Meet Our New Staff
Leeds East Academy People
This year, Leeds East Academy is greatly expanding its family of education professionals. We're welcoming outstanding new teachers, in addition to subject specialists and experienced leaders with a record of transformation in education. We're also expanding and enhancing our support services to ensure our school delivers an exceptional service to parents, carers and the local community.
From teachers to technicians, from the classroom to the canteen; all of our staff share the outstanding ability to raise aspirations, unlock potential and secure the best possible future for the young people of Leeds.
Passionate about education. Soaring to Success.
Introducing Leeds East Academy's New Staff of 2018-19:
Rachel Le Borgne – Data and Systems Leader
Rachel graduated from the University of the West of England with a BA (Hons) in French and German before living in Brittany, France for 12 years and returning to West Yorkshire in 2005. She has worked as an Exams Officer and Data Manager for over 11 years in Kirklees and Bradford, before moving to Leeds East Academy in May 2018 for the role of Data and Systems Leader. She is a member of a running club, and a triathlon club but her main passion is Parkrun. Every Saturday morning at 9am, you will find her at Parkrun, anywhere in the UK or even abroad!
Samantha Garratt - Moved Room Supervisor
Miss. Garratt graduated from Leeds Trinity University with a degree in Psychology in 2013. She then went on to study a masters in developmental cognitive neuroscience at the University of York, graduating in 2016. Miss. Garratt has had a range of roles in the care sector working with vulnerable adults. However, Miss. Garratt is excited to apply what she has learnt through life and study, to support the students here at LEA. In her spare time Miss. Garratt enjoys taking her dog for long walks in the countryside and spending time with her friends and family.
Terri Wan - Deputy Director of Maths
Miss Wan graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a First Class Honors degree in Mathematics and then completed a PGDE at the University of Sheffield. In her first year of teaching, she had completed her Masters in Applied Professional Studies in Education. After a few years working as a Mathematics teacher in Sheffield, Miss Wan is looking forward to meeting all of the students at Leeds East Academy.
Shery Milner - Director of Maths
Miss Milner hails from Kidderminster in the Midlands (this is where her love of Aston Villa stems from), though has been in Yorkshire since completing her BSc in Mathematics with Business Management at Leeds University. After managing a busy Italian restaurant in Leeds – which famously appeared on the TV show Gordon Ramsey’s Best Neighbourhood Restaurant, Miss Milner decided to return to her first love, teaching. She was the child who lined her teddies to teach them Mathematics as a little girl. After completing a PGCE at Leeds University Miss Milner worked at Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College and over her years there had roles which varied from Lead Practioner to Head of Year. She moved to Horizon Community College in Barnsley, the second largest school in the country, to be Assistant Head of Mathematics and was soon after promoted to Head of Mathematics where she has improved results through successfully managing a team of twenty teachers.
Miss Milner is really looking forward to her new role as Director of Mathematics and joining the Senior Leadership team at Leeds East Academy.
Miss Milner’s other passions, besides teaching, are food and travelling. She recently completed a Grand Tour of Italy and is planning further adventures for her honeymoon next year.
Alice Dale - Teacher of English
Miss Dale graduated from The University of Leeds with a degree in English Language and Literature in 2016. While at university, she developed an interest in helping people through education. She taught English to asylum seekers to help them to feel part of society. This led her to complete her teacher training through Teach First, and has been placed in a school in Grimsby for the last two years. While there, she developed a passion for debating, and led a debate team to come in second place in a regional competition. She now returns to Leeds to continue these passions at Leeds East Academy. In her spare time, Miss Dale enjoys yoga and writing poetry.
Natalie Watson - Teacher of Maths
Mrs Watson graduated from Newcastle University with a Geography degree in 2014 before training to be a Mathematics teacher on the Teach First Leadership Development Programme. Mrs Watson completed her two years on the Teach First LDP, and through this, graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a PGCE and QTS. During the two years on the LDP, Mrs Watson taught at University Academy Keighley where she was then nominated and shortlisted for the ‘Newcomer of the Year’ Telegraph and Argus Teaching Awards. In 2016, Mrs Watson began to develop her career at Wetherby High School where she held the responsibility for Key Stage 3 Mathematics Lead as well as mentoring the ‘Newly Qualified Teachers’ in the department. Mrs Watson is an extremely passionate Mathematics teacher, recognising the importance of engaging and supporting pupils in developing their love for Maths and was even able to persuade her twin sister to train and qualify as a Maths teacher as she could see just how rewarding and amazing the job is! Mrs Watson is looking forward to joining the team and students at Leeds East Academy in September.
Belinda Hobson – Teacher of English
Miss Hobson graduated from Edge Hill University in 2015 with a degree in English Language and Creative Writing. Miss Hobson then took a position as a Learning Support Adviser in a secondary school in Milton Keynes. Miss Hobson loved working with students everyday and supporting them to exceed beyond what they believed they could achieve. Miss Hobson knew that teaching was the only profession that would make her happy and so she applied to the GORSE SCITT. Miss Hobson has since qualified and is extremely excited to join us in September as an NQT who is passionate about Leeds East Academy and supporting its students.
