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. He 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 Aretha Banton
Ms Banton is one of two Vice Principals at HGA. Her main role in the Academy is to promote Inclusion and Safeguarding, and to ensure that all students have their academic, social and emotional needs met. Before coming to HGA she worked in secondary schools and local authorities in London leading SEND and Inclusion. 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 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 way beyond the classroom and we work really hard to make sure that students are well cared for, 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 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
Mr Bonthron is an Assistant Principal. His role covers student Behaviour, Attendance, Welfare and the Creative Voice Hub. He has been teaching English for just over six years and has 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!"
Assistant Principal & SENCO
Mrs Dennis is Assistant Principal and SENCO for the secondary phase. Her role is to oversee the SEND provision across the school and work with staff, parents, and pupils to make certain all the barriers to learning are removed, to enable students to make the excellent progress they are very capable of. Prior to joining HGA, Mrs Dennis has taught for 17 years at a school in Medway, led on SEND for 12 years and has six years senior leadership experience. Her subject at HGA is English but Mrs Dennis also teaches Latin and Classics.
"I am immensely proud to be a part of the Harris Garrard Academy community. It is a school that has the best interests of the students in the forefront of all that is done, and it is exciting to be a part of such a committed school, where the students are able to become the best versions of themselves, both academically and personally, through the careful attention of the staff working with them. We are firm believers that anything is possible with the right support in place, and it is this ethos that we strive to provide every student with, on their journey with us."
Mr Ribbans-Opara is the Assistant Principal for World Studies, leading the World Studies Hub team, as well as overseeing the Co-Curriculum, and co-ordinating Character and Mindfulness Days and Student Leadership. Prior to joining the HGA team, he led the Languages Department at Harris Academy Rainham, and has been Head of French and German at a Grammar School in Kent. He teaches a range of languages, including French, German and Spanish.
"It is clear to me that every single member of the Harris Garrard Academy team is determined that every student should reach their full potential, no matter their background. Our role is to ensure that students can access a multitude of opportunities to broaden their academic, cultural and personal horizons to the fullest extent possible, paving the way for them to grow into accomplished young adults able to make a lasting impact on their world."