Vicky Marks

What are you doing now?

Principal at New College, Pontefract)

How did you get to where you are today?

After I left Carleton High, I went to Wakefield College for 2 years to do my A levels. New College was due to open the year after and I didn’t want to stay at school for 2 more years. I went on to the University of Leicester to study for a degree in Biological Chemistry. I didn’t have a career plan so, despite having just met a nice lad (who you might know!) I travelled around the world with a friend. A year later, the nice lad had trained to be a teacher and, if I’m honest, he was the reason I decided to do the same. It might not have been the best way to choose a career but it worked out pretty well for me. I’ve worked in all kinds of schools, including a year at a girls’ boarding school that was quite an experience! In 2006 I decided to take a break from teaching, returning in 2013 to work as a part time Chemistry teacher at New College. It was the dream job for me because I’ve always loved teaching A level and the students and staff are just brilliant. I was lucky to be given lots of opportunities to get involved in the growth of the College and the Trust, and now here I am as Principal.

What’s your biggest achievement to date?

I think I’m most proud of managing to take time out to look after my children and picking up my career later. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to put your career to one side when you have other priorities, and when I was a young teacher, someone once told not to be afraid to make bold moves because if you’re good, you’ll always get a job.

What advice would you give?

Do what you enjoy and don’t worry about having a firm plan for the future. Be open to opportunities when they arise. Listen to the people who believe in you and notice you. Face your fears and do the things that scare you. Smile.