Founder ZŠ Wonderland Academy
Pavla Hajian has invaluable experience from her previous position of an owner and director of a London’s preschool in the Ealing district. She has many years of experience teaching at international schools and preschools. She is also a mother of three children. Miss Hajian achieved a DPP Certificate (Diploma in Pre-school Practice) and she successfully completed CACHE Level 3 NVQ in Early Years and Education. More
She is also a qualified Montessori Teacher. Our director closely participates in everyday learning programmes and she personally ensures that all school activities are of the highest standard throughout the curriculum
Director ZŠ Wonderland Academy
PhDr. Jan Voda Ph.D. has a total of 25 years of experience as a teacher, activity leader, lecturer, a parent, and a pedagogical leader. He graduated from Charles University in Prague having studied teaching at all levels, including higher education. For 15 years he worked in a managerial position, first in a state school and then in a private school. He is a graduate of a long line of continuing education courses and a teacher of others. He is a two-time finalist of the Global Teacher Prize for the Czech Republic at the Global Teacher Forum (Seattle 2015, Singapore 2018) and a certified Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. The biggest lesson of life for him has been raising his two children. Hundreds of other children have been through his hands, and even after years warmly remember him. He is an advocate, promoter and pioneer of pedagogical innovation and believes that nothing is impossible, that anyone can what they really want.
Deputy Director for Administration, Class Teacher 6 th grade
Klára Kosová studied at the Pedagogical Faculty of Masaryk University in Brno. She graduated in Czech Language and Physical Education. She has experience in teaching at all three school levels. She worked as the Class 3 teacher at a primary school with extended physical education and has also taught ice skating lessons and swimming. She participated in the children's summer and winter camps as a group or sports leader for many years. When working with the youngest school children, she especially enjoys their high degree of imagination, natural curiosity and straightforward view of the world. More
Klára gained experience with preschool children during a two-year stay in Munich, where she worked as an au-pair and helped in a kindergarten. She has three children herself. To recover her energy, Klára turns nature. She loves mountains in all seasons, whether skiing in winter or hiking in summer.
Deputy Director, Class Teacher 1st A grade
Šárka Ochmanová graduated from the Faculty of Education focused on elementary education in Ostrava. She loves her profession and she still enjoys teaching. She is not a supporter of rigid and old school methods of teaching. She focuses on themes that are interesting for the pupils and enrich the lessons. “During the teaching lessons, the most important factors are not methods, textbooks or classroom equipment, but the personality of the teacher,” she says.
Her advantage is that in addition to the Czech public education system she has experience with educational systems in many other countries. She gained the experience as a parent during her 2 year stay in USA and as a teacher and deputy principal at private elementary school in Prague. She was responsible for organizing linguistic study visits in UK and Spain. She had the opportunity to learn about the system of teaching in Steve Jobs schools in the Netherlands and in the UK, including real-time use of iPads during the teaching process supported directly by Apple. In January 2016 she attended BETT in London – the largest European ICT fair in education. On the other hand, after her experience with mathematics of professor Hejný she thinks that we can be proud on Czech education as well.
She is used to work with the school psychologist to eliminate risk factors such as dysfunction of learning, problem behavior, bullying, etc. Her goal is always the overall development of pupils and their education as preparation for future life.
Class Teacher 1st B grade
Class Teacher 2nd A grade, German Teacher
She graduated from teacher training for ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, specializing in German language at the Pedagogical Faculty of Charles University in Prague. She graduated from the linguistic and didactic courses at the universities of Saarbrücken, Leipzig, Vienna and České Budějovice. In Germany, she worked as a teacher of a summer language camp, Assistant in the teaching of Czech language for foreigners and an Au Pair.
She has wanted to teach children from 16 years of age. During her studies she worked as a production coordinator at children's events. Choreographer and instructor of dance courses for children, youth and young adults at a summer camps for two years.
She came to us from a private bilingual school where she worked as a teacher. Class provides a friendly and stimulating environment where children are not afraid of mistakes, learns with taste and with regard to their capabilities and needs. She was often used in the teaching of learning, critical thinking and method of program elements, Step by Step math teaches sales & marketing method. In the last year she graduated, among other courses aimed at developing the potential of each pupil and individualisation in the teaching, training, literacy skills, and creative writing.
From the age of six she has been dancing in her spare time, she likes travelling, reading, drawing, skating and skiing.
Class Teacher 2nd B grade
Class Teacher 3rd A grade
Class Teacher 3rd B grade
Daniela Růžičková has studied at Gymnazium in Nová Paka, after that Pedagogy University in Prague with specialist to a music. She worked like an animator for kids in different countries (Ibiza, Mallorca, Kos,..) during her studying. She has been teaching for five years at private bilingual school, where she organize a Music- theatre course or talents competitions.
