Staff Team – The Connected Hub

Amanda Meier
Head of School

It’s a privilege to lead the team at The Connected Hub (TCH), who are an inspiring staff to work with. They are passionate about ensuring that our students leave for their post-16 placements having re-engaged with education. I have worked within Brighton and Hove secondary schools for the past 20 years. Prior to taking over as Head of School at TCH, I started as a Teaching Assistant - eventually becoming a SENCO, Head of Special Facility and Senior Assistant Head Teacher. I have always been passionate about supporting young people with additional needs, and their families. Each year, we very much look forward to welcoming our new students.

Jo Edge
Maths Teacher

I began working at The Connected Hub in 2016. I absolutely love working here and feel privileged to be part of such a kind, committed, student focused, awesome team. We work together to support students through year 11 to find a pathway that is right for them when they leave and embark on their next ventures.  In my spare time I enjoy walking with my daughter and our dog, bike riding, listening to tunes, socialising with my friends and family, playing chess, backgammon and card games and going on adventures in my campervan.

Guy Williams
Literacy/Numeracy Teacher

I started teaching at The Connected Hub in 2016 after thirty-four years in mainstream schools. I have a BA in Cultural Studies and an MA in Drama in Education. I love working at The Hub. I can honestly say it is the best place I have ever worked. The staff are brilliant and it is just so lovely working with young people who really want to make the most of their GCSE year. I moved to Brighton in 2003 and have three teenage children. I have two step-children who live in Australia with my beautiful wife.

Julie Melia
Food and Nutrition Teacher

I started teaching in 1987, working in London schools for 15 years. I taught Sociology and History, and vocational courses including Leisure & Tourism and Health & Social Care.

Since moving to Brighton in 2003, I have worked with young people excluded from mainstream education. I was Head of Key Stage 4, but have had a change of pace this year, working across CHB sites, teaching GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition. I can now combine my love of food and cooking with working with young people who need an alternative setting in which to learn and thrive.

Viv Papier
English Teacher

I first moved to Brighton from London in order to study English and History at Sussex University and liked it so much I stayed. In the years between obtaining my undergraduate degree and my PGCE/QTS I worked in various fields including content writing and nursery work and also received my NCTJ diploma in journalism. The Connected Hub is dramatically different to anywhere I have worked or taught before; the teaching and learning environment here is a very special one and I feel privileged to be a part of it. In my spare time I enjoy writing, painting, cooking and Thai-boxing.

Abi Dearling
Science Teacher

I’ve been teaching Science for just over 5 years, following various jobs after college. After my MSc, I spent 2 years working as a TA, Cover Supervisor and Science Technician all around Sussex. I fell in love with the different kind of learning championed here at the Hub after a short placement at another PRU. I joined the Connected Hub from mainstream in 2019 following my early career in West Sussex and have loved every minute! Outside of work, I have two horses, have just completed an MSc in Psychology and love attending as many music festivals as I can.

Del Woodward
Teaching Assistant

I have worked as the English TA at The Connected Hub since 2015 and have previously worked in one other school. I am currently studying with The Open University with a view to teach once I have graduated. I love working at The Connected Hub, sharing my passion for English language and literature and working alongside a brilliant team and amazing students. Outside of school I enjoy cooking, reading, playing video games and seeing friends.

Helen Murray
Teaching Assistant

I'm from Wales and have lived in Brighton since 2009. This is my fourth year at The Hub and it is easily the best place I have ever worked, I love the friendly atmosphere and working with a highly skilled team who care so much about supporting young people.

I have a BSc in Genetics and an interest in education. I enjoy reading, walking my dog, listening to punk music and playing the bass badly. I'm also trying to learn to speak German and Welsh.

Lex Butler
Teaching Assistant

I have a lifelong background working with children and young people in a variety of different settings, which began with being part of a fostering family. I have worked for children’s charities and local authorities in Reading, Hackney and Camden as a Playworker/Playleader in After School Clubs and Adventure Playground provisions. While my three children were young I ran Craft Clubs and Arts Awards clubs and I've also been a Childminder in Brighton; I became a TA when they all were all school age. I have a fine art degree and make art using video, photography and text.

Nick Marzetti
Teaching Assistant

I am a teaching assistant at The Connected Hub. I have previously worked for Scope, Brighton Council and a variety of warehouse jobs. I have a BA in Criminology from Nottingham Trent University. I grew up in London and Sussex and have lived in Brighton for the last eight years. In my spare time I enjoy reading, socialising and watching tv. I love my job at The Hub and it's the first job I have had where I am excited to come to work every day.

Caolan Fitzsimmons
Teaching Assistant

I started at The Connected Hub in 2019 and haven't looked back!  I have worked, and lived with young people with additional support needs my whole life, so working at The Hub feels very natural. I was previously employed as a Teaching Assistant at Downs View Hollingdean School (formerly Cedar Centre) and I was a Play Assistant at The Brighton Pebbles Charity before that.  I love working at The Connected Hub for 3 main reasons: our fantastic and very committed team, the great holistic nature, and our ethos of "unconditional positive regard".

Carol Kay-Bradley
Teaching Assistant

I am new to CHB and really enjoy working here. I love the supportive and friendly environment it provides for students as well as staff. I have been studying ‘Supporting Teaching and Learning’ at Varndean College and have volunteered as a teaching assistant at a few schools in Brighton. I also volunteered as a youth worker at Brighton Youth Club which is where I first started to work with young people. I have a B.A in Music performance and really enjoy singing and doing gigs as well as playing the guitar and piano and writing songs. 

Becca Stadames
Learning Mentor

I have worked as support staff in alternative provision schools around East Sussex for the past eight years and joined The Connected Hub in 2016. I am the Learning Mentor and have recently taken on the role of deputy designated safeguarding lead.  Training for my role has included Mental Health First Aid training, supporting anxiety in schools and C-Card provision training. I am committed to supporting students with their social, emotional and mental health needs alongside supporting them to access their educational provision. I am currently studying for a BSc (Hons) Psychology.

Cordelia Millington
Careers Leader

I’ve been at The Connected Hub for nearly 21/2 years. There’s a wonderful atmosphere at TCH and everyone strives to do the best for the students. I enjoy helping to guide our students onto a post 16 pathway that is right for them.
I’ve worked in two other secondary schools and have over 14 years’ experience within CEIAG and Work Related Learning. I am soon to start my Level 6 Careers Guidance qualification with the Open University.
With the rest of the staff team, I endeavour to make a positive difference to our student’s lives.

Lucie Broadbent-Smith
Safeguarding Lead

I have held pastoral roles in schools for over 10 years, focusing on attendance, behaviour and safeguarding. I have a BA Hons in Art and Music and qualifications in Counselling and Art Therapy. I also taught Art at The Connected Hub for over five years. In September 2019 I became the Safeguarding Lead, supporting the whole staff across the Central Hub Brighton. Before working in schools my roles included community event manager, youth leader and art workshop facilitator. Outside of school, I sing backing vocals for a covers band and love spending time gardening. I enjoy my commute over the downs, as I live outside Brighton.

Sam Barber

I have worked at The Central Hub since July 2019, having worked within schools since 2008. I retrained in accountancy after I had my children but prior to this I was a lecturer at City College in Brighton. I have lived in Brighton for 15 years and live with my husband, 2 daughters and our dog. I really enjoy working at The Central Hub and with the wonderful, dedicated team of people doing the very best for our pupils.