We present to you our core team of teachers

Jose Azcue Head of School

José Azcue, PhD (Canada/Portugal)

Head of School

Experience in Teaching: 25 Years
Countries taught in: Brazil, Canada and Portugal
Diplomas: PhD Geochemistry, Masters in Environmental Chemistry, Diploma for International School Leadership, IB Diploma School Visit Team Leader

José has more than 25 years’ experience in international education and is widely engaged with the IB (International Baccalaureate Organization). He holds a Masters from University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and a PhD from Waterloo University in Canada. José has served as Headmaster of an international school and been actively involved in teaching, developing teaching material, running workshops and online teacher training. José considers himself fortunate living in Lisbon and enjoying his spare time with his family.

It is a unique opportunity to contribute to the development of a new international school that aims for innovation and excellence. The positive approach and welcoming attitude of the team are contagious.

Teresa Monteiro (PT)​ General Manager

Teresa Monteiro (Portugal)

General Manager

Diplomas: Management Degree from the International University of Lisbon, MBA with specialization in marketing from the Catolica Lisbon School of Business & Economics, Postgraduate Diploma in Hospitality Administration at the Glion Institute of Higher Education Switzerland

Teresa is the General Manager at the United Lisbon International School. Before joining ULIS, she served as School Manager and Business Developer for Knightsbridge Schools International, in Algarve. Prior to working in education, Teresa worked for 20 years in the Portuguese ceramics industry where Teresa ended up holding board positions in the largest ceramics producer in Portugal and in the technological centre as well as the central association.

Teresa Monteiro holds a Management Degree from the International University of Lisbon, an MBA with specialization in marketing from the Catolica Lisbon School of Business & Economics, and recently completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Hospitality Administration at the Glion Institute of Higher Education, in Switzerland.  

Kevin Hall (CA)​ School Principal​

Kevin Hall (Canada)

School Principal

Experience in Teaching: 30 years
Countries taught in: Canada, Japan, Yemen, Slovakia, India, Thailand and Chian
Diplomas:Honors Bachelor of Arts (History), Bachelor of Education (Intermediate and Senior Education), Master of Education (Curriculum and Instruction), Principal´s Certificate, International Baccalaureate Head of School Diploma.

I was the founding head of school in China and hope to bring to ULIS a wealth of experience in the growth and development of new schools. I have led many important school growth initiatives including 1:1 Bring Your Own Device, inclusionary practices, assessment and reporting, curriculum development, teacher professional growth models, all of which having the common goal of enhancing the educational experience for each student.

I am looking forward to working with and learning from the teachers and parents of ULIS and to provide students with an amazing learning journey by building upon the success of the school’s first year of operation!

Kyriakos Koursaris (CY/PT)​ Innovation & Technology Specialist​

Kyriakos Koursaris (Cyprus/Portugal)

Technology Director

Experience in Teaching: 13 Years
Countries taught in: Cyprus, Czech Republic, Portugal
Diplomas: Master’s in Music Education and Didactics, Post-Graduate Course in Technologies and Robotics in Education; Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert & Fellow

After my Masters in Music Education & Didactics and a Master of Choir Conducting from Charles University in Prague, I discovered my real passion, which is educational technology. I worked as Technology Integration Specialist in various schools and institutions, administered and facilitated technology-rich teaching and learning, guided collaborative curricular innovation as well as faculty and staff training/support, and ensured system service, reliability and consistency.

The excitement of being part of a new school is extremely rewarding, as well as professionally challenging. This is a unique opportunity to be part of a new and passionate founding team whose objective is to put together one of the best international schools of the country and become a worldwide reference.

The Microsoft Education Transformation Framework, intended for Microsoft Flagship schools, is by far one of the most innovative and unique educational programs, which puts a strong emphasis to the wellbeing of the student and the teacher alike, while developing the necessary skills and competences to succeed in a future of constant change and technological advancement.

Caro Rascher (ZA)​ Early Childhood Teacher​

Caro Rascher (South Africa)

Early Childhood Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 15 years
Countries taught in: South Africa, Singapore, Dubai UAE
Diplomas: Bachelor’s Degree in Early Child Development and Foundation Stage, with specialization in Art.

