Chair of Trustees
Steven is a Chartered Engineer and has successfully built up his own engineering practice, carrying out structural design and providing engineering input into significant building projects, primarily in the London area. Prior to this he was the Chief Engineer for Carillion where he was responsible for several teams of engineers across the UK and Middle East, gaining experience in people management, performance reviews, budgeting and recruitment.
When his daughter joined Claremont High School in the 1990s, Steven was heavily involved with life at the school as a Parent Governor and subsequently Chair of Governors. He found it a privilege to be part of the process of appointing Headteachers and being part of the start-up panel when Chrysalis MAT was forming. Now, as Chair of Trustees, he is proud to be working alongside other like-minded individuals on plans for the organic growth and expansion of Chrysalis MAT, ensuring finances are secure so that there is funding to maintain the estate and employ high quality staff to give the pupils the outcomes they deserve.
One of the Trust’s key values is Responsibility and Steven sees this as a fundamental part of his role. He ensures that he holds Trustees and senior members of staff responsible for what they do and encourages them to continuously strive and develop in their roles. He is also committed to ensuring that schools within the Trust are held responsible for providing safe environments that offer the resources, facilities and opportunities to allow pupils to develop to their full potential.
I became a Governor and now a Trustee to give something back to the community. I have been able to use the skills I have developed over the years to help the school and Chrysalis MAT grow and retain its great reputation as centre of excellence. It has been an extremely rewarding experience so far, especially seeing the development of both staff and pupils.
Dr Nigel Molden JP FRSA FIoD FCIM
Vice Chair of Trustees
Dr Molden has an impressive career history, bringing with him a wealth of experience and knowledge to Chrysalis MAT. His careers, qualifications and achievements include:
- General Manager, Warner Brothers Records, 1977-79
- International General Manager, WEA Records Group, 1979-80
- Chairman, Magnum Music/Synergie Logistics, 1980
- International Marketing Manager, Thorn-EMI Screen Entertainment, 1980-84
- Magistrate, Beaconsfield and High Wycombe Bench, 1991-2013
- First Certificate in Governance, National Governors’ Association, 2007
- Appointed by Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport as Chairman of HM Courts’ Board for the Thames Valley in 2008
- Post-graduate Certificate in Historical Studies, University of Oxford, 2016
- Author of “Centre Of A Revolution”, 2018.
Dr Molden has been on the Governing Board of Claremont High School since 2000 and was appointed Trustee of Chrysalis MAT in 2018 before becoming Vice Chair of Trustees in 2020.
The ethos of Claremont High School Academy and Chrysalis MAT is particularly noteworthy in that it ensures every pupil is encouraged to achieve to their fullest ability. In parallel with the dedicated pastoral care, the opportunities for pupils are outstanding and the development of the academic, sporting and recreational facilities has been, and continues to be, extraordinary.
Tina is a senior finance professional who has spent formative career years in Financial Services before switching to fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and an e-commerce business where she provides finance expertise to teams across the UK and USA. She joined Chrysalis MAT as a Trustee in September 2021 because of a desire to contribute to a local school that reminded her of her former school years.
For Tina, school is not just about exam grades, but the experiences children leave with. Chrysalis MAT fit the bill as they focus on supporting pupils not just academically, but holistically though music, sport, drama, leadership and mental health, to name but a few. She comments: “It is lovely to see the facilities and opportunities available as well as the dedication from teachers and leaders to make pupils’ experiences as memorable and enjoyable as possible.” Tina is looking forward to seeing Chrysalis MAT grow with the addition of further schools that align with the Board’s vision and values.
Outside of her professional life, Tina is a mum of two and has a love for The Avengers, road running and travelling to incredible destinations such as New Zealand, Kenya and South Africa. Her greatest achievement is overcoming her fear of open water by mastering snorkelling…even with the likes of reef sharks and octopuses in the Indian Ocean!
Dr Steven Kennedy
Dr Kennedy has over 12 years’ experience teaching in independent schools and is currently Head of Classics at Harrow School. He joined Chrysalis MAT as a Trustee in 2021, with a determination to help shape the future of its member schools and to make a positive impact on the lives of children in his local community.
What Dr Kennedy enjoys most about his role is being involved in discussions on the strategic curriculum development, teaching and learning strategies and how to support them as well as learning more about the challenges facing schools and pupils today. He believes Chrysalis MAT is already working hard to address pupils’ social inequalities and the growing gap in academic achievement between disadvantaged pupils and their peers; and the schools within our MAT have put a lot of effort into improving children’s mental health and providing ways of asking for help.
Our value of perseverance is important. It is a vital quality for our pupils to develop to help them stay motivated and determined in the face of challenges; and to work hard to achieve their academic goals. When any pupil faces failure, they must learn to learn from their mistakes and continue towards their goal. It is a key skill that should stay with our young people throughout their lives, whether they are pursuing further academic studies beyond school, starting a career, or when they face personal challenges.
Debbie is a highly experienced finance professional, having worked in finance and finance regulation at various regulatory bodies over the years. With two young children herself, Debbie is in awe of the ability of teachers to inspire and develop pupils to be their individual best. She joined Chrysalis MAT in March 2023 to use her experience to help assist schools and teachers in their role so that they can continue to focus on the children. She is looking forward to making her mark alongside the inspirational people at Chrysalis MAT whom she believes have achieved so much to date.
It is incredible to see the breadth of topics that are being considered by the Board and senior leaders. The sheer scope of the work that has been, and is being, undertaken across Chrysalis MAT is staggering. Over the coming years, I hope to see a continuation of the excellent teaching and management of our schools within the Trust as Chrysalis MAT seeks to grow and support other local schools too.
Nimesh is a proud Claremont High School alumnae who graduated in 2001. Since then he has grown a successful career, working at RBS Group (NatWest) between 2007 and 2011; helping set up Metro Bank between 2011 and 2015; and starting up Mantra Group, a mortgage, insurance and commercial finance brokerage, in 2015 which was then sold to a London Stock Exchange Listed PLC for £20m in July 2022 – his greatest professional achievement.
When Nimesh was approached to join Chrysalis MAT in 2018, he jumped at the chance to give back to his school community who gave him what he says were "the best years of my life". What he enjoys most about his role as a Trustee is making a difference to the amazing staff who serve and support schools within the Trust and knowing that the decisions made today will make a big impact to future leaders of tomorrow.
Nimesh appreciates all the Trust’s values and how they contribute to his role, but Aspiration means something special to him:
Ambition, or aspiring to do something, is so important at all stages of life. Ambition paints the road map and will set the benchmark to what you wish to achieve. For me, aspiring to achieve something sets the tone for everything; my behaviours, my decision-making, my plans and my ultimate goals.
Outside of his professional life, Nimesh has married the “woman of his dreams” and they have “two beautiful children together”. He is a lover of all sports, particularly football, golf, cricket, tennis and skiing.
Chrysalis MAT is an incredible organisation, and I am so very grateful for this opportunity. The managing and maintaining of a positive Trust cashflow at a time when so many are struggling is exemplary. This has meant we can provide the facilities, resources and high quality teaching to benefit our pupils. We are also an innovative organisation and so in the future, I would love to see us embrace things that are changing the world such as social media, technology and AI.