Get To Know Our Staff
Abby Popowich, Academic Coordinator
Degree (s): B.A. in English Literature and currently studying Curriculum Design at Mount Royal University in Calgary.
Place of Birth: Yorkton, Saskatchewan.
Been with GV Calgary since March 2011. Teach the Cambridge FCE Preparation Class, General English as well as administration work.
Places Lived: Calgary, Fukuoka, Japan, Bangkok, Thailand.
GV Goal: To provide quality teaching along with creating an atmosphere that is fun and great for learning in. Also keeping Global Village Calgary up-to-date with current, interesting, and educational curriculum and lesson materials for the students and teachers.
Adora Suyat, Administrative Coordinator
Degree(s): B.A. in Communication Arts, major in Speech Communication.
Place of Birth: San Juan, Philippines.
Been with GV Calgary Since: March 2015.
Places Lived: Philippines, Switzerland, Bahrain, Colombia, Canada (Toronto, Brooks, Calgary).
GV Goal: To assist Accounts Payable, IELTS Centre, Registration so each can focus on their core competencies; to welcome and assist students and visitors so they can have a very pleasant experience at GV.
Adriana Lizama General English TESOL IELTS Foundations Teacher
Degree (s): B.A., CELTA
Place of Birth: San Salvador, EI Salvador.
Been with GV Calgary since May, 2007.
Places Lived: EI Salvador and Canada.
GV Goal: To help students become active participants in their learning by providing fun and interactive lessons.
Carla O’Dwyer, Registrar
Place of Birth: St. John’s, Newfoundland but I have lived all over the world and have been travelling my whole life. Some of the countries I have traveled to include Spain, Germany, Greece, Oman, England, South Korea, Portugal, Austria, Italy, France, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Switzerland, USA etc.
Been with GV Calgary since July, 2011.
Places Lived: South Korea, Portugal, United Arab Emirates and different places in Canada
GV Goal: To ensure that student gets the best possible experience they can.
Dalene Volschenk, IELTS Customer Relations
Degree(s): B.A. Spanish
Place of Birth: Johannesburg, South Africa
Been with GV Calgary since: September, 2013
Places Lived: South Africa, Lloydminster, Calgary
GV Goal: To ensure that students feel welcome and have a positive experience at GV. I’m also happy to provide information and assistance to people who are thinking of coming to study at GV in the future.
Damon Wright, Facilities and Accounts Supervisor
Degree(s): B Econ., CMA (UK), CSP
Place of Birth: Durban, South Africa
Been with GV Calgary since: September, 2004
Places Lived: Durban/Cape Town, South Africa; London, England; Singapore; Calgary, Canada.
GV Goal: To provide GV students and staff a secure, clean & well-maintained building in which to study & work.
Derek Wilson, General English Teacher
Degree(s): B.A. in Sociology, Dip. Ed (ESL)
Place of Birth: Regina, Saskatchewan
Been with GV Calgary Since: April, 2003
Places Lived: Canada, Kosovo, Japan
GV Goal: To provide students with opportunities to participate in exciting activities, learn more about Canadian culture, and see beautiful scenery and amazing sites.
Erin Fenton, Events Coordinator
Degree(s): B.A. Sociology/Criminology, B.Ed, CTESOL.
Place of Birth: Montreal, Quebec.
Been with GV Calgary Since: December, 2013.
Places Lived: Montreal, Calgary, Halifax, Fredericton, Toronto, Ottawa and Casablanca (Morocco).
GV Goal: Every culture finds its expression through language. As a teacher and events coordinator, I strive to help students improve both their language and cultural skills by immersing them in Canadian culture. Extracurricular activities and excursions provide a truly authentic way to learn what Calgary, Canada and the English language is all about.
Greg Stephenson, General English / Cambridge FCE Teacher, EAP and Pathway Coordinator
Degree(s): B.A. English, Philosophy and CELTA
Place of Birth: Duncan, BC
Been with GV Calgary Since: December, 2011
Places Lived: Victoria, Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver and Calgary
GV Goal: To offer a fresh and relevant variety of materials and activities in a classroom that engages and challenges students to improve their communication skills and broaden their cultural awareness. I strive to support teachers and admin staff in their efforts to provide a positive and memorable learning environment. I also assist GV students who are interested in pursuing their studies at a variety of Canadian post-secondary institutions.
