Alumnus of the Month: October 2022
Jake Anthony is our Verulam School October 2022 Alumnus of the Month. Jake Anthony left Verulam School in 2017 and is now a teacher of PE.
Please tell us a little about yourself – where do you work and how did you get into this role?
Although many students and parents reading this may be aware of who I am, for those who are not, I am a member of staff working as a teacher in the PE faculty. I have just commenced my 2nd full year of teaching, after my time at University and Teacher Training through the Alban Federation.
I have always been a passionate sportsman with a very clear and determined mind set from early on. I always believed that teaching was going to be the profession for me and was very fortunate to have had an amazing experience of school here at Verulam. Those memories and experiences pushed me into teaching, so that I can carry the metaphorical torch in continuing to inspire and influence people in the world of sports & Physical Activity.
What are some of your proudest achievements since leaving Verulam School?
Naturally, as a sporty person, my mind immediately draws to previous successes in the likes of Football and beyond. I am glad to have been able to continue playing Semi-professionally alongside my teaching although it is not always easy with fixtures commitments etc. I am extremely proud of some of the success I’ve had on the football pitch, from scoring in the FA Cup to playing alongside some amazing players, but they are not the only things that make me who I am.
Receiving both my degree in Sport & Exercise Psychology and completing my teacher training are two things that stand out as my proudest achievements to date. This is especially due to that latter end of my degree and teacher training being finished alongside the challenges of the Covid pandemic. They were a result of so much support from friends and family, who always wanted me to be the best version of myself, so that really pushed me through and fills me with a lot of pride.
What advice would you give someone looking to follow a similar career path?
Teaching is of course a challenging profession at times, as I think many parents and families were enlightened to learn over the remote learning period. For me, the positives absolutely outweigh everything else and it can truly be life changing. It has already given me so much as a professional but also so much as a person.
I think I entered the profession with the mindset that I wanted to change lives. Of course, you do play a part in that but my advice to anyone thinking about joining the profession, would be to think of just how much the job could change your life as well.
How have your experiences at Verulam School contributed to your life and successes since leaving school?
A lot of people ask me how it feels to work at the school I attended and the answer for me is simple. The opportunity arose for me to to come back to Verulam to become a teacher as I looked to enter the profession and when I looked back at my fondness for the school I knew it was the right choice for me. The chance to learn from those people that made me who I am, gave me those amazing experiences and pushed me into the profession was too good to pass up. The likes of Mr. Lewis, my form tutor for 6 years, Mr. Skipper, the English mastermind and many more truly lit the flame for my desire to get into education. So, I really do owe them and the school for pushing me on that journey.
What House were you in at Verulam School and can you describe one of your fondest memories?
I was in Jennings House, however I am now a Brampton form tutor, so I now have loyalties to both houses. Some amazing trips and events like Verulympics will always be fond memories of mine and memories of those times always lead the conversation whenever myself and friends from school meet up.
However, my most vivid and perhaps fondest memory came from my very first day. I came from a primary school by myself and sat, very nervously, next to the only other member of my form Zishaan in the hall. We introduced ourselves, had very little in common and supported opposite football teams but it led to a 12-year friendship and counting. This would be my fondest memory purely because, for me, it just symbolises the special nature of the school and how it seems to connect people for life.
A very simple answer for this is that I wish to continue developing as a teacher, growing as a person both personally and professionally and to carry on riding the train that is education. I cannot wait to see what is around the corner as I enter my mid-twenties but I can guarantee that it won’t be dull.
We love hearing what our alumni have been doing since leaving Verulam School. Each month, we are inviting a member of our alumni community to share their story of life after Verulam. If you’re and alumnus who would like to take part, or you’d like to volunteer an alumnus that you know, then please drop us an email.