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Meet the Team

At Donegal English Language School, we pride ourselves on giving a personal touch.  As the classes and overall student numbers are small, both teachers and coordinators have the opportunity to get to know the students and help them with any queries they may have.  Below is a short introduction on our team.  Our aim is to ensure that you have a good holiday, an enjoyable learning experience and an insight into Ireland and its way of life.  We love to learn and grow with every student that walks through our door.  We look forward to meeting you.

Gina Witherow

Director

Gina

Gina is the Director of the Donegal English Language School.  Gina’s love for languages started at an early age when her Mother opened an international language school in 1989. The buzz of meeting students of various European nationalities throughout her childhood was an overriding reason for her taking over the school in 2007.  She has over 20 years experience in the tourism and marketing industry as well as 12 years in teaching English.  Gina holds a diploma in  European Languages and Business and CELTA in teaching English. When not working Gina enjoys spending time with her family or a bit of surfing.


FionaFiona Mc Cabe

(on left) B.A(Hons)English and History, UCD,  Certificate in Psychology, Cert TEFL

Director of Studies

Fiona is the Director of Studies and head teacher at the school.  Fiona holds a degree in English and History and a TEFL qualification.  Prior to joining DELS  in 2008, Fiona worked as an English teacher in Dublin for 14 years.  Fiona enjoys nothing more than walking her dog Jo Jo in her free time.


Mark WitherowMark Witherow

Kitchen Manager

Married to Gina, the school Director, Mark is responsible for the catering of all residential students.  Having worked for many years in the hospitality industry around the world, Mark moved back to Donegal in 2003 to pursue his career in food and his love for surfing.


April Pearl Kennedy

Activity Manager
April

Originally hailing from Tralee, Co. Kerry, April has a keen interest in youth development and education. April’s love of traveling the world and different cultures prompted her to apply to be a Student Coordinator at DELS in 2013 and has since progressed to Activity Manager.  April has just completed a BSc in Early Childhood Care, Health and Education and plans to further her studies this winter. April’s friends tend to describe her as “a bit mad” but she reckons she’s normal by Kerry standards! April has many different interests ranging from  weightlifting to theatre and puts this down her “sher-why-not!?” attitude.

 


English Teachers

The English Teachers at DEL are all qualified with experience in the junior market. They prepare and deliver well structured and varied lessons to ensure that all students have the opportunity to improve their English in a positive learning environment.

 

Catherine Given

English Teacher / Academic Coordinator

Catherine is originally from Donegal but has lived in five different countries. She worked as an English Language Teacher in Dublin, South Korea and Switzerland, studied in Germany and England, and traveled and worked in New Zealand.  She is passionate about languages and music, having studied Music and German at university. In her free time, she enjoys playing and watching Gaelic football, going to music festivals, playing the piano and traveling. She has so far visited over 20 countries and is excited to tick more countries off her never-ending list of places to visit!


Connie Nell

English Teacher

Connie started teaching languages in 2005. Her youngest student was four years old and the

oldest is 85! Connie has lived in Germany, Bolivia, Spain and Scotland before returning to beautiful Ireland. She has a PhD in Social Anthropology, has worked in theatres and plays the fiddle. That’s why she likes including drama, movement, music and cultural knowledge in her classes. What she loves most about teaching is that the students teach her so much: about their countries, about their languages, about their views on Ireland and much more…

 


Caroline Finn

English Teacher

Caroline was born and raised in Sligo town. After graduating from UCD with a Bachelor of Social Sciences, she has worked as a youth worker, special needs assistant and kayak instructor. She has also spent a few years living in South Korea and in Kosovo, where she taught in an elementary school and in a business college. At the start of 2017 she moved back to Ireland and started working for DELS. In her free time, she loves to do all kinds of things involving water; kayaking, surfing, snorkeling, open water swimming as well as hiking and cycling.  Another passion of her is traveling; so far she has been to 31 countries!

 


Coordinators

Our Student Coordinators are available daily to help with any questions students may have. All  social and cultural activities are arranged through the student coordinators.  For junior students one coordinator is assigned to each house.  The coordinator helps each student to settle in to their new surroundings.

 

Kieran Noonan

Activity Supervisor

Kieran is from the countryside in the west of Sligo and has spent the last 9 months on Achill Kieran Noonan Donegal Language SchoolIsland but lucky for us, he has chosen to come out of the wilds and join us for another summer here at DELS!

