Meet the Team

Meet the Team

The team at Tooled Up are dedicated to delivering the best evidence-based resources to support parents, carers and schools, from our team of researchers who source and develop our resources, to our operational team who ensure you can access them via our website and app. 
Dr Weston Head of Research

Dr Kathy Weston

FOUNDER AND HEAD OF RESEARCH

Dr Kathryn Weston is the founder of Tooled Up Education and the Head of Research. She holds a Common and Civil Law degree (LL.B.) from Queen's University in Belfast and a Masters (MPhil.) and Doctorate (Criminology) from the University of Cambridge. She was an education and policy researcher for over ten years.

As a criminologist, Kathy specialised in resilience within institutional settings, social identity, identity in crisis and the role of narrative in coping. During her time as a criminologist and education researcher, she became interested in the role of parenting for children's outcomes and the relationship between home and school. She subsequently co-authored two books on "Engaging Parents" for Bloomsbury (2018; 2020) with Professor Janet Goodall.

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Fun Facts

Kathy is married, has two teenage boys and a cat called Blenkinsopp. In her spare time, she loves to travel and has co-authored a book about her hometown, called ‘Secret Belfast’. 

Why the team enjoy working with Kathy

Kathy is one of the most inspirational, engaging and supportive women I know. Her wealth of knowledge is unfathomable and her commitment to sharing it with as many people as possible is truly inspiring.

Dr Weston Head of Research

Dr Kathy Weston

FOUNDER AND HEAD OF RESEARCH

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Dr Kathryn Weston is the founder of Tooled Up Education and the Head of Research. She holds a Law degree from Queen’s University in Belfast, a Masters and Doctorate (Social Science) from the University of Cambridge and was an education and policy researcher for over ten years.

She has co-written two books on “Engaging Parents” for Bloomsbury (2018; 2020) and is a sought-after keynote speaker in both schools, conferences and corporate settings.

Fun Facts

Kathy is married, has two teenage boys and a cat called Blenkinsopp. In her spare time, she loves to travel and has co-authored a book about her hometown, called ‘Secret Belfast’. 

Why the team enjoy working with Kathy

Kathy is one of the most inspirational, engaging and supportive women I know. Her wealth of knowledge is unfathomable and her commitment to sharing it with as many people as possible is truly inspiring.

Dr Cassie Rhodes

RESEARCHER

Cassie is a researcher at Tooled Up who spends her time digesting available evidence, liaising with experts, and producing resources. After completing her degree and Master’s, she was awarded a PhD in Medieval Literature in 2007 from the University of Manchester.

Before joining Tooled Up, Cassie worked in publishing and education, and is a mum of two children, aged 9 and 11.

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Fun Facts

In her spare time, Cassie enjoys keeping active with climbing and weight lifting.
 

Favourite Tooled Up Resource

Cassie’s favourite resource is the Wellbeing Journal as it brings together a huge amount of research into a fun, usable and beneficial activity for teens. 

Why the team enjoy working with Cassie

She’s intelligent, thorough and a fantastic role model to the rest of us with her commitment to exercise and sport!

Dr Cassie Rhodes

RESEARCHER

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Cassie is a researcher at Tooled Up who spends her time digesting available evidence, liaising with experts, and producing resources. After completing her degree and Master’s, she was awarded a PhD in Medieval Literature in 2007 from the University of Manchester.

Before joining Tooled Up, Cassie worked in publishing and education, and is a mum of two children, aged 9 and 11.

Fun Facts

In her spare time, Cassie enjoys keeping active with climbing and weight lifting.
 

Favourite Tooled Up Resource

Cassie’s favourite resource is the Wellbeing Journal as it brings together a huge amount of research into a fun, usable and beneficial activity for teens. 

Why the team enjoy working with Cassie

She’s intelligent, thorough and a fantastic role model to the rest of us with her commitment to exercise and sport!

