“Schools of Many Nations, a Family of One.”

Peponi Senior SchoolStaff Bios

Mark Durston first came to Kenya to fulfill his passion and interest in the natural world. Shortly after completing his A’Levels he was awarded a prize that enabled him to spend a number of months studying elephant conservation and more specifically their impact on their environment. After taking his degree he continued to study in Biological areas before eventually changing course and entered education. Much of his career  was spent at Cheltenham College where he became a Housemaster of Christowe. He continued to have a real interest for the Biological Sciences and made regular visits to Kenya studying at the University of Nairobi and the National Museums. He also took practical interest in various charities and has worked with a number of local schools around the country.

In 2009 he was appointed to the leadership of Peponi School and, in his words begun the second and final phase of his career. He is ambitious for the school and views the opportunities provided by the International sector in Kenya, and particularly, Peponi School as equal and often better than our contemporary schools in the United Kingdom. The passion for education and the national view of its importance is prevalent throughout the country. Mark’s  commitment to founding principles of the school is focused and unwavering. Schools, such as Peponi should be educating children to become valued citizens of a wider community both nationally and globally. They should be prepared for the challenges beyond school and be willing to participate in society in an ambitious, compassionate and forward thinking way. Peponi pupils have much to contribute and should be able and willing leaders in whatever walk of life their talents and interests take them.

Sylvia graduated with a Bachelor of Education (Hons) degree from the University of Nairobi. She went on to gain a Master’s Degree at the USIU School of Business where she pursued her graduate studies in Organisation Development. Her teaching career spans over 29 years including fifteen years at Peponi School where she has also been a Resident Tutor, Head of Humanities Faculty, Head of Sixth Form, Director of Teaching and Learning and currently the Deputy Head (Academic). This role forms part of her academic interests, which are biased towards excellence in education leadership. With a practical approach to teaching, learning and assessment, she ensures that the Common Room is empowered to deliver excellent lessons, tailored to the specific needs of each child. This in turn ensures that every child is able to make the best possible progress across the curriculum. Preparing our children for the academic requirements of entry into their university of choice is also an important part of her remit. As a Teacher of Geography, she has always enjoyed taking pupils on a wide range of educational visits and developing learning in the outdoor environment. Developing these young adults into leaders of tomorrow is one of her personal goals.

When Sylvia is not in class, she enjoys reading and likes to keep abreast with developments in education. Her passion ensures that she always strives to give a broad education to the pupils. Her firm belief is that this cannot be confined to a single subject but rather to the experiences gathered during the learning process. In addition, fiction and biographies form part of her reading repertoire. Out of school, when she is not reading a book or listening to music, she likes to engage herself in interior design projects as well as volunteer her time and resources in aid of the less fortunate in our society.

Karl joined Peponi School in 2020, and as Deputy Head (Pastoral), he has led developments in boarding, the School’s House system as well as an expansion of a pastoral and disciplinary structure. He has also revised and managed the extra-curricular programme since coming out of Covid. He is an experienced teacher of English (and American) Literature extending from Form I to Oxbridge. Prior to Peponi, Karl spent a number of very happy years as an experienced Senior Boarding Housemaster and Director of Sport and Extra-Curricular at Cheltenham College, in the UK. Educated at Clifton College, UK, Southampton University (Winchester) and the University of Wisconsin, USA, his early career fed his love of sport: as a fully qualified Tennis and Rackets Professional where he worked at Queen’s Club, London and Leamington Real Tennis Club before being appointed to Cheltenham College. Married with four grown-up sons, Karl has always believed that a warm cocktail of structure, tradition, friendship and challenge allows every child to not only enjoy their childhood securely, productively and happily but will also gently educate them of their responsibilities to, and their respect of, the wider community outside the independent education ‘bubble’. This has been a doctrine he has followed in all countries he has taught. Away from the classroom, he is a member of Gloucestershire Cricket Club and The Jesters; he chaired the National Schools at Queen’s Club, London for many years in rackets and tennis; he is a lover of reading, traveling, music and the Pembrokeshire coast path and, when no-one’s listening, his love of the piano extends to a belief that he can play it.

