Accueil I Who are we?  Page mise à jour le 19/03/2018

The team

John

John Evans

Director

The owner and driving force behind our school, John read French and German at Fitzwilliam College at the University of Cambridge. He has extensive teaching experience, three decades of which have also been spent running his own business. Today, John divides his time between managing the John Evans School and teaching. Like every member of his team, John really enjoys teaching, which also enables him to maintain the close ties he has established with companies in the Grenoble area throughout his professional life.
John specialises in individual lessons, focusing on speaking and issues relating to the world of business.
A true Englishman, John is a keen fan of both football and rugby.  He has often been spotted enthusiastically supporting his favourite teams at stadiums in and around Grenoble. John loves the United States of America, so if you're planning a trip there, don't hesitate to ask him for advice!


Polly Brown

Polly Brown

Assistant Manager

Polly has an honours degree in French and English from the University of Leeds.  She began her career in Human Resources in the retail industry.  Before coming to Grenoble she worked in London as a recruitment consultant.  She has been working for John Evans since 1991. Polly brings a wealth of experience from her business background to tailor-make courses for companies in the Grenoble area.  She is our Human Resources specialist and is the creator of various bespoke HR courses. She has also developed English proficiency tests to assist with candidate recruitment for some of John Evans' clients.
Polly is well-known for her sense of humour and dynamic approach.  Outside work, Polly enjoys volunteering and keeping fit. She has never been known to miss an apèro-dinatoire!  


Fiona Cahill

Fiona Cahill

Senior Trainer

Of Irish and Welsh origin, Fiona has a degree in French and English from the University of Nottingham. Before joining John Evans in 1997,  Fiona taught English at the University of Grenoble. As one of the most versatile and experienced members of our team, Fiona adapts her teaching style to whichever professional environement she finds herself in.  Fiona spreads a little sunshine wherever she goes and is known and appreciated for her patience, kindness and her ability to put her students at ease.
Outside work, Fiona is a very busy lady! She is heavily involved in the cultural life of the town where she lives. Fiona also enjoys team sports and regularly takes part in regional tennis competitions. 


Julie Atkinson

Julie Atkinson

Senior Trainer

Julie was born in Zimbabwe where she lived until she went to Dublin to study at Trinity College and the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business.  She has been teaching professional English since she arrived in France. Julie joined the John Evans team in 2008. A strong believer in listening to her students, Julie focuses on ensuring that her students learn what they need to reach their objectives. Julie is not afraid to test out innovative methods - her use of "unplugged teaching" has been a resounding success!
Julie is very much involved in village life. She  was responsible for setting up the "pedibus" and she takes an active part in  fundraising activities for the village schools. Julie never misses a Six Nation or a Three Nation rugby match and would love to see a bit more cricket on French TV!


Heather Larin

Administrative and IT Manager

Heather was born in Montreal, Quebec and is part of the very small native anglophone population. She began her career as a project coordinator and translator in the pharmaceutical industry. Having obtained her CELTA diploma after arriving in France in 2007, Heather taught business English in both Paris and Grenoble for six years. Since September 2012, Heather has managed the administrative and IT side of John Evans, as well as our client companies in the Drac region.

Our resident geek, Heather is passionate about new technology, science fiction and MOOCs. In her spare time, Heather loves to cook, specializing in international cuisine. Her goal is to taste all the wines and cheeses France has to offer!


Miranda Goodwin

Miranda has been living in the Oisans region since 1996.  She has a degree in Arts and Humanities, specialising in English, and followed this with her CELTA qualification.  She was employed at a language school in Exeter, England where she taught many nationalities and gained valuable teaching experience. In addition to working for John Evans, Miranda runs adult courses and a mini school for children at her local Maison des Jeunes. She also teaches English to French and Italian ski instructors here in the Alps.

Miranda is a keen skier herself, she also enjoys running, and has recently been spotted testing her old dance skills by taking up zumba.


Ronelle Arnaud

Ronelle was born in Cape Town, South Africa. She earned her BA in Communication Science from the University of South Africa and obtained her TEFL Masters in 2012. She has travelled and worked in different countries including Qatar, The Sultanate of Oman and Dubai. In 2006 she moved to Grenoble, where she has been teaching English since 2008. She is very attentive to her students' needs and enjoys creating a stimulating environment where they can improve their skills. In her free time, Ronelle enjoys travelling, reading, watching movies, and, most of all, spending time with her husband and two boys.


