Meet the Teachers of Phuket Has Been Good To Us
We currently work with seven teachers in three schools on Phuket Island, Thailand.
Jerraleen Balais, Senior English Teacher
Jerraleen, a Filipino national, graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Bachelor of Secondary Education, majoring in School Guidance and Character Education. She is a licensed teacher in the Philippines who started teaching in 2001. She has been teaching high school students in the Philippines since then as well as being involved in various non-government organizations, teaching and organizing activities for the indigenous children, troubled youth, abused and prostituted street girls. In 2005, Jerraleen travelled to Thailand to do education-related volunteer work for the children of migrants and refugees along Thai-Myanmar border as well as helped in the outreach program in Phang Nga province for the displaced Karenni victims of the December 26, 2004 tsunami. Jerraleen has many years of experience teaching English and other subjects in Thai government and private schools, and has taught in and managed international schools in Thailand and Malaysia.
In her last position, Jerraleen was the Primary Years Programme Coordinator of an International Baccalaureate school in Penang, Malaysia. She was directly involved in the curriculum planning, teacher training, evaluation, events and charity projects of the program. She identifies herself as both a teacher, teaching for 16 years already, and a human rights advocate and is very happy to be a part of Phuket Has Been Good To Us.
Besides teaching and getting involved in promoting children’s rights and gender equality, she is also a photographer who is always inspired by the wonders of the human condition. She is passionate about poetry, music and art. Jerraleen is our Senior Teacher and teaches at Rajaprachanukroh 36 School in Kamala. This academic year, Jerraleen is kindly sponsored by the Destination Wedding Planners Congress.
Iuliia Sorokina, English Teacher
Phuket Condos & Homes kindly sponsor Teacher Iuliia.
Iuliia, a Russian national, graduated from the Russian Academy of Education. She has BA in Linguistics and a degree in fine arts and design. She is teaching for 7 years now and has been teaching ESL to beginner, intermediate, and advanced students of various cultural and linguistic backgrounds in Russia.
In 2010, she moved to the United States to continue her education abroad. She completed several linguistic courses in New York and an ESL course in California. While completing her courses, she was also teaching English to Russian-speaking kindergarten students.
Before stepping into the role of teacher in Asia, Iuliia earned her TEFL certification after completing an on-site 120-hour course in Thailand. Iuliia joined Phuket Has Been Good To Us as a full-time volunteer teacher in November 2015, moving to a paid teaching role from May 2016 onwards. Iuliia is very excited to be part of the Phuket Has Been Good To Us team.
In addition to teaching, Iuliia is passionate about art, travelling and photography. Teacher Iuliia teaches at Rajaprachanukroh 36 School in Kamala.
Diego Demaria, English Teacher
Diego is from Italy and studied at the University of Ferrara, close to his hometown, where he achieved a Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Languages and Literature. While at University, Diego also taught English to children of all ages. After University, Diego travelled to Spain, Australia and New Zealand where he worked primarily as a chef. Thanks to these travels he was able to improve his Spanish and English.
Due to his love of languages and teaching, Diego took a TEFL/TESOL course. Once obtaining his teaching certificate, he taught English as a foreign language in Thai government schools. Being a teacher for 1 year, Diego joined Phuket Has Been Good To Us in May 2016 to continue teaching English in an environment where he can work closely with his students to make a difference.
His favourite hobbies are drawing, painting, animation, snowboarding and skateboarding. Diego teaches at Rajaprachanukroh 36 School in Kamala. Thanks to Jean-Claude and Khun Kantaya Reuille for their sponsorship of Diego’s P6 class.
Julie Midden, English Teacher
Julie is from the United States and studied at St. Andrews University where she completed her B.A. in International Politics. She continued on to an M.A. in International Development from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, South Korea. She also has a Masters Diploma of Educational Studies in TESOL from the TEFL Training College.
