Faculty

Our English language faculty is comprised of native English-speaking professional language teachers, all of whom have TESOL, TOEFL, CELTA and/or other language teaching certifications and extensive experience working in the field of language instruction with students ages 3-16.

They are selected for their talent, their varied experiences in their disciplines, their enthusiasm, and above all their ability to inspire our students. Led by these outstanding teachers, our courses immerse students in learning a language through engaging topics and themes about which they are passionate. Read more about our outstanding faculty in their bios listed below.

ELC Faculty programs guide: WKD (Weekday), SAT (Saturday), SUM (Summer)

Early Childhood/Kindergarten (K groups)

Jenny Brown

Jenny Brown was born in London England and grew up in Kensington. She studied music, piano & violin as well as combined teaching methodologies at the Royal College of Music. She has lived in Barcelona since 1996. She has extensive experience in young learners and believes fun and variety assist pre-schoolers in natural and fun language acquisition. Making English fun at the early stage encourages children in the later years to flawless fluency. Jenny is one of the longest serving members of staff having taught the early learner program since 2002. It gives her pride in her work to meet some of her earliest students who are now studying at university in either the USA or UK. In her spare time she restores antique furniture and plays music. SAT, SUM

Rosaura Paredes

Rosaura was born and raised in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Central America. She graduated from an international school in her hometown and began her professional career as an assistant. After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, she continued working for four more years as a teacher. Rosaura came to Spain in 2010 and after 2 years she earned her Master’s degree in “Intervención en Dificultades del Aprendizaje”. Meanwhile, she met her husband (also from her hometown) and got married. Now, they have a beautiful baby girl. Rosaura has been working at ASB and English Program since 2012. She loves working with the “little ones”, help them grow in independence and develop all the necessary skills needed to continue their journey through the program. Rosaura enjoys spending time with her family at the beach. WKD, SAT, SUM

Adelina Vaquerizo

Adelina was born in Spain and has both Spanish and Belgian nationalities. Fluent in Spanish, French and English, she has traveled the world thanks to her husband’s responsibilities as an expatriate. Her travels have allowed her to find a home in many countries, among them are Belgium, Egypt, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and USA, as well as Europe. Adelina is passionate about her work with children and sports. In China she was an elementary P.E. teacher at the International School of Beijing. She was also a Kindergarten and Elementary Teaching Assistant and P.E. teacher at the American International School of Guangzhou. Adelina also has experience as a Kindergarten and psychomotricity teacher at Escaan in Sitges. For the past twelve years, Adelina has been a Kindergarten Teaching Assistant at the American School of Barcelona and after-school activity teacher in Yoga, Music and Movement, Life and Science and Drama. SAT, SUM

Julie Ramirez

Julie was Born to Mexican immigrants in sunny, sprawling and culturally diverse Los Angeles, California. While living in Southern California she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Spanish at California State University, Fullerton. Julie later made her way up to the Pacific Northwest and attended Portland State University. Once in Oregon she began participating in the Bilingual Teacher Pathway Program through which she earned her Master of Education, PreK-8 teaching license and English to Speakers of Other Languages endorsement. Moreover, Julie is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. Her bilingual and bicultural upbringing played a major role in motivating her to work with linguistically and culturally diverse students in bilingual and ELD classrooms in both the U.S. (Portland) and Spain (Cadiz). Lastly, she admires the Catalan/Spanish bilingualism present in Barcelona—it reminds her of the English/Spanish language trend back homeWKD, SUM

Kate Bias

Kate was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. She has been living in Barcelona for the past year and a half. She has a BA in Psychology and Sociology and a Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching. She was teaching upper primary in New Zealand, but fell in love with teaching Kinder and Prep aged children here in Barcelona. She seeks to inspire and engage children through authentic learning experiences that encourage participation and the learning of new knowledge. These experiences will be differentiated and adapted to their level to encourage students to develop their language skills. Kate loves teaching in an International environment. She believes it allows her to meet many different people and learn about different cultures and ways of life. In her spare time, she enjoys eating out, playing tennis, watching movies, and especially cooking. SUM

Justine Connelly

Originally from Seattle, Washington, Justine earned a Bachelor’s Degree at Seattle Pacific University in Elementary Education and Latin American Studies, with a minor in Global and Urban Ministries. Justine began her teaching career in Guatemala, where she taught English for two years. Upon returning to Seattle, Justine taught in a Spanish immersion school for several years before deciding to move to Barcelona to pursue a Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics and Language Acquisition at the University of Barcelona.  She has taught K5 at ASB for two years and in 2017-2018 she will be teaching in 1st grade.

