Our Staff

Amanda Riding

Head Teacher

Hello, my name is Amanda Riding and I am the current owner and director of Willow International Academy. I have over 20yrs experience in education and special educational needs. I also have 5 years experience in health care, working as a SEN nurse in paediatrics and ENT.

I am truly passionate about education and I believe that every single child has the potential to achieve their goals. With the right care, compassion and guidance we can achieve anything. We welcome all children, irrespective of their culture and ability.

Eva Ghost

Assistant Headteacher

Art and Drama

Hello, my name is Eva Ghost. It is a pleasure for me to have the opportunity of teaching my true passion at Willow International Academy. Having previously had the role of ‘Head’ at an International School in Spain, I am now very excited to be able to focus, once again, on
teaching the subject I studied for 5 years in the UK – Drama and Musical Theatre. Having taught Secondary and Primary in both the UK and Spain for over 22 years, I hope that my wealth of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for the Arts, will bring a lot of fun and exciting times, to our learning environment at Willow International Academy.

Suzanna Newman

Head of Secondary

Humanaties Teacher

Hello, I am Suzanna. I have worked in UK Secondary Education for 22 years , most of that time as Head of Department. In addition to working as an examiner for various exam boards, I am also PHSE qualified. I have lived in Spain for five years and I am excited to be part
of this new venture. I am looking forward to sharing my passion for Religious Studies and Humanities with our new students.

Andrew Campbell

Primary Leader

ICT Teacher

Hello, my name is Andy and I have worked in both primary and secondary education in the UK before joining Willow, including working with SEN pupils in a specialist school in the Lake District (UK). It is my aim to help build pupil’s confidence and independence as I aim to foster intellectual growth and engage students to develop the  key transferable skills required to achieve in the modern world.

My education includes completing a Postgraduate qualification in ICT, (University of Liverpool), and a PGDE (Teaching) qualification from Edge Hill University. Having spent twenty five years  working in retail management and sales/marketing, (both here in Spain and in the UK), I passionately believe in differentiated learning to help prepare the future generation for successful careers in a fast moving and dynamic world.

My “hands on experience” of the business and commercial world are combined with business related qualifications (Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing Management and a professional qualification from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, (Business School Staffordshire University), and a business and administration degree from the University of Essex. I will use my experiences to encourage pupils to always look to progress through critical reflection and  be successful in life.

Lisa   Norris  

Pastoral Leader

P.E. Teacher

My name is Lisa and I will be the teacher in Primary 1 and will also be the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Coordinator. I have been
teaching for the past 14 years at various levels. I had a full and active 24-year career in the Army achieving the rank of Warrant Officer Class 1 within the Royal Logistic Corps and deployed on various overseas operations. As a Sergeant, I was selected to teach
in the ‘School of Excellence’ for the young soldiers, this was my first experience of teaching which I thoroughly enjoyed and found
extremely rewarding. As part of my transition back into civilian life and coupled with my leadership and management transferable qualifications, I went on to gain a distinction on the PGCE course at the University of South Wales. I have been teaching at Canolfan yr Avon Special Educational School in South Wales for the last twelve months, with pupils ranging from 4-18-years-old who have a variety of
Emotional, Sociable Behaviour Disorder (ESBD) needs and I can honestly say it’s the most rewarding job I have ever had, with no
two days being the same. This is where my passion, love and all-inclusive outlook on teaching grew, giving me a new vocational
purpose. I believe that every pupil, irrespective of what their level or special requirements may be, are entitled to receive the same
standard of education in a fun, safe and secure school environment.

Mike Dixon

Exams Officer

Curriculum Co-ordinator

Hello, my name is Michael Dixon (Mike), I am the Deputy Headteacher at Willow International Academy and deliver KS3-5 Maths & ICT. I am a dual professional Engineer/Teacher having served 22yrs in the British Army with the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (R.E.M.E) as a Helicopter Technician and Vibration Analysis Specialist. I am a Master of Education (MEd) and Fellow of the Society for Education & Training (FSET).

I am experienced in T.E.S.O.L education and providing differentiated learning for Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia. I also mark GCSE Literacy & Maths exams for the three main qualification providers in the U.K. Edexcel, AQA, and City & Guilds. As an examiner, this
has given me relevant inside knowledge on the U.K. curriculum and international specifications with which your child will experience their tertiary education journey – from Primary, through Secondary and onto 6th form college. I am passionate about education and the continued practice of learning throughout life, where we not only improve our academic skills, but also our life skills and real-life experiences. All staff at Willow International Academy will complete Continuing Professional Development in current and future areas of education, to provide our cohort with up to date and relevant knowledge, methods and resources which will enable your child to reach their maximum learning potential. I look forward to welcoming you and your children into a modern, safe, caring and passionate
environment, where they will experience a fun and active way of learning, in our new state of the art school – Willow International Academy.

