Discover OVs through our weekly profiles.
Lots of pupils are interested in entering the health profession and this week we are delighted to feature Paramedic Clinical Mentor, Ben Rean (Os 02-09) as our former pupil. Ben got involved with lots of activities at King’s including cross country and rowing as well as being a house prefect.
After King’s, Ben started a degree in outdoor leadership at Cumbria university but left after 6 months, realising that it was a hobby and not a career. Ben then looked in to the role of the paramedic. Ben completed an FdSc in Paramedic Science at the University of Worcester and registered as a paramedic with the HCPC in 2016.
Ben was based at South Central Ambulance Services’s (SCAS) Adderbury ambulance station, in Oxfordshire until December 2019 when he joined West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) and now works at Hollymoor Hub. Ben also worked shifts on the Helicopter support vehicle that runs alongside Thames Valley Air Ambulance.
We are back for the start of a new term and a new year and we are delighted to feature OV and King’s parent, Steve Perera (Cr 86-93) as our first OV of the week for 2020. At King’s, Steve was involved with CCF as well as playing for the 1st XV. He was also fully involved in house activities during his time at school, representing Creighton House in most sports including football, basketball and tug of war. Steve then went to Swansea University to study Economics and Politics.
Steve worked for a number of large companies in corporate pensions including Aon and PwC before becoming a Lifestyle Financial Planner in 2004. In 2006 Steve set up his own company, ‘Britannic Place’ and he qualified as a Chartered Financial Planner in 2007. Steve has gone on to provide financial advice to other OVs, King’s parents and even a couple of ex-King’s school teachers since he set up his business.
Steve’s business had a good 2019, having been shortlisted for the Retirement Planner awards and the Money Age awards. This success has continued with a great start to 2020, as he has just qualified for VouchedFor’s guide as one of the UK’s Top Rated Financial Advisers.
We are looking forward to the 10 Year Reunion on Saturday 14th December and we are delighted to feature as our OV of the week, 10-year leaver Hayley Weaver (W 07-09). At King’s, Hayley was a mentor and was involved in Duke of Edinburgh, swimming and netball.
Hayley went to the University of Birmingham to study Sport and Exercise Sciences and then started her career in the healthcare industry at Spire Healthcare before also completing a Masters in Paediatric Exercise and Health at the University of Exeter.
Hayley now works for Nuffield Health where she is a Health and Wellbeing Physiologist as well as an Executive Healthcare Programme Physiologist. Hayley provides health assessments for clients and ensures the smooth running of a busy Medical Centre. Hayley is also Regional Clinical Lead Physiologist and manages a team of clinicians, ensuring they are adhering to the highest clinical standards, as well as driving the overall clinical quality for the company.
Sixth Form is a very important time for King’s pupils and this week our OV of the week is Lizzy Bennett (Ch 08-10) who attended King’s for Sixth Form and studied Maths, Biology and Design Technology. As Lizzy discovered, choosing the right career path can take some time…and travelling around! Following the completion of a Child Psychology degree at Birmingham and a Masters in teaching, Lizzy spent 2 years as an international Early Year’s teacher at The British School of Amsterdam in The Netherlands.
Lizzy then jumped into international management consultancy for 2 years, working on projects based in the United Arab Emirates and The Philippines. With an increasing interest in the finance industry and developing coding skills, Lizzy won a scholarship to return back to the UK to complete an MSc in Investment Risk and Finance.
With all the exciting racing news recently for both OVs and pupils we are delighted to feature F1 Trackside Control Systems Engineer Chris Nelson (Cr 89-96) as our former pupil this week. Chris was involved with D of E, Drama and Music whilst at King’s and went on to study at the University of Southampton where he achieved a Masters in Mechanical Engineering.
Following University, Chris went straight into the automotive engineering industry working for Ricardo, followed by a move into motorsport with MoTeC Europe working on electronic systems. He realised a childhood dream 10 years ago by securing a role in Formula 1 with McLaren Applied Technologies, attending all races to support the F1 standard electronics. Chris was there for 8 years starting as an F1 Track Support Engineer and working his way up to Senior Track Support Engineer before moving to the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team in 2018.
His current role is that of Trackside Control Systems Engineer, which involves working on one of the cars to ensure all of the chassis-related control systems are correctly configured for the requirements of the event, and monitoring their performance over a race weekend. This weekend Chris will be in Abu Dhabi for the last race of the F1 season. The Mercedes team have had an incredibly successful year and have already secured their sixth consecutive Constructors Championship and 1st and 2nd place in the Drivers Championship.
This week our former pupil is horticulturist Roger Savage (Ch 72-77). At King’s, Roger was Head of Choir House, school prefect and 1st XI cricket captain and hockey captain. After undertaking work experience in offices, Roger decided it was not for him and studied for a degree in Horticulture at Wye College, London University.
After graduating, Roger worked for a progressive top fruit grower in Suffolk where he learnt practical fruit growing skills. From there he joined the Ministry of Agriculture as a horticultural advisor and spent three years at the National Fruit Trails at Brogdale where he was part of a team researching aspects of fruit growing and new fruit varieties. Roger moved into commerce and secured a job with ICI as a sales representative selling garden products. Although he enjoyed the work, Roger wanted to work for himself and so he started a plant nursery that specialised in hanging baskets. Within three years he was producing over 15,000 mossed summer baskets and today he has a very successful retail nursery that also has an ice cream parlour, cafe, craft centre and a pottery.
Roger says, “Horticulture is a wonderful profession, it is very technical, full of applied science, there are horticulturists employed in many industries that include, banking, insurance, crop production, agrochemical, pharmaceutical, government, supermarkets, distribution, you name it … a horticulturist is never far away!”
Lt Col. Rob Poole
This week we had a very poignant Remembrance Day Service in Worcester Cathedral and we were honoured to welcome back OV Lt Col Rob Poole (H93-98) as our speaker. Rob was one of the last boarders and loved his time at King’s. He was in the CCF, played rugby and was constantly involved in the numerous activities that King’s offered.
Rob was sponsored by the army through St George’s Hospital Medical School, London, qualifying in 2003. Following a year of house jobs, he became a Regimental Medical Officer to 1PWRR and deployed to Iraq. In 2009 he completed his GP training and since then has been a front-line medical officer. He has served with the Welsh Guards whilst on ceremonial duties in London.
He has been a Senior Medical Officer of a large garrison and medical centre. His most recent assignment is working in the Ministry of Defence as part of the team in charge of medical operations and plans.
We are back after half-term and this week our former pupil is Operations Manager and Creative Designer, Melanie Thorn (Ch 96-03).
As a student at King’s, Melanie was an active member of the school community taking part in activities including Rowing, Theatre and Dance, Orchestra, group ski trips and was later Head of House. Melanie went to the University of Gloucestershire where she studied Fine Art and then went to complete a Masters degree in Urban Design at Birmingham City University.
Melanie was a gallery assistant at John Noott Galleries in Broadway for several years whilst also developing her own creative design business offering graphic design and wedding styling. Continuing in her artistic endeavours Melanie assumed the role of Wedding and Events Co-ordinator at Compton Verney before moving into the position of Operations Manager at Dovecote Events where she manages the logistics of the business development, including the organisation of corporate events and weddings and is in charge of creative design for marketing, publications and business branding.
This week we are delighted to feature Product Designer Mike Soper (S 06-13) as our former pupil. At King’s, Mike was part of the Cathedral Voluntary Choir and was involved in the CCF. Mike went to study Product Design Technology at the University of the West of England.
While studying, he also competed in the RSA (Royal Society of Arts) Student Design Awards, winning the ‘Wearing Intelligence’ brief. The prize for this award was a three-month placement at Kinneir Dufort which was extended to 6 months. Following this, Mike spent a short time freelancing before joining Arno GB, a German owned retail design firm based in Bristol, where he worked with brands such as W H Smiths, Electrolux and Dyson.
Mike is now a Product Development Engineer at Limbs & Things, a company designing anatomically and clinically accurate products which aid medical students in their education and training. Mike also mentors pupils in secondary schools in the Pupil Design Awards and has offered his support to the King’s Careers department if any prospective design students need advice on getting into the design industry.
