The residential staff at Brockwood Park School share a common interest in the educational approach and the teachings of J. Krishnamurti. They come to Brockwood from around the world and bring a wide range of skills and personal qualities. Whether they are working in the garden, cooking the meals, or teaching in the classroom, they are all regarded as educators with responsibilities that mean an active engagement with students. This engagement takes place through day-to-day interaction in which staff support students in learning which is not only concerned with different disciplines, but takes in the personal and social spheres as well.
Brockwood also employs many non-residential staff, who perform essential functions in the School on both a full-time and part-time basis. Some teach, others help in administrative duties and all combine to help provide the school with an important link to the wider community. There are more or less equal numbers of male and female staff at Brockwood and an overall adult to student ratio of around 1:2. Some are former students who have returned to work at Brockwood after having pursued successful studies and careers elsewhere.
For application and vacancies, please consult the
'Staff Applications' page.
The Staff Body
Adrian Sydenham, presently Co-Principal together with Dr. Gopal Krishnamurthy. He has been teaching a range of subjects from Psychology to Geography as well as languages at Brockwood for the past 15 years. Adrian holds Masters Degrees in Modern Languages, Environmental Planning, and International Criminal Justice.
Amel Ouhammou first joined the school in 2011 as a Mature Student. She was driven by a strong interest in alternative education and Krishnamurti's insights into self-knowledge. During that year she enjoyed working in the school's kitchen and had the oppotunity to teach several French classes. Before coming to Brockwood Amel had studied French literature in France and worked in Spain as a French teacher assistant. She came back in 2013 and joined the staff body as a French teacher. Very curious and enthusiastic by the school and its environment, Amel is eager to help maintain Brockwood's nurturing environment, particularly through pastoral care.
Ana Gomes first joined the school in September 2012 as a Mature Student, which was the result of coming across Krishnamurti's Teachings while in Africa in 2008. One of the effects of reading Krishnamurti was that she started questioning the world and herself in ways she hadn't done before. After her one-year Mature Student internship ended, Ana decided to apply to be a Staff member in order to continue to learn from and help the intensive community that Brockwood is. Her background in Landscape Architecture found also its place as she works in the grounds and garden of the school and is a Care for the Earth teacher. Before coming to Brockwood Ana was a volunteer in a Child Aid project in Africa. She also brings experience as a gardener in a Garden Centre, and also that of youth worker in a portuguese NGO. Currently Ana's main role is that of the housekeeper at Brockwood.
Andrew Alexander taught for thirty-eight years at various levels, twenty-nine of those being in informal, ‘progressive’ schools. For eleven years he shared the post of Houseparent with his wife, Maggie Alexander, at St. Christopher School in Letchworth, Hertfordshire. During that time they took care of girls and boys aged from twelve to nineteen years. In 1990 he co-founded the St. Christopher School Links with Rajasthan Project, taking groups of sixteen to nineteen year olds to Rajasthan in India, observing the work of NGOs and interacting with many people, including those who lived in remote desert communities. From there Andrew took up the post of Head Teacher at Inwoods Small School. He and Maggie had already a long term connection with Brockwood Park and this new position enabled them to travel to India making friendships with the majority of education centres established by Krishnamurti or influenced by his work. Andrew’s final teaching was at Dunhurst, Bedales Junior School, as Head of Department. He is very pleased to have the opportunity of joining the staff of Brockwood, having taken up teaching through reading Krishnamurti's Education and Significance of Life and attending the talks in 1974. He feels that Brockwood has much to offer in the current global conversations on Education.
Benjamin Hammond joined the school as a Mature Student in 2010, working primarily as a gardener, but also helping in the Foundation, accounts office and teaching Buddhism. Inspired by the intentions of the school and the community atmosphere, he stayed on as a residential staff member and teaches Humanities subjects, including Religion, History, and English Language and Literature. As well as his teaching and tutoring responsibilities, he is currently the examinations officer, guest co-ordinator and organiser of guest talks ('Present Tense'). He has a degree in Philosophy, specialising in Continental thought as well as Eastern religions, and his subsequent studies have led him further in the direction of poetry, nature writing and mysticism. He loves to travel the world, to be in nature, and has stayed for extended periods of time in monastic settings. Benjamin feels well-suited to Brockwood because of his abiding interests in self-knowledge, and healthy and harmonious living.
Carvalho Ildelindo da Silveira has been at Brockwood for 8 years initially working in maintenance and grounds. In the last year he began teaching foundation Physics, Chemistry, Maths and AS Physical Geography. He really appreciates living at Brockwood because it is an international community and it gives the possibility of exploring Krishnamurti's teachings in relationship.
