Meet Our Teachers

Our dedicated teaching and learning staff reflect the international nature of our community and bring a wealth of experience from their home countries and other international schools. BSB teachers are committed to ensuring all pupils receive a premium education in Bucharest. Whether teaching algorithms or guiding students into building an electric car from scratch for five days a week, the people who ensure that the British School of Bucharest maintains an excellent learning environment work tirelessly to keep our students inspired and cared for. Get to know their stories and perspectives, what sets them apart and what makes them outstanding at their job.

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Head of EYFS & Primary School

Victoria Smith

Head of Primary School

Victoria Smith joined the British School of Bucharest in 2015 as Head of Primary School. She acquired her PGCE and MA in International Education from the University of Sunderland in England.

She holds additional degrees in Spanish and Political Science. Following her passion for professional development and school improvement, Victoria is an accredited facilitator of the COBIS leadership training programmes, including CPAH (The COBIS Programme for Aspiring Heads) and CPML (COBIS Programme for Middle Leaders). These courses are delivered to delegates from around the world.
She is also qualified as a ‘Lead Improvement Partner’, helping other international schools obtain COBIS accreditation. Victoria has over 20 years of experience working with children in schools. Before becoming a Teacher and senior leader, her background was in social services and Special Educational Needs (SEN).

EYFS & Primary School Leadership Team

Dan Batson

Director of Academic Studies

Dan Batson, Director of Academic Studies at the British School of Bucharest, joined in 2014. Dan is also the Designated Safeguarding Lead for the Whole School.

Dan has a BA in Education from Wolverhampton University, a MA with distinction from Liverpool Hope University, and an NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Headship). He started his teaching career in Birmingham in 1998, working mainly in Key Stage 2 within the British Curriculum. In 2005, he joined a highly respected international British school in Abu Dhabi, where he worked as Assistant Headteacher. At BSB, he oversees all curriculum and assessment matters within Primary and has led many whole-school projects, seeking opportunities to incorporate technology effectively within the classroom.

Paul Gildea

Director of Pastoral Care and Inclusion

Paul Gildea joined the British School of Bucharest in 2015, taking on the Key Stage 2 Coordinator role and, more recently, Director of Pastoral Care and Inclusion.

He studied at the University of Durham and graduated with a BA degree in Russian and Eastern European Studies before undertaking a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) focusing on Modern Foreign Languages at the University of London, and has an MA in Education, Leadership and Management from the University of Derby. Paul gained eight years of experience in the British school system, rising to the position of Assistant Headteacher while working in two London primary schools. He has also worked as an English Subject Leader and Year 6 Teacher at the British School of Beijing.

Laura Gildea

Director of KS2

Laura Gildea is the Director of KS2, having joined the British School of Bucharest in 2017.

She worked as an EAL (English as an Additional Language) teacher before moving to London to complete her PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) in Primary Education and then teaching in London for several years. Before joining our school, Laura gained experience in teaching the British Curriculum in an international setting with the British School of Beijing, where she taught in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

Year 1I

Ann-Marie Isaac

Class Teacher & Y1 Leader

Ann-Marie Isaac joined the British School of Bucharest in 2015. She combines her role as a Class Teacher with being the Key Stage 1 Coordinator for Primary.

She studied teaching at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Carmarthen, where she specialised in Music and Key Stage 1. Ann-Marie’s international school experience includes teaching children from Reception to Year 2 in Kuwait, where she taught for many years in different schools.

Nicoleta Bragadireanu

Teaching Assistant

Nicoleta Bragadireanu started at the British School of Bucharest in 2006, working in Pre-Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 as a Teaching Assistant.

She is a graduate of the University of Bucharest (Department of Foreign Languages and Literature) and, in 2014, completed her CTAIC (Certificate for Teaching Assistants in an International Context) with the University of Northampton.

Year 1A

Jeremy Closs

Primary Cover Teacher

Jeremy joined the BSB team as a Primary Cover Teacher in 2023.

