About Us

LAHC LearnFest is brought to you by a dedicated team of LAHC Educators, the founding members of the original LAHC LearnFest team, and The Learnerspace.

Nick Thody
Nick is a Lead Learner at St Nicholas School in São Paulo and in this role he does whatever it takes to create and nurture a culture of learning, innovation and change. He is driven by the urgency to reimagine and redesign schools with focus on learning. Nick is an original member of the LearnFest Crew and is looking forward to playing a part in Latin America ‘not returning to the same education after we return to the same school’.

To relax Nick cycles, sails, plays bridge, grows citrus fruits and explores scrap metal yards for anything interesting. He recently took a barista training course and a developing interest in specialist coffee feels like it may take on a life of its own

Alan Downie
Mathematics, music and mountains have always been my passions, but by a fortunate accident I somehow ended up as the head of a school in Mexico City, which was the beginning of a fascinating, challenging and life-changing journey, opening doors onto almost every aspect of human existence and leading me to my current role with LAHC. For the past five years as Executive Officer I was clocking up the airmiles trying to realise our mission of “Sharing expertise for school improvement” until the world turned on its head, and am now in the process of reinventing LAHC in its post-COVID reincarnation. For the last seven years I have been involved in a series of public education projects developing programmes and training for preschool and primary mathematics, which has perhaps been the most satisfying and fulfilling achievement of my professional life.

Juliana Marchiori
Firstly studied Languages (English and Portuguese) at university to fall in love with how children acquire language(s), then becoming a forever and ever Early Years educator was a natural step forward. Now all I can think about is Learning, and Language keeps coming back to me as vehicle for learning and for changing narratives and the future. Love engaging in adult learning communities and I see potential for growth everywhere and that is my reason for living now: team building for educational change. Fun, play, experience are key for me. In time of crisis like now, I believe we’ve got the perfect soil for us to get together and plant new seeds for a colorful, diverse, unique garden! (I love Kindergarten and plants). Let’s plant new seeds and transform lives together!

Ben Davies
Ben lives in Argentina with his wife and daughter where he is the Head of Secondary School at St Andrew´s Scots School in Buenos Aires. He loves exploring theories and implementing ideas in an attempt to deliver impactful, and relevant ways of educating children. He aspires to find the time to be more active online in order to share ideas, experiences, successes and failures, and is inspired by educators that are able to do this successfully. Currently investigating the history of measurement and wondering if and how it may be possible to measure a good education.

Paula Barberis
Paula is a passionate educator. Throughout her career she has worn many hats including those of teacher, school administrator, set designer, producer and project leader. She holds a postgraduate degree in Education, with a focus on innovation. She loves reading from many different fields, including those of entrepreneurship and architecture. Her current focus is on designing learning landscapes and cooperation to enhance human growth.

Gabriel Rshaid
Gabriel is the co-founder and Director of The Learnerspace, a company whose mission is to help build the future of learning. He is also co-founder of The Global School, the first school of its type in Latin America, attempting to make educational change a reality. Formerly Headmaster of St. Andrew’s Scots School in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the oldest bilingual school in the world, he is a passionate educational futurist who is intent on sharing his belief that it is the best time in history to be an educator. Gabriel is the author of five books, and has contributed as a co-author to numerous other books and anthologies. A former board member of ASCD and chair of ESSARP, he has spoken and led professional development workshops all over the world, working with educators to help create the future of education.