Meet the Team

We are a team of individuals who are passionate about people, different cultures, and the transforming power of international education. We work hard to ensure our students receive the best-in-class services before, during and after their stay in New Zealand.

Management & Student Support

Glenys Bagnall Photo

Glenys Bagnall

Principal – Head Office

Glenys is the Principal for CCEL and looks after both schools. Glenys has travelled and worked as a teacher overseas a lot. She came to CCEL in 1995 thinking she would stay for 2 years and then keep travelling – 20 years later she’s still here – that says something about CCEL! She loves coming to work and meeting students from all over the world.  At home she’s busy with a big garden, some horses, and filling the kitchen with good food, good friends and good music.

Gareth  Williams Photo

Gareth Williams

Academic Manager

Gareth leads our teaching team and looks after the overall academic matters at CCEL. Originally from England, he has been living in New Zealand with his family for many years now, and really enjoys talking to students about one of his passions: football (in particular Tottenham Hotspur!). Gareth is also popular in the kitchen, especially when baking his delectable family-recipe cookies.

Paul O’Farrell Photo

Paul O’Farrell

Marketing and Product Development Manager

Formally the Principal of CCEL Auckland, Paul serves as our Marketing and Product Development Manager. He has worked at CCEL since 2009, firstly at CCEL Christchurch and from 2012 - 2020 at CCEL Auckland. A proud Irishman, Paul claims that New Zealand is ‘just like Ireland but with less rain and better food’!

Helen Bu Photo

Helen Bu

Sales Executive - Pathways

Helen Bu is the Sales Executive looking after our pathway students (UCIC and UC). She came to NZ in 2013 and decided to stay because she fell in love with NZ. With her passion and many years’ experience in international education sector, she is always ready to help students and partner agents. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities and travelling.

Margie Brown Photo

Margie Brown

Enrolment Officer

Our lovely Margie looks after all enrolments at CCEL, and works closely with Sales to ensure a seamless transition from the moment students submit their enrolment, to their first day at school. Margie’s positivity is known by everyone at CCEL, and students and agents find her very supportive. If there is one thing that she loves most apart from her grandchildren and her coffee it’s helping students settle in at school on their first day.

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Joelle Anderson

Client Services Coordinator

Joelle looks after accommodation and student welfare at CCEL. She enjoys getting to know all our students and working with our wonderful host families. Joelle loves travelling and has explored quite a few places around the world, including South Korea where she worked as a teacher for three years. Back home in New Zealand she loves cooking, watching movies and going for walks and bike rides at the weekend.

Rachelle de Peralta Photo

Rachelle de Peralta

Finance Manager

Rachelle is the accounts administrator of CCEL. Her role also includes IT and Human Resources. She faces everyday work and challenges with a smile. She’s happy learning new things and believes that challenges will help her grow. Her inspiration is her children and she loves going to the playground with them.

Ellen Dakers Photo

Ellen Dakers

Administration Officer - Christchurch Campus

Ellen is one of the administrative assistants at our Christchurch campus. She also helps manage CCEL's Facebook page. Ellen is a recent University of Canterbury graduate, who spent her last semester living and studying in Aarhus, Denmark. In her spare time, she’s often exploring Christchurch or spending time with friends.


Arlene Denton Photo

Arlene Denton

Tertiary Pathways Co-ordinator

Arlene has been at CCEL for some years and often teaches on the Academic English programme. She loves encouraging students to visit her lovely home town Dunedin and can give them lots of suggestions of things to do there. In her spare time you can find Arlene supporting her favourite netball teams and tramping the stunning walking tracks of the National Parks around the South Island.

Brian Hay Photo

Brian Hay


Brian has been teaching for a very long time in several different countries and for some strange reason he still really enjoys it. He finds CCEL a particularly pleasant place to work. He also enjoys good books, fine wine, and playing with dogs and grandchildren. Brian has a keen interest in painting, surfing and learning Japanese. He hasn’t ever done any of these things but he has always had a keen interest in them.

Channelle Carnie Photo

Channelle Carnie


Channelle is one of the arty teachers at CCEL Christchurch. Having grown up in Invercargill and choosing to come to Christchurch to study at the University of Canterbury several years ago, she finds it incredibly rewarding to help CCEL students during their own Christchurch experience as well. When she isn’t holding a whiteboard marker, she’s holding pencils, pens, a drawing tablet, and needles and thread, or making funny videos with her little sisters.

