Prep School Senior Management
Sara Howell (British)
Deputy Head Academic
Sara is an experienced teacher and was previously Assistant Head Academic, Modern Languages Teacher and a member of the Senior Management Team at Northcote Lodge, a private Prep school in London, UK. Her roles included Curriculum review, Staff Development, diagnostic testing and coordination of internal and external exams. Previously she was Head of Modern Languages 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 Master’s in Learning and Teaching from the University of Nottingham. Sara 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 and capable skier, and a PADI advanced diver. She is married and has two children, both of whom joined Rugby School Thailand in September 2017.
David Dawson (British)
Deputy Head Pastoral, Humanities Teacher
David was previously Director of Studies, Geography teacher and Boarding Housemaster at Fettes (‘Eton of the North’) Prep School in Edinburgh, Scotland. He has been Activities Coordinator and sat on the Fettes Joint Consultative Committee with Governors and Senior School Head. David’s early career took him to Tanzania and Malaysia and he remains a Trustee of two East African charities.
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.
Charlie Rowe (British)
Assistant Head, Head of History
Having previously been a Deputy Head, Head of History, English Teacher, Head of Pastoral Care, Head of Boarding, and Head of Racquet Sports at private prep schools in the UK, Charlie accepted a new challenge in September 2017 and joined RST as our Head of Admissions. Though successfully recruiting pupils in excess of expectations, the lure of school mastering proved too strong and Charlie moves back into teaching from September 2018 as Assistant Head (with responsibility for Activities and New Children) and as 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 3 children are already pupils at Rugby School Thailand and his wife, Bud, is RST’s Expatriate Senior Administrator.
Prep School Teachers
Ellen Barnes (British)
Art, Design and Drama
Ellen was previously Arts Leader at a UK Primary School, where her multi-faceted role includes delivering lessons in both Art and Drama. She has overhauled the Arts curriculum achieving ‘Artsmark’ status for the school, and arranged Art exhibitions and open air Art galleries. She wrote and directed school plays, choreographed ‘flash-mob’ dance events, and ran drama workshops for both pupils and staff.
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. Ellen is married with three children.
Margarita Betanzos Alonso (Spanish)
Head of Modern Languages
Margarita has been teaching for 16 years, primarily in the UK, and for 6 years prior to joining RST she was a teacher of Spanish and French 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 from Reception through to Year 8 and has particular responsibility for the Spanish curriculum. Previously she has set up her own business teaching Spanish to children of all ages and has also had experience teaching English as an Additional Language.
Margarita has a BA degree in Business Administration, 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 achieve their best in both knowledge of language and social skills’.
Margarita is married with two children aged 9 and 6 both of whom join Rugby School Thailand in September 2017.
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 secured her first school role at a private Prep School in Sussex, England. Here she taught PE to 3 – 13 year olds, coached a range of sports, including netball and athletics, and was an Assistant Boarding Houseparent. Sophie subsequently obtained her PGCE, worked at two more schools, qualified as a trampoline coach, and has been a Head Coach and Multi-Sports Coach in Wales.
Sophie has a strong academic record (she was awarded the ‘academic excellence’ prize for top PGCE student), and is capable of teaching Psychology to A level and Spanish up to Year 6. She is also able to offer tap dancing, ballet and jazz dance as co-curricular activities, and has experience with music and drama. Noted for the ‘great rapport’ that she develops with her classes, Sophie looks forward to inspiring the pupils of RST.
Katy Douglas (British)
Head of Design Technology
Katy is currently Head of Art, Design and Technology at Sedbergh Prep School in Cumbria, UK. She set up a brand new D & T workshop at Sedbergh, and has been involved in developing a Centre of Advanced Technology for the region. 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 in the UK, is a competitive swimmer and a keen snowboarder. Katy and her husband, Stuart (Head of D&T for the Senior School) will join Rugby School Thailand in September 2018 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 Rugby School Thailand. 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 is currently Head of Science at a Prep School in London and has also taught Science at a Senior School in the UK. He is a Year 8 Form Tutor, runs a Science Club, a Spanish Club, assists with sports coaching and manages 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. He will join the Prep School Science and Modern Languages Departments in September 2018.
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
Claire Tuthill (British)
Maths Teacher and Boarding Houseparent
A former Head of Maths at Thomas’s Prep School in London and an author of Maths text books, Claire currently teaches Maths at Winchester House Prep School in Oxfordshire, and is also a Houseparent, with her husband, at Bloxham School, Oxfordshire. She has a Bachelor of Education (Maths) degree from Cambridge University.
Claire sees Maths as a fundamental building block for so many skills, such as computer coding, engineering and architecture and believes it to be a subject which ‘opens so many doors for life after school.’ Her attitude to her work and her rapport with her pupils have been classed as ‘outstanding’.
