Academic staff

Michael McPherson  gb

Head of School


Michael McPherson is originally from the north of England but has spent the majority of his teaching career in the major cities of the Midlands including Nottingham, Birmingham and Leicester. After graduating from Sheffield with a B.Ed. Hons in Design and Technology Michael held a number of teaching posts before committing to a career in school leadership. He has over fifteen years of experience in senior positions in the United Kingdom, initially as a Vice Principal in a specialist language school, followed by two subsequent spells as a school Principal.

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In 2014, Michael decided to move to Kazakhstan to take up the position of International Vice Principal in Nazarbayev Intellectual School, Kyzylorda. Initially attracted by Kazakhstan’s ambitious educational reform program. Michael has contributed to a number of training programs as well as supporting the development of teaching and learning in both of the schools that he has worked in during the last five years
Michael has a deep interest in improving the quality of teaching and learning in all the schools that he works in. He has been involved in a number of school based research projects, including the use of classroom observation data, to understand the dynamics of learning in second language classroom environments and how best to utilise student feedback to inform curriculum planning. He is always looking for ways to improve his own teaching for the benefit of his students and is currently developing blended learning resources to provide a higher degree of differentiation across the social studies subjects that he teaches.
Michael regards himself as a lifelong learner and he actively encourages the development of this attribute in his students. Throughout his career he has placed the learner at the heart of his decision making with the intention of providing the highest quality of education so that every student can reach their full potential.
Outside of school Michael spends much of his time outdoors and his hobbies include hiking, cycling, sailing, skiing and canoeing. He enjoys travelling and finding out about the culture and traditions of the places that he visits.

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Samuel Finlayson gb

Head of Primary


Mister. Samuel Finlayson is originally from Scotland, but spent most of his life in the center of England. He graduated from Leicester University with a diploma of excellence qualified for primary education. Career beginnings spent in the center and east of England, mainly teaching to all student groups, from year 1 (Y1) to year 6 (Y6). Over the years, he has accumulated a rich experience in various roles, from coordinating disciplines within the curriculum (head of department) for the entire primary school to primary school coordination.

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Mister. Finlayson then became Deputy Director in London and since then he has gained experience in education and management of the secondary cycle. After this period Mr. Finlayson joined international education and served schools in Siberia, Tatarstan, Moscow, Cyprus and Egypt as a school principal, head of department and class teacher. He has made a major contribution to setting up many of these schools. Mister. Finlayson has experience in many curricula and believes that England’s National Curriculum aligned with Cambridge programs is by far the best option to provide excellence in education. Mister. Finlayson spent a life of education and brings a valuable bag of knowledge and experience to the Royal School. He remains passionate, dedicated and committed to students, taking care to provide the best universal education available to every child, offering all the opportunities to reach their full potential. In his spare time, Mr. Finlayson enjoys exploring museums and learning local history. He also likes traveling, sports, reading and visiting places of natural beauty.

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Anda Bădiță   ro

KS1&2 Coordinator

Teacher of Year 4


Anda had the pleasure of teaching for the past six years in private and public schools. She had received her credentials from Pedagogical Highschool „Sabin Dragoi”, Deva and she had special training in CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) at the University of Southampton, as well as several courses through CCD and ISJ. In the summer of 2014 she obtained her PGCE.

She knew from a really young age that she wanted to become a teacher. One thing she loves about teaching is that it is never dull!

Her favourite hobby is to read. For her there is nothing better than curling up with a good book and a cup of coffee. Second to reading is travelling. She loves to visit new places and to learn everything about different cultures.

Iuliana Pop    ro

CAI Examinations Officer

KS3&4 coordinator

Teacher of Mathematics


Iuliana began her career in education as a high school maths teacher in 2011. She has taught mathematics at Cambridge IGCSE and AS levels, and English National Curriculum for Key Stage 3. She has additionally taught Romanian National Curricula in Middle School. She holds a BA in mathematics and an MA in Education, both from Babes-Bolyai University. She is involved in many additional earning activities and enjoys running the school chess club. After five years at Transylvania College, she has moved to the Royal School to continue her work with students and to dedicate her time in teaching mathematics.

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She is currently reading for her PhD Student at Technical University in Cluj. Away from teaching, Iuliana loves music and reads many books in her free time. She wants to develop herself professionally and remains very confident that she will influence students to choose advanced mathematics in the higher stages of their learning careers. Her motto is: “If you are born without wings, don’t do anything to stop them growing”.

