The Teaching Team
Principal and Executive Team
PAUL HOUGHAM (ACTING PRINCIPAL)
Paul Hougham came to school-teaching after a career as an acupuncturist, latterly having served as Principal of The College of Traditional Acupuncture. He is a passionate champion of professional teaching standards and Steiner Waldorf pedagogy, seeing no gap, conflict or circle to be squared in their alignment. His 2012 publication Dialogues of Destiny: a postmodern appreciation of Waldorf education was an articulation of this vision, and the potential for far wider state funding of Steiner Waldorf education, particularly in the UK. He has completed the WESTT Art of Education training in Steiner Waldorf education, and holds qualifications from Bolton, Worcester and Canterbury Christ Church Universities, including an MSc in Educational Leadership.
ADRIAN HILLARD (SCHOOL BUSINESS MANAGER)
As School Business Manager Adrian will lead, coordinate and develop all the non-teaching aspects of the school which are vital to making the school operate successfully - such as finance, personnel, administration, facilities and estates and of course our own catering services. In previous lives he has; led as County Senior Accountant for all Devon schools, the Business Director for a Multi Academy Trust and most recently as the Business Manager for four primary schools. Prior to that he had twenty years' experience of running multi-million pound trading units for Transport, Civil Engineering and Waste Management. Before all that he started as a Royal Navy Commissioned Officer flying in the Fleet Air Arm - Variety is the spice of life!
CLAIRE JEFFERIES (SENDCO)
Claire has been a SENDCo since 2007 and has experience of working in both primary and secondary schools, working with a range of special needs. She is dyspraxia herself so has a real empathy for what it is like to be a child with additional needs. She is passionate about supporting children with additional needs and is committed to making our provision excellent! On a personal level she loves baking and we are all looking forward to our birthday cakes!
BILLY LEE (DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING LEAD)
The Teaching and Support team
TRACY ADAMS (UPPER SCHOOL FRENCH, UPPER SCHOOL LEAD)
Tracy is Upper School Lead and a languages teacher specialising in French and Spanish. She has taught languages from children aged 5 to 16 across a range of settings. She has been an Advisory Teacher, Advanced Skills Teacher, Head of Department in a large secondary school and a languages consultant for Devon LDP. She has written several teaching resources which have won awards and have been used extensively across the country and internationally to teach languages. Tracy also has a secret life on stage and in her youth was in a backing group for Barry Manilow.
DEBORAH ANDREW (JUNIPER CLASS AND MIDDLE SCHOOL ENGLISH)
Deborah graduated from St Luke's Teaching College Exeter University after studying Fine Art and Education for 4 years. She has also worked in the Royal Marines with recruits in training and Military Families as a support worker, Breast Feeding Councilor and Art Therapist. Deborah Home Educated her three children for 6 years and then returned to Teaching in both Primary and Secondary Main Stream schools.
JANE BERRY (UPPER SCHOOL ENGLISH, DRAMA AND ENGLISH LEAD)
Jane received a BA (Hons) English and Drama from Brunel University and completed her MA Performance Studies at The Central School of Speech and Drama. Jane founded her own theatre company for children in the local community, directing and adapting Shakespeare plays for public performances. Jane trained for her English and Drama PCGE in an inner city school in Nottingham and has worked as a secondary school teacher in both state schools and private schools in Devon. Jane also trained in CELTA, where she has had experience teaching English as a second language to international students.
KAREN CALLUS (IVY CLASS)
RUTH CHADWICK (SILVERBIRCH)
Ruth has always been interested in alternative education. She has always had a great enthusiasm for nature and brought her children up with a house cow, goats and a vegetable garden. She did her Steiner early years training in London and then worked in Steiner Kindergartens in Norway. Returning to the UK she was an assistant at the South Devon Steiner School for 4 years before joining us at SAE.
ZOE COLLINS (CEDAR CLASS)
Zoe is a Class Teacher and is currently completing her WESTT, Art of Education Steiner Waldorf teacher training. She holds a BA Hons in Theatre from Dartington College of Arts and a Diploma in Shiatsu. For many years Zoe has lead craft and theatre workshops with children. Since 2013 she has worked in education and has experience and training in supporting children with Attachment needs. She is passionate about creative and therapeutic education that is accessible for all. She has built her own yurt and lived in it for a year, she enjoys going out to explore nature and practicing Shiatsu.
