Leeds East Academy


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 people of 2017-18:


Miss Carrie - Academy Principal

Sarah Carrie’s ambition from a young age was to become a professional dancer. She achieved this ambition after training at the highly acclaimed Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, graduating with a Bachelor of Performing Arts Degree in Dance. During her career as a dancer she was fortunate enough to work with Sharon Watson, the current inspirational leader of Phoenix Dance Theatre. A highlight of her dancing career was performing for The Queen at the opening of the Royal Armouries in Leeds in 1996.

Sarah began her teaching career in the year 2000 and has carried out a number of leadership roles during her time at Leeds East Academy. In her role as Area Team Leader of Performing Arts, Sarah and her team secured excellent outcomes for students in Drama and Expressive Arts. She delivered the Expressive Arts course in a year as part of the Year 11 Raising Achievement Program. Under Sarah’s leadership, results in this subject improved from 43% to 67% over a three-year period.

Sarah is passionate about Teaching and Learning and the impact high-quality teaching can have on young people. She has been consistently judged as an outstanding classroom practitioner and in August 2015 attended the Outstanding Facilitator training programme. In addition, Sarah has just completed her Masters in Education and feels that the knowledge she has gained through both the OFP and her Masters has equipped her with the skills to achieve success in her leadership role of Vice Principal for Raising Standards.

In March 2018, Sarah became Principal of Leeds East Academy. 

Sarah still loves all things theatrical and has been known, on occasion, to come out of retirement to perform for the students at Leeds East, much to their delight. In her spare time she enjoys attending dance classes, the gym and spending time with her family.

Ms McMillan - Acting Vice Principal

After completing A-Levels, Ms McMillan was undecided as to a career path and instead of attending university immediately took a variety of roles, including working with adults with learning disabilities and acquired brain injuries, and working with children in care. In amongst this was a period as a manager in a busy British Gas call centre.

Realising that teaching was her chosen path, Ms McMillan returned to education as a mature student, achieving a First Class Honours degree in English and Sociology from Leeds Trinity University, followed by a PGC in English. In 2008, she started her teaching career at Carr Manor High School teaching English. She worked in various roles at Carr Manor, including Key Stage 3 Manager, NQT mentor and Senior Manager for SEND. Ms McMillan was appointed to Leeds East Academy as Assistant Principal for Key Stage 3 Achievement and Transition in April 2017.

Outside of work, Ms McMillan enjoys attending live music events, walking in the countryside and spending valuable time with family and friends. She has also spent time in voluntary roles including volunteering in ‘The Jungle’ in Calais and working with a voluntary organisation in Leeds to support the wellbeing of homeless people.

Ms Widnall - Assistant Principal


Hailing originally from the Brecon Beacons in South Wales, Ms Widnall graduated from Leeds University in 2005 with a BA Hons in Spanish Language and Literature. It was during her year studying in Granada in the south of Spain as part of her degree that she realised she wanted to pursue a career in education and as such obtained her PGCE in Spanish and French, choosing to stay at the University of Leeds and then starting her career at Cardinal Heenan’s Catholic High School in Meanwood. Keen to gain experience in different schools, Ms Widnall moved to Silcoates School in Wakefield and then to Westholme School in Blackburn where she secured the role of Head of Spanish and raised the profile of the department, significantly improving uptake and working hard to change students’ views of Modern Foreign Languages.

In 2014 Ms Widnall moved to Todmorden High School to become their Head of Languages where again numbers at GCSE and A Level were increased and results improved with each year – Ms Widnall firmly believes this is a direct result of the embedding of high standards within the MFL department and improving the Teaching and Learning profile from Requires Improvement to Outstanding in the 3 years she was there. She is thrilled to join the White Rose Academies Trust and is really looking forward to working with the Teaching and Learning Team.

Outside of school, Ms Widnall has a passion for travelling and seeing the world and last summer she walked the Camino de Santiago (one side of Spain to the other) which was a huge achievement. She likes to keep fit and is running the Leeds Half Marathon this year for charity.

