News and updates from Simmarians
If you have some alumni news that you would like us to publish please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kenneth Binks (1945-47)
Military Service in the South Lancashire Regiment, prior to my transfer to the Royal Army Educational Corps. Leeds University (Part-Time) 1955-57. Secured the headship of Our Lady of Lourdes School in Huddersfield. I retired after 23 years there.
William Brett (1943-45)
National Service, 1945 to 1948. Assistant Teacher, Grimsby and Scunthorpe, 1948 to 1959. Deputy Head, Leicester, 1949 to 1977. Head Teacher, St Joseph's Primary School (new school) 1977 till retirement in 1988. Graduated from the Open University in 1974.
Anthony Larkin (1946-48)
Retired for over thirty years and still enjoying retirement, despite the drawbacks of old age. I belonged to the year with the unusual distinction of being sent down en masse. Survived it to become a Head!
Daniel Sheil (1948-51)
After teaching in London, Australia and France, I enjoyed a long happy teaching career in Jersey where I was head of Modern Languages for many years. My young years at Simmaries were wonderfully happy. Many thanks!
Daniel Baldasera (1956-58)
Now retired but still active. Travelling frequently in the North East - I would be happy to meet anyone from Simms 1956-58.
John Callaghan (1950-52)
I write to you from California - Los Angeles - where I live, having been here since 1977, and having just last year retired from the Faculty of the University of Southern California, at a very advanced age! But my connection to St Mary’s: I was a student there from 1950 to 1952, then on to Loughborough for a year, and then taught in Leicestershire and Liverpool, before returning to St Mary’s in 1961 to lecture in the Physical Education Department. Stayed until 1965 when I left for the USA and pursued a PhD and taught at university. In 1973 I returned to St Mary’s as Head of the Movement Studies Department, and stayed for four years before leaving for a professorial appointment at the aforementioned University of Southern California - where obviously I have spent the large part of my career. I return to England each summer, and actually came to St Mary’s just a couple of years ago for a quiet walk around - not surprisingly did not see anyone whom I knew. Obviously there have been structural changes, but so much of the campus was as I remembered.
Terence Dillon (1959-61)
I began my career in a secondary modern school. My subject was history. I moved from Skipton to the Oratory School in Birmingham. I then became head of the Becket School, Nottingham in 1975. I became an HMI in 1984 and retired in 1992. I then became an international educational consultant, working in Romania, Montenegro, South Africa, Trinidad and Egypt. Since my retirement, I have written several books, all of which are available on Amazon.
Austin Gibbons (1955-58)
I was at Simmaries from 1955 to 1958. The first two years was the standard (for that time) teacher's certificate course. I then stayed on for the newly started one year diploma course in physical education, run by the director, Mr John Kane. This was the first one of this type. Up to then, the subject was physical training, with the emphasis being on the army PT course. I was lucky, just out of the army, where I was a PTI. I was also fortunate that Colonel Goddard, ex officer in charge of the army school of physical training, was appointed in charge of the teaching practice. You can imagine how lucky I was because I did all army lessons - that went down very well with him!
Patrick Morgan (1950-53)
After leaving Simmaries in 1953, I taught till 1957 at the small St Catherine’s RC School in Barnet with all the secondary students in one classroom. Then to Rhodesia, as it was, for ten years, teaching first at Chaplin High, Gweru and then for six and being invited for the next four to teach seniors Economics at St George’s Jesuit College, Salisbury. In 1967 I moved to South Africa and began fundraising for the Marist Brothers’ retirement homes, covering their ten school areas mostly round the coast. Then a foray into commerce in Johannesburg for most of my twenty seven years in South Africa, becoming a Marketing Director at my company. In 1994 retired to Ireland.
James O'Connor (1959-63)
Formerly ‘Social Secretary' at St Mary’s; taught art/drama/English in secondary seater for twelve years, then moved into further education. Retired at 50 to indulge in travel, walking, writing and acting. Married for more than fifty years with two grandchildren.
Francis Rylance (1954-56)
BA degree in General Studies at Manchester University. Diploma in Advanced Studies in Primary Education at Liverpool University. Book Queen Nefertiti published by Janus London.
George Wilcock (1952-54)
After two years of National Service, I studied Mathematics and Physics at St Mary’s from 1952 to 1955. After this I taught mainly in secondary education, Grammar and Modern, in West Yorkshire. In the early sixties I studied for and obtained The Diploma of the Mathematical Association. In 1981 I obtained a BEd at Leeds Metropolitan University. I took early retirement in 1990. At present, I continue to do some part time education studying French.
