Community, collaboration, and creativity – Five minutes with our new Head of Digital Strategy

February 21, 2024

Mr. A White (Left) has been appointed our new Head of Digital Strategy

Our newly appointed Head of Digital Strategy, Mr Andrew White, has shared his journey and perspectives with us for our weekly school newsletter.

Our newsletter, The Weekly View, covers many of the wonderful things happening in our community and features interviews with staff and students. Are you a student or parent? Look out for The Weekly View headed to you in our School Post every Friday!

How long have you worked at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools?

“I’ve been part of the Monmouth family for just over 18 years in a professional capacity, but my journey here began much earlier, in 1996, when I joined New House as a Year 9 boarder. This school has been a significant part of my life, gifting me lifelong friends and the privilege of learning from incredible teachers, many of whom I have worked alongside. It’s a unique experience, transitioning from student to teacher here, one that deeply informs my approach and understanding in my role.”

What is your background and experience?

“My father was a Civil Engineer and my mother is a seamstress and textile artist by trade both who worked all over the world. As a family we lived in Hong Kong before arriving at Monmouth School, where I completed my GCSEs and A-Levels. I then pursued an Industrial Design degree followed by a teaching degree at Loughborough University. This led me full circle back to Monmouth as a Design and Technology teacher, eventually becoming Head of Department. My return to school included a stint in the boarding community, enriching my understanding of the school’s heartbeat. My teaching career has been diverse, extending beyond the classroom to sports coaching in rugby, basketball, badminton, and even running a fishing club! I’ve relished the chance to lead on seven school ski trips, which were always a highlight. Alongside teaching, I’ve taken on various roles, from GAP year coordinator to secretary for the Old Monmothians and the Common Room. However, it was my role as the ICT representative for my department that ignited my passion for digital learning, paving the way to my current position as Head of Digital Strategy. This journey has been one of continuous learning and growth, with invaluable insights gained from my colleagues in the CCF, reflecting the richness of a career that blends education, technology, and community.”

What is the best part of working at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools?

“The heart of my experience at Monmouth has always been the people – the students I’ve had the pleasure of teaching and the colleagues who were once my teachers. There’s an incredible sense of community here, one that extends beyond the classroom walls. It’s a community where my family and I have deep roots; my wife and I are alumni, and now, it’s a legacy we’re passing on to our children. This sense of belonging and continuity is what makes working here truly special.”

What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of your job?

“The landscape of education is ever evolving, and staying ahead in this dynamic sector presents a significant challenge. At Monmouth, we’re constantly adapting to these changes, striving to offer the best to our students. Embracing this challenge is a part of our ethos. The true reward, however, lies in witnessing the success and gratitude of our students. Seeing the tangible impact of our efforts, the value we add to their educational journey, is immensely fulfilling. It’s a testament to the dedication and hard work of our entire school community.”

What are you most proud of?

“I take immense pride in leading our Design and Technology department for so many years. The joy of teaching and the ongoing connections with former students, who often return to share their life experiences, are incredibly rewarding. It’s heartening to see the impact of our department on their lives. Equally fulfilling is my role as the Contingent Commander for our school’s CCF. It’s an honour to build upon the legacy of those before me and to contribute to the development of our students in this unique way. Interestingly, it’s a role I never envisioned for myself during my own time in the CCF as a pupil this was not one of my strong areas at school. Most recently, stepping into the role of Head of Digital Strategy has been a milestone. It offers an exciting opportunity to significantly enhance our educational offerings across various subjects, making a profound impact on our students’ learning experiences.”

What are you most looking forward to in your current role?

“I’m particularly excited about the opportunity to collaborate more extensively with staff and pupils across our family of schools. Having already worked with colleagues from our prep and pre-prep schools, I’m eager to extend this collaboration to include students from all levels. We’re on the cusp of launching several initiatives aimed at enhancing our digital capabilities and literacy. One such initiative close to my heart is the ‘Digital Pathfinders’ program. This will be a community where students of all skill levels can come together to develop and hone their digital skills. It’s an exciting time to be part of this digital evolution at our schools.”

How do you relax when you’re not at school?

“Outside of school, my relaxation comes from engaging in creative and outdoor activities. I’m an avid technology enthusiast and enjoy the occasional game of COD Mobile, which along with the exciting developments in AI we are seeing are fun ways to keep up with the digital world. Camping and embracing the great outdoors are activities I deeply enjoy. However, the most fulfilling moments are those spent with my family, exploring hill walking trails, embarking on mountain biking adventures, and enjoying day trips during the weekends. These experiences with my family are truly the highlight of my time away from school.”

In summary, Mr. White truly embodies our school’s community spirit, hunger to learn and passion to help others. He’s been part of our school family for a long time, and his love for teaching and excitement for using technology to help students learn make him a great fit for this role. We wish Mr. White all the best in his new position and look forward to seeing how he’ll drive our school’s digital evolution.