Our Patrons and Board

Our Patrons

H. E. the Italian Ambassador
Lady Carla Powell
Maria Carmela Viscountess Hambleden
Martina Mazzotta
Benito Fiore

Our Board of Trustees

Alberto Pravettoni
Chair of the Board
Alberto has been the Chair of the Board since September 2019. He has been involved in the project since November 2005, and his main focus has been on the financial business planning. He graduated in Business Administration at L. Bocconi University in Milan and attended a post graduate program on Management in Global Enterprises at the American School of International Management (Phoenix, AZ). In 2004, he completed a “Nonprofit Leadership Program” at Harvard University, specifically designed for Trustees. Alberto worked for 13 years as a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, where he was the Global Head of Fixed Income Operations. Most recently he was a Managing Director and member of the Executive Committee at LCH. Clearnet. Between 2003 and 2007, he sat on the Board of Trustees of “La Scuola d’Italia G. Marconi” in New York.
Rossana Bottino
Rossana is one of our teaching assistants and is the teachers’ representative on our Board. Rossana graduated in Lingue e Letterature Moderne at the Istituto Universitario di Lingue Moderne in Milan. She has a Higher Level Teaching Assistant Level 4 certificate, a Level 5 TEFL certificate and a certificate in Supporting Learners with Dyslexia and SpLD. She has experience in teaching Italian, English, French and Spanish as foreign languages.
Ada Cerne
Ada joined the Board of Trustees in 2019 and is primarily involved with the financial business planning of the Charity. Since 2014, Ada has worked at Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management (UK), where she is Managing Director and Head of Digital Infrastructure within their Infrastructure and Structured Finance department. She began her career in the Investment Banking Division of BZW / Barclays Capital in the late Nineties and later moved to the Structured Finance Department at WestLB AG where she spent 14 years primarily in the telecoms and acquisition finance teams. Whilst a senior originator at WestLB, she also acted as country manager for Sub-Saharan Africa. Ada obtained an IB Diploma from the United World College of South East Asia (Singapore). She holds a BA in Economics and an MSc in Development Economics from The School of Oriental and African Studies, London University. She is a CFA Charterholder.
Christian Iachini
Christian joined the Board of Trustees in October 2017 with the mandate to support the communication and marketing activities of the charity. He has nearly 20 years of experience in digital marketing, having led digital marketing departments in large multinationals. He also holds two Master’s Degrees: one in International Management and Business Administration from Copenhagen Business School and the other in Corporate Communication from the University of Trieste. Christian has 2 trilingual children, one of whom attended SIAL school.
Ernestina Meloni
Ernestina joined the project in January 2006 and was mainly involved in the coordination of the bilingual aspect of the curriculum. She graduated in Modern Languages at Cagliari University and completed a Masters Degree in Applied Linguistics at Birkbeck College, University of London. Ernestina has been teaching the Italian Language in the UK for the past thirty years in Oxford and in London. At present she is a teacher and coordinator of the Italian Department at the Lycée Français in London. She has been working for British and International organizations as a trainer and adviser promoting excellence in language education. She also worked as language adviser for the BBC in the production of various children’s programmes. In 2004 Ernestina won the European Language Award, an Italian Embassy Award for teaching languages through movement and dance and was knighted by the Italian Government as a “Cavaliere all’Ordine del Merito della Repubblica Italiana”. In 2005 she received an award from Chicago University for Best Teaching Practice. Ernestina has been working for various examination boards as Moderator and Principal. At the moment she is working for the Cambridge Examination Board. She has published and she is still publishing articles and educational material on bilingual education and language teaching.
Francesca Nelson-Smith
Founder of the project la Scuola Italiana a Londra
Francesca devoted her spare time to the idea of opening an Italian school in London for many years. Finally in 2004, she came across the “Italians of London” organisation. With their support and the help of Emanuela Federspil the “A school for the Italians” commission was founded and a team of volunteers to work on the project was put together. Francesca succeeded Emanuela as Chair of the Board of Governors in 2011 and maintained the role till August 2017. Francesca is a PR and marketing consultant. She graduated in Philosophy and Modern Languages (French) at Oxford University in 1989. She started her career as a bi-lingual magazine and book producer for an anglo-italian publisher in London. Subsequently she specialised in the production of promotional events for the SMH-Swatch Group. In London she has worked on a number of charities and business projects. On the 10th of March 2016 the Italian Ambassador Pasquale Terracciano awarded Francesca the honour of “Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia” for her contribution to the promotion of Italian education and culture in the United Kingdom.
Domenic Pini
Domenic joined the team in 2010 to help with legal advice and fundraising. Domenic was educated St George’s College Weybridge, Surrey and Cambridge University. After many years working for a number of practices in London, he is now a Partner of Pini Franco LLP. Domenic was Chair of the British Italian Law Association 1984 to 1996 and former President of the City and Shoreditch Rotary Club and Rotary and Paul Harris Fellow, Trustee of Mazzini Garibaldi Charitable Foundation. Trustee of the National Institution for Social Assistance (INAS). Trustee of the Arandora Star London Memorial Fund. Chair of the St Georges Club. Former Chair of the Mazzini Garibaldi Club Limited. Council Member of Business Club Italia. Member of Club di Londra. Freeman of the City of London. In 2015 he was awarded by the President of the Italian Republic the title of “Ufficiale” – Ordine della Stella D’Italia.
Michaela Rees Jones
Michaela joined the board in 2014. Following a degree in Modern Languages she pursued a professional career in International Education in Europe and the USA. Early work in teaching was followed by several years working in marketing, publishing and recruitment for Interstudy Inc and EF. More recently she has focussed on volunteering and fundraising for a number of local good causes. Through the English Speaking Union Michaela has helped with the EAL programme at a primary school in North Kensington, is a former Vice-Chairman of The Second Half Foundation, sits on the board of Action Against Cancer, a charity supporting research at Imperial College and is a member of the Victim and Witness Support Service at the Central Criminal Court.
Laura Arcelli-Fontana (aka Laura Marani)
Special Advisor to the Board
Laura has been working on project La Scuola Italiana a Londra since the beginning, firstly as one of the Trustees of the Charity and, when the School opened, taking the role of Headmistress till December 2015. Laura was born in Piacenza and moved to Britain when she was 4 years old. She was educated at an English convent school and at an international and multilingual school in Switzerland. She worked as an interpreter until she married and had two daughters, then she attended London University as a mature student where she obtained her degree in Education in 1978. Laura taught at Pembridge Hall School for Girls for 23 years, nine of these as Headmistress, during which time the school was consistently ranked in the top three London primary schools. Laura is currently a Governor of Queen’s Gate School (a charity), and a senior adviser of Hurlingham School. Laura was also a founding Governor of Notting Hill Preparatory School where she played an integral part in its conception and opening.

The board of trustees thanks its first Chair Emanuela Federspil for enabling the opening of SIAL.school through her marketing efforts and commitment to the cause and is grateful to its former board member and Chair Raffaella Celia for her leadership, legal acumen and selfless commitment which have been invaluable to the Charity over the years.

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