Originally from California, USA, he moved to Romania in 2019, where he began teaching English as a foreign language to students of all ages. Jeremy holds a bachelor’s degree in Physical Sciences and a master’s degree in Science and Religion, which reflects his passion for both maths and sciences.

Outside of the classroom, Jeremy enjoys playing football, exploring the outdoors and practising his skills in woodworking. He is passionate about extending learning beyond the classroom and introducing new ideas into the educational environment.

Dalila Istrate

Primary Cover/Music Teaching Assistant

Ms Dalila Istrate joined the British School of Bucharest in January 2005 as a Teaching Assistant. She brought a wealth of talent and experience gained working with children, both within and outside Romania. Dalila is a qualified Art Teacher and has completed three international courses as part of her continuous professional development during her 16 years as a Teaching Assistant.

Philosophy

After I lived in Argentina for several years and worked with children from poor backgrounds, I realised that I had the skills and knowledge to prepare them for a better world. Teaching is a way of offering a solid learning experience to each pupil, which is one reason that inspires me to continue to teach to this day.

What I teach my students

I will start with Maria Montessori’s metaphor, ‘The Child, His Majesty’.
Every year group demands specific necessities. Being an EYFS Music Teacher is a challenge for me to make them understand and embrace Music at such an early stage of their lives. Being a Primary Music TA is a perfect opportunity for me to support my students in learning and discovering Music and instruments.

Something unexpected

I am quite a good ping-pong and badminton player, and I received the title of Champion in Secondary School by competing with different school teams from Romania.

Year 1R

Matthew Ratcliffe

Class Teacher

Matthew joined the British School of Bucharest in 2023 as a Primary Class Teacher. He has over ten years’ worth of experience in KS1 and KS2, working both in the UK and internationally.

Matthew finished his BSc in Evolutionary Anthropology from the University of Liverpool in 2006, and then went on to do a MSc in Palaeoanthropology at the same university finishing in 2007. After graduating, he became an archaeologist in London. However, after working there for a number of years, he realised he wanted to go back into education and completed his teacher training in 2012.

Matthew worked in the UK for a few years before heading overseas and has worked internationally since 2015. He initially worked in Thailand and then more recently in China, during which he completed his MEd in Bilingualism in Education, before moving to Romania. He enjoys bringing his wide range of different experiences outside of education into the classroom to help the children learn in lots of different ways.

Claudia Gagea

Teaching Assistant

Claudia Gagea joined the British School of Bucharest in 2006 as a Teaching Assistant. She worked throughout the school but mainly in Key Stage 2 (years 4, 5 and 6).

She graduated from the Romanian-American University in Bucharest with a degree in International Relations, International Banking and Finance. She obtained her CTAIC course (Certificate for Teaching Assistants in an International Context) from the University of Northampton and currently works in EYFS, Pre-Nursery class.

Year 2S

Kelly Salmon

Class Teacher & Y2 Leader

Kelly Salmon has been a Class Teacher in Primary at the British School of Bucharest since 2021.

She completed her Primary PGCE at the University of Sussex in 2014 after completing a Psychology (BSc) degree in 2010. After graduation, she taught KS1 in England, then moved to Shanghai, China, for three years, where she taught in bilingual kindergartens. Kelly has joined us after teaching Reception for two years in an International School in Cadiz, Spain. She has a big passion for ‘learning through play’ and encouraging ‘hands-on’ learning throughout the curriculum.

Sara Kordoghliazar

Teaching Assistant

Sara Kordoghliazar joined BSB as a Primary Teacher Assistant in 2023. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Coventry University in Sport Management and has the International Professional qualification in tennis awarded by the Spanish Tennis Federation. As a tennis coach, Sara has worked with children as young as three years old, making patience one of her key skills, along with organisation and motivation.

Year 2M

Ellis McConnell

Class Teacher

Ellis McConnell joined the British School of Bucharest in 2022 as a Primary class teacher.

