Meet the Teachers

We place great value on attracting and retaining top local teaching talent. All HSK teachers attend ongoing training and development courses provided by Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft Education Departments, specifically for teachers of native speakers.

We'd like to invite you to meet some our teachers below:

From left to right: Victoria Siegrist , Sarah Wood (classroom assistant), Jacqueline Cox-Velagapudi , Jenny O`Rourke, Deepthi Devaraj Chowrira and Sarah Dawson.

Victoria Siegrist 

Originally from the south coast of England, Victoria has lived in Basel for 12 years. She has a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (Secondary) from the University of Sunderland and a BA in Early Childhood Studies (First Class) from the University of Chichester. Victoria also has the CELTA certificate.  She has been teaching with HSK English since 2015. She has a lot of experience working with bi/multilingual children, both in international and local schools. Victoria enjoys bringing creativity into her teaching through a range of different games and activities.

Jacqueline Cox-Velagapudi

Originally from the UK, Jacqueline has lived in Basel for over fifteen years. She has a BA Joint Hons in English and American Studies from Keele University. Jacqueline completed her PGCEi at the University of Nottingham.  She has a Certificate of Higher Education in Education Studies (Primary) from the Open University in the UK. Jacqueline  also has a CELTA certificate. She first joined HSK English in 2016. When not teaching, Jacqueline enjoys hiking in the beautiful Swiss countryside.

Jenny O`Rourke

Originally from Ireland, Jenny O'Rourke has been living in Basel for six years.  She holds a BA (Hons) in Music and Philosophy and an MA in Cognitive Science. In addition to this, she achieved her teaching qualification (PGCE) from the University of Sheffield in 2019. During her time in Basel, Jenny has been working in international schools, whilst also teaching yoga and music in her spare time. Her love of yoga and music supports the learning process in a holistic way, bringing playful curiosity to each lesson. 

Deepthi Devaraj Chowrira

Deepthi grew up in Coorg, a coffee growing region in Southern India. Equipped with  a Masters Degree in English Literature, she worked as an editor for several years before moving to Thailand to pursue her passion for teaching.  She completed her TEFL, and worked as a language teacher in Thailand several years before moving to her husband’s hometown - Basel with their young daughters. She has since pursued her passion for teaching and acquired a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Sunderland University, UK, becoming a qualified primary level teacher.  Having grown up in the midst of hills and nature, she enjoys travelling and exploring Switzerland. She loves cooking and reading - mostly children’s books these days! 

Sarah Dawson

Before moving to Switzerland in 2003 with her young family, Sarah was a class teacher and subject coordinator in a West Sussex, UK primary school. In addition to her HSK role, Sarah is the English language story animator for the ‘Give me a Story’ program at the local library in Liestal, where she works with 2-5 year olds and their native-speaking families, with story, craft, games, and rhyme. She enjoys life in a Swiss village, where her children attend the local school, and the family is active in various associations for sport, nature and music. Sarah values her English heritage and keeps up to date with the BBC, the Times of London, and Radio 4. When she is not skiing, swimming or jogging, you can find her travelling with her family. Sarah qualified as a primary school teacher at Reading University, England and her tenure at HSK English predates the current volunteer-led Verein. In addition to teaching she also contributed as subject coordinator for HSK English from January 2009 until 2014. "Teaching children, for me, is the most rewarding, interesting and all-encompassing profession," declares Sarah.