Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
17 October, 2022

Unsung Hero (ines) – Juliana Posada-Castro and Kristel Nolvak

Unsung Hero (ines) – Juliana Posada-Castro and Kristel Nolvak

Our unsung heroines this month are both mothers and stalwart, active members of the BST Parents, Teachers and Friends Association (PTFA); Juliana Posada-Castro (Chair) and Kristel Nolvak (Communications lead).  As the PTFA forms an important bridge between BST and our wider school community, we are delighted they have given us their time to get to know them a little better and the PTFA vision for 2022-23.


Both busy, multi-lingual women with many cross-cultural experiences to share through their global travel, professions and work life; Juliana and Kristel believe the BST PTFA is uniquely placed to offer informed support and advice to newly arrived expatriates and their families.  They know that it can be a daunting process for parents as they look to settle their children in a new school environment and bring some order to a new chapter of their life in a new country.  Both passionate about education and with children in the school, it was particularly interesting to discuss the pros and cons of home schooling with Juliana and Kristel; how adaptable and creative they have become with young families in tow as they transition from country to country, navigating the different modes of education.  Both strongly agree that knowing their children’s education is in good hands, is key to success in this process.


Originally from Colombia, with International Relations studies a focus, Juliana travelled widely.  It was in Egypt that family life began in earnest with her first child, Martina.  Juliana noted that motherhood has been a wonderful discovery.  She continues to be amazed by how adaptable children can be to new and different environments and reflects that BST has been a good first step for Martina and Nicolas.  She thought that another new language would be a hurdle, but the teachers’ creativity with body language and expression goes a long way to help children feel included and to build their confidence.   We want parents to recognise the opportunity and forum the PTFA offers for their feedback and engagement on these important issues in their children’s education.


Kristel hails from Estonia, her Masters’ research and professional interests also ensured that travel was a necessary part of her early academic life.  Her passion for languages and origins of theatre studies took her to Japan to progress ideas for a PhD.  It was here she met her husband and began her family.  In a similar vein, Kristel notes how her family’s travels and work, mostly across African nations, have undergirded the importance for children to be prepared to embrace change and new languages early as part their global education.   She believes the BST PTFA can fulfil an important role in forging a successful partnership between parents and educators to fulfil these milestones.


The PTFA has formally been in place since September 2020.  Kristel and Juliana agree the PTFA has a bright future. Interest and participation continue to grow and evolve as parents recognise that meeting with other parents “beyond the school gate” can be a useful forum to share, discuss and benefit from pooled knowledge regarding their children’s education.  At the same time, it is an effective platform to promote understanding on how to fulfil their role as parents in the school.  The PTFA committee’s aim remains to encourage parents to support the school in whatever capacity they can.  They believe there is a wealth of experience and expertise among the parents that may benefit the school, not least in business and networking across a wide range interests and professions.


Their first big charity event (Quiz evening, 20 May 22) they believe was the catalyst; showing parents that the PTFA can provide ways to socialise, interact, enjoy some fun in a relaxed atmosphere.  The PTFA committee plans to set up more events where new friendships and conversations parents may be too busy to have normally, can happen.   Juliana and Kristel are particularly pleased that parents can have use of BST facilities.  It is hoped that the PTFA will be able to link future events across these amenities to include more “Dad focused” events such as football evenings or similar.