, is Expatriate Senior Administrator for the school and their three children are all pupils at the school.
Prep School Teachers
Ellen Barnes (British)
Art & Design
Before relocating to Thailand, Ellen was Arts Leader at a UK Primary School, where her multi-faceted role included delivering lessons in both art and drama. Achievements included overhauling the arts curriculum to gain ‘Artsmark’ status for the school, arranging art exhibitions and open air art galleries, as well as writing and directing school plays, choreographing ‘flash-mob’ dance events, and running drama workshops for both pupils and staff. Here at Rugby School Thailand she remains active and involved with creative activities beyond her role in art & design.
Ellen holds a BA degree (1st class) in English in Education from the University of the West of England and has completed a Fine Art Foundation Course at the University of Derby. She lives here with her three children, who have been at Rugby School Thailand since it opened its gates to pupils.
Margarita Betanzos Alonso (Spanish)
Head of Modern Languages
With over sixteen years of teaching experience, Margarita’s role prior to joining Rugby School Thailand was a French and Spanish teacher at Windlesham House, a well-known private prep school in the South of England. Described as ‘a true professional and an outstanding, reflective practitioner’, she teaches languages from Reception through to Year 8, with a key focus on the Spanish curriculum.
Margarita has previously set-up and run her own business teaching Spanish to children of all ages, while also having experience teaching English as an Additional Language (EAL).
Margarita has a BA degree in Business Administration and a BA degree in Modern Languages Teaching from Cadiz University, and a Certificate in the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language. She is familiar with the most up-to-date teaching resources and technology and says that she ‘enjoys working with children and helping them to achieve their best in both knowledge of language and in social skills’.
Margarita, her husband Dave and their two children are valued members of the Rugby School Thailand team.
Sophie Meister (British)
Head of Girls’ Sport
With a 2:1 degree in Exercise and Sports Science from the University of Exeter under her belt, Sophie joins us from a private Prep School in Sussex, England. Teaching PE to 3–13 year-olds, coaching a range of sports, including netball and athletics, and working as an Assistant Boarding Houseparent, Sophie subsequently obtained her PGCE. She has joined us having worked at two more schools, qualified as a trampoline coach, and having been a Head Coach and Multi-Sports Coach in Wales.
Sophie is able to offer tap dancing, ballet and jazz dance as co-curricular activities, and has experience with music and drama. She also has a strong academic record, having been awarded the ‘academic excellence’ prize for top PGCE student, and with capabilities to teach both Psychology to A Level and Spanish up to Year 6. Sophie has been noted for the ‘great rapport’ that she develops with her classes and we are delighted to have her here to inspire the pupils of Rugby School Thailand.
Katy Douglas (British)
Head of Design Technology
Having set up a DT workshop from scratch at Sedbergh Prep School in Cumbria, UK, while also being involved in developing a Centre of Advanced Technology in the region, Katy joins us Head of Design Technology. She has a degree (1st class) in Product Design and Technology from Manchester Metropolitan University and has been a qualified teacher for 8 years.
Katy has great enthusiasm for design and views it as part of her lifestyle, not just her career. Though she has enjoyed significant exam success with older pupils, it is the teaching of prep school age pupils that has provided her with the most joy and reward. She aims to enthuse her pupils at a young age so that they are more likely to consider engineering-based careers in the future.
Described as a ‘driven and self-motivated teacher’, Katy enjoys challenging her pupils and herself. She competes in triathlons and ‘Iron’ events, is a competitive swimmer and a keen snowboarder. Katy and her husband, Stuart (Head of Design Technology for the Senior School) have joined Rugby School Thailand along with their two young sons.
Corinna Dawson (British)
Head of Support for Learning
Corinna has had experience providing learning support to children with a variety of needs including dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, ASD and EAL. Having gained the Hornsby Diploma in teaching children with specific learning difficulties, she worked at Fettes Prep School in Scotland for 10 years before joining us here. She loves helping children to realise their potential, seeing their confidence increase, and particularly appreciates the opportunities they get to excel in non- academic areas such as music, drama, art and sport at Rugby School Thailand.
