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Meet the Staff

Tracy Gatiss

Learning Mentor / LSA

Tracy has extensive experience of working with secondary school children both within both mainstream and SEN schools. Tracy currently holds a Level 4 in working with Children and Young people along with her Level 2 in Mental Health and Level 4 in Autism. Tracy is extremely passionate about working with children and young people and committed to the welfare, safeguarding and development of students.

Michael Cullen


Michael specialises in teaching students with learning difficulties and disabilities, achieving his PGCE with Distinction. He has experience of working in mainstream, PRU and alternative provision schools and believes in a diverse, engaging and student-centred curriculum that promotes inclusion and achievement. Sport is a big part of Michael’s life, be it watching or playing. He has utilised this passion in various job roles within education, providing extra-curricular activities for both staff and students, promoting health and well-being. Michael prides himself on bringing out the best in students.

Kerrie Whelan

Head of School

Bringing to Endeavour Academy over 20 years’ experience of working with young people who have disengaged from education, Kerrie has spent the last 15 years on the Senior Management Team of a large, all age Pupil Referral Unit (PRU). After qualifying as a Head Teacher, Kerrie took on an Interim Headship where she was successful in becoming the first PRU to achieve Centre of Excellence status in the teaching of Financial Capability. Her passion for promoting positive mental health was evident in the partnerships she developed to establish a large network of Mental Health Champions, leading to named leads within the school environment who were trained to facilitate change. Kerrie strives to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment for students with a focus on resilience programmes of learning which teach students how to cope with and respond to change and instill the basic skills required become successful and confident learners and responsible citizens within their communities.

Lesley Wood

Deputy Head of School

Lesley has over 15 years of experience of working with secondary school children from across the County Durham area within both mainstream and SEBD alternative provision schools. She has a particular passion for restorative justice, students who present as having complex needs and ensuring that all young people feel valued and respected. Lesley believes that all children have the ability to thrive within the right environment with the right level of care and support. She is committed to providing a safe and happy environment in which students can learn, achieve and grow as individuals ready to take on their next challenges in life.

Debra Wilson

Head of Administration / PA to Head of School / Exams Officer

Debra has worked in the Education sector for over 15 years in a wide range of administration roles. Debra trained as a Personal Assistant supporting various Directors within Local Authority settings before moving to education to support School Governing Bodies. From then on she moved to East Durham College and has provided administrative support to various Vice Principals before moving to Endeavour Academy.

Steven Christian


Steven has studied Crime Scene Science at Teesside University graduating in 2010, the subject lends itself to many applications of science and maths. Steven has worked as a science teacher since 2011 in a variety of schools in the North East with a wide range of students. Steven uses his passion for the subjects in the classroom to express the importance of these subjects in many career paths and to develop a wider interest. Steven promotes an attitude of “doing your best” with students he works with and not comparing themselves to others. Outside of school Steven also has interest in games (board/card/miniature), these interests have helped him get involved with and create extra-curricular clubs within the schools. These clubs have been invaluable at helping develop student’s social, literacy and numeracy skills.

Louise Brewer

Learning Mentor / LSA

Louise attended East Durham College to pursue her career in Performing Arts when leaving school. Continuing on from this, Louise attended The University of Sunderland where she gained her BA Hons degree. In 2017 Louise went on to study her PGCE where she specialised in SEN - this is Louise’s first professional job working in a school. Louise is as bright in the classroom as she is on stage.