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BOA STAGE AND SCREEN PRODUCTION STAFF
Iain Estell Interim Principal
Iain has over 25 years of experience in education and has taught music in secondary schools and colleges across the West Midlands. A music graduate of the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, Iain also completed postgraduate study at Birmingham Conservatoire, specialising on the oboe.
Iain has led music departments at Leasowes High School in Halesowen and Haybridge High School in Hagley, establishing countless orchestras, bands and ensembles along the way. More recently, he has held numerous roles at King Edward VI College Stourbridge. Starting as the head of a renowned music and performing arts department, he was promoted to a Head of Faculty role with responsibility for sixteen diverse subject areas; since 2015 he has held the post of Vice Principal with specific responsibility for teaching, learning and student engagement.
As a musician, Iain performs regularly with local orchestras and bands as an oboist, saxophonist and bass guitarist. In his spare time he is an avid cyclist and is the proud owner of a different bike for every day of the week.
Michael Painter Acting Leader of Technical Media Production
Michael has worked as a senior leader in creative arts education for the past decade. After training as a teacher of post-16 education at Plymouth University, Michael moved to Stafford College where he established a highly successful music department and later managed the development of the creative industries faculty, leading on collaborative community arts initiatives and events working with the Stafford Gatehouse theatre, Staffordshire University, Stoke Staffs LEP and a range of local community arts organisations. Michael was appointed as Assistant Principal at BOA Academy in 2016 where he led the Creative, Digital and Music pathways, before being promoted to Director of Data, Digital and Curriculum development for the BOA Group in 2021.
Michael has a degree in Entertainment Technologies and has also enjoyed a string of successes as a musician, song-writer and touring artist, having several small releases and performed on the UK festival and club circuit. He also has a background working as a live sound and stage technician, and experience running a small commercial recording studio. Most recently Michael enjoyed a stint playing lead guitar and backing vocals for Terracotta Army, a live performance project driven by Mick Park and Nick Britton from Tilt and picked up by Sony. Since joining BOA Group as a senior leader, Michael has put his musical career behind him and turned his talents to nurturing the BOA Creative, Digital and Music pathways and developing the new academies opening in 2021 and 2022.
Michelle Sorensen Assistant Principal (Pastoral)
Michelle has over a decade's worth of pastoral experience, substantively at Barr Beacon School in Walsall, but she has also worked extensively in a range of other schools in very different contexts – from those in Special Measures to Outstanding providers. Pastoral care has always been, and continues to be, her primary passion.
Michelle is a Specialist Leader in Education and understands the importance of sharing and harnessing best practice, which in turn makes a positive impact on the life chances of all students. Michelle has extensive experience of behaviour for learning, attendance and punctuality, raising attainment, the role of the form tutor, student well-being and mental health, safeguarding, attachment and trauma, Looked After Children and working with vulnerable students. As well as ‘talking the talk’ she always believes in the power of ‘walking the walk’ and Michelle’s work has attracted the attention of both Walsall Virtual School and Walsall Local Authority and is now being shared as best practice.
Beginning her career as a Physical Education and Dance teacher, Michelle quickly found a passion in pastoral care and has over 17 years' experience in education. Michelle is a strong believer that Education is a journey of opportunity, and each young person should thrive in today’s society. Michelle’s degree in Special Educational Needs has enabled her to gain an insight into the social, emotional and behavioural difficulties of children and ignited her passion for working with vulnerable and disadvantaged students. Michelle’s work has involved managing and supporting pastoral leaders and form tutors, in addition to developing the PSHE curriculum and tutor time so students are more knowledgeable about the social, moral, spiritual and cultural aspects of life.
James Latham Assistant Principal (Creative Production)
James has worked in education for many years in a number of teaching, lecturing and leadership roles. He is a fully qualified teacher and has worked for a number of academies and further education colleges, developing courses in technical theatre and production arts. James was appointed as the Director of Technical Theatre Arts at BOA in 2016. Under his leadership, learners developed the essential knowledge and skills to progress into employment, higher education and drama school. Many of his past students have gained employment within the creative industries and are working professionally in theatre, film or live event production.
James was a member of BOA’s advanced practitioner team in which he led teacher training seminars and provided continual professional development for colleagues across the Academy. James has been part of the BOA expansion into a Multi-Academy Trust, working with the executive team to plan and realise BOA Stage and Screen Production Academy. James was appointed as Assistant Principal for Creative Production in 2021.
James has many years of experience of working in the creative industries. He holds a degree in Drama and Performance with a specialism in directing and scenography. He was a co-founder of a physical theatre company and carried out the role of Creative Director for a number of years. During his time with the company, James produced and directed a series of touring productions. He has also worked with a number of arts organisations, leading events and educational workshops for a range of regional arts festivals and international conferences.
Ruth Morgan Curriculum Leader - Creative Production
Ruth studied Stage Management and Technical Theatre at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After graduating she started working as Assistant Stage Manager at Birmingham REP Theatre and moved up to Deputy Stage Manager, Stage Manager and finally Company Manager since 2005. While at the REP she worked on shows touring the UK and Internationally. Ruth has also been Production manager for numerous shows at The REP and on tour, and Associate Producer for The Snowman, managing the UK and Asia tours.
In summer 2014 she spent 3 weeks in Malta, teaching stagehands, model making, sculpting and design as part of a European Social Fund to re-skill workers for the local film industry.
In 2016 Ruth was Lead UK Stage Manager and West Midlands Producer for We’re Here Because We’re Here, a UK wide event on July 1st, 2016, to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, conceived and created by Jeremy Deller and in collaboration with Rufus Norris and The National Theatre.
As a freelancer Ruth has been Project Manager for Barrow Festival of Colours, Production Manager for Barrow Playcation, Production Manager for For/With/By, European Youth Festival 2018 and 2021.
Ruth has been a sessional tutor at Birmingham School of Acting delivering the Professional Studies and Stage Management modules to students on the Stage Management Degree course. She has also taught Production Arts to BTEC performing arts students. Ruth managed the HND Performing Arts course at Sutton and Birmingham Metropolitan from 2011-2013.
Chantel Brooks Curriculum Leader – Business, Administration and Management
Chantel Brooks graduated from the University of Wolverhampton in 2012 with a BA (Hons) degree in Post Compulsory Education after taking an unconventional route into education and has worked her way up from teacher to now Curriculum Leader in Business, Administration and Management for BOA Stage and Screen in 2021
In Chantel’s spare time she works with her husband in his event management company where they put on live shows mainly for the Gospel Music Industry and motivational speakers’ conferences as well as other businesses she has for herself. Her passion for running events, both personally and professionally, has enabled her to develop as a manager in various roles.
Chantel is an active member of her local church choir, which has taken her to countries all over the world including Jamaica, Germany and USA.
THE OLD REP THEATRE STAFF
Michael Penn Executive Director
Darren Knapton Theatre Manager
Emma Ferguson Marketing and Box Office Assistant
Dilpesh Patel Deputy Head of Technical
Stephen Hatton Site Supervisor
Ann Grady Cleaner