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First Grade Secondary School Teachers

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Chiara Cirella

Italian language tutor

Bilingual Italian/English, with over 10 years’ experience living abroad (UK and Singapore).

In 2019 Chiara started her journey into language teaching by volunteering as an English teacher for children and pre-teens in the Balinese communities in remote mountainous areas (GAIA Foundation Education project).

Back to Singapore, she started teaching Italian language at the Singapore Italian School (2020-2021). Afterwards, she began to plan and offer her own language classes as an independent tutor (2022); she also earned her DITALS Level I certification.

In 2021 she took part, with a small group of students in Singapore, in a project called Giornata dello studente di lingua italiana, while co-hosting the podcast Alla ricerca delle tracce di Dante.

Chiara’s training and experience prior to language teaching bear witness to her markedly creative streak. In 2001 she got certified as a Technician Operator in Animation Theatre Techniques and offered reading, animation and puppet making workshops for primary school children at Biblioteca Comunale di Anzio.

In the following years Chiara attended several training courses to further hone her artistic and creative skills:

  • Creative writing workshops with author Lidia Ravera
  • Biblioteca dell’Orologio, Rome (2002)
  • Historical Fashion and Costume Summer School, St Martins School of Arts, London (2006)
  • SouthEast Asian Modern and Contemporary Art, LASALLE University, Singapore (2018)

Chiara’s Italian language courses are based on QCER standards. She regularly attends webinars, workshops and language teaching training courses, endeavouring to add playfulness to her educational activities – especially in her classes for the youngest.

Chiara has been teaching at St Philip School since 2022.

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Deborah Di Muzio

Maths and Science teacher

Deborah’s teaching career started shortly after earning her M.A. in Mathematics, Physics and Natural Science at Rome-based Università La Sapienza.

Prior to joining St Philip School, she taught Maths and Science at several lower secondary state schools in Rome. In her long career, Deborah has also served as an upper-secondary Maths, Physics and ICT teacher at several licei and vocational state schools. Deborah has been regularly attending training courses to further hone her teaching skills.

Furthermore, she loves organising engaging workshops and projects, the latest example of which is Olimpiadi della Matematica for all lower secondary classes.

Deborah has been teaching at St Philip School since 2019.

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Immacolata Del Gallo

Humanities teacher

After graduating from Liceo Classico Immacolata earned her M.A. degree in Modern Humanities, thus obtaining her teaching certification as Italian, History, Geography and Latin lower-secondary- school teacher.

She has been teaching lower secondary school pupils since 1987. So far, she has been head of form and teachers coordinator multiple times.

Drawing on her extensive teaching experience and expertise, Immacolata’s didactic style blends teaching methodologies such as student-centred approaches predicated on inclusivity, skill-and- competence building through Mediated-Learning experiences, Instrumental Enrichment, Cooperative Learning and Peer Tutoring.

Immacolata has been teaching at St Philip School since 2019.

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Marco Filangeri


During his academic career, he immediately approached English as a second language, earning a degree in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Naples.

In those years he experienced managing and participation in numerous educational projects and presentations that brought him closer to the world of teaching.

In 2017 he obtained the Cambridge CELTA certification for teaching English to foreigners and began his teaching career in language schools in Spain. During these years, he enhances his skills in preparing for the Cambridge exams. In 2019 he obtained the position of English Teacher at the Liverpool School of English in the United Kingdom, where for the first time he was confronted with a multilingual school environment. The experience in Liverpool allowed him to enhance the communication skills of English applied to a multicultural context.

In 2020 he was admitted to the University of Arizona, USA and obtained a master's degree in Teaching English as a Second Language.

Thanks to his international experiences he has developed a philosophy that is founded on the value of teaching as facilitating knowledge and practice, with a strong emphasis on engaging and collaborative activities adapted to the interests of his students and their different learning aptitudes.

From 2023 he joins the staff of St Philip School.

Marianna Ceccanei

English and CLIL teacher

Marianna’s passion for modern languages is a family matter, her mother is partly of English descent.