Corinna originally trained in Agriculture with a Bsc Degree from Edinburgh University and has a keen interest in the natural world and environmental issues, heading up the Eco Committee. She started teaching English as an additional language when living overseas in Tanzania and Malaysia. Whilst at Fettes, she gained a wealth of pastoral care experience as a Houseparent of the Girls’ Boarding House (SVQ in Health and Social Care) and was a member of the Senior Management Team.
Corinna enjoys a variety of water sports and outdoor pursuits. She is married to David Dawson (Deputy Head Pastoral). They have three older children who are working/studying in UK.
John Gore (British)
Head of Science
John is an experienced teacher who was previously Head of Science at Ardvreck Prep School, a private school in Scotland. He used to organise an annual science fair, chaired meetings for local science teachers, and was the Scottish Prep School Science Coordinator. He incorporates as much practical and investigative work into his teaching as possible and is skilled in the use of modern technology.
John has previously been a boarding Housemaster, a Director of Studies and a member of the Senior Management Team. He coaches sport, particularly rugby, hockey, cricket and volleyball. He has run a Debating Society, and is keen on outdoor pursuits such as hillwalking, kayaking and skiing. He enjoys engaging the pupils with video production and photography.
Having achieved a BSc degree in Biological Sciences, John qualified as a teacher with a PGCE from the University of East Anglia.
Mario Ortiz Casado (Spanish)
Science and Spanish Teacher
Mario joins us after being Head of Science at a Prep School in London; he has also taught science at a Senior School in the UK. He has been a Year 8 Form Tutor, ran a Science Club, a Spanish Club, assisted with sports coaching and managed his school’s Virtual Learning Environment which he built from scratch. He is described as ‘an outstanding schoolmaster…an inspirational teacher…professional and fully committed to his work and the pupils that he teaches’.
Mario was educated in Spain, where he achieved a degree in Chemical Engineering, and a Master’s Degree in Teacher Training. He has experience teaching EAL pupils, plays both bass and electric guitar, and is a keen photographer.
Mario has recently married and has moved to Thailand with his wife, Anna.
William Howell (British)
Head of Maths
Will was previously Head of Maths and Head of Year 8 at Thomas’s Clapham, a private day school in London. He was responsible for over 25 teachers and his departmental leadership was judged as ‘outstanding’. He teaches across the age ranges and has achieved great success preparing pupils for entry to the top senior schools in the UK.
William has been a Head of Games and coaches football, rugby and cricket. He has organised several school trips around the world. He says that “whether in the classroom, games pitch or in the staff room, I aim to instil a sense of fun into what I do, but never forgetting that pupils’ progress is at the centre of what I and an excellent school strives for.”
William has a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from The University of York, and a Post Graduate Certificate of Education in Maths from the University of Cambridge. He is married with two children, both of whom joined Rugby School Thailand in September 2017
Steve Dunn (New Zealander)
Steve has enjoyed a range of teaching experiences from Year 4 to Year 8. He has taught maths at a private Prep school in London UK (where he was a founding member of staff), spent two years teaching in an international school in Malaysia, and then returned to his native New Zealand when he has taught maths, coached sport, and been a Deputy Principal. He has a BA from University of Otago and qualified as a teacher at Dunedin College of Education.
Steve speaks of his ‘passion’ for maths. Whilst his primary focus is upon learning, he wants the children to enjoy the subject and ‘to leave the classroom happy and positive’. Steve is also a keen sportsman and a well-qualified coach with particular experience and interest in swimming, rugby, athletics, badminton, volleyball and netball.
Described by one of his former Principals as ‘a hard worker, a clear thinker, a considerate colleague and an excellent teacher…who always seems to get the best out of his students’, Steve joins us as with his wife and their three children, who are all pupils.
