Alumni stories

The Norton Knatchbull School has an impressive and growing alumni community. We are very proud of all our former students and are always pleased to hear about new alumni achievements and successes.

The alumni community includes professionals in an impressive range of fields– from sport, culture and music to business, medicine, engineering and those that have become entrepreneurs.

This page will include profiles of our alumni and we would love to hear from you if you would like to be featured or find out more about our Old Ashfordian and Alumni network.

Michael McHugh studied at NKS until 2005 and went on to study Computer Science at the University of Kent, but switched to Business at the end of the first year, graduating in 2009. Following University he went on to work in IT and Business for a few years before starting up his own company - Axon56 Ltd -  a design agency working on mobile technology and consumer and medical devices. This led him to work with HTC on the first wearable technology devices in Asia and the USA, and to launch a mobile brand in North Africa. Michael now works with Imperial College on IoT, eHealth and B2B wearable technologies.

Richard Strode left NKS in 1989 and upon leaving he worked to fund a trip with a friend from NKS in which they mountain biked around India and the Nepalese Himalayas for 6 months. He went on to Durham University where he studied Geography and after graduating spent 3 years doing his accountancy exams at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Following this were 7 years in City banking. Richard wanted to have a different life out of the city so then took the risky move of setting up his own property development company in London and Surrey. This was 13 years ago and he has now successfully grown his business and gained planning permission, built and developed over 30 properties.

Professor Geoff Petts was a student at Ashford Grammar School (NKS) until 1971 and he went on to study physical geography and geology at the University of Liverpool and gained his PhD at the University of Southampton. He had a lectureship at Loughborough University in 1979, was awarded a chair in 1989, and became head of department in 1991. He was appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham in 2002, before taking up his appointment as Vice-Chancellor at University of Westminster in 2007.  

Laurence Harvey was a student at NKS until 2009 and he studied Sports Studies, Psychology and Business Studies A Levels. A talented sportsman he started Tennis Coaching at Bethersden Tennis Club for Tom Carlton Tennis and now he runs his own business called Laurence Harvey Fitness and offers Personal Training and Tennis Coaching.

Alexander Eccles left NKS and went on to study Modern Languages at University. As someone most at home in the DT classroom and who was always making things when at home when growing up it is no surprise that he went on to train to become a set builder and construction manager who devises and creates sets to be used for both in stills (photography) and shoots (filming). He works with clients in the fashion industry, making the advertising campaigns for brands including Celine, Versace, Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Missoni, Hermes, Burberry, Coaches and Karl Lagerfeld.

Oskar Jensen left NKS student to study Modern History at Christ Church, Oxford where he completed his BA, MSt and DPhil on ‘Napoleon and British Popular Song, 1797-1822 (2013). He is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at King’s College London, focusing on Music in London 1800-1851. He has written two books for children, The Stones of Winter and The Wild Hunt, both set in a magical version of Viking-age Scandinavia.

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