Christine Haywood has been part of the Brockwood accounts team since April 2000. She has a Diploma in Marketing and is a Graduate of the Royal Society of Chemistry. She enjoys gardening, but most of her spare time is taken up with two teenage children.
Clive Dunkley started teaching wood and metalwork at Brockwood in 1992. Before that he lived and worked at the Yehudi Menuhin School and has studied 3D design, jewellery design and instrument making. One area of his interests is sound, music and instrument construction and he has an MA from the Royal College of Art.
Colin Foster has a PhD in atomic physics and was at university doing research up until the time he first joined Brockwood in 1983. He became the Academic Co-Director in 1993 and held that position until he left in 2002 to care for his aging father. He has returned as part time Physics/Maths teacher.
Farid Boussaha has graduated as a computer engineer with an 'Artificial Intelligence' specialization in Paris. He worked in a software company in the field of 'Business Intelligence' until he joined Brockwood in 2008 as the IT administrator for the school, centre and foundation.
Fazila Benoit is a certified Yoga Teacher and has been teaching Yoga at Brockwood for the past 10 years. She is also the Pastoral Coordinator at the school, taking care of all matters relating to student life and well-being, and is working towards facilitating parents involvement in the education here. She is currently the Reunion Coordinator for the upcoming Alumni event in August 2014.
Francesca Sayer came to Brockwood in 1990 as a student and has maintained a long relationship with the place since her arrival. She has been a staff member for almost a decade and teaches Care for the Earth and Sports. She also runs the Mature Student Programme and is responsible for the recruitment of mature students and staff members. She loves the outdoors and organizing camping trips for students.
Gary Boller teaches Graphic design AS and A2 on a part time basis. He has an HND in Graphic Design. He is also a freelance illustrator, designer, and animator when not at Brockwood and has had work published in various comics, books, newspapers, and magazines. Also he has designed and animated for television. He enjoys teaching at Brockwood and believes that true creativity is found beyond the mind.
Gopal Krishnamurthy has spent most of his life since the age of 4, as a student and teacher at Krishnamurti's schools in India, the UK and the USA. He was a student, mature student and staff member at Brockwood. He is currently at Brockwood teaching physics and mathematics, and working as Co-Principal. His focus is on faculty and educational programmes. He enjoys teaching a variety of subjects including physics, mathematics, geography, environmental studies, philosophy, drama, Indian classical music, and education. He has been a teacher for more than 18 years at High School, Middle School and College levels. He is Director of the internationally conducted Educating the Educator programmes. Gopal holds a PhD in Education, MAs in Education & Philosophy and a BA (Hons) in Physics. Gopal is passionately interested in teacher education and Krishnamurti's educational vision. Gopal proposes that "When teaching is so resolutely structured around demonstrating what one already knows — "not knowing" is a challenging and unexplored point of departure for teaching and learning".
Izaro Aramburu Arregui has a BA degree in Biology. After some years working in different businesses she decided to change her path to working in education. Izaro now holds a Master's degree in education with a focus on secondary school. Moved by an interest in Krishnamurti and education she decided to come to Brockwood for the first time for the Teaching Academy in the summer of 2011. She was accepted to be staff member in 2013 and she teaches Math and works on Health and Safety at Brockwood also.
Lesley Wilkins came to Brockwood in January 2008 as Bursar & Finance Manager. She comes with many years experience in the charity sector, latterly being the Chief Officer of a national charity for 12 years. Professionally, she is a full member of the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians). Outside work, she belongs to two traditional dance groups. One based on English folk dance and the other tradition from the Appalachian mountains in America.
Maggie Alexander began a career in education before having a break of several years to care for her four children, two of whom were students at Brockwood. Her connections with Brockwood go back many years, and it was on the recommendation of Dorothy Simmons (the first Principal) during a discussion about education that she and Andrew moved to St Christopher School in Letchworth where they worked as teachers and Houseparents for 17 years. For three summers Maggie helped in setting up a series of educational seminars that took place at Brockwood. After St Chris she worked for seven years at Bedales School. She developed a great love of India and, with Andrew Alexander (her husband), has visited all the Krishnamurti schools in India several times, as well as many organisations working in the field of social justice, education and sustainable living. In 2008 she took the Certificate in Education for Sustainability at Schumacher College and her focus for this was the Links with India project, an initiative that she and Andrew started in 2007 and which they have put on hold for the time being to enable them to take up the opportunity of working at Brockwood.
