Sonia is the Deputy Head of Junior School, whole school SENCO and specialist assessor. She is in her fourth year in Wellington College coming from the British School of Nanjing where she spent three years teaching in Key Stage 2 and held the position of Gifted and Talented coordinator. Before BSN, Sonia worked in schools in central Asia, the Middle East and the Isle of Man. She has held a variety of roles of responsibility over the years, including Key Stage Coordinator and Head of Year. Originally from Ireland, Sonia graduated from the National University of Ireland with a Higher Diploma in Education and St Patrick’s with a BA in Humanities. In furthering her life long learning Sonia attained a postgraduate certificate in Alternative Learning Needs, a Masters in Teaching and Learning, a certificate in Educational Testing with specialist assessor qualifications and accreditation and the National Award for SEN coordination. She is currently working on a Masters in SEND and Applied Practitioner Status. She is joined by her husband Matthew, who teaches in the Senior School. They in turn are joined by their two sons Ríordán and Tiarnán, who both attend the Junior School.
James completed an Honours degree in Health and Exercise Science at the University of Wales, Trinity St David. After a brief career as a trainee wine warehouse manager, he emigrated with his wife and three children to Wellington, New Zealand, where they lived for three years and attained permanent residency status. It was in New Zealand that James discovered his passion for teaching and duly completed a Graduate Diploma of Teaching at Massey University, specializing in Physical Education and Science. James has particular passion for weightlifting and sports performance. He is thrilled to be joining the prestigious Wellington College team with his wife Hannah and their three children.
Born to a family of educators, it was easy for Dionne to realise that teaching too was her calling. She obtained a Bachelor in Early Childhood Education and a Master in Human Services in the United States graduating with honours. She is also a certified Early Childhood educator and supervisor in the state of California, United States. Dionne brings to Wellington her 12 years of experience working with young children. Initially, her career began as an Accounting Manager for a film production company in Hollywood but soon returned to her first love of teaching. Her first teaching post was working with migrant Hispanic families for the federally funded Head Start program in the state of California. She then started and ran her own school readiness program for six years in order to spend more time with her growing family. An avid traveler, Dionne along with her family moved to the Middle East in 2010 as she assumed a post as coordinator and teacher for an international school in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Dionne enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, digital scrapbooking, and basking in the sun. She is joined by her husband, their three children, one of whom will be in the Junior School and two in Senior, and their adopted Persian cat Mafi.
Robert joined Wellington after teaching spells in Kingston upon Hull and Newcastle upon Tyne, where his role included work with the North East Autism Society. As well as being an avid reader of a wide range of books he is also a keen sportsman and intrepid traveler. In 2006 he moved to Bulgaria for 3 years before returning to England. Upon returning to the UK his BA (Ed.) teaching qualification at the University of Hull. The following year he remained at Hull to complete a Master of International Politics degree.
Ms Gemma Healey is a new edition to the Junior School team and will be teaching year 6, as well act as numeracy leader. After gaining a psychology degree, she then went on to travel and experienced teaching abroad in Africa, this led to her embarking on PGCE, which she completed at London South Bank university. After this, she went on to teach in Nepal and Kuwait before returning to England to complete her NQT year. This began in Staffordshire where she has spent her time teaching predominantly in Key Stage 2. Additionally, for the last 2 years she has been leading numeracy and EYFS across the school that she has been working in. She is also a fully-trained NQT mentor and has successfully fulfilled this role over the last year.
Samantha Wood joins the Wellington staff in Tianjin as the Head of Boarding, as well as undertaking the newly created role for Student Guidance and Welfare. She is a graduate of Lancaster University where she studied Religion and History, followed by a PGCE at the Roehampton Institute, London. Samantha has worked at several state secondary schools in the UK teaching predominantly RE, but also History, Geography, Integrated Humanities, revision skills and Learning 2 Learn. For the last 12 years she has worked as an Assistant Principal with strategic responsibilities for disadvantaged students, raising attainment, SMSC, study skills, communications, student voice and community engagement. As a member of SLT she has line managed Humanities, ICT, P.E and the Creative faculty. Previous strategic responsibilities have also included teaching and learning and marking and assessment. In her career Samantha has also been a Head of Year, Head of Faculty and trampoline coach. Samantha is a fully trained level two TEEP teacher (Teacher Effective Enhancement Programme); she has delivered staff training on teaching and learning both in her own school, and across the county. In her recent school, she established the importance of students and parents understanding how to maximize academic potential through creating the most conducive environment and being aware of how learning occurs.