Mini Virdee - Teacher of Maths
Mrs Virdee graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University in 2007 with a bachelors degree in Education (Maths specialism). She worked in a primary school for 4 years closely working with groups of year 6 students before making the transition to secondary Maths education and joined Leeds Trinity University to pursue PGCE. Following successful three years at Allerton grange High School Mrs Virdee is very excited to be joining Leeds East Academy in September with the aim of building and supporting Maths department and providing an excellent learning environment to students where they can flourish in Maths. Further to this, with her strong belief in continual professional development, she is currently pursuing a post graduate course - Masters in Education. In her free time Mrs Virdee enjoys fitness classes and focuses on her well being whilst spending quality time with her family.
Philippa Lambert- Teacher of English
In 2014, Miss Lambert graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a BA (Hons) degree in English Literature and Language. Following this, Miss Lambert went travelling around Australia for two years and much of this time was spent going to the beach, camping and farming avocados. On her return to England in 2017, Miss Lambert decided it was time to follow her dreams and become an Secondary English Teacher. In 2017, Miss Lambert was kindly sent from the GORSE SCITT, aligned with the White Rose Academies Trust, to train with us and says that she immediately fell in love with the energy, humour and pride from the students and staff at Leeds East Academy. Miss Lambert hopes to bring fun, wit and lots of English knowledge to our school.
Kelly Westwood – Receptionist
Mrs Westwood has had many varied roles in her career. She started out as a lunch lady for a local school back in 2002, to becoming a cleaner in 2004. Mrs Westwood then decided to become a healthcare worker in 2004 which she enjoyed but needed to be challenged further in her career and started her previous role as an administrative supervisor for the NHS.
Mrs Westwood has now moved in to the role as a reception and administration clerk so she can work and spend time with her husband of 13 years and her younger son and grandson. Mrs Westwood has two older boys and is looking forward to the challenges this post may bring.
Lee Garner – Inclusive Learning and Safeguarding Officer
Prior to moving to Leeds East Academy, Mr Garner served as a police officer, mostly in the Midlands regions, for almost a decade and worked in a variety of roles including time as a uniformed Police Constable, Temporary Sergeant; with particular leadership responsibility for raising standards and retention within the forces Special Constabulary.
He later became the strategic lead for reducing dishonesty offences within his policing division; changing policy, designing strategies and carrying out targeted operations and offender management, which ultimately led to a decrease in recorded crime. He was subsequently nominated for an award at a policing ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral.
During his time in uniformed operations, Mr Garner was involved in the policing of some historic moments: The Riots of 2011, and the 2012 Olympic Games. He was later commended by Prime Minister David Cameron for helping to deliver a safe and secure Olympics. Mr Garner has also been involved in counter terrorism policing operations in London where he qualified in the interviewing and covert observations of terrorism suspects.
After serving in uniform, Mr Garner eventually returned to his home town of Leeds after being selected to join the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) as a Detective responsible for investigating the most serious crime; including assisting in the investigations into the Manchester arena bombings in 2017.
Mr Garner comes to the education sector with a passion for improving the life chances of vulnerable young people, and is of the opinion that all students at Leeds East, regardless of their backgrounds, have the ability to achieve their ambitions and change the world. He is a stickler for uniform standards and behaviour from his days as police officer, and believes passionately in “educating the whole child”, fiercely believing that learning how to become a good, self disciplined and honourable citizen is just as vital as achieving academic success. Mr Garner firmly believes all children should feel safe and secure at school, and will be working rigorously this year to ensure that this is the case.
Away from the school, Mr Garner enjoys the outdoors; camping, hiking, and exploring new places.
Adam Billyard –Teacher of Science
Mr. Billyard graduated as a teacher of science with a specialism in Biology in 2016 from Durham University. Undertaking his first teaching position in an academy in the North East Mr Billyard has moved to Leeds East Academy to further his career as a Science teacher and moving closer to home. Mr Billyard aims to be a consistently outstanding teacher who gets students excited about Science and hopes to establish more STEM activities for the students. During Mr Billyard's free time he enjoys fishing, country walking and going to the gym. Having been fortunate enough to have travelled around India, Indonesia, Balearic islands and much of mainland Europe Mr Billyard aims to bring his experiences of the wildlife and interest of culture into the classroom to bring Science to life.
Jasmine Clarke - Teacher of English
Miss Clarke graduated from Leeds Beckett University with an undergraduate degree in English Literature in 2015. At this point, she was unaware of her calling in life as a teacher and so she decided to embark on a ski season in the French Alps for a year. During her undergraduate degree, she had discovered a passion for Shakespeare and so, after completing her ski season, Miss Clarke returned to university to complete a Masters Degree in Shakespeare Studies at the University of Birmingham. Alongside her Masters, she volunteered as a Teach and Play Volunteer at Queensbury Special Needs School and as a Literacy Mentor at a local women’s refuge shelter. There, she supported both children and adults to improve their reading skills and literacy. Miss Clarke understood that teaching and helping others is what she wanted to do.
At Leeds East Academy, Miss Clarke aims to share her passion for Shakespeare with her students and she wishes to instill a love of reading throughout the Academy. She is committed to consistently delivering outstanding teaching and is excited to be a part of Leeds East Academy’s journey.