Announcement : LAST DAY OF TERM 2 - March 26th 2021

Meet The HKILA Team

Our Team

Meet The HKILA Team

Get to know us a little better.

Justine Barlow


Head of School

Originally from Manchester, England, I returned to Hong Kong in 2009 after stays in The Netherlands, the UK and Dubai.

On the completion of my studies, I wanted to put my knowledge and experience of Psychology and education to good use in the classroom. This is where HKILA began. I could not have imagined at the time that it would have grown as quickly as it has!

When I am not at HKILA, I like to get out on the trails around DB with my family and our 2 dogs, usually ending up at one of the many fabulous beaches we have here in Hong Kong.

Karin Munkholm


Deputy Head, Senior Leadership Team

Originally from Scandinavia, I made the move to Hong Kong with my husband in 2005, and we’ve called Hong Kong our home ever since. I have been with the Academy since the early days and have witnessed Justine’s vision coming to life.

I graduated with a Bachelor degree in Sociology (East and Southeast Asian studies) and ventured into education by pursuing my passion for history. I qualified as a Secondary Teacher, with history as my major, and with a double minor degree in critical thinking and business studies.

I love working with such a great team of educators, but most of all I love working and learning alongside our amazing students.

Amanda Parker


Academy Administrator and Senior Leadership Team

I am originally from the UK. I have lived in several overseas countries with my family since July 2008, Abu Dhabi, Manilla and currently Hong Kong.

I come from a Sales and Marketing background whilst in the UK. My first ever position in a school was in Abu Dhabi where I worked as a Registrar at a Primary School.

I was a volunteer for a charity while I was living in Manilla, which I enjoyed a lot. I live in Hong Kong with my wonderful husband and daughter.

I was lucky enough to join the HKILA family in August 2017 taking up the role of School Administrator

Hannah Homa


Curriculum Developer

I’ve worked at HKILA since 2014 and seen it evolve, progress and ultimately become the amazing small school it is today.

I have worked with every age group the school has offered and most recently have been teaching maths across the school. That has been lots of fun as I’ve been able to work with all the students almost every day. Before HKILA and living in Hong Kong, I taught Year 6 at a small primary school in Wigan, UK.

My role at HKILA has now developed into heading up our Home Learning Curriculum and developing that further into an exciting, in-depth and rigorous curriculum suitable for a post-Covid educational environment.

Eimear McCartan


Senior Teacher

I’m originally from Northern Ireland and prior to joining HKILA, I had taught for 17 years across Early Years, Primary, Secondary and Business.

Thanks to my husband’s job, I’ve had the opportunity to teach in 7 different countries: England, France, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Indonesia and now Hong Kong.

We have two children: an 11 year old boy and an 8 year old girl. We moved to Discovery Bay in January 2017 and I started teaching at HKILA later that year in August.

I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be part of this unique little school that’s in such a beautiful setting.

Marlize Aylward


Class Teacher

Howzit! (Hello in South Africa.)
I was born and raised in lovely Johannesburg, South Africa, the “City of Gold” before moving to our new home Hong Kong in 2017.

I am married to a wonderful husband we have one son called NJ, he is six years old.
Before I worked in the field of Education I studied Interior Design but I missed working with children. I then started working at a school while studying Teaching in 2008. And NEVER looked back!

I am grateful to now be part of the HKILA family.

Kristie Whitmore


Teaching Assistant

I moved to Hong Kong from Australia with my family in 2019 and shortly after was fortunate to gain a position as a Teaching Assistant at HKILA.

I have a love of learning and have studied in numerous fields including, Leadership and Management, Biometric Technologies and Paramedical Science.

My background is in Human Resources, Department Management and Property Management.
As a mother of 5 children, I have learnt so much about the different learning styles that children need to understand and flourish, to become their best selves.

HKILA offers students and teachers to express themselves in an inclusive and family environment, which I am blessed to be a part of.

Gemma Parker


Teaching Assistant

I have lived in Hong Kong since 2016, having been fortunate to live across the world with my family. I am currently studying Special Educational Needs, online at the University of East London.