 

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Mery Blaga   ro

Teacher of Y5&6

Teacher of Geography

Inclusion Coordinator


Mery graduated the Teacher Training National College “Gh. Lazar” in Cluj-Napoca, in 1994 earning her primary teaching degree. Later on, she became a Geography teacher by earning her Bachelor’s degree at Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Geography, with a track in Geomorphology. She began her teaching career as a Geography teacher at Liceul Teoretic Nr. 5, and continued to build on it in the US. Her approach to teaching was consolidated in typical classrooms, special education environments, a combination of the previous two, and within in-home therapy helping children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and their families. While she lived and worked in the US for almost 15 years, she obtained her first level certificate in Pivotal Response

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 Treatment from the Koegel Autism Center at the University of California, and in 2015, she earned her Master’s degree in Psychology track Applied Behavior Analysis from Kaplan University. Mery decided to return to Romania and wants to be involved with a different kind of school promoting independence, applied knowledge, inclusion of all individuals, real connections and mirroring in the community.

Based on her experience and her education, Mery understands each child is different, and a teacher’s job is to discover and enhance his/her uniqueness. She knows that a happy student is a child who asks questions, who explores, who discovers, who creates, who becomes someone today for tomorrow. In her private time, Mery enjoys hiking and photography, exploring the countryside (anywhere in the world), cooking, reading traveling books and playing Sudoku. 

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Andreea Cadiș  ro

Teacher of Y3


She is a graduate of the Faculty of Letters, University of Babes-Bolyai, with a degree in English Language and Literature and Italian Language and Literature. She is currently an MA student specializing in British Cultural Studies. She loves children and teaching, therefore she is convinced that she found her vocation. She discovered a passion for music in high school and began to sing, play guitar and other instruments, considering music a universal language through which people connect perfectly. Nature is an important part of her life, loving outdoor sports, such as skiing and climbing.

She considers nature her teacher. She is very happy to be a part of this innovative school which offers her the possibility of learning a lot from great teachers and wonderful children.

Raluca Gal-Puiac  ro

Teacher Assistant for Reception/Y1


Raluca is a graduate of the Faculty of Letters at the Babes-Bolyai University with a major in English and a minor in Italian. After graduating, she took a one year gap for travelling. She dedicated this time for meeting new people and creating connections for a better understanding of the human nature. After that she followed a freelancing career using her skills gained during university. Being an introspective person, using her own ideas, thoughts, and feelings, she enjoyed writing, editing and translating various texts, articles and documents.

Given her love and passion for children, she spent her spare time babysitting and discovered she never has to work a day in her life if she chose to pursue a career in teaching. After being an intern within Royal School, Raluca decided that teaching in such a professional environment would be the opportunity of her life.

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She is a dynamic, creative and outgoing person. She loves literature, animals and as a hobby she enjoys handcrafting.

Raluca thinks that the school provides a beneficial environment for children and also for teachers, offering a continuous professional development. She wishes to be a model for the kids, helping them to shape their intellect.

 

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Zsuzsanna Simon   hungary-flag-icon

Teacher Y2

Teacher of Hungarian


With almost 10 years experience in pedagogy, teaching and babysitting, she is enthusiastic to teach with different methods. Prior to joining us here, Zsuzsa taught at Octavian Goga Gymnasial School in Cluj Napoca, where she had 29 students in the third grade, all participating together in sports events, Christmas shows, after-school activities and trips. From 2011 to 2014, Zsuzsa was a teacher in the Unitarian Nursery where she had responsibility for the daily activities of youngsters under 3 years, helping them to improve their basic skills and preparing for kindergarten. Thanks to her, many parents enrolled their children in the nursery. Previous to this, while studying at university, she was a babysitter. Zsuzsa holds an MA in Political Communication and Marketing and a BA in Journalism, and she attended a full four year pedagogical profile in high school.

Denisa Maier  ro

Teacher Assistant Y2

History Teacher


Denisa graduated from the Faculty of History and Philosophy, with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and European Studies and started the Teaching Module in her first year of university studies; she is now enrolled in the Second Teaching Module as a Master’s degree student.

History always represents a passion for Denisa and she thinks it is of the utmost important to have knowledge of the past and of culture. This allows us to learn where we come from and to see the evolution of things and to be grateful for the present.

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During the years spent at university so far, Denisa was involved in different projects as both a volunteer or coordinator. She always enjoyed being part of a team that does something for others, helps them to discover new subjects, ideas and allows them to express themselves.  That is why she decided to take part of the internship program offered by Royal School and later to join the team like teacher assistant for Y2 and also history teacher.