Barely eight years old, Marianna earned her first ESOL certificate in English. She spent her youth studying in Italy (Liceo Classico F. Vivona) as well as the UK (Rickmansworth College), spanning the gamut of linguistic excellence by collecting ESOL and Trinity Diplomas.

Her interest for languages extends to French and Spanish, during her formative years she collected several DELF and DELE certifications. Both French and Spanish have served her well while volunteering with Caritas and Comunità di Sant’Egidio.

After completing her humanities studies, in 2016 she enrolled at Università della Tuscia for a Master’s Degree in Modern Languages and International Communication, graduating with full marks.

In 2018 Marianna took up a new career path - FIT - at the same university, completing the recently established 24 CFU educational training.

Starting from 2015, Marianna has tutored primary and lower secondary school pupils waiting to sit their ESOL exams.

Moreover, since 2018, she has worked as a Supervisor of Cambridge ESOL sessions for Accademia Britannica, International House (Rome), thus gaining invaluable experience as well as insider knowledge of the ESOL exams.

In 2019 she further honed her teaching skills as she worked as a substitute teacher in state schools in Rome.

In 2022 she passed the state exam for teachers with flying colours as she scored 95/100 for AB25 (middle school) and 100/100 for AB24 (high school) in the final tests, thus obtaining her lower and upper secondary school teaching certification (abilitazione).

In 2019 she further honed her teaching skills as she worked as a substitute teacher in state schools in Rome.

Marianna has been teaching at St Philip School since 2019.

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Martina Traini

Technology and Art teacher

Martina is a certified technical architect. After completing her high school studies (Liceo Artistico Via Ripetta), she enrolled at Rome-based Università La Sapienza and earned her B.A. in “Tecniche dell’architettura e della costruzione” (Architecture and Construction science).

Later she specialised in “Progettazione Architettonica” (Architectural design) at Università Roma Tre.

Martina subsequently completed a second-level postgraduate course in “Capitale naturale ed aree protette” (Natural Capital and Nature Reserves) at Università La Sapienza. Martina has kept broadening her academic background by completing further university-level courses.

Among her recent endeavours was attaining her teaching credentials as a secondary school teacher by completing the 24 CFU educational training. Since then, she has been served as a lower and upper secondary teacher as well as working as an architect.

Martina has been a teacher at St Philip School since 2020.

Tatiana Kozlova

English teacher

Raised bilingual (English and Russian), Tatiana, after spending the previous 6 years in Michigan (USA), moved to Rome for study reasons. There she graduated in Languages ​​and Literature with 110 cum laude from Università Roma Tre. She gained experience in teaching English at LUISS University and in various schools of Rome including Scuola Media Cardarelli, Liceo Classico Benedetto da Norcia, Istituto d'Istruzione Superiore CineTV Roberto Rossellini and Istituto comprensivo Padre Semeria.

Since 2016 she has been working at St. Philip School, using with her pupils the same "natural" approach with which she teaches English to her two children, i.e. through stories, games, songs, theatre, handwork etc.

Passionate about bilingualism and trilingualism both as a teacher and as a mother, she became a member of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (based in England). Tatiana constantly follows the research in Applied Linguistics to use the most innovative strategies in the field of language teaching.

She also possesses several certificates including TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), issued by Trinity College of London, 'Teaching English to Young Learners', and 'Teaching Business English'.

Tatiana has worked with children from a young age in various educational settings, including dance.

She continues to hone her artistic, musical and manual skills thanks to numerous training courses.

Tatiana has been teaching at St Philip since 2015, originally as a primary teacher, then later as a lower secondary teacher.

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Sabrina D'Orsi

Humanities teacher

Sabrina obtained her M.A. degree in Modern Humanities in 1997.

Among her career achievements are:

  • Training and obtaining her specialisation in SEN (Special Educational Needs) teaching
  • Successfully obtaining research grant funding from Ca Foscari (Venice) to work on “Culture as a catalyst for strengthening resilience within societies”.

