Louise Hopper started at St. Francis’ in 1982 under the guidance of Mrs Duffy and Miss Jackson and stayed until the end of Sixth Form (1996). She was House Captain of St. Benedict’s and studied A Level English, Business Studies and R.E. under the watchful eyes of Mrs Edgar, Mrs Campbell and Ms Semmens!
She studied journalism at Bournemouth University, then pursued a career in Graduate Recruitment for a global hospitality company. After a number of years, she decided to study Human Resource Management and is now a Chartered Member of the CIPD. For the last 17 years she has worked in senior positions within Human Resources and is Head of HR for a company based in Hitchin.
She is delighted to be able to be involved with the School again as Chair of the Old Girls' Association and regularly visits the College to talk to students studying Human Resource Management as part of their Business Studies A Level.
Sheila Edgar first joined St Francis' in the English Department in 1968 and stayed until her retirement in 2002 (with a short break to have her family). Then, she joined the Royal Collection Trust in London, and became a Tour Guide for Clarence House, The Royal Mews and Buckingham Palace Gardens. She now takes sessions with school groups at The Royal Mews: hugely enjoyable, like Teaching - but without the marking!
Mary Fenton taught History at SFC for over 20 years and was Head of Sixth Form from 2004 until her retirement in 2012. She expected to hugely miss the lively banter of the Sixth Form Common Room and the cut and thrust of History lessons; but the gap has been filled with the non-stop chatter of her twin grandsons, the demands of her new granddaughter, as well as her work as a Trustee of the Kanyike Project and of Spinal Muscular Atrophy Support UK.
Jane Hunter (Baerlein) studied at St Francis’ from 1953 to 1962 when it was still a convent. She has many happy memories – she occasionally browses through her old school magazines - and chose SFC for her daughter, Sarah Bellisario (Pyle 1993). Jane and her husband Tim ran a village pub in Preston for a many years. Since retiring, Jane helps at her local primary school (where her granddaughter Scarlet is a pupil – an added bonus), enjoys gardening, is Social Secretary for the Preston Cricket Club and serves on St Martin’s Church fund raising committee.
Sanya Masood studied at SFC between 2002 and 2009. After leaving St. Francis’ and completing her Law degree from the University of East Anglia, she qualified as a solicitor in 2015 and is now working as an employment lawyer in London. Sanya also runs a charity project called 'A Bloody Good Cause' with another old girl (Sophie Harrold), which aims to promote gender equality and collect donations of sanitary products for homeless women. In her spare time, Sanya enjoys blogging, travelling and visiting the Ancient Egyptian section of the British Museum!
Susan Podmore (Joyce) started at St. Francis’ College in 1976 (at four) in the infants hut with Mrs Rayner and was taught in transition by her favourite nun, Sr. Mary Caroll. Susan was a really tall child so the tiny Sr Mary borrowed her plimsolls (when Susan was six) for the staff rounders match.
Definitely more of a 'musical child' than a 'sporty girl' (sorry Miss Roberts), Susan started violin lessons aged seven and went on to play in the orchestra, the chamber orchestra (fondly known as chamber pot), and the string quartet. She also sang in the choir and madrigal group. She did, however, do D of E with many a soggy trip to Snowdonia or the Peak District and a fabulous Exploration to Bermuda where she discovered her freckly need for factor 50 sun cream.
After ALs, Susan took a gap year, before training as a paediatric nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and gained a BSc in Children's Neuroscience Nursing. This led to several different roles over 16 years at GOSH, mainly in her specialty (neurology and neurosurgery) but also in intensive care. To work closer to home, she became a staff nurse in Letchworth and was part of the team that came into St. Francis’ to immunise the girls against HPV - so she apologises if you are one of the many girls she has 'jabbed' in her career. Now a health visitor, she works in Welwyn.
Katharine Purchon has worked as School Librarian at St. Francis’ College since 2002. It is a wonderful role to have within the College. Over the last 10 years she has begun the massive task of establishing the College archive and trying to piece together the history of our School. She joined the SFOGA committee in 2008 and has really enjoyed meeting and talking to many former pupils.
Rosie Eccles Rosie attended St. Francis’ College from 2002-2009. She studied Drama at Queen Mary, University of London and subsequently completed a Master’s degree at Kings’ College in Cultural and Creative Industries. She now works as a Philanthropy Manager for the Science Museum in London.
Rosie still has a keen interest in drama. She enjoys frequent visits to the theatre and Occasionally participating in amateur dramatic productions.
Rebecca Christensen Since leaving St Francis in 2005 I went on to Leeds University, before transferring to the University of Bedfordshire to graduate in Criminology & Criminal Law. I went on to work at Tesco Head Office working in their Technical department. Whilst at University I met my Danish husband Jacob. We married in 2011 and have since had two beautiful children Flynn (4) and Freya (21 months). I never thought that my greatest challenge in life would be having children. I had to put all my negotiating and multitasking skills to use, and I still sometimes lose. Social Media introduced me to blogging and my love of photography. I now get to work from home (I say work, I mean attempt to type whilst fending off both kids with cartons of apple juice primed to spill on my keyboard) producing portraits for family using natural light and doing brand product photography. When I am not taking photographs I am often taking part in events to empower women. I am so honoured to be part of the SFOGA committee, it reconnects me to the school and enables me to help the girls experience the nurturing environment that made me the woman I am today.
Lucy Rahim Lucy attended St Francis' between 2002 and 2011 along with her sister Natalie, and, latterly, with her mum, Carol, who remains on the teaching staff. She spent most of her SFC years in the library bothering Mrs Purchon, asking Mrs Fenton to mark her extra essays or singing in the music rooms. She was Editor of the School Magazine and Head Girl, meaning that she spent most of Sixth Form running around from place to place, earning her the Mrs Fenton Award for the Busiest Bee. She studied English and Modern Languages at Durham University and has worked as a journalist at Official London Theatre and The Daily Telegraph. She is delighted to be able to join the SFOGA committee and give back to the school that offered her so much.