Teaching children has forever been a great passion of mine.  I have always known that I would be a teacher one day (this might also be because I come from a family of teachers!). I love creating learning landscapes in my classroom that draw in a young child and lets the magic happen naturally.  Learning in a play-based and inquiry-based classroom is meaningful and rich.  As a result, you create life-long learners across the board because learning is fun and developmentally appropriate.

Every day the children and I go on an adventure together filled with the joy of art, music, stories and imagination, and every day I am grateful to be doing what I love most.  Albert Einstein said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and learning.”  Teaching is, indeed, my favorite form of art.

Monica Lee (ZM)​ Early Childhood Teacher​

Monica Lee (Zambia)

Early Childhood Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 25 years
Countries taught in: Lusaka, China, Sweden 
Diplomas: MA Education – Teaching and Learning. Diploma Montessori Education. Undergraduate Cert – Early childhood. 

Originally from Zambia, I have worked at different international schools and lived in India, Malaysia, China, and Sweden. I enjoy cooking, writing, and painting. 

My teaching approach is based on the belief that children learn through meaningful play and are naturally motivated to explore as they go through developmental stages. My role is to be flexible and build on learners’ prior knowledge, initiative, creativity, and communication skills.    

I am excited by the prospect of shaping new educational experiences for our 21st-century learners at ULIS and feel privileged to be living in the beautiful country of Portugal! 

Nicole dos Santos - Thomson (ZA)​ Elementary School Teacher​

Nicole dos Santos - Thomson (South Africa)

Elementary School Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 10 years
Countries taught in: South Africa
Diplomas: Bachelor Degree in Education – Intermediate and Senior Phase, Honours Degree in Music Education. 

To be a teacher is a gift. A gift to share in the growth and learning of young minds, the future leaders, and innovators of the world. I am a passionate and committed educator who thrives in creative and engaging environments. Teachers are lifelong learners; the world is a never-ending book of knowledge and adventure filled with lessons and possibilities. I believe every child has potential and strengths and that every child should be made to feel included, valued, and respected.

United Lisbon has given me the opportunity to expand my educational skills and to immerse myself into a new culture and country. Their innovative and creative ethos creates an environment where all learners will feel accepted and included. I look forward to being part of a child’s holistic growth.

Richard Duarte (CA) English Language Learners Specialist

Richard Duarte (Canada)

English Language Learners Specialist

Experience in Teaching: 20+ Years
Countries taught in: Canada, Portugal
Diplomas: Masters in Education, PhD in ESL

I’m from Toronto, Canada. I completed my undergraduate degree at Concordia University in Montreal and completed my Masters’ degree in education in 2003.
I’m currently doing my PhD in ESL teaching with Universidade Nova. I’ve been teaching ESL for over 20 years. I live in Lisbon and I love animals.
Chika Wakamori Burnham (JP)​ Elementary School Teacher​

Chika Wakamori Burnham (Japan)

Elementary School Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 13 years
Countries taught in: Japan, CNMI, USA
Diplomas: Masters in Early Childhood Education

As a lifelong learner, teaching is my lifework and how I keep growing personally and professionally. I love self-teaching through discovery and experimenting in my own life, from cutting my hair to sewing a Halloween costume to moving to places that my intuition takes me to. My passion is also to write and illustrate children’s books, and my students are my inspiration. I find arts and crafts, especially with paper, such as origami and drawing, relaxing and meditative.

My motivation to join United Lisbon is to pursue my passion for quality teaching and learning as a starting member of the school. The school’s mission motivates me to utilize my teaching experience in diverse settings and multicultural life experiences. I feel supported to practice my love of whole-child development through inquiry-based learning and student agency.

Travis Burnham (US)​ STEM Teacher​

Travis Burnham (United States of America)

STEM Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 20 years
Countries taught in: USA, Japan, Colombia, CNMI
Diplomas: Bachelor in Biology, Bachelor in Botany, Masters in Creative Writing

I am passionate about learning and teaching science. I ensure that my enthusiasm for science is contagious by giving assignments that are interesting and meaningful. I’m a published writer of short stories and have a few novels looking for homes. I love live music and the ocean, and to travel, snowboard, write, read, and squeeze as much as possible out of life.

To teach and be on the ground floor of the exciting, new project that is United Lisbon International School! And to help young people become engaged and engaging world citizens!

