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Professional and Management Staff

Jakob Gfrerer

Chancellor

Jakob GfrererJakob is a retired English professor from the Teacher Training College in Salzburg (Pädagogische Hochschule Salzburg) and the former mayor of a small town near Salzburg, Puch bei Hallein. Originally from the rural alps of St. Michael im Lungau,  he later studied at the teacher training college in Salzburg. After a year abroad spent teaching at an American high school, Jakob began studying for a teaching degree at the University of Salzburg. His first teaching post was at the Werkschulheim Felbertal just outside of Salzburg and he later taught at the Bundesgymnasium III in Salzburg. Jakob eventually settled with his family of five to Puch bei Hallein, where he served as mayor from 1989 to 1999. Besides teaching and politics, Jakob has devoted himself to improving teacher training for English teachers at the Pädagogische Hochschule in Salzburg, where he worked training secondary school teachers for English. It was there that he recognized the importance of practical experience for students studying to become teachers and it is this understanding that he brings to the team at the English Teacher Training College.

Frank Carle

President & Vice Chancellor

Frank Carle

One of the college's co-founders, Frank is an American from New York with decades of experience teaching English for various government and private organizations in Germany and Austria. Before coming to Europe, he succeeded in being one of few students in the 225–year history of Rutgers University to simultaneously graduate with four different majors in 2003. Frank taught English at the Pädagogische Hochschule Salzburg from 2004 until 2007 and in his spare time he played American football for the Salzburg Red Bulls. He later received his master’s degree from Oxford University in 2010. More recently, Frank developed an English summer program for German children in which more than 1,000 participants take part every year and he also serves as a judge for the Austrian national language contest (Sprachencontests für berufsbildende Schulen) in Burgenland and Upper Austria. He currently lives in a village outside of the Vorchdorf campus with his wife and children, where his hobbies include cooking, gardening and poker.

Ben Stone

Academic Director

Ben Stone

One of the college's co-founders, Ben is an Australian from near Canberra with more than a decade of teaching experience in the EFL world. In 2006, He graduated from the University of Wollongong, Australia with a Bachelor of Education. Ben has worked as an English teacher for one of the biggest language schools in Europe whilst living in Germany. Prior to moving to Germany, he taught at an Australian secondary school, as well as an upper school in England. He also assisted in the teacher training and mentoring of new English teachers for a summer program in Germany. After completing his studies in Australia, Ben taught with a youth adventure organisation. He has also worked as a cowboy on a 66,000 acre cattle ranch! In his spare time, Ben has a great passion for climbing, hiking and mountain biking. He currently lives in a village near Salzburg with his wife and child. 

Daniel Kirk

Director of Studies

Daniel Kirk

Dan has more than ten years TEFL experience working as a teacher, teacher mentor, Senior Teacher, Deputy Teaching Centre Manager and, DELTA local tutor and CELTA course tutor. Originally from England, moving to Austria is a return to Europe having begun his teaching career in Bratislava, Slovakia. In between he has worked in Kyiv, Ukraine; Kota Kinabalu, Malaysian Borneo and Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain. Dan is a former semi-professional footballer who also has a passion for scuba diving, mountain biking and hiking. He also likes to annoy his neighbours by playing loud music and trying to be an electro-swing DJ.

Sebastian Stein

Ombudsmann

Dr. Sebastian Stein has received his education in England, Spain, France and Germany. He volunteered at a Christian kindergarten outside of Munich and worked as tutor for a variety of summer schools teaching Social sciences, Philosophy and English. Having served as a Dean of St. Hugh’s College and received a D.Phil. from Oxford University in 2012, Sebastian has since been working as university lecturer and researcher. Now based at the University of Heidelberg, he has published several academic articles on matters relating to the philosophy of German Idealism and is currently working on a book concerned with the metaphysics of freedom. Dr. Stein serves the college's independent Ombudsmann and all complaints and/or appeals are escalated to him.

David Pavey

Independent Auditor

David Pavey

David Pavey is a highly experienced business professional who has worked primarily in project management, asset management and management consulting. Mr. Pavey is currently a Projects Manager at Arkhill Engineers Pty Ltd. where he is responsible for design and risk review of infrastructure designs, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies for projects valued at over $300M and engineering and procurement management. He has been successfully operating his own private consulting business since 2011. Mr. Pavey was named the National Professional Young Engineer of the Year in 1990.