Ms Barton - Head of English


Ms Barton graduated from The Nottingham Trent University in 1999 and took up a place at Bretton Hall College of Education to complete a PGCE in English and Drama. Her teaching experience spans over 17 years including that of teaching ballet at SLP College while studying for academic qualifications. Throughout her studies, Ms Barton has developed a passion for literature and performance of the Romantic Period. In her spare time, Ms Barton spends her social time with her family and all that interests her children.

Ms Ashraf

Ms Ashraf graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2015 with a Bachelor's degree in Spanish Studies. After taking a year out to work, she completed her teaching training at Leeds Trinity University, graduating in the summer of 2017. In her spare time Miss Ashraf enjoys travelling, particularly to Spain where she can practise her Spanish, and spending time with family and friends.

Ms Gilmore

Ms Gilmore graduated from UUJ in Northern Ireland, studying in Business Management, completing her degree in 2014. With a financial and mathematical background she went to Australia and travelled across different states teaching Mathematics in the outback region of Queensland. Miss Gilmore joins Leeds East Academy as a newly qualified teacher and hopes to guide students through their educational journey.

Mr Glover

Mr Glover graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in Criminology and Sociology and spent 15 years working in the criminal justice system before managing substance misuse treatment and education services in public health. Mr Glover joins Leeds East Academy after graduating from Sheffield Hallam with intentions to enhance the already excellent citizenship education on offer and develop social enterprise across the Academy Trust. In his spare time Mr Glover teaches submission wrestling and jiu jitsu.

Mr Gell

Mr Gell graduated from The University of Hull after completing a 4 year masters in Medicinal Chemistry, completing a year long study into using plant pollen to aid in the removal of pollution from water systems. He has joined Leeds East Academy with the aim to enthuse the next generation in the world of science. In his spare time Mr Gell takes part in media projects and Volley-ball.

Ms Hartley

Ms Hartley graduated from Leeds Beckett University with a BA(Hons) English Literature degree who went on to complete her PGCE through the Pathfinder Alliance at the University of York. Miss Hartley discovered her passion for teaching at university after becoming a voluntary GCSE Mathematics tutor and going on to being a supply teacher and then an English and Mathematics tutor at Explore Learning Moortown before moving to York. She joined Leeds East Academy in June 2017 and is excited to have the chance to foster an enthusiasm for literature with the future generations.

Ms Hunter-Robinson

Ms Hunter-Robinson graduated from Leeds Trinity University in 2015 with a degree in English and Media. She then went on to study to become an English Teacher and completed this in 2016. Miss Hunter-Robinson joins Leeds East Academy after working at Allerton High School for the last year, and vows to bring positivity and humour to the English department. She is incredibly excited for what the new school year and life at Leeds East Academy will bring, as well as meeting all of the interesting new pupils she will be working with.

Mr King

Mr King graduated from the University of Lincoln in 2014 after studying BA (Hons) English and History. Mr King has worked in a variety of industries over the years, and spent time volunteering with young people. Inspired by his time volunteering, he moved to Surrey to begin a career in education. Initially Mr King worked as a Teaching Assistant within an SEND department, gaining valuable experience of inclusive education. In 2016, Mr King secured a place at the Institute of Education, University College London, on the PGCE (History) course. After a successful year working in London Mr King has recently returned to Yorkshire, he looks forward to working towards success with the students and staff of Leeds East Academy. In his spare time, Mr King enjoys cycling (although he admits to being slightly out of practice), as well as spending time with family and friends.

Ms Lala

Ms Lala graduated from the University of Leeds in 2015. After a year as a Mathematics Intervention Teaching Assistant at Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Otley, she completed her PGCE at Leeds Trinity University. She joins Leeds East Academy with the determination to be part of a department-wide effort to deliver excellent teaching and learning in mathematics. Outside of work, she enjoys exploring the Yorkshire countryside.

Ms Saeed

Ms Saeed graduated from the University of Hertfordshire with a Law degree in 2012. She then gained significant experience in the legal industry working for two firms in the family and criminal law departments. Sadhia spent a lot of time representing clients in court in front of magistrates and district judges as well as visiting clients in prisons. Sadhia then decided to follow her dream and completed her PGCE at UCL Institute of education in London and is excited to start her teaching career here at LEA.