Seoras has been working at Peponi School since 2018, starting his tenure as the Lead in Religious Studies and having grown his role over time, to be appointed as one of the schools’ inaugural Academic Deans of Study. Working in tandem with fellow Dean, Mr. J. Ogodo, the two have overseen significant changes to the school’s internal mechanisms, affecting all elements of professional practice relating to Common Room. Seoras is a committed educator of the Humanities having held a diverse range of professional responsibilities throughout his career, including but not limited to leading the subjects of History, Politics & Government and his professional proclivity towards the teaching of Philosophy, Theology and Ethics. Having begun his career in the West Country (UK), Seoras is now an experienced international school teacher, having had the opportunity to teach in far-flung destinations such as Tanzania, Uzbekistan and Myanmar. When not in the classroom Seoras is a keen squash player and ornithologist; as such you can often find him touring the school’s estate with a pair of binoculars.

Jimmy holds a Bachelor of Education Degree, First Class honour from Maseno University, and a Diploma in Human Resources Management from the Kenya Institute of Management. He is a self-directed, enthusiastic educator with a passionate commitment to pupils’ development and their learning experience. With vast experience in pedagogy spanning over a decade, he is skilled in designing challenging, enriching and innovative activities that address pupils’ diverse interests and needs.

Jimmy possesses outstanding communication skills that enable him to present information in various ways, emphasising the relevance of class materials to the world beyond the classroom. He is an organised individual with a bias in attention to detail, evident in his likeness to keeping a clean workspace and creating a seamless filing method. Taking notes and using a series of tools to stay on top of deadlines is synonymous with him.

Jimmy aims to encourage socialisation, sportsmanship, and a team spirit glued in practical collaborative approaches with all levels of staff and establishing a quality relationship with pupils.

Outside his professional circles, he is a devoted husband and a father of two boys. His love for family values is a testimony to his everyday undertakings. In addition, he is a friendly person who enjoys meeting new people, learning about their backgrounds and inspirations, and travelling around the rich historical world. He can almost always find common ground with strangers by making them feel comfortable in his presence.

As a lover of sports, Jimmy is a staunch Gor Mahia Football club and Manchester United supporter. He is also keen on Hockey and adrenalin-rush adventuring activities. If not engaged in these activities, you will most certainly find him reading a book or watching a captivating movie, historical documentary or international news.

Mary has years of experience with working with children to guide and mentor them into independent and responsible teens. At Sedge House she has set a “home away from home” environment, that feels safe and comfortable making school life more enjoyable and a heartwarming experience, whilst transitioning from prep school to secondary school life. Having joined Peponi School in 2014 with a wealth experience from various schools in Kenya. A teacher of Art and Photography in the classroom teaching, she has fulfilled a number of other roles embracing visual arts, guidance and counselling, outdoor activities -DoE (P.A) expeditions and trips –  in addition to the boarding aspect of a pupil’s school life. Mary is a passionate teacher of Art, committed to assisting children grow in becoming more conscientious, to express their creative visual thoughts. For recreation, Mary spends time drawing, painting, designing; cards, personalised gifts, interior space and traveling.

Billy brings with him experience of International Schools from both the Prep and Senior age groups. He joined Peponi initially as a pivotal figure in the Sports department, running both rugby and cricket. He joined the Peponi boarding team in 2021 and was appointed Housemaster of Chala in January 2022; he has enjoyed every moment there as he continues to motivate, inspire, and helps the boys with the confidence that they might need in the outside world and how best to handle certain situations. With a passion in sports, he has helped the boys in his House see the value of the ’team’ and an element of ‘Brotherhood’. Outside of Peponi, Billy has been part of the Kenya Rugby National Team that saw Kenya qualify for the Junior World Rugby Trophy to Brazil and silver medalists in the Rugby World Cup Qualifiers in France. He was also privileged to play for the North Walsham team that is based in Norfolk, UK.

