Our team

Hamilton is made up of a small but dedicated team of staff members, who work with our specialist subject consultants and writers to produce and publish plans used across the world.

Mike O'Reagan
Mike O'Regan
Co-Director

Mike founded Hamilton Trust in 1988, and he continues to provide executive support and direction. After graduating in Economics from Cambridge, Mike travelled, worked on the shop floor and taught for two years before co-founding RM in 1973. He continued as an executive director until 1992, when he moved to a non-executive role, whilst also being closely involved with a number of other digital technology companies.

Mike has been a long-standing trustee of a number of Oxford-based educational charities, including as co-founder of Peeple (née PEEP), and periods spent as a governor of The Oxford Academy, Oxford Brookes University and, still, Pegasus School. He was awarded an honorary degree by Oxford Brookes University in 1999 and by the Open University in 2002. He received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2000.

Ruth Merttens
Professor Ruth Merttens
Co-Director

Professor Ruth Merttens oversees all of the educational projects and materials at Hamilton, as well as developing new initiatives.

Ruth was heavily involved with the development of the National Numeracy Strategy, particularly in the development of training materials. She also co-authored Abacus, the UK’s number one primary maths scheme and continues to work closely with Pearson. On top of all this, Ruth still teaches one day a week in her local primary school.

Ruth passionately believes that most teachers do an amazing job and need to be left alone to get on with it and that the need to monitor schools and assess children should most definitely not be the drivers of what happens in the classroom. She is of the opinion that we have in Britain a unique brand of liberal primary education which fits children for their role in an open democracy in the 21st century.

Ruth’s training sessions have long been in high demand, and she travels far and wide on behalf of Hamilton offering training to clusters of schools and teachers who want to focus on improving maths teaching and learning.

Athene Reiss
Athene Reiss
Head of Hamilton Projects

Athene works closely with Ruth and Mike to manage the Hamilton office and projects. She remembers particularly fondly those teachers, both primary and secondary, who taught with a commitment to deep subject and conceptual learning and problem solving - including one who (unusually for the time) allowed students to take notes into exams, thus preparing them for a world in which information is at our fingertips and what we need to know is how to find, analyse and use it. Her particular educational passion is Forest School, and she also teaches the occasional History of Art module at Oxford Brookes University.

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Claire Field
Publisher

Claire spent seven years as a primary school teacher before running the education programme at the Roald Dahl Museum. Claire’s experience in education both in and outside the classroom informs her work here at Hamilton. She co-ordinates the publication of our high-quality planning and resources and enjoys working to help make teachers’ lives easier.

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Diana Mitcham
Maths Publisher and PA to Ruth Merttens

A long standing member of the Hamilton team, Diana is PA to Prof. Ruth Merttens, supports the team with designing and editing the Maths resources, co-ordinates the Hamilton Primary Numeracy Project and organises Hamilton's training. Everyone in the office loves it when it's Diana’s turn on the cake rota and we are working hard to encourage her to sign up to the next series of the Great British Bake off.

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Jeanette Viney
Hamilton Education Manager

Jeanette IS Hamilton Education! Working closely with Hamilton Trust, she deals with invoicing, book orders and all things money related. Jeanette spends a lot of time educating young people through her scouting role and can often be found creating new and exciting games in her lunch hour.

Karen Edwards
Karen
User Communications Specialist

Karen looks after the schools and teachers who use the Hamilton website and answers all of their questions about it. When she was at school she loved finding hidden treasures in the school library.

Kay
Kay Russell
Content Specialist

Kay’s main role is to publish materials on the Hamilton website. She checks that the resources are ready before uploading them and also makes sure the latest versions are available for teachers to download. Her best memories of school are of those lessons that were fun and engaging and called on the children’s imagination.

Nick Barwick
Nick Barwick
Maths Publisher

Nick contributes maths expertise both in the office and in the schools that Hamilton supports directly. He has spent much time in the Blackbird Leys schools coaching and training teachers and support staff in and out of the classroom and working with subject leaders and leadership teams to improve consistency and raise standards. Nick has written primary and secondary planning materials for Hamilton. As a ‘Post Graduate: Mathematics Specialist Teacher’ Nick is well-placed to deliver maths CPD. With a passion for getting the best out everyone he works with, he considers watching all those he supports learn, grow and achieve to be a privilege.