Barcelona reminds Justine in many ways of a much sunnier version of Seattle, with the sea and mountains nearby. Justine enjoys most anything that involves being outdoors, Seattle sports teams, cooking, gardening, and spending time with friends and family. SUM, SAT

Primary (A and S groups)

Roísín Breen

Róisín Breen grew up in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Her love for travelling and the thirst to learn new languages led her to Barcelona, where she completed her SIT TESOL and recently completed a diploma in Early Years Child Care. Róisín fell in love with Barcelona and it is now her permanent home. Róisín has been working in Kindergarten and Elementary during the summer program for ten years. She loves that she can share her creative ideas, have fun and learn something new every day from the children. Róisín teaches art in the afternoons, where she shares her creative expertise, inspiring others to be creative. In her spare time Róisín loves exploring the Catalan countryside, creating new recipes in the kitchen and reading a good book. SAT, SUM

Cristina Branea

Cristina was born in Transylvania and has lived in France and Luxembourg before settling in Barcelona in 2010. She has a BA in English and Japanese Studies and an MA in Cultural Management. She is also fluent in Spanish and Catalan and advanced in French. She has been teaching English since 2012 to both (very) young learners and adults and has been working in the ASB Saturday and Winter Programs for three years. Cristina believes a welcoming and friendly class environment is the best way to encourage students to develop their language skills and absorb input in a beneficial way. Cristina loves spending time outdoors, so when she’s not travelling you’ll find her playing beach volleyball with her friends, swimming in the sea or reading a book and eating some fresh fruit somewhere in the shade. SAT, WKD, SUM

Anna Cochrane

Anna is from Wimbledon, near London, but has been living in Barcelona since 2003.  She has a BA Hons in Literature, Theatre and Dance and recently completed a post-graduate diploma in English language teaching. She started her professional life working in advertising but soon realised that teaching was the job for her. This is her twelfth year teaching first and second graders in the ASB English program!  She loves incorporating her love of music, dance and theatre into her classes.  She has visited many countries in Europe, Asia and North and South America and hopes to visit Africa some day.  In her spare time, she enjoys eating out, photography, dancing and cooking food from all over the world. SAT, SUM

Christina Church

Christina is from Bath in the UK. She grew up there and studied in the University of Birmingham.  After university, she worked in a summer camp in Massachusetts and loved it so much she decided to take a TEFL course in Oxfordshire to be a EFL teacher.  Christina loves seeing children progress and helping them enjoy English.  She has been teaching with the ASB English Language Programs for 8 years now and still loves it.  When Christina’s not teaching, she loves music, singing in a choir and playing lots of instruments including the accordion. Also, you´ll always see Christina cycling to school as she loves cycling and swimming. SAT, SUM

Lisa Rubin

Lisa grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and later lived in New York City, where she taught art in public schools with a non-profit organization, for 10 years. She received a BFA from the University of Michigan, and a MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She spent her summers growing up in Valencia, Spain, where her mother is from, and she has had double nationality since moving to Barcelona in 2006. Lisa teaches both English and Art to adults and children, as well as working on her own as a collage artist. This is her 10th year teaching at ASB. SAT, SUM

Jen Smith

Jen grew up in England, and received a BA in English from the University of Exeter. After university, she soon developed a passion for travelling, and went on to live in Australia and Fiji. In the latter, she worked as a Learning Support Teacher at International School Suva, in Fiji’s capital. She loved this hands-on experience, and was inspired to take a TEFL course in Barcelona in 2014 to become an EFL teacher. Jen was then lucky enough to be offered a job as a teaching assistant for 4 year olds at the American School of Barcelona, and she has enjoyed working in this role for 2 years. During this time, she has subbed regularly at the English Language Center, and worked in the Summer Program as a lead teacher last year. Outside of school, Jen loves to go running, write poems and short stories, and explore as much of the world as she possibly can. SUM

Katrina Smith

Katrina Smith, from beautiful California, holds a MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and a BA in English literature. In 2006, after completing her degrees in San Francisco, California and teaching English as a foreign language to adults, she boarded a plane to Tokyo, Japan and has been living and working abroad ever since! In Tokyo she taught English to university students, in Korea to elementary students, and now over the past 7 years she has been energetically teaching elementary students at ASB.  She loves working with children and encouraging them to be creative, inquisitive and confident learners! When not teaching, she’s most likely traveling or relaxing on the beach with a good book. SUM, SAT

Caren Grogan

Caren, born in Dublin, has been teaching since finishing university and moving to Barcelona in 2000. She returned home after 6 years and left teaching for a while to run the family business, but soon missed the classroom and decided to pick up where she had left off; so she trained as a secondary school teacher specialising in Spanish and ESL. She worked in a state school in Galway for 5 years and loved every minute of it. During this time she completed a postgrad in SEN for children in mainstream schools. And finally made the move back here in the summer of 2014. What she likes most about teaching is that it’s highly rewarding. She loves that she continues to learn and to discover new ways to motivate children to learn. When she’s not in the classroom she is probably spending time with her dogs, going for long walks with them in the mountains or by the beach. Dogs are her other great passion and is often attending seminars and workshops related to her side profession as a dog trainer. SUM