Charles Bauch

Marketing, Sales and Promotions Manager

Charles Bauch

An American by birth, Charles completed his Bachelors in Philosophy from the University of West Georgia with an emphasis on German Literature and English Language Creative Writing in 2010. He earned this degree with magna cum laude distinction as well as graduating with full honors. Eager to gain some experience in the field of education, Charles relocated to Austria where he worked for two years at the BG/BRG Amstetten, Stiftsgymnasium Melk and Europagymnasium Linz. In addition, Charles spent his previous two summers working for various English language camp companies in Germany and Austria. Charles is a natural and charismatic teacher with over two years of experience in the Austrian school system. His aspirations of becoming a teacher have lead him to the University of Vienna where he is currently working on a Lehramtsstudium, in the subjects of English, Philosophy and Psychology.

Serya Talirz

Marketing, Sales and Promotions Manager

Serya Talirz

Academic Staff

Mark Dickinson

Course Officer

Mark Dickinson

Mark comes from the north-west of England and has taught English to adults and children of all ages for well over a decade in a number of countries around the world, including Egypt, Colombia and Saudi Arabia. He has worked for the British Council and International House, as well as for several years at Regent´s University, London, and completed a DELTA and an MA in ELT and Applied Linguistics at King´s College. As well as teaching, Mark has been a local tutor for teachers taking their DELTA, and worked with teachers on a wide range of training topics, from classroom dynamics to syllabus design and a lot in between. After taking a short holiday in Vienna, Mark decided to make the move to Austria permanent. Having lived in the capital for several months, he has moved out to Upper Austria and is really looking forward to exploring the beautiful countryside and working with all the teachers and students here.

Kristen Wolf

Course Assistant

Kristen Wolf

A native Texan, Ms. Wolf fell in love with languages in high school while spending a year abroad in Austria. She went on to receive her Bachelors in German at Texas Tech University’s Honors College in 2006 and was a recipient of the Fulbright Commission and Austrian American Education Council’s Teaching Assistantships. While teaching English in various Austrian high schools, she found her calling as a teacher. Ms. Wolf is CELTA certified has taught various English courses in both Austria and the US for both children and adults, including legal English, IT English, English for executives, English summer camps, and English for specific job purposes. Ms. Wolf moved back to Austria after two years living in Texas with her family at the end of 2015 and is excited to see how much ABCi has grown since she worked for them in 2013.

Stephen Behan

Sales & Promotions Teacher

Stephen Behan

Stephen is our second longest serving Course Tutor / Tutor and he hails from the suburbs of Dublin city, Ireland. He graduated with a BA in Arts from the University of Maynooth in Co. Kildare, majoring in Music Technology and Greek and Roman Civilisation. During his time at university he developed a passion for event management and worked and volunteered in this industry for many years, working at music festivals, film festivals, comedy festivals and also creating corporate events for companies such as Apple, Ebay, Paypal, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Hertz. He has been to Austria many times for ski-ing and snowboarding, but after completing our 3 month teacher training course early in 2014, he decided he wanted to stay in this beautiful country and work with ABCi as the roaming Course Tutor. Since then he has worked in every state in Austria, citing the alpine region of Vorarlberg as his favourite part of the country.

Andrew Boylin

Sales & Promotions Teacher

Andrew Boylin

Andy grew up in Reading, England, but was born in Canada to an English father and a Scottish mother, who first met skiing in Austria. During his studies of Modern Languages (French, German and Spanish) at the University of Southampton, Andy spent a year living in Bregenz working as a Teaching Assistant in two Austrian schools through the British Council. After graduating, he was eager to return to Austria, and spent a year and a half in the same role, this time in Graz. He now joins ABCi as the Sales and Promotions Teacher for the Bregenz area, and looks forward to returning to the region he fell in love with as well as exploring more of Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. In his spare time Andy enjoys getting outside and taking advantage of Austria’s natural landscape by skiing, cycling, hiking, swimming and travelling, especially when rewarded with a Schnitzel or any other Austrian dish.