Stephanie Lewis has joined as a Pre Nursery teacher from the UK. She has worked in Early Years for over 20 years, having a depth of knowledge and experiences, working with a wide range of ages and settings. She has worked in a SEN nursery for over 10 years and has expertise in Makaton signing.
Melody Lin Yuan spent four years of her life at the University of Leicester, majoring in Education. During her studies in the United Kingdom, she completed a Master’s degree, and in the meantime, she became a student ambassador and a volunteer in a language group in the university. Additionally, she was a donor to RNIB and Cancer Research. Melody has many certifications, like Etiquette & Host Vocational Qualification Certificate, Public Nutritionist Vocational Qualification Certificate, IPA (International Profession Association) Senior Chinese Language Teacher and Teacher Certificate in senior high school in China. After several years internship and working in the kindergarten, now she is a Pre-Nursery Teacher in Wellington.
Monica has more than a decade of experience in Early Childhood Learning. Her passion for developing a curriculum for very young children saw her in several leadership roles including the role of Principal of Pathways Early Years, a reputed international Pre-School in Gurgaon, India.
Her great affinity towards young children made her specialise in Early Childhood Education. She is a distinction holder both in Montessori Education from Modern Montessori International (MMI), London as well as in PGCEi from the University of Nottingham. She has experience in preschool teaching and teacher training and has headed the Teacher Training Centre of MMI India. She has worked extensively in setting up teacher training centres across India for MMI.
In a previous role she has worked as an Early Years Curriculum Specialist, working across 7 branches of Manav Rachna International Schools, India and was part of the Academic Excellence Team of International educators and advisors of School Reform from the UK. Monica helped implement an internationally recognised programme of Phonics which showed a profound improvement in the standards of reading in Early Years. She is adept in design and implementation of developmentally appropriate curricula and learning environments. She is resourceful, caring and dedicated to creating positive learning experiences for young children and teachers. Her focus and passion remained in the early learning vertical, all through her career of being an educator.
Originally from Russia, Ms. Arbon has been teaching for more than 20 years. For the past 13 years she has been living in China and teaching at Tianjin Rego International School. Her experience includes working with ESL students aged 5-12 years old. Ms. Arbon has a degree of Bachelor of Education in Teaching English as a Second Language, is a certified CELTA teacher and has attended various professional development courses related to Early Years education. In her last two years at Rego School she was a full time Nursery and Reception teacher and found it an immensely rewarding experience. She is continually amazed at how much the ’Littles’ actually teach her. She is hoping that her past experiences will help create many exciting learning opportunities for the Nursery children at Wellington. In her leisure time she loves reading, going for walks, cycling and spending time with family and friends.
Helen qualified as a teacher from Chichester Institute Southampton Centre in 2001. Since that time she has taught in a wide range of primary schools in the UK. For approximately twelve years Helen has worked within the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, teaching both nursery and reception classes. She has been a Foundation Stage Lead Teacher at two schools in which she successfully gained ‘Good, with aspects of Outstanding’ Early Years Practice with UK Ofsted Inspectors. She is a specialist Early Language Lead Practitioner and completed her Every Child a Talker qualification in 2010. For hobbies Helen enjoys horse riding, skiing, and travel.
Helen is joined at Wellington College, with her husband Neil who is Assistant Boarding Master at Benson House and their daughter Alice.
