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 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 degree 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.

 

 


Teachers

Fiona Mc Cabe

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 Tilly in her free time.

 

Ryan Newman

Joint major English & Politics – Trent university Peterborough,TESOL certificate

Ryan is a travel junkie who loves experiencing different cultures. His favourite colour is green and he loves anything containing potatoes. Originally from Canada, he enjoys teaching English and learning other languages.                                                           Ryan has taught in Bangkok, Toronto and now Bundoran. He has a degree in English and Politics, as well as a                                                                 TESOL certificate. Ryan considers English teaching a great opportunity for exchange. He is happy to teach and                                                               always eager to learn!

 

Shannon McBride

This is Shannon, an English Teacher from right here in Donegal. She has been working abroad in Spain for the last two years after graduating in Media Studies, Spanish and Catalan in 2017 from Maynooth University, as well as completing her TEFL certification. She is a keen volunteer and has spent the last 3 years volunteering for a student organisation, so she considers this to be her hobby. A fun fact about her is she is absolutely terrified of bees, watch her run a mile when she sees one!

 

 

Paul Gibson

Paul is from Belfast in Northern Ireland and has lived in the Northwest of Ireland for 11 years.

This is his second year of teaching at the Donegal English Language School. He enjoys the buzz of meeting students and is a language learner himself (he is learning German and Spanish). Paul has also worked as an actor and storyteller. Paul’s interests include literature, listening to music (anything except rap) and hillwalking.

 

 

Ciara Long

Hi! I’m Ciara. I love teaching English and am delighted to be here in Donegal working at DELS. I love sports, keeping fit, hiking, running and I plan on learning how to surf this summer! I also love cooking and am always searching for new recipes!

 

 

Megan Wright

Megan is a Donegal native and has been at DELS for 3 summers now. With a degree in Film and French she loves languages and all things creative. Megan has taught in Ireland, Spain and Réunion and hopes to continue travelling this year.”

 

 

 

 

Anita Khan

Anita is an English teacher from Donegal. She has been teaching English for five years and has worked abroad in both France and Spain. She is a keen linguist who enjoys travelling, cooking and is currently learning to surf. Her favourite colour is yellow, and she is a self-confessed chocolate addict!

 

 

Dónall Ó Mearáin

B.A. in History and Geography (NUI)

Dónall teaches English, Irish and German and has taught in Hungary, Poland, Italy and Germany as well as in Ireland. He is also engaged in teacher training. He is interested in languages and linguistics. He loves swimming,                                                           chess, cinema and music. He is quite a good cook.

 

Neil Hamilton

This is Neil, an English teacher, originally from Banbridge, Northern Ireland. He has been teaching English and Art for four years, both in Spain and Ireland. His hobbies include travelling, cooking and painting.

 

 


Mel Heron

(on left) B.A(Hons) Communications & IT, Middlesex University

Marketing & Administration

Mel works in the office with Gina. Mel worked as a Marketing Manager for many years in London before settling back in Bundoran.  Outside of office hours Mel likes to take part in Triathlons.

 


Mark 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.

 


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.

 

Alix Cappelletti

Activity Manager

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 Ireland. Alix has a Degree in Computer Engineering, however, she is back to college to become an Early Childhood Educator. Alix has many different passions and hobbies like crafts, board games and sports such as roller skating, biking or running. She is currently training for the Dublin Marathon in October. She is happy to be back for her                                              4th year here in DELS.

 

Aoife Gillespie 

This is Aoife, a 3rd year student in the Letterkenny Institute of Technology studying Business and Irish.Sport is her passion! She loves swimming and has been a qualified lifeguard now for four years. Aoife really loves Gaelic football and has played at county level for numerous years.She love to volunteer in her local community and has received two national awards from Pramerica and Junior Chamber Ireland for her work.