Fiona Jessica Franz

Course Tutor

Fiona Jessica Franz

Fiona is a graduate of the University of Limerick where she completed her BA in Applied Languages and subsequently her MA in TESOL. She has taught both English to Erasmus students at the University of Limerick and also German to business undergraduates. In 2008 and was honoured to receive a research scholarship from the DAAD to study at the University of Würzburg in Germany. She has a background in conference interpreting and has participated in dummy booth simultaneous interpreting at both the EU Parliament and Commission, which was a dream come true. She has worked for a private language school in the beautiful Irish town of Dún Laoghaire in Dublin and most recently with Berlitz in Vienna. Born in Germany to German-Irish parents she spent most of her life in the west of Ireland. She considers herself equally split down the middle with both cultures, loving both the wild west of Ireland and the Bodensee. She has fallen in love with Vienna straight away and looks forward to experiencing her favourite seasons, autumn and winter, working as a course tutor in the beautiful Pressbaum campus, taking in the stunning surroundings. Her passion is reading and playing Gaelic games with the Vienna Gaels, and she hopes to share both with her students in Austria.

Julia Stoiber

Course Tutor

Julia Stoiber

Julia was born and raised in the UK and moved to Austria in 2007 for love. A love of all things creative keeps her a highly motivated TESOL teacher and teacher trainer with a special interests in phonology, general English and business English, exam preparation and more. Julia’s career in the EFL world began when she was invited to a school in Linz as ‘native speaker’ support. This ignited the passion and enthusiasm she still has for teaching. Several schools later and having decided this was the career for her, she completed her CELTA in 2010. Since then, she has worked with primary school children, teenagers and adults from 2 years old to pensioners, all in a variety of settings. Being promoted to headteacher of a private language institute in Linz, largely due to the amount of positive feedback from students, began her journey into studying for the Trinity Dip TESOL and most recently the Train the Trainer course which she completed in Summer 2016. A self proclaimed 'teaching nerd', her hobbies include completing CPD courses on teaching and management as well as tribal fusion and ATS belly dancing and jogging with her dog through the beautiful Mühlviertel countryside.

Alice Kilpatrick

Course Tutor

Alice Kilpatrick

Alice is originally from Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, which is famous for having the smallest pub in Britain. With the idea of becoming a teacher in mind, she gained her degree in English and Education Studies in Sheffield and also studied for the CertTESOL certificate in her final year. Her first job teaching English was in a summer school with teenagers-most of them being Italian. After working in a UK state school as a Cover Supervisor for a couple of years, she decided to pursue a career in teaching English as a foreign language and moved to Bari in the south of Italy. Whilst there, she studied for the Cambridge Delta. Working for ABCi means she can focus more on teacher training which is something she particularly enjoys. She misses the pizza, coffee and the relaxed Italian lifestyle but is excited about exploring beautiful Upper Austria

Frederick Ball

Course Tutor

Frederick Ball

Frederick was born in Hounslow, West London, though most of his childhood was spent in a small town in the United Kingdom's National Forest. Even before moving to Sheffield to earn his BA in Germanic Studies, Frederick had an interest in education and a passion for working with young learners, volunteering at his school's extracurricular program for primary school learners for over three years. During his year abroad with the British Council he added to this experience by working at a Hauptschule in Germany’s Lower Saxony, assisting with and sometimes leading the English lessons of several classes of young adults. Having decided on a career in education, and motivated by his own love for linguistics and the English language, Frederick spent half a year volunteering with the special educational needs department of a local school in England before earning his CELTA qualification with the University of Sheffield's ELTC. His next move took him to Austria to join ABCi as an intermediate-level student teacher and the experience was such a beneficial and enjoyable one that he has now returned to the company as an Academic Intern. In his spare time Frederick enjoys books, film and cooking.