Kristy began her journey to becoming a teacher as a teaching assistant in a British school in Beijing, before returning to the UK to gain a BA (Hons) in English Literature at Canterbury Christ Church University and following it up with a PGCE in Primary Education. Upon completion of her studies, Kristy began working in a culturally diverse school in an underprivileged area of East London. She worked for three years with Years 2 and 3, as well as taking on the role of Modern Foreign Languages Coordinator. After her experiences in London, Kristy decided that it was time to take to the skies and teach abroad. Her first stop was a school in Korea, where she spent two years, first teaching Nursery and the Reception as well as taking on the role of Phonics Overseer for the Early Years’ Centre. Now she has chosen to return to China after ten years, and begin a new adventure with us here at Wellington.
Katherine Gear is pleased to join her new colleagues at Wellington College International Tianjin from the UK. She has a bachelor’s degree in Ancient History from Cardiff University and then went on to study for her PGCE (primary) at Chichester University. She originally worked as a learning facilitator in a couple of independent schools in the UK. After successfully completing her training, she taught at the International School of London in Surrey, where she worked in the Milepost 1 team, following the IPC. She enjoyed mentoring school-aged students from abroad on work experience, as well as trainee teachers taking part in a specialized International Teaching programme.
Ms. Kristen graduated from Tianjin Foreign Studies University with a bachelor’s degree, major in English and International Finance. She achieved excellence in the Test for English Major Band 8, TEMB 4, CET Grade 6 and also holds a English Teaching Certificate in China. From 2006-2009, she was a full time English teacher in the Second NanKai Middle School. From 2009 to 2011, she went to Australia to pursue her Master’s degree in the Latrobe University and was a full A student over the two year course. During her studies in Melbourne, she also taught Chinese and VCE English in many Primary Schools.
In October 2011, Ms Kristen joined the Wellington College Tianjin, she loves Wellington family and has been enjoyed working here for four years. Her aim is to become a good bilingual teacher in the near future.
Ailsa Carr has been part of the Wellington Community in Tianjin since 2014, and is now joining the teaching staff as a year 2 teacher. She has a degree in English Literature and Culture from the University of Hull, and a PGCE from the University of Sunderland. She has worked with children outside of the classroom for nearly ten years in a variety of roles through; the theatre, youth groups, educational outreach programmes and the U.K. government’s National Citizen Service. She is a keen traveler and enjoys performing arts.
Matthew has come to Wellington College after spending two years working at an international school in Bangkok where he was an acting Key Stage 1 Leader. Before qualifying as a teacher, he worked as an archaeologist in London after completing a Bachelors and Masters degree in Evolutionary Anthropology. His studies about different people around the world, both in the present and in the past, lead to his desire to work overseas to experience both the people and the culture of different countries. Teaching all about the world we live in to young children has always been an ambition and he enjoys this responsibility very much. Throughout his teaching career he has worked in a variety of roles, and in a variety of ages, however he feels a great affinity in Key Stage 1 and is very much looking forward to the forthcoming year at Wellington College and in China.
Angelica Escobar is originally from Bogota, Colombia in South America and is joined in Tianjin by her husband, Saul, along with their daughter Emilia and their son Matias, who will attend the Junior School. Angelica has been working over the past seven years in primary school (1st to 4th grade) in an IB school, supporting children in and out of the classroom. She has also been a homeroom teacher in Year 3, teaching all subject areas and for some years has taught Pastoral and Social Education to students ranging from first to fourth grade. Angelica also has experience coordinating groups of teachers in the Learning Support Department in Primary Schools. During these years, she has grown in different capacities and continues to give her very best to her students. Angelica’s studies include a B.A. in psychology, a certification as an International Positive Discipline Trainer for teachers and parents, and a variety of additional training in all areas of the education field.
Having received a BA Honours Degree in Linguistics from University College London, Edward spent the early part of his career in film and television, including working with the BBC, The Royal Ballet and Czech National Television. In 2001 Edward made the transition into Education, starting with EAL posts in China and South Korea. On his return to the UK in 2009, he was awarded a PGCE from Bath Spa University the following year and began teaching Keystage 2 in Gloucestershire, where he and his family lived until 2016. As well as extensive experience in EAL and Keystage 2 Education, Edward is also an FA Licensed Football Coach, having achieved his Level 2 Badge and coached Primary Teams to notable success in the UK.
