Our Staff (click on picture for bio)

Justine Barlow
Karin Munkholm
Deputy Head, Senior Leadership Team and Homeroom Teacher for Advance and Plus
Hannah Homa
Senior Leadership Team and Teacher
Justine Barlow
Head of School 
and Senior Leadership Team
Eimear Mccartan
Homeroom Teacher for Ignite Blue and Ignite Purple
Amanda Parker
Academy Administrator and Senior Leadership Team
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Jana HodgsonHomeroom Teacher for Ignite Red
Nicky Garwood
PE Teacher 
Paula Divers
Teacher 
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Jodi Meikle-Day
Educational Assistant
Lovely Tse-Ong 
Special Educational Needs support
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Catherine Belletty
Educational Assistant
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Maureen Connoly
Educational Assistant
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Gemma Parker
Educational Assistant
Liz Hemmings 
School Counselor 
Elaine Sutton
Curriculum Director
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Gaylene Meeson
Parent Representative 

Staff Bios

Justine Barlow
Head of School 
I came into education, quite by accident over 20 years ago. Originally planning a career in social work, I happened to spend a few weeks volunteering in my local primary school in Horwich, near Bolton in Lancashire to support my undergraduate studies, which I absolutely loved, resulting in a change of direction both academically and professionally.
Since then, I have been fortunate enough to have taught across Years 1-6, both nationally and internationally.
I am a passionate advocator for an inclusive approach to education and I firmly believe how you are teaching is equally, if not more, important than what you are teaching.
In addition to specialising in psychological and educational studies, I am a qualified and experienced counsellor of Young Children and Adolescents and a trained Orton-Gillingham language therapist.
On returning to Hong Kong and Discovery Bay with my family from Dubai 8 years
ago, I founded the school.
Karin Munkholm 
Deputy Head, Senior Leadership Team and Class Teacher for Plus and Advance 

Originally from Scandinavia, I made the move to Hong Kong with my husband in 2005, and we’ve called Hong Kong our home ever since.  I have been with the Academy since the early days and have witnessed Justine’s vision coming to life.

I graduated with a Bachelor degree in Sociology (East and Southeast Asian studies) and ventured into education by pursuing my passion for history. I qualified as a Secondary Teacher, with history as my major, and with a double minor degree in critical thinking and business studies.

I love working with such a great team of educators, but most of all I love working and learning alongside our amazing students. 

Amanda Parker
School Administrator​ and Senior Leadership Team

Originally from the South East of England, my family and I became expats many years ago. We have lived in the Middle East and different parts of Asia before relocating to Hong Kong. 

I am really enjoying part of the team at HKILA 

Hannah Homa

Curriculum Developer, Teacher and Senior Leadership Team

I have been a qualified primary teacher for the last 9 years with experience of working in a wide range of primary school settings. I decided to go into teaching after finishing my degree in dance studies with community and education at Liverpool John Moores University. I took the tough route of the Graduate Teacher Programme and after a very busy, stressful and often emotional year I qualified in July 2010.

I have been in Hong Kong since August 2013, having moved here with my husband from Bolton, Lancashire and started at HKILA in March 2014. I love working with such a great group of children and a supportive and professional team.  It has been fantastic to see the academy grow from strength to strength in the short time I have been part of the team and I am excited for the future.

 

Eimear Mccarthan

Class Teacher for Ignite Blue and Ignite purple

I’m from Northern Ireland and my husband is Spanish; together we have an 8 year old boy and a 5 year old girl. We moved to Discovery Bay in January 2017 and we are enjoying everything so far! 

I have taught for 15 years across Early Years, Primary, Secondary and Business. Thanks to my husband’s job, I have a great international experience and I’m attuned to many different cultures and languages.After teaching French in England for 5 years, I taught English in Spain for one year and Business English in Switzerland for 2 years. In January 2011, we moved to Bangkok where I taught in Kindergarten and Year One. For the last 3 years, I taught Secondary, Kindergarten, New Entrants and Year One, all at the same school in Jakarta, Indonesia.

I look forward to working alongside an amazing team and of course to meeting all the students and parents!

