Class of 2015 Profile: Catherine O’Brien

Introducing new BCF teacher Catherine O’Brien! Catherine will be teaching English at Dechentsemo MSS in Punakha.

Catherine O'Brien

Catherine was born and raised in Michigan before attending Loyola University of Chicago for her undergraduate degree. In the spring of 2014 she attained a B.A. in English, B.S. in Secondary Education, and a minor in ESL. Catherine completed her student teaching in a Chicago Public high school, and has spent the first few months since graduation substitute teaching in her hometown in Michigan. Catherine has a love for good literature, good food, and good traveling. The unique Buddhist culture and landscape of Bhutan fueled her fire to pursue a teaching position in the Land of the Thunder Dragon.

Welcome Catherine!

Class of 2015 Profile: Fraser MacInnes

Continuing on with our introductions of the Class of 2015, we are happy to introduce Fraser MacInnes! Fraser will be teaching English at Samey PS in Dagana.

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Fraser is a 27 year old teacher and currently resides in the sunny seaside town of Eastbourne in Sussex, England. He has 3 years experience as a Key Stage 1 (lower primary) teacher and prior to this was working in special educational needs.

Fraser absolutely loves working with children. He feels that the job is always challenging, thought-provoking and consistently inspiring, but above all a heck of a lot of fun. When it goes well, there is no better feeling!

Before becoming a teacher Fraser studied International Development, and has retained a keen interest in development issues. Fraser has previously volunteered in Uganda on community projects and administration, and has always wished to provide what select skills he has in places that most need them. However, in a ‘less altruistic’ sense, he also wants to work in Bhutan for personal reasons. Fraser is fascinated by Buddhist culture and traditions, and his limited experience in that part of the world filled him with an enormous sense of peace and contentment. He feels that to immerse himself in that for a year is, at the same time, a daunting and powerfully exciting opportunity.

Excited to have you on board Fraser!

Happy Holidays from BCF!

All of us here at the Bhutan Canada Foundation wish everyone a happy holiday season! The BCF Toronto office will be closed December 24th – 28th and January 1st – 4th, to celebrate the holidays. In a months time our class of 2015 teachers will arrive in Bhutan. Make sure to keep up with the blog as we’ll be introducing the rest of the BCF teachers. We can’t wait for what lies ahead in the New Year!

Photo Credit: Tim Grossman
Photo Credit: Tim Grossman

Give the gift of education this holiday season! Support BCF.

Farewell Class of 2014!

What a year it has been for our class of 2014! As the new BCF teachers get ready for their departure in January, our class of 2014 teachers reflect on their year spent in Bhutan. Some teachers are continuing on with BCF for their second, third, and even fourth year, while others have left Bhutan to travel other parts of the world before returning home.

To all the teachers who have given so much to Bhutan this past year, we thank you and wish you the best in all your future endeavours!

Photo Credit: Vicky Chartres - BCF final hurray at Royal Civil Service Commission Conference Hall
Photo Credit: Vicky Chartres – BCF final hurray at Royal Civil Service Commission Conference Hall
Photo Credit: Warren Tanner - Spectacular Gongthung
Photo Credit: Warren Tanner – Spectacular Gongthung
Photo Credit: Sarah Diamond - Class 7B!
Photo Credit: Sarah Diamond – Class 7B!

Class of 2015 Profile: Sarah Barnett

Another warm welcome to a new BCF teacher. Sarah Barnett will be teaching English at Gongthung MSS in Trashigang.

Sarah Barnett

Sarah is from Sequim, Washington, a small town on the Olympic Peninsula. She went to Washington State University and studied social studies and history, while getting her teaching certification. She has since then substituted in school districts around the Olympic Peninsula. She has always had a passion for teaching and would do so with her younger siblings, when she was in elementary school. She has always wanted to travel and teaching for the Bhutan Canada Foundation is the perfect opportunity to do so. She is excited and looking forward to the experiences she will have.

Welcome Sarah!

Class of 2015 Profile: Sebastian Behrens

Today we are happy to introduce another adventurous teacher joining our class of 2015! Sebastian Behrens will be teaching English at Bjibjokha MSS in Punakha.

