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Meet the team behind the
education for all seasons

Our people

"We wanted to build a world-class academic institution to provide children with an exceptional, values-driven education in an inspiring setting. Copperfield is that institution. We are achieving something remarkable and I am extremely excited to see how far we can take this vision."

Oliver Riley

English and Humanities

Olli has a First Class BA in Human, Social and Political Science from Cambridge University. A qualified TEFL practitioner and experienced tutor of Economics, History, Government and Politics.

Olli also debated frequently at the Cambridge Union. He has a passion for Athletics and was Men’s second team captain and social secretary of the athletics club of Cambridge University.

Leo Ackerman

English and Humanities

Leo studied History at Oxford, where he captained the 1st XI football team, as well as leading other student initiatives, such as panels with world-renowned academics and novelists. He has also taught at UCS in London.

On top of Leo's historical interests, which led him to the US to research the civil rights movement, he is particularly interested in cinema, literature and photography.

Daniela Favre

Early Years

Daniela is a fully-qualified teacher who is teaching Copperfield's primary students. 

She possesses the true spirit of an adventurer, having accompanied one of the world's greatest explorers to extreme environments in places such as Greenland and the Java Sea.

Her passion has always been teaching young children, and she is assisting the coordination of our IB candidacy process.

Daniela speaks English, French and Czech.

Susanne Kick

Deputy Head (co-curricular)

Our Deputy Head (co-curricular), Susanne brings over ten years of educational leadership experience in Germany and Switzerland (including Verbier). Her expertise is in German, PE and Geography.

 

Susanne has the highest level of qualification for skiing, and competes in Verbier's Spartan Race each year.

Dr Hugh McCormick

Headteacher

Hugh studied at Oxford, where he was awarded a First Class BA in PPE, and an MA and Doctorate in Political Philosophy.

 

He was awarded a Fellowship from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and was also a choral scholar, President of Vincent's Club and represented the university at rugby and athletics. He taught at several top British schools before founding Copperfield Verbier. 

Fernando Garcia Baró-Huarte

Musical Director and Languages 

Fernando has a Master’s degree in Instrumental Pedagogy from the Haute École de Musique de Genève as well as a Master’s degree in Music Performance from the Dresden University of music, both in cello. He performs regularly in concerts in Spain and Germany, and acts as Solo-Cello with the Mannheimer Philharmoniker.

 

He is passionate about languages, translation, writing and sports, especially rock climbing. He is leading the Copperfield music program.

Itziar Michellod

School Administrator

Originally from Barcelona, Itziar Michellod has been working in Verbier since 2010. She joins the team as our administrator, taking care of all aspects of school life.

Itziar graduated from the University of Barcelona in Hotel Management, and has for the past six years been working in the Swiss banking industry. On top of taking care of her daughter, she loves to travel, experience different cultures, and speaks six languages.

Elsa Bonofiglio

Curriculum Consultant

Elsa joins the team as a teacher with over twenty-five years of experience designing and delivering curricula in Valais. She has a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology from the Università La Sapienza in Rome, and a Teacher's Qualification from the Haute Ecole Pédagogique in Valais.

Elsa is assisting our PYP team with curriculum design and implementation. She possesses a wonderful knowledge of the area, having raised four daughters in Verbier. 

Natalie Osborne

Learning Support Coordinator

Natalie is an experienced Learning Support Coordinator and a qualified Learning Support teacher, who has worked in a variety of international schools. She is also a fully qualified and experienced teacher of Music, Piano, English, and Russian.

 

She has gained extensive teaching experience combined with pastoral care over 11 years in England and Switzerland. She has a Master’s Diploma in Special Needs Education and speaks Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, English and French. 

Jessica Vivian

Head of Middle School and iGCSE

Jessica has two BA degrees: in Education; and in Geography and English Literature. She has 13 years of teaching experience in the UK, China, Malaysia and Hong Kong, she is highly experienced in designing and delivering curricula to international students.

 

She has senior leadership experience in a number of schools, in both pastoral and academic branches of school life. She will lead our Middle School and iGCSE program.

Juliana Meier

Early Years

Juliana has over fifteen years of experience in education, a bachelor's degree in Pedagogy in Brazil and an MA from the University of Geneva.


Fluent in Portuguese and French, Juliana has taught in public and private schools across Switzerland and Brazil. 


For her, every student has an immense cultural capital to share and every student can support each other during the learning journey. She is passionate about meeting new people and discovering new cultures.

Pär Elkstrom

Head of Admissions

Pär is Swedish and has been living and working internationally in education for the last 10 years. 

 

Pär he has worked in Stockholm, London, Luzern and Zürich, and is very familiar with both IGCSE, A-Level and the IB programs, as well as the preparation for what comes afterwards with Business Schools and Universities. He lives in Zürich with his wife and two young children.

He speaks English, Swedish and German. 

Sarah Darbellay

French Teacher

Daughter of a mountain guide, Sarah enjoyed since her early childhood all kind of sport activities. She is an experienced performance skier and has teaches at the Ecole Suisse de Ski.

 

Energetic and passionate, she encourages the children to adopt an open, and positive attitude towards their studies. Sarah graduated from the University of Lausanne. 

Nicola Ferronato

Head of Science

Nicola has a very international background as he lived as much abroad as back home in Switzerland. He was educated in Swiss boarding schools, including Le Rosey.

 

He then studied political science in Paris, France, and St Andrews, Scotland. Nicola is an officer in the Swiss Armed Forces (OF-2) and loves nature, science, music, sports and traveling. 

He is leading the Copperfield science department.

Amalia Salampasi

Head of PYP

Amalia will lead our IB Primary Years Programme (IB PYP).

 

She has a BA in Classics and an MA in Education and Cultural Anthropology. She has Qualified Teacher Status from the UK. She has eight years of experience in IB schools in Italy, Greece and Finland, including most recently as Head of an IB PYP. Amalia is a trained meditation and mindfulness teacher, and a qualified Yoga for Kids instructor. Amalia speaks English, Italian and Greek.

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