background image

MEET OUR TEACHERS

Our worldwide classrooms are led by world-class teachers who are passionate about educating the world leaders of tomorrow

Our faculty of excellence

Our academic faculty have been rigorously vetted and thoughtfully selected for their inspiration, engagement and proven track record of outstanding student results.

Our fully registered teachers are based in New Zealand and the United Kingdom and bring, on average, 20 years of teaching experience.

From their qualifications and vision for education to their teaching history and philosophy, get to know them more deeply here and, if you are an educator, explore a career with Crimson Global Academy.

CGA Teaching Staff

Meet our teachers

Meet our Deputy Principal, Max Thomson. Max’s great involvement in education includes several Head of Department positions in Science and Biology, both in New Zealand and Middle Eastern International schools. Max has also authored and revised education resources including biology workbooks, and for several years tutored all the New Zealand International Biology Olympiad candidates. Max is excited to help CGA change our students’ lives!

International GCSE and A Level Teachers

Vikki Adams - English

Hi! Welcome to CGA. My name is Vikki Adam and I am an English teacher currently based in NZ.

I began my teaching career nearly twenty years ago here in NZ. I taught NCEA English (Levels One to Three) and Social Studies for six years. I then moved to Brunei Darussalam where I taught AS and A Level English for twelve years up until I moved back to NZ in December 2020. Although I really loved teaching in Brunei, I am glad to be home and very excited to be joining CGA!

I have a BA with a double major in Literature and History, a Graduate Diploma of Teaching and an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language. I also have a CELTA, a DELTA and I am an IELTS examiner. Recently, I was awarded the English Speaking Union Award for Teachers for 2020 from Victoria University. 

I love learning and I love teaching. I particularly love teaching when my students are motivated, enthusiastic, willing to think critically and who wish to challenge themselves. Does this sound like you?****

I look forward to meeting you and I wish you all the best for your studies. 

Jamie Robinson - Biology

Hi CGA Students! Welcome to our world. I am Dr Jamie Robinson. I look forward to meeting you and getting you as interested in biology as I am. I am based in Canada but I am originally from England, where I taught for many years. I studied Natural Sciences and specialised in Zoology at Cambridge University before completing a PhD in Palaeontology in London. I also trained as a teacher in London.

I love all aspects of biology from the micro to the macro and the all encompassing wonder of evolution by natural selection. Away from biology (at least partly!) I love canoeing, kayaking, snowshoeing and generally anything out in the wild.

If you are studying biology I hope to see you soon in our CGA lessons.

Janet Leeke - Mathematics

Introduction video

Hello and welcome to CGA. I am sure you are all very excited about starting your educational journey with us; I am really looking forward to meeting you and teaching you Mathematics.

My name is Janet Leeke and I have been teaching Mathematics for 26 years in the UK. I have taught in three, quite different schools, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. In my most recent school,  I was fortunate to teach many overseas students and have been inspired by their strong work ethic and ultimate successes.

I was born in Liverpool but studied in Leicester. After graduating, I spent 18 months working in London for a financial company, this offered me invaluable experience before starting my teaching career. At my previous schools I have run the UK Maths Challenge, a country wide competition for the brightest Mathematicians. I have also been very much involved in extra curricular activities as I feel they have such a big part to play in developing students’ whole school experience.

I am sure we will meet very soon, and I look forward to working with you and providing you with everything you need to maximise your potential.

Jonny Beaver - Physics

My name is Jonny Beaver and I am really excited to be teaching Physics at CGA :). 

This is my first year at CGA. Prior to this I was Academic Coordinator and Physics teacher for nine years at Wellington International School in Dubai. I have also taught at Muscat International School in Oman, the British International School in Istanbul for 2 years and a range of schools in New Zealand.

I am always looking for new and innovative ways to teach and take a keen interest in the changing world of education. Every class has students with a variety of learning styles, so it is important to reach out to students with a variety of media and teaching methods. As a trained Physical Education teacher I really believe in a “hands on” approach to students learning. I also believe in this data – rich world that we must use data to our advantage. It gives a wonderful insight into the students’ abilities in a class and allows differentiated lessons in order to engage all students at the level of their ability and in the way they learn. Lastly to ensure a complete “world citizen” it is so important for students to be involved in extra – curricular activities as this teaches them social and emotional skills.