Katie gained a BA (Hons) degree in Language, Literacy and Communication at the University of Manchester and then went on to study for her PGCE (primary) at the University of Cumbria. After completing her training in 2014, she spent a year supply teaching to gain experience in a range of schools around Lancashire. Following this in 2015, she taught in a large Blackpool primary school as a Year 3 teacher then went to teach in a small village primary school in 2016 as a year 3 and 4 teacher within a mixed year group class. In her first two years as a classroom teacher, Katie has led numerous school trips and ran an after-school girls’ football club. Katie’s hobbies are swimming, tennis and travel. This is Katie’s first international teaching post and she is looking forward to working and developing with the Wellington team.
Gary Wells is originally from England but has been living in Bogota, Colombia for over 13 years.
Gary’s route into teaching was not straightforward as he first entered the world of business where he found a passion for guiding and teaching. The key to his teaching is to have a passion and be able to transmit that to students and team members. Gary has experience in many different schools and has taught and led many different teams. For the past 6 years he was the Year 3 coordinator and homeroom teacher for an IB school in Bogota. Before that he was the English Coordinator and English Literature Teacher for various Year group levels from Year 3 to Year 10. Gary’s philosophy of teaching is inspired by a quote by Mrs Rita Person: “Every child deserves a champion; an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connections and insists that they become the best they can possibly be.” Gary’s studies include a B.A in Business and Spanish from Cambridge University, and a specialization in Bilingual Education. Gary is also a smartboard-certified trainer as well as being an ambassador of technology to teach students and teachers on the use of technology.
Accompanying him in Tianjin is his wife Andrea and their two Children Miguel Angel and Isabella.
Max completed his BA in English in 2002 before starting his teaching career in Thailand, teaching EAL for three years in a bilingual school. This experience instilled a love for teaching and he returned to New Zealand to complete a Graduate Diploma in Primary Teaching in 2008. After two enjoyable years teaching at Russley School in Christchurch, he moved to Brunei to teach for CfBT Brunei for seven years. During his time in Brunei he had the opportunity to join various educational initiatives such as; coaching local teachers in Numeracy and Literacy and being part of a team writing the Year 5 National English Curriculum for Brunei. He is currently studying a M.ED in Literacy through Massey University in New Zealand. He is with his wife and two daughters in Tianjin.
Katie joins Wellington College this year after graduating with her PGCE with QTS from the University of Brighton. After studying Dance at the University of Chichester, Katie went on to work at a secondary school in the south of England, alongside teaching dance classes to children of all ages. Katie received a Diploma for teaching in the Lifelong learning Sector in 2014 and has various teaching qualifications in dance instruction and education. One of Katie’s biggest achievements was performing in the 2012 London Olympic Opening Ceremony, alongside UK artist Dizzee Rascal. Katie is excited to work with the Wellington team and strives for an interactive, engaging and fun classroom environment.
Emma holds both Bachelor of Piano Performance and Education degrees and went to Lodz college of music as exchange student in her last year of university and graduated with honors. She has completed her MA in piano performance 2017 and now on her first year of PhD in western music history. In addition, she has obtained a TEFL certificate for Teaching English as foreign language. She hopes to pass on her knowledge and enthusiasm to the pupils at Wellington.
Alison Dovey has worked in Primary education for over 28 years. After gaining a BA (Hons) degree in music and PGCE at Leicester university she began her teaching career in 1988. For 11 years she was the music co-ordinator at a primary school in Leicester, establishing a strong choir and orchestra and directing numerous musical productions. Alison moved to a school closer to home, to bring up her two children. Whilst there, she developed her leadership skills and became responsible for RE and SMSC, promoting innovative school visits and child centred learning. Her commitment to music has always remained strong; playing the piano for the school choir, establishing an award winning orchestra, teaching the piano and violin from home and performing as a member of the Leicester Symphony Orchestra.
