Andy Thompson – Founder and Managing Director
A Big Welcome to our school! I started ESB in 2010 when it was clear that a number of parents were frustrated, like my Hungarian wife and I, that they could not provide a good and affordable English education whilst allowing their children to participate in a normal Hungarian school. A British friend of mine (you know who you are) had just moved here from Paris where her children attended a school that taught English according to the English curriculum on Wednesdays, the day that French schools don’t teach. She and some other educators suggested we start a similar format in Budapest. And so the story started….
I have 5 children and in Budapest they have been to international, bilingual and state schools. Each was a compromise to some degree. At ESB we hope to make that compromise easier.
Should you wish to contact me, I would be delighted to hear from you. I look forward to meeting you.
Our Director of Education – David Shectman
After completing his initial training in music, David fell in love with teaching English to non-native speakers and has never looked back. Initially appointed to teach English composition to high school students at an elite private school in Budapest (Lauder Javne), David eventually transitioned into a lower-school classroom position in a highly regarded bi-lingual programme administered under the joint auspices of ELTE University and the Hungarian Ministry of Education. He also taught for a time in an IB World School in Basel, Switzerland where he directed an intensive language programme which acclimatized new learners of English to a mainstream PYP curriculum. Finally, David has also taught both Key Stage 3 German and upper school ESL at the British International School of Budapest.
In addition to having earned a Master’s in Piano Performance from SUNY, Stony Brook, David holds a Master’s of Education in ESL Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University. As this program is officially affiliated with United States Department of State Office for Overseas Schools, David was able to take part in specialized sensitivity training and learn guidelines concerning best-practices in international education. Thanks to his own classroom experiences and this specialized training, David holds the conviction that compassion can be taught and that a meaningful education is about more than reinforcing subject material. Rather, he feels that a contemporary education should emphasize teamwork, caring, and community.
An avid learner of languages, David speaks fluent Hungarian in addition to his native English. He also speaks upper-intermediate German (B2 certification from ÖSD), a language he continues to actively study. When not learning languages, David is a devoted practitioner of cardiovascular exercise and Ashtanga-style yoga; he tries to stand on his head as frequently as possible as he feels that it helps him view the world more clearly. He also enjoys both cooking and baking and also frequently reads cookbooks before turning in for the night.
Our Director of Operations – Mark Davies
We are delighted to welcome Mark Davies to the ESB management team as Director of Operations. Mark will be responsible on a part time basis for all non educational aspects of running the school. He is a highly experienced and respected educational leader, with 20 years school management experience in Budapest.
Mark Davies is from the UK and has been working in education since 1979. He graduated in Engineering Science and Management and then gained his PGCE. Since 1983 he has held whole school management positions, initially as IT coordinator and more recently as head of an international bilingual school in Budapest and was responsible for the day to day organisation and leadership of a rapidly growing international school.
Mark has lived in Budapest since 1997, and is married with one son. He enjoys cycling and playing tennis as well as following football, especially his home team Watford. Cooking is another thing he enjoys, and especially like to experiment and adapt recipes.
Our Head of Curriculum Development – Rachel McKinnon
Miss Rachel is from Aberdeen, Scotland, but grew up in Cairo, Egypt, where she enjoyed horse riding around the Giza pyramids. In 2014 she completed her undergraduate degree, in English and Scottish literature, at the University of Aberdeen. After having worked as a youth worker, and teaching assistant, she cultivated a passion for teaching which led to her gaining a TEFL qualification in Aberdeen, and a PGCE ( Post graduate Certificate in Education ) from the University of Brighton. In her free time Miss Rachel loves playing board games such as Scrabble and she is fond of using educational games in her lessons! Her hobbies also include longboarding, travelling and spoken word poetry.
Our Administration Manager– Eszter Gulyas
Ms Eszter is responsible for managing all new student admissons at ESB. She handles parental communications and manages payments and finances at our Tarogato site. Since graduating from university, Ms Eszter has worked in similar office roles at the British Council, City & Guilds and the Ministry of Education. She is always enthusiastic about creative projects, that is why she is happy to have joined ESB. When she has free time, she enjoys cooking, listening to funky, traveling and playing poker with her family and friends.
Our Administration Assistant– Matyas Ecsedi
Mr Matyi is the contact for parents in our Apor Vilmos School, answering parents’ questions and completing administration tasks. He also assists teachers in their classrooms. Matyi is a near-native speaker of English, and is an undergraduate of Pázmány Péter Catholic University, where he studies English and History teaching. He completed his secondary education in a conservatory focusing on classical guitar and sound engineering, only later discovering his interest in English and working with children. In his free time Matyi is an avid reader, with a preference for sci-fi and fantasy novels.
Samu started attending ESB 6 months ago. He was a complete beginner at the time. Now he speaks in sentences and has a vocabulary of several hundred words. In six months he’s made incredible progress, while also having fun and making new friends.
Orsolya (mother of Samu)
“Our daughter was a little shy when joining ESB, having had very basic English – but she liked the classes from the first moment. After 5 months she is making steady progress and starts to be able to express herself. ESB seems to create good motivation for them and the various activities built around the themes covered keep the children’s interest.”
Anita (mother of Kata)