new teachers bring Concord total to a record 99

Friday September 14, 2018

The latest influx of teachers for the new term at Concord has brought the total to a record number of 99. The eight new teachers at Concord, with nearly a century of experience between them, include two in both mathematics and chemistry, and one each in economics, physics, geography and drama. Principal Mr Neil Hawkins announced that 99 is the largest-ever number of teachers at the college which in 1965, when his predecessor Mr Tony Morris started, Concord had just six. He said:  "It is wonderful to have such talented colleagues to enrich the staff team and I know they will enthuse and inspire our young people." Mr Brian Lees from Abermule, is beginning his 25th year teaching mathematics.  His immediate past teaching post was at Shrewsbury High School. Mr Andrey Cherenkov, who has also taken up a mathematics teaching post, is originally from Moscow.  He comes to Concord from Washford Heath Academy, Birmingham, where he was involved in the TeachFirst programme. Mr Cherenkov, who has two years in teaching, is interested in ski-mountaineering and climbing and expeditions to mountainous regions. Mr Bennett Pugsley, who teaches economics, has brought his family from London to Shropshire where he says they are 'very excited' to be starting a new chapter in their lives. Now living in Ellesmere, his role at Concord also includes day student parent liaison which he describes as particularly pertinent as his children are starting their new school where parents have many of the same questions and concerns he will be dealing with in his new role. He is new to teaching having spent the past 20-plus years in various senior positions in investment banking and aviation financing. He is a keen runner and cyclist having represented the Great Britain Duathlon team at age group level in several world and European championships. Mr Matthew Jones, of Shrewsbury, has joined the college's growing Geography Department from Walsall Academy where he taught geography and humanities. One of his interests is running and he will be setting up a cross-country team at Concord.  He says the regular running practice will help with training for the Cardiff Half Marathon in which he will be competing to raise money for Tearfund. Mrs Louisa Andrew, who is from Llanymynech, will be teaching physics having previously juggled her physics teaching with being an Assistant Headteacher at Caereinion High School. She has been in the profession for 31 years and is looking forward to returning to the classroom. Miss Stephanie Featherstone, from Telford, will be teaching chemistry in what is her newly qualified teacher year.  She gained her Post Graduate Certificate in Education at the University of Wolverhampton having previously worked in government and as a chemist. She said:  "I look forward to enriching the young minds at Concord with the understanding of the world around us that chemistry affords us.  The opportunity to meet so many bright individuals from around the world is unrivalled and I am looking forward to supporting our students on their journey to fulfilling their ambitions." Mrs Diane van Dongen, who was Head of Lower School at Wrekin College where she taught chemistry, will be teaching the subject at Concord. "I am looking forward to focussing on teaching the subject I love in a fabulous new science facility in a school that is one of the best in the country for science teaching," said Mrs Van Dongen. She has been teaching for six years having previously worked in the pharmaceutical industry. Miss Orlagh Russell, who is from Bridgnorth, will be teaching drama and cultivating a strong extra-curricular programme in drama catering for the needs of all students. After completing an acting degree Miss Russell, worked as a professional actor for nearly three years and is currently half way through a Masters in Teaching and Learning specifically linked to drama. She has a PGCE in Secondary Drama and has worked closely with Birmingham City University over the last few years as a mentor to trainee drama teachers. Mrs Helen Povey has also joined the Concord team as Student Futures Officer.