Ashbourne Staff

One of the great things about Ashbourne is the excellent and enduring relationships between staff and students.

Principal and founder

Mike Kirby founded Ashbourne College in 1981. The college now employs a large number of teaching and operational staff.

Students are encouraged to use first names with their teachers and are not required to wear school uniform, which helps engender mutual respect and approachability.

Senior Management

Michael Kirby


MSc (London); BApSc (Toronto); MInstD

Mike Kirby founded Ashbourne College in 1981 and has since presided over its continuing academic development and growth in reputation.

Mike studied Aerospace Engineering at the University of Toronto and Statistics in London. He is a key figure in the promotion of independent education in the UK through bodies such as the Council for Independent for Further Education (CIFE). He is a former main member for the Admissions Panel for Medicine at UCL.

Mike is Head of Faculty for Maths and teaches at A level.

Lee Kirby

Director of Studies and Head of Sixth Form

Lee provides individual attention and support to each student in order to oversee and ensure their academic and personal success whilst at the college.

He collaborates with the Heads of Faculty, Personal Tutors, teachers and the Operations Team to motivate and support students in all aspects of their education so they can reach their potential.

Lee has been instrumental in building a strong and dynamic team of staff and is responsible for supporting and facilitating staff development and overall operational management of the college. He is also Ashbourne’s SENDCO and Deputy Safeguarding Lead.

Lee has a passion for all things Vietnamese and has spent much time in the country performing as a singer songwriter and professional football player. He is a qualified FA coach and has also played semi-professionally in the UK.

Senior Leadership Team - Academic

Sean Pillai

Head of Sixth Form and Careers Leader

MEng Civil Engineering with Business Management (Warwick University); QTS

As Head of Sixth Form Sean plays a very active role offering students the high levels of individual attention and support required to enable them to reach their academic potential and make the right decisions for the next stages of their lives.

Sean teaches A level Maths and Further Maths at Ashbourne and worked in investment banking before joining the college in 2015. Students benefit from his experience and guidance as well as his enthusiasm for them to thoroughly enjoy their experience at the college. He is keen sportsman, drummer and volunteers and fundraises for charities.

James Wykes

Assistant Director of Studies and Leader of Faculties

MA Modern Literatures in English (Birkbeck, University of London); BA English Literature (University of Wales); PGCE English (King’s College)

James has made an outstanding contribution to the academic development of the college, since joining in 2007. As well as leading the hugely successful English Faculty, he has been pivotal in establishing Drama as a vital part of Ashbourne’s curriculum.

James has also enriched the college’s cultural life with initiatives that have ranged from the college newspaper to very popular critical theory seminars, which he runs with Wesley Rykalski.

As Assistant Director of Studies and Leader of Faculties, James has guided and motivated countless Ashbourne students

Amy Youngman

Head of Faculty for Natural Sciences and Head of Sixth Form

BSc Neuroscience (Kings College, London); QTS

Studying Neuroscience was what first motivated Amy to share her love of science, and expertise, with others. She is particularly fascinated by human biology and immunology and, not surprisingly, does a fantastic job inspiring and enabling her students to explore and develop their own passions.

Amy joined Ashbourne in 2015 as Head of Faculty for Natural Sciences and leads Ashbourne’s Medical School Programme, providing the practical support and guidance students require to make successful applications for highly competitive university degree courses in medicine and dentistry. She draws on years of experience as head of science, teaching and as a UCL Medical School interviewer.

As Ashbourne’s Head of Sixth Form, Amy also offers students the high level of individual support and encouragement they need to ensure they find the right career pathway, achieve their academic potential and secure a place at their chosen university.

Senior Leadership Team - Operations

Fran Burns

Designated Safeguarding Lead

Master of Fine Arts (Ohio); BA History and Drama (Liverpool)

Fran plays a critical role as Ashbourne’s Designated Safeguarding Lead. She has many years experience delivering specialist programmes in student health and wellbeing and plays a key role in PSHEE education and developing policy at Ashbourne.

She believes that supporting students in all aspects of their lives is one of the key factors helping them reach their personal and academic potential.

Fran has plenty of teaching experience too and was formerly head of drama.

