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 and It is a pleasure for me to have the opportunity of working alongside pupils, staff, parents and everyone involved with Willow International School, sharing success, achievement and welfare. Teaching has always been my true passion having previously worked at a variety of Schools here in Spain and the U.K. for over 24 years. Initially, I studied for 5 years in the UK in Drama and Musical Theatre and after achieving my qualifications it then led me to working in educational settings across both Primary and Secondary. I have gained much experience working specifically across S.L.T and I hope that my wealth of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for Education, will bring a great deal of success , alongside exciting opportunities to our learning environment, while supporting the needs of each and every student.

Andrew Campbell

Secondary Key Stage 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 secondary and SEN pupils in specialist
school in the Lake District (UK). As Key Stage Secondary Leader it is my aim to help build
pupil’s confidence and independence as I aim to foster intellectual growth and engage
students to develop key transferable skills required to actively participate in the modern

My education includes completing a Postgraduate qualification in ICT, (University of
Liverpool), and a PGDE (Secondary Teaching, specialising in Modern History) qualification
from Edge Hill University. Having spent twenty-fiveyears working in senior 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 provides practical
experience to support secondary learners as they develop into young, well-educated
adults.From my time working in the private sector, I have also gained a Postgraduate
Diploma in Marketing Management and a professional qualification from the Chartered
Institute of Marketing, (Business School Staffordshire University), including 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


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.

Neda Sharifi

Science Teacher

Hello, My name is Neda Sharifi and I am delighted to join the amazing educational team in Willow International School as the new Science Teacher.

I believe that Science can be one of the most important subjects taught in school due to its relevance to students’ lives and the universally applicable problem-solving and critical thinking skills it uses and develops. In a world of fast-moving technology, studying Sciences provides lifelong skills which allow students to generate ideas, decide intelligently and develop their skills in a meaningful logical approach. Children by nature, are intelligent and curious, and these attributes can be flourished further by providing high quality science education. Learning Sciences can be experimental and fun at the same time and I am a firm believer of making science classes a more unique, inspiring, and memorable experience.  

My qualifications are varied and have given me a wide scope in life. After completion of a degree in English literature and French, and later, a second degree in Sciences, I received a Master’s Degree in Clinical Medicine at Trinity College Dublin. This led me to work in a large teaching hospital in Dublin, Ireland for over twenty years as a Clinical Biochemist where I managed to be the scientific lead for university students who spent their research project in the hospital Laboratory. I was involved in Teaching, Research and Development and practicing Clinical Blood Investigations in the Laboratory. I have published in many Medical and Scientific journals, both in Ireland and European Journals. As well, I have presented at the Cancer Research Conference in Oporto, Portugal, where I achieved the best presentation award in gastroenterology H. pylori related cancer cases. I am bilingual and I speak Persian, English, French and Spanish. 

Susan Gawler

Maths 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

Head of Primary

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.

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.

Chloe Johnston

Primary Teacher

Hello, my name is Chloe Johnston and I am Primary 3´s teacher at Willow International School.  I was born in Northern Ireland and lived there for 23 years. I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I was a primary pupil myself and pursued this by going to Stranmillis University, to complete my Early Childhood Studies degree for three years. I then went onto Liverpool Hope University to study my Post Graduate Certificate in Education. Through completing these degrees, I taught for one year in Belfast, specialising in special educational needs. This experience provided me with vast knowledge on strategies to support children with SEN. I believe all pupils learn best through hands on, creative learning, developing their confidence and self esteem. 


During the summer of 2022, I came on holiday to Spain and decided to seize the opportunity to teach in Quesada. Working at Willow is fantastic with supportive staff, passionate teachers and pupils willing to learn. 

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.