Rhonda Ziman

RESEARCHER

Rhonda is a new addition to the Tooled Up research team and specialises in school avoidance, neurodiversity and anxiety. She loves researching the latest evidence, studies and surveys to turn them into digestible resources for our website. Rhonda has a BA in Social Science and a Postgraduate Diploma in Person-Centred Counselling.

She was previously a counsellor in Brighton, and before that Director of Crime and Justice Research at Ipsos MORI’s Social Research Institute in London.

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Fun Facts

Rhonda makes all her own clothes and wears them proudly irrespective of wonky hems and mismatched buttons.  She is owned by a large labrador named Albie who takes her for walks through bushes and puddles.  She is a qualified reflexologist, so gives the best foot rubs (ask Albie).

Favourite Tooled Up Resource

Her favourite Tooled Up resource is Wednesday Wisdom, and has been known to print it off, pop it in her coat pocket and re-read its wisdom on a lovely country walk.

Why the team enjoy working with Rhonda

Rhonda has brought fresh insight and new areas of specialism to the team, adding to our strengths. We are developing interesting new resources and offerings based on her ideas, that will benefit the whole Tooled Up community.

Rhonda Ziman

RESEARCHER

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Rhonda is a new addition to the Tooled Up research team and specialises in school avoidance, neurodiversity and anxiety. She loves researching the latest evidence, studies and surveys to turn them into digestible resources for our website. Rhonda has a BA in Social Science and a Postgraduate Diploma in Person-Centred Counselling.

She was previously a counsellor in Brighton, and before that Director of Crime and Justice Research at Ipsos MORI’s Social Research Institute in London.

Fun Facts

Rhonda makes all her own clothes and wears them proudly irrespective of wonky hems and mismatched buttons.  She is owned by a large labrador named Albie who takes her for walks through bushes and puddles.  She is a qualified reflexologist, so gives the best foot rubs (ask Albie).

Favourite Tooled Up Resource

Her favourite Tooled Up resource is Wednesday Wisdom, and has been known to print it off, pop it in her coat pocket and re-read its wisdom on a lovely country walk.

Why the team enjoy working with Rhonda

Rhonda has brought fresh insight and new areas of specialism to the team, adding to our strengths. We are developing interesting new resources and offerings based on her ideas, that will benefit the whole Tooled Up community.

Roxana Lara Pomplun

RESEARCHER ASSISTANT

Roxana is a researcher at Tooled Up and currently writes her doctoral thesis on children’s mental health and their digital technology use as an NIHR-funded PhD scholar. Her research is positioned in the ARC KSS workstream “Starting Well: Children’s Mental Health”.

Before joining Tooled Up, she gained work experience in several media and tech-based jobs, as well as volunteering at a UN75 workshop and conference on the topic of trust and transparency in the digital landscape.

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Fun Facts

Roxana is “the most jet set person I know” according to Cassie.

Favourite Tooled Up Resource

Using painting and other means of creative output in a meditative way herself, Roxana’s favourite resource is our 30 Calming Drawing Ideas.

Why the team enjoy working with Roxana

Roxana brings a great mix of academic, creative and IT technical knowledge to the team. Although she is primarily part of the research team, she also brings an eye for design to the team.

Roxana Lara Pomplun

RESEARCHER ASSISTANT

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Roxana is a researcher at Tooled Up and currently writes her doctoral thesis on children’s mental health and their digital technology use as an NIHR-funded PhD scholar. Her research is positioned in the ARC KSS workstream “Starting Well: Children’s Mental Health”.

Before joining Tooled Up, she gained work experience in several media and tech-based jobs, as well as volunteering at a UN75 workshop and conference on the topic of trust and transparency in the digital landscape.

Fun Facts

Roxana is “the most jet set person I know” according to Cassie.

Favourite Tooled Up Resource

Using painting and other means of creative output in a meditative way herself, Roxana’s favourite resource is our 30 Calming Drawing Ideas.