Kieran holds a certificate in Sports, Recreation and Exercise, Irish Water Safety Lifeguard, Children’s Activity and Child Protection. While studying for a degree in computer science Kieran gained an interest in rock climbing and after one year became president of Letterkenny Institute of Technology Rock Climbing Club teaching the sport to both children and adults. In 2014 he worked as group leader in English language summer camps in both Dublin and Kildare. Kieran enjoys outdoors activities both on land and in the water.


Aisling Brennan

Student Coordinator

Aisling has just finished three years at St. PatrAislingick’s College in Dublin, studying Irish and Geography. She is hoping one day to be a primary school teacher! Aisling decided DELS was the place for her this summer as she previously worked as a residential camp leader in Spain, teaching English through various games and activities. She loved every moment of it and came to the realization that a sit-down, 9-5 office job is definitely not for her!

She have a huge interest in food, healthy eating and cooking/baking. For that reason, Aisling tends to end up in the kitchen a lot of the time… doing something! Apart from pretending I’m a chef, she loves all sports and keeping active in general. Her go-to sport is basketball as she has played for numerous years and of course, her height helps too!


Sinéad Ní Bhrolcháin

Student CoordinatorSinead

Sinéad has just completed a degree in Youth and Community Work in I.T. Carlow. Based in Roscommon, she is an enthusiastic lover of ice-breakers and can often be seen bursting into random games of Samurai. With a keen interest in youth development and informal learning, she is passionate about spending the summer with a range of diverse young people. Her interest in languages started at an early age, being fluent in Welsh until she was 7 and growing up with a Gaeilgóir father. Sinéad can often be found watching the rugby, reading a book or relaxing with a cupán tae.


Alix Cappelletti

Student CoordinatorAlix

Alix is half Italian and half French, and believes she has gotten the best qualities of each culture! Born and raised in Italy, she now lives in France. Last year she spent 4 months in livin in Galway as an au pair.
Alix has graduated from Politecnico of Milan with a Degree in Computer Engineering, however, she has since been inspired to change career paths and plans to become an Early Childhood Educator in future. Alix has  many different passions and hobbies like crafts, board games and sports such as roller skating, biking or running. She is happy to be back this year and can’t wait to live this new adventure


Brian McCormack

Student Coordinator

Brian is from Letterkenny, the heart of Donegal, so is well placed to pass on knowledge about the many hidden treasures in this magnificent corner of Europe. Currently studying Social Care in IT Sligo, he has a great desire to work with people and is determined to carve out a career helping young people. Having just returned from traveling around Germany, Italy and France for four months, he is looking forward to more adventures this summer. An avid lover of water sports, he is hoping to improve his surfing skills over the next few months. With a great passion for football, soccer, basketball and pretty much any sport going, he has lots of games on hand to try out throughout the summer.  Brian loves meeting new people from different cultures, and is hoping to do a lot more travelling in the future. With a great affection for animals, he is mostly found trying to entice dogs away from their owners and bring them back to the centre.

 


Paul Carr

Student Coordinator

Paul has just finished four years in IT Tralee studying Health and Leisure specializing in Sports Development. Paul is from a small town in the west of Donegal called Dungloe but decided to go all the way to Kerry to study because of his passion for sports and desire to pursue a career in that area. Paul is a qualified lifeguard, swim teacher, gym instructor and aerobics instructor and has spent this last two summers working in a leisure centre in Donegal. He has played many sports throughout his life including basketball, GAA, soccer and rugby and has coached basketball teams since he was sixteen years of age.

He has just finished three months’ work placement working as a health and related fitness tutor in two Youthreach centres in Dublin who provide education for early school leaders. Paul decided to join DELS this summer as he saw it as a new challenge and a fantastic way of meeting new people and learning about other cultures.


Niamh McHugh

Student Coordinator

Niamh is a second year Froebel primary teacher so she was eager to be part of the experience at DELS! She hopes to be able to see loads of ideas that she will be able to integrate into her own teaching methods. Niamh loves water sports and just being in the water in general, so Bundoran seemed like the perfect spot to spend the summer. Niamh loves teaching drama within the classroom as she had done speech and drama for years. She hopes to  incorporate this experience into the DELS activity programmes. She loved working with the young people she encountered during her placement and other camp experiences and cannot wait to expand her expertise in teaching and learning into the older age group here at DELS.