IWD 2019

Emma Woodhouse, 7th March 2019

To celebrate International Women's Day, we asked our staff to tell us about the women who inspire them:

Co-Founder Debbie Cooke chose her school teacher, Mrs Thompson.

A woman who truly inspired me was a teacher of mine. Her name was Mrs Thompson and she had an amazing excitement for chemistry. I can still picture her, over 50 years ago, doing all the experiments that used to transfix us.

I thank her for my love of chemistry which I know stems from her total love of her subject and the way she passed on that love to her students.

Educational Consultant Steph Reddington chose Sue Webb.

I first met Sue after I was appointed SENDCo at the school where Sue was the Head. Immediately, her warmth shone through and she quickly became someone I could think of as my mentor, as I took on my first leadership role within a school. Sue always believed in me, even when I didn't believe in myself. She gently and continually pushed me out of my comfort zone, guiding me to become a confident leader and enabling me to be the best person I could be. When times were tough (and believe me, this was often), she always supported me and gave me the strength to get through. Her leadership was inspirational and her dedication to the children, staff and families in her care was unrivalled.

Sue and I both left the school a few years ago, but after five years of working together, we continue to stay in touch, now as good friends. Even though we no longer work side by side, I am continually inspired by Sue's work. Having successfully instilled a love of Values Based Education in our school and the community, she has now given up her career as a Headteacher to follow her passion of bringing Values Based Education to every school - not just in the UK, but in the world! Not only is this so admirable, but such a worthy cause. I wish I was as brave as Sue - to follow your heart and selflessly share such a wonderful gift is just amazing!

I am now really pleased to have started working with with Sue again as Pupil Asset have recently teamed up with VbE to bring schools the VbE Resilience Survey. This is a fairly new project and so it is still in its infancy, but already, it is having a positive impact and I am very much looking forward to seeing where it takes us.

Jess van Rijbroek from our support team chose Carolyn Porco.

Carolyn Porco is my choice for inspirational women in tech and education. I have been completely enamoured with her passion for science, exploration and educating the non-scientific community since watching her 2007 TED Talk ‘This is Saturn’.

Not only was she involved with capturing the incredible imagery from the Voyager missions in the 1980’s but was the head of the imaging team on the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn, arguably one of the most successful NASA missions ever. The Cassini mission has, in my opinion produced some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring images of our Solar System, capturing the imaginations of millions of people.

As a leader in her field she has been recognised by NASA with appointments in many advisory committees for future solar system missions and has been awarded numerous honors including the 2010 Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence.

What an inspiration for little (and not so little) girls everywhere with a passion for science!

Our Business Development Director Sarah Finnemore chose Nicole Ponsford.

Nicole is very influential in edtech, having come from a teaching background and then written extensively on tech. She founded The Gender Equality Charter. Together with Dr Julie Wood, Nicole wrote a book called TechnoTeaching: Taking Practice to the Next Level in a Digital World which did a lot to help all the new tech which was being bought by schools to actually get used in the classroom for teaching and learning. You can visit there facebook page here. She is a total inspiration.



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