Dunstable academy headteacher reflects on first year in role
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A headteacher at an academy in Dunstable is celebrating her first anniversary in the role.
Helen Palmer, headteacher at Queensbury Academy, has lived in Dunstable her whole life. She said that the children at Queensbury are ‘incredibly driven’ when they believe in something.
Helen added: “I am passionate about the town's development and the young people here are its future. While I think it is important to encourage children to broaden their horizons and go out and explore the world, they also need to know that great things can come from a local school.
"When you work in the community you grew up in there’s a connection that you can’t replicate elsewhere. People can’t tell me much about Dunstable that surprises me!”
Helen said: “One of my highlights from last year was opening our doors to the over-65 community in Dunstable and supporting our town council with their Big Lunch.
"Our catering and hospitality students baked an afternoon tea, including sandwiches, scones, cakes, and brownies, and were responsible for serving it, while our music department entertained guests with a wide range of musical numbers."
She added: “We had over 50 visitors, who had an absolutely fantastic time. I'd like to do something similar for Christmas this year, and really open our doors to the community much more.”
The biggest surprise for Helen was taking on the job in the first place. Helen said: “I never expected to be a headteacher while having a young family, but having my first year under my belt, I can see that not only can I do it, I am hugely enjoying it.
“I am so proud that all my children, but especially my daughter, see me go to work every day and work really hard for something that matters. I want my children to know that they can achieve anything that they put their minds to. They are absolutely my motivation.”
She added: "It’s a point I’ve been making to students actually, just put your mind to it, you never know what you can achieve!”