 

 Anna Giacomelli

Hi! My name is Anna and I am 25 year old.  I am Italian, but I have lived in Ireland for the past 2 years and literally fallen in love with this country!I’ve just got back to Europe from a volunteering experience in Indonesia where I had the chance to teach English to university students and learn about their culture. I am a recent certified English teacher and for the next three years I will be studying to become a kindergarten teacher.I love nature and outdoor sports. I like rock climbing, hiking and trekking in the mountains where I used to live, with my family. I am a pretty good skier and I always wait for                                                the next winter season to come!

 

Beth Mcnamee

My name is Beth McNamee, I am 19 years old and I live in a town called Ballybofey which is around an hour away. I have just left college where I was studying biomedical science and I hope to go on to study hair and beauty in September. I really enjoy cooking in my spare time and I absolutely love sunny weather and being outdoors.

 

Coline Garcia

I am Coline, I come from France, more precisely from Provence (South-East), but also from Brittany (North-West) since I can’t decide which one of these origins I am the prouder of. One day I will also be Irish I just need to find how. I love animals as long as they love me back, that’s why horses are triggering me because I love them but they still want me to fall off and eat dirt. After 7 years of horse riding I decide to go back to fencing. In September I will be a student in fine art as drawing is one of my  biggest passion. Since my first day as a student in DELS, 6 years ago, I always wanted to become                                           part of the co.ordinator’s team and here I am for my second year.

 

Michelle McHugh

Michelle- Born in New York City, I’ve lived in Donegal for many years. I love discovering and exploring new places, taking many pictures along the way. I’ve been all over Ireland as well as France & Belgium working at and running festivals. I love volunteering, especially with young people and in my spare time I love learning new things, like making chocolates, origami and candle making.

 

Niamh McAndrew

Niamh, is from a small town in Ireland called Belleek. When she finished school , she went to Cambodia to volunteer with children in rural areas, she spent over a year there before returning home to Ireland. Niamh is a Yoga teacher, teaching in her hometown, as well as on the beach. She loves nature, it is where she finds peace- her dream is to live in a forest. Being creative is very important to her whether it is painting or dancing! Niamh is always trying new things and she tries to live a life full of adventure and laughter.

 

Rachele Mazzini

My name is Rachele, I’m from Italy and I am a Psychology student. I have been studying in Ireland as an Erasmus student for the past nine months and I simply fell in love with this country – that is the reason why I am here. I consider myself as a friendly, outgoing, and energetic person who is always curious to try out new things. It might sound a bit obvious, but I do like pizza, other than spending time with my friends, playing the drums, and any other activity related to music and dancing.

 

Shane MCConnell

I’m Shane and I’m from the wee town of Castlefinn in the east of Donegal. I am about to start an Early Childhood Care, Health & Education course in Letterkenny, I hope to become a primary school teacher; this has always been a desire of mine. As I enjoy working with young people, I saw DELS as an exciting and golden opportunity. This is my second summer with DELS. I have a great love for sports, having played football, gaelic, and basketball through the years.

 

 

Kelly Maher 

Kelly here and I’m from Tipperary (south of Ireland – far from here!!!). I’ve just finished University and am on the hunt for some fun work after all my studying! I’m a huge music fan and also love hurling (an Irish sport – don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about this!).

 

Ryan Field

Ryan, originally from Dublin is new to the team this year. He has a B.A in English, French & Theatre and hopes to one day open his own language school. His love of activities and creativity brought him to Donegal, where he feels right at home.

 

 

Rossa Byrne

My name is Rossa after studying social studies in Derry. I spent a few years working as youth worker for a few years.I decided to take a little brake. I started up my own little jewellery business using bog oak and selling the odd painting surprisingly people were willing to give me money for each piece.

After a few years of jewellery making and playing music I started to miss working with kids and here I am.

 

Sharon  Coyle – Adult student co ordinator

 

Sharon is originally from Antrim, Northern Ireland and is a qualified psychotherapist and a recent TEFL graduate. She loves travelling, languages and experiencing other cultures. She has a keen interest in Celtic mythology and folklore and her hobbies include horse riding and adventure sports. She recently survived the adrenalin rush of her first acrobatic paragliding session and can’t wait to try it again!