Mother of three, Sabrina trained in Steiner education and has multy-year experience as a certified mentor for Movimento Etico Digitale association – constantly endeavouring to spread ethical digital literacy skills in schools. Moreover, she has completed a specialised course about collaborative communication and nonviolent communication (communication model based on empathy developed by Marshall Rosenberg, whose mentor was Carl Rogers).

She served both as a foreign students tutor and a lower secondary state school teacher for some years.

Prior to teaching, Sabrina spent two years working as an ICT consultant for Rai and Radio Vaticana and as an expert in Media Education.

Sabrina wrote a book in 2018, “Vivere Semplice” (The Simple Life), which was published by Natura e Cultura, a Steiner-oriented publishing house; her blog of the same name (active since 2008) deals with many aspects of digital minimalism, parenthood and parent education.

Sabrina has been teaching at St Philip School since 2020.

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Renato Marsella

Science teacher

Renato obtained his teaching credential upon completing his M.A. in Natural Science, Chemistry and Geography in 1979.

Since then he has never stopped teaching across all stages of lower and upper secondary school. Renato has been cooperating with a well-known Waldorf school in Rome, where he serves as teacher and mentor to new teachers who have decided to embrace Waldorf education.

Over time, Renato has developed his own unconventional teaching strategies by combining didactic innovation and experimentation, thus introducing historical epistemology in his classes through an inductive approach.

Renato has also developed new assessment criteria tailored upon his original didactic model.

Some of his achievements in the scientific field are summed up as follows:

  • 1974-1980 Laboratorio di Microbiologia e Micologia dell'Istituto Ospitaliero Dermosifilopatico S.Maria e S. Gallicano di Roma
  • 1983 -1986 Laboratorio di Igiene del Territorio presso l' Isituto Superiore di Sanità.
  • 1986-1999 Laboratorio di Microbiologia e Micologia dell'Istituto Ospitaliero Dermosifilopatico S.Maria e S. Gallicano di Roma.

Moreover, Renato has attended several academic conferences and published several scientific articles.

Renato has been teaching at St Philip School since 2019.

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Alessia La Cava


Born in Rome, she moved to Malta at the age of 12 where she continued her studies at Verdala International School, earning both the American Honors Diploma and the International Baccalaureate bilingual diploma (I.B.) graduating top of her class.

Born in Rome, she moved to Malta at the age of 12 where she continued her studies at Verdala International School, earning both the American Honors Diploma and the International Baccalaureate bilingual diploma (I.B.) graduating top of her class. She moved to Italy and graduated from John Cabot University earning a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature.

She has always taught English to students from kindergarten to high school, as well as individual lessons for adults.

In 2006 she attended the training course for preschool music teachers at AIGAM (Italian Gordon Association for Music Learning) and was certified to teach music according to Edwin E. Gordon’s Music Learning Theory (MLT). E. Gordon.

She taught in private schools in Rome, as an English language teacher.

In 2020 she started working at the New School in Rome.

She has been part of the staff at St. Philip School since February 2023.

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Zhenjie Jiang


Born in China, she has earned her Bachelor's degree in Chinese Language and Literature at Mudanjiang University.

She has taught Chinese language and literature at Castelli International school, Globally Speaking, European Language club and Huawen - where she was teachers’ coordinator and still tutors pupils waiting to sit their Chinese IB exams.

During her career, Zhenjie has had the opportunity to teach pupils of different age ranges and has tutored pupils waiting to sit their HSK (Official test of Chinese language proficiency for non-native speakers) exams. Here at St Philip’s, she is currently teaching Chinese to both primary and lower secondary school pupils.

Zhenjie has been teaching at St Philip School since 2022.

Letizia Montorfano


Letizia’s educational progress has led her abroad with the specific goal to focus on the study of the Chinese language and culture. While studying for her B.A. in Anthropology she harnessed the necessary foundational knowledge best to approach and understand China and its society.