Marcela Silva (BR)​ Elementary School Teacher​

Marcela Silva (Brasil)

Elementary School Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 13 years
Countries taught in: Brazil
Diplomas: Postgraduate Diploma in Education, Bachelor in Languages (Portuguese and English), Bachelor in Elementary Education, TESOL Diploma 

As an educator for the last 13 years, I have focused my career on creating engaging and welcoming learning environments for diverse groups of students.

One of my great interests is the area of cultural competence and social and emotional learning in schools. Education for me is the most powerful tool for change. I adore working in collaboration with my colleagues and designing projects that tackle real-world issues are my passion.

In my most recent work experience, I have had the chance to live through the joys, challenges and responsibilities that accompany opening a new school. I am excited to join ULIS’ mission to empower and inspire the younger generation for a sustainable world alongside this team of talented and professional educators. 

Paul Pereira (US) Social studies Humanities Teacher

Paul Pereira (United States of America)

ULIS Ambassador

Experience in Teaching: 28 years
Countries taught in: USA, Portugal
Diplomas: Bachelor in History, Masters in History. School Building Leader Certified


I am honored to continue  my relationship with ULIS as the first ever ULIS Ambassador in the United States. After having spent part of a sabbatical year teaching at United Lisbon and having my children attend the school, I am thrilled to be able to promote the vision of this cutting-edge school and its amazing staff from and to the other side of the Atlantic.

João Vale (PT)​ Physical Education Teacher​

João Vale (Portugal)

Physical Education Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 7 years
Countries taught in: Portugal, China
Diplomas: Master’s Degree in Teaching Physical Education for Primary and Secondary Levels

I am a passionate and enthusiastic physical education teacher who always had a love for sports.  I was a competitive basketball player for 18 years, therefore becoming a youth basketball coach. 

It is a pleasure for me to teach the students the importance of physical activity and staying active throughout life. I believe all children can enjoy and develop through sports, on what physical education should provide a wide range of opportunities to everyone, which can bring immense benefits to young people’s personal, social, and physical development.

I am excited to have the opportunity to teach in my hometown Lisbon. Being an active and dynamic person, I will look forward to motivating and bring the same energy to my students! 

Joan Hermanson (US)​ Art Teacher​

Joan Hermanson (United States of America)

Art Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 20 Plus years
Countries taught in: Previously taught in Portugal

I am passionate in building relationships and finding ways to help spark creativity in each student. Being a part of the mission of United Lisbon and working with a team of motivated, attentive, and focused educators, in a culturally rich and historic country, is a dream role. I have had the privilege of living and teaching in Portugal and am so excited to be a part of developing creative, caring and sustainable friendships. Taking walks, listening to music, travelling to new places, and spending great moments with family and friends makes me happy!

Maria João Paiva (PT)​ Physical Education Teacher​

Maria João Paiva (Portugal)

Physical Education Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 15 years
Countries taught in: Portugal
Diplomas: Degree in Physical Education and Sports with specialization in Dance

I am a hands-on person who always tries to find the best way to connect to others. In the past I was a competitive volleyball player and professional swimmer. Nowadays I love being active and spend most of my free time swimming or inventing new dance routines. I’m known to encourage students to discover their true self through sports and love to spend time after class helping them grow.

I am excited to join the United Lisbon founding team and be able to put my mark in a program as challenging and rewarding as ours. I was born and raised in Lisbon so this is a proud moment for me, to have an education hub in my city that will allow students to find themselves and to thrive as individuals looking brightly towards the future.

Joana Guilherme (PT) Portuguese Language Teacher

Joana Guilherme (Portugal)

Portuguese Language Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 8 years
Countries taught in: Portugal, UK
Diplomas: Degree in Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Masters in Translation and PhD Educational Psychology

As far as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. Teachers have the privilege to shape people’s lives, to broaden their perspective and to show their students that there is always something more to be achieved. While I’m teaching, I always try to challenge my students to think, to create, to collaborate and to question everything, because today’s society needs active citizens, ready to change the world.

As for my professional experience, I have worked as a Portuguese tutor in the University of Leeds and as an English Teacher in several Portuguese schools. Right now, I can’t wait to start this new experience and get to know my students!