Liz Wei is Chinese, and has had two years’ experience teaching Mandarin in a local Chinese school. Liz has also worked for three years at an international school in Qatar, teaching Mandarin and Physical Education, and also at a local international school here in Tianjin, Rego International School. With more than ten years’ experience in international education she will be a valuable asset here at Wellington, with her knowledge of the English National Curriculum and IB PYP and MYP programmes.
Summer graduated from Tianjin University of Sport in 2002. To improve her personal teaching level and skills, she took part in an International Teaching programme at Framingham State University in 2016. She will graduate in 2018 to earn her Master’s Degree.
In the past ten years, Summer has worked at Shekou International School in Shenzhen as a teaching assistant. At the same time, she was a high school volleyball coach and helped to lead her team to six championships at the ACAMIC Volleyball Tournament in Division Ⅲ. Summer then moved to the NCIC-Immersion school where she taught P.E. During the year, she gained experience in teaching elementary school students and she looks forward to working with our young pupils this year at Wellington College.
Raisa was on the path to becoming a psychotherapist before a Fellowship with Teach for India helped her discover her true passion for education. With an undergraduate degree in English, Psychology and Journalism, a postgraduate degree in Clinical Psychology, an advanced diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, as well as a Cambridge International Certificate in Educational Leadership, she believes her experience makes her more aware of the emotional aspect of teaching and learning. Raisa has worked as a Teacher Training Coordinator, a Curriculum Developer and an Educational Consultant. Most recently, she was a Form Tutor and Primary Years English Subject Leader at an International School in India, for four years. Raisa enjoys traveling and learning about tradition and culture, and hopes to explore the beautifully diverse country that is China, during her time here.
Mrs MacKinnon has 8 years’ experience working in international schools. Her experience includes teaching EAL, teaching Pre-Nursery and school administrative officer. Mrs MacKinnon majored in English, and then earned a BA Honours Degree in Chinese Language. In addition to this she is also a holder of TEFL Certificate. She joined the College in 2012 as an EAL teacher in the Nest, was then called over to be PA to the master, both at Wellington College Tianjin and as a member of the founding team of Wellington College Shanghai. In her leisure time she loves travelling and cooking, and spending time with her new son, Lucas. Her husband, Mr. MacKinnon, teaches Biology in senior school and he is the Orange Housemaster.
Martha has a B.Ed degree from the university of Eastern Africa, Baraton with a major in English and minor in History. She has taught English/Literature and History for eight years in many public and private Schools. She has also taught EAL to adults in Singapore. Among other roles, Martha was involved in teaching EAL at Muslim Academy, Kisumu, a programme organized by the US Embassy, Nairobi. In her former schools, she enjoyed a number of activities including music, plays and poetry. She joins Wellington staff this year as EAL teacher in the Junior School where she hopes to share her skills and knowledge.
After spending two years working as a Mandarin and English teacher in Beijing, Helen has been working at international schools for ten years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from the Tianjin Foreign Studies University and holds an IPA Mandarin teaching certificate with accreditation in IGCSE and HSK. Helen has had the opportunity to work with different year groups in a Mandarin and Chinese Culture. She is also well versed in Chinese history and Chinese traditional art. She loves working with children and looks forward to teaching Mandarin at Wellington.
Ms. Angela Zhang obtained her Bachelor Degree from Tianjin University of Commerce and holds the teaching qualification, an IPA mandarin teaching certificate and TEFL. Prior to joining Wellington, she had been teaching junior students for 3 years in China. She joined Wellington Tianjin from June, 2011 as a part of the founding team. She enjoys passing on her passion of learning a new language and aims to create a communicative creative enjoyable learning environment for her pupils. In her spare time she goes to art school to learn art and drawing. Her hobbies include drawing, reading and playing guitar.
Catherine completed two Bachelor of Education degrees, English and International Business, at Tianjin Normal University. She has a TEM8 in teaching English and an ICLTA in teaching Mandarin, and is now studying for her Masters of Education in Literacy between Chinese and English. Upon graduating Catherine spent her first year teaching English in a Chinese high school before moving to an international school where she taught Junior Mandarin, English and Math for one year. She then moved to Wellington where she worked as a year 6 teaching assistant for 3 years. Although she is specialized in English, Maths and Physics, she has a particular interest in the teaching of Mandarin. Catherine is interested in music, cooking, travel and reading.
