Kathryn was a modest and unassuming member of staff. It is hard to quantify the support she gave as she often adopted ‘wanderers’ along the way – students who had not been specifically referred to her but who she had noticed walking past looking a little down. Or those she came across when they were having a ‘moment’ outside the class. Kathryn championed the underdog: she managed to melt the frostiest teenager with her patience, her forgiveness and her kindness. Her calm manner and quirky sense of humour intrigued everyone.
We often commented that Kath was our biggest ‘kid’. She adored all things Harry Potter and Disney and everyone thought of her whenever we saw a new product; she was so excited at the prospect of a quidditch water bottle or a Gryffindor jumper and her annual school weekend trip to Euro Disney with the French department had become one of the highlights of Kathryn’s year. Her excitement when she talked about books, her frequent outbursts of songs from Blood Brothers and her crazy American sweets all added to the fun. She loved dressing up and threw herself into whatever themed day or charity event we were holding as a school – we will never forget the images of her in a tutu or her Hawaiian outfit.
As a serial quiz champion, Kathryn loved telling students about her appearance on The Chase and our students often used this as a measure to distinguish which Miss Williams they were looking for: “you know, the one from The Chase!’ In our end of term quizzes, we all wanted Kathryn on our team. She was clever and insightful and knew the inanest facts about everything. Her parents told me that Kathryn had recently applied for “Who wants to be a Millionaire?’ and had already mentally planned how she was going to use the winnings to make other people happy.
Kathryn’s love of art and craft could often be evidenced by the trail of beads or coloured bits of card that were attached to the trousers of children leaving B Block. She was able to introduce such activities to children who had never really pursued activities like this before but they developed patience and a keen love of handmade items. In recent months – she had shared her passion for home-made jewellery with staff in our Wellbeing INSET and her hugely popular workshop has led to a new phase from many staff donning the jewellery she taught them to make. Kathryn always seemed to increase in popularity when she had just finished a new form display and would spend weeks replicating the display for other staff.
Whether delivering daily reading sessions or numeracy intervention, Kathryn was always keen to make it fun or memorable and she became renowned for the tin of sweets that emerged at the end. Ever giving Kathryn was also somewhat of a secret elf, making us laugh with the little thoughtful and humorous gifts she gave people. The secret buddy scheme that recently started in school was her idea of perfection. She loved a B Block buffet and made sure everyone was involved, she was both warm and welcoming and when it came to showing new staff and students around, Kathryn was our ‘go to’ person.
Kathryn’s life was full of fun, travel, adventure and excitement. She crammed a huge amount in and unbelievably there was always room for more. Her kindness was overflowing and we love her for it, when we think of Kathryn in the future, all of these endearing qualities will make us smile and we will think of her – always!