This week we were delighted to welcome Rupert Monkhouse (Ch 05-12) back to school to talk to pupils at King’s St Alban’s about his job as a dentist. Rupert attended King’s St Alban’s himself before moving up the senior school where he took part in D of E, Young Enterprise and eventually became Head of House.
Following King’s, Rupert went to King’s College London to study Dental Surgery. Alongside dentistry, Rupert is passionate about swimming and was a swimming coach for the British Swimming and European Junior teams.
Rupert is now an NHS general dentist and enjoys being a Hub lead for Teeth Team, a children’s education initiative which helps educate children about looking after their teeth.
The numerous opportunities to lead and take responsibility throughout my time in the school have given me a lot of confidence in myself and my abilities; indeed, it was captaining the school quiz team which encouraged me to audition for my college’s University Challenge team, and now we can be seen on the current series! Without confidence imbued in me at King’s as a Monitor and on various sports teams I probably wouldn’t have taken up Cricket either, and last year that lead to me winning a Full Blue in the Oxford and Cambridge Varsity Match at Fenner’s.
I left King’s with a well-rounded set of skills and interests, from history and biology to sports and educational inequalities. I combined these in my degree in Geography at Oxford University, where I also gave access and admissions workshops to over 1000 young people, inspired by the benefits of pushing for and capitalising upon the best possible educational opportunities, regardless of your background or situation. I have been lucky enough to follow several of these pupils as they begin their studies at high flying universities, and so the support I was given by King’s has had a tangible ripple effect on the lives of numerous other young people.
As I go forward into a Masters by Research degree in Avian Ecology, and then hopefully a PhD, I remain among the many OVs who appreciate the generosity of bursary donors. A King’s education set me up for a successful future because it gave me self-confidence, leadership skills, an appetite for learning, and a wonderful group of close friends, for which I am immensely grateful.
We were delighted to welcome OV Derek Bell MBE (S 56-58) back to King’s last week as the newest member of the Barnabas Group. At King’s, Derek enjoyed Maths, Physics and playing for the 1st XV rugby team. After leaving school Derek was encouraged to enter racing and he won his first race at Goodwood in 1964 in a Lotus Seven.
Derek won Le Mans 24 hours five times, in 1975, 1981, 1982, 1986 and 1987. He also won the Daytona 24 three times, and the World Sportscar Championship twice. He also raced for the Ferrari, Wheatcroft, McLaren, Surtees and Tecno teams in the Formula 1.
Derek is now a speaker and sports commentator and he remains much in demand at racing events around the world. In 1986 Derek was awarded an MBE for services to motorsport, in 2012 he was inducted into the Motor Sport Hall of Fame of America and in 2014 he was presented with Honorary Life Membership of the AA in recognition of his 50 years in Motorsports.
At King’s, Alison Gray (née Rogers) (Co 81-83) was a fun and well-liked member of school life. At King’s she enjoyed Art, History and English Literature and always planned to work in the hospitality industry. On leaving King’s Alison went on to gain an HND in Hotel Catering & Institutional Management at Westminster College, London. She worked as an operational General Manager for 9 years, primarily in leisure and major events, before joining a start-up business at the All England Club, Wimbledon in 1999.
This signalled a change in career for Alison, as she chose to specialise in the field of human resource management. Completing her CIPD accreditation in 2006, she subsequently worked as a Human Resources Manager and Business Partner for companies including the Compass Group and Cancer Research UK, a role she undertook as part of a sabbatical. Since 2011, Alison has worked for Delaware North Companies UK where she is currently Director of Human Resources.
Outside of her professional life, Alison volunteers as a BACCHUS Mentor at Oxford Brookes University, linking postgraduate and final year students with experienced professionals from the hospitality and tourism industries. She is also Deputy Chair of the London Advisory Board for the Springboard Charity & Springboard UK, a charity focussed on helping to nurture and motivate young unemployed individuals, developing skills and helping them to find career opportunities. Reflecting on her time at school Alison says, “I think King’s has always been a great place for people to make life-long friendships”.
OV James Bailey (Cr 84-93) organised the recent very successful OV Golf Day. At King’s, James played for the 1st XV rugby team and was also a keen rower along with other sports. On leaving King’s, James went on to Royal Holloway, University of London to study Geology. For a brief spell following university James pursued playing rugby for London Irish RFC. In 1997 he entered the oil and gas business working in CGG and then Baker Hughes as a processing geophysicist. This included working out of locations in Jakarta, Cairo and Houston.
After 15 years he left a Region Manager role at Baker Hughes to work as Consultant Geophysicist in BP Exploration Operation Company. Specialising in borehole geophysics and seismic data he advised on data collection and processing including stints working offshore. Since 2015, James has moved back to the fold in Worcester and now works from his home office as Geophysicist at VSProwess. He enjoys the perfect work life balance of business with some travel and seeing his two girls who are now enjoying their start at King’s Hawford.
Last weekend we were delighted to welcome back to King’s the Year of 2014 for their Five Year Reunion. Our former pupil this week was their Head of School, Corah Lewis (Ch 07-14). Corah made the most of all her opportunities at King’s taking part in Choir, LAMDA and playing for the 1st netball team.
After King’s, Corah went to The University of Manchester to study Psychology where she continued playing netball for the university. Corah undertook several placements during her degree, including working at the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. After graduating Corah begun an exciting role as an Assistant Psychologist for the Neuropsychology Team at the Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy and UCLH NHS Foundation Trust.
We are delighted to feature Henry Shouler (H 49-56) as this year’s first former pupil of the week. Henry played for the 1st XI Cricket for the 1954, 1955 and 1956 seasons and was actively involved in a number of other sports, also playing for the 1st XI Hockey, he was a member of the Athletics team, Captain of the school Badminton team and was awarded colours playing in the 1st XV Rugby. Henry was Head of Hostel House and a School Monitor, he was on the VI Form club committee and was an enthusiastic member of the School Debating Society, famously being defended by the then Headmaster, Mr Kittermaster for the ‘charge’ of stealing the remains of King John from Worcester Cathedral!
After school Henry spent two years in National Service, the majority of the time being spent in Malta. Throughout Henry’s career he has been involved with many businesses, initially working for Spillers and running factories in Plymouth and Birkenhead. On leaving Spillers, Henry worked for Oldacre Holdings Plc (the largest manufacturer of animal feed compounds) becoming Chief Executive, prior to the company being listed on the London Stock Exchange. Henry has also held directorships and Chairman and deputy Chairman roles in a variety of different organisations (ranging from recruitment and English wine to pre-built hospital facilities); he continues his directorships of a number of companies in which he maintains an active interest. Henry remains committed to the advancement and promotion of research and education in agricultural sciences.
We have reached the final week of the summer term and we are delighted to feature museum consultant and writer on science history, Dr Rob Huxley (Cr 65-70) as our former pupil of the week. At King’s, Rob was involved in the Science Society, the school scouts and the school choir. To this day he retains a passion for choral singing initiated by the inspirational conducting of King’s former Director of Music, Harry Bramma (Hon OV).
Rob studied Botany at the University of Liverpool before undertaking a PhD in Marine Science at the University of London. Rob began a career in marine science as a research assistant at Bangor University before moving into the museum sector. He was Head of Botanical Collections at the Natural History Museum, London for over twenty years and then Principal Curator leading UK and European Union projects.
Rob now has the honorary role of research associate at the Natural History Museum and also holds several other positions including Honorary Curator of the World Museum, Liverpool and visiting research associate at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin.
This week our former pupil is Paul Rostand (Ca 73-82) who was our Keynote Speaker at the Business Skills Workshop for Lower Sixth students last week. Paul has over 35 years’ experience in the food industry, both nationally and internationally and so it was a treat for the pupils to listen to him and learn from his experiences. At King’s, Paul was actively involved in sports and he took advantage of the many extra-curricular activities that King’s offered; he was known as a great team player.
