Almost eleven years ago, she met her husband and they relocated to Shanghai. She joined an after school programme for Dutch speaking families which is now called Language One; this included spending one night per week at the British International School, Shanghai.
After a few years they continued their journey, first to London, then back to Holland, where Irene re‑joined primary education. Her outstanding practice was recognised and she was given the opportunity to develop as a coach. Through this Irene created a unique programme to improve and train her colleagues to become excellent teachers. Four years ago she became Vice-Principal at the same school in Rotterdam. Two years after that the roles were reversed when this time her husband and their three children followed Irene back to China as she became Head of the Shanghai Dutch School.
Irene loves reading, dining, cooking, and socialising with her family and friends. She is still passionate about traveling enjoying exploring new cities and countries, and feels most relaxed with a good novel at the beach. Her children also love exploring and the family can often be found in the traditional Dutch pursuit of cycling around new and interesting places.