Primary school

Primary school

Our teachers embody:

  • Experience in the field of education
  • Devotion to the education and personal growth of their students 
  • Motivation and enthusiasm for teaching students
  • Awareness of international and Vietnamese culture and values

Mr Van Khiem Le/ Head of School

Mr Van Khiem Le

Bachelor of Computer Education (B.C.ed) – Hanoi National University of Education

As teacher of computer science at Hanoi Academy Primary School since its establishment (2009), Mr Khiem Le has always strived to improve his teaching skills and earned several respectable titles and achievement including City-level initiatives 2009-2010 and 2012 – 2013; National Emulation Fighter 2013 – 2014 (district level), Intel® Education – Enhanced Learning with Educational and MOS: PowerPoint 2010. Microsoft Office Specialist

Mr Peter McGuigan/ Deputy Head of School

Mr Peter McGuigan

Mr Peter is the Deputy Head of School and he is from Ireland. After a few years as the president of the local youth club, Mr Peter became interested in teaching. For him, working with children and helping them develop is an ideal job. Mr Peter has been teaching at Hanoi Academy for 4 years and is considered as an important member of the school’s Primary teachers.

Every day he likes the feeling of going to school and helps students to overcome challenges and make a difference in their lives. Mr Peter is also actively involved in school events and is one of the most beloved teachers among the students of Academy Elementary School.

Mr Brian Yost/ Teacher

Mr Brian Yost

My name is Brian Yost and I am excited to be joining Hanoi Academy this year. Originally I am from Philadelphia in the United States, where I studied History before becoming a certified teacher. Prior to moving to Hanoi, I taught at schools in both Seoul, South Korea and Istanbul, Turkey.

I have been teaching for over a decade in kindergarten and elementary schools before coming to Hanoi Academy. In addition, I have served as a Montessori consultant and curriculum coordinator for multiple schools in Vietnam. I love the younger students’ energy and their ability to make me smile even if I show up to school feeling tired – nothing wakes you up better than a room full of enthusiastic kids giddy and excited for class. I want my classroom to be an active place where every student has a voice. Though I plan on instilling discipline I do want to encourage the children to speak their minds in English and know that a classroom is a place where they can express their feelings and ideas, especially in English! In Korea, I trained and taught at an international Montessori academy. This is where I first fell in love with teaching for the first time. I loved watching the students work at their own pace and overcome obstacles through their own tenacity and creativity. Besides teaching I am actively involved in table-top and live-action game design and hope to get the students involved in some fun and unique activities.

As a teacher, I believe it is my role to not only engage with the students but with their families as well. I’d love to hear any questions or ideas you may have about your child or our class. In the coming academic year, I hope to help the students gain confidence in their English abilities: I want them not only to speak in English but to think in it too. I’d like students to be able to answer questions without mentally translating the words first; to speak ‘on their feet’. I am looking forward to seeing how much my former first-grade students have grown over the summer.

Ms Lisa Connell-Hegarty/ Teacher

Ms Lisa Connell-Hegarty

Let me take this opportunity to tell you about myself so that hopefully you can feel comfortable knowing who I am, as your child’s class teacher. I’m Lisa Connell-Hegarty, from Northern Ireland, UK. I have been living and teaching in Hanoi for 5 years, now embarking on my sixth year. I am excited to return to the Hanoi Academy team and not only apply my skills, but also develop them. I am delighted to work with a passionate team and wonderful students.

I have experience in different fields including Business, Law and Science but teaching and education are where I found my passion. Teaching has always been something I found rewarding, from being a student myself and looking up to my own teachers. We have a wonderful opportunity to positively affect young people’s lives and I believe that through education we can help them grow and develop. I find it truly rewarding to see my students apply their learning and enjoy it.

I’m sure that you expect the best education and teaching for your child and I will do my best to fulfil the expectations of both you and the students. In return, a positive work ethic and attitude from your child will go along way to help make our lessons happy and successful. I want your child to not only learn and apply their knowledge, and demonstrate understanding, but also to grow and develop. It is my aim to support and nurture their education as well as their characters and personality. I hope that students are ready and willing to learn. Speaking English in class is expected, as is showing respect to the teacher and peers. Expressing themselves and contributing to activities are important to get the best learning experience.