Jonathon Onians

Course Tutor

Jonathon Onians

Jonathon grew up on a small farm at the edge of Melbourne, Australia. He was lucky enough to be infected by the travel bug from a very young age and spent many of his holidays during his education exploring and discovering different countries and cultures. His first big trip was to Beijing, China in 2010 on an exchange program, this ignited his passion for languages and fueled his thirst for exploration. After completing a BA of Film and Television in Australia, with a minor in Mandarin, he set off on a round-the-world trip starting in Central America. After several months of traveling and then several month working in London, he decided that he would like to try teaching English. He moved to Austria and completed the ETTC Beginners course and was hooked on EFL teaching. Several years later, after continuing his travels around the world-leading him to over 60 countries and experiencing a multitude of life´s wonders-he decided to return and complete the ETTC Intermediate course and obtain a CELT-P. After completing the course, he has now become part of the staff as an Academic Intern. His goal for the future is to continue his travels around the world, however this time, working as an EFL teacher. Next stop, Asia.

Emmet Higgins

Teaching Practice Coordinator

Emmet HigginsS

Emmet, who comes from the west coast of Ireland has been living in Austria since September 2015. Having studied Engineering in Ireland through DIT and in Switzerland with Hochschule Luzern, he obtained two Bachelor degrees in Mechanical Engineering and then in Manufacturing and Design. He then decided to follow a dream of becoming a teacher and completed the CERTTesol EFL course with the English Teacher Training College. On completion he decided to stay with the organisation and took up a position as the administrative intern in Pressbaum Vienna. In his free time he enjoys reading, hiking, travelling and enjoying the Austrian way of life.

Grace Carrington

Teaching Practice Coordinator

Grace Carrington

Toby Wall

Academic Intern

Toby Wall

Toby originally comes from Stratford upon Avon, in the United Kingdom and holds a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing. After graduating from university in 2015, he began his adventure into the world of EFL studying on the beginner course with the ETTC in January 2016. He fell in love with Austria’s natural beauty, its food and of course, teaching. After a short time away in Poland, he returns as an academic intern. He looks forward to learning recipes of traditional Austrian cuisine and finally learning to ski.

Office Staff

Scott Torrance

Admissions Officer

Scott Torence

Scott is from the south-west of Scotland and holds a BSc(Hons) with joint honours in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow and a PGCE from the University of Manchester. His start in the education world was teaching guitar and “soccer” to the children of Bay Area millionaires in California as an 18 year old, and has progressed through six years working in the U.S summer camp industry, including training and recruiting out of Columbia University in New York City, and another seven across England and Spain, eventually managing prestigious residential English summer schools in El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain, and Bath, England. In 2010 he went on to gain his CELTA in Budapest, Hungary and then ran his own teaching business there for five years before coming to Austria. When not at work, he enjoys playing and coaching rugby; the Eurovision Song Contest and appearing on random U.K. TV Quiz shows.

Caitlin Fitzgibbon

Marketing & Recruitment Coordinator

Caitlin Fitzgibbon is a dual Irish and US citizen who grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. She graduated cum laude from Bentley University with a BSc in Managerial Economics and Global Studies. Her love for Austria began her third year of university which she spent studying abroad at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Shortly after finishing university, Caitlin returned to Vienna to continue her German studies and work for a music startup. After a short return to the US, Caitlin found herself once again looking for opportunities to work in Austria, leading her to discover the College. Caitlin's passion for photography and videography transferred well into her role. She is currently enjoying the beautiful Upper Austrian landscapes and the change of pace from bustling city life.

Harriet Smith

Admissions & Recruitment Intern

Harriet Smith

Harriet was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and grew up in Lisbon, Portugal. During her school years she swam competitively on an international level and did every other water sport she could. She moved to Durban, South Africa, for one year of High School and returned to Portugal where she studied Biology at the University of Lisbon. During her studies she co-founded a youth organisation, Transformers Project, aimed at empowering young people with tools for social change through arts and sports. Through this organisation she also advocated for youth rights as a member of the Commission for the Protection of Children and Youth of Lisbon-centre. Later on she studied and worked in Brussels, Belgium for a short while and has recently relocated to Austria where she envisioned herself working at a non-profit organisation. She enjoys learning new languages and speaks almost 5 so far. She is an outdoorsy person and loves swimming, diving, hiking, rock climbing, reading and slow travel.

