Our Staff

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Senior Leadership Team

Tracy Crowder
Executive Headteacher

I have been Headteacher at Monkseaton High School since September 2013 following 18 months as Head of school.  Before these roles I worked as a Deputy and also an Assistant Headteacher within two very different schools. My own education has continued even up to recent years when I gained my National Professional Qualification for Headteacher (NPQH) and Masters Degree in Educational Leadership. Prior to teaching I completed a Bachelor of Arts degree and a PGCE before starting my career in the South of England before returning home to the North in 2007. During this time I have taught a range of subjects to students from year 7 to year 14 and have always been excited and amazed by the experiences working with young people can bring.  No two days are ever the same in my role and I relish the challenge each new day brings. I feel very privileged to work with such amazing young people and staff and really do believe we have the best job in the world!

Tracy Willis
Head of School

I have been Deputy Headteacher at Monkseaton High School since September 2013 and was seconded here for two days a week onto the leadership team the previous year as a Specialist Leaders in Education (SLE). SLEs are practitioners who can be commissioned to go into other schools to help provide support or training and are attached to teaching schools. Prior to working as a Deputy Headteacher here I was an Assistant Headteacher at Whitley Bay High School for ten years and Head of Art prior to that. I have worked at other schools in the North East including Haydon Bridge High School in Northumberland and Nunthorpe School in Cleveland and Redcar. I have been teaching since 1993 and my teaching specialism is secondary Art and Design. I still love to teach young adults and believe that a quality education should be accessible to all students and that given the right encouragement everyone can achieve excellence.

Gary Thompson
Assistant Headteacher

This is my first year as Assistant Headteacher which has brought about new challenges and opportunities which I have relished. I started my teaching career at Monkseaton High School 8 years ago after completing my PGCE at Sheffield University. Since then I have worked as Second in Department for Business/ICT as well as a Pastoral Raising Achievement Leader.

I feel privileged to be able to work with young people and help shape their futures. I believe wholeheartedly in inclusive education and I am committed to ensuring that each and every individual under my care should receive a positive and rewarding experience. There is nothing finer than the knowledge that you have ‘made a difference’ and helped a student realize their potential.

Gary Turnbull
Inclusion & Intervention Coordinator

I became part of the leadership team in June of 2014 with particular responsibility for Pupil Premium, Looked After Children and Inclusion. My previous experience includes children’s social care, residential care, family support and social reintegration enabled me to take on this challenge with confidence. Previous voluntary work in a psychiatric hospital afforded me specialist training opportunities as well as the chance to gain valuable experience. Many of these skills in supporting vulnerable young people and their families or empowering staff to do so are as just as relevant in my role now. Professional development and training has played a key role in enabling this shift into education whilst enhancing existing training such as child protection and safeguarding.

I am incredibly proud to be part of Monkseaton High school and believe we work tremendously hard to enhance our existing reputation as a school where every child really does matter. I am passionate about providing the very best opportunities for the young people in our care and engaging their families and believe our inclusive, understanding and creative ethos will continue to ensure the very best outcomes for all.

Kathryn Furness
Assistant Headteacher

I am extremely passionate about providing a high-level of professional development for our staff in order to ensure that the teaching and learning our students experience every day is of the highest standard. I have extensive experience of delivering CPD, both in this school and others in the North East, through my role as a Specialist Leader of Education, which enables me to work with staff and students to improve provision.

My first experience of Monkseaton High School was as a 13-year-old when I arrived into Year 9 to begin my high school career. Although that is now a dim and distant memory, the community atmosphere that I loved as a student is still strongly evident today. I returned to the school during the final year of my Film Studies degree to work as a website designer. I was extremely lucky to be able to undertake my teaching qualification in English and Media at the school in 2004 and my role has continued to develop ever since.

As Assistant Headteacher and staff governor, I continue to be delighted with the progress made by all of our students and was overwhelmed with pride when we received our outstanding grading from Ofsted. I am really looking forward to seeing what the next chapter in the Monkseaton High School story has in store.

Michael Knott
Assistant Headteacher

This is my first year as Assistant Headteacher at Monkseaton High School, and I am hugely excited about joining an Outstanding school which is looking to a very bright future. I have been a teacher since 2006, when I joined the History department at Whitley Bay High School. I worked in numerous roles in the Sixth Form management team at Whitley Bay, before leaving to be Head of History at Lord Lawson Academy in Gateshead.

Now I am back at the coast, and feel that the values and ethos of Monkseaton High School really resonate with my own. I am passionate about supporting all young people to be the best that they can be, not only academically but as global citizens. I am also a reflective practitioner when it comes to teaching and learning in the classroom, and am planning to take a role in Monkseaton’s CPD programme, challenging myself to continually develop my teaching skills. This is an amazing role and opportunity to work with some fantastic young people, and I am proud to be part of such a supportive school community.