Where Are they Now?

Beth Edwards 2007 – 2014

I was a student from 2007-2014 and then moved to Bangor University. 

I’m still at Bangor having gained a 1st in my degree, and a distinction in my research masters. I’m now in my final year of a PhD investigating how autistic teenage girls navigate the social world, including effects on mental health. I’ve also been employed as a freelance consultant for an animation company, the disabled students’ representative on the student council, and the organiser of disability history month events within the Student Union. 
 
I remember fondly my time at Alsager, especially the variety of options available to me. I have memories of my first experience of research in A level English language – as well as helping with the homework club in the Student Work Room. 
 
Beth Edwards
 

Chris Heathcote 1996 – 2003

I spent seven happy years at Alsager School through my GCSEs in 2001 and A-levels in 2003. 

My brilliant teachers, Mrs Bristow and Mr Wishart, really brought on my love of English and History. I especially enjoyed acting in the school plays – Oklahoma, Blitz and Midsummer Night’s Dream, thanks to Mrs Betts-Nicholson, the Head of Drama – and being involved in the school council, as well as the Air Cadets Squadron in Alsager, outside of school. 

All got me thinking about what really motivated and interested me. Alsager School gave me good support to write my UCAS application and to go on open days and I secured a place at the London School of Economics (LSE), graduating in 2007 with a BSc in Government & History. I played an active part in campus life becoming News Editor of the student newspaper and was elected to serve one year sabbatical as Communications Officer for the LSE Students’ Union. In my final year I interned in the Houses of Parliament drafting correspondence and briefings for MPs and from that I was offered a full-time role after graduation. 

I then spent three years as Senior Policy Advisor at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) working on public services reform policy, before moving to a management scheme in the defence business of Serco, a then FTSE 100 outsourcing company. After four years of volunteering as a Special Constable, in 2012 I joined the Metropolitan Police Service as a Police Constable and spent two years on the beat and attending emergency 999 calls in east London. 

 

In 2014 I successfully applied to the national High Potential Development Scheme (HPDS) and was promoted, first as Detective Sergeant in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and then on a gangs unit in south London, before being promoted again to Detective Inspector leading teams of 40 officers managing sexual and violent offenders and investigating exploitation offences and missing persons. I am also a qualified Public Order Commander, trained to lead police officers in riot and disorder situations. Through this time I completed a Masters in Police Leadership & Management from the University of Warwick Business School.

Graham Evans –  (1996-2003)

I completed GCSEs at Alsager School in 2001 and stayed on for two years in Sixth Form where I completed A levels in Mathematics, Physics and Physical Education as well as AS levels in Geography, Information Computer Technology and Further Mathematics. This secured me a place at Loughborough University studying for a Masters’ degree in Automotive Engineering. During my studies I undertook a year in industry, returning to the local area to work for Bentley Motors in Crewe as an Industrial Placement Trainee in the Engineering function, specifically the Acoustics and Aerodynamics team. This gave me invaluable, relevant real world experience to relate to my studies and a huge advantage when looking for graduate opportunities.

I completed my studies in 2008 and was successful in securing a graduate position with Ricardo UK Limited as an Engine Design Engineer. After a summer of travel, I began working for Ricardo but suffered a huge setback as the financial crisis set in and I was made redundant from my position in March 2009. Fortunately, owing to good contacts built up during my time at Bentley Motors, I was back in engineering employment in the June, working in the Acoustics team again. I spent the next six years with Bentley, working on projects such as the Mulsanne, V8-engined Continental models and the Bentayga, traveling regularly to countries such as Germany, Spain and Finland to perform testing at VW Group facilities and getting the opportunity to drive and work on some incredible cars!

In 2015, despite being extremely happy at Bentley, I made the decision to take up an opportunity with Jaguar Land Rover. There I worked in a Senior Engineer role, again on the Acoustics team, getting the chance to work on the Jaguar F-Pace and Range Rover Velar projects. For personal reasons, I was being increasingly drawn to London and only fifteen months later I made the move further south and out of Engineering to pursue an opportunity with IHS Markit, where I remain today. At heart an information company, IHS Markit provides insight and expertise across the largest industries and I am employed in the Automotive team. Over three and a half years I have risen to the position of Associate Director and lead a global team of thirteen Analysts researching auto industry technology and supply chains. Within this role I have had the opportunity to interview the likes of Carlos Ghosn, attend industry conferences as far afield as San Diego and Tokyo, and whilst increasingly providing authoritative views the industry’s transition to electrification. Next month I will attend CERAWeek in Houston, a leading Energy Industry event run by IHS Markit where I will be chairing a panel of CEOs and industry leaders discussing the importance of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to the uptake of EVs.

