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
Antonio Autor - Principal - 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. Antonio joined Brockwood Park School in 1987 as a teacher of Business Studies and Sports, whilst 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. Antonio was appointed as Senior Tutor for pastoral care and taught A-Level Business Studies for several years prior to being asked by the Trustees to become Administrator of the Krishnamurti Retreat Centre (situated in the same grounds as the School). Antonio spent six years in this role overseeing an increase in visitors to the Centre and improvements to the buildings. For the academic year beginning 2015 Antonio was asked by the Trustees to return to the School as Co-Principal, a post which he was pleased to accept and from August 2018 will be the Principal of the School for the academic year 2018-19. Antonio lives at Brockwood with his partner Helena.
Abhijit Padte completed his masters in mathematics from Indian Institute of technology, Mumbai and thereafter did research in Holistic Education with emphasis on Krishnamurti’s philosophy of education, from University of Mumbai. His interest in Krishnamurti’s teachings date back to the early eighties when he heard his public lectures in Mumbai. He has taught Mathematics and Computers at Schools and Universities in India and Canada over a period of thirty years.
Ashleigh Ellis is a former student who went on to study a BA in Fine Arts, specialising in textiles. This year she has been involved in the Arts Hub, supporting students with their projects and offering many different skill-based workshops. Ashleigh has also enlivened the textiles department in the Art Barn and has run an oil painting club year round. She will be teaching the Arts Foundation course from September and be part of the Human Ecology programme, where she is very interested in exploring the use of natural materials.
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.
Dolf de Groot has a BA in Journalism and worked for 7 years as a reporter and investigative journalist at the leading Dutch national newspaper NRC Handelsblad. Afterwards, he was a correspondent in Australia & New Zealand and Israel & the Palestinian Territories. Questions about the state of the world and his role in it led to a meeting with the teachings and questions of Krishnamurti. Dolf lived for three years in the renowned learning community Neot Semadar in the desert of Israel. There, he experienced the value and quality of observation, inquiry into life and learning through relationships in ones daily life. He came to Brockwood Park in April 2018 with a strong interest in education and the drive to continue this particular kind of learning. At Brockwood, Dolf teaches English as a Second Language, the topic course Global Issues and he supports the Human Ecology classes.
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.
Javier Jurado grew up in the south of Spain. He attended the Catholic College of Santísima Trinidad in Córdoba, and later the University of Educational Sciences of Córdoba. His enthusiasm for sports then led him to work as an instructor in martial arts, where he later competed at regional and national levels. At the age of 18 he stumbled upon a video of Krishnamurti in dialogue with David Bohm, and it was this video which begun his passionate study into the educational approach and teachings of Krishnamurti. Inspired by this and with the help of his family, he started to collaborate with the Krishnamurti Foundation of Latin America, helping with publications, dialogues and retreats. In 2015 he joined Brockwood Park School as a Mature Student and discovered a quality to the place; a laboratory that invites the inquiry into human conditioning. Two years later, in 2017, he became a residential teacher in Spanish and Physical Education.
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.
Kate Power has always believed that there is more to life than what you can see on the surface and this had led her to teach at Brockwood Park from 2018. Kate has arrived having just completed a History MA at Bristol University and previous to that she was teaching for seven years, five years within the British state system and two years at an international British school in Myanmar. Kate holds a BA in History and Sociology, and qualified as a teacher at Exeter University in 2010. She has travelled and worked abroad extensively and she enjoyed the adventures and challenges that this enabled. She also takes this sense of adventure into her own personal investigation of what it means to be alive and present on this earth. The questions of life seem endlessly interesting to her! She will be teaching the Humanities subjects this year, as well as working to support the students with Special Educational Needs as SENCO Co-ordinator.
Kinga Clements joins us from a corporate background in London after which she took a break to raise her now three grown up children. After moving to the country she then spent time working in one of Surrey’s busiest hospitals within the Patient Advice and Liaison Services Department whilst continuing her role of PA to a private individual. Currently she is making use of those skills within the busy and vibrant role of School Secretary.
Having been born and spent most of her youth in North India, Manasi Srivastava spent some time growing up with her family working in a nurturing environment alongside the river Ganges, in Brockwood’s sister school, the Rajghat Beasant School. However most of her ‘formal schooling’ was done in a private school in Lucknow, India. She then spent two years living in China where she started her secondary schooling in a British international school, where she first discovered her love for Geography. Apart from learning the Chinese language, she also started learning Spanish which she continues to speak and learn to this day.
At the age of 17, she moved to England with her family and after finishing school in the English education system she started a bachelor’s degree in International Development from London School of Economics. In 2015 she joined Brockwood Park School’s Mature Student program working in the areas of Housekeeping and the School Office, while completing her degree via distance learning. After two years Manasi then transferred to the Teacher Apprentice Programme, working in the Humanities department. In autumn 2018 she joined the staff body, becoming a residential staff member and she continues teaching in the areas of Geography and Humanities. She enjoys travelling, gardening, decorating, art and performing occasional ‘Abba tributes’ with the students 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.
