Team Talk with Our Course Directors – February 2019

Team Talk with Our Course Directors – Andy, Jane and Tim – February 2019

During the summer our courses are run by a wonderful Course Director at each location.  Andy is the Course Director at Badminton School, Jane is at Lord Wandsworth College and Tim is at Wellington School.  They work hard over the summer to ensure all our students have the best experience possible whilst also looking after our teachers and student hosts.  Read on to find out more about our Course Directors:

Andy – Etherton Education Course Director at Badminton School

Can you tell us something about your career, Andy?  I’ve enjoyed a varied career including production management, electronic engineering, program management of multi-million Euro projects, teaching in a local college and being the managing director of an international engineering design company in the oil and gas industry.  I’ve lived and worked in the USA, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Saudi Arabia.  Collectively, my life experiences have taught me the value of teamwork and cooperation, the importance of communication and the wonderful diversity of human nature.

What is your personal philosophy?  My personal philosophy is based on two maxims:  If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing properly and Life is too short to be unhappy.

What is the best place you have travelled to and why?  If I had to choose one it would be Nepal.  It is full of natural beauty and contradictions which make you challenge your preconceptions and values.

What is the weirdest job you have ever had?  More unusual than weird – although I spent 32 years in the Royal Air Force I never flew a plane, but I did “fly” something that went higher and faster – a satellite.

What is the one food you cannot resist?  I have a serious weakness for cheese, especially a strong vintage English cheddar, a French comté or an Italian pecorino – something that bites back!

What sports do you participate in?  I’ve enjoyed playing most sports, but my passion has always been rugby.  However, today my time is spent on long distance walks, Tai Chi and photography.

Jane – Etherton Education Course Director at Lord Wandsworth College

Can you tell us something about your career, Jane?  Well I’ve worked for an insurance company, been a full-time mum, a marketing executive, and an administrator for an international school, a granite company and for BMW. In 2006 I decided to train as an English teacher and I really haven’t looked back! Since then, I have met some amazing people and worked with students of all ages and nationalities. I’m now the Course Director for our summer course at Lord Wandsworth College and feel very privileged to be able to support our talented students as they begin their educational journeys in the UK. I can’t think of a better way to spend my summer.

What is your personal philosophy?  Always do your best and you will never have any regrets.

What is the best place you have travelled to and why?  Nepal. It’s a very spiritual place. The people are so friendly and smiley, and the scenery is spectacular. I loved visiting all of the cultural/historical places and sampling the local food.

What is the weirdest job you have ever had? During a summer holiday from university, I counted cars for the local council. When we weren’t counting cars, we were underground in a nuclear shelter doing analysis. I don’t think the work warranted such security, it’s just that there was no other office space available! It certainly was a bit weird.

What is the one food you cannot resist?  Anything Thai. We have a local Thai restaurant which I simply cannot drive past without stopping, plus I enjoy cooking up stir fries and curries with authentic ingredients whenever I get the chance.

What sports do you participate in? Oh this is easy….. I’m only a spectator now, but until damaging my knee a few years ago I was a very keen basketball player. Many of the students that come to us in the summer are surprised that I know so much about the sport. I simply love it and I’m happy to talk about it for hours. Does that count as exercise?

Tim – Etherton Education Course Director at Wellington School 

Can you tell us something about your career, Tim?  Most of my career has been in education, although I have now set up a property business which has brought with it new challenges and rewards.  I have worked in independent, state and international schools.  Before becoming the Headmaster of a school in Cheshire, I was Head of the Lower School at Wellington School for ten years – so I enjoy returning to Wellington each summer to work for Etherton Education as I meet up with lots of former students, colleagues and friends.  I really enjoy helping our summer school students learn about how to be successful in UK independent schools.

What is your personal philosophy?  One of my favourite films is Dead Poets Society.  In this the English teacher, Mr Keating, says, “No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”  To me, it follows from this that we need to use words well and to develop and support ideas that will make the world a better place.

What is the best place you have travelled to and why?  One of the best places for me is Gran Canaria.  Although it’s a small island it’s also very varied: sunny and dry in the south; lush and rainier in the north.  Drive thirty minutes from the beaches and you can find yourself in the dramatic mountains.  There has been a lot of new building, but beautiful old churches and villas remain.   I like coming home to the UK, also, despite the rain!

What is the weirdest job you have ever had?  Working in an old canning factory.  It was a very, very boring job, but every so often I would look up and see rows of cans travelling really quickly up and down along metal rails rather like a roller coaster.

What is the one food you cannot resist?  Roast pheasant.

What sports do you participate in?  I like squash, cricket and going to the gym – but I get most of the exercise I need by walking my dog in the hills near my home.