Paul started life working in France, developing exports for the Miko/Ortiz Food Group before returning to the UK to join S Daniels Plc as a Trading Manager for their confectionery and coffee divisions. After seven years, Paul joined food sales and marketing company, Brand Innovations Ltd as a Trading Manager before taking over the role as CEO. Here Paul worked with major supermarket chains including Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury as well as food service wholesalers.
In 2015, Paul co-founded the Great British Biscotti Co Ltd which offers a wide selection of hand-crafted biscotti products made in Dorset. The company has won several food industry awards including one at The Caterer Product Excellence Awards earlier this year.
This week we were delighted to welcome several OVs back to school as well as other guests for the Lower Sixth Business Skills Networking event run by our superb Careers department. Among the OVs involved included Luke Weaver (S 98-03) who has often given of his time to support King’s pupils with careers advice. Back when Luke was a pupil he was always very involved and took part in Young Enterprise, was a House Prefect and played in the 1st teams for football, rugby and cricket.
After leaving King’s, Luke headed to New Zealand for 9 months to play rugby in the North Harbour Premiership. Following his gap year, Luke studied Leisure and Sports Management at Cardiff Metropolitan University going on to work in sports marketing in London. Luke changed career paths in 2011 and completed an MSc in Real Estate Management going on to join Halls (Midlands) LLP in 2012 as a graduate surveyor and then joined Fisher German in 2016 when the two companies merged. Luke is now a Chartered Surveyor and works in the commercial agency team advising Landlords, Tenants, Vendors and Purchasers.
This week the new Monitors had great fun training for their exciting new responsibilities, and our former pupil, treasury specialist Annabel Murday (Co 82-84) also shared this important role whilst a pupil here. At King’s Annabel also took part in lots of activities including drama, choir and rowing. Annabel then studied Genetics at the University of York before entering the world of banking.
Annabel amassed a huge amount of experience and knowledge as Managing Director for Wholesale Funding and International Treasuries at Lloyds Banking Group where she worked for over 23 years. Following this, Annabel used her expertise to begin her own consultancy service, Murday Ltd, before moving to TSB Bank where she is now Deputy Treasurer and Head of Treasury Risk.
There are some fantastic school productions coming up this term including the Fourth Form show Little Shop of Horrors. Our former pupil this week is Bart Borchardt (Cl 83-93) who really enjoyed drama, theatre and debating when he was a pupil, as well as getting involved with writing for the school newspaper and with the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. Bart went to Anglia Ruskin University where he studied European Politics and Languages before starting his career in business strategy and management.
Bart recently left Vodafone after fifteen fantastic years working around the world, becoming their Head of Transformation and specialising in driving growth, cultural change and removing cost and complexity. Recently Bart founded Bartholomew Consultancy, helping develop high growth and start-up businesses. He still uses his debating, language and economics skills on a daily basis, and is grateful to Mr Thompson, Dr Leah and Mr Mason for the early encouragement. Outside work he shares his passion for sailing and skiing with his two boys (aged thirteen and fifteen) and is very active in Supporting Wounded Veterans who use the power of sport and mentoring to rehabilitate mentally and physically injured veterans back into employment.
Many Old Vigornians have enjoyed the opportunities on the river here, including our former pupil this week, Kirsten Wrigley (Co 87-89). Kirsten was a boarder at school in the Sixth Form and studied English, Classical Civilisation and Art. She went on to the University of Liverpool where she read Archaeology, and was an active member of the Boat Club, before starting a career in advertising.
Kirsten worked for specialist financial advertising agency Doremus before taking her expertise in-house where she ran the investment banking advertising for Barclays Capital and Credit Suisse. Following six years at Credit Suisse, Kirsten is now a full-time mother and is embarking on a portfolio career with projects that include furniture and lighting restoration.
This week the Upper Sixth Art students visited the Museum of Royal Worcester where this week’s former pupil, John Sandon (Br 69-75), is a trustee. The museum is a stone’s throw from King’s so John spent a great deal of time between and after lessons helping at the museum.
John left King’s in 1975 to join Phillips, one of London’s leading auctioneers, as a porcelain specialist. After fourteen years, John became head of the ceramics department, and soon afterwards became an auctioneer, conducting the sales from the auctioneer’s rostrum. Phillips later merged with Bonhams and John directed the international ceramics and glass departments here. In 1985, John become an expert on the Antiques Roadshow where he is now one of their longest-serving experts. Among numerous discoveries, John is proud to have found two of the most valuable items of antique pottery, both valued at an incredible £50,000 each.
John recently retired but he remains a consultant to Bonhams and still works as an occasional auctioneer. A prolific writer, John writes for many antiques magazines and is the author of eleven books on porcelain including guides to collecting antique porcelain and a dictionary of Worcester porcelain.
Last weekend we celebrated the one hundred and sixteenth Annual OV Reunion Dinner in College Hall and welcomed our new OV Club President, David Ogle (K 76-86). David contributed to many aspects of school life including the First rugby team, swimming, the CCF and athletics as well as being a Monitor. David was the Victor Ludorum in his Lower Sixth year. David represented the Midlands in a rugby match against the touring Australian team and gained an England Trial in 1986.
Following King’s, David gained a BSc and now runs local pharmacy, D. L Ogle Ltd, which has been in his family since 1969. David also co-owns a property development company, St John’s Developments.
This week’s former pupil is Anthony Lock (W 05-11). While at King’s Anthony was Head of House as well as being hugely involved in rowing; he was also Keeper of Boats. After taking his A Levels in Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Physics, Anthony went on to study Physics at the University of Manchester.
Following university Anthony went to work for DAI (Digital Applications International) as a software engineer for three years before beginning his current role as an associate consultant at software consultants, Infinity Works. Outside work Anthony is a keen cyclist who races in time trials; he also competes in and coaches trampolining.
It is our final week of term before King’s breaks up for Easter and our former pupil this week is Georgina Grant (K 96-07). At King’s, Georgina’s interests included D of E and the Himalayan Club. After A-Levels Georgina took a Gap Year, and then went on to study Ancient History and Archaeology at Newcastle University. Following graduation, she briefly worked with the National Trust, before returning to university to complete a Masters in Museum Studies.
Georgina now works for the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, a World Heritage Site with 10 museums and 36 monuments. She started as a Curatorial Officer, working her way up to Senior Curator. She currently looks after a diverse collection that ranges from costume to steam engines and paintings, as well as delivering exhibitions and talks, and frequently appears on both local and national television and radio programmes as the ‘expert’ historian.
This week we are eagerly anticipating our exciting Himalayan Event to fundraise for Open the Door to King’s Bursaries and the Himalayan Trust UK. The school Himalayan Club played a big part in many OVs’ school days including this week’s former pupil, Richard Milne (K 88-97). Richard was a King’s scholar and, at school he excelled in public speaking, French and Maths and he also played football for the school.
Richard went to study English and French Law at King’s College, London before completing his Masters in Law at Université Panthéon Sorbonne. Richard has worked for the Financial Times for 16 years, in various locations around the world from London and Paris to Frankfurt and he is now based in Oslo where he is Nordic and Baltic Bureau Chief. Richard covers business, politics and economics in all eight Nordic and Baltic countries for the Financial Times, and in 2015 he won business and finance journalist of the year at the Press Awards for his coverage of Volkswagen. Richard maintains at interest in football and has recently helped to set up a new football club in Oslo where he is one of the trainers and sits on the board for Forward Fotball.
This week, pupils have been at the Oxbridge Conference. Many pupils go on to study at Oxford and Cambridge, including this week’s former pupil, David Frape (Ca 44-47). Whilst boarding at King’s David was a house and school monitor and he played for the First XV. Following King’s, David received a scholarship to study Agriculture at Reading University before completing a post-graduate diploma in Agricultural Science at the University of Cambridge; a PhD in Animal Physiology at the University of Iowa followed, and then came a post-doctoral fellowship on goitre.