Paul Baker (1968-71)
The class of 1968 (to 1971) will be 50 years old in September! I read English & Philosophy and played for as many sports teams as would have me. I managed to live in the Old House and Wiseman & Graham too. I married Mary Lennon (Biology & Maths) who lived in 33, you know the road! Great sports teams and some great characters; Torchy; Paul Dowsey-Magog who had an infinite capacity for ale and Pat Coleman, travelling companion for many teams, who could down a pint in 1.5 secs. And Lesley Kelly's laugh, to name but a few! Like most of you I guess, retired! Ended my career as Deputy Head at St Aidan's, Sunderland, a large 11-18 comprehensive.
Ann Baughan (1969-72)
I taught in various schools in Coventry prior to moving to the Highlands of Scotland where I continued to teach until my retirement in 2010. I moved in 2016 to East Kilbride where I continue to pursue my theatrical interests.
Tony Bispham (1968-71)
I am infinitely grateful to the staff of St Mary’s for enabling a lifetime career in teaching. I studied Mathematics and Physics between 1968 and 1971 and secured a post teaching those subjects at St. Joseph’s RC High School, Newport. With the advent of Computing I completed a degree and spent my career building a department of Computing and Informatics and further expanding it to facilitate IT as a base across the curriculum. After forty four years of service at the same school I retired with a catalogue of happy memories initiated at St Mary’s.
Kevin Clayton (1962-65)
I worked one year as an English assistant at a college in France - Romarantin, Loire et Cher. I taught for twenty years at Cardinal Wiseman Greenford and eighteen years at Northolt High School. I retired in 2006 and moved to Dundee where I help in Monifieth History Society as webmaster.
Michael Collins (1969-73)
I retired in 2006, after a very fulfilling career at St Aidan's School in Sunderland. Our school badge doesn't have the armorial embellishments of St Mary's but the words are significant ‘God is our light’ and with that earnest prayer to Our Lady, ‘Show yourself to be a mother’, they form the ‘bookends’ of my life in education (so far). I now work part-time for the international Catholic charity Aid to The Church in Need. Not wanting to waste time in retirement, I got married in 2006 to a wonderful, inspiring lady and we know have three beautiful children, who attend St Mary's School (where else!). So, Eliot was right: ‘in my end is my beginning’. I loved my four years at St Mary's.
Brian Dickson (1960-63)
I was on the first of the three year Teacher Training Courses from 1960- 1963. I specialised in Spanish and Fine Arts and was in the first XV for the three years - a lone non-PE voice! Directly after graduating from Simms, I went to Chile on a British Council contract and taught in a bilingual international school. I followed Chile with posts in similar international schools in Lebanon, the Bahamas, Colombia, Uruguay, Chile, Botswana, the UK and the USA. My last fifteen years were as a head of school and I retired from a very rewarding teaching career in 2006. I still do school inspections for the International Baccalaureate in the Americas and am based in a golfer’s paradise in Florida - The Villages. I’d love to receive news from any contemporaries.
Ormond Fannon (1968-71)
I am retired and living in Cascais, Portugal. Previous responsibilities:
1. Head of Art, Design & Technology, then Business Manager and Executive Director for Resource Development, St Julian's School, Portugal.
2. Deputy Chief Examiner for International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme - Visual Arts.
3. Accreditation Visit Leader for CIS - Council of International Schools.
4. Board of Directors (member) at Sociedade Nacional de Belas Artes – Portugal.
5. Practising artist - website www.ormondfannon.net.
Brian Fiddler (1967-70)
Taught at Priestly College Warrington as Head of Travel and Tourism. Also taught flying - assisted over 100 students to become pilots. Also assisted many students to Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award - received the presidential award for services to disabled swimming and lifesaving in Warrington. Now a travel writer and author.