Tim Jones (Australian)
PE Teacher and Assistant Boarding Houseparent
Tim joined us in September 2017 with his wife, Felicity Jones (Year 3 teacher), and has already made his mark at Rugby School Thailand as our IT teacher and as a part-time PE teacher. Prior to joining, Tim was the Head of Physical Education, a member of the boarding staff and Outdoor Education co-ordinator at The Oratory Prep School in the UK. At the Oratory, above and beyond his talents as a ‘fantastic, well-organised and dynamic sports coach’, Tim was recognized for his ‘integrity, adaptability, empathy, professionalism and organisational skills’.
Tim began his career in schools as a Gap Student at Oswestry School in the UK, before returning to his native Australia to obtain his degree in Sports Science. He qualified as a teacher (PGCE) through Buckingham University in the UK, and has a coached a range of sports including rugby, football, hockey, basketball, cricket, swimming and gymnastics.
Felicity Jones (Australian)
Year 3 Class Teacher and Assistant Boarding Houseparent
On completing her double degree – Bachelor of Social Science and Bachelor of Teaching – in Australia, Felicity moved to the UK and for five years was a Year 3 class teacher, Religious Studies teacher and Girls’ Games coach at St Andrews Prep, a private school in England. Described as ‘an exceptional teacher who is always prepared to go the extra mile’, Felicity has organised overseas school trips and has produced several school plays. She coaches a range of sports, runs half-marathons, and has obtained the UK National Rescue Award for Swimming Coaches.
Felicity is a qualified mentor for newly-qualified teachers, and has led staff training on the fostering of growth mindsets in both pupils and teachers. Felicity says that “each child is a unique individual who needs a secure, caring, and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature intellectually, physically, and spiritually.”
Caroline Watts (British)
Year 3 Class Teacher
Joining us from a UK primary school, Caroline was a Year 4 Class teacher, subject leader for Art and PE, Leader of the School Council, the Teacher representative on the Parent Teacher Association, and ran activities in cross-country, chess and Italian. She has previously taught both older and younger age groups, and has participated in charity and community outreach projects.
Caroline graduated from University of Leeds and qualified as a teacher (PGCE – rated as ‘outstanding’) at Bath Spa University. She is keen on sport (in particular tennis, swimming, sailing), and art.
Her priority as a teacher is to lead children to become inquisitive and motivate individuals, and to provide a personalised, enjoyable learning experience. Described as “an enthusiastic, committed colleague and an asset to any school”, Caroline has come on board as a Year 3 class teacher.
Will Stoker (British)
English Teacher (with Drama)
Will joins us from the prestigious Dulwich Prep School in London, where he taught English up to Year 8, was a Year 6 Form Tutor and Head of Boarding. He has taught drama and history, written and directed school plays and musicals, coached rugby, football and cricket, led a Debating Club and co-ordinated lower school literacy. He is described as ‘a great team player…who promotes joyful enterprise and makes learning both challenging and fun.’
Will has a degree in Drama and Theatre Studies from Trinity College, Dublin and was assessed as ‘outstanding’ during his teacher training. His approach towards the teaching of creative writing is particularly innovative and exciting, with sessions such as ‘freewriting to music’, ‘The Learning Pit’, ‘soundtrack stories’ and ‘slow writing’.
Will enjoys music, cycling, surfing, golf, drawing, acting, and is a qualified fitness instructor. He joins Rugby School Thailand with his wife and young daughter.
Chris Lindop (British)
Chris joined us from Highfield School, a well-known private prep school in the south of England, where he was a Year 4 Teacher, Assistant Head of Boys’ Boarding and leads the Under 9 Sport. He has a degree in English from Durham University and a PGCE from Cambridge University. He describes teaching it as his ‘joie de vivre’, and whilst he enjoys teaching all subjects, English is where his passion lies.
Chris is a very enthusiastic sportsman, naming cricket as his first love. He also enjoys playing and coaching football, rugby and hockey.
His contributions to school life have been described as ‘substantial and far reaching’ and his rapport with pupils as ‘outstanding’. He believes that ‘education should develop all aspects of a child’, and that the aim of a teacher is to ‘instill a love of learning’.