David is a mammalian patho-physiologist and has had a fascinating career with roles including being the instigator of international registration of nutritionists, Head of Animal Nutrition at Spillers Ltd, Research Director on the Board of CANTAB Group Ltd and Chief Scientist of Clinical Science International Ltd; as a consultant physiologist he also advises on metabolic diseases and has been expert witness in several court cases. David has written many scientific papers and books, having published papers on experiments on a dozen species of mammal, including the white rhinoceros and the giant panda. In 1998 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists. David is now a volunteer Managing Editor of World Agriculture and, at the age of ninety, he is currently writing a book on diet, disease and health.
Preparations for the 2019 OV Annual Reunion Weekend are well underway and our former pupil this week is Sally (née Ogden) Themans (Co 84-86), who is the current OV Club President. As a pupil, Sally took part in drama, theatre and orchestra, and after King’s Sally went to Lancaster University to study Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods.
Sally has two main roles, the first of which is championing local small and medium-sized businesses, particularly new start-ups and High Street retailers, with her company Good2Great. She also founded Love Bridgnorth, promoting the local community and helping Bridgnorth to win Best Great British High Street – Large Market Town in 2016. She is part of the government’s Future High Streets Fund, advising at both the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and at regional level.
Sally is also a published writer with articles published in Shropshire Business Magazine, Country and Border Life and she has been editor of What’s What! magazine since 2008. For over twenty years Sally has also been a Magistrate and Justice of the Peace, specialising in Youth Matters.
We are fortunate to have an amazing careers department at King’s which helps pupils explore their options and prepare for life after King’s. This week’s former pupil is Alex Sumner (Cl 00-05) who showcases how there can be many different paths to finding your dream job. At King’s, Alex really enjoyed DT as well as athletics and rowing.
After King’s Alex went to sixth form college to study A Levels and, instead of going to university, started up his own car-valeting business whilst also managing a local pub. A passion for business and finance led him to pursue a career in the financial services industry.
At nineteen, Alex started working for a regional stockbroking firm and he worked his way up the ladder, studying and qualifying as he went along to become a stockbroker. Alex then went into discretionary investment management and last year began an exciting new role at Blackfinch Investments, setting up a range of portfolios targeted at the Financial Adviser market, which have raised an encouraging level of assets to date.
We are back after the half-term break and eagerly looking forward to the Dylan Lloyd Art Exhibition coming to King’s in a couple of weeks. Our Former Pupil this week is Dorcas George-Jones (Co 87-89) who spent lots of time in the art department studying Art and Ceramics (alongside English Literature) at A-Level.
After King’s, Dorcas went to Sheffield Hallam University to study Urban Land Economics. Following graduation she moved to London and joined Savills, where she stayed for many years, becoming Marketing Director. Following a move to the country, Dorcas is now the Project Design Manager for Castellum Cotswolds Ltd, a company that specialises in high end residential main contracting and property development.
King’s is very excited about the Six Nations at the moment, as is our former pupil this week, Richard Tomlinson (Cl 83-90). Richard was captain of the First XV as well as the First XI while at King’s. He carried on playing rugby at Loughborough University where he studied PE and Sports Science before completing a postgraduate course at Sheffield Hallam in Property Valuation and Management.
Richard began a career in surveying, qualifying as a Chartered Surveyor. However, in 1996 Richard had an immediate career change when Rugby Union became a professional sport (he had previously played for Rugby Lions and Nottingham RFC) and went to Worcester RFC (now known as Worcester Warriors) to became a professional player. Unfortunately, due to injury Richard took early retirement from rugby in 2000 and reverted to chartered surveying, becoming a partner at Humberts. Richard was then a founding member of Halls Midlands in 2008, which merged with Fisher German in 2016 where Richard is now an equity partner specialising in commercial property and development sites. Richard is also a King’s parent with three children at the school.
There is a real buzz in the drama department this term with lots of fantastic performances and shows being rehearsed and performed. Our former pupil this week is Rebecca Garrod-Waters (Co 91-93) who enjoyed drama at school and was involved in a number of school plays. Rebecca went on to study genetics at Swansea University, after being inspired by Mr Allum, and followed this with postgraduate study in bioprocessing at UCL and research into gene tagging at Bristol University.
Rebecca has an exciting career which has taken her out of the laboratory and into government and business. Her previous roles have included Assistant Director in the Department of Trade and Industry (now BEIS) and Director of Innovation at Advantage West Midlands. Rebecca is now CEO of the Ufi Charitable Trust, a grant funder that supports the development and use of novel tech for vocational learning – from motion sensor tech to help you to learn about molecular interactions, through to gaming to support numeracy.
Planning projects and team building are vital business skills that pupils develop while at King’s and our former pupil this week, Andrew Nunney (K 78-85), uses these every day in his career in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods industry. While at King’s, Andrew took part in drama and LAMDA, and was on the school rugby, swimming and quiz teams.
On leaving school Andrew studied economics at the University of Southampton. In an exciting and varied career covering all aspects of marketing, he has held senior business roles in the oil industry with ConocoPhillips, and in the food and drinks industries with United Biscuits, Coca-Cola European Partner and in beers, wines and spirits with BRLHardy, Constellation and Cobra Beer before becoming Category Director of Accolade Wines in 2017. His time at King’s has stood him in good stead, giving him the confidence to develop market changing strategies, launch new brands and present to audiences across the UK and Europe while bumping into many OVs along the way.
The weekly CCF parade on Friday is a feature of school life and one OV who remembers this well is Major Noel Webb (Cr 93-01). An active member of the CCF and judo club at King’s, he also pursued kayaking outside school. Graduating from the University of East Anglia with a degree in Environmental Science in 2004, Noel spent a short period working in sales. However, a bet and a copy of National Geographic led him to resign and go kayaking instead. Six months, three thousand five hundred kilometres and a lot of debt later, Noel completed a solo circumnavigation of the UK mainland by sea kayak, raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust along the way.
Noel joined the British Army in 2008, commissioning into the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. As an infantry officer he has spent the intervening years working with some outstanding characters. His role has seen him travel to some fantastic places globally on exercise, as well as some less fantastic ones on operations. Now a major, Noel is currently working in an office role in London.
This week the sports fixtures are well and truly underway and this week’s former pupil would have been in her element. While at King’s, Rose Rolle-Rowan (née Panter S 91-98) was on the 1st Netball team, 1st Rowing team and on the swimming team plus a Monitor and Head of House. She proudly reports that she also once staggered over the line in 7th place in the school cross country! Rose went on to study English Language and Archaeology at the University of Nottingham.
Since University, Rose has had a successful career primarily in the public sector where she worked as Senior Regeneration Officer in London Borough of Newham developing specialist employment projects for five years, before going to work in the HR team at Oxfordshire County Council. After four years as Workforce Initiatives Manager, supporting development of Apprenticeship programmes and volunteering, Rose gained a postgraduate qualification in Strategic Management and Leadership from Oxford Brookes, then trained as an Organisational Development Consultant and Executive Coach. Her current role involves working with a wide variety of professional colleagues including firefighters, engineers, librarians and social workers. She finds it all very interesting!
In the early part of her career Rose worked in the charity sector, and she continues her involvement now as a volunteer Trustee for Aspire Oxford, an innovative social enterprise that supports people with a history of homelessness to get their lives back on track. The combination of a public sector career plus Trusteeship gives Rose a rewarding sense of purpose.
Our first former pupil of the week of 2019 is Nick Clark (H 88-90) who is not only an OV but a current King’s parent and member of the OV Club Committee. As a pupil, Nick threw himself into everything, was involved in athletics, rowing and fencing and was also a House Monitor.
Following King’s Nick went to study Civil/Structural Engineering at the University of Bath after being awarded a position at RMA Sandhurst. Nick then chose a civilian career pathway and has had many exciting roles including running his own energy savings business before establishing and directing an ESCo, Energy Works Investment, on behalf of investors. Nick is now Global Strategic Development Director for electronic manufacturing company Feilo Sylvania.
Alexandra Bevan Lyons
King’s students and OVs are fantastic at getting involved in charitable work, for example King’s Charity Committee assisted in the organisation of the Senior Citizens’ Christmas Party that took place on Tuesday. This week’s former pupil Alex Bevan Lyons (K 00-06) is no different, offering her support to Cameroon Catalyst, a charity co-founded by OV Claire Gott (Cl 97-06), at various points over the past few years. As a pupil at King’s, Alexandra was involved in Young Enterprise, as well as netball and she also took an active part in mentoring some of the younger pupils.
