Girls, staff, governors and parents welcomed Caroline Zyla (née Browne) as guest speaker to the annual Senior School Prize Giving celebrations. Caroline, a former pupil, is the Global Purchasing Strategy Manager at IMI. After leaving university, Caroline was invited to be a Faraday Lecturer for the Institute of Electrical Engineers, teaching children about engineering in the UK, Ireland and Asia.
The Prize Giving evening celebrates the achievements of girls from Years 10 to Upper Sixth. The School has enjoyed a hugely successful year, gaining excellent examination results at A Level and GCSE and being named “Top Smaller School in England” for the second year running by The Telegraph.
Miss Edgar, along with Niamh Robinson, Head Girl and Samantha Galbraith and Rosie Mann, Deputy Head Girls, gave an address and a review of the year. Miss Edgar told the girls and parents that she felt privileged to be the Head at Saint Martin’s School. She believes that despite the press coverage overstating the benefits of single sex education, girls’ schools have a bright future as girls have access to every opportunity and become confident young women, ready for life in the 21st century workplace.
Niamh spoke passionately about the fantastic education she has received at the School, academically and in music, sport and drama. She summed up that a Saint Martin’s girl is “… encouraged to be confident, speak her mind and stand up for what she believes in.” Samantha talked about the rich and varied extra-curricular opportunities including the recent study visit to China. Rosie spoke of the charity fundraising efforts of the whole school and the many sporting successes.
Caroline’s speech began with her memories of being a Saint Martin’s pupil, starting in the infant department in Alice House and leaving in the Sixth Form as Deputy Head Girl. Caroline studied Engineering at Warwick University and is proud to be a female engineer. She spoke about her career with IMI; she has held various roles with the company and has lived and travelled all over the world.
Caroline shared her thoughts on life lessons of the working world. She encouraged the girls to find a job they love; to be a rounded individual with a varied CV, not just an academic; and finally to be proud of Saint Martin’s School.