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Meet the Team​​

Melissa Anne Ward
Creative Director / Acting Teacher

Melissa is the Academy's Creative Director and will be also be teaching the acting  classes.

Melissa has studied acting and trained at The Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Los Angeles and completed several courses in Manchester including TV training at The Manchester School of Acting. Working as a professional actress for over 15 years she has performed in numerous theatres such as The Royal Exchange, The Lowry, Contact Theatre, Oldham Coliseum, Clwyd Theatr Cymru and several touring venues in and around London.  Her theatre work includes Musicals, Drama, Comedy, Pantomimes, Fringe and New Writing. Melissa has also presented TV shows for Granada Television.  

She has directed several theatre productions for independent companies.  

In 2012 Melissa began teaching drama to children and  has since worked for several other schools teaching classes and helping to direct and produce productions. Melissa has also previously taught children in America where she led a radio station and taught children to present and broadcast their own shows.

She is a fully qualified teacher with a specialism in Drama and has taught Further Education, Secondary and Primary ages. She is professional, committed and someone who hopes to inspire all children along the way. She is very passionate in supporting the personal growth and development of all who enter the Academy. 

Melissa has an enchanced DBS.

Stacey Ward-Jackson
Business Manager / Photography 

Stacey is the Academy's Business Manager and will be dealing with all the important things to keep everything ticking over.

Her love for the arts began at a young age which has led her into the Creative Arts field. After studying Costume Design at school she then went on to study Art & Design at College and has always been a keen photographer.
In 2009 she graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Fashion Buying at Manchester University.

Stacey has an enchanced DBS.

Front of House

Maggie is a Primary School Teaching Assistant. As well as working in a Primary School she also helps run the Academy's Front of House at all our school venues. 

She is very smiley, chatty and always ready to welcome you to classes!

​Maggie has an enhanced DBS.

Emma Kelly
Dance Teacher

Emma has been dancing since the age of 3, taking classes in Ballet, Tap and Street Dance. In 2011 she began to train in Contemporary and Jazz at Ashton Sixth Form. During college, Emma joined Torque Youth Dance Company and performed in many shows, in theatres such as The Lowry, Oldham Collesium and Her Majesty's Theatre in London.

Emma then went on to study at Creative Academy; a CDET accredited dance school. She trained in various dance styles and techniques; Jazz, Contemporary, Commercial/Street, Ballet, Tap, Modern and Bollywood. She was also lucky enough to participate in many workshops with professional dance companies and artists.

Emma graduated from Creative Academy with a First Class Honours Degree in Dance in 2017.

Emma has always had a passion for teaching and choreographing, and has experience in teaching ages 3 to 21, in various styles of dance. Emma is very excited to be teaching  at The Ward Academy and feels she can bring versatility, passion and a wide range of dance knowledge to all of the students.

Emma has an enhanced DBS.

Lucy-Rose Graham
Singing Teacher

Lucy-Rose Graham was awarded a music scholarship to Oakham School aged 11 and has studied with leading cellists Richard Jenkinson, Eduardo Vassallo and Jennifer Langridge. Competition successes include Rutland Young Musician of the Year and composing a winning entry in the Royal Opera House Fanfare Competition.

Lucy-Rose gained a scholarship for the National Schools’ Symphony Orchestra, and has successfully auditioned to join the English Schools’ Orchestra, CBSO Youth Orchestra, CBSO Youth Orchestra Academy and Birmingham Festival Orchestra.

In addition to solo and chamber group recitals, she has performed Vivaldi Double Cello Concerto at Burghley House as well as Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1 and Piazzolla Le Grand Tango with orchestra. A highlight has been performing Kol Nedrei, Bruch, in Kings College Cambridge Chapel with professional orchestra.

Lucy-Rose has been teaching since the age of 14 and has taught both individual and group lessons in schools and privately. Lucy-Rose has taught cello, violin, piano, voice and recorder and arranges and writes her own music for each of her pupils. Lucy-Rose has done outreach work with children and adults, having written productions for primary schools and community choirs which she has taken and directed as well as volunteering with specially dedicated groups for those with special needs. 

Lucy-Rose has an enhanced DBS. 

Jessica Hope 
Singing Teacher

Essex-born Soprano Jessica Hope began her studies with Ian Kennedy (GSMD) before beginning her undergraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. Jessica graduated from the RNCM in 2017 with first class honors. She is currently studying with renowned vocal teacher Nicholas Powell.
Jessica enjoys a varied performing career, ranging from operatic roles and chorus, oratorio work as well as musical theatre. Most recently she played the roles of Musetta (La Boheme), Susanna
(The Marriage of Figaro) and Adele (Die Fledermaus). Jessica recently made her debut at Buxton Opera House playing Maria in Bernstein’s West Side story directed by Paul Kerryson.
Jessica is also on the extra chorus list for Götenburg Operan, Sweden.
Prior to her studies at the RNCM Jessica completed a foundation year in Music Theatre at Arts Educational Schools London.
Jessica is delighted to be teaching at
The Ward Academy. She has experience teaching ages from 5 to 17. She has a real passion for teaching and sharing her love of singing with all ages.
Jessica has an enhanced DBS.

Laura Wenton 
Dance Teacher

Laura graduated from the Liverpool Theatre School in Musical Theatre.

She has had a successful career in the Performing Arts Industry, working professionally as a singer, dancer and actress.

She has performed in many venues across the UK, including The Criterion West End Theatre, The Echo Arena Liverpool and Southport Theatre. She has also starred in numerous pantomimes. 

She has over 8 years experience of teaching in various schools around the North West.

She is very excited to be joining The Ward Academy and is looking forward to passing on her knowledge and love for the entertainment business to all the children. 

Laura has an enchanced DBS.