 

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Oana Cosma  ro

Assistant Teacher Year 4

Teacher of Romanian


Oana is a graduate of the Faculty of Letters, with a Bachelor’s degree in Romanian and English Language and Literature, holding also a degree in psycho-pedagogy from the Department of Teacher Training, both at Babeş-Bolyai University.

The desire to expand the study of languages led her to pursue a Master’s degree, as she is currently specializing in Romanian language. By being enthusiastic about both teaching and learning, she has recently earned the Cambridge Teaching Knowledge Test.

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After having the experience of being an intern within Royal School, Oana considered joining the team, as she thinks this school provides a positive environment to create an optimal setting for both teaching and learning. She is a firm believer that literature is a stepping stone to become an enthusiastic lifelong learner and teaching gives you the opportunity to raise children’s aspirations and make a difference in their lives.

 

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Renata Burca  ro

Teacher of Music


Renata Burca is a pianist, piano teacher, music teacher and accompanist. Having grown up in a family of musicians, music was a part of her life starting from a very early stage: she started playing piano at the age of 4. After finishing the Sigismund Toduta High school of Music from Cluj-Napoca, she went on studying piano at the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy from the same city, where she got her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. She collaborates with the Romanian State Opera and Romanian State Theatre in Cluj, and when she’s not busy with teaching and performing, she enjoys singing, having recently started a small cover-band. She thinks of teaching at Royal School as a new challenge, for it is the perfect combination between learning and really enjoying music, the goal being that of slowly building a solid foundation of musical knowledge, combined with the pleasure and excitement for music and performing.

Delia Andreea Gröller  ro

Teacher of Art and Design

School Librarian


Delia is a graduate of the Art and Design University in Cluj-Napoca, with a Bachelor’s degree in the Pedagogy of Arts and a Master’s degree in Painting.  She had a scholarship at the Belle Arti Academy of Bari in Italy, where she was able to catch up with contemporary trends in the artistic world, and studied scientific illustration,  computer graphics and make-up for the theater.

She fell in love with Cluj-Napoca and decided to stay here. This is currently her fifth year as an art teacher and she is really happy to join the Royal School team.

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Her belief is that we all have that special sparkle called creativity and that we need to make it grow and lead us with courage to

pursue our dreams and goals, never giving up on what is really important to us.

In her free time, Delia makes traditional embroidery and enjoys reading, travelling, and making people smile.

 

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Cătălina Anastasescu   ro

English Teacher

Teacher of Performant Arts&Drama


Is a graduate of the Faculty of Letters, “Babeş-Bolyai” University, with a degree in English Literature and Spanish, she earned her master’s degree in Irish Studies and she is also a graduate of the psycho-pedagogical module from The Department of Teacher Training, “Babeş-Bolyai” University. During college, she had several collaborations with various NGOs on the educational side. Her passion for teaching was inspired by the desire to share the joy of knowledge with others. Her belief that theatre can change and improve our existence has led her to look forward to each encounter with it. Dedicated to a relatively new concept, art therapy, characterized by artistic processes used to enhance and improve the physical, mental and emotional states for people of any age, she believes that art therapy emphasizes human development, using dramatic arts and visual arts.

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“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” (Oscar Wilde)

Theatre means challenging the way we think, an emotional exercise that helps us become better individuals and thus create and improve the universe in which we want to live. Following this concept, Cătălina attended various courses of improvisational theater, including an art course, under the guidance of a well-known actress of the National Theatre of Cluj-Napoca. In her spare time, Cătălina is devoted to reading, is passionate about the art of public speaking and is interested in drawing (portraits).

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Bianca Andone-Rotaru ro

Teacher of Biology


Even though she graduated only last year in Biochemistry, within “Babes-Bolyai” University, she believes this is an advantage in teaching biology as she is closer to the age of the students, and knowing what a student needs in order to be interested in a certain field. She is currently following the courses of an MSc in Molecular Biotechnology. Discovering what biology is, means that you discover yourself and how the world around you is working, and this is the first step in doing great things. Combining teaching and biology means that she has the opportunity to make a change in this world by guiding future adults into understanding that without biology, we cannot exist. As a former intern and now, as a teacher, she believes that Royal School gave her the chance to teach what she likes in a child-centred system with an emphasis on developing practical skills, which are the most important not only in science, but also in life.

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Another important part of her academic life is scientific research. She is part of the research team in the Molecular Biology Department of Babes-Bolyai University. The research field in which she is working is animal physiology.

