Chris Eversden, MEdAfter studying History and then Education at Nottingham University in England, I began my career as a teacher in North London. As an inexperienced 21-year-old teacher, I chose the most challenging and hostile working environment that I could find to learn as much about classroom management and discipline techniques as quickly as I could. I have never encountered a discipline problem that I couldn’t solve since.
From London I moved to work in Washington D.C. in the USA as a Fulbright exchange programme teacher where I was inspired by the maturity of the students and their determination to work hard and create great futures for themselves. After a brief spell teaching back in London, I became a Middle Manager in an International School in Mexico City where I developed my ability to lead teams and improved my administrative efficiency.
Four years later, I found myself, with a young family, working in one of the UK’s top state schools in Cumbria, northern England. The school was a beacon of excellence in terms of the education offered, learning outcomes for students and staff professional development. It inspired me to believe that I had what it took to lead a whole school.
My first Directorship took my family and I back to Mexico City to take charge of a High School. I was able to shape a fantastic team there which, over the course of the following four years, transformed the school into a centre of educational excellence with a fully-deserved good name across the city. I was also awarded a distinction in a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Buckingham during that time.
In 2012 the opportunities that the new position at ELIS (El Limonar International School) Murcia offered were impossible to resist. After five years leading the school through significant curriculum, academic and organisational change, I’m completely convinced that it was the best possible move both professionally and for my family: ELIS Murcia is a fantastic school which continues to develop as a learning community and is expanding onto a beautiful new Secondary and Sixth Form site from 2020.
My professional challenge since 2017 has been to provide overall leadership for the two ELIS schools in Murcia and Villamartin. Despite being ‘sisters’, the two schools are very different in terms of needs, community and organisation. I rely heavily upon the excellent leadership teams of both schools to run them on a daily basis and must ensure that all members of both communities are fully supported at all times. This task is made easier because ELIS, as part of the Cognita group, also has all the necessary financial, technical and educational support the two schools need to grow and improve in order to maintain their positions as the leading providers of quality education in their respective regions.