Elliot Isherwood (2008- 2013)

I am currently finishing my last year at Aston University studying Psychology after spending a full year at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

After my A-Levels, I took a year out and worked in the SEN department at Alsager High school. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and it has inspired me for my future career.

Now looking back at Alsager School, I can truly appreciate the guiding hand that was over us. We were given enough room to grow without it taking away from out studies, through: Mentor Schemes, School Clubs or Spare Study Time at Sixth Form. Having these options available has allowed me to try new things and realise my passion.

At Sixth Form I studied Spanish, Psychology and English. Learning Spanish has been exceptionally helpful in not only understanding the language, but people. Studying Psychology has added to this fascination with people and culture. I am confident that both of these subjects will be a part of my future, which would have only been possible If I enjoyed the classes at Sixth Form. Finally, I also studied English Language covering topics like language and power, which have continued to have an impact on me to this day.

The freedom of Sixth Form also nurtures time management and the regular classes stop you from falling behind on your studies. The work ethic and high professional standards you get from Alsager Sixth Form tutors have prepared me well for work and university life – I remember my time there fondly.    

Jess Cooper (2007-2014)

I’m currently working at the University of Bristol and my role is within the international office. I am an international student recruiter so my job involves attending events and open days in countries to promote diversity in the student body and raise the profile of the university. 

My target markets are the Middle East and Central Asian countries. We’re quite a large team (around 20, working all over the world) it involves a lot of travel and liaising with a network of agencies overseas to encourage students to register at the university. When I’m overseas I work a lot answering enquiries, meeting prospective students. Since it’s more difficult for them to attend an open day at Bristol we try to bring it to them. It’s sometimes glamorous (staying in the Ritz in Moscow for example) and sometimes tiring and lonely but at other times very sociable and I love the way it allows me to meet local people and visit local high schools all over the place.

Before starting my current role in August, I worked in another team in the international office which was more events focussed, organising welcome events for international students in September, and throughout the year. The concept was called the global lounge and it aimed to integrate home and international students by sharing cultures through language exchange and cultural events. 

Robyn Skerratt 1998-2005

I attended Alsager school for both GCSEs and A-Levels.

In 2020, I won a national award with the Royal Town Planning Institute – Young Planner of the Year. My interest in planning began during my A-Level Geography course at Alsager where we explored options for the redevelopment of the college site across the road!

I studied Geography at undergraduate before a Masters in Planning and Regeneration. I currently work in sustainability.

Anthony Galloway 2007-2014

After studying GCSE and A levels at school I completed a level 3 and level 4 apprenticeship with grade distinction in each and I am now studying at The Open University for a software degree. I hope to get on to an MBA in due course and eventually either become a Chief Technology Officer or DevOps Engineer.

I am currently a Network Infrastructure Engineer for a law firm in Macclesfield and have been in the career for 6 years.

I have many fond memories of Alsager School:

  • Doing the cleaning up after school and Mr Clegg passing by saying I always have a smile
  • Accidentally breaking the Sixth Form table when I sat on it! Mrs Pole will know!
  • Mr Middlebrook in one of his first speeches to the school saying are you going to be a valley person or a mountain person
  • Failing RE all the way through school then somehow pulled an ‘A’ out of the hat!
  • Every Life Skills lesson
  • PINC
  • Mrs Woods giving me a chance at doing Triple Science despite not being initially selected for it.
  • My final memory, and perhaps one of my last, is receiving the Most Outstanding Student Award from Mr Middlebrook in front of my dad who walked with great difficulty to come and see.

Helen Mollart nee Brown 1972-1979

I attended Alsager Comprehensive School (as it was known then) 1972 to 1979, spending the final two years in sixth form. Mr Andrews was Head at that time. My father*, who taught in Congleton at what was Congleton Boys School, was chair of the very active Parents Association. A shy child, one of the most out of character things I ever did was to play acoustic guitar at a school concert in the Hall. My astonished father was in attendance and remembers it well to this day!