Andreia Azevedo (PT)​ Music Teacher​

Andreia Azevedo (Portugal)

Music Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 20 years
Countries taught in: Portugal
Diplomas: Degree in Music with specialization in Education

I am a very optimistic, cheerful, organized and committed person.
I chose this profession because I love learning with children and hearing their voices gives me a lot of peace of mind.
I like to listen to music, sing and play. I like to travel and to be with my family.
Besides being a teacher, I’m an orchestra musician.
I am very happy to be part of this team in this promising project.

Alessandra Barreto (IT)​ Elementary School Teacher​

Alessandra Barreto (Italy)

Elementary School Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 14 years
Countries taught in: Brazil, USA
Diplomas: Bachelor in Civil Engineer, Bachelor in Elementary Education and School Administration

Teaching has always been my passion! I started my career as a Civil Engineer but my passion for education made me change paths. My classroom is never quiet because I believe it is important to let students know their ideas are valued and will be heard and shared. Besides teaching, I love reading, traveling, and dancing ballet.

I’m excited to join United Lisbon because it’s a school that is shaping the future of education, engaging with new technology, and partnering with culturally rich corporations to prepare students for their future in a dynamic world. Can’t wait to meet you all and start this journey together!

Mónica Bastos (PT)​ School Counselor & SEN​

Mónica Bastos (Portugal)

School Counselor & SEN

Experience in Teaching: 22 years
Countries taught in: Portugal
Diplomas: Degree in Psychology

Throughout my career I had the opportunity to work in clinical psychology (private practice and neuropsychology in hospitals) and educational psychology. This is undoubtedly what I love to do the most. I have several years of experience working in schools with students (some with learning disabilities and special needs), parents/families, teachers and the school community. 

As a counselor in United Lisbon, I hope to contribute to create a safe, stimulating and supportive learning environment to all the students, so that they may accomplish full development in academic areas, personal, emotional and social growth and career development, according to their age, skills and personal interests. It is with great enthusiasm that I embrace this new educational challenge at United Lisbon. It is extraordinary being part of such a professional and motivated founding team.

Thomas Marling (US)​ Social Studies Teacher​

Thomas Marling (United States of America)

Social Studies Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 25+ years
Countries taught in: USA, China, Saudi Arabia, Greece
Diplomas: BA in Sociology, BA in Education and Master’s work in Bilingual/ Multicultural Education

Originally from the United States, I have been a secondary teacher for several years in the USA and many other countries, including China, Saudi Arabia, and Greece, among others.  My qualifications include a BA in Sociology, BA in Education and master’s work in Bilingual/ Multicultural Education. 

My teaching career has allowed me to work with diverse student populations in public/private, for profit/non-profit schools.  It is my goal to assist students to achieve success in their studies, and in their lives by encouraging them to be creative and critical thinkers. 

Nicole Ferreira (ZA)​ Elementary School Teacher​

Nicole Ferreira (South Africa)

Elementary School Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 8 years
Countries taught in: South Africa, The Netherlands
Diplomas: Bachelor in Early Childhood Development, Masters in Curriculum Development

Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” As someone who is passionate about teaching and learning, I value the whole learning process and understand the importance of empowering students with the necessary skills and values needed to be successful in tomorrow’s world.

United Lisbon’s forward-looking philosophy, active learning pedagogy, and continuous innovation to ensure best outcomes for students, makes me excited to be part of the founding team. Through my own professional and personal inquiries, I hope to inspire students to be lifelong inquirers, happy individuals and good citizens that feel part of a wider community. 

Raquel Paixão (PT)​ Portuguese Language Teacher​

Raquel Paixão (Portugal)

Portuguese Language Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 14 years
Countries taught in: Portugal, USA
Diplomas: Degree in Linguistics, Masters and PhD in Iberian Linguistics

My passion for language teaching comes from several experiences working and learning in different educational settings, including elementary schools and language schools in Portugal and higher education programs in the United States. For eight years, I lived in California and taught Portuguese in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UC Santa Barbara. During that time, I also completed a master’s and a PhD in Iberian Linguistics, focusing my research on the area of Second Language Teaching Methodology.
I really enjoy reflecting on different ways to foster students’ interest in language learning and to help them develop their abilities so that they can successfully accomplish their goals. I am delighted to join the United Lisbon International School team, and I am eager to continue learning and developing my passion for language teaching in such an exciting and innovative environment.