Ms Pickering - Teacher of Maths

Ms Pickering graduated from the University of Leeds with a First Class Honours degree in Mathematics. She graduated fifth in her year on a course of two hundred people. She was awarded a scholarship during her teacher training year to recognise talented individuals going into the teaching profession. After teaching at BBG Academy in Kirklees for a few years she is excited to join us here at Leeds East and be part of our journey to outstanding. She is passionate about everyone understanding and liking maths. Part of her role is to support the maths department with new GCSE changes.

Ms Morton

Ms Morton graduated from the University of Bradford with a first in Economics. She then went onto become an intern economist for the Government Economics Service, before completing her Masters in Economics. Ms Morton then graduated as a teacher in Maths. She got her first teaching job at an academy in London but decided to move back to Leeds to be closer to her family. Ms Morton is looking forward to meeting her students and ensuring they develop confidence answering math problems. In her spare time Ms Morton enjoys cooking and reading the classics such as Jane Austen. 

Ms Fugler - Teacher of Geography


Ms Fugler graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a Batchelor’s degree in Geography in 2016 and completed her teacher training through The Sheffield SCITT. She grew up in the Lake District, which inspired her passion for her subject. Ms Fugler has travelled to many different locations, including the United States where she worked for several months. In her spare time she enjoys visiting her hometown, to see family and friends. Ms Fugler joins Leeds East Academy with a vision of inspiring pupils to develop an appreciation of the world in which they live.

Mr Port - Teacher of English


Mr Port graduated from the University of Portsmouth, he then returned to his hometown of Leeds and earned an MA at The Northern Film School, before studying for his PGCE and QTS. During his studies, he taught English as a foreign language abroad in various countries and worked as an editor/writer for a multi-platform website. Mr Port has a passion for film and theatre: he has a worked as a playwright, his debut play “Bodied”, about UK Battle Rap, debuted at The Brighton Fringe Festival in 2016.

Ms Reeder - Teacher of Art and Technology


Ms Reeder studied Creative Expressive Therapies at the University of Derby; the only university in England that provides this degree. She joined Leeds East Academy in 2015 working as a teaching assistant. Alongside this role, Ms Reeder delivered the Therapeutic Art intervention, which helped pupils to express their emotions and their creativity. She also led various after school clubs, some which involved making the scenery and props for the school production. Ms Reeder left Leeds East Academy in December 2016 to complete her teacher training but is looking forward to returning in September.

Mr Harlow - PA to Academy Principal


Mr Harlow graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University in 2012 with a degree in Events Management. Following five years working in conferencing and operations management roles within theatres and museums, he looked to apply his organisational skills within a different setting. Mr Harlow joins Leeds East Academy with excitement for Mr Stokes’ vision, and looks forward to assisting the Academy in achieving their goals. In his spare time, Mr Harlow enjoys running, going to the theatre and spending time with his family.

Mr Gershaw - Data and Systems Leader


Mr Gershaw graduated from The University of Manchester with First Class Honours in History, before completing a Master’s degree in 2008. Having worked in a variety of roles across Leeds City College for seven years he moved to The White Rose Academies Trust in August 2015 as their Data Coordinator. His most recent appointment is Data and Systems Leader at Leeds East Academy, assisting the Principal and leadership groups with all things data and timetabling. Away from the Academy, Mr Gershaw can be found at Elland Road supporting his beloved Leeds United, scoring cricket matches and participating in pub quizzes.

Ms Kilburn - Advanced Skills Teacher for English


Ms Kilburn graduated from The University of Liverpool with a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Language before completing a PGCE at Leeds Trinity University College. Following three years at Colne Valley High School as an NQT and then KS3 Coordinator for English, Miss Kilburn has joined the White Rose Academies Trust as an AST across the trust while being based at LWA. Miss Kilburn endeavours to deliver a rigorous and enjoyable curriculum for all with the aim to enable students to achieve the best that they can achieve. In her spare time, Miss Kilburn enjoys cinema, television and baking.

