Dragons Den grilling helps Abergele school chose first ever head girl and boy

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Sixth form students of an Abergele school faced a Dragon’s Den-like interview in their bids to be the school’s first ever head boy and girl.

The winning candidates and their two deputies at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan admitted the grilling by the selection board was “tough”.

Naomi Winterbottom is now head girl while Harry Hansen is head boy, with Katie Salle and Iwan Coghlan as their deputies.

The school’s head teacher Lee Cummins said he wanted to see the students selected for the new roles to help further improve the school, which has 1,250 pupils.

He said: “It’s about contributing to the school and helping learners of all ages. I want the new head boy and girl, together with their deputies, to act like a bridge between learners and school staff.

“I’m really pleased that in Harry and Naomi we have selected two very able people, and their deputies, Iwan and Katie, are more than able to assist them in their new roles.”

Mr Cummins says the selection process began with students applying in writing for the roles.

He said: “We had some incredible and very thorough applications. We then selected a short list for interview. I conducted the interviews assisted by an assistant head teacher and the school’s Head of Sixth Form.

“I have to say every student we interviewed put up a very good argument as to why they deserved the position. It was a very close decision and one we agonised over for a long time.

“However, I believe we made the right choices in the end and I ‘m delighted for the four students selected for these important new roles.

“In Harry, Naomi, Iwan and Katie we have four very mature young adults whom I’m sure will assist staff and their peers in improving standards right across all areas of school life.”

Naomi, who has ambitions to become a criminal lawyer, says she is really pleased to have been named the school’s first ever head girl.

The 17-year-old from Towyn, who is studying A-level history, English literature and law and criminology, said: “I wrote a letter applying for the position and then went through what was a tough interview. I was amazed to find out I had been successful.

“I believe it’s really important younger students in particular have someone they can approach if there is a problem. I know from experience how daunting it can be approaching a teacher if you have a real problem when you are really young or new at a school.

“I just want to do a good job for my fellow learners and make sure we help the teaching staff too. My parents were delighted I was chosen. My dad was head boy at his school in London so maybe it’s becoming a family tradition!”

Harry Hansen, who lives in Abergele and is studying A-level history, English literature and government and politics, said: “As head boy I see my role as a link between students and staff. I will attend meetings with staff and inform them of the views of students. I will also speak at some assemblies and ensure all learners are up to speed, whatever year they are in, with developments within school.

“I’m delighted to have been chosen as the school’s first ever head boy. I think it comes with a lot of responsibility and I’m determined to ensure it works. I intend ensuring I’m also able to represent pupils at school council meetings.”

Iwan Coghlan, 18, of Llanfair Talhaiarn, who is studying chemistry, maths, PE and sport at A-level and wants to join the RAF as a PT instructor, says he too is delighted to have been chosen for such an important role as deputy head boy.

He said: “I was naturally very disappointed not to have been selected as head boy. However, congratulations to Harry, he knows he has my backing as his deputy. I wish him well in his new role.”

Deputy head girl, Katie Salle, 17, of Towyn, who is studying A-level history, English literature, government and politics, says she applied for the post as she wanted to be involved in the school’s decision making process.

She said: “It is a chance to make a difference to how the school operates and the way we are taught. Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan is a fantastic school and I, as a student, wanted to have some input.”