Jiri Karas, CELTA Trainer/Program Administrator
Degree(s): M.A. English/Sociology, CELTA, DELTA
Place of Birth: Ostrava, Czech Republic
Been with GV Calgary Since: July, 2003
Places Lived: Calgary, Canada; Bmo/Ostrava, Czech Republic; Atlanta, USA
GV Goal: To provide quality teacher training through the Cambridge CELTA program. To help my students improve their use of English as well as their study skills.
John Taplin, Founding Director
Degree(s): M.A., Dip. Ed. (ESL), B.A.
Place of Birth: Sydney, Australia. Has lived in Alberta, Canada since 1984.
Been with GV Calgary since its beginning in 1995.
Travel: Europe, Japan, Korea, Cuba, Brazil, Indonesia
GV Goal: Working with a great team of people, our goal is to make sure our students have a great language learning experience combined with knowing more about Canada and themselves.
Kanae Ebina, Administrative Coordinator
Degree (s): B.A. in English and Education, Diploma of Administrative Information Management.
Place of Birth: Iwate, Japan.
Been with GV Calgary since May, 2016.
Places Lived: Calgary, Victoria in BC, Vancouver in BC, Japan.
GV Goal: To ensure that students feel welcome, comfortable and fun studying English at GV. I also want to assist students/candidates in the Registration, IELTS, and the front desk with a warm friendly heart.
Karen Dueck, ESL Teacher
Degree (s): B.A.
Place of Birth: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Been with GV Calgary since April 2010.
Places Lived: I have lived in Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario. I have also lived in Germany, France, and Korea.
GV Goal: I want to give the students the opportunity to view the English language as a communicative tool such as a computer or a book. My goal is to help students develop their communication skills further.
Lilia Kawash, IELTS Coordinator
Degree(s): BA, MA(TESOL)
Place of Birth: Calgary, Alberta
Been with GV Calgary Since: October 2012
Places Lived: United Arab Emirates
GV Goal: To help candidates with any concerns or questions they may have regarding the IELTS test, and provide them with resources and advice for a successful exam.
Mike Swanston, BEP Teacher
Degree (s): B. A.
Place of Birth: Raised in Calgary but I have lived in many other countries.
Been with GV Calgary since 2007.
Places visited: I love travelling and have visited other twenty six countries.
GV Goal: To provide a fun environment where students can learn English and expand their cultural awareness.
Phil Connelly, CELTA Trainer
Degree(s): B.A., M.A. in TESOL, CELTA, DELTA
Place of Birth: Heme Bay, England
Been with GV Calgary Since: May, 2005
Places Lived: England, Canada, China, Poland, Armenia
GV Goal: To ensure students receive professional and efficient service at all points of their contact with the centre.
Susana Belisario, IT Coordinator
Degree(s): Electronic Engineering Degree (Lima, Peru) and Networking Technology Certificate (Calgary, AB).
Place of Birth: Lima, Peru.
Been with GV Calgary since May, 2009.
Places Lived: Lima, Peru and Calgary, Canada.
GV Goal: To make technology available to students in order to improve their English learning process by providing fast and reliable computers, a gamma of interactive programs in the Lab and a wide variety of tools.
Tania Knoch, IELTS Centre Manager
Degree(s): B. Ed.
Place of Birth: St. Catherines, Ontario. Raised in Saskatchewan, Canada. Has travelled extensively.
Been with GV Calgary since March, 2000.
GV Goal: To ensure that our students have a very positive study experience. I am always willing to meet with students to counsel them on their English level and place them in the best program to help them meet their English learning goals.
Vanessa Rusk, Academic Advisor
Degree (s): CELTA certified
Place of Birth: Edmonton, Canada
Been with GV Calgary Since July, 2012
Places Lived: Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver (Canada); Slovenia (Europe)
Places Visited: all throughout Canada and the U.S., Mexico, Jamaica, Singapore, Malaysia, the Caribbean, England, Scotland, Germany, Greece, Austria, Italy, Croatia and Serbia.
GV Goal: To give students and potential students advice and information on our English programs; advice on how to reach their professional, academic, and personal goals in learning the English language; and advice on how to prepare for the IELTS exam (Academic and General).
15 years of English language teaching experience: General English, Academic English, Professional English, and Business English; prepared students for University of Cambridge ESOL examinations - IELTS exam (Academic and General), General English exams (PET, FCE, CAE, CPE), Business English exams (CEIBT, BEC Preliminary, BEC Vantage, BEC Higher); English language assistant in secondary school (Slovenia, Europe).