Mr Gording - Teacher of Science


Mr Gording graduated from University of Bristol with a Chemistry degree in 1994 and became a newly qualified teacher in June 2017. He has worked in the pharmaceutical, medical device and industrial biotech industries in International Business Development. Mr Gording spent several years in Denmark in these roles and speaks Danish fluently. Mr Gording joins Leeds East Academy with a vision of building and supporting the Science Department, bringing real world experiences to the lab. In his spare time he is a keen singer, cyclist and active father of three girls.

Ms Callum - Teacher of Science


Ms Callum graduated as a teacher of English in June 2011 at the University of Leeds. She got her first teaching role at a large academy in Northampton and after four years she decided to move back to Leeds to be closer to family. Ms Callum has had two years at home looking after her two young children (and her lovely retired greyhound, Danny) but she is now very excited to get back in the classroom and teach once again.

Mr Hayward - Teacher of Art & Technology


Mr Hayward graduated from Teesside University, acquiring a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in Fine Art. After completing his degree, he spent an academic year living, and teaching English at Guizhou Minzu University in South West China. Mr Hayward joins Leeds East Academy with the excitement of working with creative, innovative and hard-working students. In his spare time, Mr Hayward enjoys long walks with his new puppy, called Teddy.

Ms Gill - Teacher of Maths


Ms Gill worked as an engineer in the chemical industry before retraining as a teacher. She graduated from Leeds Trinity University and completed a Masters Degree in Mathematics Education at Sheffield Hallam in 2015. Ms Gill worked for ten years in a Leeds primary school as a maths specialist teacher before making the transition to secondary teaching. Prior to commencing her full time teaching positions, she also played 1st team hockey for Ben Rhydding, coached an under 18 girls team and also taught swimming. In her spare time she enjoys mountain walking; last year she spent four days walking in the Pirin Mountains of Bulgaria and a week walking the volcanoes of Etna, Stromboli and Vulcano.

Ms Smithson - Learning Mentor


Ms Smithson graduated from Leeds Beckett University in 2016 with a degree in Psychology. She has a great passion for learning and has always wanted to work in the education sector, inspiring others to see the importance of education. Currently, Ms Smithson works with small groups of students delivering study plus sessions in Maths, English and Science across Key Stage 4. Next year she will be returning to teach Maths.

Ms Wisson - Teacher of Maths


Ms Wisson graduated from the University of Sheffield with a Psychology degree before training to be a Maths teacher on the Teach First Leadership Development Programme. Following on from teaching at The Co-operative Academy of Leeds Ms Wisson went on to become a Regional Director for ‘yipiyap in-school tutors’. After missing the atmosphere of working in the classroom, Ms Wisson is now looking forward to meeting all the students at Leeds East Academy and getting to do Maths problems on a daily basis once again. In her spare time Ms Wisson coaches cheerleading and attends dance classes – she is hoping to start a cheerleading group in September.

Ms Steel - Teacher of Maths


Ms Steel trained and worked at Buttershaw Business & Enterprise College in Bradford fromJanuary 2008 as a Maths teacher. After almost 9 years, she has had various roles from House Leader to Charity Co-ordinator; most recently as Year 9 Progress Leader for Maths. As well as becoming a part of the Maths team, Ms Steel will also be organising student events and encouraging the pupils to raise funds for many charities.

Ms Impey - Community Attendance Liaison Officer


Mrs Impey has worked with families for most of her working life. Married for 32 years, with two daughters, Mrs Impey is very much a family-orientated person. Being involved in community cohesion has always been an important part of Ms Impey’s life; she has previously volunteered as a company director for the Community Partnership in her own hometown, bringing together a diversity of people from different backgrounds who worked together to make their community a better place for all. Ms Impey worked as a Youth and Community worker for twelve years, before taking up a post of Cluster Support worker with The Seacroft and Manston Cluster. While in the post, Mrs Impey supported students on a one to one basis, as well as working with the more challenging students, supporting them through to their GCSEs. Mrs Impey also supported families in the area.