Claire is a keen skier and tennis player, and also enjoys swimming and sailing. Claire will join the Prep School as a Maths teacher and Prep Boarding Houseparent, along with her husband Tom and their three children.
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 a Maths Teacher in September 2018, along with his wife and 3 children.
Lee Irvine (British)
Director of Sport
Lee has worked at both independent and state schools in the UK, and was previously Director of Sport and Extra-Curricular Activities at Wellingborough School, a private school with a proud sporting tradition. He has a BA Degree in Sports Studies, a National Diploma in Sports Development and Coaching (Distinction), a Diploma in Sports Psychology (Distinction), and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Wales.
Lee is qualified to coach a range of sports and has led many overseas sporting tours. At Rugby School Thailand, he aims to “create an innovative learning experience that is exciting and full of opportunity, whilst at the same time underpinned by traditional values such as fair play and consideration for teammates and opposition alike.” He wants all pupils to feel successful, regardless of level of ability, and he wants to nurture the pupils who display real promise and sporting talent.
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 RST as our IT teacher and as a part-time PE teacher. Prior to RST, 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 5 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
Caroline is currently a Year 4 Class teacher at a UK Primary School. She is subject leader for Art and PE, Leader of the School Council, the Teacher Representative on the Parent Teacher Association, and she runs activities in Cross-Country, Chess and Italian. She has previously taught both older and younger age groups, and she has led and participated in charity and community outreach projects.
Educated at a well-known private boarding school in the South of England, Caroline graduated from University of Leeds and qualified as a teacher (PGCE – rated as ‘outstanding’) at Bath Spa University. She is keen on sport (tennis, swimming, sailing), and Art.
Her priority as a teacher is to lead the children to become inquisitive and motivate individuals, and to provide a personalised and enjoyable learning experience. Described as “an enthusiastic, committed colleague and an asset to any school”, Caroline joins RST as a Year 3 class teacher in September 2018.
Lucy Ridgway (British)
Head of English
Lucy has taught English at three schools in the UK and prior to RST was a teacher of English at Spratton Hall Prep, a well-known UK private school. Described as ‘an outstanding teacher’, Lucy has had experience writing and remodelling the design of an English curriculum, teaching across the age ranges and preparing students for entry into top UK senior schools. She has run early-morning running and fitness clubs and has assisted in the organisation and hosting of sports tournaments and events.
Lucy holds a degree in English and Linguistics from the University of York and qualified as a teacher at the University of Bedfordshire. She says that she is “committed to creating a flourishing environment that inspires and supports children whilst preparing them for a lifetime of learning in a rapidly changing world.”
Will Stoker (British)
English Teacher (with Drama)
Will is currently employed at the prestigious Dulwich Prep School in London where he teaches English up to Year 8, is 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 has co-ordinated Lower School Literacy. He is described as ‘a great team player…who promotes joyful enterprise and makes learning 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 singing, cycling, golf, drawing, surfing, acting, and is a qualified fitness instructor. He joins Rugby School Thailand with his wife and young daughter.
Chris Lindop (British)
Chris is currently a Year 4 Teacher, Assistant Head of Boys’ Boarding and leads the Under 9 Sport at Highfield School, a well-known private prep school in the south of England. He has a degree in English from Durham University and a PGCE from Cambridge University. Whilst he enjoys teaching all subjects, he has a passion for English and describes teaching it as his ‘joie de vivre’.
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 has been described by a former employer 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’. He will join Rugby School Thailand as an English teacher in September 2018 and is looking forward to promoting ‘the whole person’.
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 September 2017.
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.
He was a pupil at Oundle School in the UK – a local rival to Rugby School UK – from where he 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’. He 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 5 years he has 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 at Arran High School has been established – a first in Europe – largely as a result of Craig’s efforts as Head Coach to push for excellence within the 3 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 8 to national titles, all the way up to Great Britain age group, European and World qualifications. Craig’s passion for sport does not just extend to coaching: originally from a rugby and swimming background, he is also keen and competitive triathlete himself, qualifying for multiple age group teams for Great Britain. In his first step up to the Ironman distance, he qualified for the World Championships this year.
Craig writes: “I’m really looking forward to developing one of the very best training and performance programmes at RST and believe the school has everything required to make this happen.”
Craig will be moving over to Thailand with his wife and two daughters. Both daughters also compete in all 3 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 in 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 work with lots of pupils in their native language.
Nathalie finds Rugby School an outstanding international school in Thailand and is exited to play a role in in the personal growth and development of the pupils.
Her daughter joined Pre-Nursery in September of 2018.