Meet Our Leaders
Mr Christopher Everitt
Mr Everitt is the Assistant Director of the Thames Quadrant of the Harris Federation and Executive Principal at Harris Garrard Academy. Mr Everitt has spent 12 years working in the Harris Federation starting as a Vice Principal at Harris Girls' Academy East Dulwich before taking up his first Principalship converting the special measures school Westwood Girls College for Language and Arts in to the highly successful Harris Academy Upper Norwood, now part of Harris Academy South Norwood.
Following on from this success he became Principal at Harris Boys' Academy East Dulwich (HBAED) taking the academy to an Outstanding judgement and one of the highest performing schools nationally. In 2017 he became Executive Principal of HBAED and the newly converted Harris Garrard Academy. In his role as Assistant Director Mr Everitt oversees 6 other Harris academies.
Mr Steve West
Head of Academy
Mr West joined the Academy in 2020 as Head of Academy after spending 12 years working at other academies in the Harris Federation. Before this role Mr West was Vice Principal at Harris Academy Purley and Harris Academy Merton. He has led on all areas of academy life and is a teacher of science specialising in chemistry. Mr West is committed to ensuring that Learning Changes Lives for students in all phases at Harris Garrard Academy and strives to ensure that all students achieve regardless of background and has a clear belief that students can achieve any aspiration if they are supported to do so. Mr West is a Specialist Leader of Education and a member of the Chartered College of Teaching.
Ms. Kristen Gringeri
Ms. Gringeri is one of two Vice Principals at HGA. Her role is to lead on curriculum, academic outcomes and standards. Ms. Gringeri oversees Active Science and Enterprise Hubs. Before coming to HGA, Ms. Gringeri was at another Harris Academy, Harris Boys’ Academy East Dulwich. She has been teaching since 2014, after a brief stint working as a Case Manager looking after projects for the Royal Courts of Justice.
"I am proud to teach at HGA because our students are exemplary members of the local community, and work hard every day to achieve highly. At HGA we believe that no matter a student’s background, they can achieve anything they wish to, and this goes for every child in our academy! Changing lives happens every day for every child. Teaching defines who I am, it is a true calling. Every results day I am reminded why I do this job."
Ms. Sara Poolman
Ms. Poolman is one of the Vice Principals at HGA. Her role is to lead on the pastoral element of Academy, which includes safeguarding, behaviour and attendance. Ms Poolman also oversees World Studies and Creative Voice, plus overseeing teaching and learning, the Sixth Form and Careers. Before coming to HGA, she trained as a PGCE student at the University of Southampton. After being Assistant Principal for Pupil Development in a Kent school, she moved to Harris Garrard to be closer to London and gain more experiences in Leadership.
"I’m proud to teach at HGA because I love the area and I love our students. I strongly believe that at HGA we are a diverse school wholly committed to addressing educational disadvantage; something I am truly passionate about. I am very proud of the students here. Every day I stand on the gate and say ‘Good Morning’ to each and every one of you, and every day I’m greeted with a cacophony of ‘Good Mornings’, smiles, and a genuine desire to be at school. The character of our student body is unlike anything I’ve experienced, and it makes me happy to come to school every single day. I can’t think of what else I’d be if I wasn’t a teacher - the famous saying is true; if you enjoy your job, it really isn’t a ‘job’ at all!"
Ms. Aretha Banton
Associate Vice Principal
Ms. Banton is an Associate Vice Principal at HGA and is also the SENCO for both Primary and Secondary phases. Her main role in the Academy is to promote Inclusion and ensure that students with SEND have their learning, social and emotional needs met. Before coming to HGA she has worked in secondary schools and local authorities in London. She is a teacher of History, Psychology, and Health and Social Care.
"I am really proud to be teaching at HGA because this school inspires to students to have high expectations - we really do believe that learning changes lives. Teachers at HGA work relentlessly to ensure that students achieve great things and are well prepared for further education, employment or training. Our work extends beyond the classroom and we work really hard to make sure that students are cared, and that their emotional and social needs are well supported."