In her free time she loves to travel, as she likes discovering new cultures. Reading is also a hobby of hers and she mostly enjoys books about evolution, neuroscience or behaviour studies.

 

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Iulia Ciogescu  ro

Teacher of Spanish


Iulia is a graduate of the Faculty of Letters at the Babes-Bolyai University with a major in Spanish and a minor in English. Iulia is currently involved in a MA, specializing in Multicultural and Multilingual Communication in Romance Languages. Her biggest interests and passions are languages, literature and teaching. In her spare time, she is an editor at the Babeș-Bolyai magazine, Echinox, but also publishes book reviews and translations from Spanish. Iulia’s biggest wish is to be a role model for her students in Royal School and wants to share with them her passion for studying.

Raluca Gori-Moroșan  ro

MFL coordinator

Teacher of French

Internship Coordinator


Raluca discovered her passion for teaching at a very young age. She continued her academic studies at the Faculty of Letters, obtaining a bachelor degree in French and English language and literature, a master’s degree in Multilingual and Multicultural Communication (French/English/Italian/Portuguese). She is writing a PhD thesis in French linguistics/ discourse, comparison French, Portuguese and Romanian.

She taught in state schools, university and private ones considering that teaching languages is a way of enriching pupils’ way of thinking about their multicultural and multilingual environment.

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She considers that learning languages develops the child’s perspective about the surrounding world offering the opportunity to see and discover the world differently.

As teacher of French she would like to share her knowledge about French culture and language, about the opportunities of knowing a new language and also to show that multicultural and multilingual ”borders” do not exist. Royal School seems to be the perfect environment to achieve this goal.

 

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Teodora Brudasca  ro

Assistant Teacher Y3


Teo graduated from the Faculty of Psychology and Science of Education, Babeş Bolyai, with a Bachelor degree in Clinical Psychology, Counseling and Psychotherapy.  She has always been passionate about human nature and human development. She worked as a psychologist with autistic children, where she realised she has a lot of patience and love for the children.  She wanted to make a change in the world and she found out that teaching is a great opportunity to make this change.

As a hobby she likes to read and reflect on what she has read. She also likes long walks and enjoying every moment. Last, but not least, she likes to travel and meet new people, learning about their culture. Teo has been in the United States of America with work and travel.

Mădălina Drăgan  ro

Teacher of Physics and Junior Science


Madalina is a graduate of the Faculty of Physics at Babes-Bolyai University  Cluj-Napoca with a bachelor degree in Medical Physics,  holding also a degree in psycho-pedagogy from the Department of Teacher Training. She is currently an MA student specializing in Biophysics and Medical Physics.

As an active Red Cross volunteer she was particularly attracted by the educational domain as well as working with children from different social environment. After being an intern within Royal School, she decided to continue teaching because as she says „At Royal School I can train my creative way of teaching children as a child-centred learning program”.

Away from teaching, Madalina loves writing poetry being already published in six local Anthologies.  Her life guide is „Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Adela Lupescu ro

Teacher of IT


Adela has a Bachelor Degree in Mathematics, a Masters in Didactics of Mathematics, both from Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj Napoca and is about to finalize her PhD Thesis in Differential Geometry. During her PhD she has taught seminars on Linear Algebra, Introduction to Cryptography, Geometry and Astronomy. She was also research coordinator for the MatLan Emil Racovita National College project between 2014 and 2017. Mathematics and computer science were always a passion for Adela and passing the knowledge to young children is the outmost rewarding part of her career.

Beside science her favorite indoor past time is reading and listening to music. However, during her holidays she loves to play sports, travel and spend her time surrounded by nature.

Diana Ploscaru   ro

Teacher of Reception/Year 1


Diana Ploscaru wished since she was a little child to become an educator (dolls and soft toys were her first beloved learners). Therefore, she graduated from a vocational high school – Pedagogical College. Once she obtained her bachelor degree in Foreign Languages (French and Romanian), she also graduated from the teaching training courses to become a qualified teacher at secondary school level (2003). Diana started her didactic career as a Romanian and French teacher in a middle school, where she was also the manager for almost two years. She also obtained her Master’s Degree in Communication and Language Sciences.

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She developed her teaching skills enrolling to different professional development courses and getting teaching degrees (II-nd teaching degree; Qualified Teacher Status obtained in the UK). She also had the opportunity to enrich her experience in China for five years (2010-2015) as an English teacher. The experience abroad was continued at London South-East Colleges (Bromley College) in the UK as a learning support assistant (2015-2016). Back to Romania, she resumed her teaching activity in international schools as a Romanian teacher for foreign students and as a primary school teacher in the international line.