Evey Koen (US)​ STEM Teacher​

Evey Koen (United States of America)

STEM Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 10+ years
Countries taught in: UK, USA
Diplomas: BA and Masters of Education

After traveling and experiencing many parts of the world, I am very excited to establish some roots in Portugal and more so to be at United Lisbon. My teaching goal is to help students build confidence and develop a thirst for learning mathematics. I encourage problem solving and active learning throughout the learning process to help develop my students’ inquisitive natures through project-based learning.

My passion is to allow students to explore mathematics in community-based settings and use real life examples based on their interests. I want my students to know that I genuinely care about their success.

Bruno Pires (PT)​ Math Teacher​

Bruno Pires (Portugal)

Math Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 13 years
Countries taught in: UK, Portugal
Diplomas: MA Economics, QTS Mathematics (Essex, UK)

I have a passion for education. I have spent most of my life in schools and universities in the UK and Portugal, learning, teaching, and taking students throughout the whole secondary and sixth form mathematics curriculums.

I have taught from year 7 up to year 12 (or year 13 in the UK) teaching GCSEs, IGCSEs, A-levels and the International Baccalaureate program.  

I have designed the mathematics syllabus and respective schemes of work for several secondary schools across Portugal and the Essex County in the UK while heading and coordinating their respective math’s departments. 

I am extremely excited to be part of this world class international school and to contribute to our student´s educational success. 

Alexandre Saraiva (PT)​ Arts & Design Teacher​

Alexandre Saraiva (Portugal)

Arts & Design Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 18 years
Countries taught in: UK, Portugal
Diplomas: Degree in Design with option in graphics, PGCE in Visual Arts. 

My approach to teaching is based on the best interaction with students, assisting each one to develop their own potential and independent learning. I always try to provide a stimulating learning environment, assuring their motivation and creativity. 

Teachers are role models, so for me it is crucial to transmit the school’s ethos and philosophy, leading by example, providing effective guidance and inspire students to embrace values, skills and knowledge that will turn them into top 21st century learners and professionals. 

I am very keen to be part of this great project and looking forward to fulfilling my passion for teaching with this wonderful team. 

Jo-Ann Franken (South Africa)

STEM Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 10 years
Countries taught in: South Africa
Diplomas: Master’s degree at Stellenbosch University in South Africa

My belief is that learning should not be limited to curriculum content, but education should assist students in developing their abilities and realizing their potential whilst maintaining a balance between academic, sport and cultural activities to remain versatile.  I enjoy engaging students in lively conversations to stimulate their love for learning and improve self-confidence as it is imperative that students develop international mindedness in the global world society, without compromising their sense of self or heritage.  I believe that developing a positive collaboration between teacher, parents and student remains an important part of successful education.

Growing up in a country with diverse cultures, I have always been interested to engage and embrace variety.   This makes me excited to join a multi-dimensional school like United Lisbon International and to be a part of the team and community. 

Steven de Souza (CA)​ English Teacher​

Steven de Souza (Canada)

English Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 14 years
Countries taught in: Belgium, Canada, China, Morocco 
Diplomas: Bachelor in Arts (History), Bachelor in Education 

I have extensive IB English experience, teaching both MYP and DP programs and have held an array of posts, including DP Coordinator, CAS Coordinator, Extended Essay Coordinator, and Co-Curriculum Director.  

My own educational philosophy compliments United Lisbon’s ethos because of the emphasis I place on encouraging critical thinking, lifelong learning, and personal growth. I am a teacher who demands and expects excellence from myself to allow my students to reach their true potential. At the same time, I understand the importance of striking a balance between rigorous academic adherence and engendering a love of learning. My interactive and student-centered lessons provide my students with the inspiration and the tools necessary to achieve their potential. 

I am someone who has consistently invested extra effort to support the needs of my students, colleagues, schools, and communities. This is reflected in my work with students on Student Council, coaching sports, and my mentorship work within the English Departments at my previous schools. I look forward to bringing this same enthusiasm to United Lisbon by seeking out opportunities for community, local and global involvement. 