In my spare time I enjoy exercise of any sort. I am a keen surfer and swimmer, I also enjoy road cycling, running, touch rugby, snowboarding and hiking.

Alpna Sood - Mathematics

I have been teaching mathematics in Auckland, New Zealand, since 2006. However, before teaching, I spent over 20 years in the Information Technology industry. My bachelor's degree in mathematics and post-graduate qualification is from New Delhi, India. My teaching qualification and masters in education practice are from Auckland, New Zealand.

I am delighted to join CGA, where I am looking forward to combining my passion for teaching mathematics with digital education.  I am also keenly looking forward to getting to know you - my students! I wish you all the very best for your further education at CGA.

Amelia McKenzie - Economics and Business

Introduction video

My name is Miss McKenzie and I am an Economics and Business teacher at CGA. I studied at Otago University and gained a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Economics and minoring in Geography. I then went on to complete my Master of Teaching and Learning endorsed in secondary education, also at Otago University. Since then I have been the Teacher in Charge of Economics at a large coeducational school in Wellington and have been teaching commerce at CGA. I love cooking, swimming, running and going to the beach!

Brodie Thomas - Chemistry

I am a Chemistry teacher at CGA based in the UK. I have taught in schools in the UK and New Zealand as well as a British International School in Myanmar. I completed my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at Cardiff University in 2012 and completed my PGCE in Secondary Science in 2014 and I have been teaching since then. In my previous roles, I worked as the Head of Science and Digital Learning Coordinator, both roles involved heavy amounts of curriculum development and using digital tools to improve student outcomes. Whilst working part-time at CGA I will be completing a MSc in Ecology and Conservation. I’m really looking forward to the innovation and creativity that will come with online teaching & learning.

John Heselton - Mathematics

Introduction video

Welcome to Crimson Global Academy!  

My name is John Patrick Heselton, and I am a UK trained mathematics teacher based in New Zealand.  With a background in engineering, I enjoy bringing STEM based activities into my academic and extra-curricular programmes. Here at CGA, I teach Mathematics across a range of levels where I share my interest in puzzles and problem solving.

I received my Bachelor's in Computer Engineering and spent several years in engineering before completing a post-graduate course in Project Management and moving from the field to the project office. After about ten years, I retrained completing my PGCE Mathematics and Masters in Education.  While I currently teach the Pearson Edexcel syllabus, I have also taught UK, CIE and NCEA systems. 

Thanks for taking the time to read my profile! I hope you will join me in "Crushing it with Crimson!".

Susan Schamp - Chemistry

Introduction video

Susan Schamp is a chemistry teacher at Crimson Global Academy and has been teaching Chemistry for 15 years in secondary schools based in the UK, Belgium and China.

Susan Schamp studied at The Queen's College, Oxford University where she achieved a first-class degree and PhD in Chemistry. Her teaching qualification is in Secondary Chemistry from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne. She was Head of Chemistry at Harrow International School in Beijing and also at Dulwich College Beijing, and during this time taught international GCSE, A-level and IB Chemistry

Susan is passionate about teaching chemistry and inspiring young people to master the subject and achieve their potential.  She has helped many students gain places to study at prestigious universities in the US, the UK and elsewhere.  She has also worked extensively with the Royal Society of Chemistry in Beijing, running competitions and events to allow young people from schools across China to enjoy hands-on experiments in Chemistry. 

In her spare time Susan enjoys running, pilates and DIY projects around the house.  She lives in Belgium with her husband and cat. She has twin sons who currently attend university in the UK.

Richard Green - Physics

Introduction video

I am originally from a small town called Llangollen in North Wales. I studied Physics at Cardiff University and then on completion of my teacher training I started my career at a grammar school in the south of England. After four years I realised my ambition to work abroad and moved to Qatar to teach at Doha College, a British curriculum international school.

