A VIP guest attended Lealands High School’s recent annual presentation evening.
Former pupil Marion King – now president of Mastercard UK and Ireland – addressed students and handed out awards and certificates.
During an inspirational speech, the mother-of-two encouraged everyone to aim high and achieve their goals.
Citing her own example, she told them: “A girl from Sundon Park can go on to lead one of the top companies in the country and hold a meeting with the president of China.”
She’s keen to push young women forward and, in a recent interview, gave this advice: “Be brave, be prepared and try to punch above your weight.”
Karl Nilsson, father of Lealands award winner Amy Nilsson, who achieved 13 A* A GCSE grades, said: “Marion King was an exceptional guest speaker and hopefully students will be inspired by what she has achieved.
“The event was excellent and it was a fitting tribute to recognise the hard work of students at the school.”
Lealands business manager Dominic Richards said: “It was Marion’s first visit to the school since she left.
“She was amazed by the fantastic faciities following our £17.5 million refurbishment and is keen to be more involved. We’re hoping we can organise some work experiece with her.2 He added: “She really was inspirational and talked a bit about her background and memories.
“She still has an award she won and brought it with her to show the students.”
More than 100 pupils were presented with certificates and commendations with 13 receiving coveted trophies for oustanding achievement and progression.
Mrs King, who went to Lealands and Luton Sixth Form College, started working for Luton Borough Council as a trainee accountant.
She joined Mastercard last year after a stellar career trajectory which included 14 years with Reuters and nine at VocaLink where she was chief exceutive.