She graduated with a PGA degree from the University of Brighton, where she was the school-wide lead in English. Before starting her international teaching journey at BSB, she spent the last few years teaching in a school in the UK. As a former international school student who completed her secondary education and IB diploma in Thailand, she is eager to share her knowledge and expertise with her pupils. Ellis leads the Guides at BSB and has a keen interest in pastoral development.

Ana-Maria Bragadireanu

Teaching Assistant

Ana-Maria Bragadireanu currently works as a Teaching Assistant. She joined the British School of Bucharest in 2005 and has mostly been with Pre-Nursery and Nursery.

She also held the Resources Coordinator position for three years, covering classes in Years 1 to 6 during this time. Ana-Maria attended the George Cosbuc Bilingual High School, studying English as a second language, and has also studied English with a teaching module at the Spiru Haret University.

Year 3S

Matthew Scragg

Class Teacher & Year 3 Leader

Matthew Scragg is a dedicated teacher with experience across KS1 and both lower and upper KS2 at schools in England and overseas.

Matthew graduated from the University of Manchester in 2004 and, after spending several years working in Human Rights Law, obtained his PGCE at Sheffield Hallam University in 2010.
He first joined the British School of Bucharest in 2012 as a Primary School Teacher in Year 4, coordinating the ICT and PSHCE Curriculums. He spent the next seven years leading KS1 and KS2 English in international schools in The Netherlands and Qatar before rejoining the British School of Bucharest. Whilst in Qatar, Matthew taught Primary School Music in partnership with The Juilliard School in New York.

Andreea Stanescu

Teaching Assistant

Andreea joined the British School of Bucharest in 2023 as a Teaching Assistant. She graduated in 2021 from the Faculty of Letters, specializing in Romanian Language and Literature – Modern Language and Literature (with French), at the University of Bucharest. After that, she started a master’s degree in Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology, and Folklore. During this time, Andreea also developed a passion for teaching and educating younger generations, engaging in teaching the Romanian language and participating in a Teacher Training programme.

In the past years, and particularly during her master’s degree, Andreea discovered the beauty of cultures around the world and the significance of multicultural and multiethnic places. Now, she aspires to pursue her passion for education by sharing and teaching students about the diversity offered by our world.

Year 3H

Philip Holland

Class Teacher

Philip Holland joined the British School of Bucharest in 2022 and he is a dedicated teacher with a great deal of experience working across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

He graduated from Aberystwyth University with a degree in Business Economics. Before completing his Primary PGCE at Edge Hill University, he worked as an EAL specialist for two schools in Vietnam, the British Vietnamese International School and the British International School.
Since completing his Primary PGCE, he worked as a Key Stage 2 Teacher at the renowned Kuwait English School. Philip’s expertise is language acquisition and he combines humour with exciting opportunities to ensure his students are successful.

Daniela Iliescu

Teaching Assistant

Daniela Iliescu has worked as an Early Years Teaching Assistant at the British School of Bucharest since 2011, working in Nursery for four years and, more recently, in Year 3.

Previously, she taught English in a Romanian Public School and volunteered in a village school close to Bucharest for Nursery and Primary children. These combined opportunities helped Daniela to move into working with children as a career. Daniela has a degree in Theology and English from the University of Bucharest.

Year 3L

​ Lucy Harrison

Class Teacher

Lucy Harrison joined the British School of Bucharest in 2019 as a Teaching Assistant. She graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Canada.

Lucy obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, specialising in Social and Community Psychology, and a PGCE from the University of Birmingham. Lucy has volunteered in schools and worked as an Activities Director. She is a Class Teacher now and passionate about providing quality education to students and promoting a lifelong love for learning.

Livia Bud

Teaching Assistant

Livia Bud joined the British School of Bucharest in 2007 as a Teaching Assistant, working with Key Stage 1 for six years and, more recently, spending time with Key Stage 2.

During her time with the school, Livia has completed many courses, including Teaching Assistant, Child Protection, First Aid, Online Safely, Safeguarding Young People and The Prevent Duty.

