Meet the Staff

Tunde Christie
Head Teacher
Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

After graduating High School in Hungary hidden behind the ‘Iron Curtain’ I was branded too rebellious to be given a passport. As many 18-year olds do, i set off to prove them wrong. I escaped the socialist regime by swimming the sea to a refugee camp in Italy and eventually found my way to Canada. Here I followed a traditional route in getting married, having two children and gaining my nursing qualifications followed by a Psych Degree.

I accidentally fell in to teaching where I was asked to be an emergency stand in for a teacher. This led me to change careers and study to be a teacher.

I moved to the UK 18 years ago and taught at a range of schools from Casterton to various EBD schools teaching year 6 through to year 11. In my spare time I was a personal tutor teaching English, maths and science to those that required it. That led me to buying the tutoring franchise.

Throughout my teaching experience I have often seen those young people who are left at the wayside, and become disaffected by school, I realised that In Kendal there was no provision for them, so following my passion for helping those that need it I set of on the journey to open South Lakes Academy.

Michelle Christie
Deputy Head Teacher
Deputy DSL

I was schooled and university educated in the North-west of England. My love of food, travel, debate and an unashamed passion for science have made for an enthusiastic tutor since 2014. If being raised by two teachers wasn’t enough, a degree in Sport Physiotherapy and Foundation Degrees in Maths and Geography have given me a strong foundation for the instruction of a range of subjects. I was finally compelled to join the family business after three years of working with groups of adults and children promoting a healthy lifestyle and treating those suffering after injury.

Believing truly in the future potential of all individuals, it was only natural that I moved out of sport fields and patient rooms into the classroom. Here, I have become an eccentric but none the less effective member of our teacher staff – who loves a good game of badminton!

Kerry Crane
Teacher
Deputy DSL

Since I was a child and trying to teach my newborn baby brother to read it was a given that I would be a teacher – though my route here was unconventional. I finished school and went to college to do a Diploma in Child Care and Education. This was followed by a period of time spent working for Butlins Holiday Camps where I worked in the entertainment sector. As fun as it was, it couldn’t last forever, so I decided to move back home. After having a small tribe of children – five in total, I returned to education to work on realising my dream of being a teacher.

After completing my BA (hons) Degree in Children Schools and Families, I approached Tunde to ask for some tutoring hours to see me over whilst I planned my next move – this was 3 years ago. I have been privileged to be a part of helping to set up South Lakes Academy to what it is today.

Bob Christie
Teacher

I’ve been a teacher all my life! After graduating from Loughborough University as a P.E. teacher, I became a lecturer in the subject at South Cheshire College in Crewe. A move to Canada saw me picking up teaching skills with other age groups by working in the primary and secondary sectors in maths, English and music. During a two year spell back in the UK in the mid ‘90s I worked with emotionally and behaviourally challenged youngsters at Wings School in Milnthorpe, learning various coping and behavioural management strategies along the way. On my return to the UK in 2000, after a year as a primary school teacher in Carlisle, I moved to Casterton School for a seven year teaching spell as a Y5 class teacher, eventually becoming Deputy Head. Following a brief forray into driver training I then formed a partnership with Tunde, our Head Teacher as owners of the Kip McGrath franchise in Kendal, which has now developed into South lakes Academy. At present, I work part time, interweaving my love of acting and singing with the job.

Richard Sanders
Teacher

I have been teaching secondary science for over 35 years in both the UK and Canada – including 10 years as Head of Science In Casterton School. This has given me a wide range of experience in teaching to all age and ability levels ranging from year-7 to A-Level.

At South Lakes Academy I am currently teaching maths and science. I enjoy working with small groups and on an individual basis. My particular specialty is using real life situations to explain new concepts and I strive to make complicated ideas sound easy.

In the past I have volunteered with the Duke of Edinburgh award as a trainer / supervisor at the Gold Expedition Level. I enjoy walking, music and cycling which I share with my wife, we also enjoy visiting our children – both of whom are teachers too.

Kate Brennan
Teacher

After attending Queen Katherine School and thereafter Kendal College to study performing Arts, I finally realised that I would never be the next Darcy Bussell, I attended University of Cumbria and completed a BA (hons) in Primary Education with QTS specialising in SEN. This is something I have been interested in since a young age, after writing out registers for my dolls who were in my class. After completing my degree, i decided to take a year off teaching in order to learn how to be a real adult and subsequently became a parent to Max, who is now 2.

I have been working with children and adults with Autism and other additional needs for the past two years and as thrilling and as rewarding that this has been, I knew I needed to return to teaching. My role came up to work at South Lakes Academy and I have enjoyed every moment so far, I am looking forward to September and helping you all to achieve your hopes and dreams!

Jamie Walker
Outdoor Activities Coordinator
Sam Ryalls
General Support Worker & Maintenance Manager

After spending years in the building industry as a joiner living in Yorkshire where my family still live, I moved up to Kendal in 2011. After marrying my wife Tunde and seeing her ambition to set this school up, she convinced me to take a career change from manual work to training as a support worker for the school.

In my spare time, I enjoy travelling, visiting my children and grandchildren. I also enjoy sports and activities for example, hiking and climbing – which I tend to share my enthusiasm for this with the young people I support.