Sam Smith

Senior Adminstrator

Admission/Finance

Hello, my name is Sam and I am the school administrator at Willow International Academy. My background in the U.K. is educational administration in both Early Years and High-School settings. I am passionate about children having equal opportunities and receiving the best possible support available to them. During my 9 years working in the education sector, I gained lots of valuable experience working with multi agency teams, families and children. I am looking forward to working with the Willow team of talented teachers to drive our school forward, to provide fantastic learning experiences and a safe and welcome environment for our children.

Kimberley D’Silva

Reception

Hello, my name is Kim.

I am originally from Sussex in the UK, I moved to Spain in the year 2000.

I am bilingual in Spanish and English, with over ten years of experience in customer facing roles, as well as working within the health industry.

I am excited and looking forward to joining the team at Willow International School as Admin Assistant and meeting all the pupils and their families.

Helen Wallis

English Teacher

Hello, my name is Helen and I have over 20 years’ experience in teaching. I have taught children of all ages in my role as a teacher and SEN Coordinator. As an English specialist in my role as an English Consultant/ Lead teacher & English exam moderator, I have supported both pupils and teachers in the schools I was working in, as well as other schools across different counties in the UK. I believe all students should be supported to reach their true potential and I am excited to be working with the new KS3/4 students, sharing my passion for English, in this new, vibrant school.

Susan Gawler

Science Teacher

My Name is Susan, and I am a teacher in the secondary department of Willow international School.

I have been teaching for 32 years in various roles in Secondary and Primary schools.  I have taught Science, Mathematics Physical Education and Art. For the most part of my career I have been Head of the Mathematics department. For the past five years I have been working with children with Special Educational Needs and Emotional Sociable Behaviour Disorders. have found this extremely rewarding and enlightening.

I am now delighted to be part of the team here at Willows. I hope to be able to enable children to develop a love for lifelong learning and achieve their true potential. I am sure being part of this dedicated, enthusiastic team will facilitate this.

Adriana Garcia

Modern Foreign Languages

iHola! I am Adriana. I was born in Madrid although I have lived in the UK for several years where I graduated in Childhood studies and became a Qualified teacher. I have experience working with children of all ages and different nationalities. I am very excited of having the opportunity of teaching my language and culture at Willow International. I will share my passion for languages with you and will build up your confidence and skills required to learn a language successfully. As a Spanish native I will also teach you about our culture and the way of living in Spain so you will not only learn the language but the country’s traditions as well.

Olivia Phillips

Primary Teacher

My name is Olivia, I began my teaching journey way back in college when I embarked on a Level 3 course for childcare. I knew from the start, that I wanted to work with children. However, this gave me a proper insight on what it was like to work in the field and secured in my head, that it was something that I really wanted to take further. I then began my Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Studies in Leeds which gave me the skills and confidence to lead and teach young children in a variety of settings. I did this while working full time in a nursery which helped me put my knowledge into practice. I love teaching because every day is different… the things children do and say always brings a smile to my face with their infectious positive outlook on the world! I love knowing that helping these young children find their feet in this world, is going to help them turn into happy, curious individuals with a love of life and learning. My aim in my teaching is to level the playing field for all children… no matter what their background or abilities, they should be given equal opportunities to flourish and grow.

Louisa Higgins

Primary Teacher

Hello, I am Louisa Higgins.  A childhood abroad gifted me with the love of new adventures, foreign languages and general vagabonding but I have now settled in the Rojales area.  Having spent most of the past thirty years teaching in a wide range of roles, schools and locations (including London, Dorset, Madrid, Burgos, Dénia and Alicante), I have taught children with a myriad of different backgrounds, cultures, languages and educational needs.  I am now delighted to find myself in a school near to my new home and returned to do what I set out to be many years ago; a primary school teacher.  I have a special interest in literacy and creative arts, and I have held senior roles in these curriculum areas in the schools in which I have worked.  I believe one of my strengths to be in my understanding of the many different ways in which a child learns, which can then, in turn, be used to encourage each student to become a lifelong independent learner and to achieve all that they may set their hearts on.  An avid reader, I am more often than not found with my nose in a book or walking my dog, Mac.

Jenny Fruge

Primary Teacher

Hello, my name is Jenny Fruge and I am originally from the United States. This is where I began my teaching journey over 10 years ago.  In my first years of teaching, I was blessed to work with many children of different cultural backgrounds that were all English language learners. Seeing my students thrive in a foreign country inspired me to see the world. These travels led me to teaching in other countries and travelling to over 25 different countries.  I arrived in Spain four years ago and fell in love with the culture and haven’t been able to leave. I am a traveller, teacher, and learner at heart and look forward to sharing and learning with the students.

Oksana Osmundsen

Primary Support Worker

Hello my name is Roxy.

To the Children of Primary School I’m known as Mrs “O”.

I lived and worked in Singapore as an interpreter in a Private Hospital, during the same period I worked as a volunteer at a German International School, where my daughters attended.

A couple of years after, we all moved back to the UK and I qualified as a Teaching Assistant (TA) in Cardiff, Wales. I am experienced working with children of all ages and different nationalities. I speak five languages and I’m planning to learn more, and it’s a great opportunity to help children with a language barrier as well. I am now delighted to be part of the team at Willow International School.

On weekends I usually play golf.