Camille Nivera (CA)​ English Teacher​

Camille Nivera (Canada)

English Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 15 years
Countries taught in: TurkeySouth Korea, Ecuador, Canada, Philippines  
Diplomas: Bachelor of Education, Master’s in Arts, English Literature, and History 

After living and teaching in many distinct parts of the world, I look forward to making a new home in beautiful Portugal and joining the dedicated team of educators at United Lisbon International School.

I have primarily taught English and History at the middle and high school level but also have experience teaching students in junior grades and in Special Education. In my spare time, I enjoy drawing and painting.

I am excited to be part of the United Lisbon International School community and to support the school’s mission of encouraging students to be engaged, lifelong learners and compassionate global citizens.  

Jani-Mari Nienaber Early Childhood Teacher​

Jani-Mari Nienaber (South Africa)

Early Childhood Teacher

Experience in Teaching:7 years
Countries taught in: South Africa, Qatar, United Arab Emirates
Diplomas: Bachelor’s Degree in Senior and Further Education Training, specializing in English and Life Sciences.

There is no greater profession than teaching.  Not only is teaching a passion of mine, but I also come from a teaching family. I enjoy inspiring young minds and assisting in their development. The greatest reward in teaching is the achievements of your students and seeing them change into well rounded individuals. The most important rule in my class is for me to lead by example and be an inspiring role-model to my students. My biggest goal within my teaching career is to not only help my students to enjoy coming to school, but also become responsible, contributing citizens.

I enjoy painting, playing games and spending quiet evenings in with my husband and cat (Salem). I have a lot of international experience and taught Years 1, 4, 5, 6 and Grade 10. I enjoy new challenges and adventures.

Rita César das Neves (PT)​ Social Studies Teacher​

Rita César das Neves (Portugal)

Social Studies Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 4 years
Countries taught in: Portugal
Diplomas: Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCEi at University of Nottingham, UK), MA in Global and Comparative Politics (University of Essex, UK) and BA in International Relations (Catholic University of Portugal).

As a motivated and enthusiastic teacher, I started out as a teacher assistant at an international school, working with middle and secondary students, while pursuing my PGCEi. The student-centered approach and inquiry-method sparked my true passion for teaching. Before undertaking my PGCEi I worked in non-profit in Washington DC, USA and in Kathmandu, Nepal, for-profit and Academia in Portugal.

For the past three years I have been working as an English teacher to young learners. Nonetheless, I am happy to embrace the secondary students and teach Social Studies at ULIS, where I will combine my international work experience in International Relations and Political Science as a researcher with teaching and developing logical and critical reasoning skills. My goals are to inspire long-life learners, well-rounded and international minded students, and citizens. I believe in being approachable and committed towards the students’ learning, while creating an engaging and challenging environment where active learning takes place.

Carlota Louceiro Early Childhood Teacher​

Carlota Louceiro (Portugal)

Early Childhood Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 4 years.
Countries taught in: Portugal.
Diplomas: Master in Pre-School Education, Lisbon School of Education. Fifth degree in Conservatory in Music Training, Chamber Choir and Violin.

Born and raised in Portugal, I have always enjoyed meeting new people and have tried to do so throughout my life. Having grown up in the early years of the 21st century, new technologies and global corridors around the world are natural to me and I always wanted to be a part of that through sports, music and theater. Working at ULIS and in my hometown is a privilege, even more so in a project like this, so multicultural and innovative. I will try to bring to the classroom the transversality of contents through a pedagogical practice centered on play and on the child as the center of its learning process, promoting in the children an international mentality, with their eyes set on the world!

I studied classical music, having a diploma in Violin, Music Training and Chamber Choir. I also attended strings orchestra and have a diploma in Jazz Guitar.

Samantha Forster (UK)​ Drama and Theatre Studies Teacher​

Samantha Forster (United Kingdom)

Drama and Theatre Studies Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 13 years.
Countries taught in: UK, Russian Federation
Diplomas: PGCE (QTS). BA (Hons) Humanities (English lit, Film and Drama), L.A.M.D.A
Gold medal in Acting.

I am extremely excited to be joining the team at United Lisbon International school. I bring with me a wealth of experience, not only in teaching theatre but in community projects. I direct and produce whole school concerts and performances. I have helped many young and old students develop confidence, prepare for auditions, live shows, and public speaking events. I believe that teamwork is essential to successful projects, and I love to be involved in the life of the school community.