Year 4C

Karen Cojocaru

Class Teacher & Y4 Leader

Karen Cojocaru joined the British School of Bucharest in 2014 as a Class Teacher.

She graduated with a Primary Education degree from the University of Lancaster. She taught in primary schools in the north of England for a few years before moving to western Germany, spending 10 years teaching in an international environment. During this time, Karen played an important role in setting up a new bilingual international school in Cologne as part of the school’s Leadership Team.

Sam Smith

Teaching Assistant

Originating from the scenic county of Somerset, UK, Sam’s path embarked on a thrilling adventure in 2006 when he joined the Royal Navy. For five years, he proudly served aboard HMS Albion, honing his skills and discipline.

Sam’s path eventually led him away from the military, unveiling a newfound passion for teaching and coaching. His pursuit of this passion led him to Qatar in 2018, where he spent 5 and a half years. Now, his heart is set on nurturing the younger generation, sharing his wealth of experiences and guiding them toward their own remarkable journeys.

Sam joined the British School of Bucharest in 2023 as a Teaching Assistant.

Year 4P

Adam Pegrum

Class Teacher

Adam Pegrum has been at the British School of Bucharest since 2015.

He completed a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) in Primary Teaching after taking the CELTA (Certificate in Language Teaching to Adults) language course in 2007. Following his qualification as a teacher, Adam spent eight years teaching EAL (English as an Additional Language) in the UK, South Korea and Vietnam, where he specialised in teaching young learners. Adam also has a degree in Tourism Management from Sheffield Hallam University.

Valentina Voiculescu

Teaching Assistant

Valentina joined the British School of Bucharest in 2008. She is an experienced educator with over 15 years of involvement in British Schools. Throughout her career, she has taught students across various age groups, from Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) to Key Stage 1 (KS1) and Key Stage 2 (KS2). This breadth of experience has enabled her to develop a comprehensive understanding of child development and tailor her teaching methods to effectively engage students of all ages.

In addition to her classroom experience, Valentina holds a degree in European Studies and International Relations. This academic background has enriched her perspective with a global outlook and a deep appreciation for intercultural understanding. To further enhance her teaching skills in diverse settings, she pursued a Certificate for Teaching Assistants in an International Context at the University of Northampton.

Valentina values the importance of providing a well-rounded educational experience. She is enthusiastic about integrating creativity and hands-on activities into her lessons. In her leisure time, she enjoys pursuits such as hiking, swimming, and cars – interests that occasionally find their way into her teaching to create engaging and memorable learning experiences.

Valentina is a highly motivated educator who thrives in collaborative environments. She believes that her extensive experience and dedication to nurturing young minds make her a valuable addition to any school community.

Year 4N

Stephanie Nasskau

Primary - Primary teacher

Stephanie joined the British School of Bucharest in 2023. She completed a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) with a specialism in SEN (Special Educational Needs). Prior to this, Stephanie completed a degree in Creative Writing and had her final piece performed in London theatres.

She began her teaching career in the UK, where she was Year 4 lead and SEN curriculum coordinator, before transitioning to international teaching in Doha, Qatar. Over the course of 4 years, she developed her leadership skills as head of EY/Key Stage 1 Maths and introduced new online platforms across the school campuses.

Stephanie has a passion for mental health and its relationship to academia. She introduced a mental health awareness initiative in her previous role and hopes to bring this knowledge with her.

Bianca Zamfirescu

Teaching Assistant

Bianca Zamfirescu joined the British School of Bucharest in 2012 as a Teaching Assistant.

Throughout her time at BSB, she has gained valuable experience in supporting children across the Primary School, with a particular focus on Key Stage 2. Bianca graduated from Transylvania University in Brasov with a degree in Romanian-English Literature and also a master’s degree from Bucharest University in Communications and Public Relations. She completed a Certificate for Teaching Assistants in an International Context at the University of Northampton, which has helped to shape and develop her classroom practice.