Three years later I moved to Dubai to Repton School to become their founding Head of Physics, where I completed  a decade of service. On returning to the UK I taught Physics at a high achieving 6th Form College. It was here that I had my first experience of teaching online and I leapt at the opportunity to join CGA, having realised the benefits of online learning to students in terms of making increased progress and the opportunities it affords to develop a deeper understanding of Physics. I am now based in Liverpool and I am excited to be able to teach and connect with students across the world.

Edie Griffiths - Economics

My name is Miss Griffiths and I can't wait to get to know you and see you flourish at CGA.

I am a Business and Economics teacher here at CGA and am based in the UK. During my career I've worked in a range of educational settings, from an private international school, to an education centre for a British ski team. The purposeful inclusion of technology within the classroom has always been a keen interest of mine. I regularly complete courses in this area, deliver training, as well as using EdTech tools to assist my students in making excellent progress. As a result I am a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, a position awarded by Microsoft for educators who effectively use technology for better learning and student outcomes. 

When I am not teaching I like to spend as much time as I can outdoors, I've recently completed the Camino de Santiago. When at home I live near the lake district, therefore I am always hiking, paddle boarding, running etc. Thanks for taking the time to read my profile. See you in the classroom! 

Di Austin - Psychology

Life is full of surprises. One of these is that I find myself writing a bio for an exciting, new, New Zealand based, online school of which I am privileged to be a part. This is a long way from where I started teaching over 30 years ago - before the arrival of the internet - in a small town in South Africa.  The country and style of teaching may have changed but the one constant is my passion for teaching. I delight in journeying with students as they explore the world of Psychology and start to grapple with some of the complexities of the human mind.

My teaching experience has been enriched by teaching at schools in New Zealand and South Africa. Whether it is teaching 15 year olds or scholarship students, at the end of their time at high school, my aim is to support, encourage and push students towards academic excellence. 

As a teacher, I have been very fortunate to have had a variety of roles and responsibilities including head of department, year level dean and been a check marker for external examinations. For the last 10 year I have been involved in online learning teaching students from Whangerei to Dunedin.

I live in the Marlborough region and consequently, have ample opportunity, in my spare time, to do what I love best -- being outdoors.

Jennifer Coates - Chemistry

My name is Mrs Coates and I am a chemistry teacher based in the UK. I live in a small county called Rutland which is very beautiful and right in the middle of the UK.  I graduated from Durham University with a degree in chemistry and I also completed my teacher training at Durham. Since then I have taught in several independent schools’ across the UK. Over the last 22 years I have taught chemistry international GCSE and A-level, with the vast majority of this being the Edexcel courses. I have been an examiner for the IAL for the past three years. 

Chemistry is the foundation of life, although I don’t think biologists will necessarily agree with me on this.  However, an understanding of chemistry unlocks so many other areas of study and I love teaching my subject. As a teacher it is my job to help students see the relevance of chemistry and hopefully learn to love it as well.

When I am not teaching I love to spend time with my dogs. I have three border collies who compete at agility and also try their hand at some sheep herding. Having border collies has taught me patience, perseverance and to have a sense of humour!

Emily Fitzgerald - History and English

Introduction video

My name is Miss Emily Fitzgerald and it is my pleasure to be working with you as you broaden your education with CGA in 2021!

I will be your History and/or English teacher this year. I hope you are as excited as I am for the incredible learning you will do. You will travel in time and place, explore life-changing events, step into others’ shoes, consider the complexity of humanity, form your own opinions, and experience the wonder of words.

I am joining you from Melbourne, Australia. I completed my Bachelor of Arts - with a double major in History and Italian - and my Master of Teaching (Secondary) - with my methods History, English and Italian - at The University of Melbourne. I was luck enough to spend almost a year as an exchange student in Italy, where I developed my passion for other languages, culture, and travel. It was during university that I fell in love with tutoring, and I soon realised what career I could see myself doing for the rest of my life! I have taught at two very different schools in Melbourne, and now I can’t wait to begin teaching at CGA.