After King’s, Alex studied Management at the University of Manchester before embarking on her successful career in marketing. Following university, Alex was selected to join the highly-competitive graduate scheme at Sky, where she worked for 3 years. Most recently, Alex has worked for Subaru UK for nearly three years and has recently been promoted to become their new Head of Marketing.
It is a busy time at King’s with a range of productions, concerts and services to organise, and one OV with plenty of experience of managing lots of people is Tim Boswell (W 85-92).
Tim has always had an interest in the broadcasting industry and, while at school, was very interested in radio and music as well as representing King’s at cricket. He began his broadcasting career as a broadcast assistant for BBC Hereford and Worcester; he then held a number of management, production and presentation roles in the BBC and commercial radio and led BBC Radio Cornwall for a short period. In December 2017 Tim was appointed Managing Editor of BBC Radio Oxford and, as editor, Tim is responsible for the editorial and creative leadership of the radio station’s programmes and news, managing a team of presenters, producers, journalists and administrative staff.
Music is a vital and wonderful element of school life and throughout her time at King’s Imogen Schofield (Ch 01-08) was actively involved in the music scene as a music scholar and leader of the orchestra. Imogen says, ‘I am still grateful for the opportunities given to me by the music department. Even though music is not my chosen career path, it is still an important part of my life.’
After leaving King’s Imogen qualified as a veterinary surgeon in 2013 from the University of Bristol and has worked as a small animal vet since. With an interest in research and internal medicine, Imogen recently undertook a Master’s degree at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in veterinary epidemiology, while also continuing her practice work. Currently Imogen is undertaking a doctorate at The Royal Veterinary College, investigating the methods of diagnosis and management of hyperadrenocorticism in dogs. This latest step in Imogen’s career has provided the opportunity to present her findings at European conferences as well as the chance to teach on the veterinary degree course.
With netball, hockey and rugby fixtures this week taking place against Malvern St James, King’s High, Warwick and Bishop Vesey’s, there has been a sporting buzz around the school over the last few days. OV Nev Davies (nee. Clifford) (S 83-93) enjoyed an active time while he was at King’s, playing for the First XV and First VII at rugby and for the First XI at cricket, as well as being part of the CCF.
On leaving school Nev initially took a gap year which was sponsored by the Rank foundation. He worked on a youth and community placement on a housing estate in inner city Plymouth. Later that summer he returned to King’s to coach cricket under the wing of Peter Iddon (Hon OV). The following year, he went on to study medicine at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, qualifying in 2000. Nev now works as a trauma and orthopaedic consultant in Reading, Berkshire. He has a specialist interest in adult knee surgery and children’s orthopaedics and is a keen blogger, writing openly and honestly about his practice. Nev’s latest project is the GoSetGo programme, an innovative sports enhancement and injury prevention programme for children and adolescents.
This week has been a busy one for drama and music and our former pupil this week is Rebecca Linfoot (S 05-12) who was hugely involved in drama while a student here playing the White Witch in the Fourth Form performance of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in 2007. At King’s, Rebecca was a monitor and a very enthusiastic pupil getting involved in everything including Charity Committee, Himalayan Club and Choir.
After school, Rebecca studied Drama: Theatre, Film and Television at University of Bristol and has since launched a career in film production. Rebecca has worked for major companies in the film industry including NBCUniversal, Marvel Studios and Heyday TV where she recently worked on ‘The Long Song’; a three-part TV drama for BBC One. Rebecca has just begun an exciting role as Assistant to the Executive Producer of a new film by The Walt Disney Company.
Today we observe Remembrance at King’s and we began with a special service in College Hall addressed by this week’s former pupil, Commander Durham Hirons (K 83-93). As a pupil, Durham was in the CCF and played 1st XI Hockey and 2nd XV Rugby, as well as being appointed Prefect in his final year.
Durham studied Geography at Reading University and upon gaining his degree in 1997, he joined the Royal Navy. Durham is a Commander in the Royal Navy and has served predominantly at sea in ships ranging from patrol vessels through frigates and destroyers to large amphibious ships and an aircraft carrier.
He has commanded a patrol vessel in the UK, a multi-national training team and patrol vessel in Iraq, been the second in command of a Frigate and worked on the Royal Navy’s Amphibious Battle Staff, leading the staff planning effort for major operations. He was deployed in 2016 to Saudi Arabia as a liaison officer to the Royal Saudi Navy with a particular emphasis on the conflict in Yemen.
You can listen to Durham’s address from the Remembrance Service here.
Recently some of the Lower Fourth went to the Malvern Festival of Innovation and had a great time being inspired by creative science, technology and entrepreneurship. One former pupil who works at the heart of this industry is Ken Magowan (Cl 66-75) who is now solution consultant and master enterprise architect at DXC Technology. At King’s, Ken had a variety of interests and was involved in the CCF RAF Section, which inspired his recent acquisition of a private pilot’s licence, as well as choir and orchestra.
Ken then went to the University of York where he read biology and computer science. After university Ken worked for nearly seventeen years as a principal engineer at Smiths Industries/Kelvin Hughes Ltd, becoming their Head of Naval Systems & Software Engineering before moving to QinetiQ Ltd (formerly DERA) where he was a principal scientist within the defence and security domain, also for nearly seventeen years. Following this he moved to HP Enterprise Services, now known as DXC Technology, where he has been for the last seven years.
This week the Lower Removes are on a geography field trip exploring Weston Super Mare and our former pupil Becky Leach (Cr 01-08) knows a thing or two about organising trips as she is now Marketing Executive of Swoop Patagonia, Antarctica and Arctic, a company that helps plan adventures to the world’s wilderness regions. Becky was very involved at King’s, taking part in D of E, Orchestra as well as LAMDA. After leaving King’s with 3 A’s at A-Level, Becky went on to gain a BTEC in Art Foundation, Textiles and Fashion and a National Diploma in Music before studying Commercial Music at Bath Spa University.
Becky is now an established marketing professional with experience within the festival production, property management, travel and hospitality industries. Her roles have included Marketing and Venue Manager at The Ethical Property Company and Marketing Executive at Kaleidoscope Collection before starting in her current position.
Tom Kolodotschko (Ch 96-03) is the founder of OlO Creative, a visual communication agency based in Hoxton, London. Tom has always had an interest in both the creative and business worlds, designing a cookbook at King’s for a successful Young Enterprise company who reached the national finals, Editor for the award-winning school newspaper as well as both a keen basketball and rugby player.
After King’s, Tom went to study a four-year course in Industrial Product Design at Aston University where he formed the Aston Design Committee tasked with creating their first ever final year show. After University, Tom formed his design company and began his career within the Advertising industry working with brands and agencies such as J. Walter Thompson, InterContinental Hotels, Aston Martin and Canon to name a few. King’s was a huge part of Tom’s formative years and to this day he is in daily contact with many old school friends.
This week our former pupil is Nathan Mann (Cl 86-89) who has returned to King’s as this year’s new Academic Deputy Head of King’s St Alban’s. Nathan is delighted to be back at King’s and while he was here as a pupil he was captain of the 2nd XV and particularly enjoyed the trip to Normandy which he will now be involved with in his role at King’s St Alban’s. Following school, Nathan studied Law at University of Sheffield and worked in London and the Cotswolds in legal practices for several years before deciding to move to teaching. Nathan completed his PGCE at University of Worcester and began at King’s St Alban’s this September.