Having achieved the right mix of A and S levels, I then went on to Leeds University (following in father’s footsteps) to study English.

Graduating in 1982 I then spent the following 37 years in the IT industry, culminating in 17 years as Sales Director for a company who supplied software systems into the NHS, Law, Education and Manufacturing sectors. Standout events during my professional career include being introduced to HRH Princess Ann and HRH Prince Michael of Kent, plus meeting Feargal Sharkey at the Houses of Parliament.

In 2015 I ran my own campaign and was elected to the Haslington Parish Council, where I set up a sub committee which reported on the woeful play facilities in the village, This resulted in the revamp of the village play park. I was also appointed Tree Warden and had 24 trees protected by Tree Preservation Orders.

I joined the Haslington Surgery Patient Participation Group as secretary in 2016 and was elected Chair a year later.

Having worked hard in both roles, and raised money for the St Luke’s Hospice, The Lincolnshire Lancaster Bomber Association and Red Nose Day, I decided to draw my public and charity works to a close.

 

Helen Mollart
Helen Mollart

I retired from the PPG and the PC early in 2019, however I did organise the WW2 Commemorative Weekend in the Village (to mark 80 years since the outbreak of WW2) which involved various activities such as Pea and Pie Supper, Church Service, themed Rock Hunt for kiddies/families, and a moving Lights Out ceremony at which the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire thanked me by name for my efforts. Some £900 was raised for the Royal British Legion, and as an avid member of the Lincolnshire Lancaster Bomber Association and interested in all things military, I was delighted and humbled by this.

I took early retirement in March 2020 intending to concentrate on the activities which we as a couple (married Clive in 1984) enjoy most ie Classic Car Shows, Classic Warplane Air Shows, Car booting, Gigs and Festivals, School Reunions (I usually organise the informal reunions at the Mere in Alsager), University Reunions, and holidays. None of these carefully arranged events have unfortunately gone ahead, so I was left with time on my hands.

I was approached almost a year ago to take up the role of Treasurer of the Haslington Support Group, set up to assist the elderly, vulnerable, and infirm in the village. We (together with our volunteers) have arranged and provided assistance of all types during the pandemic, including shopping, emergency supplies, occasional treats for the lonely and housebound, collection of prescriptions and providing transport for those attending medical appointments. As part of the governance team of 3 we anticipate that the group will continue long after the crisis is over.

To my delight, I was nominated for the Cheshire Woman of the Year award, 2020 for my charity work (sadly the awards ceremony was postponed due to the Covid crisis).

Myself and my younger sister Jenny are still in contact with many of our old school pals; let’s hope that 2021 is a better year for us all and that we can meet up more regularly.

* Mr A F Brown, retired Head, Lawton Hall School
Retired Chair, Parents Association, Alsager Comprehensive School

Dave Thompson 1988-1993

I was in Mrs Kelly’s form. I left Alsager in 1999 and have lived in the Stockport since but my parents still live in the village. I have been a photographer all my working life. I have been fortunate enough to cover the Olympic Games, champions league finals and was inside Westminster Abbey for the wedding of Prince William. I loved my time at the school; Mr Purcell may not remember me but I remember him, a wonderful part of the school. I hope the children there now still retain memories like mine. I made friends for life at that school despite moving away.

Martin Snewin 2009-2016

I attended Alsager School for 7 years, completing my GCSEs in 2014 and A-Levels in 2016. I was honoured to represent the school as their Head Boy in my final year.

 

During my time in the Sixth Form my passion for Mathematics truly thrived. My brilliant Further Mathematics teachers – Mr and Mrs Williams – did not just understand my strengths and weaknesses but tailored their teaching style to suit my mindset too. This included several extra teaching sessions to consolidate, as my mindset often differed from my peers. Consequently, I began to understand my optimal way of approaching problems and this allowed me to secure a place at the University of Nottingham. There I studied for 4 years, graduating in 2020 with a Masters in Mathematics.

 

However, I can’t think about my time at Alsager School without thinking about Music. I must have spent most of my lunchtimes with Mr Galley in one of the many bands or vocal groups. Singing was something I wanted to keep up during my time at university, so I joined the A Cappella society. I joined a group called Take Five A Cappella and have released many songs and videos on Spotify and YouTube respectively. Additionally, I helped to lead another A Cappella group called Men to Boys. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in these two groups, so massive thanks to Mr Galley for encouraging me to start singing at Alsager School.