Thank you for reading my profile, and I very much look forward to meeting you!

Claudia Guiss - Biology

Introduction video

Hello to all the CGA community! My name is Claudia Guiss, and I was born in southern Brazil, in a city called Curitiba. 

Since I was a child, I have always been interested in nature. After completing my bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences by the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), I worked as an associated researcher at CEM-UFPR in the Benthos Laboratory, working mainly with Ecology of salt marshes and mangroves. During that time, I also obtained my Master's Degree in Zoology (PRPPG-UFPR).

During my studies, I learnt about the unique fauna and flora of New Zealand, which fascinated me. I immigrated with my family in 1996.

I have taught Science and Biology both in Brazil and New Zealand, in the public and private sectors. I have always been interested in technology and e-learning and, I am very excited to join the CGA team. 

Jenny Smith - IT

Meet Jenny Smith, CGA’s IT Teacher! The success of Jenny’s students in all areas of computer science and IT reflects her teaching expertise. From Top in New Zealand and the World in the Cambridge International Exams to winning the Codeworx Challenge, Brightsparks, Code Club, and NZ Programming Contest, Jenny has guided her students to success both in the classroom and beyond. She looks forward to doing the same at CGA!

Suzanne Stacy - English

Suzanne Stacy is CGA’s English teacher.

Tim Holden - Science

Tim Holden is CGA’s science teacher based in New Zealand.

AP Teachers

Matthew Cheng – Computer Science

MrCheng earned a M.A. Teaching Secondary Education Mathematics from William Paterson University where he was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship and Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship. He also earned a M.S. in Digital Forensics andCybersecurity, an Advanced Certificate in Digital Forensics for Computer Science and a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Mr Cheng is also a MIT Master Trainer in Educational Computing using the MIT App Inventor platform. He was twice elected as a Trustee for the West New York Board of Education and served on the Board of Directors of the New Jersey School Boards Association. He holds Teacher of Computer Science Technology and Teacher of Mathematics certificates and is currently pursuing a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership at William Paterson University.

Listen and send Matthew’s podcast episode with Alex from the Top of the Class podcast: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1416160/8988402

Audrey Damon-Wynne - Psychology

Audrey Damon-Wynne is a College Board-certified AP instructor with over 20 years of high school teaching experience. She holds both a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Social Sciences, and her honors include both a Fulbright Fellowship as well as a Fulbright Distinguished Teaching award.

Her other accomplishments include being awarded a grant from the U.S. State Department to develop an international student exchange program, with the goals of promoting mutual cultural understanding and immersion. Over 5 years the program impacted more than 100 students and 25 teachers.  She also launched, developed, and led a Model U.N. program which grew over 20 years to an award-winning club with 75 students participating annually in as many as 4 international level conferences.

Listen and send Audrey’s podcast episode with Alex from the Top of the Class podcast: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1416160/9063009 

Mariesa Cay - Psychology

Mariesa Cay is one of our AP Psychology teachers with a B.S. in Psychology from Princeton University. During her time in college, Ms. Cay spent a semester living in Copenhagen, Denmark and Krakow, Poland where she studied cross-cultural psychology. Ms. Cay currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts and conducts clinical psychology research at Boston Children's Hospital. She has been working with middle and high school students for over 8 years, including a summer teaching English in Tokyo, Japan through Toshin Global English Camp.

Brian Simpson – Calculus

Brian Simpson is a 21 year Mathematics Educator integrating the practical applications of concepts with all theory and skills-based learning curriculums.  He holds a B.A. in Mathematics and an M.A. in Educational Leadership, graduating with Summa cum Laude honors.

Brian's passion for Mathematics and data science has led him to being licensed in securities and insurance while educating clients of their endless opportunities in investments and retirement planning. He is also AP College Board certified and has taught AP Calculus and AP Statistics for nearly ten years.  "We strive for a five each and every day with a consistent approach and work ethic".

