We are pleased to announce the appointment of Adelaide Bailey as Development Director of KES and KEHS from 1 February 2019. An alumna of KEHS, Adelaide is currently Alumnae Engagement Manager at the girls' school and has family connections to both schools.
We took the opportunity to find out a bit more about our new Development Director ahead of her taking up the role.
What brought you back to KEHS and the Development Office?
After a brief flirtation with a career in academia, I returned to KEHS in 2012 to work in Outreach. The first independent school to be awarded National Teaching School status, KEHS was opening its doors to schools across the West Midlands, offering free extension sessions to pupils from Year 4 upwards, and specialist CPD courses for teachers. It was eye-opening, hugely rewarding, and convinced me I wanted to pursue a career along those lines.
When the Alumnae Relations vacancy came up in the KEHS Development Office, I jumped at the opportunity. Simon Lerwill taught me a great deal in my first years, and then Lindsey Mepham helped me to extend my role and develop new skills. It's one of the best jobs in the world; supporting the school community for the mutual benefit of all involved. I've never looked back.
We know you are a KEHS alumna, but what are your connections to KES?
King Edward's has always been a part of my life, right from the day my father approached my mother at the joint Modern Foreign Languages Society. He told her he was the captain of the 1st XI cricket team, and the rest, as they say, is history. This mutual love of cricket meant I spent a huge amount of my childhood at Streetsbrook Road, playing alongside the offspring of other Old Edwardians. I don't think I've seen either of my parents as happy as the day my KE offer letter came - it was the big envelope and that was all they needed to know.
How would you describe your time at KEHS?
I spent seven years having the time of my life! I enjoyed the broad curriculum, ultimately taking English, religious studies, physics and biology at A-level. I dabbled in fencing, made memories on the no. 885 school bus, wore my Stage Crew jumpsuit with pride, and, by the skin of my teeth in my final year, made it into the Senior Production. I'm sure people will remember my 'Farm Wench no. 9' for many years to come! My King Edward's best friends remain so to this day, and the older I become, the more I realise how valuable my time here was.
What are you looking forward to most about your new role?
It's hard to answer that question. Not just because it is such a varied, exciting role, but also because I am approaching it from two perspectives. As a professional, I'm excited to build on our successes. We have a fantastic alumni community, who are the heart of all we do. They're showing the huge benefits that come from cross-generational collaboration, whether it is through social events, our Careers Network, or the time given back to the School. I'm hugely lucky to be a part of that and am keen to build on the achievements I am inheriting. Together we can ensure King Edward's remains a trailblazer.
I'm also approaching it as a second generation alumna. Offering a King Edward's education isn't an abstract concept to me. My parents came here on Direct Grant places, with each of my grandfathers being the sole provider for a family with three generations under one roof. My closest friends came here on Assisted Places, and I remember particularly admiring one who worked multiple part-time jobs to help support her family and still finished with straight As. We have each taken our turn to walk these halls, experiencing all King Edward's has to offer; now it is our turn to ensure the next generation has access to the same opportunities we enjoyed, helping to make King Edward's a reality for all bright young people.
Finally, what are your plans for the first few months?
I'm keen to get to know everybody. Alumni will always be the driving force behind our successes. I'd like to hear what the community thinks and use that as a starting point. We have a great alumni network, one that is working for the benefit of other alumni, the School and the next generation of Edwardians.
We have a fantastic development team, who have won awards on both sides of the drive. I'm not going to squander that success by going in 'guns blazing'! The first few months will be a time to hear what people have to say and to consider the future.
We're very much looking forward to Adelaide joining our team in February. If you want to contact Adelaide directly, you can get in touch with her via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org