Where are you from?
I was born in Lancashire, in the North West of the United Kingdom however I haven’t lived there for a number of years. My base in the UK is in a small village called Elterwater, in the Lake District, which gives me plenty of scope to follow my passion of walking in the fells.
Have you lived in any other countries?
Yes. When I first moved abroad, I lived in the United Arab Emirates where I spent 6 years in Dubai. From Dubai, a modern, multicultural city, I moved to Jordan which is steeped in history and beautiful diverse landscapes. My final abode, before Poland, was Vietnam. Spending 11 years in South East Asia was an amazing, colourful and fascinating experience.
What did you study, and where?
I studied for a Bachelor of Education Honours Degree with Mathematics and for the National Professional Qualification for Headship.
Who is your favourite historian/scientist/literary figure and why?
Nelson Mandela certainly ranks as one of the most inspirational people I have had the honour to meet. Whilst working in Dubai, I was offered the chance to take a group of Student Council Leaders to listen to a lecture delivered by Mandela, at Sharjah University. Having read the book ‘A Long Walk to Freedom’, I was personally excited to meet such a charismatic leader who was instrumental in impacting so many lives in South Africa. The recent Black Lives Matter movement shows we still have some way to go to achieve equality. However within his lifetime, Mandela achieved significant leaps forward.
The theme of the lecture was the importance of education; everyone deserves the chance to learn. Furthermore, he stressed that everyone must grasp the opportunities that a good education can bring and relentlessly pursue their goals.
Listening to Mandela speak about his own experiences, he placed respect at the heart of success. Being respectful, even to your enemies, can make the smallest collaborations more significant.
Following the lecture, Mandela walked through the theatre and stopped to speak to our small group. Our group couldn’t have been more delighted - what a memorable and truly special occasion!
How do you spend your free time?
When I’m not walking in the hills or practising yoga, there is nothing better than getting lost in a good book.
What values are most important to you as a leader?
Collaboration and an openness to consider new ideas are important when creating a shared strategic vision. A good leader should be ambitious for themselves and others. Integrity and transparency are also vital when leading your team to ensure your vision comes to fruition.
What are your top priorities in the Principal position?
Initially, I would like to get to know our TBS community and find out what makes our school so special as this is the best starting point when looking to build on good practice. Listening to students is something I truly enjoy and value. Seeing students grow into leaders and have a genuine voice in the improvment process, is rewarding.
I’m passionate about learning and aim to unite our teachers in defining what constitutes excellence at TBS. The next step is to ensure that all our learners have the best possible experience.
Outline the role that parents should play in the school?
Parents have a vital role to play in every successful school. Communicating with teachers and working in partnership will help students to do the best they can. Whether it is helping children to be well organised for their day at school; facilitating good habits for homework or taking an interest in their children’s learning by asking the right questions, these will all be beneficial.
Working closely with parents can also provide a valuable voice when re-assessing the question about who we are as a school and how we can move forward. I look forward to meeting with parents as soon as our COVID restrictions have been eased.
What is your favourite thing about living in Warsaw?
Whist I have travelled extensively, I still have many countries in Europe to explore. I am very excited about getting to know the beautiful country of Poland and tasting the many local delicacies.
What do you miss most from home?
Apart from my family, a good cup of Yorkshire Tea!