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Our Trust of Schools

Staff Testimonials

Meet our team and read their profiles as to why they love West Exe

  • Kasia Ozyakar

    Teacher of Science

  • Donna Short

    Assistant Headteacher, Pedagogy and Practice

  • Richard Claydon

    Head of Year 7

  • Elena Copland

    PFI and SLT Administrator

  • Chloe Fox

    Associate Senior leader

Kasia Ozyakar

Teacher of Science

After completing my degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the US, I worked as a Research Assistant, employing a variety of genetic engineering techniques to model human diseases. Eventually, my research career brought me to Exeter, and while finishing my MRes in Biological Sciences, I enrolled in the PGCE course at the University of Exeter and was fortunate to complete my NQT year in another Ted Wragg school, prior to coming to West Exe as a Teacher of Science.

I believe that it is important for the teaching staff to reflect the community they teach in. There are almost 50 languages spoken by students and staff at West Exe, and I’m overjoyed that I can speak my native Polish language in a variety of contexts during the school day, and even assist students in preparation for their GCSE Polish examinations (when I’m not busy preparing science lessons and outreach activities).

I love that WES encourages using my multicultural experiences to expose students to and highlight the importance of respect and appreciation for people of all nationalities and backgrounds. Teachers are role models for their students, and I’m proud to work at a school like West Exe, with ambitious and driven colleagues that empower their students to be more compassionate members of their community.

Donna Short

Assistant Headteacher, Pedagogy and Practice

After completing a degree in Mathematics and a Masters in Computational Science and Modelling I decided to embark on a career in teaching. I completed my PGCE in 2011 at the University of Exeter and began my career at a school in the South Hams before making the move to Exeter before ultimately ending up at West Exe, initially as the Maths Lead Practitioner.

I love being part of the Ted Wragg community; there are plenty of opportunities to collaborate Trust wide across curriculum and coaching networks. Part of the attraction to the Trust for me is that every teacher receives developmental and personalised CPD through incremental coaching, aiming to unleash the excellence in all teachers. I was delighted to have been appointed to the position of Assistant Headteacher for Pedagogy and Practice. This role allows me to share my enthusiasm for cultivating effective teaching practices with a broader audience within the school community. Through this role, we can enhance the quality of instruction in each classroom and ultimately improve student outcomes.  

I love the inclusivity of the Trust. When my wife (who works at another Trust school) and I were starting our journey into parenthood, I was struck by just how supportive the Trust were. West Exe really is a remarkable school to work in, and it embodies the Trust value of selflessness putting its staff and students first. 

Richard Claydon

Head of Year 7

Following on from a career in Civil Engineering, the chance to train as a Maths teacher felt like an opportunity to work with young people in a meaningful and rewarding manner. I was drawn to work at West Exe by the vision and enthusiasm of the staff and I feel proud to work with such a passionate team that values equality and diversity so highly.

As Head of Year 7 my main responsibility is to ensure a smooth transition for students into the West Exe community. Having taught for three years, I felt privileged to be entrusted with this challenging role whilst being supported by senior leadership to grow professionally. This is an extremely rewarding position, where supporting our most vulnerable students to succeed can improve lives on a daily basis.

Elena Copland

PFI and SLT Administrator

I joined West Exe School in September 2019 as The Business Support Team Apprentice. Within the 18-month course, I gained experience in all aspects of business support (e.g. absence, finance, exams, reception etc) alongside completing a level 3 qualification with Exeter College. This gave me the opportunity to upskill myself in the different roles within business support and evaluate my personal strengths to understand which areas I enjoyed and would potentially like to look further into after the course.

Once the course was completed in March 2021, I applied for a permanent position at West Exe and was successfully appointed as PFI and SLT Administrator. I now support the Headteacher and other Senior Leaders administratively as well as oversee PFI for the school. Additionally, the school encourages professional development and I have taken part in a leadership development program to gain knowledge and skills focussing on being a future leader.

West Exe is a fantastic school and you are supported to progress personally as well as professionally.

The culture and kind environment at West Exe make me proud to be a part of this warm community.

Chloe Fox

Associate Senior leader

My teaching career path is not the most conventional but I have a Computer Science degree and also completed a Master’s Degree in Education. As a Graduate I worked for Intel and Accenture, working on projects taking me to California, Russia and China, but there really is no place like Devon.  The skills I gained from these 'City' jobs have opened up many roles alongside the teaching. All of which has had a positive impact on the lives of the children in our Schools.

My Associate Senior Leader role has involved me to project manage website redevelopments, implementing time saving IT efficiencies, systems and processes which included creating promotional videos and hosting the BBC on many occasions, to name but a few. All the while keeping teaching close to my heart.

Within the Ted Wragg Multi Academy Trust I was given the opportunity to be part of South West Teacher Training as their Assistant Lead. This brings me such purpose, as every year we deliver 40+ highly skilled and resilient Early Career Teachers into the profession.  Day to day I lead on the Enterprise and Marketing Department, and I've been well-supported by the leadership team and wider staff to achieve some of the best results in the region.

I love West Exe School and the Trust; they have enabled me work flexibly and part time, supporting my challenge with being dyslexic, while every day taking and growing my wealth of experience by giving me projects and roles to thrive on. Living and working in this amazing city of Exeter also allows me to fulfil my green values, as I ride my bike every day to school and make the school gate pick up twice a week to collect my children.  There really is no greater place to work!