Fabio Carpene

IT and Facilities Manager

Fabio manages the day-to-day running of the college’s premises and communications systems. He is responsible for health and safety at the college as well as data protection and security of the college IT system.

Fabio has played a major role in the development of the college’s databases and is instrumental in the running of the college. He has been working at Ashbourne since 2005.

Fabio is passionate about football and has played professionally and semi-professionally in the UK. He manages Ashbourne’s successful Allstars Football Team.

Hien Nguyen

Head of Administration

MSc International Finance (University of Westminster); BA Account, Finance and Management (University of Nottingham)

Hien manages Ashbourne’s Administration team as well as offering support to students, teachers, parents and everyone else involved with the college.

Hien is also responsible for many aspects of the college’s compliance with current education legislation; she has played an absolutely essential role in fulfilling the college’s obligations. She also manages Ashbourne’s Easter Revision Programme.

Heads of Faculty

Dennis Fulcher

Head of Faculty for Multimedia and Social Sciences

MA Government and Political Studies (London Metropolitan University); BSc Hons Sociology (Kingston); NVQ L4 Print Journalism (Richmond Adult Community College); PGCE (Greenwich)

Dennis is a senior member of staff and has been working at Ashbourne for many years. He teaches a broad range of subjects including Politics, Film, Media, Law and Psychology. He is also a team leader for Politics A level examiners

Dennis takes a multidisciplinary approach to teaching and combines his technical expertise and years of experience to create lively and engaging classes for his students. As a result Dennis’ students consistently achieve excellent grades and rate their overall learning experience highly.

Dennis is a lifelong film enthusiast.

Alberto Lado Rey

Head of Faculty for Languages

MA Hispanic Studies (UCL); BA English Language Studies (University of Santiago de Compestela, Spain); Teachers Training Certificate (University of Santiago de Compestela, Spain)

Alberto is Faculty Head of Languages at Ashbourne and has been teaching at the college since 2000. He teaches Spanish, English Literature and Film Studies. He is also principal examiner for the Spanish AS topics and texts unit.

Alberto has a lifelong passion for film and the world of filmmaking. He specialises in national cinema – Spanish and Latin American cinema in particular – and auteur theory, especially when applied to classic Hollywood directors.

William Stockland

Head of Faculty for Culture and Society

MA History of Art (University of Edinburgh); BA Art History (University of Edinburgh)

Will teaches History of Art and leads Ashbourne’s successful Oxbridge Programme providing the practical support and guidance students require to make successful applications to Oxford or Cambridge universities.

He is passionate about sharing his own love of art and its history, having studied both Western and Eastern art history, and is the author of several art-historical publications.

Will has been teaching at Ashbourne for many years but has also taught at the Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, among other places, and has assisted with research and cataloguing at the Ashmolean Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Personal Tutors

Philip Arnold

Year 12 Personal Tutor and Biology teacher

MSc Climate Science and Policy (University of Bristol); BSc Biological Sciences (University of Warwick)

Philip supports and guides year 12 students in their academic progress, welfare and personal development during their time at the college.

He is passionate about environmental issues and not only brings his research experience in this area to his Biology teaching but also in genetics and evolution, animal and plant biology, clinical microbiology and ecology.

Alex Goodwin

Assistant Head of Faculty for Natural Sciences, Year 12 Personal Tutor and Chemistry teacher

BSc (Hons) Medical Science (University of Birmingham); PGDipEd (University of Birmingham)

Alex is the Assistant Head of Faculty for Natural Sciences and also supports and guides year 12 students in their academic progress, welfare and personal development during their time at the college.

Alex brings not only his passion for science to the classroom but professional experience and expertise in chemistry and teaching. He believes students should play a pivotal role in their own learning success and has been teaching the subject for more than four years with great results.

Katie Pettitt

Year 12 Personal Tutor and History of Art teacher

MA Contemporary Art Theory and Criticism (Essex); BA English Literature and History of Art (Joint Honours) (Birmingham); PGCE (UEL)

Katie supports and guides year 12 students in their academic progress, welfare and personal development during their time at the college. She also manages the IELTS programme.