She graduated from the first elementary school in the field of piano playing. She attended Summer Schools and Mathematics courses of Hejného mathematic and was admitted to a lecture course this year. She is authorized to teach Comenia Script, Genetic Reading and Reading Comprehension. She has a course for teachers and assistants and a two-year experience with the inclusion of a disability learner. She is a ski instructor and holder of the Basic Health Standards Card from the International Red Cross.
In her spare time, she performs on a fairy tale mill in Bartoušov, where she trains a new guide. She sings in the Sirens choir. She is dedicated to moderating various social events. She likes to ski, read, practice yoga, zumba, ride on roller skates or travel. For her most adventurous journey, she considers the month spent in Indonesia.
Class Teacher 4th grade
Martina Livorová studied pre-school teaching in Čáslav and then graduated in primary teaching at Charles University in Prague. She specialised in English. She passed her FCE exam at Yeovil college in Somerset, England. Martina worked at PORG Elementary School as a primary teacher. She also worked as a teacher of English and as the Head of After School Activities and Clubs.
She has always enjoyed travelling and getting to know other cultures and ways of life that are different to ours. More
These days she only travels symbolically in her kitchen. She tries to cook her favourite Asian dishes with a great help of her nearly two-years-old son, Matyas.
She admires children for their open minds and great ability to learn new things.
She tries to teach the kids not to forget that dancing, singing and expressing themselves using art will always bring great happiness in their lives.
Class Teacher 5th grade
Petr Bendl has earned Master's degree in elementary education, further specialized in physical education. He has six years of experience leading both lower and upper elementary montessori classroom in a bilingual setting. During his career, he completed many courses. He holds first aid certificate, as well as, swimming coach and snowboard instructor certificates. He is a Hejny method enthusiast right from the beginning of his career and he has been helping children with transition from elementary to middle school for years.
Petr considers his big task in building pleasant and safe atmosphere in the classroom. If the children cooperate and move forward their own limits, then they like learning and coming back to the classroom each day. He understands the role of teacher rather as a guide, motivator or coach, who helps the students to learn and discover.
He spends his free time travelling abroad. Also, he likes mountains in both winter and summer season. Moreover, he enjoys playing chess and all kinds of board games and brain teasers.
Nicholas Jared Neild
Nick Neild is passionate about helping his students to communicate effectively so that they are better prepared for our changing world and able to bridge the gap of understanding across cultural divides.
He was on the president’s list in 2005 and he graduated in 2009 from UCSD at the top of his class in the major of microbiology. Meanwhile, he was working as a scientist in the biotech industry in San Diego for eight years. In 2012 he became the manager of an intentional community for young mindfulness practitioners that he co-founded with a Czech woman who would later become his wife.
Then he began working as a wellness coach where he was teaching addicts basic skills while also teaching mindfulness at rehabs. He began his formal teaching career in 2015 when he began working as a substitute teacher helping adult parolees with learning primary and secondary basic skills (Math, Science and English) to pass high school equivalency tests. In 2016 he became a father, began his credential coursework while also teaching substance abuse education and anger management full time. In 2017 he became a Certified Anger Management Facilitator (CAMF-1) and became CPR/AED certified with the American Red Cross. In 2018 he moved to Czech Republic with his small family and began working at Be Open S.R.O. primary school teaching English, Biology, Chemistry, PE, Health Education and Spanish to grades one through nine.
Nick loves to meditate, camp, hike, ride bikes, garden, snowboard, play board games and spend time with his family. He is excited to be a part of the Wonderland team and working together with the staff to provide an unparalleled experience for the children at the school.
Thurston Leeds was born in Corby, in the centre of England. He lived there until he was 18, when he moved to Lincoln to study at the University of Lincoln. Thurston achieved at Bachelors Degree with honours in History, with an emphasis on modern British social and cultural history. Having graduated in 2017, Thurston moved to the Czech Republic in February 2018 to obtain his TEFL certification at The Language House. Alongside his TEFL certificate, Thurston also completed the Young Learners and Teens extension program.
During his teenage years, Thurston worked in a school in his hometown, assisting teachers with day-to-day activities. Since being in Prague, Thurston has worked for IWLS Language School, as well as Prague English Football School both at Wonderland and the International School of Prague. He is looking forward to seeing much more of the Czech Republic.
Mr. Thurston loves hiking, football and spending time with friends. Although he is a new teacher in Czech Republic, he is eager to teach and learn, and looks forward to work with the Wonderland children. He prides himself on being a calming influence, and believes that a happy teacher is a good teacher!