Sebastian Behrens - Photo

Sebastian has been a teacher in Central London since 2011. He started off as a primary teacher in East London and has since made the transition to teaching in a North London special needs school. Prior to becoming a teacher, Sebastian supported adults with learning disabilities to run a monthly club night and a community newspaper. He also gained experience in the field of international development by helping to run a primary health care project targeting the Hijra community in New Delhi, India. His work and study has allowed him to experience life in a range of places including New Zealand, India, the United States, the UK and Germany.

Welcome Sebastian!

Class of 2015 Profile: Catherine Luck

A warm welcome to new BCF teacher Catherine Luck, who will be teaching Maths at Yangchengatsel LSS in Thimphu.

Catherine Luck

Catherine is from Laidley in Queensland, Australia. By the time she is in Bhutan Catherine will have completed 14 years of teaching in South East Queensland High Schools.  At the end of 1999, Catherine completed her Bachelor of Education at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, all the while, raising her 4 children.  She obtained a permanent position at Murgon State High and taught there for 4 years.  After that Catherine and her family moved to Laidley and she taught at Laidley State High where she taught for 10 years.  During this time she was recognised as Senior Teacher and then Experienced Senior Teacher. 

Catherine and her husband Trevor recently celebrated their 30 year wedding anniversary. They have four fabulous children. Stefanie and Chelsie their twins and eldest, their son Sebastian, and their youngest daughter Maddisen.

Trevor and Catherine visited Bhutan in April, 2013 and fell in love with the culture, people and land.  Since then, Catherine has not stopped thinking of the Kingdom of Bhutan so she searched for a chance of returning there for work.  BCF provided that possibility.  Catherines family and extended family are very supportive.  She will be travelling on her own and is incredibly excited about teaching in Bhutan!

Excited to have you with us this upcoming year Catherine!

Give the Gift of Education. Support BCF!

“My students are motivated, kind and hilarious. The belief in Bhutan is that education is the only way to improve one’s circumstance. My students’ kindness, respect and gratitude make my work worthwhile. Replicating their positive attitude helps me to notice the incredible beauty around me…If nothing else; my students have taught me the power of positive thinking and the need for great teachers in every school on Earth…”Mackenzie Walton Tsebar LSS, Pemagatshel

Diamond, Sarah - Boy Students

This year the Bhutan Canada Foundation celebrated its 5 th Anniversary in partnership with the people of Bhutan to cultivate English literacy and bring critical thinking and innovation to the forefront of educational practice. Since the launch of the Bhutan Canada Foundation in 2009, we have worked with the Ministry of Education in Bhutan to transform the standards of public education by sending 69 teachers to 39 distinct communities across the country.

Our teachers work alongside their local colleagues to improve literacy and encourage learning; working diligently with a team of educators that have provided 10,800 Bhutanese youth with the opportunity to achieve an education that might otherwise have been unattainable. Your donation will make an immediate difference in the lives of Bhutanese students!

In a few short weeks we will send a new group of teachers to Bhutan. This includes 17 new teachers, 1 returning alumni teacher and 4 teachers already in the field who are staying on for a second, third, or fourth year. We are excited to keep you updated on their progress as they get adjusted to their new schools and communities!

BCFTeachers(2010-2014)

Class of 2015 Profile: Adam Campbell

We are happy to introduce you to a new adventurous BCF teacher Adam Campbell. Adam will be teaching Science at Pemagatsel MSS in Pemagatshel!

Adam Campbell Photo

In 2012, Adam accepted a job as an Earth Science and Algebra teacher at an inner-city high school in Detroit, Michigan with the Education Achievement Authority (EAA). Prior to teaching in Detroit, Adam taught in Western Washington where he worked in a post-graduation transition program for young adults with special needs. In 2010 he was accepted as a Clinton Fellow with the American India Foundation and spent 1 year working on vocational education projects in rural and urban areas of West Bengal. As a teacher he is guided by the philosophy that ALL children deserve an excelent education. He strives to engage students by making his classroom an exciting place to learn!

Welcome Adam!