Katie has been teaching History of Art and English at Ashbourne for many years. She is passionate about engaging students’ interest and encouraging them to develop their enthusiasm for literature and art history both in and outside the classroom.

She has played various roles in the arts sector in London, including working for the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Anne Thorne Architects and the Olympic Delivery Authority, for which she collaborated with internationally acclaimed artists on innovative and high-profile art projects in and around London’s Olympic Park.

Before teaching at Ashbourne, Katie established History of Art A level at the International School of Creative Arts, the only specialist day and boarding school run in association with University of the Arts London.


Leona Potter

Year 12 Personal Tutor, Psychology teacher

BSc Psychology (Leeds University)

Leona was a former Head of Psychology and Forensic Science and has many years experience teaching in state and private sector education. She is also a qualified AQA examiner. Leona teaches A level Psychology at Ashbourne.

Leona loves snow and surf and is a ski instructor and competitive wakeboarder. She also rides horses, is a keen travel photographer and textile designer.

Jo-Lee Schwaeble

Year 12 Personal Tutor and Drama teacher

BA (Hons) Drama; BA Drama & Theatre Studies; PGCE (Stellenbosch University)

Jo-Lee is a very active member of Ashbourne community and is always ready to share her love for the arts and learning. She has high expectations for her students so they are challenged and alway striving for excellence. Her aim is to help them unlock their love of learning so that it will become a fulfilling, enjoyable and lifelong pursuit.

Jo-Lee loves all things art, music, drama and dance, as well as outdoor activities, yoga and meditation.

Teaching Staff

Benvinda Alves

French teacher

BA Applied Foreign Languages, English and French Literature (University of Nanterre, Paris); BA Portuguese, Society and Culture (University of Lisbon); PGCE Modern Foreign Languages (University of North London)

Benvinda joined Ashbourne as a part time language teacher after attaining her PGCE in Modern Languages.

Benvinda speaks Portuguese, Spanish and Italian. She is a keen runner and has competed in a few marathons.

Snaa Ashraf

English Language and Literature teacher

MA English in Education (Kings College London); BA English Language (Kent); PGCE (Canterbury)

Snaa is an experienced and passionate English teacher whose focus is building students’ confidence, helping them to develop and practice examination technique and revise effectively. She applies her thorough understanding of the current debates in education, the examination process and assessment to her teaching.

She is a fitness enthusiast and enjoys trying out creative and healthy recipes with her family.

Cristiana Bottigella

Italian teacher

MA Cultural Policies (London City Univerisity); BA Italian Literature and Contemporary Art (Milan Catholic University)

Cristiana has been teaching Italian at Ashbourne for many years and draws on her love of contemporary literature and art for inspiration in her classes. She has experience teaching in Germany, Austria and Italy with students studying a variety of levels.

Joanna Budden

History teacher

BA History (Leeds); PGCE (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Joanna has been teaching history at Ashbourne for many years. She offers her students excellent levels of individual attention and a thorough exam-based approach to the subject as she is also an Edexcel examiner.

Joanna taught overseas before joining the college in 2010. She is a keen traveller and loves the great outdoors.

George Chaldezos

Classical Civilisation teacher

BA Hons (University of Thessaloniki); BA Hons (Cologne); PhD study (Cambridge); PGCE (London)

George teaches Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation, and has been head of Ashbourne’s Classics department since 2003. He is a member of the Association for Latin Teaching and is an assistant examiner for the OCR exam board and the Cambridge Pre-U.

Nick Cheeseman

Art teacher

MA Fine Art (Chelsea College of Arts, UAL); BA Hons Fine Art (Staffordshire University); PGCE Art and Design (Bath Spa University)

Nick brings a wealth of experience and passion for teaching art to Ashbourne. He is a practising artist who has exhibited his work across the UK and has been teaching for more than seven years. He has also been an Edexcel exam moderator for GCSE and A level. Nick joined the college in 2016.

Irwin Chin

Computer Science Teacher

BEng Electrical Engineering (Imperial College, London); QTC in ICT (Hertfordshire University)

Irwin has been teaching Mathematics and Computer Science for more than 30 years, as well as lecturing in Electrical Engineering. Along with this extensive experience he brings a wealth of expertise in programming robotics and applying high-level programming languages. 