Jo Westlake (British)
Director of Music
Jo’s first appointment as Director of Music was at Packwood Haugh Prep, a renowned UK private school, where she revitalised the music department and taught music from Pre-Prep to Year 8. Jo subsequently played a significant role in the success of the music department at Brambletye Prep, whilst at the same time taking on a range of responsibilities as a member of the Senior Management Team. Earlier in her career, Jo spent several years teaching piano at Glenalmond College and Strathallan School, both in Scotland, before moving to Thailand to teach class music at Bangkok Patana School.
Jo studied piano at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and completed her postgraduate studies in Chamber Music with Professor Vanessa Latarche at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, one of world’s leading conservatoires. Jo then won a scholarship to continue her studies in Canada as Pianist in Residence at the prestigious Banff Centre for the Arts.
Jo is married and has two boys, both of whom joined Rugby School Thailand in its first term.
Ben Collings (British)
Ben has over 18 years of experience working as a performer and musical director. During his career he has founded and directed choral societies, youth choirs, musical theatre groups and orchestras. He plays the French Horn and the piano. He is a music and singing teacher at his current school, and is described as an “enthusiastic and inspirational teacher” He strongly believes that music is an essential component to a well-rounded education, providing individuals with the opportunity to discover and express themselves in a different way to core subject areas.
As a scholar at Oundle School in the UK – a local rival to Rugby School UK – Ben went on to achieve a first class degree and masters in music from Bath Spa University. As well as his passion for music, Ben enjoys playing rugby, football, hockey and cricket, and he has achieved success in sailing at national level. He is a keen thespian and a ‘huge fan of Lego’.
Ben joins us with his wife, India, who is a Nursery teacher.
Craig Wood (British)
Head of Aquatics
Craig joins us from the Isle of Arran in the UK, where in five years he played a major role in transforming swimming and triathlon from basic programs to one of the top competitive clubs in the country. Within that time, the very first government-funded School of Sport was established at Arran High School – a first in Europe, and largely as a result of Craig’s efforts as Head Coach to push for excellence within the three disciplines: swim, bike, run. Craig founded the hugely popular Island-2-Island event, which attracts open water swimmers and triathletes from all over the country.
Craig is a UKCC Level 2 Coach in both triathlon and swimming, as well as a UKCC Level 2 swim teacher. He has coached children from as young as eight to national titles, all the way up to Great Britain age group, European and world qualifications. Craig’s passion for sport extends beyond coaching: originally from a rugby and swimming background, he is also a keen and competitive triathlete himself, qualifying for multiple age group teams for Great Britain. In his first step-up to the Ironman distance, he recently qualified for the world championships.
Craig writes: “I’m really looking forward to developing one of the very best training and performance programmes at Rugby School Thailand and believe the school has everything required to make this happen.”
Craig joins us with his wife and their two daughters, both of whom compete in all three triathlon sports.
Nathalie Winters (Dutch)
Nathalie has had nearly 30 years of experience as a school counsellor, psychologist, psychotherapist and a teacher. She has MSc in Psychology, MA in English Language and Literature and an International MBA. She started her career teaching English and literature.
Having gained experience in the educational field, she moved to school counselling and school psychology. Nathalie loves working with children and young people and is passionate about making a difference to the lives of the pupils. She is a result-oriented, dedicated, reliable and highly motivated professional.
Having worked as a school counsellor and psychologist with international students in The United States, The Netherlands, UK, Spain, Russia and Thailand, Nathalie has developed her own methodology and offers a tailor-made solution for each individual case using her extensive knowledge of cognitive and behavioral therapy, positive psychology, psychoanalysis and hypnotherapy. The students trust her approach and her working style. They appreciate her understanding, empathy and friendly demeanor. Being trilingual: English, Dutch and Russian, Nathalie can also work with lots of pupils in their native language.
Nathalie joins us with her young daughter, who is in Pre-Nursery.