Verna Manzini

Originally from Prince Edward Island, Canada, Verna holds a degree in English literature and French from the University of Mount Allison in New Brunswick. Having already been a part of our team from 2006 to 2010, Verna is now back in Grenoble after a 4 year stay in Quebec. Verna has 16 years' experience teaching English in companies around Grenoble, as well as at some private engineering schools. She is appreciated by her students for her dynamic lessons and her legendary Canadian sense of humour.

A true Canadian, Verna spends most of her free time at the hockey rink, where her son plays on a high level team. She can often be seen and heard at the Bruleurs de Loups games!


Hayley Makwana

Originally from Leicestershire in the UK, Hayley gained a degree in French with Spanish at the University of Southampton. She found her passion for teaching while teaching English at a private company in the West of France where she enjoyed creating fun and engaging lessons for the students. After gaining valuable experience teaching groups and giving private tuition, Hayley completed a CELTA in Strasbourg.

Hayley enjoys volunteering and has spent time working with the NGO Women's World Summit Foundation and UNICEF Charente and in a moment of madness in 2010 she hitchhiked to Morocco to raise money for charity. Hayley loves travelling, reading, cooking and hiking and very occasionally can be found attempting to ski. 


Régine James

Administrative Assistant

As our only French team member, Régine brings a « je ne sais quoi » to the office. Originally from the region of Orleans, she has worked for John Evans since November 2015. Having always been a fan of the English language, Régine worked for American companies, first in Belgium, then Burgundy and finally in Pont de Claix. In addition to her administrative role at John Evans, Régine is currently in training to become a trainer specialised in courses for beginners and job-seekers.

An active and dynamic woman, you can find Régine on stage with her amateur theatre troupe or playing bridge. She is also a keen tennis player, especially doubles. There is no doubt she has a team spirit!


Jackie Monterrat

Jackie was born on the East Coast of the United States and grew up in and around the state of Wisconsin. A fan of French language and culture from a young age, she started studying French in high school and continued at the University of Minnesota where she studied cultural studies and comparative literature as well as anthropology. After meeting her future husband while in France on a teaching internship, they spent 10 years living overseas teaching in the AEFE, The Agency for French Education Abroad. After having taught in France, Mauritius, Serbia and Saint-Martin, she took a "break" and worked in tourism for several years managing a wonderful team of individuals in a world-class hotel in Saint-Martin. Recently settled near Grenoble with her husband and three children, she is thrilled to return to France and to teaching.


Killian was born in Dublin, Ireland and grew up in a town close to the city. He has an honours degree in Psychology from Trinity College Dublin and an MBA from Grenoble Ecole de Management, in addition to his teaching certificate. He has been teaching English for 17 of the past 20 years in Spain, Ireland and France, the other three years spent in a training department of the Irish Civil Service. As a teacher he has taught individuals and groups, across all ages and in a myriad of professional and academic contexts.

His interests include football, rugby, music and cooking, in addition to travelling the world and experiencing new cultures.  Reading is another favourite pass time when he's got the chance - military history of the Second World War, and the novels of John le Carré being particular areas of interest. Killian is somewhat of a task master in the classroom, but always with the goal of students fulfilling their learning potential in English.  


Born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Kaily set off to discover the rest of the world after her studies in Interior Architecture and Business at the University of Idaho and the University of Chongqing in China. Interested in environmental design, research based design and international business, she stays connected to her passions through edx. In 2015 she decided to take a break from the American way of life to discover what Europe had to offer. When she arrived to Grenoble she was blown away by the French Alps and decided to make France her new home.


Mikaela Bell

Mikaela Bell

Mikaela was born in Tucson, Arizona and studied Linguistics and Anthropology at the University of Arizona, before departing for two years to teach English as a foreign language in Tyre, Lebanon, where she met the man she would later marry. After returning to Tucson, she worked in behavioral health for three years, teaching job skills and mental health management skills to adults seeking to re-enter the workforce. During this time, she also began to teach English as a foreign language to children in China, via an online platform. Mikaela moved to France in the spring of 2017 to be with her fiancé, a native of the Grenoble area. They married in the summer, and she began teaching with the John Evans School in December of that same year. She hopes to perfect her French over the next couple years, then go to grad school.


Gwinny Hope

Gwinny Hope

Originally from the South of England, Gwinny grew up abroad in North Africa and later in South America. Her professional life started in the field of Health and Social care where she worked as an Occupational Therapist for many years. A great lover of the English language and world wide travel, Gwinny finally settled in France and started teaching English, gaining her CELTA qualification in October 2017. In her spare time Gwinny is a keen skier, cook and gardener with a passion for outdoor life in the beautiful Alpes where she has made her home.




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