In his spare time, Irwin loves playing the piano, singing and writing children’s books. He is also a football coach and ref.

Richard Clark

Maths teacher

Maths integrated masters (Bath University); PGCE Secondary Maths (Oxford University)

Richard has experience teaching Maths from pre-GCSE level all the way up to first year undergraduate. He has taught in both state and private sector schools in the UK and Australia. Richard also worked as a software developer for a company providing services for major UK retailers. He currently teaches GCSE and A level Maths at Ashbourne.

Anastasia Eleftheriou

Computer Science teacher

PhD Complex Systems Simulation (University of Southampton); BEng (Hons) Computing (Imperial College London)

Anastasia has experience teaching up to degree level and brings plenty of practical knowledge to the classroom.

She is a researcher, academic and entrepreneur in computer science, new tech and its application. She is the director and co-founder of a technology research and innovation organisation that develops educational intervention platforms and has published papers on a range of topics. Anastasia also serves on the scientific committee of the Educational and Development Conference and is a member of the European Female Founders Forum, chaired by the European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel.

Anastasia has a great love for dance and practises many different styles.

Philip Ellis-Martin

Maths teacher

BA (Hons) Mathematics (Warwick University); PGCE Secondary Mathematics (University of East London)

Phil has a first class degree in Maths with experience teaching the subject up to A level.

He is also a session musician on drums and bass and has his own band.

Wishanka Graceme Gregory

Psychology teacher

BA Psychology (Missouri University of Science and Technology); PG Dip Education (Open University of Sri Lanka)

Wishanka is continually exploring and deepening her own understanding of psychology whilst sharing her knowledge and experience with her students. She has been teaching for more than nine years at GCSE and A level as well as working as assistant head of sixth form at her previous school. 

Wishanka loves singing.

Danielle Grover

English Literature teacher

PhD English Literature (University of Southampton); MA English Literature (University of Warwick); PGCE Secondary English (Durham University)

Danielle loves English literature, particularly 18th Century novels, and brings her enthusiasm and knowledge to the classroom to inspire her students. She has plenty of experience teaching in the independent sixth-form sector and has presented her own research at conferences abroad and in published articles in the UK and internationally, which she shares with her students to inspire and engage.

In additional to her own research and writing on 18th Century fiction, Danielle also runs courses on Jane Austen. She is also a trained musician and teaches piano.

Zeinab Hendawi

Arabic teacher

Master of Education in Teaching Arabic to Speakers of Other Languages (Universal American University); BA English Literature (University of Aleppo)

Zeinab has many years’ experience teaching university students and international students in Singapore, as well as adult learners and language students in the UK. She loves exploring foreign languages and developing her teaching resources. She particularly enjoys organising language-based cultural events relating to the arts, music, food and competitions. 

Luke Hogan

Mathematics teacher

BSc Pure and Applied Mathematics (Sheffield University); PGCE (Sheffield University); NPQH (Lancaster University)

Luke has more than 30 years’ experience in education as a teacher, teacher trainer, head of department and vice and acting principal. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise to help his students achieve the best results. 

He loves film, dance and theatre, sings in a band and played semi-professional football, which he can coach as well as and other sports.

Susana Leon De Torres

Spanish teacher

BA Philology with English; Teacher training (University of Seville)

Susana has been teaching for many years with excellent results and loves to enrich her student’s learning experience through extracurricular cultural and language events including cinema, theatre and art.

She has plenty of experience working within in a modern foreign languages department and providing academic and pastoral support as a personal tutor.

Susana is a native Spanish speaker from Seville. She loves theatre and going to exhibitions.

Caterina Lewis

Art teacher

MA and BA Fine Art (Central St. Martins); PGCE Art and Design (Institute of Education, University of London)

Caterina is a practising fine artist who has plenty of experience curating exhibitions and working with galleries. She has been teaching art and design for many years to a wide range of age groups including at GCSE and A level and joined Ashbourne’s Art Faculty in 2016.

