Meet The Team

Quintessentially Team

Jess Harris

Head of Education, UK

As the Head of Education, Jess is predominantly responsible for the development of our successful consultancy programs and the expansion of our continually growing global network. She is an enthusiastic educationalist, who’s passion for excellence is apparent in every aspect of her working life. Under Jess, Quintessentially Education has successfully guided and placed hundreds of students from all around the world into prestigious educational institutions, helping children from kindergarten age, right up to university. Jess’ own educational background saw her graduate with a First Class Honours degree in Social Science from Cardiff University, where she also undertook a number of education-related modules. Her energetic and confident style of leadership combined with her broad understanding and unrivaled knowledge of the UK & US educational system, means that Jess is ideally positioned to lead the forward-thinking team at Quintessentially Education.


Amelia Buckworth

Educational Coordinator, UK

Amelia studied at Oundle School, and went on to graduate with an Upper Second Class degree in Law (LLB Hons) from Newcastle University. She is responsible for overseeing Quintessentially Education’s private tuition placements and is also heavily involved with coordinating student programmes and client liaison.

Her insight into the UK education system and strong interpersonal and organisational skills ensure she is able to provide the highest level of support and guidance to families and students.

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Stephanie Wright

Associate Director of Education for Asia, Hong Kong

Stephanie is an experienced and dedicated educator who is committed to supporting families throughout the Asia Pacific region.  Having grown the Quintessentially Education brand across the region, Stephanie now manages a team of consultants who have successfully guided and placed hundreds of students across the globe.  Stephanie graduated with an honours degree in Human Geography from Queen Mary University of London.

After relocating to Hong Kong in 2009, she gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, graduating with Distinction and honoured on the Dean’s List. She has taught in both local and international schools educating students from kindergarten up to A-levels, and specialises in the international baccalaureate curriculum. She is the voice of Oxford University Press’ Oxford Path series in Hong Kong and China, and worked as a Business Development Manager before joining Quintessentially. She is the point for Asia, and is deeply knowledgeable about the local market.

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Karen Yuen

Education Coordinator, Hong Kong

Karen graduated with an honours degree in Criminology from City University, Hong Kong and spent a year at San Francisco State University studying Criminal Justice. Karen is an experienced customer service agent and has a strong understanding of the Chinese market having previously worked in Taiwan and China. She managed a well-known education centre in China before moving back to Hong Kong to work for Quintessentially. Karen is responsible for handling our private tuition placements in addition to co-ordinating student programmes and client liaison. She can speak Mandarin, Cantonese, and English fluently.

Charles Milne

Senior Education Consultant, UK

Charles has worked in education for nearly 40 years. Born in Australia, he was at school and university in Sydney before moving to Oxford for postgraduate studies in 1977. After three years as a Research Lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford, and brief stints teaching at Dean Close School and Stowe, he went on to spend most of his career teaching French and English at Eton, where he was also a house master and Tutor for Admissions.


Dee Francken

Senior Education Consultant, UK

Dee has extensive experience in junior and senior school education in both the state and independent sectors. She is one of Quintessentially Education’s top consultants and can provide a unique insight when it comes to the admissions process.

Dee was previously Senior Teacher at the North London Collegiate School (NLCS), one of the UK’s leading schools and the only school twice named Sunday Times Independent School of the Year. She then became the Headmistress of NLCS Junior School, giving her invaluable experience of selection and education provision across the age ranges from 4 to 18.


Rose De Pass

Early Years Consultant, UK

Rose is an Early Years specialist, holding a First Class honours degree in Early Years Education. Rose consolidated her studies by working in the prestigious Miss Daisy’s nursery in Belgravia, and has developed a strong relationship with this school and many others. It is these personal relationships with the heads of many top schools that sets Rose apart from other consultants. She continues to refine her understanding of the processes by which young children learn, and her knowledge allows her to find schools that will best suit each child.

With over 10 years’ experience in private education, Rose strives to be a practical and grounding support, to help shed light on the process, and to ensure parents are making considered and informed decisions about their children’s future (especially those who are unfamiliar with the English school system). Her extensive knowledge of the early years sector has resulted in many successful applications for Quintessentially Education’s clients.


Edward Smallwood

US Consultant, based in the UK

Ed attended Harrow School before moving to the United States to study at Harvard University for his undergraduate degree. He went on to receive a Masters from New York University and his MBA from Columbia Business School and London Business School.