Mr Robbert Koeslag/ Teacher

Mr Robbert Koeslag

My name is Robbert Koeslag and I am from the Netherlands. I have worked with young learners for the past 4 years. I began my teaching career here in Hanoi, working for two years at ILA Hanoi. I have also worked in Ecuador, South America and in Bangkok, Thailand. I am happy with the opportunity to return to Hanoi, the place where my teaching career started.

I became a teacher because I have a passion for English and for helping people. I have always enjoyed studying English and am looking forward to sharing my knowledge with my students. Teaching English has allowed me to travel and to live in different places and being able to learn about the people, history, and culture. I enjoy taking this experience with me to the classroom and share it with my students so that together we can learn and grow.

I look forward to applying my previously gained experience to help my students grow. Being a part of the Hanoi Academy team gives me the opportunity to develop as a teacher as well as a person. I am certain that if we work together we can achieve our goals.

Mr Julian Talbot/ Teacher

Mr Julian Talbot
Hi! I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Julian Talbot and I am from Bristol, England. I have been living and teaching in Hanoi since 2012; I only expected to spend a year in Vietnam but I loved the experience so much I have stayed ever since.
I graduated from Solent University in 2006 with a bachelors in Science and went on to obtain my PGCE from the University of Nottingham. Previously, my time was split equally between state school education and working at a language centre in the evening. This gave me the opportunity to work with large and small class sizes, developing my skills in
classroom management and teaching styles. Now starting my second year at Hanoi Academy, I am looking forward to building on the previous year’s work and providing even more fun and interesting curriculum.
Prior to working in Vietnam, I worked with young adults with learning difficulties in the UK. I really enjoyed the work as it allowed me to work closely with a small number of individuals and help them improve their lives in many different ways. The work was incredibly rewarding and led me to my true career as an educator. I have now been teaching for 8 years and I know that I am following the correct path.  Based on past teaching experiences I believe that the most important quality in a class is that it harbours a positive learning environment where students feel safe and are encouraged to share their ideas. In order to create a positive learning environment, it is crucial that students come to class with an open mind, a
willingness to participate, and respect for their teachers and classmates. I strive to foster a student-centred environment, one in which the students discover for themselves rather than simply rote memorization of facts and figures.
Parent-teacher communication will be essential throughout the year. It is important for you (the parents) to know what is happening in your child’s class. In order to keep you up to date in regards to what’s happening in class I will be providing weekly overviews.

Ms Elizabeth Kathleen Torres/ Teacher

Ms Elizabeth Kathleen Torres

Ms Elizabeth Kathleen Torres comes from Fresno, California, USA. Over the past 4 years, she has spent most of the teaching time to children. She started working in South Korea in the first year and then moved to Vietnam for 3 years.

Before working at Hanoi Academy, Elizabeth Kathleen Torres has used to teach at ILA English centre for students at different ages and levels. One of her daily tasks at the English centre is building up the lesson plans and teaching interesting skill lessons for students. In addition, she also teaches ESL program (English as a Second Language) for the student in grade 1 in a public school nearby.

According to Elizabeth Kathleen Torres, the most important factor of a teacher is the ability to provide an active learning environment for students. To do that, the teacher has to make a  great effort in creating interesting and enthusiastic lessons.

Ms Alice Sawyer/ Teacher

Ms Alice Sawyer
Ms Alice Sawyer is very happy to be a teacher of grade 1 students in Hanoi Academy. What impressed her most in Hanoi Academy is the core values in teaching students to become global citizens. She comes from South Africa but she graduated high school in Oman and then came back to South Africa for further study.
At the university, she achieved BA degrees in English Literature and Psychology. She has just completed a degree in Education after internships in 2 schools in South Africa. Before working at Hanoi Academy, Alice Sawyer has experience in teaching English at Apax English centre at Times City, where she could develop her teaching methods of English as a second language.

Ms Tamah Pnematicatos/ Teacher

Ms Tamah Pnematicatos

Ms Tamah Pneumaticos was born and raised in a beautiful beach town from South Africa. She has left her country since 2011 and has worked at many different nations. She loves the life in Vietnam and has been living here for about 2 years. 