Gabriella Li

Mathematics teacher

BSc Maths; PGCE Education (Durham)

Gabriella is not only passionate about bringing her expertise in Maths to the classroom but also shares stories about the subject, its history and related areas, such as music, on her own ‘maths channel’. She has six years’ experience and a comprehensive theoretical foundation for effective teaching.

Gabriella loves outdoor adventures, is a keen pianist and ballet dancer and makes her own handicrafts.

Chella Nathan

Maths and Physics teacher

MSc Mathematics (The Open University); PGCE (University of Greenwich); BEng (Hons) Electronics and Communication (University of North London); BSc Physics, Pure Mathematics and Statistics (University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka)

Chella has been teaching Mathematics and Physics for more than twenty five years. Year after year he remains one of Ashbourne’s most popular Maths teachers. He has also headed up the college’s astro-physics club for many years.

Chella’s research interests are number theory and the development of renewable energy sources.

Bruce Ng

Economics Teacher and Head of Finance Programme

BA Economics (University of Wisconsin, USA); PDip Education (Chinese University, Hong Kong)

Bruce is an expert in conveying abstract economic concepts and models through the use of real-world examples to help students appreciate the relevance to their lives and to foster a deeper understanding of the topics. He has many years’ teaching experience, in both Maths and Economics, and is well-equipped to engage and motivate students individually and in groups.

Bruce is a doubles tennis player in local leagues and was a previously a competitive swimmer and coach. 

Betul Gultekin Ozbal

Turkish teacher

BA Philosophy; Certificate in Pedagogy (Istanbul University)

Betul is a passionate and dedicated high school teacher from Istanbul now teaching GCSE and A level Turkish at several private colleges in London, including Ashbourne. She also works as an assessment associate at Pearson UK for GCSE/IGCSE Turkish exam. She designs lessons and subject materials based on individual students. 

Before moving to London, Betal worked in a variety of fields building up her experience to teach young adults. She has engaged in academic research, self-motivation techniques, entrepreneurship and acquiring different skills. Having travelled extensively she brings her ‘travel, discover, learn’ motto to the classroom to inspire and teach her students. She also loves to maximise her students’ vision and knowledge through gamification, mind games, creative drama and P4C.

Nayan Patel

Biology teacher

BSc Biological Sciences (University of Bangor); PGCE Biology (University of Oxford)

Nayan loves sharing his passion for biology and curiosity about the natural world. He brings plenty of practical experience to the classroom, having worked in pharmacy previously, and is dedicated to helping students get to grips with challenging topics and building confidence to excel in their exams .

Nayan is a keen cricket and lacrosse fan, likes cooking and enjoys a good walk in the great outdoors.

Virash Patel

Chemistry teacher

BSc (Hons) (CSci), CChem (FRSC)

Virash has been teaching at Ashbourne for many years. Before joining the college he held the roles of Director of Studies and Head of Chemistry, as well as teaching Biology and Chemistry. In addition to his teaching roles, Virash has worked as an analytical chemist in industry, and was awarded a fellowship from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Virash helps prepare students for entry onto medicine related courses, as well as Oxbridge and offers instruction and guidance to students in their UCAS applications.

Michael Peat

Philosophy teacher

BD Hons, DipTheol (London); BSc Hons (Birmingham) Religious Studies, Mathematics and Philosophy

Michael has been teaching Philosophy at Ashbourne for many years now and enjoys a philosophical debate with anyone and everyone. Students benefit from his research, enthusiasm and knowledge.

Michael has a broad academic background with his first degree in Physics. He did doctoral studies in methodology and hermeneutics in Philadelphia and returned to lecture to under- and postgraduate students in the UK.

Michael is also a keen chess player and runs Ashbourne’s club with Chris Todd who teaches Chemistry.

Abigail Pillai

English Language and Literature teacher

BA English; PGCE Secondary English (UCL)

Abigail is enthusiastic to share how English literature and language can engender empathy, provide a platform for many voices and empower both the author and reader. Her teaching experience and passion for the subject have been instrumental in helping students achieve excellent results.

Abigail takes inspiration from nature and is a keen runner and explorer. She is also studying for a masters in creative writing.

Josh Ray

Mathematics teacher

MSci Chemistry (Imperial College, London)

Josh brings his passion for Maths and science to the classroom coming from a background in the corporate world. He has experience teaching Maths, Chemistry and Physics.