Year 5H

Carl Helps

Class Teacher & Y5 Leader

Carl is a highly committed and dedicated teacher with a strong background as a UKS2 teacher and middle leader.

Carl graduated from Liverpool Hope University in 2009. Following a few years working with children with SEN, he completed his PGCE at Keele University in 2013. He then taught within the UK education system for four years before embarking on an international teaching career.

He first joined the British School of Bucharest in 2019 as a Primary Teacher in Year 6 and coordinated Maths across the Primary School. After a span of three years, he resumed his career in the UK as a Phase Lead and Head of Maths, before returning back to BSB in 2023. Prior to working at BSB, he worked at the International Community school in Amman, Jordan, as a Year 6 teacher and Upper Key Stage 2 Phase Lead.

Tippawan Franklin

Primary Cover TA

Tippawan (Mee) joined BSB in 2023 as a Primary Teaching Assistant. With over a decade of experience in education, Mee brings a passion for nurturing young minds. Her background includes 8 years at Charter International School in Bangkok and 4 years as a Teaching Assistant.

Mee enjoys fostering creativity through crafts and painting, and she’s always ready for new adventures, whether travelling or engaging in sports like volleyball and table tennis.

Year 5B

Alyssa Bullen

Class Teacher

Alyssa Bullen joined the British School of Bucharest in 2023. She graduated as a Dickson Poon Law Scholar from King’s College London, UK. Alyssa obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Law, and a Master’s degree specialising in Law with Corporate and Financial Services from the National University of Singapore. She worked in the accountancy profession before pursuing a PGCE from Goldsmith’s University. Coming from an expatriate family, she values being part of an international community. As a Class Teacher, she is committed to supporting students’ individual growth and academic progress.

Cătălina Paraschiv

Teaching Assistant

Miss Cătălina Paraschiv joined BSB in 2007 and is currently working with Year 6 pupils, having worked in upper Key Stage 2 for many years. She graduated (B.A.) in Literature at the University of Bucharest, including the pedagogical module. She also completed the University of Northampton’s Teaching Assistant course and enjoys being part of the teaching staff at the BSB Primary School.

Philosophy

I consider Teaching Assistants the backbone of any classroom. Therefore, passion and energy, dedication, adaptability, forward-thinking and being friendly are necessary so that every pupil has the support they need for their lessons.

What I teach my students

I support, motivate and encourage children to reach their high expectations in learning, and create a desire to always strive for more.

Something unexpected

I am a certified cycling instructor 🙂 and a collector of old children’s books.

Year 5M

Emily Marsh

Class Teacher

Emily Marsh joined the British School of Bucharest in 2019 as a Primary School Teacher and one of our Curriculum Coordinators.

Emily graduated from the University of Edinburgh and attended the University of Exeter, where she obtained her Primary PGCE, specialising in the Humanities. Emily started her teaching career 10 years ago, is a dedicated teacher with experience across the EYFS, KS1 and lower KS2 in the UK and overseas. She joined us after six successful years in Shenzen, China.

Anca Huțanu

Teaching Assistant

Anca Huțanu joined the British School of Bucharest in 2019 as a Teaching Assistant.

Anca graduated from the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Iași, and she has Bachelor’s Degrees in both Psychology and English with German, together with her teacher training qualification. Anca has four years of experience in the private education sector, teaching English in different schools in Romania.

Year 6D

Rebecca Doganay

Class Teacher & Y6 Leader

Rebecca Doganay joined the British School of Bucharest in 2017 as a Year 5 teacher and PHSCE Coordinator.

Rebecca graduated with a degree in Primary Education from the University of Worcester in 2006 before spending two years working within the British school system in the UK, in both middle school and primary school settings. She then moved to an international school in Istanbul, where she was subject leader for PHSCE and English and a Year 5 teacher for five years. Before joining our school, Rebecca was Head of Year and Humanities, Arts and PHSCE subject leader at another international school in Bucharest. She is also the Coordinator for Year 6.

Maggie Giordano

Teaching Assistant

Maggie joined BSB as a Teaching Assistant in 2023.

