Q&A with Katie Wash, the new Principal at St Giles Eastbourne
St Giles Eastbourne recently had to say goodbye to Principal Richard Kelly, after a fantastic two years with us. However, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Katie Wash as Principal! Katie first started working in English Language teaching 17 years ago, and most recently worked as Centre Director at Embassy English. She brings a fantastic amount of experience to St Giles, and we wish both her and Richard all the best in their new roles!
To help you get to know Katie, she’s answered some key questions for us below.
Hi Katie, welcome to St Giles! How are you settling in so far?
Thank you! I’ve only been in post for a few weeks but I’m already feeling very at home. The team here are great and have been very welcoming so they’ve made it very easy for me.
There’s obviously a lot to learn when you start working for a new company so it’s been very busy but exciting at the same time. I’ve always thought very highly of St Giles so it’s great to be working here.
Can you tell us a bit more about your background? What were you doing before St Giles?
I started my career in English language teaching 17 years ago initially as a teacher. I taught abroad for a number of years and spent some time working with for the British Council before returning to the UK in 2008. I then spent 9 years working for Kaplan International where I started as a Senior Teacher and progressed to Director of Studies, Principal and my final role with them which was a regional operations manager role. After that I worked for Embassy English as a Center Director. I’ve therefore gained a lot of experience in managing schools but also have a strong academic background and am passionate about delivering the highest quality courses.
Wow, you are bringing lots of experience to St Giles then! What are you most looking forward to about being at St Giles?
I’m really looking forward to not only bringing the experience I have gained to St Giles but also learning how things are done here. There are a lot of very experienced people working for St Giles so it’s great to share ideas and best practice. No matter how long you’ve been working in an industry, you’ll always be discovering new ways of doing things and I like that. So far I have been very impressed with what I’ve seen!
What are your favourite things about living in Eastbourne?
It’s great living on the ‘Sunshine Coast’. I love being by the sea and Eastbourne has a lovely seafront to walk along with nice cafes and bars, restaurants and of course the pier! The centre of town is being redeveloped too so there are loads of new shops- great for shopping. The South Downs are nearby too and I love going for walks at the weekend – there’s a lot of natural beauty around Eastbourne.
What advice do you have for students who are going to study in Eastbourne?
Eastbourne is a great choice as it has everything you need for a really fun stay but at the same time it’s small enough to get around easily and it’s safe. Studying in the UK is a golden opportunity to really progress with your English so I would take full advantage of that. I advise our students to really make the most of spending time with their host families and students of other nationalities so they’re practicing their English all the time. Get out and about in Eastbourne to see what the town has to offer but also take advantage of being so close to other nearby cities like Brighton and London.
Good luck in your new role Katie, we are so pleased to have you here!