Why the team enjoy working with Roxana

Roxana brings a great mix of academic, creative and IT technical knowledge to the team. Although she is primarily part of the research team, she also brings an eye for design to the team.

Wayne Chow

OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

Wayne has over 20 years’ of experience in Operations Management and leadership roles in multiple blue chip organisations. More recently, Wayne co-founded one of the country's leading digital fundraising platforms for schools and local authorities across the UK.

Qualified in both Management Science (MSc) and with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, he oversees all technical, commercial, and operational aspects of Tooled Up.

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Fun Facts

He will take almost anything apart and put it back together to understand how things work.

Why the team enjoy working with Wayne

Wayne is one of the most proactive people I have ever come across. His resilience and undefeatable attitude are nothing short of admirable and his logical mind takes him to the root of any problem to rectify it at source.

Wayne Chow

OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

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Wayne has over 20 years’ of experience in Operations Management and leadership roles in multiple blue chip organisations. More recently, Wayne co-founded one of the country’s leading digital fundraising platforms for schools and local authorities across the UK.

Qualified in both Management Science (MSc) and with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, he oversees all technical, commercial, and operational aspects of Tooled Up.

Fun Facts

He will take almost anything apart and put it back together to understand how things work.

Why the team enjoy working with Wayne

Wayne is one of the most proactive people I have ever come across. His resilience and undefeatable attitude are nothing short of admirable and his logical mind takes him to the root of any problem to rectify it at source.

Amanda Power

PA TO DIRECTORS

Amanda joined the Tooled Up team in February 2022, having spent a number of years working in various departments at her daughter's local village school. Prior to this she worked within special needs education in Cape Town, South Africa.

Amanda is a keen cancer survival advocate as well as an avid supporter for families facing the loss of a child/ children. She also helps prospective parents navigate the trials and tribulations of the adoption process in South Africa.

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Fun Facts

Amanda is the Branch Secretary for Cats Protection, Luton, Dunstable & District, part of the ‘trap, neuter and release team’ and a foster carer – 64 cats have been successfully rehomed having been rehabilitated or just cared for in Amanda’s home during the past 6 years.

Favourite Tooled Up Resource

The Feelings Thermometer which I find such a useful resource when dealing with my 9 year old daughter and Wednesday Wisdom, my one inspiring weekly read which I actually stop everything for to ponder over!

Why the team enjoy working with Amanda

Amanda will drop everything to help anyone and she is famous for her lists. 

Amanda Power

PA TO DIRECTORS

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Amanda joined the Tooled Up team in February 2022, having spent a number of years working in various departments at her daughter’s local village school. Prior to this she worked within special needs education in Cape Town, South Africa.

Amanda is a keen cancer survival advocate as well as an avid supporter for families facing the loss of a child/ children. She also helps prospective parents navigate the trials and tribulations of the adoption process in South Africa.

Fun Facts

Amanda is the Branch Secretary for Cats Protection, Luton, Dunstable & District, part of the ‘trap, neuter and release team’ and a foster carer – 64 cats have been successfully rehomed having been rehabilitated or just cared for in Amanda’s home during the past 6 years.

Favourite Tooled Up Resource

The Feelings Thermometer which I find such a useful resource when dealing with my 9 year old daughter and Wednesday Wisdom, my one inspiring weekly read which I actually stop everything for to ponder over!

Why the team enjoy working with Amanda

Amanda will drop everything to help anyone and she is famous for her lists. 

Alison Sharma

OPERATIONS

Alison joined Tooled Up in January 2020. Her role is to ensure that the launch process for organisations joining the Tooled Up community is smooth and efficient. Alison works to build and maintain a strong partnership with all of our subscribing organisations and make sure that individual subscribers can find the support they need.

Alison originally read for a BA in Music before qualifying and working in law for 10 years. She remains a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives.

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Fun Facts

Alison’s loves playing and listening to music, travelling and getting out into nature with her family.

