Meet our Team

Abbey Willoughby

Abbey Willoughby

Abbey is an experienced tutor and has plenty of experience working with students to fulfil their potential. She has a degree in History from the University of Liverpool specialising in Early Modern religious developments, race studies, and crime and punishment through time. Since finishing her degree, Abbey has completed a PGCE in History, and is now studying for a Masters in Educational Practice.

Outside of her studies, Abbey has competed in the European Youth Parliament competitions, co-developed one of the 'Diverse Narratives' workshops, and enjoys spending time in Northern France.

Adam Kassab

Adam Kassab

Adam has a real passion for IT and the world of technology. He has a First-Class BSc (Hons) degree in Information Systems Management and a Secondary PGCE from the University of Chester, specialising in Computer Science and IT. Adam has a keen interest in digital design, and also in how small businesses use social media to flourish. The latest technology trend that he is watching, is that of virtual and augmented reality.

When he’s not at a computer, Adam enjoys discovering different cultures and travelling to new places.

Alee Kassab

Alee Kassab

Alee grew up locally to CIS, and studied BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Chester. Alee has utilised his passion for Sports (Football in particular) and Coaching by working for various local high schools and football clubs.

Taking his experience from the automotive and financial industries, as well as his sporting background, Alee is now looking forward to guiding students in his latest role as a coach at CIS. Alee will support students by developing their strengths and provide encouragement through their journey at CIS.

Alex Lawrenson

Alex Lawrenson

Having completed a PhD in chemistry in 2012, Alex subsequently worked as a postdoctoral researcher at a number of international institutes. Whilst at the University of Liverpool, Alex explored novel methods to develop therapeutics to treat malaria and HIV, before applying these skills at Unilever to design new cleaning products.

Alex then went on to study for his PGCE at Liverpool John Moore’s University, and was awarded the Academic Achievement prize for highest course average. With an extensive IT background, Alex developed an online resource to model 3D chemical reactions, and as such is fluent in a number of computing languages.

His interactive approach to teaching is to involve students in designing their own practical experiments, to encourage a wider engagement in science.

Daryl Goodwin

Daryl Goodwin

Daryl has been a Head of Year and lead teacher for Mathematics having started his teaching career at Christleton High School. He has specific skills to help us grow our coaching and student well-being programme at CIS.

After training to be an accountant, Daryl then went to work for Barclays and Bank of America here in Chester. He returned to study Mathematics at university and is keen to build a strong and successful Maths curriculum which is accessible and inspirational to all students.

Debbie Hickling

Debbie Hickling

Debbie came to CIS as our Work Experience and Outreach Coordinator. Debbie has worked in local High Schools for the past 25 Years and gained a wealth of experience along the way. Her last role was STEM Coordinator which she is truly passionate about and enabled her to make connections with many large companies such as Airbus and Jaguar-Landrover.

Debbie is local to the area and her knowledge helps to provide our students with well-matched placements. To date she has sent students off to local radio stations, The Countess of Chester hospital, Veterinary practices, Nurseries, Schools, Parliamentary Offices and Marketing companies to name but a few and students going as far as Dubai, Spain and China on their summer placements.

Debbie Wagener

Debbie Wagener

Debbie is an enthusiastic linguist and loves speaking different languages and meeting people from other countries. She has 30 years of experience of teaching languages and was Head of German at University of Chester for over 10 years. She is keen to support different learning styles by developing varied and motivating learning tasks and promoting students’ active involvement in acquiring important independent study skills.

She likes to keep active so her hobbies mostly involve being outdoors including walking, running, cycling and snowboarding. She also enjoys reading and runs a German book club as well as being a member of an English one.

Jeremy Llewellyn

Jeremy Llewellyn

Jez has been teaching for over twenty years. He has been the Head of Psychology and Sociology at Christleton High School since 1999. Having completed a BSc (Econ) at Cardiff University, Jez went on to study for another degree in Sociology and Psychology.

In 2017 Jez was very pleased to complete his MA in Education with Edge Hill University. His final research dissertation was in student learning identity - the connection that learners feel with their own education.

Kate Ryan

Kate Ryan

Kate has a BA (Hons) in French/Hispanic Studies, PGCE in Secondary Education and MA in Educational Leadership. She has developed and been part of leadership teams in outstanding schools, across a range of curricula, all over the world; from UK to US to New Zealand.

Before returning to Chester in 2016, Kate was Director of Academic Enhancement at GEMS Education Americas in New York working with new schools in in the Americas and advising education systems globally with GEMS the Education Partners.

She is a true international citizen, speaking five languages and specialising in the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. Kate brings her world spirit back to Chester to provide strong, inspiring leadership for Christleton International Studio which creates a new type of learning experience for students in Chester.