Anna Merchant

My name is Anna Merchant, and I’m originally from New York state. I have spent the past 10 years travelling and working all over the world as both a teacher and an archaeologist. My work as an ELL teacher has taken me throughout Europe and East Asia, but I also have experience teaching science, history, and literature courses. This is my first year working in the Summer Program, and I’m really excited to be here! As a teacher, I love doing innovative, hand-on activities with my students. Our class this summer will be creative, exploratory, and fun! SUM

Upper Primary/Middle School (B groups)

Charlie Whitehouse

An experienced English and Drama teacher, Charlie spent many years touring throughout Europe delivering English language education through interactive theatre. Originally from the U.K., she has been based in Spain for almost nine years. Besides directing and acting in numerous professional theatre productions, she has taught English and delivered drama workshops to all age groups and ability levels, in a variety of different educational contexts. A strong believer that learning should be fun, she is very excited to be in her first year working in the English Language Center. Charlie enjoys swimming, yoga, cooking and eating. She spends most of her free time walking in the mountains with her best friend, a beautiful Labrador/Shepherd cross called Mora. SAT, SUM

Steve Brown

An experienced, qualified, teacher with a Master’s degree and TESOL qualification, Steve has worked in the ASB English Language Center for fourteen years, teaching a variety of age ranges. Originally from London, he lives in Barcelona with his family. During the year he works at a school in Sant Cugat , teaching a wide age range of students and preparing them for the official Cambridge English Exams. In his free time, he hangs out with his kids at the beach, plays sport, listens to music and perfects his home-made sushi skills. WKD, SAT, SUM

Teo Polanco

Coach Teo, as he is commonly called, has been a teacher for the past ten years  in all the ASB English Language Center programs, as well as the ASB community. He is a native New Yorker, who has been living in Barcelona for 12 years.  He is married to his lovely Catalan wife, Susana, and they have two children born in Catalunya: Sienna, 11, and Aaron, 5.  Teo is an Early Childhood Center and Lower Elementary Physical education teacher during the regular school year. When he’s not teaching, Teo is a true admirer of American Football, as he played college football in the USA. He is deeply involved in coaching American football in Spain and Europe, being one of the winningest football coaches in Spanish history. Teo initially came to Catalunya with The NFL Europe Barcelona Dragons, and has coached some of the Spanish 1st division top teams like: Pioners of L’Hospitalet, Barcelona Bufals, Rookies of Barbera, as well as being a Head Coach of the men’s Spanish national teams, and a coordinator with the women’s teams. He loves the outdoors and the ocean, which makes Barcelona a natural place for him to live. WKD, SAT, SUM

Amy Woolard

Amy was born and raised in Indiana in the United States but as she has always lovedother cultures she decided to try out life in Barcelona. She fell in love with the city and also with a Catalan man so Barcelona has become her home. As a mother of a 5 year old she loves seeing children learn English and grow in being able to express themselves in another language. She enjoys encouraging students as they learn and start to believe that they can speak English. When she isn’t working at ASB, like she has been on and off since 2008, you might find her at the beach, in the Pyrenees or enjoying a delicious cup of coffee. SUM

High School (C groups)

Michelle Ndrika

Michelle has a degree and CELTA qualification teaching English as a second language. She is also a Cambridge examiner and has a wide range of teaching experience with children between the ages of six and sixteen. She hails from London, has lived in the USA and is now a long- time resident of Barcelona. As well as having been a member of the ELC teaching team for over 6 years, she also works at a secondary school in Barcelona, where she incorporates her love for music and the arts with her passion for English teaching. In her free time, Michelle enjoys singing in her band and working out at the gym. SAT, SUM

Rhys Pyefinch

Originally from Australia, Rhys has now called Barcelona home for almost 15 years. After studying Politics and International studies in Perth he moved to London to complete his TEFL. Upon arriving to Barcelona Rhys has worked in a variety of school and academies, running international summer camps and working as a Cambridge Examiner. He has also worked previously at ASB as Summer Program language teacher.

He regularly works as a musician around Barcelona with his band and has two little boys to keep him busy!

Rhys loves being active and always brings a great sense of humor into the classroom.