Wesley Rykalski

History teacher

MA Medieval Studies (UCL); BA History (UCL)

Wesley teaches History and co-runs a very popular weekly Critical Theory seminar with James Wilkes, English teacher and Head of Faculties. Wesley is also responsible for research development for teaching at the college.

Imran Shah

Maths and Physics teacher

BSc (Hons) Physics (Imperial College London)

Imran has been teaching Maths and Physics at Ashbourne for many years.

Imran is a keen sportsman and takes promotes a better understanding of science in society.

Chunzi Song

Chinese teacher

MSc International Management (Roehampton University); BA Business Communication (Middlesex University)

Chunzi has been studying and working in the UK for many years, largely in the business sector. She really enjoys helping students learn Chinese and begin to discover different aspects about the country and culture.

Stefania Spinu

Economics teacher

MA Economic Policy and Analysis, Economics of Sustainable Development (University of Nantes, France); BA Economics (University of Bucharest ASE); PGCE Economics (Institute of Education, UCL)

Stefania specialises in economic analysis, and environmental and sustainable economics. She is also an Edexcel examiner for Economics.

Stefania loves painting and clay modelling, music and cinema, aquariums and space. She’s also a runner.

Jak Sritraipop

Graphics teacher

BA in Applied Arts (Photography) (Silapakorn University, Thailand)

Jak has helped develop a flourishing graphics department within the Art Faculty at Ashbourne over the many years she has been teaching at the college. She is a photographer, loves film production and has a wealth of experience working in the advertising industry and as a television director in Thailand.


Sarah Thompson

Psychology teacher

MA Human Sciences (Oxford University); MSc Neuroscience (UCL)

Sarah brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to her lessons inspiring her students to engage fully with the subject and achieve success in the exams. She joined Ashbourne in September 2014. Before turning to teaching in 2010, she spent several years working in research, first at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge and at the Centre for Cognitive and Neural Systems at Boston University, and has published original research papers in the fields of cognitive neuroscience and psychophysics.

Chris Todd

Chemistry teacher

BSc Hons Chemical Sciences (East Anglia); PGCE Chemistry (Roehampton); HoD Biology

Chris has been at Ashbourne for many years. He is a demanding but popular and successful teacher. Prior to teaching Chris worked as a research chemist in the field of semi conductors, then in investment banking before taking his PGCE.

Chris’ particular passion is chess; he runs a team in the London Chess League and together with Michael Peat runs the Ashbourne chess club.


Sakae Ueno

Japanese teacher

Teacher Training Certificate in Japanese  (Japan)

Sakae has been teaching Japanese for many years in a wide range of schools and colleges within London.

Sakae’s hobbies include travel, drawing and flower arranging.

Lauren Vanderhurst Moorley

English teacher

MA English: Issues in Modern Culture (University College London); BA (Hons) English Literature (University of California); PGCE (Institute of Education, UCL)

Lauren’s love and enthusiasm for English inspires her students to find their own passion and embrace all that the subject has to offer. She is one of Ashbourne’s most encouraging and effective teachers who has played a full and active role in the college’s academic and cultural life since joining in 2014.

Kateryna Varyukhina

Russian teacher

CELTA (British Study Centres); MA French as Foreign Language (University of Rouen); Teaching Diploma English and French (Kiev Linguistic University)

Katya has been teaching A level and GCSE Russian for more than five years with excellent results. She loves teaching and creates bespoke learning resources introducing elements of history, sociology, literature and cinema studies into the course to make it fun and engage students in lively activities and discussions. She taught Russian and French at Brunel University and London Metropolitan University as well as language schools. 

Katya enjoys theatre and travel and has put on Russian and French plays. She also loves music and literature.

Michael Wilkinson

Politics teacher

MSc Politics Sociology (Birkbeck College, University of London); BA Politics (SOAS)

Michael has been teaching at Ashbourne for many years. He previously worked as a researcher at the Home Office gaining first-hand insight into the nature of the UK political then he has been involved in freelance social research work at the University of Surrey, and he tutors on some of their undergraduate courses in Sociology.