John Hillel (1966-69)
I attended St Mary’s between 1966 and 69 majoring in Geography and Sociology. After teaching in primary schools for a few years I left to form The Pub Theatre Company with a small group of like-minded alternative theatre enthusiasts. We performed new English plays in the reception rooms in pubs and at various other non-theatre venues. I then went to Lancaster University to take a new coursework Masters in English Theatre. In 1976 I emigrated to Australia where I taught in a secondary school in Brisbane and then moved to Melbourne (where I now live) to study film and TV and teach in the Drama department at Melbourne State College. I moved to a position at The Institute of Catholic Education in 1981 where I spent the next fifteen years with three as head of the Creative Arts Department. I left in 1996 to take up a position as head of production at the Victorian College of the Arts. After that I taught Media at ACU, overseeing its development as a separate department and formed a company to produce videos for the education market. I retired from teaching at the end of 2016. These days I volunteer at a local charity shop, sit on the Board of Governance and on various committees at my local Progressive Synagogue, produce videos for charities and community organisations, organise a Repair Café, play tennis, cook and do other bits of house-husbanding (my wife still works very full time).
Veronica Hutchinson (1969-72)
Married with two children, the first one getting married early spring 2018. Taught at RC secondary schools in Leeds and Bradford for thirty years. The last school before my retirement was Mount St Mary’s High School in Leeds. Still doing the odd bit of supply teaching.
Peter Murphy (1964-67)
I attended St Mary’s College from 1964 to 1967 after which I emigrated to Canada and taught in North Western Ontario for one year, and four and a half years in North Bay. I then took a position in January 1972 with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (an affiliate of the Ontario Teachers' Federation) which is the union to which the teachers in the Province's Catholic schools belong. The bulk of my career centred on collective bargaining and the processing of grievances. I was honoured with a Fellowship from the Ontario Teachers' Federation in 1996 and retired in 1999 when the opportunity arose to take an early retirement.
John Newman (1963-66)
I have been retired on the west coast of Ireland for the past eleven years. I did not take up teaching but went into industry. On retirement I was CEO (UK Divisional Director) of some plastic manufacturing companies in the UK.
Keith Nicholls (1966-69)
Independent sports consultant on facility design and management - worked with Birmingham, Nottingham, Hertfordshire and Winchester Universities among others. Vice Chair of Volleyball England.
Dennis O'Leary (1961-64)
Retired from teaching full time in 2002 and from part time teaching in 2012, working mostly in Suffolk. Now spending most time with Bury Theatre Workshop of which I am a co-founder and for whom I have enjoyed playing Albert Doolittle, Prospero, Toby Belch, Capulet, Leonato, Jacques and this year, Shylock - so I'm being kept busy in my dotage!
Walter Poulter (1964-67)
Retired senior police officer and non-executive director for the NHS. Now a school governor, and active grandpa, dad and husband.
Brian Rafferty (1964-67)
Still involved in education - chair of the BOG for Our Lady and St Mochua's Primary School, Derrymoore. Also do some work for CCMS and am a member of the Armagh Diocesan Education Committee.
Stefan Cieslik (1964-67)
I attended St Mary’s College from 1964 to 1967 after which I emigrated to Canada just in time for Expo ’67 in Montreal. Taught Kindergarten to Grade 12 for most of my career in many different parts of British Columbia. Mid-career, switched gears for four years and became a full-time teacher union activist/advocate at the local, regional and provincial level in British Columbia. Also taught in Thorne, Yorkshire (1968/69), for one term at St Mary’s (1969), and in Havana, Cuba, (2005). Still working as an occasional Teacher-On-Call and volunteering as a retired-teacher activist at the local and provincial level in British Columbia.
John Quinn (1960-61, 1965-67)
I taught at St. Swithin’s in Liverpool for one year in 1967. After St. Swithin’s I was supposed to teach, as a volunteer in Uganda with the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) but in August 1968 my visa was cancelled. My friend in Uganda, Pete Smith WF, suggested it might be for the best as a certain Idi Amin was not yet President but was in command of the armed forces and things were not so great. I ended up teaching the next two years with the Salesians at Salesian College, Battersea and in 1970 I married my wife Nora O’Malley (now of 47 years). We lived in Jamaica for four years teaching at Cornwall College and Mount Alvernia High School, both in Montego Bay. I also ran a scuba-diving business, Montego Reef Divers and spent some time working on a movie - Paillon - with Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. We moved to Ontario, Canada in 1974 and other than time doing graduate studies in Boston MA we have remained in Ontario first in Walkerton and since then in St Catharine’s. We are both now retired, three of our four kids are teachers and the fourth works in film (writer and producer).
