Meet the team: Say hello to Kathy, our new Education Community Manager

May 15, 2023
IMG-0712.jpg Kathy Sheppard-Barnes

The Apps for Good team is growing and we're thrilled to welcome Kathy, our new Education Community Manager. We had a chat with Kathy to find out more about how her previous teaching experience led her to Apps for Good and what she's looking forward to.

What’s your role at Apps for Good?

As Education Community Manager, I’ll be working closely alongside Jodie, our Senior Education Community Manager, and Ross, our Head of Programmes, as part of the Education and Engagement team at Apps for Good. I have the exciting role of ensuring our fantastic teachers and school leaders have everything they need to succeed when working with us, as well as helping to engage new schools as part of our ever-growing community. I will also ensure that our young people get the most out of working with our industry experts and listen intently to teacher and student voices through our feedback tools.

What were you doing before you started here?

Before joining Apps for Good, I was a Programme Lead for the UK’s oracy education charity, Voice 21, helping to improve students’ learning and wider life chances through the development of strong oracy skills. The core of my role was to support and build long-term relationships with teachers and school leaders across the country, helping them to embed the charity’s programmes, approaches and resources.

Prior to this, I was a primary school teacher for ten years, where I spent much of my career working with families experiencing high levels of disadvantage. During my last two years as a teacher, I also held the position of Key Stage One Leader as part of the Senior Leadership Team. My time in education allowed me to gain valuable insight, first-hand experience and understanding of the different challenges students and school personnel face, such as having a lot to teach with limited timetable capacity and little time to prepare!

Being a primary teacher also allowed me to gain many fond memories of working closely with children, such as students asking me where I kept my bed (because as a teacher why wouldn’t you live at school?) or if I could put in a good word to Father Christmas in exchange for some pocket money (spoiler alert, I declined). One thing I enjoyed most about working with young people is experiencing the energy they bring to things that matter most to them. Nurturing their spirit and drive to do better than generations before them is an exciting position to be in and I look forward to supporting you with teaching the next generation of young, bright tech innovators!

What motivated you to join us?

When reading about Apps for Good’s mission, I instantly knew that this was something I wanted to be a part of. Gaining essential tech skills in order to succeed in our ever-changing, technology centred world, whilst simultaneously making positive changes to society, not only sounds like a fun experience, but a highly essential one too. Providing young people with the skills to thrive in the complexities of the modern world has always been at the heart of my career choices to date. It is what motivates and inspires me every day, so I am excited for this new opportunity to create a positive social impact through the role of Education Community Manager.

What are you most looking forward to in your first few months?

I am looking forward to getting to know Apps for Good’s wonderful teachers, students and school leaders, in addition to learning all about the exciting benefits of working closely with our corporate partners. I am also eager to begin creating further opportunities for support, connection and success within our community of schools. I’m lucky to have joined Apps for Good at an exciting time of year, with this year’s annual Showcase underway! Looking through our student’s submissions and seeing what exciting, innovative product ideas they’ve come up with is one of the first things on my to do list!