Breanna Kato was born in Canada, on the west coast near Vancouver. She went to school there until after she graduated from Simon Fraser University in 2015. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology and Sociology with a minor in Communication through Dialogue. Shortly after graduation, she moved abroad to the Czech Republic where she obtained a TEFL certificated from The Language House. While in Prague, Breanna worked at various language schools teaching adults. She also had the unique experience of working with Gymnázium mezinárodních a veřejných vztahů Praha as their main native speaker for 2 years.
In 2016, Breanna moved from Prague to South Korea to teach and live. While in Korea she learned many things about teaching and working with young learners. She also enjoyed Korean culture and food such as learning to make dakgalbi (a spicy chicken dish) and wearing traditional Korean clothes.
Having just come back to Prague, she is happy to be a part of the Wonderland family and looks forward to helping everyone learn and grow with English.
Nikki is Korean American and grew up in Massachusetts, USA. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies in August of 2014 from Bridgewater State University (MA, USA). She started teaching right after graduation and it did not take too long for her to fall in love with her job and students. Nikki absolutely loves working with kids and is great with them. She has worked with many students ranging from ages 3 months to 17 years not only in the US but also in South Korea and in the Czech Republic. Nikki was also trained as a behavior therapist working with kids with autism at RCS Learning Center in Natick, Massachusetts and found it very rewarding.
Nikki moved to Prague in the winter of 2018 and obtained her TEFL and Young Learner’s certificate with the Language House in Prague and started working as a kindergarten teacher not long after the course.
In her free time she likes to sing, cook, travel and hangout with friends. Nikki is happy to be joining the Wonderland team and is looking forward to helping the children achieve their dreams.
Christopher Tricsli is an English teacher originally from Derby, a small city in the middle of England, where he spent his whole childhood. For his degree, Chris moved to Wales to study Geography at Swansea University. After university, he spent some time working for a bank before making the move to Prague in 2014.
Chris has lived in Prague for over 5 years, where he obtained his teaching certificates in TEFL (in 2014) and DELTA (in 2019). Before working for Wonderland, Chris taught English at Caledonian Language School and Gymnázium Na Zatlance, where he taught history and English literature through English.
In his spare time, Chris enjoys playing football, tennis and guitar. He loves learning about Czech culture, travelling around the country and trying to learn the Czech language. Other than Prague, Christopher's favourite places in the Czech Republic are Olomouc and Šumava. Chris is a firm believer that communication is key to improving language skills, that's why he tries to make his lessons as communicative and interesting as possible for his students.
English Teacher, Head of Art
Stephanie Knight was born in Coventry, England and has lived in Prague for just under 1 year. During this time she has worked as a private English teacher, until working in the Druzina and in the preschool at Wonderland Academy. Stephanie studied at the University of Lincoln where she achieved a First Class Bachelors Degree with Honours in Media Production specialising in Film and Photography.
After graduating University, Stephanie moved to The Czech Republic to gain her TEFL and Young Learners Certificate at The Language House here in Prague.
Stephanie has worked with children at a variety of ages both in the UK and in the Czech Republic. As well as teaching in Prague, she has ran workshops based on Film and Media Studies whilst at University. Through the knowledge she has learnt from teaching, her creative degree and working in Summer Camps she hopes to develop children's creativity and make happy memories at school.
Markéta Malinová studied bilingual czech&spanish gymnasium in Olomouc and now she is finishing her Master Degree in Hispanistics in FFUK in Prague. She spent two summers in Spain working as an au pair. Appart from her studies she continues to devote her time to children as a leisure time teacher and sport coach. Teaching Spanish combines her chosen major and working with children which is a perfect combination for her.
Sports (especially basketball) forms a big part of her free time as well since in addition to being a basketball coach, she still plays actively too.
Maria Laura Arrua Zorrilla
Class 6, Math, Physics
Class 6, Biology
Class 6, PE Teacher
Class 6, History, Afternoon Club
Olga Doubravová graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of Charles University of Bohemia also studying Czech Language, Literature and History. She studied the basics of psychology and journalism before the birth of her first daughter.
She started her work experience at elementary school Věra Čáslavská with a focus on expanded teaching of physical education and sport. She then moved to journalism, where she gradually became editor-in-chief. She contributed to various daily, weekly and monthly papers, held press conferences, prepared PR projects, acted as a Prague 6 spokesperson, and devoted herself to the auction of art in the gallery of modern art. She also took her life outside of Prague for a while, succumbed to the phenomenon of farmer markets and devoted herself to working with wood. An integral part of this business was the study of homeopathy and aromatherapy counseling.