Rose Dewhurst

Welfare Officer

Rose Dewhurst

Rose was born and raised in greater Manchester, England. She graduated from the University of Warwick in 2013 with a BA in modern foreign languages and then went on to gain her PGCE in French at the University of Manchester. Before joining ABCi, Rose worked as an English language assistant in two secondary schools in Saarbrücken, Germany and then as an English teacher at an international language school in Nürnberg. In her free time, Rose enjoys snowboarding, rock climbing and reading.

Jack McCarthy

Welfare Coordinator

Jack was born and raised near Liverpool, located at the North West of England. He graduated from the University of Northumbria in 2016 achieving a Masters in Law. During his time at university he had previously worked for an American summer camp in New York as a camp counsellor and spent a period of time studying in Northern Sweden as well as traveling across Europe via Interail. His time in Sweden through the Erasmus Exchange program raised awareness in the abilities of other exchange students ability to speak English with clarity and confidence. Moreover, the people he met in Sweden allowed him to visit Austria many times resulting in a fondness for the culture and natural beauty of the country. This made ABCi the perfect opportunity for Jack to take a step away from the restraints of the English legal system to focus on a more welfare orientated role within a non-profit organisation. Jack enjoys the picturesque scenery of Gmunden in Austria and hiking up mountains on the weekends.

Melissa Anderson

Logistics & Operations Officer

Melissa Anderson

Melissa is originally from Newcastle in the north east of England but spent the majority of her childhood living overseas in both Dubai and Norway. She returned to the UK in 2010 to complete her joint honours BA(hons) degree in Business Management and Languages,with Spanish as her language major, before completing her MA in World Politics and Popular Culture at Newcastle University, graduating in December 2015. Melissa worked at a summer camp in Pennsylvania for 3 summers during university and is now looking forward to working as the admissions and marketing intern in a language learning environment In her spare time Melissa enjoys reading, skiing, running and travelling and is currently training for the Great North Run in September.

Claud Fourie

Human Resources Officer

Claud Fourie

Originally from South Africa Claud emigrated to Austria in 2006 where he worked for two large Corporations as HR Manager . He studied Human Resource Management at the University of South Africa and also holds a Master of Business Administration in General Management. After spending over a decade working in the HR Field he still believes that the employees are the most important asset of any Organisation. His expertise includes organizational development, training and development and leadership and management coaching. In his free time he coaches Tennis at his local tennis club and is also self proclaimed "BBQ World Champion"

Eva Simpson-Lees

HR Coordinator

Eva Simpson-Lees

Raised in the west country of the UK, Eva grew up in Bristol and also studied there. She holds both a Bachelor of Arts in Business with Human Resource Management and a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from the University of the West of England. Having worked for large organisations in the UK such as NHS/Health Education England, Eva is broadening her experience as a HR professional here at the College. She was fortunate to have been immersed in German culture and language as a child. She has such fond memories that she plans on building a life here in Austria. Eva involved herself in many charitable and community projects in Bristol and is expanding that experience abroad. Most recently, she choreographed a flash mob for the Bristol Ball to help raise funds for the charity Unseen. Teaching has always been a passion for Eva, volunteering her skills to teach dance from the age of 15. Her role here at the college enables her to mix these two careers into one.

Martina Dietachmair

Project Assistant

Martina Dietachmair

Martina was born and raised in Upper Austria. After graduating from the HBLA in Wels she completed an apprenticeship to become a forwarding agent and was working for an international transportation company for more than ten years. The following years she spent living in Michigan, USA where she visited the Washtenaw Community College and started a family. Martina lives now in Ried im Traunkreis, a village near the Salzkammergut and in her spare time she is fond of gardening and spending time with her family.

Johanna Hasenauer

Project Coordinator

Johanna Hasenauer

Johanna was born in Sweden and was raised in Västervik, a small town at the east coast south of Stockholm. During school time she went skiing in Austria every year and after finishing school she spent one year in Kaprun skiing and learning the German language. There she also met her husband. She graduated with a master in German philology and business administration at the University of Uppsala in Sweden and then decided to move to Austria. She lives in Austria since 1993 and has been working for IKEA, Donau Design and a design agency in Vienna. Johanna has three children at the age of 9, 12 and 20 years and loves to spend her time with her family. They have a house in Wienerwald and are a real outdoor family, especially mountain and water sport as well as ball sport will fill their time.