This week, it was wonderful to welcome award-winning tenor and opera singer, Allan Clayton (H 91-99) as the newest member of the Barnabas Group. Allan was Head Chorister at King’s and he also enjoyed being managing director of the Young Enterprise team and playing rugby and football. On leaving King’s, Allan studied at St John’s College, Cambridge and then at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
An Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and former BBC New Generation Artist from 2007-2009, Allan’s awards include “The Queen’s Commendation for Excellence” and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship. Allan garnered huge praise as the lead role in Brett Dean’s Hamlet, which had its world premiere at Glyndebourne in June 2017. This performance gained rave reviews and saw Allan win several prizes and accolades including the 2018 Whatsonstage Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera. Allan’s awards are many, and recently they include 2018 Royal Philharmonic Society Singer Award and Best Male Performer in Australia’s prestigious Helpmann Awards. Allan was very warmly received here at King’s, treating us to an address in College Hall Assembly, a master class for U6 singers as well as an awe-inspiring recital for staff and students.
This week the Fourth Form joined in with Genes for Jeans Day and, keeping with the science link, our former pupil this week is Jonny Tye (Br 04-11). Jonny was a very active student at King’s taking part in School Council, Orchestra and was also a Monitor. Jonny represented Great Britain in flatwater kayaking during his time at school and in 2009 won bronze at the European Marathon Championships and in 2011 became a double Silver Medallist at the Marathon World Championships in Singapore. After studying Physics, Chemistry and Maths at A-level, Jonny went to the University of Surrey where he studied Mechanical Engineering. Jonny is still a keen sportsman and is now Director of his own business, Precision Hydration, which offers unique, personalised hydration solutions for athletes. They work with a long list of professional sports organisations like the Greenbay Packers (NFL), Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA) and England Rugby.
Beth Martyn Smith
This week has seen staff and pupils at King’s having their new school photos taken by Beth Martyn Smith (Cl 00-05). Beth enjoyed her time at King’s and, after leaving in 2005 with a passion for photography, she was lucky enough to gain valuable experience working for established photographer, Tom Bader. He taught Beth a huge amount about photography both as an art form and as a business, and after three years she felt she had gained enough experience to set out on her own, so in 2008 Beth Martyn Smith Photography was born.
Now, in 2018, we are delighted to say the business is still growing. Beth has a studio based in Worcestershire and she continues to work closely with many local schools, businesses and theatres, as well as photography for weddings, family portraits and other commercial projects around the country.
We are back after the glorious summer holidays and our first former pupil for the new academic year is Lizzie Fry (Cr 07-14) who appeared this week on University Challenge. As a King’s student, Lizzie competed in numerous quiz competitions which were the foundation for her going on to University Challenge. She also enjoyed playing hockey and football at King’s.
After leaving King’s, Lizzie took a gap year, spending time in a research station in Brazil, working in the ecology and transportation departments of Atkins, a consultancy firm that specialises in design, engineering and project management. Lizzie is set to return to this role after sitting her final Geography exams at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. Whilst at University, Lizzie has taken up cricket, earning a Full Blue upon playing for Oxford in the Varsity match against Cambridge. We look forward to following Lizzie and her team’s progress in University Challenge after a first round win against York University.
It is the final week of the school year and the Pre-U Art Exhibition is currently on display in the Sir Terry Frost Gallery & Art School Studios, featuring fantastic work that the Upper Sixth pupils have created. OV Richard Gill (Cl 87-92) always had a keen interest in art whilst at King’s winning the school art prize in his final year; he was also a member of the rowing 1st IV and 2nd XV rugby teams. Following school, Richard went on to study Art Foundation at Cheltenham College of Art and then studied at the prestigious Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London.
Richard is now an artist based in Worcestershire and is represented at several Galleries around London and the Midlands, with collectors of his work all over the world. He specialises in larger paintings expertly capturing the movement of horses, dancers and skiers and often using gold and silver leaf in his compositions. Richard’s children are following in his footsteps and he is now a current senior school parent.
This week the OV Professions Group was launched and our former pupil this week is Andrew Underwood (S 77-88) who has initiated this programme with the King’s Foundation Development & Alumni Relations office. Andrew hosted this first session at his company’s Mayfair office, which focused on those working in Audit, Advisory, Tax and Pensions. At school, Andrew was very proactive, captaining the 1st XI cricket and 2nd XV rugby teams and he was also a school monitor and Head of School House. On leaving school, Andrew went to South Bank University to study Business Management before starting his Operations Consulting career with Ernst & Young in 1998. He moved to KPMG in 2006 where he is now a Partner and leads KPMG’s UK Supply Chain team and is a member of KPMG’s Global Operations Leadership team. Andrew is also a trustee of the King’s School Development Trust and has just been appointed as a governor at King’s School.
This week the Fourth Form have been busy preparing and delivering fantastic performances of ‘The Railway Children’. Our former pupil this week is Jennifer Suggitt (Co 91-93) who threw herself into drama activities during her time at King’s helping to teach, act and was an active member of the Cinema Club. After King’s Jennifer attended Royal Holloway College, University of London and studied English Language and Literature.
Jennifer worked for BskyB as Affinity Brand Marketing Manager and then as Corporate Relations Manager for Historic Royal Places – where she set up the Corporate Fundraising function – before becoming Head of Corporate Relations at the British Museum where she has been for 11 years. Major successes for Jennifer as part of her current role include securing exhibition sponsorships with Morgan Stanley for The First Emperor exhibition in 2007, which attracted 850,000 visitors and the recent American Dream exhibition in 2017. Both went on to win industry awards including the Arts & Culture award at the 2018 Sponsorship Awards.
This week sees the Lower Fourth embarking on Geography Field trips. OV Roger Bivand (Cl 61-68) is returning for the years of 67-69 OV reunion this Saturday, and showed some aptitude for Geography whilst at King’s. On leaving King’s, Roger gained an Exhibition and studied Geography at the University of Cambridge and then completed a PhD at London School of Economics and a post-doctoral habilitation degree at Adam Mickiewicz University, Pozna?, Poland, all in Geography. A-level project fieldwork in Norway and marrying a Pole appear to have had geographical consequences too. Following academic positions in Pozna? and Bodø, Norway, Roger became a Professor at the Norwegian School of Economics in Bergen, Norway in 1996 and is still working there. Roger specialises in statistical software development for spatial and geographical data, using the R Language, and he is an ordinary member of the R Foundation. As well as being much in demand to lead PhD courses in applied spatial data analysis, Roger is also editor of several journals, including the ‘Journal of Statistical Software’ and ‘The R Journal’. He gave a keynote the European R Users Meeting in Budapest in May this year.
Pupils are encouraged to help others and to get involved with charities and this week the L4 and U4 girls are running the Race for Life. Our former pupil this week is Sean Ryan (Ch 70-77) who now works in the charity industry. While at King’s, Sean was a very proactive student and was involved in a range of activities from Captain of Cross-country to Chairman of the Worcester Schools Debating Society. Sean went on to read Modern Languages at Pembroke College, Oxford University and since then has worked for the Sunday Times as Foreign Editor for 16 years and then as Associate Editor for nearly 3 years. Since 2016 Sean has been Director of Media at Save the Children, overseeing news, public relations and digital media, and the Global Media Unit.
With all the fine weather recently it is a perfect time for sporting events and this week we have got cricket, athletics and rowing all taking place. Our OV this week is Liz Havard (K 92-99) who now works in the sports industry with her own Pilates and sports therapy business. At King’s, Liz was a talented sportswoman playing for the 1st XI and even represented England in Rowing at a junior level. Liz graduated from Reading University in 2003 and went on to train as a Sports Massage Therapist in 2007, she then completed her Pilates training with The Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute.
She has worked at The Droitwich BMI Hospital, Worcester Warriors, The British Army and has also worked with The Tongan National Squad during the Churchill Cup. Liz set up The Farm Studio in May 2017 with a vision to create a unique space that offers clients specialist pilates and soft tissue treatments to address their training, lifestyle or rehab needs. Liz now has 2 sports massage therapists, a nutritional therapist and an APPI Pilates instructor working alongside her at The Farm Studio.