Subsequently she completed her M.A. in Humanities at Venice-based Ca Foscari and a Chinese Teaching postgraduate course in Beijing, thereby bringing together theory and practice effectively to present and explain the nuances and subtleties peculiar to Chinese in relation to the culture in which they originate. Drawing on her national and international academic background and achievements, not least the 24CFU course for teaching credentials, Letizia has gained significant insight into the commonalities and differences between the Italian and Chinese school system, as well as the tools and skills best suited to teaching foreign languages.

Building on her experience as student first and then scholar, Letizia has developed an interactive and playful teaching method that makes learning a foreign language a natural and positive experience for her students. She has worked as a language teacher with students of all ages.

Letizia has been teaching at St Philip’s Primary and Secondary since 2021.

Amanda Malafarina


After earning her M.M. in Piano while studying under Maestro Sergio Cafaro, and graduating in Music Didactics under Maestra Eva Oddone, Amanda went on to broaden her musical expertise by attending postgraduate courses at Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome, as well as others recognised by the Italian Ministry of Education.

She has also obtained the 24 CFUs for teaching and, over the years, she has never ceased studying at postgraduate level nor broadening her knowledge base by analysing and adopting numerous methodologies in music pedagogy.

In recent years, Amanda completed her training as a Steiner/Waldorf teacher in primary and secondary schools, with a thesis on the importance of the Imaginative Aspects in didactics,an academic endeavour featuring some of her compositions. She also completed apprenticeships at Scuola Paritaria Novalis based in Conegliano Veneto, and was invited to Waldorf schools in Milan and Zurich for apprenticeships of observation.

Amanda has also collaborated with the Rome-based Scuola Janua.

Amanda has passionately taught Piano since 1989, Introductory Pathways to Music since 1994, Music Education at nursery and primary schools based in Rome since 2001. In 1995 Amanda registered as a music education teacher in secondary schools. She is a member of the artistic committee for the Cafaro Prize award at the Rome-based Conservatorio Santa Cecilia.

Her numerous academic achievements include a graduation in Music Therapy from L.U.Me.N.A. and a subsequent internship at the ASL RM 3 maternity ward.

Furthermore, Amanda has gained expertise in the Gordon method and specialised in early childhood
music education.

She is the founder of the S.I.N.G. Cultural Society, whose aim is to spread music through instrument courses and concert lessons in schools. She has promoted and organised concerts in which children and young people can try their hand at various musical instruments, both as soloists and in chamber music ensembles and orchestras. She is a staunch advocate of children studying and playing ensemble music at an early age, as a means to nurturing their musical as well as personal and relational development.

She has dedicated her life to teaching music because she strongly believes in the beneficial power it has on people and because she loves working with children.

Since 2015, she has been a member of faculty at St Philip School as a music teacher, educator and school music coordinator.

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Antonio Mazzoni

P.E. teacher

Antonio earned his Master's Degree in P.E. at ISEF "La Sapienza", with a thesis on study and rehabilitation of the lower limbs in 5 to 10 year old children, spurred by his lifelong interest in the interconnections among physical and inner growth and posture in children.

Subsequently he went on to complete a postgraduate course in psychomotor skills at Rome-based LUMSA, Consorzio Humanitas, his dissertation: "PlayArt: Psychomotor skills classes in kindergarten and primary school".

Antonio has been teaching P.E. and directing several school projects on psychomotor skills and play since 1990 across all stages of primary and secondary education.

He has also completed a postgraduate course on Relational Aspects of Psychomotor skills.

Antonio is also the author of a number of books and scientific journal articles and has been lecturing at LUMSA in a postgraduate course on Psychomotor Skills since 2016, and he joined its scientific board in 2018. As "Expert Trainer" at the regional CONI sponsored Sports Academy, Antonio has also served as Coordinator of the Regional Paralympics Committee for secondary schools.

In 2019 Antonio was appointed "expert Tutor of P.E.'' for Primary education courses at Università Roma Tre. From March to June 2020 he was the guest expert advising on safe exercising at home during lockdown for the RAI Programme “Diario di Casa”.

Antonio has been a teacher at St Philip School since 2019.

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