Ms. Yang Jiao (Pamela) is a holder of two Masters degrees, with specialization in Chinese Language Teaching. After working in Warsaw in Poland for two years as a Mandarin teacher, she continued her studies at The Hong Kong Institute of Education. There she was awarded the Master of Arts in Teaching Chinese as an International Language with Distinction. She has rich experience in teaching primary students in Singapore. She believes that a good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning. During her spare time, she loves travelling and reading.
Jola arrived in Tianjin from Poland, where she was working as a press officer in the National Fund of Health. She has two main specialisms, which she has acquired during her studies at the prestigious Jagiellonian University: Public Relations and teaching literature and language (in primary and secondary school). She combined these two areas at her work to create educational campaigns for children and adults. During her first year at Wellington College, Jola dedicated her time to professional development. To gain a better understanding of how to help children with special needs she completed the course ”Promoting Social Communication Skills of Pupils with Autism”. She gained also qualifications in teaching English as a foreign language and received TEFL and TESMC certificates. Jola is delighted to be working in the library this year, where she has an opportunity to use her knowledge about language, theory and the history of world literature. She believes that the library is an inspiring place for students to discover, share, and expand their horizons and imagination. Her other passions include theatre, photography and choral music.
Joanne has journeyed from Lake Taupo, New Zealand to Tianjin. She holds a Bachelor of Teaching from Waikato University, New Zealand as well as a Diploma of Teaching from Palmerston North College, New Zealand. She has also completed a TEFL certificate. Joanne has taught for over 20 years in a wide range of schools mainly in New Zealand but also Surrey, England where she was able to attend the College of Brunel to further her mathematics studies. She has experience with many age groups from preschool to high school and spent many years teaching whole class curriculum to junior school. Joanne finds it incredibly rewarding observing students gain in confidence and develop their own interests. In her spare time she can be found participating in cultural activities, walking along river banks, travelling and reading.
Vicky acts as an integral role in the SEN department. Joining WCIT in 2011 as one of the founding team members, Vicky embraces her 7th year working in WCIT. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree, and majoring in International Business, Vicky discovered her passion in teaching. Since then, she has attained a TEFL certificate; IPA qualified Senor Chinese Teaching certificate issued by United States State Department; TEMSC certificate issued by the Government of South Australia; PGCE from University of Sunderland. She is now applying for professional informed practitioner status through the British Dyslexia Association. Vicky firmly believes in quality education for every child irrespective of the student’s ability and strikes to achieve this in both her work in SEN department and as a classroom teacher.
Ms. Fiona Yu graduated from Tianjin Foreign Studies University achieving TEM Grade 8 in English and also holds a Mandarin Chinese Teaching Certificate. She has taught English to children of all ages and enjoys bringing learning alive with activities and games in and out of the classroom. At Wellington College she hopes her pupils love and enjoy their learning with the enthusiasm she gives each day. In her spare time she enjoys reading, dancing and aerobics.
Ms. Ashley Li obtained her Bachelor Degree in English Teaching from Tianjin Normal University and also holds Chinese English Teaching Certificate and ESL teaching certificate from government of South Australia teacher development course. Before joining Wellington, she had been teaching English in a Chinese primary school with Year 2 to Year 5 students,so she has wide experience about teaching English to second language learners. She is an optimistic person who likes DIY, painting and travel. She plans to provide interesting and challenging classes for her students and wishes that all the students in Wellington have a brilliant future.
Sonya Zhang graduated from Tianjin Nankai University majoring in Law, achieving grades for CET Grade 4 and 6. She has obtained Chinese English Teaching Qualification and TESL teaching Certificate. She is experienced with teaching EAL students on account of seven years’ work in language training schools. Sonya thinks teaching is a process of learning and likes all students to get involved in the class instead of just being a listener. She enjoys working with children all over the world since joined Wellington Junior School in 2013.