PETE CRAIGIE (LANDCRAFT)
Pete has worked; in mixed farming, nurseries in Holland and Germany and therapeutic horticulture with young students in Ireland and Chelsea show gardens, with Diarmuid Gavin. He has trained at; Kinsealy horticultural research station, Pershore college of horticulture and Ruskin Mill.
MARK EYERS (PAYROLE)
Mark worked for many years as the finance co-ordinator of the South Devon Steiner School, where he was responsible, amongst other things, for administering parental contributions and over-seeing its mandate management system.
CATRIONA FERGUSON (FRENCH)
Catriona has taught French throughout the school since the beginning and now focuses on classes 1-5. She has a degree and PGCE in French and Italian and has taught both languages, as well as German and English as a foreign language, to pupils aged 5-19 in a range of schools in the UK, Switzerland, France and Italy. Before joining the school, she was an Advanced Skills Teacher working with the Devon local authority modern languages team helping teachers to introduce languages in primary schools. She has contributed to publications on teaching French phonics and using video-conferencing to teach languages. Catriona didn't like French at school. She was saved by her mum who signed her up for the French exchange to Annecy in the Alps. Here she discovered skiing, serious chocolate and the kind and generous hospitality of the French.
STEVE FORREST (GCSE GEOGRAPHY, WOODWORK AND METALWORK)
Steve qualified as a teacher in 1995 were he gained a BEd Hons in Liverpool University. After this he joined the Royal Marines where he had a varied career working as a Physical Training Instructor and then further specialised in the rehabilitation of injured soldiers. During his career he has travelled extensively around the world gaining valuable life experience, which involved three tours in Afghanistan. Steve has been with us since 2017 and is currently the guardian of Class 9; he also teaches Geography and Landcraft.
DANIEL FRIEDEBERG (GAMES TEACHER)
Daniel is an alumni of Elmfield Rudolf Steiner school. He trained as a Steiner class teacher on the West of England Steiner Teacher Training Course and completed his four year training in Bothmer Gymnastics in 2018; he is also a Level 1 British Gymnastics coach. Daniel has taught games and movement at the school since its inception. He loves all sports, but above all Ultimate frisbee, representing Great Britain at the World Championships in 2008.
HETTIE GEERING (HAZEL CLASS)
ANNA GOUDGE (MUSIC)
Anna has a degree in Steiner education and is an accomplished musician. Part of her training as a Steiner teacher was carried out in a remote village school in India.
KATE GRAHAM (MUSIC)
SARA JARMAN (LEARNING MENTOR, EARLY HELP & DEPUTY DSL)
Sara has been at the Steiner Academy since the beginning. Sara's current role is supporting students' well-being at the academy. Sara has been in education for 15 years with various roles including 1:1, mentoring students and supporting children with disabilities in main stream school. Sara has experience and training in children's mental health first aid and counselling skills. Sara has two grown up children and has supported many rainy Saturday morning football matches!!
GENEVIEVE KEYS (CHERRY TREE)
Genevieve trained under Lynne Oldfield on the Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Studies Kindergarten Teacher Training Course in London, gaining a level 4 Steiner Waldorf Early Years qualification and Early Years Educator status, to complement her level 5 teaching qualification. She joined the Early Years department in 2016. Her children joined Steiner Academy Exeter in September 2015. She finds a delight in being a part of a community that is full of warmth, brings respect for others and reverence for nature. She thrives being outdoors in nature, being creative and learning new skills. Her interests include being with her children and numerous animals, singing, walks on Dartmoor, Eurythmy, swimming, reading and handcrafts. Previously Genevieve has worked at Star Apple Toddler Group: a Steiner-based parent and child group for 0-3 year olds and as a Complementary Therapist, teacher and tutor for adults at The School of Complementary Health. She also worked for Health Projects Abroad, a charity in rural Tanzania where she lived and worked with other volunteers and local people on two successful school building projects which were part of establishing an educational infrastructure in the region.
ALICE KNIGHT (FACILITIES MANAGER)
Alice trained as a planner and urban designer at Oxford Polytechnic, and worked for various councils in England and Scotland, as well as for a local Devon developer, before becoming self- employed and starting a family. Happy to try her hand at most things, more recently Alice was the centre manager at Exwick Community Centre. She is also a trustee of a local Devon charity, ADUMASA, which supports the children in three villages in the Ashanti region of Ghana.