I am a positive and enthusiastic person with a hands-on approach and a profound sense of fun. I enjoy musical theatre, films, yoga, cycling, swimming, walking, and exploring outside of my work.

Ashley Barlow (ZA) English and Social Studies Teacher​

Ashley Barlow (South Africa)

English and Social Studies Teacher​

Experience in Teaching: 3 Years
Countries taught in: South Africa
Diplomas: Bachelor of Arts in Social Science; Early Child Development with Montessori specialization

I have 3 years’ experience in international education and hold a Bachelor of Arts from Stellenbosch University and a Diploma in Early Child Development with Montessori specialization. I have a passion for teaching and a love for learning and have served as a co-directress within the Montessori 3-6-year environment; middle school English, thematics (project-based learning through collaboration, focusing on real-world skills) and social science (history and geography) educator, as well as an IGCSE life skills and geography educator. Due to this, I am well-verse within the Montessori and Cambridge International curriculums. 

I have been actively involved in teaching, encouraging active and project-based learning, content creation, curriculum development, social media management, sports team management and more whilst expanding my knowledge through short courses. At my last school, I was the subject expert for middle school social science and Grade 7 English, as well as the subject lead for social science across the school group (8 campuses, nationwide). 

I consider myself lucky to be granted the opportunity to move to Lisbon and I’m thrilled to be joining the ULIS team. I am no stranger to teaching within a new and fast-growing environment and therefore looking forward to the journey ahead, and meeting all of you!

Francisco Gouveia (PT)​​ Computing Teacher​

Francisco Gouveia (Portugal)​

Computing Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 5 Years
Countries taught in: São Tomé and Príncipe, Portugal
Diplomas: Bachelor’s in philosophy, CELTA (Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)

I started as a volunteer teacher in the small island of Príncipe, off the western coast of Africa. There I developed a STEM programme for local children, which introduces them to Computer Science, as well as Conservation Technology – as the project is built on a partnership with an NGO focused on protecting biological diversity.

I love to teach and to come up with interesting ways of explaining new concepts to students.

John Hearn (IE)​ Elementary School Teacher​​

John Hearn (Ireland)

Elementary School Teacher​

Experience in Teaching: 4 Years
Countries taught in: Ireland, United Arab Emirates
Diplomas: Bachelor in Education

I am delighted to be a new Irish addition to the United Lisbon team. Following my graduation from Marino Institute of Education in Dublin, I spent one year teaching in Ireland and there after spent three years teaching in Dubai. I look forward to implementing high standards of teaching in United Lisbon during the academic year.

I am passionate about sport and represented my home Province of Leinster in GAA competitions, winning ‘Sportsman of the Year’ awards in secondary school and college. It is imperative that student’s health and happiness is catered for – to this end I organised and coached summer sports camps during my undergraduate degree which parlayed into my teaching role in a number of private schools across the UAE.

Students can derive both educational and personal benefit from learning in United Lisbon’s rich multicultural setting. I welcome the opportunity to further enrich the lives of the ULIS students, drawing from my experiences in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Milton Jesus (PT) Physical Education Teacher​

Milton Jesus (Portugal)

Physical Education Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 15 Years
Countries taught in: Portugal
Diplomas: Degree in Physical Education and Sports, QTS, Post-Graduate in Sports Marketing Management

I am passionate about sports, from an early age with a strong connection to sports as an athlete and coach. My childhood dream was to become a Physical Education Teacher to share my knowledge, help people to reach success and overcome adversity.

My passion for challenges led me to ULIS. I look forward to sharing my love and enthusiasm for sport with my students in a resilient and ambitious way.

Francisco Luís Rocha Physics and Chemistry Teacher

Francisco Luís Rocha (Portugal)

Physics and Chemistry Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 20 Years
Countries taught in: Portugal
Diplomas: Major Degree in Physics and Chemistry Education from Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon

Teaching Physics and Chemistry for more than 20 years in private schools has given me the privilege of helping students to grow and develop. Ever since my early years of teaching, I have continuously engaged in partnerships with universities, science institutes as well as with some companies in the promotion of student participation in various projects, from solar energy to robotics and seismology, to help them build bridges between science and society. These experiences also provided me with the opportunity to develop and engage in learner success in everything from robotics competitions to international science conferences abroad.

