Stephanie Walmsley

| MA in Education (Equality and Diversity), BA Hons, Dip SpLD | Board Director SENIA-Switzerland

Stephanie holds a master’s degree in equality and diversity alongside postgraduate research studies into ADHD in both children and adolescents and she is is currently studying for a MSc in education for sustainable development and she has a particular interest in competence-based education systems. Stephanie has almost 20 years’ experience in inclusive education and SEND, formally a children’s social worker in the UK, she has lived in Switzerland for over 16 years and has been responsible for the development of many of the regional international schools, public education and private systems special educational needs and inclusive practices. Stephanie is highly passionate about inclusion/SEND, health and wellbeing. 

Stephanie loves the outdoors and is often in the Swiss mountains hiking and camping in her campervan. She is married with two grown up children and recently became a grandma.

Kate Shepherd

BSc in Psychology

SENIA Switzerland- Local School and Parent Representative

Kate has over 10 years’ experience in teaching Psychology in international schools in Suisse Romande and has been a teacher of English as a Foreign Language for 18 years.

Kate has lived in Switzerland for over 18 years and is married with two sons. Her professional interest in Special Educational Needs became personal as a result of her younger son being diagnosed with ADHD, Dyslexia and Dyscalculia. Kate has learnt to navigate the local school and healthcare systems to ensure that her son is supported throughout his schooling. This has now led to personal experience of local occupational therapists and language therapists.

Kate is passionate about mental health and wellbeing and in her spare time, can be found walking her two very energetic dogs.

Alexandra Couet

Masters of Special Education, C.U.N.Y (USA)

Learning Support Coordinator at International School of Geneva

SENIA Switzerland- International School Teacher Representative

Alexandra is a bi-national (France and the United States). While she spent her childhood in France, she spent latter years in the United States. She started her career in Special Education delivering early intervention to three-year-olds with delayed development in New York City, prompting her to enroll in a Master’s Programme in Special Education. After completing her Master’s degree in Special Education at the City University of New York,  Alexandra moved to London teaching students with learning difficulties at the American School of London.  During this time, Alexandra joined forces with two colleagues-turned-friends to support early education in Eastern Sri Lanka which had suffered the most following the 2004 Tsunami.  After two years in London, she permanently moved to France on the border of Switzerland where Alexandra has been teaching at the International School of Geneva since 2007. A lover of nature and open spaces, she enjoys her free time with her partner and son exploring the mountains or enjoying water activities.  Alexandra also loves traveling and is patiently waiting for the opportunity to return to Sri Lanka and experience new parts of the world again. 

Joy Meyer

Joy is a passionate advocate of inclusive education and a big promoter of differentiation practices to address the diverse learning needs of all students.  She has been a teacher since 2012 and has experience teaching using a multitude of curriculums.  She has taught in preschool and elementary levels in both private and international schools in the Philippines, China and Singapore.

Joy values learner diversity and strives to support all learners by working collaboratively with families and other educational professionals. She holds a Master’ degree in Education focused in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University and another Master’s Degree in Public Management. Joy moved to Switzerland in 2020 with her family and is in constant awe of this amazing, beautiful country.

Paul Mallen

Masters Degree, Movement and Learning

BEd. (Hons.) Physical Education/Mathematics

Well-Being and Learning Facilitator

SENIA Switzerland- Research and Development Representative

Paul has worked in International Education for over 25 years, in Hong Kong, USA and now Switzerland. Paul currently runs a Well-Being programme in the Lausanne region that focuses on developing the environment within the child. He assesses learners, and learning environments before initiating proactive action plans to enable learners to thrive. The ‘STEP’ method promotes self-awareness, self-moderation and self-esteem.

If you would like to get in contact with Paul or find out more about the programme please use the LINK HERE to go to his website.

Claire Dede OGDEN

MA International Development

Specialising in International Health and Economics

     SENIA Switzerland- International School Parent Representative

Mother of Special Needs Adult

Dede has lived in the Geneva area since 1997 where she raised three children.  She has been active in both the French and English-speaking communities and in the International School of Geneva (PTA President, La Châtaigneraie). She has served in various leadership, community outreach, mentoring and fundraising events and committees. She has a special interest in women and children’s education, health and the arts.

She and her husband helped pioneer the Extended Support Program at the International School of Geneva for students with learning differences and are big advocates for inclusion programs for people with different learning needs.

Dede loves tennis, university sports, mountain sports, reading and multi-cultural events.

Nicole Schmidt M.A. CCC-SLP

Speech and Language Therapist

SENIA Switzerland- Therapist Representative

Nicole graduated from San Diego State University with a Master of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She is licensed by the California Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board and holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence with the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). Nicole has been working as a speech-language pathologist (SLP/SLT) for 17 years in both private practice and school settings. She also has experience working as a clinical fellow in Rady Children’s Hospital and Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, CA.

Before moving to Geneva, Switzerland in 2009 Nicole worked for several years in the second-largest school district in California, San Diego Unified School District. In that time, she obtained a lot of experience assessing and providing treatment to bilingual and multilingual children who ranged from toddler age to teenagers. She managed large caseloads and provided ongoing training to school staff and parents on language development, identification of red flags for various disorders, differentiation in the classroom, as well as strategies to support a child’s language development across environments. Her experience in each of these areas continues to grow working in the international school system here in Switzerland as well as within her private practice.

Nicole is currently specialized in early intervention, receptive/expressive language disorders, social cognitive deficits, auditory processing disorders, phonological and articulation disorders and apraxia.  She is Hanen certified with It Takes Two to Talk & More Than Words and trained in PROMPT, Lindamood Bell programs LiPS and Visualizing and Verbalizing and the Social Cognitive Development Programs from Michelle Garcia-Winner.

Nicole is a keen runner who also enjoys skiing, dancing and spending time with her husband and twins.

Marcia Norwell

Qualified Nutritional Therapist, specialised in family and children’s Health and Wellbeing. Certified with ASCA.

SENIA Switzerland- Therapist  Representative

After several years of experience in her professional activities with children and adolescents in different school contexts, she always believed that there must be a link between the behaviour of children and their diet, sleep habits, and wellbeing. This belief inspired her to undertake studies in nutrition and wellbeing, which in turn allowed her to develop opportunities for both children and adults. Marcia continues working in the schools supporting students with learning and emotional difficulties while seeing her clients in her private practice as a Nutritional Therapist.

Marcia, originally from Sweden has lived in Switzerland for 20 years. She is married and has two daughters. Marcia likes to spend her time outdoors, cross country skiing, hiking in the mountains, and running/walking by the lakeside. At home, she is passionate about yoga and loves to create and make new healthy recipes!