In 1979 I began a Conference High School Forum, for religious education teachers and chaplains in Catholic high schools. This morphed into the Canadian Forum on Theology and Education and between 1979 and 2018 when I ended Forum I ran almost 40 conferences with many Catholic theologians and religious educators.
I also wrote and worked for a small independent Catholic newspaper Catholic New Times and when it stopped publication I edited an online version for four years. I was also Senior Author and Consultant for a series, Catholic Values Teacher Resource for the Ontario History Curriculum Grades 7, 8 & 9.
My kid brother Albert is also a Simmarian. He was killed some years back riding his motorbike in Thailand.
Clive Beltran (1971-75)
1. Currently NED Inspired Gaming Ltd. 2. Started the Gibraltar Simmarian Society and was President 1994-2004. 3. Mayor of Gibraltar 2005-2009. 4. Elected to the Gibraltar Parliament in 2003 and in 2007. M.P. for eight years. Minister for Education 2007-2011.
Eileen Connolly (1974-77)
I live in a small village in Norfolk. I have done some archive work at the local museum and privately. I raise money for the community by making and selling craft products such as quilts and other objects. I travel to New Zealand regularly to visit my family there.
Gail Deal (1979-80)
I have co-written four textbooks on Performing Arts and Drama. I am a senior examiner with Cambridge International Education. I write theatre reviews for two publications. I am a fellow of both the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors and the Royal Society of Arts.
Michael Grant (1973-76)
I left college in 1976 having married Annette. I worked initially in a secondary school in Bishop’s Stortford teaching Maths before moving onto working at Harlow College in 1980 where I became leader of the computing division. In 1989 I left to work in IT, first at an international drinks company before moving in 1997 to work for an international IT outsourcing and consultancy company working in a number of roles and locations until I retired at the end of 2011. Annette and I now live in Suffolk where I have worked as a Supply teacher at a local secondary school, but now I carry out voluntary work for our local church, the Imperial War Museum and a local arts and theatre charity.
Veronica Guilfoyle (1974-78)
I spent four years at St Marys studying a BEd in English and PE. One of those terms was spent at Frostburg State College, Maryland, following my subjects on an exchange course. When I left college, I worked in three comprehensive schools in London, teaching English and PE and as head of year at St Marylebone School. I then moved back to the north where I became head of PE at a Direct Grant Grammar School, and stayed there until I took retirement on ill health grounds. Some of my time in retirement was spent doing an A level in psychology, before going to Lancaster University on a three year open lecture scheme psychology degree course, doing an advanced driving course; playing badminton, going to dance and yoga classes and I have become an avid member of Manchester United football club. I am hoping to have a book published on mental health issues which I have been writing over the last few years.
Vivenne Holland (1974-78)
From 1974 to 1978 I studied History and French at St Mary’s, graduating with a BEd. I worked first in Paris, then London before moving back north to teach in Southport. I retired in 2015.
John Molyneux (1974-77)
I have been selected to play for England at badminton in the European Masters Championships to be held in Spain in September 2018.
Stephen O'Brien (1976-80)
Taught RE in secondary Catholic schools in Hertfordshire for twenty years. Seventeen years as RE advisor with Northampton Catholic Diocese. Now semi-retired and managing CCRS Studies and S48 inspection for the diocese.
Roy Shepherd-Thorn (1970-73)
Since retiring from full time secondary teaching in 2008, I have continued teaching on supply, plus being an external examiner for GCSE History. In 2016, I completed my MA (Ed) degree with the Open University, and graduated in April 2017.
Frank Sudlow (1974-77)
Living in Northampton having taught for 20 years and then worked in the Education Team at CAFOD for another 20 years. Still visiting schools as a CAFOD Volunteer. Married Val (Fanning) on leaving college (1977) and now both retired with two grandchildren.
Roger Sullivan (1976-80)
After 21 years as head of a Catholic primary school in south east London, I am now happily retired. I enjoy catching up with old friends and travelling in the UK and Europe.
Mark Wiggan (1973-77)
I am the Director of Caritas Diocese of Salford – a charity part of the global network of Catholic social action organisations. Having studied at St Mary’s I’ve spent most of my working life working for the Catholic Church and the most recent project has been the development of a new refugee settlement pathway known as community sponsorship for vulnerable Syrian refugees based on the Canadian model.
