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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 2019-20: 

Matthew Morgan – Science Teacher

Mr Morgan graduated from King's College London with a degree in Physics and Philosophy and is currently on the Teach First Leadership Development Programme. He has a passion to see all his students come to love and enjoy Science, and see how it is immediately relevant to our everyday lives. As his degree suggests, Mr Morgan's favourite topics are the more theoretical parts of Physics, such as Quantum Mechanics, and Relativity. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, playing hockey, and helping out at his church.

Chiara Marquis – Geography Teacher

Originally from London, Miss Marquis graduated from the University of Leeds in 2018 with a degree in History (BA Hons). She is currently a participant on the Teach First Leadership Development Program. Miss Marquis is passionate about eliminating educational inequality and ensuring that students leave school ready for the future ahead. 

Miss Marquis loves to travel and recently embarked on an interrailing trip across Europe. She also enjoys watching football and is a massive Arsenal fan.

Caitlin White – Science Teacher

Born in London, Miss White has always had a passion for science. She graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in Chemistry in 2017. Following this, Miss White completed the Teach First Leadership Development Programme and has spent the past two years teaching at a school in Grimsby, where she developed her teaching practice and gained a greater understanding that all students can succeed when they are provided with an engaging and innovative education. She believes that high aspirations are the key to success and that a robust science education allows students to thrive in their future lives. Miss White is excited about moving to the local area and starting at Leeds East Academy in September.

Lizz Bentley – Science Teacher

Mrs Bentley graduated from Sheffield University in 2005 with a degree in Nursing Studies (BMed Sci Hons) and a specialism in Adult Nursing. She then worked for several years as a nurse at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield and later as a Community Nurse in the local area.  Following surgery for a nursing injury Mrs Bentley began her journey to teaching which lead to studying a PGCE at Leeds Trinity University and gaining her QTS through Leeds SCITT. Mrs Bentley is excited to teach the students of Leeds East Academy about how everything in the world around us is explained through Science. She also loves spending time with her family and friends.

Catherine Fishley – English Teacher

After working part time in youth and community Miss Fishley decided to complete a PGCE at Huddersfield University.  This was then the opportunity for her to work with young people in education.  It was a difficult but great challenge for her.  She then decided to work in education in a variety of schools in Leeds and Bradford.  This included working in pupil referral units in Bradford with the most challenging children.  She then started to gain more experience working and understanding why and how children usually gain respect for teachers.  This enhanced her vision to work closely with students and help them to gain a positive road to success in education.

Miss Fishley is now looking forward to a new chapter at Leeds East Academy where she can motivate and create positive attitudes in learning.

Halima Sohail – English Teacher

Miss Sohail completed her degree at the University of Bradford from 2009-2012. After leaving University she did some work with Harehill's girls Youth club and this empowered her to support families and children. Miss Sohail went on to work as a family support officer at DYCA (now known as Bishop Young Academy). She did this for two years, and then dedicated herself to the students by working in the pastoral team as a house parent and house manager. She wanted to do more for the students and so began observing lessons. Upon returning from maternity leave, Miss Sohail was a cover supervisor/learning manager and within 6 months she began her SCITT training with Teamworks and PGCE with the University of Huddersfield. Miss Sohail loves travelling, trying new foods and seeing different cultures. When not doing any of the above she loves spending time with her little boy who is 2.5 years old and experiencing new things with him.

Melissa Holmes – Maths Teacher

Miss Holmes completed both her undergraduate and PGCE from 2011-2017 at Sheffield Hallam University. During this time as a trainee teacher she taught Mathematics at Birley Academy and Brinsworth Academy where she was able to teach and challenge all abilities of pupils, set high expectations and create a positive climate for learning into the classroom. She secured her first teaching role at Brinsworth Academy, where she taught A-Level Mathematics. Miss Holmes cannot wait to start teaching Maths at Leeds East Academy and is also excited to set up a staff netball team!

Matt Kaye – History Teacher

Mr Kaye has always loved History. His earliest memories were of going to museums with his dad. As a result of his passion for History, Mr Kaye began to study History at York St. John University in 2013. While there, Mr Kaye worked in a restaurant as a waiter. He also joined the York St. John Swimming Club which helped to develop his enjoyment for swimming. Even today, he regularly goes swimming in order to stay active and to improve fitness. As well as his job at the restaurant, Mr Kaye volunteered at York Castle Museum.  He was trained to handle the museum’s Short Magazine Lee Enfield (SMLE) rifle from the First World War. He showed the museum’s visitors the rifle and gave speeches about it to large groups of people. Mr Kaye thoroughly enjoyed this and this gave Mr Kaye full confidence that teaching people history is what he wanted to do as a career.

Upon completion of his degree in 2016, Mr Kaye moved to Nottingham to attend the University of Nottingham in order to complete his Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in history.  He taught in Nottingham after completing his teacher training. Mr Kaye then accepted a teaching job in his hometown of Hull so he moved back home. Mr Kaye now teaches history at Leeds East Academy.

Natasha Baker – Art Teacher

Mrs Baker studied Fine Art at Manchester Metropolitan University 2012 – 2015 gaining a 2:1 Ba Hons Degree. During her time at university she studied a range of practices focusing on painting and print making, eventually progressing into digital art. After her time at University she got a job at York Art Gallery as a Gallery Guide allowing her to work alongside artists, curators and like-minded people enjoying the arts. After 2 years of working there she decided she would like to start her journey in inspiring young people to use their creativity as a form of expression and therefore decided she would like to work in a secondary school with the hope of becoming an art teacher.

During Mrs Baker’s time at Leeds East Academy she has worked a total of four different but equally fulfilling roles. She started out as the Receptionist working alongside the admin team. She then changed roles to become the Student Receptionist allowing her to work more with the students and become a familiar face. Mrs Baker then decided she would like to work closer with the children in their lessons so became a Teaching Assistant and worked a lot with the SEND students. She ran multiple interventions including art therapy with students who wished to express their emotions and feelings through creative work. After working as a Teaching Assistant Mrs Baker then went on to cover the PLC (Personalised Learning Centre) which allowed her to work even closer with the students suffering with mental health and in need of extra emotional support. This included 1-1 sessions with individual students, small group interventions and support in lessons which would allow the students to eventually reintegrate back into their mainstream lessons.

Mrs Baker is now looking forward to an exciting chapter at Leeds East Academy in the Art department teaching Art, Technology and Graphics to KS3 and KS4 students. This will allow her to use her degree in Fine Art to her full advantage and inspire our young people into becoming creative and enthusiastic individuals.

Dan Cook – Citizenship Teacher

Mr Cook joins the academy as a Citizenship and History teacher having completed his PGCE in history at Leeds Trinity University. Prior to this Mr Cook studied Contemporary History and Politics at the University of Salford, specialising in the Northern Ireland Troubles. 

The first thing students tend to notice about Mr Cook is his height, and at 6 foot 7 inches this is hardly surprising. This height also comes in useful outside of school with Mr Cook being a keen sportsman and spends much of his free time playing football as a goalkeeper and rugby league as a fullback and has represented the North West universities rugby team in the past as well as training with the Salford Red Devils. Unfortunately, watching sport can hardly be described as an enjoyable experience for Mr Cook, as a fan of both Leeds United and Leeds Rhinos, disappointment has been all too common in recent years – nonetheless, this has helped to build the patience required to go into teaching.