Rebecca Walker
Rebecca Walker
Senior Graphic Designer

Rebecca is our Senior Graphic Designer who is responsible for creating our dynamic maths resources, topics, booklets, leaflets and has also be known to illustrate the odd book. Rebecca studied Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins’ College in London and gained over 20 years design experience working with top clients such as BT, Marks and Spencer and Ford. Rebecca’s favourite job to date (pre-Hamilton of course!), was designing a micro-site for David Almond when freelancing at Hodder Children’s Books in London. With 3 young children in tow, she is kept very busy; but still makes time to swim as a Masters swimmer and can regularly be seen at her local pool.

Suzie Hunt
Suzie Hunt
Deputy Head of Hamilton Projects

Suzie looks after the digital side of Hamilton, which includes maintaining and developing the Hamilton website and Player, and supports Athene in managing Hamilton projects. She has fond memories of English classes at school, where she discovered a love for comic books as well as Shakespeare!

Consultants

Our specialist subject consultants work closely with our staff and writers to ensure the highest standards of quality, consistency and pedagogy of all Hamilton's materials.

Grace Woollard
Grace Woollard
English

A graduate of English Literature who trained to teach at the University of Hertfordshire, Grace Woollard has more than 15 years’ experience teaching in primary schools in the South East. Grace believes that a creative and questioning approach is key in learning and that a great starting point is engaging children through high-quality literature, including picture books. Grace looks after Hamilton's English plan writers and writes English plans herself at the same time as being a full-time mum. In her free time, she dabbles in sewing and enjoys cycling around her home town on her bike, complete with wicker basket.

Jennie Kerwin
Jennie Kerwin
Maths

As a child, Jennie taught neighbouring children maths on a chalk board in her garage – whether they liked it or not! So it was pretty inevitable that would she end up being a teacher. She has a BEd in maths and computing and MEd in Educational policy and management. Jennie taught in a range of primary schools in the West Midlands before working for Birmingham advisory service supporting schools, mainly in ‘challenging circumstances’. She then moved to the South West to work as a regional director and writer for the National Numeracy Strategy. Jennie looks after various aspects of Hamilton's maths plans, writes maths plans for Hamilton and Abacus and is always keen to include models and images to help children to ‘see’ and understand maths.

Julie St Clair Hoare
Julie St Clair Hoare
Science and Topics

Julie studied chemistry at university before seeing the light, completing a PGCE and becoming a primary teacher. She enjoyed teaching children from 3 to 11 in a range of schools for 20 years and also being the head teacher of a city community primary school for 10 years. Julie then took up an associate tutor role at Brookes University helping to train teachers on the Postgraduate and BA courses. Her role at Hamilton is to look after the provision of high-quality cross-curricular topic and science plans that enable teachers to deliver engaging and creative lessons that inspire children.

Naomi Norman
Naomi Norman
KS3 Numeracy

At age 16, Naomi wanted to be an actress. Having heard the song ‘Don’t put your daughter on the stage Mrs Worthington’, her parents insisted Naomi at least get a good degree first. And so Naomi went to University to read Mathematics and Philosophy. She followed this with a PGCE and worked as a secondary mathematics teacher. Later, she joined the Department of Education at Oxford University, where she earned a D.Phil (PhD) in mathematics education.

Hollywood's loss was education's gain. Naomi has since written many mathematics textbooks, and worked as series editor and consultant for yet more. She has also been involved in a variety of education programmes for major clients, including the BBC, London 2012 and Sesame Street. Naomi also undertakes education research projects, and is a specialist in qualitative research design and data analysis. Naomi led the Hamilton Secondary Numeracy Programme research project and commissioned, wrote or edited most of Hamilton's KS3 maths materials. She is still waiting to be cast in a major movie!

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Jon Kurta
Maths

Jon has over 30 years’ experience working in primary schools as a teacher, teacher trainer, and Local Authority Consultant. He has worked extensively in London and the South East and also taught as a maths specialist in international schools in Madrid and Khartoum. Following 2 years as a VSO in Ghana, in 1993 Jon completed a Masters in Mathematics Education at Roehampton Institute of Education. He has written and collaborated on a number of popular primary maths activity books and teacher support materials.

Jon remains passionate about developing sound and sustainable pedagogical approaches to teaching maths through accessible and manageable classroom activities for teachers and their pupils.