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Our people

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Dermot Tobin

Principal

Dermot’s role focuses on the on-going development of Kings Bournemouth and meeting the varying demands of our international students. Dermot works to ensure they always have the best possible staffing and educational resources to see that their time at this attractive, friendly college makes both an important and an enjoyable contribution to their careers and lives in general.

"My professional life has involved working with international students in Brazil, France, Sweden, USA and the UK. I’m motivated by lifelong learning goals and I think that a healthy learning environment should be open, friendly and challenging. Kings Bournemouth provides this in abundance."

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Alex Clark

Director of Studies, EFL

Part of Alex’s role is to ensure all students are in the right class for their ability and to select the best resources and teachers for each class. Alex also advises students on their learning and how best to make progress.

"I have a degree in French and Russian, the Cambridge DELTA and the English UK Diploma in ELT Management. I've taught in Portugal, Turkey, Argentina and Ukraine, and picked up some of those languages too! I've been in ELT for 14 years and at Kings for six."

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Andy Plain

Extended Foundation Course Coordinator

Andy coordinates the Extended Foundation and Extended A-level courses, which involves helping the students on these courses through their studies so they can achieve their potential in the subsequent Foundation or A-level courses.

"I am originally from Dorset so it has been great to move back to a place I know and love after years of working overseas, including universities in China and Vietnam. For many students on the ‘extended’ courses it is their first time in the UK so I am really happy to be able to share my knowledge of the area to help them adjust to a new culture when they arrive.

There is a fantastic sense of community within the school and everyone gets involved in a huge variety of events. Personally, I have been leading a pronunciation club recently and I hope to start a baking club in the near future."

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Joel Cutting

Assistant Director of Studies, EFL

"Prior to joining Kings Bournemouth, I worked as a teacher, teacher trainer and school manager in the UK (Cambridge, Brighton and Manchester) and further afield (Russia, Slovakia, Kyrgyzstan and Austria).

My professional interests lie in methodological and technological developments in language teaching and learning, and I am engaged in what it means for a student to progress through work both in and beyond classroom.

Outside of work, when I am not busy having fun with my young daughter, I really enjoy going for long walks, watching cricket and listening to music." 

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Belen Sullivan

Accommodation and Welfare Officer

For 21 years Belen’s role has been to find the best possible host families for our students. She heads the team that regularly recruits new families and revisits those who have worked with us for some time to maintain the highest standards. Her department also looks after student welfare, taking care of medical, personal and even legal matters.

“Originally from Barcelona in Spain, I married an Englishman and followed him back to the UK 27 years ago, so now I’m almost more English than Spanish! My foreign background, varied secretarial and commercial office experience and facility with languages combine with my extrovert Latin personality to make me love working with people from all over the world. I like to make sure they get the most out of their stay here in Bournemouth.

"When not thinking about college work (quite difficult during the busy summer months), I relax by watching tennis (I admit to being in love with Nadal), cooking and travelling. I almost forgot; I’m also a very experienced landlady myself."

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Gabor Toth

Director of Studies (Junior Courses) and Examinations Coordinator

Part of Gabor's job is to give students information on exams, mainly the Cambridge suite exams (PET, FCE, CAE) and IELTS. He helps students by advising them on which exam to take and how they can prepare for it.

As Director of Studies for the Junior Courses, he makes sure that students are in the right class for their level so that they can make the most of their time at Kings. Gabor's role is also to ensure that the teachers have the right classes and resources.

“I have an MA with TESOL Qualification and the Cambridge DELTA. I have been involved in working with exam classes quite a lot and I think it is vital that students know what the best exam is for them.
I taught in a secondary school in Hungary before I joined Kings Bournemouth.

I love languages. Apart from English and Hungarian I get by in Swedish and German too. In my free time I take tango classes and experiment in the kitchen with different recipes. I love exploring new places and cultures so I enjoy travelling to places where I have not been before.

I love Kings because it is a vibrant school with lots of activities and there's always someone to help you if you have a question.”

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Bev Ward

Travel Manager

Bev has been the Travel Manager at Kings for the past 3 years and it is her responsibility to arrange all of the individual transfers, and group transfers, for the students attending Kings Bournemouth.

During the very busy Summer months she also has an assistant as the Travel Office then becomes responsible for all transfers at our five UK Residential Summer Centres too.

“I often go up to the airport to meet and greet the groups attending Kings Bournemouth. After liaising with the agents/group leaders ahead of their arrival, it is so nice to put a ‘face to a name’. We have many groups that return year after year, with the same Group Leaders, and they become very much a part of Kings.

In my spare time I like baking, particularly cupcakes, for family and friends' birthdays!  I also love going to the theatre and spending time with my two grown up daughters.”

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Lucy Polley

Residential Accommodation Manager

Lucy is responsible for the smooth running of Kings Bournemouth’s residences, located across the city.

"I ensure that students enjoy living in their accommodation, have access to everything they need and are looked after by our friendly wardens.

I have worked in international schools for the past six years. My first job in an international school involved creating and running social programmes — I then became involved in arranging and managing student accommodation. I really enjoy meeting students from all over the world and learning about different cultures.

In my spare time, I enjoy socialising with friends and family, especially cooking for them. I am also part of a netball and rifle shooting team."

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Cornelia Beer

Marketing Development Manager

Conny’s role revolves around supporting students, agents and groups.

"I am often the first point of contact, and communicate with students prior to their stay and give them advice about the best possible educational path. I am based right at the reception to support them with questions during their stay here. Apart from that, I work with local agents in Bournemouth and organise Marketing Activities of all sorts to promote Kings Bournemouth and the courses.

After I finished school in Germany (where I am originally from), I studied my Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management and my Master’s degree in International Business Management at Bournemouth University and loved this town so much that I decided to stay. After graduating, I worked in Student Services and Business Development at other language schools and have therefore experience in supporting students and enjoy it very much. Having been a language student in Bournemouth myself, I love passing my experience on to others.

In my spare time, I love spending time with friends and family. Bournemouth and the surrounding countryside are amazing. A trip to the Purbecks or the New Forest is always worth it and there are lovely campsites around — if you like camping!"

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Hannah Farmer

Student Services Manager

Hannah manages the Student Services department which involves sport, activities, excursions and social events.

"My role is varied, full and rewarding. In particular I work closely with the academic students, teaching the GCSE Physical Education course, Duke of Edinburgh programme and organise the enrichment and extra-curricular activities program. I personally run the girls' netball team and weekly fitness sessions, which are open for everyone!

Previous to joining Kings, I worked at another International school in Sherborne, in the boarding house as a House Tutor and teaching PE and Games. I then spent some time working at Canford school in Wimborne, Dorset teaching netball, cross-country and A-level PE. I have a degree in Sports Science so all of my jobs have been based around health and fitness. I think it very important to have a healthy, active lifestyle and I try to pass this ethos onto students. 

In my spare time I love to spend time with my family and friends — we are all very close and like to go for dinners, walks and holidays as much as possible! I also enjoy regularly going to the gym and have a passion for running. Bournemouth and Poole are among the best places to go running, from the beautiful coast line to surrounding countryside — you will never get bored."