Favourite Tooled Up Resource

The CV for Primary Aged Children as it is a great resource to revisit each year with my children to show them what they have accomplished and how they have developed.

Why the team enjoy working with Alison

Alison is super efficient and not just amazing at keeping all the balls in the air but also being on top of them as well.

Alison Sharma

OPERATIONS

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Alison joined Tooled Up in January 2020. Her role is to ensure that the launch process for organisations joining the Tooled Up community is smooth and efficient. Alison works to build and maintain a strong partnership with all of our subscribing organisations and make sure that individual subscribers can find the support they need.

Alison originally read for a BA in Music before qualifying and working in law for 10 years. She remains a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives.

Fun Facts

Alison’s loves playing and listening to music, travelling and getting out into nature with her family.

Favourite Tooled Up Resource

The CV for Primary Aged Children as it is a great resource to revisit each year with my children to show them what they have accomplished and how they have developed.

Why the team enjoy working with Alison

Alison is super efficient and not just amazing at keeping all the balls in the air but also being on top of them as well.

Shin Savage

FINANCE

Shin runs Finance operations in Tooled Up and has extensive experience in financial management having held roles in multiple organisations ranging from start up organisations to international banking corporations.

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Fun Facts

Hates odd socks and will spend all night searching for one that’s missing.

Favourite Tooled Up Resource

Wednesday Wisdom because of its topical content and endorsement of feelings as well as an insight on different perspectives, together with suggestions on support strategies.

Why the team enjoy working with Shin

Shin has a talent for making complicated things seem easy even if you’re a novice.

Shin Savage

FINANCE

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Shin runs Finance operations in Tooled Up and has extensive experience in financial management having held roles in multiple organisations ranging from start up organisations to international banking corporations.

Fun Facts

Hates odd socks and will spend all night searching for one that’s missing.

Favourite Tooled Up Resource

Wednesday Wisdom because of its topical content and endorsement of feelings as well as an insight on different perspectives, together with suggestions on support strategies.

Why the team enjoy working with Shin

Shin has a talent for making complicated things seem easy even if you’re a novice.

Cóirle McDowell

MARKETING

Cóirle McDowell recently joined Tooled Up Education as part of the Marketing Department. Originally from Belfast, Cóirle studied Business Administration and French at Queen’s University Belfast before embarking on a career in the media industry in London followed by twelve years working in business in San Diego, California.

Now mum to three children, she is happily back living in Northern Ireland where she has spent the past couple of years working in Education. Cóirle first saw Dr. Kathy Weston speak at her son’s school a few years ago, she has been an enthusiastic Tooled Up parent ever since that day and is thrilled to now be part of the Tooled Up team.

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Fun Facts

Cóirle loves to get out for a run or to grab thirty minutes to read! Cóirle loves travelling, eating out and never misses an opportunity to practise her (now rather rusty) French.

Why the team enjoy working with Cóirle

Coirle gets stuck into any task before her. She is a great team player, always happy to pitch in to get a project over the line. Her enthusiasm for life is infectious.

Cóirle McDowell

MARKETING

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Cóirle McDowell recently joined Tooled Up Education as part of the Marketing
Department. Originally from Belfast, Cóirle studied Business Administration and French at Queen’s University Belfast before embarking on a career in the media industry in London followed by twelve years working in business in San Diego, California.

Now mum to three children, she is happily back living in Northern Ireland where she
has spent the past couple of years working in Education. Cóirle first saw Dr. Kathy Weston speak at her son’s school a few years ago, she has been an enthusiastic Tooled Up parent ever since that day and is thrilled to now be part of the Tooled Up team.

Fun Facts

Cóirle loves to get out for a run or to grab thirty minutes to read! Cóirle loves travelling, eating out and never misses an opportunity to practise her (now rather rusty) French.

Why the team enjoy working with Cóirle

Coirle gets stuck into any task before her. She is a great team player, always happy to pitch in to get a project over the line. Her enthusiasm for life is infectious.

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