Jana Hudgson
Class Teacher for Ignite Red

... Bio Coming Soon... 

Paula Divers

Teacher 

I’m originally from Liverpool in England. I graduated with a BA (Hons) from the University of Sheffield in 1992.  After working and travelling around the world I arrived in Hong Kong in 1995 and began a career in international marketing and communications. 

After 10 years I left the corporate world to spend more time with my three children. I’ve always had a passion for working with children and child development, which led me to take on several roles in various educational settings. I’ve worked in a primary school, a kindergarten, a special needs residential home and as a home tutor for secondary school children. I am delighted to be furthering my career in education by joining the dedicated staff at the school. It’s a wonderfully warm and caring environment where children are encouraged and inspired to reach their full potential – and I’m very excited to be a part of the magic!

Nicky Garwood 

PE Teacher

I have lived in Hong Kong since 2014 following 13 in Dubai.

My background is in advertising and marketing but since having children of my own I've been assisting teachers in local schools and helping run sport and activity groups for kids. I love to be active and am regularly participating in running and trail running races and events, as well as playing netball, hiking and swimming.

I look forward to bringing lots of energy to the school and our students!

Jodi Leigh Meikle-Day 

Educational Assistant 

I’m from the South East of England. I arrived in Hong Kong in 2016, with my husband and two kids and started working at HKILA shortly after. I come from a Special Needs Educational background and have worked with many children and young adults throughout the last 8 years in the UK. I am a passionate educated and love working with children from all backgrounds. In my capacity as a Home Room Teacher, I am looking forward to helping all children learn and have fun in the process. 

Lovely Tse-Ong 

Special Needs Educational Assistant

After graduating with a degree in BS Psychology at Adamson University in Manila, Philippines in 2010, I immediately started working as a home-based behavior therapist, mainly for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Whilst studying I worked at a small centre, offering an inclusive educational approach, dedicated to teaching orphans with disabilities alongside able bodied children which fueled my desire to teach. I am delighted that I am able to work with a team who are as passionate as I am in terms of integrating children with disabilities into a mainstream setting! “Teachers who love teaching, teach children to love learning.” –Robert John Meehan.

Catherine Belletty

Educational Assistant 

Bio coming soon

Maureen Connolly

Educational Assistant 

... Bio coming soon...

Gemma Parker

Classroom Assistant 

... Bio coming soon... 

Elaine Sutton
Curriculum Director
I am the founder and managing director of Dimensions Curriculum Ltd., a curriculum development company based in the UK. We currently provide creative curriculum resources and services to hundreds of schools in over 23 different countries, all benefitting from our experience and innovation.
With 25 years experience working in education as an advanced skills teacher, schools' senior manager and local authority advisor, I am proud to have been appointed as the school's Curriculum Director. We have designed a unique, organic curriculum for students here with the purpose of motivating, engaging and inspiring learners. In other words, we aim to light fires, not fill buckets! 

Elizabeth Hemmings BSc. (Hons) Microbiology and Genetics (University College of Swansea), MCouns (Monash University, Melbourne)

School Counsellor 

A recent graduate of the Monash Counselling program, Liz has just made official what she

has been doing for most of her life, helping people. Liz started her career working in clinical

science as a geneticist and then transitioned to work in the pharmaceutical industry, both of

which provided her with a strong foundation for understanding the physiological and

neurological issues relating to clinical work. While beginning to raise her family of two

daughters, she became the owner of Bizzie Lizzie in Mui Wo for four years, where customers

were drawn to her store so they could settle in for a chat, to share their problems and leave

feeling uplifted and unburdened. Liz continued to work in the DB community while working

on her Masters in Counselling. With a child in both Discovery College and Discovery Bay

International School, Liz recently completed a two- year term as Chair of the DC PTA and has

now taken up the same role at DBIS PTSA, affording her a valuable insight into the ethos and

character of each school, as well as a deeper connection and familiarity with the

surrounding community. A resident of Hong Kong for eighteen years, Liz brings her

experience and understanding of the issues of living and working abroad, settling families

into a new culture, and transitioning through job, school and life changes.

 

 

Gayleen Meeson

Parent Representative 

... Bio coming soon...