She has maintained an interest in education and was prompted by the birth of her granddaughter to return to this area. She was worked at the Mosaic Montessori School before joining the Wonderland Academy. She prefers a kind approach to children and feedback and makes sure to give systematic individual care even in the small breaks between activities. She emphasizes the understanding of a child's feelings and the strengthening of confidence in one's own abilities. Her motto is: Only repeated success helps to overcome failure.
Head of Afternoon Club
Nikola Žamberská comes from České Budějovice. She graduated from the Secondary Pedagogical School in Prachatice, then joined the Faculty of Education in the University of South Bohemia with a focus on natural science and history for the second grade in elementary schools. The study had to be interrupted due to illness. Now she is finishing her studies online from the theological faculty in České Budějovice.
Nikola always knew that working with children is an area that she enjoys and fulfills her life's purpose. From the age of 15, she has been driven and became the head of children's camps; after her break from school, she started working in a private kindergarten. Later, she joined the elementary school in České Budějovice, where she worked for two years as a student and assistant teacher. She also had creative afternoon groups and activities.
She feels children always give their whole hearts. When working with her colleagues, she prefers courtesy and good behavior, when trying to build friendly working relationships. She teaches children the rule: "Do to others what you want others to do to you."
She hopes that the experience gained from both her schooling and work experience will be used to improve the performance of the Wonderland Academy.
Piano and Guitar Teacher
Music and Piano Teacher
Lukáš Pařík is a singer, composer and actor. He perfected his voice at the International Conservatory and completes the study of film and pop music composition at the Prague Conservatory. He is the author of many songs and rock fantasy musical Kings of Avalon in the Prague Theatre Hybernia, played in the season 2015/2016.
I was dedicated to learning since I was 16 years old and from the year 2017 organizes public performances of the students.
His main principles include efforts to develop children's creativity and imagination. Wonderland is a lecturer in the Academy of singing, piano and guitar.
Dominika Kiene graduated from the Faculty of Pedagogy at the Charles University in the Czech Republic. After finishing her studies she worked for the phoniatric section of the ORL clinic at Bulovka Hospital. She also worked a the phoniatric clinic of the Charles University Faculty Hospital in Prague 2.
With her husband, an American diplomat, she lived for many years abroad. In the Bahamas, she assisted the Special Services Division as a speech-language therapist for socially disadvantaged families. She taught Czech language in the United States, working as a teacher for the Adult Education section of the Virginia public schools and for a private school, Inlingua, which prepares U.S. diplomats for service in American Embassies abroad. After returning to Prague, she worked at a private speech-language therapy practice. She assisted the private LOGO clinic to establish its Prague branch and cooperated with the Canadian Medical Center as a clinical speech-language therapist for children and adults in a multilingual setting. She also has significant experience in the Special Pedagogical Center for children with speech defects. Currently, she is a clinical speech-language therapist in Prague 10 and works intensively with a variety of bilingual pre-schools. Dominika is the mother of two adult children. Her son works in New York and her daughter is studying art at the Maryland Institute and College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland.
Special Educational Needs Teacher
Care for talented children
Lucie Chladilová graduated from the secondary school of agriculture in Vyškov. After this, she worked in various administrative jobs. For example, she worked as the assistant to the Chairman of STROJEXPORT a.s. She would now like to apply her experience to the economic management of schools. As a mother herself of three children, she has a very positive attitude towards children. In her spare time with her family, she enjoys visiting the countryside and occasionally sports.
Michal Čížek grew up in Litoměřice where he played competitive ice hockey and football from the a young age. He is a mechanic of railway vehicles and worked for several years at Czech Railways. He has also run restaurants and worked in the private sector.
His great lifelong love remains sport. In 1994 he obtained a coaching license and began to work in children and youth clubs as a football coach. Hehas experience with children from 5 to 16 years of age.
In his free time he enjoys spending time with his sons in the countryside.
Jiří Plíva is in charge of technical support for Wonderland schools, in which he applies his many years’ experience of such work. He has previously worked as a locksmith, maintenance man, flight instrument mechanic, and a plumber. He now also works as our school minibus driver. With his positive and friendly attitude, he enriches the children's everyday life.
He has always been very fond of sport. For many years he devoted himself to judo, in which he reached the 3rd dan. His greatest hobby, however, is collecting and repairing antique clocks.
Lucie Podraská studied High School of Electrical Engineering in Prague, but working with people was more interesting for her than working within the technical fields. She gained her experience in cleaning in one of Prague hotels. Every day she looks forward to see the children at school, who enrich her with their ideas. She spends lots of time with her grandchildren as well. Lucie usually relax in nature, she loves animals.