Craigie Withers Photo

Craigie Withers


Craigie has been teaching at CCEL for many years and loves learning about our students and their countries. Although she enjoys teaching all classes, she especially likes teaching on the academic and exam courses. In her spare time she is kept very busy in her garden. She also loves yoga, reading and walking her dog on some of New Zealand’s beautiful beaches.

Elsbeth Hird Photo

Elsbeth Hird

Teacher Trainer Co-ordinator

Elsbeth is a teacher trainer at CCEL and also works as an examiner here and at two other centres. She’s originally from England but fell in love with the lifestyle in New Zealand and has never left! What she really enjoys about her job is helping students and student teachers achieve their goals. When Elsbeth’s not at work you can often find her on a bike, in a kayak or practising her paddle-boarding techniques on the beach.

Helena Hampshire Photo

Helena Hampshire


Helena is an English teacher at CCEL. She comes from the sunny shores of Tauranga but has lived in Christchurch long enough to feel like a Cantabrian. Her association with CCEL goes back to 1999, when she taught a group from Japan but she has also worked at several schools in Christchurch. Helena loves getting to know students of different nationalities and learning about their cultures. She is the mother of 2 beautiful daughters and enjoys music, reading and travelling.

Jean Claridge Photo

Jean Claridge


Jean is a Christchurch local but grew up on a farm 30 minutes from Christchurch. In her spare time she enjoys gardening and walking. She also loves animals and has about 40,000 pets! A dog, a cat, 2 chickens, a pond full of goldfish and a hive full of bees. She started her working life as a nurse before discovering what she really loved doing: teaching. She's been teaching English for 20 years and has worked here at CCEL since 2011.

Ronnie Smart Photo

Ronnie Smart


Over the last couple of years Ronnie has taught a variety of levels at CCEL, including English for Academic Purposes, Business English and IELTS. He enjoys the friendly and creative environment at the school, and helping students to reach their learning goals. Ronnie loves practicing martial arts, writing poetry, snorkelling in tropical waters, and meeting new people.

Sarah Gingrich Photo

Sarah Gingrich


Sarah has been teaching at CCEL since early 2014. She has taught a range of levels and has enjoyed every one of them. She loves laughing and having a fun time with her class and enjoys doing the same with her friends outside of work. In her spare time you can see her roller skating around Christchurch.

Cameron Trow Photo

Cameron Trow


Cameron has a background in teaching swimming (15 years), and carpentry(5 years). He decided that he didn't want to build forever so completed a CELTA course at the beginning of 2017. Since then, he has been working at CCEL. He loves teaching and helping people and finds great joy when he sees the students enjoying themselves and progressing. When he isn't in the classroom, he enjoys playing board games with friends, going out for coffee and, of course, watching movies with his wife.

Athena Yu Photo

Athena Yu


Athena is an English teacher at CCEL with 9 year teaching experience. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English in China and a Mater of Science in Human Resource Management in England. After completing her Cambridge CELTA training with Grade A at CCEL, she fell in love with this lovely school and decided to continue her teaching career here. Athena loves learning new languages and meeting people from different cultures. When she’s not working, she enjoys taking long walks and exploring new places. She can often be found doing planking with Sarah, Channelle and Naomi in the teachers' room.

Greg Bray Photo

Greg Bray


Greg has been teaching English for the past 25 years in both Spain and Christchurch. He loves a variety of sports such as rugby, football, cricket, and badminton. In fact, he has played over 300 first division games for Canterbury Badminton. When not playing sport, you can find him in his garden growing vegetables that he will not eat, but will give away to family and friends.

Karly Gandiwa Photo

Karly Gandiwa


Karly studied Cambridge CELTA at CCEL and thought she might like to eventually travel teaching English but ended up back teaching at CCEL! When not in the classroom, Karly enjoys cooking with her husband, tramping, eating food from other countries and going to church.

Linda Ross-Smith Photo

Linda Ross-Smith


Linda, a local, has had a long and interesting career teaching English in New Zealand and Italy. The opportunity in her job to meet people of all ages from different backgrounds and cultures is one of the main reasons she has chosen to stay teaching in this field. In her spare time she enjoys pottering in the garden, exploring the big outdoors, reading and watching Italian movies. Spending time with family and friends is also high on the list of things she makes time for.