Our English Teachers

Brian Kidd 

Brian has lived in Florence since 2006. He has a degree in Art History and qualified as an English teacher here in Florence. He has a wide experience of teaching English in many different fields, including scientific, military, historical, geographical, fashion and he also works through the British Institute as a state school English teacher. Brian is also an examiner for many of the Cambridge Assessment exams.


Chona Mendoza

Chona has an Honours degree in English literature from the University of Sydney and a Graduate Certificate in TESOL from Curtin University, Western Australia. She has taught at the British Institute since 2013 and is an examiner for Cambridge ESOL. She has taught in Perth, Western Australia, where she grew up, and started her career as an English teacher in Madrid, Spain, in 2003. Her interest in literature encompasses works written in Italian, Spanish and French.


Cindy Banks

Cindy first came to Florence in 1983 on a study abroad programme in Art History and Art Conservation. In 1993 she received a certicate (TEFL) in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and has been teaching English ever since. In addition to teaching General English courses at all levels from young learners to adults, she also prepares students for the Cambridge Exams.


David Garrett

David has been a teacher since graduating from university in 2002, having worked in colleges in London teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages until moving to Florence in 2014. He works in middle and high schools as well as with adults and has provided language training for numerous local and international businesses. A competitive cyclist, David is also an expert bike guide as well as being an exceptionally knowledgeable music fan, playing guitar in a local alternative rock band.


Dawn Winterhalter

After obtaining her EFL qualification in 2000, Dawn began teaching in Florence for various companies and organisations. She joined the British Institute of Florence staff in 2009 as a teacher and Cambridge oral examiner. She is currently working on a Communication degree at the University of Florence.


Gwendolyn Goepfert – Language Department Assistant

Gwendolyn graduated in Psychology from York University in Toronto, Canada, in 2009. She is a qualified teacher and has been with the Institute since 2015, providing administrative support to the course coordinators in the language department.


James Douglas

James has been a teacher here for 20 years, specialising in Cambridge Exam preparation and IELTS training and examining for high school and university students. He has also run the Talking Pictures Cineforum as part of the Cultural Programme since 1999. His interests are literature and cinema, travel, food and fitness.


John Ejsmond

John graduated in French and Italian at the University of Reading. He has been teaching at the British Institute of Florence since 1980. In addition to general English and preparation for Cambridge ESOL examinations, he specialises in literature and conversation courses.


Julia Waldman

Julia has lived in Florence since 1991. She trained to become a teacher in between the feeding and nap times of her two year old daughter. She got her TEFL in business English, teaching English to young learners and general English. Julia started working at the British Institute in 2008 teaching all levels and all types of courses. From football English to legal English, from young learners to exam preparation. In her free time she loves reading, baking cakes or biscuits (which are then eaten in the staffroom).


Lee Cooper

Originally from the UK, Lee has been teaching English for nearly twenty years and working here at the British Institute since 2001. He is a Cambridge examiner and teaches young learners and adults, general English, Cambridge exam preparation courses from Key to Proficiency levels and Business English.


Louise Barker

Louise studied modern languages at the University of Kent in Canterbury. After a year in Costa Rica and one in Spain, she settled in Italy permanently in the mid 90s. She is a teacher both on site and off, all ages, all levels. She is also a Cambridge examiner for both adults and young learners. She now lives about 25km from Florence with her two Anglo-Italian teenage daughters. She loves family life, music, language, swimming and walking in the countryside among other things.


Lucia Buccheri

After graduating in Modern Languages and Literature in Australia, Lucia trained to teach community languages, Italian and Spanish, in Melbourne schools and language centres. She also specialized in TESL and from 1985 to 1986 she taught English to adult migrants and refugees at La Trobe University Language Centre in Melbourne. Lucia has lived in Florence since 1987, and since then she has been teaching at the British Institute. She teaches adults, young learners, and ESP courses. In the early 90s she trained Primary school teachers in English language teaching, and took part in the English Language team to prepare the Carabinieri force for Italia 90. Lucia has also been an examiner for Cambridge ESOL exams since the late 90s (A2 Key, B1 Preliminary, B2 First e C1 Advanced). In 2012 she obtained a second degree with a thesis on Australian Aboriginal Literature at the University of Florence.


Marie Delfino

Marie has been living in the countryside outside the city of Florence since 1991. Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey. She studied Italian Grammar and Literature at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Her junior year abroad brought her to the "citta' del giglio" where she later earned her TEFL teaching certificate. She has years of experience teaching all levels of General English and has taught Business English courses in many of the most famous companies in Florence . She has been with the British Institute since 2015 teaching exam preparation for Cambridge. She is also a mezzosoprano, now specializing in the Golden Age of Jazz and has performed in cities all over Tuscany.


Mario Zerella

Mario was born and grew up in Australia. In the late seventies he came to Italy to study Italian at the "University for Foreigners" at Perugia, where he obtained the Teaching Diploma in Teaching Italian as a Foreign Language. Afterwards he lived in Sweden for a couple of years where he attended several teacher training courses and taught Italian at "Kursverksamheten vid Lunds Universitet". He has been working at the British Institute of Florence since 1988, teaching general and business English to both groups and individuals. He is also an official Cambridge Examiner.


Mark Petrasso

Mark was born and grew up in Australia. He has been teaching English in Tuscany since the nineties. Before working for the British Institute, where he’s been since 2010, he worked for an English school where he was a teacher and also area manager; he coordinated a group of teachers in the Pisa and Leghorn area. At the British Institute he teaches various levels of English, mostly Cambridge preparation courses to groups and individuals. His hobbies are painting, writing and filmmaking.


Peter Dulborough

Peter graduated in History from University College London and took his Masters Degree in 1991. He started teaching English in 1993 and taught both in Gothenburg in Sweden and in Oxford. He has been at the British Institute since 1999 where he specializes in teaching University of Cambridge Local Examination English exams such as First, Advanced and Proficiency. He has also designed workshops on British Rock music and his other professional interests are in speaking and presentation skills. Peter has written a musical based on ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupery which was performed in Empoli, and in the Harold Acton Library in Florence. He is a pianist and singer songwriter and plays in a local folk-rock band ‘Soundzanobi’.


Simon Batten

Simon is originally from Oxford and is a graduate in International Politics & Economics. He has been working in education since 2012 and started working at the British Institute of Florence in 2014, where he teaches exam preparation and general English.