Listen and send Brian’s podcast episode with Alex from the Top of the Class podcast: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1416160/9027209

Sara Palmer – Psychology

Sara Palmer has been teaching in higher education for the past 10 years and currently teaches a variety of undergraduate psychology courses for Purdue University Global. She has extensive experience in the mental health field as a Psychosocial Rehabilitation Specialist, mediator, and clinical program manager.

She holds a B.S. in Psychology, M.S. in Educational Psychology, and will graduate in August 2021 with her Ph.D. in General Psychology - emphasis in Cognition and Instruction. She is a member of the Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology. She also enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching movies, and traveling to see the world.

Prahlad Panthi – Computer Science

Prahlad Panthi is a Computer Engineer who has a degree in Computer Science and Engineering. He has more than two years of experience teaching college students majoring major in Computer Science and Information Technology. He has taught computer programming to over 200 students of a college affiliated to London Metropolitan University. Additionally, he has been giving training to students on android application development and backend systems development for the last three years.

Vince Nguyen - Mathematics

Vince Nguyen is a certified educator by College Board, International Baccalaureate Organization, and three states in the U.S. to conduct math instruction to secondary students, including AP and IB classes. Vince has over 10 years of high school teaching experience.

Vince holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from UCLA and an M.B.A degree from Grand Canyon University. Throughout his teaching career, both in the U.S. and internationally, he has supported many students in reaching and achieving their goal of earning high scores on AP exams. In addition, Vince has led math competitions and AP Club sessions to aid and improve confidence of students preparing for exams and competition.

Finally, Vince has made significant, positive impacts on the school community through the creation and implementation of various, diverse student engagement projects. Vince’s mission in education is to lead and support students to be empowered to not only reach their short-term goals but also to realize their own long-term potential.

Nuwan Karunaratne - Physics

Nuwan Karunaratne is an experienced Physics teacher who holds a B.Sc. (1st class honors) and a Ph.D. both in Physics. Nuwan has taught Physics at university, community college and high school level for more than 15 years.  He is extremely passionate about teaching Physics and an active user of online tools to provide a better learning experience for his students.

He is currently teaching high school Physics and Computer Science at a reputed charter school in Texas. Furthermore, Nuwan is interested in college counseling and career guidance to help students achieve their lifelong objectives.

Matthew Barnette - History

Matthew Barnette has 15 plus years experience teaching at the college/university level. He possesses a B.A and M.A in history. His main area of expertise is military history, British Empire, and post-war decolonization of European empires. His academic background includes teaching courses in American, European and world history.

In addition he has taught specialized history topics including: sports history in the US, US diplomatic history, war and society, World War II, exploration and discovery and Greek history. He has experience in hybrid/online curriculum design. He successfully developed two courses: The Age of Exploration and Discovery and the History of World War II.

He presented a paper in 2005 at the Phi Alpha Theta Pacific Northwest Regional Conference Sun Valley, Idaho: Military Myths and Realities of the American War, 1775-1783. He’s a member of The Society of Military History and De Re Militari: The Society for Medieval Military History.

Kathy Meyer - Biology

Meet Kathy Meyer, from central Missouri, United States. She has served as a public and state secondary science teacher for 34 years. Kathy's major is Secondary Biology with a minor in American Sign Language. Throughout the years, she has taught most secondary science classes such as the following: AP Biology, Biology, Advanced Biology, Anatomy/Physiology, Ecology, Physical Science, Applied Biology/Chemistry, etc. The majority of the videoed farm lessons used with this course are filmed on her farm.

Colin Mulligan - Microeconomics

Meet Colin Mulligan, our AP Microeconomics teacher, Multimedia Curriculum Specialist, Documentarian & Writer based in Los Angeles. Colin is an educator and administrator with over sixteen years' prior experience. He was Vice-Principal & History Dept. Chair at The Smith School in Manhattan where he also taught History, Economics and Music. Colin is also a former instructor of History and Social Sciences at St. Louis Community College, a three-year tenure where his other duties included crafting college-level curricula and teaching Writing & English.

*UK-based teacher awaiting NZTC (New Zealand Teaching Council) Approval

JOIN US AS WE BUILD THE EDUCATION SYSTEM FOR THE 22ND CENTURY