Yat-Soon Yeo

Music teacher

MA Music, Historical Musicology (King’s College, London); BA Music (King’s College, London); PGCE Harpiscord and Conducting (Guildhall School of Music and Drama); PCGE Secondary Music (Institute of Education, University of London)

Yat-Soon is a professional musician, conductor and musical director who has performed extensively as a solo harpsichordist and in ensembles at many prestigious and historic venues in the UK and Europe. He has also conducted widely acclaimed productions of baroque opera and vocal music including for the London Baroque Opera and is musical director with Opéra de Baugé in France.

Yat-Soon has been sharing his love of music and wealth of professional and educational experience for many years as teacher and director of music at schools, including St Paul’s Girls and Lady Eleanor Holles, and Birmingham University.

Mark Youngman

Biology teacher

BSc (Hons) Biochemistry (Southampton University)

Mark teaches Science and Biology at Ashbourne. He has been teaching since 2011 and was head of Biology at his previous college.

Mark is a qualified tennis coach, keen cricketer and loves a visit to the zoo.


Suzanna Liu

Deputy Head of Admissions and Finance Officer

BA (Hons) French and German (King’s College London)

Suzanna is responsible for finance and all applications and admissions to the college as well as managing overseas visa requirements and working with educational agents worldwide. She also produces marketing materials for the college. Suzanna joined Ashbourne in 2014.

Marcus Loudon Bermúdez

Deputy Head of Admissions and Administration

BA (Hons) English and American Literature and Spanish (University of Kent)

Marcus assists with the welfare of the students, manages agent relations as well as overseeing students from Europe and Turkey. He also currently helps coordinate administration at the college.

He joined Ashbourne after graduating from university. He spent a year abroad in Alicante, Spain, where he studied translation along with developing his language skills.

Marcus loves literature and languages, and speaks Spanish and English, and moderate German and Italian.

Anh Nguyen

Deputy Head of Admissions

BA (Hons) Graphics Design New Media (University for the Creative Arts)

Anh plays a main role in recruiting and welcoming new students to Ashbourne. She works closely with overseas agents to promote and facilitate student enrolment and often represents the college at recruitment events. She creates marketing materials and manages social media.

Anh loves world cuisine, performing arts and languages. She is fluent in English, Vietnamese and French.


Christelle Bou Dagher

College Administrator

Christelle works as part of Ashbourne’s dynamic admin team and offers academic support to students.

She has previous experience as a volunteer teacher with an NGO working with orphaned children in Lebanon. She is also a recent Ashbourne graduate who achieved outstanding A level results and is now studying for MSc in Physics with Theoretical Physics at Imperial College London.

Christelle loves meeting new people, has taken to playing volleyball and really enjoys hiking with her university society.

Nicola Brownless

Relations Officer

BA Fine Art (Loughborough); Dip Art & Design (City and Guilds)

Nicola plays a key role in developing both Ashbourne’s internal and external relationships; her communication and collaboration with external schools and organisations is key to connecting Ashbourne to its wider community.

Nicola also assists the Admissions Team within the Marketing department, helping to promote the college both within the UK and overseas. She has been an enthusiastic member of the Ashbourne community both as a successful former student and having worked directly for the Director of Studies. She brings marketing and publicity experience to the role, which she gained through her time working in the care sector.

Nicola enjoys making art, running and is a mean contender in the staff versus student go-kart competitions.

Zivile Buineviciute

College Administrator

BSc Music Technology (York)

Zivile brings a level of calm to an otherwise frenetic and busy school admin environment. She has previous college experience as an event organiser and administrator, as well as in the hospitality sector.

Zivile’s hobbies include a wealth of positive wellbeing activities such as listening to classical and peaceful music, meditation and exploring consciousness, healthy eating and staying active.

George Danilenko

College Administrator

George is an active member of the administration team. He has plenty of valuable experience in many aspects of College life as a successful former student.

He is currently completing his degree in Computer Science at King’s College London and has recently undertaken a range of internships from data analysis and software engineering to investment banking.

George is a champion robotics engineer. He loves Formula 1, boxing and is a Taekwondo black belt.