Linda Oakley joined Brockwood in October 2007 as an assistant in the Accounts Department, after working for many years in the Agricultural Machinery sector and more recently as Manager of an Optician's in Farnham. She enjoys working with so many interesting people and in such pleasant surroundings.
Margaret Penney was educated in Scotland. Following the completion of her Ph.D., she became a lecturer in the Zoology Department at Liverpool University and began teaching with the Open University. After a few years with Longman Publishing, producing science texts for the Middle East, she qualified as a Secondary School teacher. Margaret was Head of Science at Wimbledon High School (GDST) before coming to Brockwood to teach Biology in 2002.
Mark Apted first became involved in alternative education in the 1970's when he taught art at the Liverpool Free School. Later he taught gardening to children at the Surrey Docks City Farm in London. After studying horticulture at Hadlow College in Kent he went on to start his own business in garden design and maintenance which he ran for fifteen years. He now looks after the grounds at Brockwood. He also enjoys watercolour painting when time allows.
Martins Brikmans studied mechanical engineering at the Latvian Maritime Academy. He first acquired work experience in stone masonry, and has worked in old house restoration as well. Subsequently Martins became interested in sustainable architecture/natural buildings. Martins came to Brockwood because of his interest in holistic living. Just prior to joining the staff he worked on the design and construction of sustainable heaters and as such also did research on efficient wood burning stoves in Denmark. Today at Brockwood he enjoys helping with the maintenance of the buildings and with ground keeping. He is also a sports instructor.
Matthew Taylor joined Brockwood in 2009 with an eager fascination for nature, and a deep interest in learning about relationship and community-living. He spent the subsequent three years as a Mature Student, working in both the grounds and the vegetable garden, learning a lot about wild foods and how to teach teenagers about nature. Matthew is now a residential staff member working in the vegetable garden and teaching in our Care for the Earth programme.
Pedro Lopez joined as a mature student in 2009 after having completed his bachelor's degree in business and economics. Before leaving his native Chile, he worked as a research assistant and teaching economics and maths at high school and undergraduate levels. After a sabbatical from Brockwood spent travelling, he came back and joined as a staff member in 2011. Now he works at the Foundation as publications coordinator, and at the School teaching economics.
Petter Goldstine is a conceptual artist working within the fields of photography and performance. His relocation to the pastoral British countryside has proved to be a fruitful alternative to life in the city. He came to Brockwood because of a deep-rooted interest in alternative education and a strong desire to grow organic food. Petter teaches Photography, Bushcraft, Bicycle Maintenance and works in the vegetable garden when he gets the chance.
Robbert Bleij studied Art History and History with a focus on Classics. He also has a background in acting, a career he started questioning when he encountered Krishnamurti's reflections on life when he was nineteen. Between finishing his bachelors degree and coming to Brockwood he travelled through Europe, sometimes hiking for months without a break through whatever remote areas the continent has left. Robbert studied and lived in Ireland for two years and worked as a professional actor. He feels that Brockwood is a place where people appreciate that only a change in themselves will make a lasting difference. He is deeply interested in holistic approaches to learning. Robbert teaches History, Drama and Climbing.
Sadia Abdullah first came to Brockwood in 1993 as a student for four years. She remained in close contact with the school and several years later joined the Mature Student Programme. Her studies led her to pursue a fine arts masters degree at the Prince's School in London where she specialized in traditional and Islamic arts. She now teaches part time in the schools art department.
Sarai Alons works in the heart of Brockwood, the school's kitchen. The opportunity to live and learn together in an always dynamic and challenging environment, with people from different nationalities, background and ages, was an important reason for her to come to Brockwood. As the school cook she aims to provide the community with wholesome, nutritious and most of all delicious food. She brings with her a background in Cultural Anthropology, and a masters in Peace Building and Conflict Resolution. This, and her love for food and cooking, are proving to be valuable ingredients in the recipe that is called the Brockwood kitchen.
Soraia Sofia Ruiz Costa first came to Brockwood as a Mature Student in 2012. She initially planned to stay for one year only. However, as the year went on, she became particularly interested in pastoral care. Indeed, it became clear to her that she would want to be a staff member. Today Soraia works in the kitchen alongside a team of Mature Students. She believes that a happy stomach is an important part of life at Brockwood. Soraia enjoys her work both in the kitchen and as an educator and is especially happy when the kitchen can cook with vegetable from Brockwood's own organic garden.
Soraya Fernandez joined Brockwood in 2008 as a Spanish teacher and teaches all levels of Spanish to many Brockwood students. She has a degree in English Language and Literature and completed her teaching training in the UK. Before her arrival in Brockwood, she taught in various schools and companies throughout the UK.