Eamonn Elliott (1989-93)
After leaving St Mary’s in 1993 I went on to teaching in primary education. I became a deputy head and then acting headteacher for several years before deciding to leave London and move to Birmingham. In Birmingham I joined Newman University where I teach Religious Education to trainee teachers, single and joint honours students and coordinate the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies. I have since gained a Master’s in Education. Currently I'm studying for a doctorate through an EdD programme.
Ursula Halton (1982-85)
Director of Eyes Open CIC LTD - Trading as The Bank Arts Centre, Suffolk. Reiki Teacher, Writer, Shamanic Healing.
Sue Kennedy (1988-91)
I am an NLP Master Practitioner and Coach.
Jo Kinchlea (1983-87)
I married David in 1989. We had two daughters, now aged 23 and 19. We are living back in Kew after twenty odd years in the East End. I have taught in the same school since graduation. I am still in contact with most of my St Mary's buddies! We meet up most years.
Frank McMorrow (1980-84)
I was at Simms from 1980 to 1984 and started teaching PE at Redbridge Community School in Southampton. Returning to London, I worked at Latymer Upper School from 1990 to 2001, becoming Head of Department before I left. I coached a national league women’s football team for ten years and managed to secure a sabbatical year from Latymer Upper School in 1999 at Fulham FC as Ladies’ Manager of their full time professional team, the first in the country. I led the team out to a FA Cup final vs Arsenal at Crystal Palace FC in 2000 which was shown live on SkyTV. I moved to Bedales boarding school in Hampshire in 2003 as Head of PE. In 2009 I secured a Director of Sport position at The British School of São Paulo in Brazil (St Paul’s) until 2015. On return to the UK, I took on a temporary one year Director of Sport role at Sherborne Girls and then was a maths teacher at King Arthur’s School in Wincanton. I retired from teaching at the end of 2017, but I am now doing a part time sports administrator’s role back at Sherborne Girls.
Sharon Omer-Kaye (1985-88)
Qualified as a Chartered Tax Adviser in 1996. Partner in global accountancy firm RSM. Currently run the Swindon office for the firm. Also branch chair of Wiltshire and Gloucestershire Society of Trust and Estate professionals.
Joanna Pedlow (1989-93)
I have been a Headteacher of a three form infant school since 2000, taking the school twice to an outstanding grade. In 2017 I also became head of the neighbouring junior school, and we now have over six hundred children in twenty two classes. I am also a trained OFSTED inspector and carry out inspections in various counties which keeps me busy as well as having the privilege of visiting many other schools.
Nicola Simcock (1987-90)
Formerly worked in higher education marketing and then for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Publishing Unit.
Alison Watkins (1989-93)
I worked as a primary school teacher in South Yorkshire for twenty three years, moving to three different schools and becoming head of KS1, Literacy leader and Arts Team Leader. I acted as deputy head for a couple of terms. I decided to give up full time teaching after the death of both my parents and have done supply work and invigilating for GCSE exams for the last eighteen months.
Paula McMahon (1989-92)
I was an English Major/Drama minor enrolled 1989, graduated in 1992. First year resident of Doyle. I remember my time at St Mary's so fondly. Made some great friends who I remain in touch with to this day. Married to an American, with two sons, one who recently graduated high school. Completed my Masters in Rehabilitation Counselling and Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Worked as a Disability Rights Advocate in Virginia before transitioning into higher education and working as a program director at a community college career development program. Then moved to VCU to work as the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator, before switching to the Partnership for People with Disabilities. Recently moved and just started as a Professor of Rehabilitation and Human Services at Montana State University and enjoying the change of pace.
Susan Ryan (1980-84)
I left after completing my Honours year and was at St Mary's from 1980 - 1984. I made some great friends there and took part in the HCPT group which led to making more great friends. I am in touch with Natalie Coppock as she was then and we see each other as often as we can.
I was lucky enough to be accepted by Virgo Fidelis Preparatory School in Upper Norwood SE19 as a year 2 teacher in September 1984. It was a lovely school and I stayed there under five different Head teachers for over 30 years. During that time I became Deputy Head, Coordinator for Numeracy, Healthy Schools, PSHE and Global Learning. I was Travel Champion and took the school to Gold in the Healthy Schools programme. During my last few years I became the SENCo, working with pupils who were struggling in some way. Sadly the school business was sold in 2016 and the new owner made us all redundant within six months. Some staff and parents kept the school running for the final term.
I then obtained a part-time job teaching year 3 at Pickhurst Academy in West Wickham in the September after VFPS closed. At the Christmas I was made full time and taught there until Easter 2018 when I took early retirement to support a friend and my brother who were both suffering health wise.
