Welcome from Jo Duncan
It is hard to believe that we are at the end of term today – and what an extraordinary term it has been. The fourteen weeks since the start of lockdown on 20 March 2020 have certainly been different and they have presented a steep learning curve for all of us. I am proud of how, as a School community, we have navigated our way through to arrive at this point. We can now all look forward now to enjoying a well-deserved rest!
The end of the academic year always means saying goodbye to some members of staff who are leaving us for new opportunities and adventures. We thank them for their contribution to Wycombe Abbey during their time here and wish them well as they embark on a new chapter of their life.
The following staff will be leaving at the end of this term:
Mrs Sophie Langdale, Director of Admissions, has been appointed as Director of Admissions and Communications at Radley College.
Mr Simon Johns, teacher of Classics, has been appointed as Head of Classics at Ardingly College.
Miss Marina Cassan-Ferrier, teacher of Modern Foreign Languages, will be moving to Madrid to teach French at Runnymede College.
Miss Susanna Michael will also be moving abroad to be an English Language Assistant for the British Council.
Miss Sarah Lafford leaves Wycombe Abbey for Bloxham School after completing her role of Head of Junior House for one year.
Both Mrs Sylvie Harris and Mrs Sophie Landsmann are retiring at the end of the academic year having both contributed a great deal to the Modern Languages Department.
Mrs Sharon McGeehan will be stepping down from her role as Housemistress of Airlie but we are delighted that she will continue to teach Physics.
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the newly-appointed staff:
Mr Mark Mackenzie-Crooks has been appointed as Bursar from 1 September 2020. Mark joins us from St Helen’s School in Northwood (an all girls’ independent school of over 1150 pupils) where he is currently Business Director.
Mr Binit Shah has been appointed to the new role of Director of Digital Learning. Mr Shah will lead and manage the development plan for digital learning across the School ensuring a coherent and school-wide approach to fulfilling our digital learning strategy.
Mrs Catriona Sutherland-Hawes will join Wycombe Abbey as Director of Admissions from 1 September 2020. Mrs Sutherland-Hawes joins us from Latymer Upper School where she is currently Director of Admissions.
Rev. Penny Nash has been appointed to the newly created role of Deputy Head of Sixth Form (Clarence Housemistress) from 1 September 2020. Rev. Nash will be resident in Clarence where she will monitor and support the pastoral wellbeing of the girls throughout their final year at Wycombe. Rev. Nash will remain as Chaplain.
Mrs Alison Earnshaw-Punnett joins Wycombe Abbey in September 2020 as the new Head of Sports Performance. Mrs Earnshaw-Punnett joins us from St George’s Ascot where she is currently Director of Sport.
Miss Georgina Taylor, currently Head of Geography, will be the new Housemistress of Shelburne from September 2020. Miss Taylor has been Assistant Housemistress in Shelburne for the past term and has thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the girls and parents in House.
Miss Lucy Crampton will join Wycombe Abbey in September 2020 as the new Head of Junior House. Miss Crampton joins us from Leicester Grammar School where she is currently a Teacher of Design Technology and Computer Science.
Miss Claire Flynn, currently Assistant Housemistress of Airlie, will be the new Housemistress of Airlie from September 2020. Miss Flynn has been Assistant Housemistress of Airlie since September 2018 and is very familiar with the pupils and parents of the House.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all staff who are leaving Wycombe Abbey this term for their service and commitment to the school. I would also like to extend a very warm welcome to the staff joining us this September for the start of the next academic year. You can view a full list of staff leavers and joiners here.
I am confident that despite the inevitable challenges that we will continue to deal with in light of the Covid-19 situation the new academic year will be a successful one and, together with our newly recruited staff, we will continue to flourish as a world-class School.
Thank you for your support throughout this year since my arrival and particularly in the past term, it has been much appreciated by me and by the wider staff body.
We will contact you on Fridays throughout July and August to bring you the latest updates on our plans for re-opening. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy a wonderful summer break and I very much look forward to welcoming the girls back to School in the Autumn Term.