Whilst also working at HKILA, I am able to gain amazing experience that goes hand in hand with my studies.

I’m very proud to be part of such an amazing school and am excited to continue my work here.

Lovely Ong-Tse (TailorED)


Specialist Teacher

Hello! My name is Lovely Kay Tse – Ong and I am one of the specialist teaching assistant in HKILA – one of the best places to be in by the way! Before I even finished my degree in psychology, I began to have an inclination in teaching when I had undergone my practicum in a charitable institution which specialises in teaching children with additional needs, an unforgettable and heart warming experience during my university days.

I then had the privilege to pursue teaching here in Hong Kong and managed to get my training from a centre that works mainly with children with Autism. For three years I worked as an ABA-VB therapist and was able to teach children of different ages and different needs under the supervision of my mentors.

It was challenging yet rewarding and fulfilling! Seeing these children learn and develop their personalities and quirks little by little motivated me to keep on going! Now I am celebrating my 10th year in this industry and I am very honoured that I am still able to impart knowledge and values, lend a hand and the best part is share the fun and laughter with all the students! Indeed we are fortunate to have that chance with your children!

Erick Shum (TailorED)


Specialist Teacher

Upon finishing my degree in Psychology, I quickly started working as an ABA behavioural therapist and gained experience at multiple behavioural training centres.

I’ve since encountered a good range of students with different special education needs and backgrounds, especially students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

I believe that careful observation and analysis, as well as, good communication with parents are the keys to helping students overcome their learning struggles. It is truly rewarding to see children grow to love learning at HKILA!

Paula Lambert


Specialist Teaching Assistant

Originally from the UK I began a career in Public Relations, upon graduating from the University of Sheffield. After becoming a mum to three children I became fascinated by child development and left the corporate world to embark on a career in education.

I joined the HKILA family in 2015 and developed the Hands Up! and Speak Up! Intervention programme to help students with their motor skills, sensory processing, communication and social skill; and the Story Detectives programme.

Catherine Belletty


Education Assistant

I moved to Hong Kong from the UK in the late 1990s and settled in Discovery Bay. After raising 2 children in the wonderful DB community I left my career in Retail management and started working at HKILA in 2017.

I find it very rewarding and love spending time in the classroom and watching the children learn and grow in confidence every day.

Jake Barlow



Hi everyone, I’m Coach Jake.

Originally from the UK, I have lived in Dubai, Singapore and Holland, before settling in Hong Kong. I returned to England to pursue my studies and further develop my rugby career, and have recently returned to Hong Kong with a degree in Sports Coaching.  I am currently playing in the Hong Kong Premiership for HK Scottish.

I’m very excited to join the HKILA team and am looking forward to working with everyone.

Liz Hemmings


School Counsellor

I am Liz and if you join HKILA I guarantee that you are going to love coming into my cozy room for chats and giggles. I used to be a scientist but left the laboratory when I moved to Hong Kong twenty years ago to raise my two beautiful daughters.

When they were young I accidently bought a toyshop in Mui Wu, which I managed for many years. As my children grew up, I left the toyshop behind and qualified as a Mental Health Coach and became a School counsellor, which is my favourite job to date.

My journey with HKILA has been immensely rewarding and I cannot wait to spend time with all of our students this year. My cookie jar is always full of cookies and I am always full of ideas, so let’s get to it.

Nicky Garwood


PE Teacher

Coming Soon.

Tell us a little bit about your family to get started.

Contact us to learn more about the @HKILA experience. (3)

Justine Barlow

Head of School (4)

Karin Munkholm

Deputy Head, Senior Leadership Team (1)

Amanda Parker

Academy Administrator and Senior Leadership Team


Eimear McCartan

Senior Teacher

Marlize Aylward

Class Teacher

Erick Shum (TailorED)


Paula Lambert

Specialist Teaching Assistant

Nicky Garwood

PE Teacher

Kristie Whitmore

Teaching Assistant

Catherine Belletty

Education Assistant

Gemma Parker

Teaching Assistant

Liz Hemmings

School Counsellor

Gaylene Meeson

School Parent Representative
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