Meet The Team2020-02-13T10:33:18+00:00

MEET OUR TEAM

Julie Taplin Chief Executive of Potential Plus UK
Julie Taplin - Chief Executive

Julie is the Chief Executive for Potential Plus UK.  After graduating from university in German and Business Studies she gained her Diploma in Marketing and worked for a multi-national company in Hamburg and then Milton Keynes. Following a career break to raise the family, Julie returned to work in the third sector in 2000 and joined Potential Plus UK in 2005.

Along the way Julie successfully completed the CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

As well as speaking regularly at UK conferences to support high potential learners, Julie has presented at numerous World Conferences for Gifted and Talented Children, as well as at ECHA (European Council for High Ability) and for Global and Gifted.

Julie is currently Chair of the charity North West Gifted and Talented and Development Governor for a local primary school.

As the parent of a now adult child with high learning potential, she has a lot of empathy and understanding with the issues that can arise in both the education and general welfare of these young people.

Outside of work, Julie enjoys swimming, travelling and trying to remember her German!

Rebecca Howell - Senior Education Consultant

Rebecca has overall responsibility for Potential Plus UK’s assessment service and advice service, and she is currently working on developing the High Learning Potential Best Practice Award and professional development for teachers. In addition, she has founded and runs our online communities. Her background is in educational research and school leadership support. Rebecca is currently a Director in a secondary academy, holding an additional responsibility for inclusion.

She is the parent of three children with high learning potential, two of whom have additional learning needs as well. The eldest is now at university in Denmark. She spends most of her time trying to keep up with the other two! In any free time she happens to find, Rebecca likes travelling, reading, hiking and going to the theatre.

Tracy Morsbach - Finance and Office Manager

Tracy is responsible for the day-to-day finances of the organisation and office management. Tracy was born and grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. She qualified as a primary school teacher through UNISA in 2008 and taught in a school in South Africa until she came to the UK in December 2011.

Outside of work, Tracy enjoys reading, cooking, baking, walking her dog and cycling.

Andrea Anguera - Senior Assessor

Andrea is Potential Plus UK’s Senior Assessor; she has been carrying out the High Learning Potential and Early Years Assessments since 2013. This includes children from 3 to 17 years of age, who have a range of high learning potential skills, including those who are dual or multiple exceptional (DME). Andrea manages some aspects of the assessment service. She also provides workshop training for families and professionals in events, such as the Big Family Weekend.

Andrea is a psychology graduate and she is currently finishing her dissertation for an MSc in Psychology of Education with University College London. She has 20 years of teaching experience in a range of settings, from home education, to primary schools and adults in higher education.

Andrea is also the mother of two children with exceptionally high learning potential, one of whom is now an adult heading to university and who is also DME. As a mother, she has found her parenting skills and family life had to be adapted to support her children’s needs. This is how she became connected with Potential Plus UK, and why she feels passionate about supporting others with similar challenges.

In her personal life, she is a geek at heart. She enjoys sci-fi, table top gaming and visiting new places. She also loves learning so she continue to find ‘excuses’ to engage in new courses and academic challenges.

Geraldine Glover
Geraldine Glover - Member Engagement Officer

Geraldine works as the Member Engagement Officer for Potential Plus UK. Her responsibilities include developing Focus on Potential – the fortnightly e-newsletter for members – and working with our Young Reporters.  Her background is in editorial work and information science, including nine years with the charity RNIB.  She holds a degree in Ancient and Mediaeval History and a Masters in Librarianship.

Geraldine is the mother of two teenagers with high learning potential, one of whom also has additional needs.  With one child recently started at university she expected to have more time on her hands to enjoy her hobbies, which include reading and music, however, running a small family toy business and keeping up with her other child’s ever developing interests quickly expanded to fill the space!

Caroline Hooton-Picard
Caroline Hooton-Picard - Info & Advice Service Adviser

Caroline works as an Adviser for our Information and Advice Service, answering calls and providing much-requested advice about high learning potential children. Her background is in mental health for Suffolk Mind and her own private practice as well as educational consultancy for the Teaching Information Line. She holds a first in philosophy from the University of Essex.

With a high learning potential child of her own, Caroline is well-placed to provide information and advice to our family and school members.

In her free time, Caroline enjoys spending time with her family and, being an unashamed country bumpkin, enjoys her garden, her cats and her local Suffolk countryside. She also loves Scandi-crime and all things Agatha Christie. But mostly, she finds herself mugging up on science and history in a vain attempt to keep up with her daughter!

Natalie Jensen
Natalie Jensen - Info & Advice Service Adviser

Natalie is an Adviser for our Information and Advice Service providing support and advice to families of HLP children. She became involved with Potential Plus UK in 2011 after being asked to deliver French sessions for the Greater Manchester Explorers Club; one of the local activity groups organised by member volunteers of Potential Plus UK. Natalie then quickly realised that she had a HLP child all of her own!
With degrees in French, Law, International Relations and Early Years Teaching, Natalie also owns a French tutoring business and is chairperson for a local committee-led charity pre-school. Now with 3 children and a dog, Natalie enjoys family arts and music festivals, making the most of her National Trust membership or trying to squeeze in some reading and studying of her own while keeping up with her children’s daily activities and latest interests!

Holly Smith - Administration Assistant

Holly joined the organisation in January 2016 for a weekly work experience placement. In September 2016 she was taken on as an apprentice administration assistant. From January 2018, Holly is now a full time Administration Assistant and is developing her skills in social media and fundraising.

Outside of work, Holly has her own pony and enjoys socialising with friends.

Olivia Smith
Olivia Smith - Events Coordinator

Olivia is our Events Coordinator. After completing a Masters’ in Engineering Olivia has spent all of her working life in education, much of it as a Maths Teacher but, over twenty years, she has diversified across subjects, age-ranges, sectors and perspectives.

Olivia’s Potential Plus UK journey began at a Big Family Weekend, an event she stumbled across when looking for stimulating and challenging weekend pursuits for her insatiably curious elder daughter. So began an ongoing relationship with Potential Plus UK as a parent which has proved equally beneficial for daughter number two and inspirational for her personally. Further study into ‘gifted and talented’ education followed, as well as championing the cause of children with high learning potential in all the schools she has worked both in and with. Olivia trained with Potential Plus UK to carry out educational assessments and also to deliver workshops for teachers and parents for several years before taking on the role of Events Coordinator in 2018.

Time for purely personal interests is sparse in Olivia’s household with high work demands on both parents and two very active children, enthusiastically trying to make the very most out of life and all it offers. Always having a had a thirst to learn and a drive to challenge herself to try something new (and usually terrifying), her children’s interests have proved successful navigators along unexpected paths – for instance, learning to tap dance and returning to a hockey pitch after 20 years!

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