Athlete and Teacher Miss Hawkins
Former Pelham Pupil... ATHLETE AND TEACHER MISS HAWKINS!
How would you describe your time at Pelham?
I always smile fondly when I reflect on my time at Pelham. I was often one of the first students to arrive, usually to attend Sign Language or Judo clubs before school, and I was one of the last to leave, after attending the GT Multisport club or Football club. It was at Pelham I found my love for sport. I particularly looked forward to GT Multisports as it enabled me to try a wide range of sports. I enjoyed everything from football to dance. Looking back on my life I can safely say that Pelham sparked the athlete in me.
What are you up to now?
I am a Chemistry and PE teacher at Townley Grammar School, just a short walk away from Pelham. Before taking up this position I attended the University of Virginia (UVA), in America where I graduated with distinction in Chemistry. I was fortunate to receive a scholarship to study at UVA as I was one of the best female high jumpers in Britain and was recruited to join UVA’s Track and Field Team. I thoroughly enjoyed my three and a half years studying in America. It taught me independence, resilience and most importantly time management because, in addition to my Chemistry studies, I spent 20 hours a week training. In my final year I took on even more responsibility as a Teaching Assistant for the Organic Chemistry Laboratory. I think it is safe to say that I made the most of my university years.
What did Pelham give to you that you have used throughout your life?
Pelham taught me the importance of respecting one another and valuing differences; we should be kind to everyone and celebrate diversity. Pelham was ahead of its time, it enabled hearing and Deaf students to interact and forge friendships, it also helped tackle the language barrier by teaching British Sign Language to all pupils. I remember how enthusiastically we would all sign along to songs in assembly, Pelham was proud of its students.
When you think about your future, be brave and aim high. I can proudly say that I have achieved some of my dreams: representing my country in athletics, graduating from university and becoming a teacher. However, my dreams have changed as I have grown up and that is okay. A dream is not something which is fixed. As you go on in life enjoy dreaming and the endless possibilities ahead of you. I recommend being positive, kind, respectful, hardworking and open minded at all times. If you can embody all of these qualities, you will go far. Always DREAM BIG.