Prior to coming to Phuket Has Been Good to Us, Julie taught English in South Korea for 5 years. During her time in there, she was responsible for lesson planning, facilitating field trips, and training incoming teachers. Julie has taught English in Ukraine, assisted in the development of an English curriculum in Argentina, and taught English to at-risk youth in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Julie teaches in Baan Kalim School, whose English program is kindly sponsored by Baan Rim Pa Restaurant Group, and Rachaprachanukroh 36 School in Kamala. She also coordinates the afterschool programme Coconut Club for residential students at Kamala School.
Julie is pleased to be a part of Phuket Has Been Good to Us Foundation. Aside from teaching, she has a love for being outdoors, doing yoga, and meeting new people.
Violeta Sagi Martín, English Teacher
Violeta is from Spain, graduated from the Castilla La-Mancha University with a degree in Bachelor of Arts, major in Foreign Language Teaching and also holds a Master of Arts in Psychopedagogy. After graduating from University, she taught English in kindergarten and at elementary Spanish schools.
In 2012, she moved to the UK and taught kindergarten for three years while also being part of a reputable charity and where she participated in different volunteering projects. In 2016, she moved to Thailand to complete a 120-hour TEFL course and then taught English as a foreign language in a private Thai School and also got the opportunity to teach English to the Thai teachers from her school during the summer holidays. Violeta is very grateful and happy to be a part of Phuket Has Been Good To Us because she loves teaching and also is very keen on helping others and being able to benefit the students beyond the academic curriculum.
Along with teaching, Violeta is very passionate about travelling, nature, arts and history. Violeta teaches at Anuban Kamala School whose English program is sponsored by MontAzure, and Kindy class at Rajaprachanukroh 36 School in Kamala which is sponsored by Anantara Vacation Club.
Vezah Rojas, English Teacher
Vezah is a licensed teacher from the Philippines who moved to Thailand in 2016. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education at the University of Santo Tomas with a major in Special Education. During her 4 years at the University, she was able to interact and teach children with special needs. This ignited her passion towards teaching. She had her first teaching experience as a professional teacher in 2015 when she was a kindergarten adviser and a grade school teacher in the Philippines. After a great year of learning and experience, she decided to move to Thailand and taught English to secondary students (Mathayom 1-5) in a public school.
As a fresh teacher with 2 years of teaching experience, Vezah's dream is to teach underprivileged children. She values education and sees it as an opportunity which plays a vital role towards achieving success. This inspired her to work with Phuket Has Been Good To Us Foundation. Vezah is grateful to be a part of PHBGTU which allows her to do what she loves (teaching), achieving her dream (helping underprivileged children), moulding young people's minds and hearts to build a good future for themselves, and enhancing her knowledge and skills as a professional teacher.
Aside from teaching, Vezah loves travelling and learning about new cultures. She simply enjoys her free time by walking around, sitting while looking at a nice view and smelling the fresh air, watching movies, and listening to music. Vezah teaches EIS classes at Rachaprachanukroh 36 School in Kamala which are kindly sponsored by The Chava Resort – Surin Beach, and Kay and Andi Hunter & family.
Caitlin comes from Canada and completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Religion and Culture from Wilfrid Laurier. She then went on to study at Humber College to complete her Post Graduate Degree in International Development focusing on the education sector. While studying, she coordinated a local reading group at her library to encourage children to read during their summer holidays. She has also run many different children’s programs, from gymnastics class to crime prevention workshops over the last 8 years, and holds a TEFL certificate.
For her last job, she moved to Laos to work with a local charity called Sae Lao Project in Nathong Village. She was an Education Coordinator and English teacher for 350 children. She was heavily involved in curriculum development for all five levels of English taught, as well as taught intermediate level classes each day. She also organized various health programs and managed their scholarship program. When she isn’t teaching, Caitlin loves to do yoga, read about world issues, go to the beach and write poetry.
Caitlin teaches at Rajaprachanukroh 36 School, and is very happy to be a part of the Phuket Has Been Good To Us team! A gracious Thank You goes out to XL Catlin for kindly sponsoring Caitlin’s P1/2 class at Rajaprachanukroh 36 School.