Kevin Wade
Alumni Officer

Welcome to a bumper Summer 2019 Aloha College Alumni Newsletter! 

The Alumni Association is now moving from strength to strength with the increasing number of members getting involved in supporting the education and well-being of our current pupils. As you know, one of our main aims in setting up the Aloha College Alumni Association was to use the vast talent pool of our ex-students to enhance the learning experiences of our pupils.  When I originally sent out an email to our alumni in October last year, asking for volunteers to come in and share their experiences at our first Learning Conference. Entitled “Careers of Purpose”, there was an amazing response. Six alumni were invited in to come and speak to students in Year 11, 12 and 13 about their experiences at Aloha College and their career paths since leaving our gates.

We heard tales of careers chosen in the charity and not for profit sectors, as well as from young lawyers and entrepreneurs, All the alumni talked about a shared love of their time at an internationally and culturally mixed Aloha College Marbella!

Given the topic of the conference, it was important that we heard from people working to improve the lives of others, as well as helping to solve problems in the world.  Part of the school’s mission, the values of care and honesty are skills, which are in great demand in popular growth fields of work, such as social entrepreneurship, or corporate social responsibility (CSR). The ability for our students to have “soft” skills, as well as academic – will make them employable in all sectors and at all levels within their future organisations.

After the talks, students and staff joined the alumni visitors on a learning walk around the local area, where they could ask questions in a more informal way and also think about their own future plans and aspirations. I thank Skander Allani (1997) Evanina de Morcillo Makow (1993) Oscar Fernández Bracho (1993) Irina Selegenenko (2007) Tara Lovelady (1992) Lamiaa Abouelala (2013) for giving up time during their busy schedules to impart their knowledge and inspire our current pupils.  Many thanks to all of you who volunteered your time too.   

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * DATE FOR YOUR DIARIES! * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The next Learning Conference will be held at Aloha College Marbella on October 11th, 2019 and its theme is STEAM-B education: we are especially interested to hear from alumni who work in design, arts technology, or businesses that harness the power of these intersections. Please consider joining us for the morning sessions, 10am- 1.30pm?  Use the email to express your interest and come and share your experiences!


Many of our ex-students come back into school to visit us.  It is always fabulous to hear first-hand about their exploits and listen to their stories. Nicole Moerland (1998) the director of the Marbella Film School, came into talk with our Year 12 Theatre Studies students and Tiffany Winterler (2009) made a flying visit before returning to her business in Munich, Germany.

The following pages highlight more stories from members of our alumni. . . .

Chris Knaup (2012) came to Aloha College Marbella in Year 6 and graduated in 2012. His mother, Margot, was a loyal Board Member of our school and sadly passed away in December 2016. A few months later Chris lost his father with a stroke. He was an only child and he found his life was turned upside down and had difficulty coping. This experience made him more aware of mental health issues in young people which, if left without support, can detoriate. He now wants to promote and raise awareness of these issues and wants to give back thanks to the University of Bristol who supported him so well. They founded the charity “Healthy Minds” which guides young people by tapping into the proven benefits of sport, exercise and healthy eating. On behalf of this charity, Chris competed in the 2019 London Marathon with Aloha College Marbella sponsoring him.

“Time really does fly, I spent 8 years at Aloha College and it is now 7 years since my graduation. Reflecting over the last past 7 years, events may seem random and unstructured to me, but in another way, it has just been about me exploring the seeds that were planted at Aloha College. Right after graduation I went to study engineering at the University of Sheffield and this can be directly attributed to the Mr Lopez’s passion for teaching physics in IB. After going on a year abroad to the National University of Singapore and spending a year in industry with GE’s Aviation division, I graduated, but then decided that engineering was not the profession for me.

I went to read Finance (MSc) at the University of Bristol, during which time I represented them at the European Debating Championship in Estonia and interned at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Alternative Finance. I can now see that this

interest in business and finance was seeded back in Mr Wade’s Business & Management classes during the IB programme.