Stanly Sugumar was first introduced to Krishnamurti's teachings in 2002 at Sholai School in south India, which is run by a former long-time Brockwood staff member. Stanly first came to Brockwood in 2004 as a mature student. Learning about the self, working with students and nature (growing vegetables especially) have always been areas of great interest to him. In fact, he did a part-time horticultural course at Sparsholt College in Winchester in order to help Brockwood in running the vegetable garden. He left Brockwood in 2007 to travel and learned various life and work skills as well as spread the word and intentions of what he sees as a unique school. Stanly returned in 2011 to be a Brockwood educator and these days his work focuses on maintaining the grounds and doing pastoral care.
Sunsong Susan Clark joined Brockwood in 2012. She currently teaches ESL and Psychology. She has worked in various capacities in a variety of small alternative schools for 30 years. She worked for 11 years at the Krishnamurti Foundation of America school—cooking, gardening, conducting courses for adolescents in self-inquiry and human development/life skills, house-parenting, and co-ordinating the residential program. Sunsong co-facilitates Educating the Educator seminars for educators internationally (http://kfa.org/teaching-academy.php). She studied early childhood education, has a BA in Psychology, and recently studied Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She has been interested in the teachings of Krishnamurti since she was first introduced to them in 1980 by an 11-year-old who asked her what happens when she looks at a tree—does she really see the tree, or an idea of the tree? Sunsong has been watching trees ever since.
Svetlana Lebedeva is a qualified nurse, sales manager, and yoga instructor. Before coming to Brockwood Park, she spent 10 years working in the Krishnamurti Centre in Russia. Together with a group of friends, she took an active part in creating and building the centre, organizing Krishnamurti seminars, summer school programmes for students abroad, and managing the distribution of educational material. Svetlana is Brockwood's full-time nurse and she likes to help in the kitchen when she is available.
Ulrich Eichenauer has been a staff at Brockwood since 2013. He is currently Co-Coordinator of Pastoral Care and teaches general Music classes as well as Violin and Chamber Music / Orchestra. Prior to living at Brockwood, Ulrich had been a Professor for Viola at several Arts Universities in the United States and Europe. As a performing artist he for many years toured and played concerts around the globe. Over the years his interest in teaching grew and with it and an overall sense of responsiblity as an educator, which eventually made him consider coming to Brockwood.
Valentin Gerlier's involvement with Brockwood began as a student in 1992. During his time at the school, he discovered a passion for music, poetry and philosophy which went on to ground his professional activity as a musician, composer and songwriter. Valentin has since performed, recorded and toured extensively as a musician, presenting his own work or playing alongside others. Valentin is currently completing a doctorate thesis in Philosophy and Religious Studies and teaches music, philosophy and religious studies at Brockwood. As a teacher, his fundamental interest is to attempt to teach and explore these subjects in a manner that also brings to light the deeper intentions of the school.
Valerie Cooper joined Brockwood Park School in April 2007 as School Secretary/Receptionist. She brought with her a wealth of experience, particularly as she had worked as an Administration Assistant in a State School for 8 years prior to joining Brockwood.
Vicki Lewin graduated in 1998 with a BA Hons in English with Education and trained as a Secretary and Personal Assistant before joining Brockwood Park as the School Secretary in 2002. Vicki took over the role of Admissions & Recruitment Officer three years later and has worked hard to maintain the current full register of students. Over the years she has enjoyed working alongside some very talented staff and students and in 2007-2008 took a short break whilst on maternity leave and returned as a part-time member of staff in September 2008.
Vijayendran Raghavendran teaches Chemistry at Brockwood. Vijay has done his undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Biochemical Engineering in India and has a PhD in Bioprocess Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark. After a brief stint as a Post Doctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, Vijay came as a mature student to Brockwood in 2006 to explore Krishnamurti's teachings and education. He was accepted as a staff member in 2007. Apart from his teaching activities, Vijay is also the administrative coordinator at the school. He employs technological tools in various areas of work at Brockwood, such as Student and Mature Student recruitment, Exams Office, Guest lists, Pastoral Care, Staff timesheets, Infirmary, Calendars & document sharing. He is also responsible for the KFT contact database and email blasts.
Yannick Benoit is the Facilities Manager and Head of Maintenance at Brockwood. He has gleaned much of his experience of management from owning and running a business and from hands on work as a carpenter. Yannick has a deep interest in the teachings and endeavours always to bring this to a dimension where they have relevance in our day to day practical life. Yannick is a former student.