When Roxanne Taylor left St Paulinus’ Catholic Primary School aged 11 in 1995, little did she imagine that one day she would become its headteacher.
But now she has done just that, taking over from Roxanna Drake, who retired in the summer after 20 years as head at the Dewsbury school.
Miss Taylor, who comes from Thornhill, returned to St Paulinus’ as deputy head in 2013. She described her first day in the role as ‘a surreal experience’.
‘I walked around the classrooms remembering that they were my old classrooms.
“It was like going back in time but in the modern day. Some of the staff from my time as a pupil were still here too.’
After leaving St Paulinus’, Miss Taylor went to St John Fisher Catholic High School, Dewsbury, then obtained her teaching degree at Trinity and All Saints University, Leeds. She has taught at St Ignatius’ School, Ossett, and St Austin’s, Wakefield, where she was also an Advanced Skills Teacher for English for the local authority.
Miss Taylor said that being appointed head of her old school was like a dream come true.
‘I feel such loyalty towards St Paulinus’ and great pride in the school too.
“In Mrs Drake I had a wonderful role model and now I’m excited to be taking the school forward with our great team of staff. ’
Perhaps Miss Taylor’s former teachers at St Paulinus’ spotted her potential for school management when they appointed her a prefect, aged 10, charged with keeping order on the school buses.
‘Some of the incentives I used then to encourage good behaviour I still use today!’ she said.