Mihaela Dimova

College Administrator

Mihaela is a member of the College’s admin team and also runs Ashbourne’s experimental research club for students to explore and develop their own projects.

She is a successful former Ashbourne student and is currently a psychology undergrad at UCL. She is passionate about academic research and exploring the intersection between neuropsychology and the arts. She also has experience teaching A level Biology.

Mihaela loves art, playing the guitar and making great vegan food.

Gianna Mathew

College Administrator

Gianna works part-time as a member of Ashbourne’s busy admin team having recently excelled in her A levels. She brings with her volunteering experience within the care sector and as chief editor for her previous college’s editorial committee. She is currently studying for a BSc in Psychology at UCL.

Gianna loves fine art, singing and creative writing. 

Navid Noori

College Administrator

Navid is a keen member of the admin team who also helps run the A level Politics clinic supporting students as well as running the college’s Model United Nations club. He is a successful former student and is currently reading Law at Queen Mary University, London, to become a solicitor.

Margaret Rennie

College Administrator 

Diploma in Business Studies; Diploma in Marketing; Book Keeping and Accounts (College of N.W. London)

Margaret is an experienced member of Ashbourne’s admin team. She manages the Young Street reception welcoming visitors, responding to calls and monitoring attendance, amongst other tasks. She has been working in administration for 20 years, including internationally over the last five years in the education sector.

She enjoys traveling, sightseeing and interactive activities.

Simone Shaw

SEND Assessor and Nominated Safeguarding Director

Diploma French (Institut Francais du Royaume Universite); SPLD Diploma (Hornsby International Dyslexia Institute)

Simone is a dyslexia tutor and specialist assessor qualified to carry out the Access Arrangements tests for examination concessions. Simone is responsible for ensuring all Form 8s, required for Access Arrangements, are processed for SEND applications. Simone is the Nominated Safeguarding Director, responsible for overseeing the management and adherence to safeguarding policies and procedures at the college.

Aida Sincheva

College Administrator, Compliance and Exam Assistant

BSc Mathematics; PGCE Secondary Maths (Loughborough University)

Aida brings extensive experience and a passion for managing and delivering high quality and effective educational provision to help students to achieve their academic goals. In additional to teaching Mathematics, she has also led high-profile events working across multidisciplinary teams. As a member of Ashbourne’s administration team she focuses on compliance and examinations, amongst many other tasks.

In her spare time, Aida enjoys a heady combination of activities from sewing and reading to bouldering and, of course, Mathematics.

Catherine Tang

Activities and Middle School Support Officer 

MPhil in Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature (Cambridge University); BA Linguistics (UCL)

Catherine organises student activities and events and provides academic and pastoral support for the Middle School, as well as assisting A level students with UCAS and overseas applications. She helps plan the careers programme and produces marketing material. Catherine also chairs Ashbourne’s Creative Writing Club.

Catherine was the President of UCL Writers’ Society as well as Cambridge University Poetry and Prose Society, and led UniSlam teams for both universities. She is a lover and prolific writer of poetry, short stories, novels and scripts for online games.

Marita Thomas

Administrator and Academic Support

BSc Psychology (Queen Mary’s, University of London)

Marita works with the Director of Studies to offer academic support to Ashbourne’s psychology students, she coordinates the college’s summer programmes and is part of the wider administration team. Marita has plenty of Ashbourne experience and enthusiasm, being a former student. She has always played an active part in college life and performance of all kinds, including debate.

Zilan Zhou

College Administrator 

MA TESOL (King’s College London); BA History, Teacher Education (South China Normal University)

Zilan is a member of Ashbourne’s busy Admin team and helps to manage the Easter Revision programme, individual tuition programme and Parents’ Evening. She has three years of international experience in the education sector both as an EFL teacher and administrator providing specialist advice on learning skills and goals, and working in recruitment.

Zilan loves being out and about in nature, meeting new people and enjoying quiet time to read.

Sean Yip

Compliance and Timetable Officer

BSc Exercise and Sport Science (University of Exeter)

Sean is responsible for a wide range of clerical and administrative duties at Ashbourne largely at our Old Court Place premises.

Sean loves football, plays violin and took part in London Youth Games 2010.

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