Ms. Emma Neal
Ms. Neal is an Assistant Principal at HGA. Her role is to line manage the Business and IT department and have strategic oversight of health and safety at the Academy. This includes the responsibility of Educational Visits Coordinator, which means making sure that any day trips or residential school trips are well organised and risk-assessed before departure. Ms. Neal is a business specialist teacher, graduating with Honours from University of Hertfordshire with a business studies degree. She worked in advertising and creative media for a year before deciding on a career in education. She has been teaching for 15 years now and never looked back!
"I am proud to teach at HGA because of the people I am surrounded by, the staff, students and community. I am very proud of the students and staff here because they are accepting of others’ differences and amongst a diverse school community pull together to support one another when it is needed most."
Ms. Elizabeth Walker
Ms. Walker is the Assistant Principal for Active Science. Her role at HGA is to oversee the Hub of Active Science and coordinate the Co-Curriculum, Character days and Initial Teacher Education. Before coming to HGA she worked at Harris Girls’ Academy Bromley, another Kent school and Harris Academy Purley. At each institution she taught Science with her specialism being Biology.
"I strongly believe that at HGA we enable all students to achieve their full potential by offering them a broad and balanced curriculum whilst supporting their passions with our co-curriculum. My proudest day as a teacher so far was guiding a student from not knowing what they wanted do in life to making a courageous decision to apply to university to study a scientific subject. On results day they revealed they had received the grades needed to study Natural Sciences at an Oxford University."
Mr. Alistair Whibley
Mr Whibley is an Assistant Principal at HGA. His role is to lead the development of the Sixth Form, Careers and World Studies Hub. Before coming to HGA he was at another Bexley School where he was Head of the Humanities Faculty and a Director of Learning at KS3.
"I’m proud to teach at HGA because there is a clear emphasis on providing every student with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life. We strongly believe that every child has the ability to achieve their full potential regardless of background, ability or character. At HGA, learning and education goes beyond that of academics, as we teach our students to be decent, honest, hardworking citizens who contribute positively to society. We are very proud of our students and our community."
Mr. Scott Munday
Mr. Munday is the Assistant Principal for Enterprise. His role involves overseeing the Mathematics department and, leading and working closely with Year 11 to ensure all students fulfil their potential. He will also be looking at assessment and data across the Academy. Before coming to HGA, he was Head of Mathematics at a Greenwich school and has been working in education for the past 10 years. Firstly, this was as a Learning Support Assistant in Lewisham and then as a Teacher of Mathematics at a Bexley school.
"I am exceptionally proud to teach at HGA because I am actually a former student of the academy and I have lived locally my entire life. I strongly believe in the vision of the academy and am an example of how members of the local community can go on to achieve their ambitions."
Mr. James Case
Mr. Case is the Assistant Principal for Creative Voice. His role at HGA is to lead on the development of teaching and learning in the school, as well as line-managing the Creative Arts and English departments. Before coming to HGA, he was Assistant Principal at a small, rural school in West Kent. He has been teaching for 10 years, training as an English Teacher in South Croydon before becoming Head of English in two schools. Mr. Case has completed an MA in Educational Leadership, and sees continued professional development and lifelong learning as vital, if we are to ensure that schools have the best teachers and leaders.
"I am proud to teach at HGA because of the academy's unwavering commitment to providing every child with a high-quality education, knowing that 'learning changes lives' and that 'background does not determine destiny'. These are not just mantras, but firmly shared beliefs that are lived and breathed by all of us, and it is through this collective determination that we will put the school at the centre of transformation in the local community."
Mr. Grant Bonthron
Associate Assistant Principal
Mr. Bonthron is an Associate Assistant Principal. His role at HGA covers student Behaviour, Attendance and Welfare. He has been teaching English for just over 5 years and have previously been a Progress Leader, Deputy Director of English and Innovation leader across HGA and other Bexley Borough schools.
"I strongly believe that at HGA we provide an education and learning environment that can truly change the lives of our students. I’m very proud of the students here because they understand that we all row together and that means that each and every single student in the academy is part of what makes it great! My proudest day as a teacher at HGA so far was my final lesson with the last Y11 cohort, as the gratitude, appreciation and kindness they showed me for my work with them conveyed to me just how ready they were to go off in to the next stages of their life journey!"