Last Saturday King’s pupils competed in the Shrewsbury Regatta and we were delighted that the Senior Girls won the quad and the pair. Sean Kearon (Ca 64-69) is an OV who spent a lot of his time at King’s on the river, being Captain of Boats and he also played rugby for the 1st XV. He was in the CCF RAF section where he won a flying scholarship. He was Head of Castle House and a school monitor. Sean managed to get a place at Trinity College Dublin, despite leaving school with less than impressive A level results, on account of his dyslexia (and self-confessed lack of application!). At Dublin he gained a seat in the Senior Eight, however he left after a year and, although he failed with his RAF aircrew selection, Sean went on to work for Rolls Royce on Aero engines. Later in his career he spent some 30 years working for IBM, in ten very different but exciting roles, latterly as the Director for IBM Business Partners. Sean remains in touch with many of his King’s friends and is returning to school in June as part of a reunion of ‘67/’68/’69 leavers.
The OV reunion dinner took place last Saturday and we welcomed back to school over 100 OVs and former members of staff over the course of the weekend. One OV who attended the dinner with friends who left King’s 30 years ago, was Keith Carnegie (H 86-88). Keith joined King’s from a school in Zimbabwe for sixth form and was quickly recognised as being someone of ‘quiet authority’, being appointed Head of Hostel House and subsequently a School monitor. Keith sat on many school committees, as well as being involved in public debates and school dramatic productions. On leaving school, Keith went on to read Law at Bristol University. He joined Bovis Homes in 1999 as a Regional Legal Director from private practice. Keith has held a number of senior roles within the company, including Regional Managing Director, Division Chairman and Chief Operating Officer and he now holds the position as Bovis’s Executive Director.
This week the GCSE Art Examinations are happening in School and one OV who can definitely empathise with our pupils is Kenji Lim (Os 89-99) who is studying for an MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art. At King’s, Kenji studied Art at GCSE and A level, during which time the Art department trips to St Ives were particularly influential, exposing him to working artists and their studios. As well as an interest in art, Kenji played Basketball at King’s before going on to study at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University. Whilst there he was shortlisted for the Becks Futures Student Prize for Film and Video (2002) at the ICA, London.
After university, Kenji spent time living and working in the US and Canada which helped inspire his work. Kenji is now a freelance artist and illustrator exhibiting around the world and works in a wide range of media including painting, drawing, installation, text and video.
Senior Sports Day took place at King’s this Wednesday and an OV who would have taken an active part is James Annis (Br 93-01), who was a keen athlete as well as a rugby player. James was also actively involved with drama, both in and out of school.
He went on to study Marketing, Advertising and PR at Birmingham City University and has since pursued a career in marketing, holding senior roles in a number of companies, including working as Account Director for Nike Football, and more recently Business Development Director at digital innovation agency, AKQA. James now works for Apple Inc, specifically on Beats by Dr. Dre as Brand Manager for the UK. He still keeps in close contact with many of his friends from King’s; indeed, all of James’s ushers at his recent wedding were OVs.
We are back after the Easter holidays and the theatre team have been busy replacing all the theatre seats over the past two weeks ready for performances during the summer term. Our former pupil this week is Danielle Foster (Co 82-84) who would have enjoyed performing in the theatre as during her time at King’s Danielle was very involved in drama. Danielle was also involved in an array of other activities including debating and Duke of Edinburgh award. She studied Modern Languages at the University of Durham and since graduating has worked in Marketing, Corporate ID, PR, Corporate Events, Procurement, Transcreation and Language Teaching. Danielle settled in Spain in 1991 where she worked for the Bacardi Group for 23 years in Marketing, PR and finally as A&P Procurement Manager for Iberia. Now she works as a freelance Language & Marketing Consultant and Event Organizer in Barcelona, creating & producing private & corporate events, including theatrical treasure hunts. She teaches English and Spanish to pupils of all ages and runs voluntary English activity workshops for local children. Danielle speaks Spanish, Catalan, French, German & Italian.
This week pupils are going on the French Exchange to Cysoing and Gernech in the Lille area. This will be a fantastic opportunity for pupils to practise their language skills, which is something our former pupil of the week David Atkinson (W 79-86) would have done whilst at King’s, during exchange trips to Vichy and also whilst studying at Grenoble University during his degree.
While at King’s, David played soccer and took part in the Duke of Edinburgh award and following school he went to read Languages, Economics and Politics at Kingston University. David has worked in various senior business roles including Senior Account Executive at Carlson Marketing Group and Board Director of Billington Cartmell. He is now a Managing Partner and Co-Founder of creative agency Space which has been running for 14 years and has worked with big brands including Nivea, Sky and UEFA. Recently they have won Marketing Agencies Association UK ‘Best International Award’ for the second year running.
This Saturday is the Superball Netball King’s vs RGS at Worcester Arena so it is very fitting that our former pupil this week not only played for the 1st VII team while at King’s, helping them to the U19 National Schools Finals, but now works as a sports journalist for the BBC. At King’s, Louise Gwilliam (K 03-10) was also Head of Kittermaster House and involved in hockey and athletics. Louise went on to read French and History of Art at University College London, where alongside her studies, she began as a runner on BBC Radio 5 live’s 606 football phone-in and worked her way up to a producer.
Louise has undertaken a number of roles since leaving University including reporting on the 2015 Rugby World Cup and working as a content producer and talent assistant for Tongue Tied Media. Louise joined BBC Sport as a full-time broadcast journalist in 2017 and now works across the BBC Sport website, driving their rugby and women’s sport coverage. Louise is keen to encourage more females into the industry and is a passionate member of the network Women in Football.
This week saw the entire Upper Remove take part in a Careers Speed Dating session. Pupils met parents, OVs and other friends of the school to find out about their different professions, in the hope that they may find their career match. We were delighted that so many OVs gave up their time to take part in the event, and included in their number was OV Matt Jones (W 90-97). While at King’s, Matt enjoyed working backstage on drama productions, took part in Himalayan Club and was a House Prefect.
On leaving King’s, Matt graduated from the University of Birmingham with a first class degree in Electronic & Electrical Engineering with Management. He joined Land Rover as a graduate engineer in 2002, and since then has embarked upon a successful career working for Jaguar Land Rover as Director of Future Technology, and then again for JLR in Portland, Oregon where he led the start-up of an Open Software Technology Centre and the JLR Technology Incubator. Matt is much in demand as a speaker at international conferences and exhibitions, was judged TU-Automotive Influencer of the Year 2015 and in 2016 was named in the Portland Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list. Since August 2017, Matt has been Senior Vice President at Virgin Hyperloop One, based in Los Angeles. Virgin Hyperloop are the leading company working to commercialise hyperloop systems, moving passengers and cargo at airline speeds at a fraction of the cost of air travel.
We were delighted this week to welcome international economist & financial author Ranga Chand as the newest member of the Barnabas Group. While at school, Ranga was a House Monitor, CCF cadet and played Hockey, Basketball and Badminton.
On leaving King’s, Ranga went to the University of Toronto where he studied Economics. He has held senior positions with Canada’s Department of Finance and served as a director of the Conference Board of Canada before joining a major stock brokerage firm. He has also taught economics at the University of Waterloo and has represented Canada at numerous economic forums, including the OECD in Paris and the United Nations.
Between 2000 and 2003 he hosted popular television show “Talking Mutual Funds with Ranga Chand” which aired weekly on Canada’s Report on Business Television (ROBTV) for three years and reached over 4.3 million viewers nationwide. Ranga has also published a number of books, including ‘Best of the Best Mutual Funds’ and ‘Getting Started With Mutual Funds’.
Our former pupil this week is Neil Lonergan (S 91-02) who was a keen sportsman while at King’s, playing rugby and captaining the First V basketball team. In addition to this, Neil also helped coach the junior basketball team and acted as a mentor for Lower Fourth pupils. Neil continues to use these interpersonal skills as he now works in the telecommunications industry. After working for BT as a consultant for eight years, Neil decided to start his own company, Linimex Ltd, in 2012.
In the five years since it was launched, the company has grown to become the largest in its specialism in the UK telecommunications industry, delivering services to businesses in more than twenty-eight countries across four continents and winning multiple industry awards along the way. Neil is one of King’s Bursary Ambassadors and he features as part of our new Bursary Appeal. Neil says, ‘King’s gave me an educational foundation coupled with the confidence and belief in myself to dream bigger, which is something that I have found invaluable in both my personal and professional life.’
