St Mary’s Colchester principal celebrates 25 years at the school

Hilary Vipond began working at St Mary’s senior school in January 1996, initially as the head of PSHE

A headteacher has been celebrating a quarter-century of working at St Mary’s Colchester.

Hilary Vipond first arrived at the senior school in January 1996, initially as the head of PSHE. A decade later she became the seventh principal in the school’s 113-year history.

“I am delighted to be celebrating many enjoyable years at St Mary’s,” said Vipond, on reaching the 25-year milestone. “I had no idea I would end up staying so long!”

During her tenure, the Essex institution has joined both the Eco-Schools programme and the Round Square international schools network. It has consistently rated highly in the Sunday Times Parent Power guide; the lower school was ranked the twelfth best prep school in the country in November, having placed in the top 10 in 2017.

“We are all really grateful for all of the hard work and direction that Hilary has given over her time at St Mary’s, and acknowledge that she has done an excellent job in her time here,” said chair of governors Adam Hildred.

Further reflecting on her years at St Mary’s, Vipond said: “I am incredibly proud that the school has never lost sight of the core values of providing an outstanding education for young women as well as the life skills that we teach and, in turn, the fun the girls have – this is what makes the St Mary’s education special.

“A plaque on a bench, recently donated in memory of a former student, encapsulates this feeling; ‘We didn’t realise we were making memories, we just thought we were having fun’ rings very true for me. I really want the girls to have valued their education and remember it with fondness.”

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