board_sized_for_web_0006_jack simpson


Educated at Edinburgh and Manchester Universities, Jack has been in teaching since 1982. Headteacher of Leith Academy since 2008, leading a co-educational, inner-city comprehensive with a large number of EAL speakers and a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, Jack has lately been involved in the development of Mandarin at school, authority and national levels.

Maxine Sloss

MAXINE SLOSS (Founding Trustee)

Dyslexic and struggled in the school system. Found fulfilment and inspiration through creativity. Went on to become a designer in New York and London. Passionate about the power of creativity to transform lives.
Introduced the Art Room charity to Edinburgh and founded The Super Power Agency.


SHEILA PATON (Treasurer)

Sheila is a former Head Teacher and currently Senior Manager of schools for the City of Edinburgh Council.  She’s passionate about improving outcomes for our more vulnerable young people and those for whom social and economic barriers prevent them reaching their full potential.  Simple, practical and creative interventions have very powerful consequences for individuals and she wants to support these whenever she can.


Jonathan Reed

Deemed by school ‘not to have an artistic bone in his body’, after following a traditional educational route which led him to studying Physiology at Kings College London, Jonathan fell in with a creative crowd and quickly found himself working with and designing stores for the likes of Hackett, Asprey and Ralph Lauren. He founded his own Interior Design and Architectural practice in 1995 and together with a team of 40+ he now designs some of the world’s most prestigious homes for some of its most demanding individuals. A committed believer in the power that creative thinking and environments can have in transforming lives he is eager to see this put into practice at the Super Power Agency in Edinburgh.


board_sized_for_web_0008_Adam burley

With sixteen years’ clinical experience working with marginalised and excluded populations in New Zealand and Scotland, Adam established and developed a clinical psychology and psychotherapy service within homeless services in Edinburgh in 2005. Areas of academic and clinical interest include personality development, health inequality, relational psychodynamics, impact of adverse childhood experiences, and development and implementation of psychologically informed environments and systems.



After more than twenty years in the corporate world Valerie is now a Chief Marketing officer for hire – helping companies (from global giants to start-ups) connect and communicate with their customers through a clear strategy, great content and engaging social media. Worldwide experience, based in Edinburgh.



Merryn Somerset Webb is Editor-in-chief of Moneyweek, the UK’s best-selling financial magazine. She is also a Financial Times columnist and regular TV and radio commentator on all things financial.

board_sized_for_web_0002_Ryan van winkle


Ryan is a poet, live artist and podcaster. His second collection, The Good Dark, won the Saltire Society’s 2015 Poetry Book of the Year award. He has volunteered at 826 Valencia in San Francisco and remains a long-term member of the Forest Arts Collective. As a member of Highlight Arts he has organised festivals and workshops in Syria, Pakistan and Iraq.



Fiona qualified as a high school teacher of English, Communication and Media studies. She taught for 13 years, mainly in areas of multiple deprivation. Her voluntary work used creative arts to engage young people and develop their confidence. This work led to her becoming an adviser to Social work in the City of Culture formed for Glasgow’s reign as European Capital of Culture in 1990. This post was made permanent in 1992, so she must have been doing something right!

Fiona later became a Senior Policy Development Officer in the City of Glasgow Council, before leaving to join the Big Lottery Fund. She had some enjoyable years travelling the country assessing projects for funding and running workshops on how to plan funding applications. More recently Fiona joined Rosslyn Chapel Trust as their Learning and Outreach Manager, in order to have a more relaxed lifestyle with less travelling.


    The Super Power Agency is dedicated to supporting young people, aged 8-18, using a range of writing workshops, interdisciplinary creative programmes and a corps of volunteers. Our aim is to give students the support they need to close the attainment gap in education.

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Super Power Agency is a registered charity.

Charity No. SC046550