Kathryn Austin

Kathryn Austin

Kathryn studied a degree in Public Relations and Business and then a PGCE at Manchester. Prior to entering the teaching profession Kathryn spent ten years working in Digital Marketing and Public Relations, during this period Kathryn gained two professional diplomas in Marketing Communications and Digital Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Kathryn thoroughly enjoys bringing her own experience and knowledge of business practice to the classroom.

Kathryn has also worked in other outstanding schools within Chester and as a School Direct teacher training tutor.

Kathryn is a keen traveller and outdoor enthusiast who enjoys ski-ing and hiking with conquests including Mount Kilimanjaro and 15 trips up Mount Snowdon.

Katrina Brown

Katrina Brown

Katrina has a serious passion for the Biological Sciences completing a BSc Biomolecular Science at The University of Manchester followed by a PGCE Science. Her teaching career began in the North West teaching in large sixth form colleges, having roles such as Advanced Skills Teacher, STEM ambassador for the UK and Head of Science.

Katrina moved with her family to Houston, Texas leading Science and STEM in the IB and AP American curriculum. This was followed by a move to the Netherlands directing the IB Diploma Programme and Academic Technology at a Dutch international school. Katrina is currently studying for her masters in Educational Leadership and Management at the University of Chester.

Phil Beadle

Phil Beadle

Phil has over 20 years of experience in teaching English. He is the author of 10 books on the subject of teaching, and these have been translated into Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Slovenian and Latvian. He wrote a column, ‘On Teaching’ for the Guardian for ten years and was nominated for a European Commission Award for the promotion of equality in journalism.

He has also won the London Secondary Teacher of the Year and the UK Secondary Teacher of the Year in the National Teaching Awards, holds two Royal Television Awards: the Royal Television Society On Screen Breakthrough Award and the Royal Television Society Education Award (Most Educational Impact in Primetime Schedule). He is a Fellow of Royal Society of Arts and was recently appointed fellow of the University of Worcester.

Tamara Davidson

Tamara Davidson

After studying for a degree in Modern European languages at Durham University, Tamara spent two years leading tours across South America and living in Rio de Janeiro. On her return to the UK, Tamara was then part of a founding team at a digital media start-up, where she oversaw corporate video production.

Tamara’s lifelong passion for languages led her to train as a language teacher, and she was teaching Spanish, French and German at an outstanding school in Sussex prior to joining the CIS team.

Victoria Bentley

Victoria Bentley

With a flair for Art and creativity, Victoria graduated with a BA in 3-Dimensional Design (glass with ceramics) and then set up her own glass studio designing and producing innovative glassware. She came to CIS with a deep and varied experience in working with students to support them, especially in the areas of literacy, SEN and Safeguarding.

Meet the Governing Body

Louise Mayers

Louise Mayers

Louise is an International Student Host and has been since 2010, when she returned to Chester from living in Andalucia, Spain.

She previously worked in a Repertory Theatre’s wardrobe department, making costumes/props and also as Assistant Scenic Artist. Her favourite production for scenic art was "Anna Karenina". Through her work in the theatre Louise have been very privileged to work and meet many actors - her favourites being David Suchet, Honor Blackman.

Her interests include: music, reading and the great outdoors!

Mike Rodden

Mike Rodden

Mike is a Software Systems Architect, and solves complex computing problems by using cutting edge developments in software design, mathematics and general science.

With an MSc (Distinction) in Information Systems, Mike applies his knowledge to help clients in Europe, America, Australia and Japan, and works across a range of industries including Banking, Manufacturing, Media & Advertising and Pharmaceuticals.

Neil Jones

Neil Jones

Neil’s background is in scientific research, laboratory management and business incubation in the life sciences, materials and academic sectors. He holds a Masters in Analytical Chemistry and a PhD from the University of Leeds.

With experience of managing open-access research and development facilities and running collaborative interdisciplinary projects, he is currently Science Service Manager for Manchester Science Partnerships and is based at Alderley Park in Cheshire.

Nigel Follos

Nigel Follos

With almost 30 years’ experience in the private sector with blue chip companies including Shell and Vimto, Nigel brings strong financial, marketing, management and commercial skills to the Trust. He has a proven track record of implementing successful turnaround plans and organisational growth strategies.

Sue Leake

Sue Leake

Sue is Chair of Trustees, having been Chair of Governors at Christleton High School for more than five years and a governor for more than 15 years, overseeing school development including move into foundation and then academy status.

Sue has been involved in leadership in many different spheres of community, education and business life, and currently manages a local charity responsible for six foodbank centres and 65 volunteers.

Tony Lamberton

Tony Lamberton

After 14 years as headteacher at Christleton High School, Tony was appointed CEO of Christleton Learning Trust in 2016. He is a leading expert in LEAN methodology in education, an international speaker on school improvement, and a leadership coach for ASCL and SSAT. From 2014-2017 he was an Education Adviser to the DfE.