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
A conviction that his journey involved supporting others to find fuller, deeper ways of living led Alex Massie to find Krishnamurti’s teachings, and he joined the staff team at Brockwood Park in 2014. With an academic background in engineering (Alex holds an MEng in Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering and MSc in Water Management), Alex has travelled through working in business, local government, overseas development, and as an environmental consultant; he has also spent time living and working in communities such as the Centre for Alternative Technology, where he worked in the woodland and as a water & sanitation engineer. How we seek to live our lives, and how we navigate this complex world, fascinates Alex and exploring how we create Right Livelihood is close to his heart. Alex is the Curriculum Coordinator at the school and is also involved in teaching mathematics and human ecology. He feels strongly that getting outdoors is a critical part of learning and he is training to become a Mountain Leader to enable him to lead expeditions to more remote locations.
Ana Gomes 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 unique community that Brockwood is. 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 has worked as a youth worker in a Portuguese NGO. Ana’s main role is that of Centre Coordinator at the Krishnamurti Study Centre at Brockwood but she is still very much involved in life of the School.
Andrew Alexander taught at various levels for thirty-eight years, 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 first 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.
Antonio Autor was born in Spain and attended Jesuits College in Pamplona , prior to gaining a BA at the Bilbao School of Business Studies. He played professional football from 1976 to 1985 and then completed two years of English studies in Cardiff, Brighton and London. He joined Brockwood Park School in 1987 as a teacher of Business Studies and Sports, while also having some responsibilities for the grounds. He trained in horticulture and became Head Gardener of the Brockwood Park estate for eight years, while continuing to participate in and support pastoral care within the School. He rose to become Senior Tutor for pastoral care, which he did for a number of years, prior to being asked by the Trustees responsible for Brockwood to become administrator of the adult study centre (situated on the same grounds as the School). Antonio spent eight years in this role overseeing an increase in visitors use of the Centre and improvements to the buildings. For the academic year beginning 2015 he was asked by trustees and colleagues to return to work in the School this time as Co-Principal. Antonio lives at Brockwood Park with his partner Helena, and their teenage daughter attends the School.
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 a part time Physics/Maths teacher.
Alternative education and Krishnamurti's teachings are two interests that brought Eva Booth to Brockwood Park School, firstly as a Mature Student in 2005, and then to come back as a staff member in 2011. She has worked in the kitchen, enjoying making tasty meals and using the vegetables from the garden when in season. She is now a mother and works part time teaching Pottery, and helping in different areas.
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; 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 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 Middle School, High 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".
Hazel Streeter’s fascination with the stories that we tell means that she is in her element in her roles of teaching English and managing the Library. In addition to engaging with the written word, Hazel has a passion for storytelling and deep ecology into which she roots herself and her creativity whenever she can. Sharing her gleanings, and supporting and encouraging students in their own delving inspires her, and she feels that Krishnamurti’s insights about education are powerful and radical enough to create the changes our society so badly needs. Hazel arrived at the school with her partner and daughter in 2014. Before having a family she worked as a Support Worker and as an Advocacy Worker for young adults with learning disabilities and mental health problems, and she also holds an MA in English Literature.
Carvalho Ildelindo da Silveira has been at Brockwood for 8 years initially working in maintenance and grounds. He is now a member of the teaching staff, with experience in teaching foundation Physics, Chemistry, Maths and A Level Physical Geography. He really appreciates living at Brockwood because it is an international community and it gives rise to the possibility of exploring Krishnamurti's teachings in relationship.
Jennifer Kowalewski first joined Brockwood Park School in 2009. In the past four years she has been living in Spain, learning how to build with natural materials and studying the Semiotics of Expression through children´s paintings. She has a Masters of Arts in Teaching and a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in photography. Jennifer decided to return to Brockwood in 2015 to further explore questions in education that steer away from mainstream education and to enquire into topics on life with young people and other educators within the community. She loves photographing and sketching, going for walks, working in the garden, and is passionate about using art to promote active learning through all subjects.
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.
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.
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. He did a part-time horticultural course at Sparsholt College in Winchester in order to help Brockwood with running the vegetable garden. He left Brockwood in 2007 to travel and learned various life and work skills as well as spreading 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.