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New Headmistress joins St Mary's Calne


Dr Felicia Kirk has joined leading girls school St Marys Calne as Headmistress following the departure of Dr Helen Wright.
US-born Dr Kirk, has joined the Wiltshire school, which currently caters for 335 girls aged 11-18, from Ipswich High School where she was Head of Sixth Form.
She was previously Director of Higher Education at Wycombe Abbey. A language specialist, she has studied in the US and Europe.
She said: I feel very privileged to be the new Headmistress, leading the school and building on the extraordinary achievements of its past. It is clearly a school which has high expectations and ambitions, and I will do all I can to continue to develop the excellent education and the broader extra-curricular activities in the school.
St Marys provides an exceptional, all-round education for girls. What makes St Marys really distinctive school for me is its special blend of excellence in pastoral care and academic development in a nurturing environment.
She added: I have been tremendously impressed by the St Marys girls; they are articulate and confident as well as warm and caring, taking an active part in local community service. The St Marys staff are highly professional: their dedication underpins the warmth and vibrancy of this boarding community where the individual girl matters most.
In her spare time, committed sportswoman Dr Kirk indulges her passion for horses and running. A keen equestrian since her youth, she has competed in dressage, cross country and show jumping, has taught riding and even started a riding club at one previous school, the Royal Hospital in Suffolk, nurturing the pupils all the way to the competitive arena. She plans to stable her horse near St Marys.
She also hopes to continue competing in 10K races which she has previously undertaken to raise funds for the Eve Appeal.
She explained: I support the charity the Eve Appeal. The charity is very young and was set up nationally in 2005 to raise funds for research and to raise awareness of gynaecological cancers.
The Eve Appeal East Anglia was launched in 2010 and I became a member of this local fundraising committee. Elaine Purves, the Head of Ipswich High School for girls, my previous school, was the local patron of the charity.
Dr Kirk is looking forward to continuing and developing the excellent academic and higher education record of St Marys Calne girls.
She said: Founded in 1873, St Marys has been providing an outstanding education for girls for nearly 140 years, and our alumnae have prominent positions in every profession from the law, politics and medicine to the arts, drama and sport. There is a strong tradition of the core academic subjects and strength in science and mathematics, as well as modern languages, arts and humanities.
Our girls go on to study at top UK and American universities; the striking range of courses they embark upon shows the wealth of choice available to our pupils.
St Marys girls become independent thinkers and responsible citizens, empowered for the future and ready to take their place in the world as generations of our inspiring alumnae have done. The school has great traditions and is proud to be a vital part of the local community.

Published: January 10 2013

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