After my studies, I joined PwC in their M&A team in London and focused on valuations for the financial service industry. After about a year of getting absolutely bored of valuing every type of collateralized debt obligation around the world, I remembered a conversation with Mr Ranea outside of Mrs Bachelor’s office, where he helped me figure out that what I really wanted to do is help commercialize new technologies. I swiftly left PwC and joined a boutique mid-market corporate finance firm that specializes in the TMT industry. So far, I have helped sell and fund multiple drone, semiconductor and machine learning analytics platforms and I am loving every minute of it!

It was only when I started University and met people from all walks of life that I realized what a privilege it had been to attend a school like Aloha College. Not only a school that provides a great education like the IB programme, a variety of extra-curricular activities and top-notch facilities, but also a school that has teachers that will take the time and care for each individual student.”

Ivana Dahl (2012) visited us in January this year. 

“I immediately received a warm welcome from Mrs. Batchelor and Mr. Escobar and felt like nothing had changed. We had a chat about what the Class of 2012 were doing since they graduated Aloha College and the importance of doing what you are passionate about. I could feel Mrs. Batchelor and

Mr. Escobar’s genuine excitement and pride for everyone.

Afterwards, I spoke to the debating team, I was impressed by how proactive and talented students at Aloha College are. I was also able to talk to two students, who have current offers for UK LLB programmes. They asked pertinent questions and showed attributes that law firms look for, such as ambition, which gave encouragement that they are prepared to excel in their chosen career path.

It was great to see how Aloha College continues to grow whilst maintaining its friendly and supportive environment. For example, I was glad to see that Aloha College has appointed a Career Advisor, and built a new sports centre. Also to reminisce with Mr. Wade and see how Aloha College still benefits from popular and familiar faces, such as Ms. McGirl and Mr. Davies.

The support and education I received at Aloha College acted as a springboard for my career and gave me long-term friendships. To all the current students, I hope you enjoy your time at Aloha and good luck with all the amazing things that are to come!”

Macarena Gomez-Salazar (2008)       

“Having studied at Aloha College, I was taught so many wonderful things. Not only the benefits of working hard, but it opened my mind to many different skills and gave me confidence in obtaining anything that I would want from life.  At the same time it is a protected environment and when it comes to the real world, you really don’t see it coming.

Until Year 13 at Aloha College, I kept all my studies up to date, passing year after year, and when it came to university, there were so many other things that taught me more than my studies. I started travelling, worked in different areas of architecture and combined my university studies with professional experience. This meant it took me longer to graduate, but it was worth it.

I’m currently working for an architectural company based in Barcelona, specializing in installations and renewable energies. In the following years I will be collaborating with “architects without frontiers” in Africa and Central America, producing sustainable architecture with the aim of improving the life of those in the third world.

When I was studying for the IB, I remembered us being asked if we would prefer to earn a lot of money in a job that didn’t make us happy or not earn much money working in something that we love to do. I’m lucky enough to be in love with the work I do and how much it improves the world we live in.” 

To finish, both some happy and sad news.  First the sad news. Guy Edwin Portwin (1991) who was in my tutor group when I first joined Aloha College, passed away at the young age of 46 at the end of May this year. Our sincere  condolences to his family.

On a happier note, Adrián Ortuño Crespo (2007) has recently got married.  Adrián’s mother, Maria Jesus Crespo, was instrumental as a hard-working member of the board of trustees in getting the Alumni Association up and running and all the college family expresses our congratulations to Adrian and wish him and his new wife future happiness. 

Please get in touch and don’t forget that you can make a significant contribution in shaping the futures of our current pupil body!

Do you know other ex-students who have graduated from Aloha College Marbella? If you know anyone who would like to register and receive all the news and events of the college, forward this newsletter to them, or direct them to our Aloha College Marbella website, where they can register online and join our growing community. 

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