A fascination with the deeper questions of life brought Michael Ledwith to Brockwood Park in 2014 where he commenced his work in communications and development. Drawing on both his experience working with charities such as Amnesty International and Saint Vincent de Paul, as well as from his Bachelors Degree in International Development, Michael dedicated his time to assisting and growing Brockwood’s outreach and fundraising. Recently Michael has also been utilising his Diploma in Media Production by taking a deeper role in the school by teaching Journalism, Design, while aiding student projects, especially those in videography. Michael is also the school's DSL.
Mina Masoumian joined Brockwood in 2015 initially as a volunteer assisting the place with the review of its operation. Krishnamurti’s Teachings impacted her life resulting in a change in the direction of her life and brought her to Brockwood. She has lived, studied and worked in Iran, Canada, Singapore and Sydney and tries to use her background in law, finance, change management and non-for-profit sector for the benefit of Brockwood. She currently oversees the charity’s operation, finances and compliance as the Trust’s Bursar and is mostly involved in supporting Brockwood Park School by overseeing the curriculum.
From a young age Oliver King was exposed to that which is called meditation and alternative ways of thinking, due to a family member who was serious about the matter. After going through the conventional schooling system Olie left school at just sixteen, entered into the world of work, and some years later worked in the music business. This only added to the already strong feeling that something was not right in the world, or within himself, and consequently in 2013 led him to stumble upon a Krishnamurti book during his travels in California. That summer was spent delving deeply into the teachings of Krishnamurti and questioning his own way of living. By late 2013 Olie ended up here at Brockwood and taught music production to a group of keen students, volunteered at The Krishnamurti Centre and also volunteered at Inwoods Small School. Inspired by Brockwood, and some months later, he left for Spain where he, a friend, and some serious parents started a small alternative school for children between the ages of five and eleven. In 2016 Olie returned to Brockwood, working as a Mature Student in the garden and almost two years later, at the end of 2017, he became a staff member and is now our residential Housekeeper and Guest Coordinator.
Olya Maiboroda grew up in Russia where she trained as an English teacher. She then continued her studies in the USA, earning an MA in English and MSc in Environmental Studies. Olya's professional journey spans various countries and includes working on a UN project with the coastal communities around the Black Sea to develop environmental education resources, carrying out university research into sustainability, running Forest Schools and plant-medicine walks, and re-learning to play alongside 3-5 year olds in a primary school. The unifying thread to Olya's work is learning directly from nature and facilitating this kind of learning for others. Olya is co-running the Human Ecology program and teaches English as a Second Language. Her teenage daughter is also a new student at the school.
After residing for a year in a poor and rural area in Northern America, Seth de Vlieger committed himself to further explore human health and lifestyles through a study in International Public Health Management. Understanding that many of our current public health issues and challenges are due to the growing gap between human beings, nature and (growing) food, he went on to pursue a Master's degree in Organic Agriculture, specialising in ‘Sustainable Food Systems’. He is intrigued by Krishnamurti's teachings, and the question: "If I don't change now what will the future be?". And alternatively, he finds 'another' way of living in Brockwood's synergistic, explorative and creative approach, open for constant enquiry, amidst a vibrant and dedicated educational living community.
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.
At the age of 17, Thomas Lehmann first stumbled upon a quote by Krishnamurti which eventually led to a deep interest in a different way of living and perceiving. Learning about Krishnamurti's radically different views on education, Thomas started considering teaching as a profession and eventually took up university studies in physical education and geography at the University of Münster, Germany and the University of Las Palmas, Spain. After completing his bachelor's degree in these subjects, Thomas first joined Brockwood as a mature student between 2011 and 2013. After completing a master's degree in education in 2015, he traveled the world for almost nine months - including visits to several Krishnamurti schools in India - before rejoining Brockwood as a residential teacher in August 2016. He has a strong passion for movement and sports as well as for languages, nature and the silence of the mind.
Tom Martin is a passionate naturalist, educator, ornithologist and meditator who worked as a field ecologist and conservation Biologist across the world from Indonesia, Madagascar and Zambia to the reed beds of East Sussex before turning to teaching in 2005. After qualifying he taught Science in a number of comprehensive schools across the south-west and set up a school-based meditation program before, after 10 years, taking a year out to live in a Zen monastery and join his future wife Kate in Burma to teach again, this time in the International sector. On returning to the UK in 2017, Tom discovered Brockwood Park and the teachings of Krishnamurti which have begun an exciting new chapter for him, growing in the wholeness of life. Tom and his wife Kate are residential tutors at Brockwood and, in addition, Tom teaches Science.
Having arrived at Brockwood over 16 years ago, over this time Vicki Lewin has taken on various roles in the School Office, most recently taking responsibility for the Recruitment and Admissions for the School, Centre and Foundation, in addition to forming part of the Independent School Inspection team and managing all compliance for Visas and Immigration. Vicki has a BA Hons in English with Education and prior to working at Brockwood Park, was PA to the Chairman of a Media Company, worked in HR for an international firm and in Customer Services for a national housebuilder; she has 2 daughters who keep her very busy and enjoys the challenges that working at Brockwood Park brings.