During her time at Impington from 1959-64, Sheila Burke had John Brackenbury as the Warden. It was not until many years later, when she became a teacher herself, that Sheila fully appreciated his vision. She acknowledges now how he was ahead of his time in his thinking on education and she spent five very happy years at IVC before transferring to the ‘Tech' (as people called it then), to do her A levels.
In 1966, Sheila went to Goldsmith's College in London and became a teacher. She had always wanted to see the world, and before long she had the opportunity to travel overland to live briefly in Iran, followed by seven years in Bahrain where she flew for Gulf Air, before returning to teaching at St Christopher's School - the British School in Bahrain. Sheila later went on to marry, have two children and go to Papua New Guinea. Back home, when the children went to school, she did too! Sheila taught locally until she retired, however remains connected with education as she invigilates each summer and enjoys working with young people.
One teacher at IVC influenced and encouraged Sheila greatly. Her name was Frances Woodward and she was a History teacher. Miss Woodward opened Sheila’s eyes to the world and the poverty that existed - and still exists today. She encouraged Sheila and her friend Susan to set up 'Cambridge Schools Freedom from Hunger Campaign' and, with pupils from the other secondary schools, they were able to fund raise for Freedom from Hunger over several years. The lesson that was learned - though not realised right away - was to get involved with life. So, if you want to make something happen or change something, then leave your comfort zone and go for it! Fortunately for Sheila Miss Woodward was there! They corresponded every Christmas until she died.
A Piece of Advice
“Don’t be shy, because shyness can result in lost opportunities. Also, work hard and play hard, be kind to everyone you meet, value your friends and try to make a difference in this world we share.”