Nika Nikolaja Antolič

Project Coordinator

Nika Nikolaja Antolič

Nika is a graduate of Communication and Interpretation, which she studied in Maribor at the Faculty of Arts. She was born and raised in Slovenia and moved to Austria in 2016. She fell in love with languages already as a child while travelling the world with her parents. When she grew up she continued to do so alone, firstly with school projects and later on as part of a theatre group to performances all over Europe. Her interest has always been language in connection with culture and the people within the environment. In her free time she likes to play piano, perform in theatre pieces and do voluntary work and projects. She started to work the College because she always thought English plays an extremely meaningful role in society and everyone should have the possibility to learn it and therefore have more options in life, and she wants to be a part of the process.

Angelika Kochem

Administrative Assistant

Angelika Kochem

Angelika is an Austrian members of staff. She graduated from Handelsakademie in Gmunden and then worked at a notary’s office for several years. After her maternity leave she worked for the town council of Gmunden in the citizen’s bureau and as a registrar. Alongside her work at the English Teacher Training College, she works as a body painter and as a semi-professional photographer. In her spare time she likes to walk her dog, ride her horse and spend time with her two children.

Theresa Daxner

Administrator Coordinator

Theresa Daxner

Lucian Medves

IT Assistant

Lucian Medves

Lucian was born and raised in northern Romania. He studied Computer Science and has a significant background in Telecom Software development and IT Support. What interests him the most is the latest IT Technology like IoT (Internet of things), discoveries made to make life easier. Traveling a lot gave him the opportunity to get in touch with different cultures. For a couple of years he is in Upper Austria with his family established. He enjoys skiing and traveling he is always eager to find new places to visit. In his spare time he cooks and always wants to experiment new flavors and new recipes.

Ines Pirngruber

Web and Graphic Design (IT) Officer

Ines Pirngruber

Ines was born and grew up in Linz. She is one of our Austrian members and works at the IT-office in Vorchdorf as our new Graphic & Web Designer. She is also very interested in marketing strategies and copywriting.

Tamala Clark-Einzinger

IT Intern

Tamala Clark-Einzinger

Tamala is originally from the USA but was raised abroad and has lived in 20 countries (and has travelled to over 40 countries). She holds dual citizenship (American and Irish) and has spent many fond years in Dublin where most of her family currently live. Whilst living in Dublin she worked in the independent music scene as a promoter. Since 2015 Tamala has been studying for a BSc(hons) in Social Psychology through distance learning with the Open University, Milton Keynes, UK. In addition, Tamala is also studying web development. Previously, she was a corporate English trainer in Austria for XXXLutz GmbH at their headquarters in Wels for over 1 ½ years and is now enjoying an exciting career change into IT. Tamala’s spare time is divided between making music, organising gigs and building websites - a strange and wonderful combination. She also likes yoga, meditation and enjoys quality time hanging out with friends.

Katharina Grabner

Marketing & Promotions Assistant

Katharina Grabner

Katharina’s childhood dream was to become either a teacher, a philosopher or a famous writer. Her creative drive and passion for strategic thinking eventually led her into marketing. She believes that her current role also includes elements of all her earlier aspirations. Born and raised in Austria, Katharina holds a master’s degree in English studies with an emphasis on literature and film analysis. Her love for the Northwest of England caused her to move to Liverpool in 2011, where she lived and worked for three years. Since her return to Austria, she has been dedicating herself to her beloved house and garden. Katharina is also a passionate film photographer and owns an extensive collection of vintage cameras.

Faban Fitsum

Marketing & Promotions Intern

Faban Fitsum

Faban was born and raised in London, England and looks forward to developing a career in International Development. She holds a Ba(Hons) degree in this subject from the University of Portsmouth and has worked across fundraising departments for local and international NGOs operating in the UK. Faban chose Abci in order to broaden her understanding of the not-for-profit and education sector in Austria. She too believes in the motto "Disce ut doceas” - Learn in order to teach. She plans on travelling in and around Austria during her time here, prancing around Vienna’s palace gardens and skiing is top of her to-do list!