Class of 2011 Profile: Matt Robinson

Introducing Matt Robinson, an American lecturer heading to the Institute of Language and Culture Studies in Semtokha in Thimphu district:
Matt Robinson
Matt grew up in various parts of the U.S., but his career path cemented after a trip through the Pacific and Southeast Asia. After developing his interests in teaching, learning, cultures and languages in an M.A. program, he passionately set about trying to provide students, colleagues and community members access to quality education and career opportunities. He has pursued this goal with the underserved populations of Thailand, Kiribati and, most recently, Timor-Leste. Ever since he heard of Bhutan he has wanted to go, and he is excited to learn about the cultures, languages and educational context of the nation.

Class of 2011 Profile: Natalie Charlton

Meet Natalie Charlton, a Canadian lecturer heading to Paro College in western Bhutan!
Natalie Charlton
Natalie Charlton was investigating new projects and wondered about working with student teachers, in Bhutan. Fortunately, this year she will be posted to Paro College, a campus of the Royal University of Bhutan, where she will teach Language Arts methodology courses, in the Bachelor of Education program. She is an experienced teacher, having taught indigenous children in K-12 classes, and while seconded to Simon Fraser University, student teachers. Natalie completed her Master of Education, in Curriculum and Instruction, and is currently teaching English and Social Studies at Smithers Secondary School, in northwest British Columbia. Previously, Natalie enjoyed a teacher exchange to Queensland, and has worked at Outward Bound Schools in Canada and Australia. She has co-authored a teacher resource, funded by CIDA, entitled, A Day In The Life Of A Child In Sierra Leone. Natalie looks forward to  learning, teaching and living in Paro, Bhutan.

Class of 2011 Profile: Sue Hollingsworth

Introducing Sue Hollingsworth, an English teacher from Wisconsin, USA.

Sue Hollingsworth

Sue is a graduate of Shimer College, one of a handful of Great Books Colleges. After working in the business world, she returned to school, the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, to get her teaching license. She taught for an extended length of time in the inner-city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She returned to school to obtain a Master’s degree which incorporated a Reading teacher license as well as a Learning Disabilities license. Prior to leaving for Bhutan, she was a specialized reading teacher whose focus was early intervention. She is anxiously waiting the opportunity to observe the culture of Bhutan from an inside perspective, while doing what she loves to do, namely teach. Sue is heading to teach English at Chamgang Gatshel Lower Secondary School which is just outside of Thimphu district.

Class of 2011 Profile: Lisa Phu

Meet Lisa Phu, an American teacher heading to Kanglung in eastern Bhutan:

Lisa Phu

Although Lisa is currently “homeless”, she is very lucky to have called so many amazing places home at different times of her life. She has just finished up one year of volunteer teaching in Africa with her boyfriend, Scott. They spent their time with extremely bright Maasai students in northern Tanzania learning more than they taught, and during their off time traveled around East Africa. Prior to that, Lisa lived in Wrangell, Alaska for four years working as a newspaper and public radio reporter. Wrangell, an island community of 1800 people, is where she became acquainted with small-town living and fun activities like king salmon fishing, berry picking, and stomping around in the rain. While in Alaska, Lisa also tried deckhanding on a commercial fishing boat in Bristol Bay and worked for StoryCorps, an oral history project, in the frigid arctic of Barrow. Other teaching experiences involve two years at Lingnan University in Hong Kong where Lisa was a visiting tutor for the English Department and a summer teaching in Xian, China. Lisa is looking forward to the challenges and rewards that come with teaching students at Kanglung Primary School in Eastern Bhutan.

Class of 2011 Profile: Nathan Woollard

Meet Nathan Woollard, a math teacher from Vancouver, British Columbia. 
Nathan Woollard
Nathan Woollard comes from seaside town of Tsawwassen on the west coast of British Columbia. He studied at the University of British Columbia for his two bachelor’s degrees, one in Arts with a Major in Mathematics, and one in Education. Besides being completely in love with mathematics, Nathan also has ten years of experience in drama and theater, as well as having recently written a play which is now touring in Western Canada. He is excited to bring his passion for mathematics education to his classes of Math 8 and 9 at Kilikhar Lower Secondary School.

Class of 2011 Profile: Meghann Turner

Meet Meghann Turner, an English teacher from Manitoba:

Meghann Turner 

Meghann is a wanderer at heart, and lives to teach and learn! Born and educated in Manitoba, Meghann graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education. She specializes in early childhood education and has worked with youth in the justice system. Meghann has spent the last three years finishing her education degree, practicing yoga, teaching and traveling in Thailand and Cambodia and backpacking across Europe. Meghann lives for music, has taught choir and music clubs, and is excited to find an extra curricular musical niche in Phobjikha Lower Secondary School where she has just been posted to teach English grades 4-7!

Follow Meghann on her blog, In the Land of the Thunder Dragon

Class of 2011 Profile: Ian Swift and Vicky Chartres

I am pleased to introduce you to Ian Swift and Vicky Chartres, a teaching couple joining us from Adelaide, South Australia! 

Ian Swift

Ian comes to BCF from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. When at home he lives in a century old house in South Australia’s capital city, Adelaide. Ian has taught English in China, Japan and most recently, Thailand. He enjoys the challenge of surviving as a minority foreigner and learning about new cultures and countries.He has had a number of jobs ranging from selling Life Insurance to working with people from refugee backgrounds and coordinating volunteers for a major refugee NGO, to a healthy stretch of customer service in the retail sector. He had a gap 30 years and only recently returned to university to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies. He enjoys cycling, walking, cooking, photography and playing ping pong. Ian is very much looking forward to the new challenge of living and teaching in Eastern Bhutan. He will be teaching English in Rangjung Lower Secondary school. He feels lucky to have been given the chance and hopes that he can rise to the task.