Stephen Bauer (1997-)
Voted Coach of the Year 2017 for Herefordshire & Worchester LTA.
Susan Belej (1994-98)
I have been working for 17 years as the Education Officer/Learning Manager at WWT Slimbridge. The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) is a conservation charity that saves wetlands, which are essential for life itself. My department offers informative and engaging, curriculum-linked learning sessions based in the outdoors which are suitable for a range of ages and abilities. We also look after the events/activities for our family audiences plus assist with the walks and talks programme, roll out of interpretation panels etc.
Kevin Bell (1994-97)
Qualified as an internal auditor after leaving St Mary's. Married fellow Simmarian Eleanor Mooney in 2005 and we have two daughters.
William Fillery (1991-96)
Head of RE at Streatham Hill and Clapham High School from 1991 to 2002. Vicar of Llanllwni, Llanybydder and Llanwenog, from 2003 to 2010. Retired in 2010 but currently have pastoral care of two small parishes.
Neil Franklin (1996-99)
I studied English from 1996 to 1999 before becoming a reporter on my home city paper, the Peterborough Evening Telegraph. I then went in to communications for Cambridgeshire Police where I remain today. I am now father of two, Noah (5) and Lucy (3).
Phil Gallagher (1991-92)
I taught PE and RE for six years before moving to Charlton Athletic FC as their Head of Education and Welfare. Now working at UK Sport as a Senior Performance Advisor.
Jacqueline George (1996-99)
I work for companies such as National Theatre Wales, National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. I also am co-director of my own theatre company, We Made This.
Anna McClarnon (1991-94)
After graduating from St Mary's, I worked within the sport science department managing the sports facilities for three years, prior to moving into Leisure Management in the London Borough of Lewisham. In 2006 I decided to retrain and become a teacher through the GTP programme and have worked at Bridgemary School (Gosport) advancing my career from unqualified teacher to assistant headteacher. In addition to a successful career, I have also completed nine marathons around Europe and completed a sole swim of the English Channel in 2002 in a time of 24 hours and 8 minutes.
Thomas Middleton (1998-01)
In 2001 when I graduated from St Mary's I put the learning from my degree and my passion for cycling into practise managing a bike shop back home in Cambridge. After leaving the bike shop I started a career in finance, this started in domestic banking as a regional manager. I then took the opportunity to move into business banking working to support start up businesses, as well as SMEs in growing their propositions across a wide range of industries. The ever changing financial sector in the 2000s led me to work with a number of businesses in assurances and investments until 2007. I left finance for a role in Academic Publishing with Cambridge University Press where I developed new streams of the e-publishing business across the UK, Europe and the Middle East. I continued working with educational clients when I moved to an awarding organisation creating training and qualifications for apprenticeships, in the construction industry. A large part of my work was liaising with major construction companies, policy makers and the government to deliver change to improve the training given and to make the workplace safer for those working in the construction industry.
I currently work for Ede & Ravenscroft managing the delivery of their graduation business. As a business we provide the Academic dress and Photography services to the majority of the UK universities including St Mary's.
David Overton (1994-97)
Following years of career frustration and ecclesiological soul searching, I was eventually received into the Catholic Church in New Brighton (via the ICKSP) in 2016. I was confirmed, and retired, the following year (2017).
Elizabeth Jones (1998-2001)
My main job in the past was working in the offices of the Archbishops' Council. Over the last nearly four years, I have been a proprietor of a baby shop in Balham. For three years, I was a franchisee, but then things went a bit wrong when the franchiser closed down in 2017. Having built up a lovely customer base and having invested loads of time as well as money into my little shop during 2017, I changed from being franchisee to running the shop as a fully independent shop. Once the franchiser's website finally closed, I was able to build my own website - something I'd never done before! Everything in the shop is as natural as possible, most items are made with organic cotton, organic herbs, bamboo, organic wool, sustainable wood or are eco-friendly in general. The shop is now called Natural for Baby.