This week was a busy week for girls’ sports with several hockey fixtures and a netball tournament. Our former pupil this week is Nicky Wilkinson (K 03-08) who was captain of both the First VII and First XI teams while here and led the hockey team to become County Champions for the first time. After leaving King’s Nicky went to Loughborough University and studied Information Management and Business Studies. During her course Nicky did an industrial placement working at National Grid; from that placement year she gained sponsorship, in the form of a financial bursary, from National Grid for her final year of university and a place on their graduate scheme. Nicky joined National Grid in September 2012 and since then has worked in various roles.
In 2017, National Grid sold their gas distribution business which was bought and renamed Cadent Gas; Nicky moved with the separation and was promoted to her current role, London Emergency Network Manager. In this new role, Nicky manages a team of twenty staff and two hundred and fifty engineers and is responsible for the emergency gas service for North London. Nicky says, ‘I am the first female to ever take on this role but it’s one I’m really enjoying, and am certainly learning from all the challenges that come with working in what is known as a very male-dominated industry.’
We are staying close to home this week with our very own King’s Estates Manager Adam Winter (Cl 84-94) as this week’s former pupil. Adam was involved in lots of activities while a pupil here including D of E, The 3 Peaks Challenge and CCF. After King’s, Adam studied Land Management and Development at The University of Reading before working for 12 years at The Leadership Trust where he was Operations Director. He then co-founded White Orca Information Management where he was a Director for 4 years before joining the King’s School in 2015 managing the estates and buildings at all three schools in the Foundation. Adam lives locally with his partner Lisa and their daughter Molly who is a pupil at King’s Hawford School.
This week we were treated to a fantastic Dance Showcase by pupils from the Senior School and King’s St Alban’s. This week’s former pupil, Jackie Stevenson (née Mills) (Co 84-86) has always been a keen dancer, still competes and is currently UK Pro-Am Ballroom Champion. At King’s Jackie was a very active member of the English and Drama departments and she went on to read English at Exeter University.
Jackie’s career includes her role as Managing Director of Craik Jones – one of the UK’s most lauded direct and digital agencies – for thirteen years, as well as being a Director of advertising agency Collett Dickenson Pearce. Jackie’s career has led her to advise people as varied as David Cameron, the Earl of Wessex and the Archbishop of Westminster on a number of different communication projects. Jackie is now Global Managing Director of The Brooklyn Brothers, a creative agency which she founded in London with three partners in 2008 and which has since grown to employ over one hundred and eighty-five staff worldwide.
On Monday, the Lower Removes took part in The Big Physics Quiz in Birmingham and our former pupil this week is no stranger to the world of physics. Stephanie Grant (née Taylor) threw herself into many school activities during her time at King’s, especially in the music department, being involved with both the orchestra and choir.
On leaving King’s, Stephanie read Physics at Merton College, Oxford and whilst trying to avoid labs she stumbled across a teaching course and completed her PGCE at Oxford. This was followed by an MSc in Learning and Teaching. She has taught Physics ever since and is now Assistant Director of Studies at Norwich School, which is set in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral. Stephanie says “The best bit has been winning a bid for a local school to host a live radio link with Tim Peake while he was on the International Space Station. He answered questions from local pupils representing over 20 primary and secondary schools that got involved in the project”.
There have been some wonderful events in school this week including the Advent Service held in the Cathedral and the fantastic production of South Pacific in the John Moore Theatre. It is very fitting then, that our former pupil this week is Lorcan Lynch (S 99-06) who has recently started his own event production and project management company, All In Events.
While at King’s Lorcan was a keen first team rugby and football player. He developed a passion for business during his time in the Sixth Form and went on to study Business Management at Leeds Metropolitan University. After graduating, Lorcan has worked in various events roles with companies including TED Conferences and Coca-Cola European Partners. Lorcan spends much of his spare time involved in various charities; he has volunteered for Crisis for the last three Christmases, recently raised over £2,500 for Alzheimer’s UK and Cancer Research and is also a patron for bereaved children’s charity, Winston’s Wish.
It has been an exciting sporting week at King’s, with pupils participating in various activities including Cross Country and Netball. We also had a wonderful OV Basketball reunion last weekend. Our former pupil this week is Alice Hershman (Os 00-07) who was very actively involved in sport at school, playing for the First netball team as well as tennis and rounders.
After King’s, Alice went to Oxford Brookes University to study Real Estate Management. Alice is now a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a surveyor working on shopping centre leasing, high street landlord consultancy and tenant representation across the South of England. She joined Cushman & Wakefield in February 2015 and worked in global occupier services on behalf of The Royal Bank of Scotland before moving to the South Agency Team. She also has experience working with a number of corporate clients including Vodafone and The Co-operative, advising on acquisitions and disposals and occupational strategy.
This week we are looking forward to welcoming back to school some of our ten year leavers for a lively reunion. Amongst those on the guest list is Dr Stephen Poole (Ch 00-07) who is also coming to school this week to speak to a group of our Biology and Geography students about his career in medicine. While at King’s, Stephen played for the First XI football and cricket teams and was also a monitor.
Stephen then went on to study Medicine at the University of Nottingham. Stephen has been a doctor for five years and is now an Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Specialist Registrar at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, where he looks after patients with a range of infectious diseases, including TB, HIV and unusual illnesses in returned travellers. He also works in a microbiology laboratory doing various different tests to look for infectious agents and disease, and advising on complex cases of infection in hospital.
This Thursday King’s L4-U6 performed in the School Concert in College Hall and our former pupil this week also knows a thing or two about performing. Jolyon Loy (Br 02-08) is now a baritone and is currently performing as Bobinot in The Storm: Coenen-Rowe at Lillian Baylis House in Hampstead, London. While at King’s Jolyon was involved in Drama and Theatre and was also a chorister at Worcester Cathedral where he later became a choral scholar and lay clerk.
Jolyon went onto study Modern & Medieval Languages at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was also a choral scholar in the Magdalen College Choir. Following this, in 2016 he graduated with Distinction from the Royal Academy of Music in London with an MA in Vocal Performance. He has sung in many operatic productions and concerts from The Magic Flute at Hampstead Garden Opera to the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus and in 2018 he will appear as Valens in Handel’s Theodora.
This year we were very fortunate to have Squadron Leader Bonnie Posselt (Cr 98-03) here at King’s as our Remembrance Day Speaker. As a pupil Bonnie was incredibly involved in school life and took part in many activities including rowing, CCF, Young Enterprise and Astronomy Club.
Bonnie went on to study Medicine with European Studies at the University of Manchester and Aerospace Physiology and Medicine at King’s College London. During this time Bonnie joined the RAF as a medical officer and she is now a Squadron Leader and a Speciality Registrar in Aviation and Space Medicine. In 2016 Bonnie became Britain’s first trainee space medic, helping to prepare astronauts for voyages into space.
To kick off the new half term, our first inspiring former pupil is Peter Harris (Ch 65-70) who is co-founder of A Rocha, a Christian nature conservation organisation. At King’s Peter threw himself into a variety of activities including drama, music, public speaking, Christian Union, athletics and first team hockey and rugby. He was also a school monitor and Head of Choir House.
Peter went on to study English and Religious Studies at Cambridge University and then worked as an English teacher at Christ’s Hospital School, before training for ordination at Trinity College, Bristol. In 1983, after his curacy, Peter and his wife Miranda moved to Portugal to establish and run A Rocha’s first field study centre and bird observatory. A Rocha is now an international organisation, running conservation projects in twenty countries.
We enjoyed some wonderful events here at King’s recently and one OV who knows all about event planning is Events Manager, Alice Higgins (née Watts) (Ch 93-98). As a pupil at King’s, Alice took part in Choir and was a member of the Boat Club.
Alice studied Drama at Exeter University before starting work in charity fundraising events. Alice worked for Leukaemia Care, Sight Concern and Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice before moving into a more corporate role at Executive Business Support and then launching her own event management business: The Events Executive.
Alice has organised events from private dinners and fundraising events to family days for a national association as well as assisting in a freelance capacity for corporate events internationally including in Rome and Monaco.