Vicky Chartres 

Vicky was born, raised and educated in Adelaide the capital city of South Australia, sometimes called Australia’s biggest country town. After qualifying with a Bachelor of Education Degree majoring in Drama from Adelaide College of the Arts and Education she began a teaching career that has spanned 30 years so far, in rural South Australia and it has taken her to China, Japan and Thailand and included teaching Drama, English, Chinese and ESL. Some of the many highlights were managing the intensive secondary English course for international students in an international school in Adelaide, leading student trips to both Japan and China and teaching herself Chinese while living in the northern Chinese city of Taiyuan. She is an avid swimmer and cyclist and enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, photography and fine wines. The new challenge of taking up a position teaching in Rangjung Higher Secondary School, eastern Bhutan is currently motivating her to spend the summer break in Australia reading and researching about Bhutan. 

Follow Ian and Vicky on their blog In the Shadow of the Mountains


BCF Remembers Carol La Prairie

Long-time friend of Bhutan Carol La Prairie passed away on December 15th. We at BCF extend our greatest sympathies to Carol’s family and friends. Her obituary appeared in the Globe and Mail and is pasted below.

1937-2010 Carol La Prairie, Ph.D., passed away on 15 December 2010, peacefully and surrounded by love, after a courageous and dignified battle with leukemia. She will be missed by her four loving children Peter, Mark, Gillian and Douglas, their spouses Stephen, Martin and Kate, grandchildren Bridget, Henry, Owen, Bryn, Thinley and Karma, brother Norm and sister-in-law Liz, nephew Ian, nieces Katie and Julia, brother John and Aunt Margaret. As ‘Mom’ and ‘Grammy’ she found immense joy and happiness. Dr. Carol La Prairie had a distinguished professional life as one of Canada’s leading criminologists, tirelessly advocating for society’s most disadvantaged, always challenging complacency and indifference. Possessor of four university degrees, including a doctorate in sociology, and holder of various academic fellowships and university appointments in Canada and Australia, Carol used her academic training to pursue a life-long interest in aboriginal justice policy research. Her personal willingness to engage in demanding field work on reserves and in inner cities, as well as her use of comprehensive data bases, gave her analysis of complex justice issues an unassailable intellectual and personal authority. She was a courageous and committed scholar with numerous published academic reports, articles and books, who leaves an important intellectual legacy. She will be greatly missed by her extensive network of professional colleagues and friends who had the pleasure of working with her over the years in both government and academia. Carol’s indomitable spirit was apparent in every aspect of her being. Her warmth and concern for others was unparalleled. She never stopped giving and caring for others. She touched the lives of many people at home and around the world, especially in Bhutan. Her family and many friends will miss her generous loving spirit and sweet gentle nature. She leaves a huge void in the lives of many who now celebrate her life and remember her as an example of loving kindness. She died with enormous dignity and poise – – just as she lived. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Union Gospel Mission, 616 East Cordova St, Vancouver, BC, V6A 1L9, or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada, 310-1682 W 7th Ave , Vancouver, BC, V6J 1S5. CAROL FRANCES (PITCHER) LA PRAIRIE





Class of 2011 Profile: Loretta Sartin McClure

Introducing Loretta Sartin McClure, an English teacher from Tennessee, USA. 
Loretta Sartin McClure
Loretta Sartin McClure holds a BA in Secondary Education with a major in History and Geography.  Loretta has taught in Quito, Ecuador in South America at the Colegio Americano de Quito. She taught English, U.S. History, and Theories of Knowledge to 9th through 12th grade students in Quito.  Loretta has taught English, Biology, and Physical Science in the United States.  She has taught Special Education to 9th -12th grade students.  She has worked with mild to moderate students with disabilities; as well as, students in the T.I.P. program (Therapeutic Intervention Program).  Loretta has also tutored students with disabilities at the college/university level.  She currently is working with at-risk students in the urban areas of Nashville, Tennessee.  She currently tutors grades K-4th in Metro Nashville Schools in Reading and Mathematics.  Loretta has a daughter, Leah Blackmore, who is 23 years old and currently lives with her husband in Jacksonville, N.C. of the United States.  Loretta’s son-n-law, Brandon, is a Marine in the United States of America Marines.  Loretta also currently has 6 hours towards her Masters in Special Education and is excited to be teaching English and Special Education to grades 4 – 8 at Zhemgang Lower Secondary School in central Bhutan. 

Class of 2011 Profile: Jean – Daniel Côté

I am pleased to introduce you to Jean- Daniel Côté who is joining class of 2011 from Montreal, Quebec.
Jean- Daniel Côté
Jean-Daniel Côté is a young and dynamic teacher who is always ready for a new challenge. He has been teaching in the North of Canada as core French teacher for Kindergarten to grade 3. He also had the opportunity to work with High School kids from grade 8 to grade 12. When Jean-Daniel read about Bhutan, he instantly fell in love with the philosophy and the country. For him, teaching is the most beautiful job in the world and this is the way he has found to make the world a better place to live.  Jean- Daniel hopes to get a chance to share his passion and joy for life with his students and colleagues in Bhutan.

Jean Daniel has been posted to Bidung Lower Secondary School in eastern Bhutan to teach Math and Science to grades 4 to 6.