 

Summer Afternoon Activities Program (A, B, C groups)

Roísín Breen

Róisín Breen grew up in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Her love for travelling and the thirst to learn new languages led her to Barcelona, where she completed her SIT TESOL and recently completed a diploma in Early Years Child Care. Róisín fell in love with Barcelona and it is now her permanent home. Róisín has been working in Kindergarten and Elementary during the summer program for ten years. She loves that she can share her creative ideas, have fun and learn something new every day from the children. Róisín teaches art in the afternoons, where she shares her creative expertise, inspiring others to be creative. In her spare time Róisín loves exploring the Catalan countryside, creating new recipes in the kitchen and reading a good book. SAT, SUM

Charlie Whitehouse

An experienced English and Drama teacher, Charlie spent many years touring throughout Europe delivering English language education through interactive theatre. Originally from the U.K., she has been based in Spain for almost nine years. Besides directing and acting in numerous professional theatre productions, she has taught English and delivered drama workshops to all age groups and ability levels, in a variety of different educational contexts. A strong believer that learning should be fun, she is very excited to be in her first year working in the English Language Center. Charlie enjoys swimming, yoga, cooking and eating. She spends most of her free time walking in the mountains with her best friend, a beautiful Labrador/Shepherd cross called Mora. SAT, SUM

David Matiano

David considers dance to be his first love because it is thanks to dance that he has travelled the world. He is originally from Mexico where he started his training at the age of 17. But as long as he can remember his dream was to live and perform in New York City. That dream became within reach in 1986 when former Martha Graham’s principal dancer, Peter Sparling, and Bill De Young, artistic director of Arbor Dance/Works at the University of Michigan, offered him a scholarship and a chance to work and live in the US. David never looked back and right after Ann Arbor moved to NYC where he danced and performed professionally for many years. In 2004 he and his beloved wife decided to move to sunny Barcelona to start a new life. He currently teaches English and Dance to children and adults. Now he is more than thrilled to be part of the ASB ELC Afternoon Program. David’s favorite hobby is to spend time playing with his son, Leo. Nothing else makes his heart as happy as his adorable son. SUM

Noemi Sjöberg

Noemi grew up in Paris and Stockholm and received her BA and MA in Fine Arts specialising in Video from the University of Aix en Provence. She also got her MA in Education from the University UNIR. She moved to Barcelona in 2003 and is currently teaching moviemaking at ASB during the school year. She is also currently showing her film works in several exhibitions in Italy for the Festarte Group. In addition she is filming for the granted winner project Y tú, ¿Cómo lo ves?, as well as designing audiovisual educational resources for school use, at San Sebastian European Capital of Culture 2016. She has been working with children, teenagers and adults since 2003. Giving film editing workshops, film skills and stopmotion animation classes in different schools and universities in Spain and abroad (France, Tokyo, Sweden). She is passionate about film and art. Creating her own film work or helping other making their own, makes her feel fully satisfied and happy. Both her film groups in Middle school and High school won prizes in film festivals this year (CINED and Manos Unidas (Against food waste). When she is not teaching or filming, she spends her time with her two young daughters sharing other big adventures and love! SUM

Joan Samarra

Joan Samarra is a telecommunications engineer who graduated from Ingeniería LaSalle. He developed his professional career in the fields of marketing, consultancy and teaching new technologies in schools. Joan has a deep cross-cultural understanding of the Spanish and American cultures as he studied an International MBA in the United States and travels there extensively. During the school year, he teaches Lego Robotics to elementary and middle school students at ASB challenging them to program robots using Visual Programming Languages. This is Joan’s second year in the Summer English Program and his third year of teaching experience in the regular ASB academic program. Joan is a strong believer that new technologies will change and transform the way that we study and learn in schools in the next few years. When he’s not teaching, Joan enjoys jogging and hiking. SUM

Stephen Hund

Stephen was born in Virginia, USA and began playing and studying drums, guitar, piano, voice, and theater as a young child.  He played in the school symphonic, marching, and jazz bands before joining forces with his brother in a garage rock band in high school and college.

He studied jazz drumming and theory at the University of Virginia and after college worked as a professional recording and touring musician in San Francisco and New York City.  He has played with scores of bands across many musical genres and appears in many studio and live recordings as both band member and session musician.

Stephen’s teaching career actually began while he was in high school.  There he helped younger students learn drums and music in order to audition for the school jazz band.  He immediately discovered that sharing his love of music with others was something he wanted to do for the rest of his life.  

Stephen is the founder of Manhattan Drum Studios, a private drum-focused music school with locations in New York City and Barcelona.  Stephen also founded Baby Bongo and Toddler Tom Toms, young childhood music workshops, and Manhattan Music Machine, a rock band program for teenagers. SUM

Ariana Román

Ariana Román, was born and lives in Barcelona, ​​for more than a year she has been a teacher at Educachef, in different schools, in our cooking, nutrition and healthy habits. She has worked as an assistant in the Jesús María school, for children of 3 years and second of primary education. She has been improving her English in Ireland. She has experience as a cook and is formed by Educachef, with our teaching method. She is a happy person, her free time is devoted to training and is very hardworking. SUM