With years of experience in boarding and accustomed to working in a multicultural environment, Esther sets high standards in order to ensure that Elementaita is happy and homely, and that the pupils who leave her care are kind, respectful, well-mannered, independent, sociable and responsible world citizens. She joined Peponi School in September 2022 with a wealth of experience in classroom teaching, athletics coaching, trips and outdoors activities, together with the crucial boarding aspect of School life, having taught in schools in England and Kenya. A highly motivated and enthusiastic teacher, Esther is dedicated to helping children grow in confidence and find joy in their learning.  Esther spends her spare time raising awareness about childhood cancer, travelling, and hiking up big and small hills, and mountains.

Rose, out of passion for children, her family of 2 girls (in session) and husband (teacher) joined Peponi School in 2007 from a totally different set up in Del Monte (K) Ltd., HR Department. Having worked with her husband for a stretched period in the Boarding House, she has gained incredible skills in supporting the girls in the boarding section. Her closeness to girls starts pretty early when pupils from different prep schools come for ‘Tours/Taster/Smart Days’. This first encounter marks the beginning of measured communication between the potential pupils and their parents, crowning in admission to Shell and all the way to ‘A’ Levels for most. Over the years, her understanding and closeness to pupils has helped in creating a warm, safe, and homely environment in the House. She drew the golden rule ‘… do to others what you would have them do to you’ and flagged it as a House anthem. This catchphrase acts as a constant reminder on how to relate to others, and it has made Jipe what it is. Away from the norm, Rose loves exercising art in diverse ways, adventure and enjoys a swim especially in the right weather.

Charles joined Peponi School in 2011 with a wealth of experience in teaching and Science laboratory management. He is a passionate, experienced and an enthusiastic teacher of Chemistry and Biology. After working in various boarding Houses as a resident tutor for five years, Charles did join Magadi House as the Housemaster, in January 2021. Charles is committed in ensuring that Magadi House provides a caring, safe and friendly boarding environment, where everybody is truly valued and a home away from home. His passion to nurture all round individuals that fulfil their potential cannot go unnoticed. In Magadi House boys are taught tolerance, teamwork, resilience, respect and hard work. Charles is married with three children, one son and two daughters. Away from school life, he enjoys playing Squash and Badminton. Charles spends a considerable amount of his free time watching wild animals, in their natural environment.

Agnes is an assertive, caring and cheerful presence, taking a motherly approach while caring for the pupils at Peponi School. She has a wealth of experience in both hospital and school Nursing, and she is a registered nurse/midwife licensed by the Nursing Council of Kenya. Having previously worked at both Nairobi and Aga Khan hospitals, Agnes joined Peponi School in 2002 where she has been at the heartbeat of our medical provision, ensuring that day pupils and boarders alike have care and support as required. Overseeing the two clinics at School, as well as visiting doctors and nurses, she works closely with the our pastoral team. Whilst not looking after the School community she enjoys reading and taking care of the elderly. Agnes is a huge proponent of healthy eating and habits.

Michelle is a psychologist who is passionate about helping young people to transform their lives by changing how they think about themselves, others and their environment. In Peponi she creates a warm environment within her therapy room where the pupils come and discuss various life challenges as individuals and groups. She facilitates the Mentorship program that provides a sisterhood and brotherhood system amongst the older and younger pupils within the community. She uses social activities such as dance and other fun engagements to help the pupils discover their inherent abilities and resilience. She believes that is takes a village to raise a child and hence works closely with parents and teachers to empower them with skills to enhance the pupils emotional wellbeing. Coupled with a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, Michelle has years of experience in the Mental Health Industry where she has created personal development programs, offered psychotherapy, training and coaching services to young people across different organizations. To rest and rejuvenate, she loves to travel, dance, listen to music and explore different cuisines.