TAMSIN MACLELLAN (HOLLY)
SUE NEALE (POPLAR CLASS AND LOWER SCHOOL ART AND TEXTILES)
Sue has a degree in Steiner Education and a specialism in Art. She has been Class teaching at Exeter Steiner School and has had many roles at South Devon Steiner School, as parent volunteer and teacher, since her first child began kindergarten in 1993.
STEVEN O'CONNELL (WILLOW AND MIDDLE SCHOOL MATHS)
Steve started teaching in 1993 after obtaining his qualification through the University of South Africa. After moving to England, Steve worked for the Devon Behaviour Support Team as an Advisory Teacher in managing children with challenging behaviour before he was made Assistant Principal at an independent school in Torquay. In 2013 he obtained his SENCo qualification through the Bath Spa University and two years ago he accepted a post as Assistant Principal at in an inner city school in Birmingham. Steve lives with his wife and two daughters and has a passion for sport, in particular cricket and rugby. His experience has shown him that children learn best when they feel cared for, respected and lessons are created to meet their individual learning styles. He believes that a child's academic journey should be tailored to suit them and with this in mind, he carefully plans interesting and creative lessons.
DANNY PARCELL (GYM AND IT TEACHER)
Danny has worked with children for over a decade. He began in outdoor education doing a variety of roles from high ropes instructor to activity instructor moving on to specific outdoor sports coaching. Danny holds a Secondary School Gymnastics Teaching qualification and a Level 1 British Gymnastics coach qualification, Danny is also into his third year Bothmer Gymnastics course. Danny loves anything movement-related, all types of sports and theatre. He plays football and cricket for local sides and has been known to even enter the boxing ring, for charity of course. Danny is the school's First Aid coordinator and a qualified First Aid trainer.
JANE PICKERING (MATHS LEAD, MIDDLE SCHOOL LEAD, ASSESSMENT LEAD)
Jane is Head of STEM, Class 10 Guardian and Assessment Lead. She comes from a background of science and engineering having gained her degree in Materials Engineering at the University of Surrey. Including a year working and researching at CERN. She has worked extensively in the industrial and corporate sectors. Prior to relocating to Devon Jane taught within the State sector in Buckinghamshire, teaching students from Year 7 though to A'Level. In addition to a Maths and Science specialism and her PGCE she has an MBA and studied Fine Art for two years at university. Jane has travelled extensively, lived in France, completed a Half IronMan triathlon, run the New York Marathon (slowly) and has danced on stage at The Kremlin.
PETER SCOTT (UPPER SCHOOL HISTORY)
CLIVE STAPLES (PHSRE)
Clive has a degree in Steiner education and has worked for twenty years with children with special educational needs. He gained his QTS at Bath Spa University where he is currently studying at Masters level. He is also training as a `Thrive` practitioner and one of the Designated Safeguarding Officers.
SAMANTHA TAYLOR (ELMWOOD)
Sam has worked within the kindergartens of the academy since September 2013. Recently she have completed 3 years of Waldorf Early years training in London. I have a burning passion for Steiner education and all three of my children are in the school itself, with my two youngest having been through the very kindergarten in which I work. I feel both humbled and privileged guiding the youngest children within our school through their first journey into education.
JENNY WRAGG (SPRUCE CLASS)
Jenny is a class teacher and Teacher Education Lead at SAE and is studying Steiner education at a Masters level. She has worked in education since 2001, class teaching in state primary schools before volunteer teaching in India and then moving to Steiner Education in 2008. She is a graduate of the Emerson College Steiner teacher training course and worked in the Moray Steiner School in Scotland for five years before moving to Exeter at the beginning of SAE's journey in 2013. She loves learning new things and since being taught crochet in a staff meeting by Frances a couple of years ago, enjoys covering the house, family and friends in wool. She also loves painting, singing, composing, playing music and being a new mummy.
NEREA YARTO (CIRCUS SKILLS AND TRADITIONAL PLAY GROUND GAMES)
Nerea has a degree in Steiner Education, is a specialised games teacher and an accomplished circus skills performer.
KATIE YOUNG (RECEPTION MANAGER AND COMMUNICATION LEAD)
Katie was a specialist midwife for young mums and vulnerable women. After having children she discovered Steiner education and has been involved ever since. Previously she was Receptionist at The Cambridge Steiner School.
Teaching assistants & learning support assistants
In addition to the above list, each area of the school has a number of teaching assistants, as well as learning support assistants who are usually assigned to individual children.