Ms Tamah Pneumaticos has a BA degree in early education and becomes a teacher for 5 years. Before coming to Hanoi, she lived and taught in Ireland, Spain and Switzerland. She completed CELTA degree when living in Ireland and continued to develop her teaching skills. She also taught at many English centres and schools in many countries in the world.

Mr David Vernon Poppinga/ Head of Department

Mr David Vernon Poppinga

Mr David Vernon Poppinga comes from San Francisco, California. He has 11-year experience in teaching primary students.

Before working in Vietnam, he used to work as a director assistant of an extra-curriculum program at Buena Vista Primary school, a bilingual school in San Francisco, California. In this position, he closely connected with students, parents and school staff to create an active and safe environment for students. His tasks include supporting homework assignments, manage school clubs, extra curriculum activities, and a tutor. Mr David started to teach Asian students when he first taught in Bangkok. After that, he came to Hanoi and has lived and worked for 6 years.


Ms Sarah Payne/ Teacher

Ms Sarah Payne

Ms Thi Chung Đoan/ Teacher

Ms Thi Chung Đoan

Ms Thi Nguyet Nguyen/ Teacher

Ms Thi Nguyet Nguyen

Ms Thi Hanh Nguyen/ Teacher

Ms Thi Hanh Nguyen

BA degree in Primary Education – Education University of Hanoi

She has 10 years experience in teaching students in Primary school. With a professional qualification, she has trained many students to achieve high prizes in many competitions.

Ms Thi Huong Nguyen/ Teacher

Ms Thi Huong Nguyen

Ms Thi Trang Nguyen/ Teacher

Ms Thi Trang Nguyen

Ms Huong Giang Phan/ Teacher

Ms Huong Giang Phan

Ms Hoai Linh Thi Chu/ Teacher

Ms Hoai Linh Thi Chu

Ms Thuy Linh Nguyen/ Teacher

Ms Thuy Linh Nguyen

Ms Thi Ngoc Tran/ Teacher

Ms Thi Ngoc Tran

Ms Thanh Nhan Do/ Teacher

Ms Thanh Nhan Do

Ms Thi Yen Nguyen/ Teacher

Ms Thi Yen Nguyen

Ms Thi Oanh Vu/ Teacher

Ms Thi Oanh Vu

Ms Ngoc Huyen Thi Tran/ Teacher

Ms Ngoc Huyen Thi Tran

Ms Thi Huyen Trong/ Teacher

Ms Thi Huyen Trong

Ms Hai Yen Bui/ Teacher

Ms Hai Yen Bui

Ms Thi Hoa Nguyen/ Teacher

Ms Thi Hoa Nguyen

Ms Thuy Linh Nguyen/ Teacher

Ms Thuy Linh Nguyen

Ms Phuong Oanh Nguyen/ Teacher

Ms Phuong Oanh Nguyen

BA Degree – Hanoi National University of Education

With 2 degrees of Kindergarten Education – Hanoi National University of Education and English – University of Languages and International Studies, she has 10 years experience in teaching in bilingual school. She has achieved Excellent Teacher at school level in many years and Excellent Teacher at District level in 2013-2014 school year.

Ms Ngoc Anh Chu/ Teacher

Ms Ngoc Anh Chu

Ms Thi Hong Nguyen/ Teacher

Ms Thi Hong Nguyen

Ms Thi Nhan Do/ Teacher

Ms Thi Nhan Do

Ms Thi Huong Truong/ Teacher

Ms Thi Huong Truong

Ms Ngoc Khue Do/ Teacher

Ms Ngoc Khue Do

Ms Ngoc Mai Vu/ Teacher

Ms Ngoc Mai Vu

Ms Thi Lan Nguyen/ Teacher

Ms Thi Lan Nguyen

Ms Thi Ngoc Tran/ Teacher

Ms Thi Ngoc Tran

Ms Thu Ha Do/ Teacher

Ms Thu Ha Do

Ms Minh Tu Hoang/ Teacher

Ms Minh Tu Hoang

Ms Hong Anh Pham/ Teaching Assistant

Ms Hong Anh Pham

Ms Hong Nhung Thi Doan/ Teaching Assistant

Ms Hong Nhung Thi Doan

Ms Thanh Binh Trinh/ Teaching Assistant

Ms Thanh Binh Trinh

Ms Thuy Huyen Do/ Teaching Assistant

Ms Thuy Huyen Do