As a very active person, open to life-long learning and development, adaptable, she meets with enthusiasm any challenges that occur in her journey as a teacher; and indeed, she loves traveling- both, imaginary -through reading- and in the real way, anytime this is possible. Therefore, every single time she sets off on a new journey with her students, Diana hopes she can be a proper companion, who enjoys in turn new discoveries.

 

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Cezara Zăgrean-Tuza  ro

Teacher of Chemistry


Cezara is a graduate of the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering in Cluj-Napoca, with a degree in Biochemical Engineering. On her way to achieving a Master’s degree in Biochemical Processes, Cezara decided that teaching Chemistry would be a welcome opportunity in her life. Cezara was actually involved in some volunteering activities in clubs for children and she discovered that whilst working with them is a real challenge, it is also a most rewarding experience. She believes that everyone should be offered the opportunity of understanding science. In her free time, Cezara enjoys reading the most. Walks in nature are also a pleasurable option for her during holidays.

Ana Teodora Boteanu  ro

Teacher of German


Ana has graduated from the University of Bucharest with a Bachelor’s degree in Romanian and German Philology and has continued with her Master’s degree in German Cultural Studies at the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca. During her studies she also spent one semester at the Humboldt University in Berlin.
She has experience teaching in state schools, as well as in private language centers in Cluj-Napoca. Her formation continued also after she started teaching, by participating in a DAAD post-graduate programme for young German teachers at the Leipzig University.

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She loves teaching, because it gives her the chance to help, guide and encourage students along the exciting, but challenging journey of learning the German language. She strongly believes that teachers have a crucial role in the lives of children and teenagers, not just by helping them acquire knowledge, but also by supporting them throughout their social and emotional growth.

 

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Dragoș Rus  ro

Physical Education Teacher


Dragoş is on his first adventure in education, whether we talk about private or public education. A recent graduate in Physical Education and Sports, within Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, he is very excited to be part of such a diverse and great team. Specialised in Sport and Motion Performance, more precisely in swimming, he is equipped with the necessary knowledge & training to be able to teach both physical education and swimming for beginners and advanced levels.

He continues his studies at the same faculty, masters in Training and Sport Performance, also in swimming.

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A 12-years professional swimmer, legitimated in Alba Iulia, his hometown, and currently at “Universitatea Cluj” club, with notable performances: titles of national and international champion, recently ranked in #8 within the National Seniors Championships. He is also an official volleyball referee, fourth category, within CJA Cluj. Dragoş has also been involved in several volunteering activities, both as a volunteer and coordinator at international events: European Gymnastics, EuroBasket 2017 or European Table Tennis Championships 2018, as well as national or local activities.

Lover of all sports, Dragos has several hobbies such as mountain walks, singing and he also loves animals, especially cats. He considers himself a great sentimentalist, a soulful person with a big heart, he likes children and enjoys the opportunity to mentor them. He believes that a teacher must be a role model for both students and society, a person dedicated to teaching. “Mens sana in corpore sano” and “A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others” are the favorite mottos that guide him.

 

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Oana Bărăian  ro

Teacher of Humanities


Our new Humanities teacher is a person that has a growth mindset in everything she does. She is purpose driven and she likes to find fulfillment in the work she does.

Oana has a Bachelor’s in Journalism and Communication, being passionate about people’s stories and human behavior. She had a long collaboration with a local newspaper, “Transylvania Reporter” before deciding to upgrade her studies and pursue a Master’s degree in Complementary Studies in Computer Science at UTCN University, being a strong believer in innovation and the use of technology in humanities research.

She worked in a multinational IT company and in a local start-up, where she understood the complexity and beauty of the business world. She has experience in marketing and took an international training in Entrepreneurship, in Poland, through Erasmus+ project.

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However, she believed that her skills and passions could be capitalised in an environment where there would be a greater need of communication and use of creativity and, after pursuing an internship at Royal School, she fell in love with teaching. Currently, she is enrolled in the psycho-pedagogy module from the Department of Teacher Training.

Her greatest wish was to wake up every day eagerly waiting to get to her “job”, a dream which she now considers fulfilled.

She believes in the power of education not just as a way of sharing knowledge, but also as a way of getting students to be curious about the world, encouraging and guiding them to find their passions, take the best out of what a school can offer and create their own unique path in life, so they can too live their “ikigai”.

Her passions include taking road trips, being out in nature and reading (especially biographies).

 

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