Ed is now Managing Director at A-List Education, a global consultancy specialising in the US education system, which has formed an exclusive partnership with Quintessentially Education. Ed and his team provide academic advice and school and university placement support for all ages, from kindergarten through to graduate programmes.


Dr Susanna Pinkus

SEN Specialist and UK Consultant, UK

Dr Susanna is a highly qualified and experienced education specialist with particular expertise in the field of special educational needs.

Dr Susanna provides support to parents in the UK and beyond in areas such as selecting school placements, carrying out case reviews and enabling successful transitions between primary and senior school phases. She can provide ongoing support as well as individual sessions with parents concerned about aspects of their child’s learning and development. Sessions can often be provided by Skype or telephone as well as face-to-face meetings.

In addition to her first degree in English and Education, Dr Susanna holds a Masters degree and doctorate in Education from the University of Cambridge. Alongside her consultancy portfolio, she works part time at one of the UK’s leading independent schools.


Sarah de Louwere

Education Consultant, China

Sarah graduated from Cambridge with a Masters degree in Education and has taught all ages from 3 to 14 in London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and now Shanghai. With a specialism in Special Educational Needs she has tutored children with individual requirements. For the past 10 years, Sarah has been the Head of Lower School at a top London Prep School, whilst supporting the set up and running of successful private nurseries in the city. Sarah has supported families relocating to and from Asia and the UK, and now that she is living in China and working for an International School in Shanghai, Sarah is well placed to advise from Asia.


Christopher Roma

US Education Specialist, China

Christopher Roma attended Harvard University and graduated with an honours degree in Sociology. He went on to work in the New York City Department of Education, coordinating and running the Gifted & Talented Program, and is now an expert in SAT & ACT preparation, college applications, Harvard interviews and the competitive landscape of US college admissions.

Christopher is currently Managing Director – Greater China at A-List Education, a leading global consultancy firm specialising in test prep and college advisory.


Penka Marinova

Guardian Programme Leader, UK

Penka has 20 years’ experience as a guardian for children from the ages of 10 to 18 at the most prestigious boarding schools in the UK. She has looked after more than 70 children, from many countries, and her proficiency in a number of languages allows her to expertly communicate with children and parents, fostering both comfort and trust. Parents can relax in the knowledge that their child’s welfare while abroad is in safe hands.

Alicia Meinertzhagen

Education Associate, USA

Alicia graduated with a First Class honours degree in Politics and Sociology from the University of Exeter, before working as a private tutor specialising in Common Entrance and GCSE tuition while completing her Masters studies. She specialised in mathematics tuition, particularly for young children with learning difficulties.

Having worked for the past year at the Quintessentially Lifestyle office in Los Angeles, Alicia now manages both Quintessentially Education and Quintessentially Estates in LA. With a strong background in education and an understanding of both the British and American systems, she is perfectly placed to assist you with whatever you need in the US market.

Caroline cohen

Caroline Cohen

Consultant Educational Psychologist 

Caroline has been a Consultant Educational Psychologist across both independent and Local Authority services since 1998, allowing the development of a clear understanding of different systems of schooling and learning approaches. She has worked solely as an independent practitioner since 2016. Caroline is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and is both an Associate Fellow and Chartered Educational Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS). She has had opportunities to work with children and adults from the ages of 2 to 26 years of age, often within very multi-cultural environments. She has a proven ability to work in a multi-professional capacity and to work successfully and efficiently with children, young adults and parents alike in order to enhance learning experiences and allow pupils to demonstrate their true potential. She offers the full range of specialist psychological assessments and has a strong interest in the identification and support of students with specific learning difficulties. Caroline aims to bring immediate value and strengths whilst constantly striving to develop her current skills further.

Charlotte Faber

Charlotte Faber

Education Consultant, UK 

Charlotte was Headmistress of the prestigious Garden House Girls’ School in London since 2013, where she worked since 2006.  During her time as Head, her priority was helping each and every girl on their journey towards reaching her potential, achieving excellent academic results to both London Day and boarding schools, with a focus along the way on happiness and kindness.  Charlotte is familiar with the early stages of education, and with the prep school world, especially the important transfer to secondary education at 11/13+ or, for some children, to a preparatory school at 7 or 8+.  

Charlotte has been a Governor at Heathfield School, Ascot, a girl’s 11-18 boarding and day school and remains closely affiliated with IAPS through their mentoring for new heads scheme.  She is an education and regulatory advisor for other educational agencies.