I am Joy Otto, the director of the Primary School Bilingual Program. I earned my undergraduate degrees in Primary School Education and Special Education (k-18). I have completed post graduate work in Montessori education, Orton-Gillingham Language Speech/Language Therapy, Montessori Teacher Training, Brain Gym Kinesiology and I am a certified PADI dive master. I have over 22 years of classroom experience as a teacher, therapist and education specialist. I was working at the Smithsonian Institution as the lead docent educator for divergent learners and Primary schools when I realized that I loved the Dutch culture and environment. So I decided to move to the Netherlands to work and live. When I am not working or walking on the beach, you can find me cycling on my Dutch fiets (bike) or scuba diving anywhere where the water is clear and the sun is shining.
Panda Teacher - English
From a young age, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I have always wanted to teach minds, touch hearts and transform lives. I graduated with Bachelor in Elementary Education majoring in English at the University of St. La Salle, Philippines. Teaching and working with children is my passion. I have over 9 years working experience as a teacher working with primary aged school children and international students of differing age levels. I have taught Language, Reading, Mathematics and MAPE (Music, Arts and Physical Education). I also worked for two years as a co-curricular coordinator where I handled all the activities/lessons of the lower grades students. Currently, I am the English teacher in the Panda classroom. I really enjoy the environment and children of the WBPS community. I love coming to work each day.
Panda Teacher - Dutch
My name is Willem van Hoof and I am Dutch teacher for the Panda classroom. I studied Art History in Amsterdam after finishing my teacher training in Breda. I lived and worked for several years in London and Brussels and gained valuable teaching experience while working at the Educational Department of the British Museum. After working for commercial companies for a couple of years, I started working as a substitute here in The Netherlands. This reignited my passion for teaching and I have found the right place for me at WBPS.
Zebra Teacher - English
My name is Alesi and I am the English teacher in the Zebra class. I grew up in Essex, England and moved to The Netherlands to be with my Dutch partner. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Education and Childhood studies. During my degree I worked at a local primary school in a number of classes, including special educational needs support classes. I have worked with a range of ages and enjoyed putting my knowledge into practice. I am extremely passionate about working with children and have developed my own knowledge in order to support their development best. Following my degree I completed a TESOL qualification, in order to teach and understand how children and adults learn English as a foreign language. I enjoy working with children and ensuring they have a safe, stimulating and creative learning setting in order to support their growth and development. I am excited to be a part of a great learning environment for children and to be part of the great teaching team at WBPS. In my spare time I enjoy reading, swimming and spending quality time with my family and friends. I am currently on pregnancy leave with my first child but I look forward to returning to the classroom next September.
Zebra Teacher - English
I am Sara, and I am currently the Zebra English teacher. I’m originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, but I have lived in the Netherlands since 2010. I have a Dutch partner and a daughter, Roselyn, who is also a student at Winford Bilingual Primary School. I graduated with a degree in elementary and special education from Indiana University in 2009. I also completed an overseas graduate education program in New Zealand before starting my first year as an instructional assistant and teacher for special education classroom in Indiana. I then decided to move to the Netherlands to travel and nanny for a year, which is where I met my partner. I originally joined the team in 2011. I then spent four amazing (yet sometimes challenging!) years as a stay-at-home-mother. During my free time, I enjoy reading, making crafts with my daughter, pursuing the elusive Dutch sunshine, and visiting friends around the Netherlands.
Zebra Teacher - Dutch
My name is Bouke Raap and I'm the Dutch teacher for the Zebra class. I have lived in Amsterdam for 10 years. I first did my studies at the Music and Entertainment Academy in Haarlem. However, I felt called to be a teacher so later I finished my Bachelor of Education at the iPabo in Amsterdam. For over 6 years I have worked as a Primary School teacher. In my opinion, to find joy in being a teacher is an important condition for good education. A happy teacher has happy students and happy students will learn more and (do) better.
Giraffe Teacher - Dutch
My name is Elzemieke Rijnders and I am the Dutch teacher in the Giraffe class. I grew up and went to school in the Netherlands (in the village of Bilthoven). For university, I finished my PABO degree and then my Masters of ‘Special Education and Needs’ (remedial teaching) in Utrecht. I believe in helping students individually by giving them a lot of positive support in a comfortable atmosphere but with challenges around them too. My goal is for my students to love learning and to feel happy but confident during lessons. This can be done through structured and consistent daily work with built in opportunities for discovery and creativity. In my free time I like to play tennis and hope to set a new long distance running goal. I am very excited to be part of the WBPS teaching team.
Giraffe Teacher - English
I am the English teacher for the Giraffe class. I completed my Diploma of Children’s Services and Bachelor of Education (birth to 12 years) in Sydney, Australia. Upon graduation, I moved to London and spent 2 years teaching in a variety of independent and state schools. I decided to move to Amsterdam so that I can expand my career in an international school setting. I have always been inspired by the Montessori approach to education and I am very pleased to work at school that is based on Montessori philosophy. During my free time, I am either reading my kindle (unfortunately, luggage limitations don’t allow me to buy books anymore) or planning my next trip to experience different cultures and cuisines.
Art Teacher/Marketing Manager
My name is Elise Reynard, and I am the Marketing Manager and Art Teacher with Winford Bilingual Primary School. I have my Bachelor's Degree in Theatre and Dance and Studied Shakespeare Performance at The British American Dramatic Academy. Before my move to Amsterdam, I was an Arts Educator and Administrator in New York City for 12 years. As a Teaching Artist, I taught theatre, dance, urban exploring, food anthropology, and visual art to approximately 700 NYC students annually. As an arts administrator, I facilitated in-school and afterschool partnerships at over 85 schools in the 5 boroughs. I believe that the relationships between students, teachers, school administration and parents to be vital to children's growth. It is a pleasure to be a part of this fantastic global school community in the heart of Amsterdam. In my free time, I travel, sing, dance and spend time with my dog and husband.