The United Lisbon project gives me the opportunity of working as part of a team that believes that families, universities, businesses, and school should and can work together to achieve the highest standards on education, and I am incredibly happy to be a part of this project.

Ana Serra Portuguese Teacher

Ana Serra (Portugal)

Portuguese Language Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 6 Years
Countries taught in: Portugal
Diplomas: Degree in Modern Languages and Literatures – Portuguese and French; Master’s Degree in Teaching Portuguese (7 to 12) and a Foreign Language – specialization in French as a Foreign Language; Post-Graduate Course in Communication Consultancy

After several years working in the local government communication area, I went back to my field of knowledge and discovered my true passion – teaching!

I have experience in teaching French as a non-native language, Portuguese (5 – 12 grade) and Portuguese as a Non-native language.

As a teacher, I always learn from my students, and I really love to see them progress and grow. I believe teachers can truly make a difference in students’ lives, inspire them, and help them achieve their dreams.

Being a person involved in community services and activities, through volunteering, I am excited to be part of a team that is not only instructing students, but also creating engaged citizens.      

Maria Porto Elementary School Teacher

Maria Porto (Portugal)

Elementary School Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 6 Years
Countries taught in: Portugal
Diplomas: Masters in Pre-School Education

I have been working in education since 2015, having been in an international context for four years. The crossing of cultures becomes a fundamental process for any child of the 21st century. At ULIS, multiculturalism is important and the contact with culture is also contact with the mother language of the country.

I am a Portuguese teacher teaching early childhood to grade 2, integrating classroom projects and teaching Portuguese through topics of the children’s interests.

Lazina Gheyselinck Music Teacher

Lazina Gheyselinck (United Kingdom)

Music Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 20 Years
Countries taught in: Belgium, Nepal, Ireland, Italy, the UK and Portugal
Diplomas: BA in Music, Postgraduate Certificate in Education, Masters in Music Therapy, Advanced Certificate in Choral Conducting

I am from Belgium, the UK and India and have spent the past 20 years working with children and adults in a range of contexts including international schools in Italy, schools in rural Nepal, and mainstream and special schools in the UK.

 I play piano, oboe, guitar and have enjoyed many years singing in choirs and musical theatre groups.  I love teaching and hope, in the words of Zoltan Kodály, “to teach music and singing in such a way that it is not a torture but a joy for the pupil.”

Daniela Carvalho Dias de Souza English Language and Literature Specialist​

Daniela Carvalho Dias de Souza (Portugal / Brazil)

English Language and Literature Specialist

Experience in Teaching: 17 Years
Countries taught in: Portugal, Brazil
Diplomas: Master’s in English and American Studies, Graduate Studies in Literature, Bachelor’s Degree in Education, Bachelor’s Degree in English and Portuguese – Translation and Interpretation, TESOL Diploma, Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA), Certificate in English Language Teaching – Secondary (CELTS), Certificate in English Language Teaching – Primary (CELTP).

Teaching has always been my true passion, alongside cinema, literature, and my love for listening to people. I believe that students learn more when they are having funwhen they are able to be the center of their own discoveries, and, of course, when they are motivated to be inquiring minds.  

When I am teaching, I try to be a guide to my students’ discoveries or a captain, showing the way through this incredible journey, which is the search for knowledge. 

In my own personal journey, I have worked for international schools, and a Jesuit school for over 17 years. I also have vast experience in preparing learners for international exams. 

I am extremely happy to be part of the ULIS talent team and help them empower young minds for a lifetime of learning, individually and in collaboration with others. 

Lise Van Delm Assistant Teacher​

Lise Van Delm (Belgium)

Assistant Teacher

Experience in Teaching: 3 years
Countries taught in: Belgium
Diplomas: Master of Arts in Philosophy and Moral sciences, Bachelor’s Degree in Secundary Education: English and Non-denominational Ethics, Post-graduate Diploma in Primary Education (Non-denominational-Ethics).

Student-centered education is something I attach significant importance to, and I always strive towards this approach. Every student is treated with respect and with the number of opportunities they need. My passion and curiosity about life characterizes me as a teacher, and I try to pass this on to my students during my lessons. I am looking forward to growing together with the team and the children from ULIS. I am very blessed and excited to be a part of this innovative team.