 

After university, I joined Dixons Carphone on a graduate scheme in Supply Chain and Logistics, based in Newark. Here I am hoping to explore my career options through a few rotations in the business, starting with project management.

I am extremely grateful for my time in Alsager School, as it allowed me to be self-confident and inspired me for my future career prospects. I cherish my memories from school, and I’d like to thank everyone who was a part of it.

Neha & Priya Mittal 2013-2018

After our GCSES, we both decided to go to college and do our A levels at South and West College in Crewe. We studied, Government & Politics, English Language and Psychology so we could go to University to study Law.

 

We weren’t really enjoying college much and we both decided to attend an apprenticeship event that the college hosted. We came across the Barclays stand and got a real insight of their apprenticeship that they offer. The Barclays apprenticeship is very competitive as they get thousands of applicants. The application process was difficult, first was the online assessment which you would have to pass to go onto the online interview, then if you pass that, you would be invited to the assessment centre at Radbroke Hall in Knutsford, which is where we both applied to work as a technology apprentice. We both got the apprenticeship and we are extremely proud of each other, currently working in different departments of the bank.

 

Priya is a business analyst and works internal, working on their Comms and Adoption side, working closely with colleagues to ensure all employees at Barclays have the right tools they need. (Neha) I work within digital and pre-production in the team Service Virtualisation. My day to day job consists of coding in different languages, mostly Java and SQL. Prior the apprenticeship, I had no IT experience, I didn’t do a GCSE in IT and barely knew anything. Working at Barclays have taught me everything – now I know how to code in different languages. I also work with AWS and can code on the cloud as well. Recently, I coded and deployed my first project into the Barclays system that over hundreds of people will use. 

Not only do me and Priya just work for our teams, but we have also got involved with many social media campaigns for Barclays. We are seen on the Barclays website for Foundation Apprenticeships, where we shared our experience at Barclays with one of the female managing directors at Radbroke. We have taken part in the social media campaign for Barclays 10th anniversary for apprenticeships, found on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. We have a joint blog on the Barclays website as well, sharing our experience. We are very much involved in supporting women within IT and take a real interest in encouraging women into programming as it is very male dominated.

 

Working at Barclays has made me and Priya so much more mature as we are in a professional environment and we have to adapt to the working life even though we are only 19. Our network has grown as well, knowing more people will help you down the line. We started the apprenticeship in 2019, 17yr old. Our plans for this year are to start University in September and get a degree in Software Engineering. 

 

On the side of our job at Barclays, we both have recently started getting into modelling. We have just shot an episode on BBC, for the show Glow Up. We have more things lined up this year regarding modelling and filming, this is something we love to do together.

 

Me and Priya have many favourite memories from our time at Alsager School – our best memories are, going to sports events with the PE department, we loved athletics and it was great to put our hobby into action. We also loved all the lessons as well, but we miss Art lessons with Mrs Jennings- they were so chilled! We miss the whole high school experience and all the teachers that helped us along the way! 

Neha & Priya Mittal
Neha & Priya Mittal

Ryan Lewis 2007-2012

I can admit now that I wasn’t exactly the best student and was always in trouble. On a positive note, I loved school it was the best years of my life and something I have never forgotten. I was on the cross-country team and won most of my 1500m races.

On a positive note, I loved school it was the best years of my life and something I have never forgotten. I was on the cross-country team and won most of my 1500m races.

Upon leaving school I went to college to study Law, Psychology, Performing Arts and Drama & Theatre Studies. After 12 months a decided my passion was for Drama so switched my studies to a BTEC Extended Diploma in Performing Arts, at the same time completing my A level Drama & Theatre Studies. I achieved a C grade in my A level and triple distinction star in my BTEC which was unheard in my course.

After college I moved to Manchester with several friends for a gap year and had a baby, my son motivated me and changed my life, so I decided to go to university and enrolled on an acting degree at LMA in Liverpool. Three years flew by from performing in several of theatres in Liverpool working on intense performances. I graduated in 2020 during a global pandemic and achieved a first class honours degree. I am currently studying a PGCE in secondary Drama and looking forward to my placement at Alsager School.

I have a done a full U turn and I am sure several of my old teachers would not have thought I would become a teacher. It’s been a whirlwind since I left 9 years ago but the future is here and I’m going back to where it all began this time as a teacher and not a student.