Coming from Canada originally and having spent time travelling across Europe, gaining exposure to various cultures and meeting new people, Maggie is thrilled to have settled in Bucharest. With a strong passion for literature, languages, and learning, she aspires to leverage her interests to make valuable contributions to the BSB Team.

Year 6W

Geraldine Andrews

Class Teacher

Geraldine has been a primary school teacher in the British Curriculum for 30 years, including 10 years as a Headteacher. She possesses extensive experience in a variety of schools in the UK and internationally.

Geraldine previously worked at BSB from 2019 to 2022 and rejoined BSB in 2023 with great excitement.

Cristina Paduraru

Teaching Assistant

In 2023, Cristina joined BSB as Primary Teaching Assistant, bringing diverse skills and a strong academic background. With a bachelor’s degree in European Administration and a master’s in the Management of the Public Sector, she excels in teamwork and demonstrates versatility. Cristina’s high school years, notably completed at Victor Babes National College in Bucharest, showcased her commitment to excellence in various activities, from public speaking to sports and the arts. Her passion for nature, love of animals, and proficiency in computer gaming and singing add a dynamic dimension to her professional profile. Cristina’s mature and calm demeanour, coupled with a detail-oriented and resourceful mindset, positions her as a valuable asset in both solo and collaborative endeavours at BSB.

Year 6C

Scott Cable

Class Teacher

Scott’s journey into teaching began when he started working with children as a full-time volunteer Sports Coach in Edinburgh for six months in 2007. This then led to a year working as a Teaching Assistant at a school for students with severe emotional and behavioural difficulties. After this, he completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Primary Education at The University of Edinburgh in 2009.

Scott spent one year teaching Year 5 in Scotland while completing further training to achieve full registration. Afterwards, Scott moved to Romania to teach at another international school where has been very busy for the last 12 years, teaching Years 2, 4, 5 and 6 and performing a variety of leadership roles including Pastoral, KS2, Technology, Year, and PSHE Leader.

Scott joined the British School of Bucharest in 2023.

Raluca Bobeica

Teaching Assistant

Raluca Bobeica joined the British School of Bucharest in 2016.

She has an MA in Public Relations and Communication and a BA in Foreign Languages. Before joining the school, Raluca was an English teacher and a freelance photographer, working with children aged two to 15.

Primary Support Staff

Georgiana Varbiu

Executive Assistant

Georgiana joined the BSB team in 2023 as Primary Executive Assistant. In this role, Georgiana ensures the effective and efficient running of the Primary School office.

Georgiana holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Languages and possesses vast experience in television. As Office Manager, she has demonstrated excellent planning, organising, and coordinating competences in the demanding environment of a branding company.

She has been involved in different charities, volunteered in scout organisations, and has been one of the voices offering emotional support on the Elderly Line.

Yelena Chivaran

Resource Room Coordinator

Yelena joined the British School of Bucharest in 2023, assuming the role of Resource and Stationery Coordinator. She plays a pivotal role in maintaining the cohesion of the Primary School office, ensuring seamless and efficient operations.

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Languages, Yelena brings over 15 years of experience in Office Administration, Office Support, PA, and Document Control. She is a highly skilled professional in her field, and her expertise is evident in her work at BSB.

Theodora Anagnostopoulou

LIBRARIAN

Theodora has taught English, French and Greek as a foreign language teacher.

Through this extensive experience, she has acquired new techniques in teaching, become more patient, made new friends and visited new places to meet her students. In 2013, though her coming to Romania did not seem like a step in the right direction as she did not speak the language back then, she reinvented herself and taught in nurseries. Her last position as Deputy Headmaster at a French kindergarten also helped her gain experience in preschool stages. “I know only one thing that I know nothing”, by Socrates, keeps her forever interested in learning daily from her students.
She likes learning languages when she doesn’t work or tries to create with yarn and needles what she cannot draw. Having no pets in her new location, she turned her love to plants and found out she has green fingers, after all.