Charlotte Isham (1999-2002)
I have been teaching in England now for 15 years! Throughout my career I always think back to my time at St Mary’s and am still in touch with those I lived with during my 4 years - most are still teaching! Thanks to a great grounding, I managed to become a head teacher of a small independent primary school by the time I was 27! St Mary’s gave me the confidence to believe in myself and, although teaching at times can be stressful, I still love my job and cannot imagine not working with children. I even tutor in my spare time to support children with special needs which I find really rewarding. I have taught in a total of 6 primary schools, mainly in KS1 (Windsor, Priors Marston, Ryton, Coventry, Rugby and Daventry) I have even tried my hand at supply teaching which really keeps you on your toes. and makes you have to think on the spot when they don’t leave planning! Now I’m teaching year 4 at a challenging academy school which achieved a great OFSTED report - never be put off by them, in fact, they help you shine in adversity. I’m about to get married after purchasing our first house together. My future plans are to work part time and either be an NQT tutor or bring up a family.
Judith Corry (2005-07)
I got a postgraduate Diploma in Religion & Conflict in 2009. Published my memoirs Fish's Daughter - The memoirs of a naval Captain’s daughter in January 2017.
Madeleine Neave (2008-09)
After eight rewarding, happy years teaching French as a secondary then primary teacher, I have now reinvented myself as a museum curator! My late mother left me a stunning collection of 100+ breadboards with knives, which I have displayed and lit beautifully in her front room. I give tours including a cream tea, with the scones presented on a favourite board chosen by our visitors. The collection can be handled and discussed freely, so I keep the lecturing to a minimum in true teacher fashion! We have been featured in Time Out, The Times and on Radio 4’s Saturday Live! But come and see for yourself at www.antiquebreadboards.com.
Jacqui O'Connor (2008-10)
I've been teaching for over twenty years. The St Mary's MA helped me secure promotion and I've recently finished a stint as a Headteacher. I am now an Associate Head to give me work-life balance as I prepare to start my EdD - couldn't have done this without my great St Mary's tutor.
Neil O'Hagen (2001-04)
As well as teaching in London, I have also worked in international schools in Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland and the USE.
Sarah Rand (2005-08)
Started my doctoral training towards becoming a chartered educational psychologist.
Elizabeth Raven (2001-04)
I studied a GTP to become a teacher and worked through various promotions to become a head of faculty before taking a demotion to work nearer home and start a family.
Stephen Shepherdson (2008-11)
After working as a freelance journalist for a year, I obtained a job in higher education administration. I am planning to return to St Mary's in 2018 on a postgraduate course. In my personal life, I married Nella (who I met at St Mary's) and we now have a beautiful son called Isaac. I'm so happy to see that the old university is climbing the tables and prospering!
Ameepurva Thaker (2006-09)
Currently working towards my Psychotherapy MSc qualification.
Michelle Markey (2009-12)
I studied at St. Marys from 2009-12 and completed the undergrad in primary teaching. I graduated in the July with a job offer for that September and taught for four years in an outstanding school in Ruislip. During that time I taught Year 2, Year 3 and became KS2 Mathematics Co-ordinator. In 2016 I moved back home to Ireland and I am currently teaching first class. Thank you St. Mary’s for giving me a wonderful start to my teaching career.
Rebecca Doak (2011-12)
I got my first teaching job in Brixton which presented me with many challenges. After working there for three years I moved to Sutton and worked at a school in Wallington. I have been head of key stage, subject coordinator and year 6 teacher during my time here. This will be my last year in London as after ten years here, since starting at St Mary’s, it is time for me to move back to the countryside.
Michael Lees (2010-13)
I am working as a volunteer in the Chaplaincy of Eastbourne District Hospital.
Hayley Randell (2011-14)
I went on to study a masters in social work at Brunel the same year that I graduated from St Mary's, after travelling during the summer. I completed my Master’s in July 2016 and started working as a social worker in a children and families team.
Lavinia Tackie-Yarboi (2012-15)
Since completing my degree, I worked for Kenwood (a kitchen appliance company) as an Assistant Home Economist, specialising in health and wellbeing. I now work for independent clinical services on the national diabetes prevention programme as a health and wellbeing coach. I also work part time for Wandsworth council as a nutrition lifestyle leader for their child weight management programme Beat it!
Ben Woods (2013-14)
Having graduated from the PGCE in Secondary PE in 2014 I completed my NQT year at Cove Secondary School in Farnborough. In my second year I was given a TLR as assistant curriculum leader. In 2016 I moved to Hong Kong and began teaching at an international school which is part of the English Schools Foundation. I am in my second year overseas teaching PE and Sport Science through the IBO program and looking forward to more international opportunities.