Staff Snapshot Interview with Mrs Houchin

Tell us about your path into your job at MHS:

After leaving school I had three very different careers: catering, executive search and public relations.  My career started in Tokyo having set up my own business catering for corporate clients and private expat parties before I joined a large international airline catering business in quality control at Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong. Having had enough of being on my feet all day and working anti-social hours, I joined a global executive search firm working directly for the Chairman and Chief Executive.  The firm specialised in filling senior positions for large PLC’s such as British Airways and British Gas.  Having returned to London after eight years in Asia, I joined Grosvenor House hotel on Park Lane as PR Manager, where I met my husband, Julian.

After an eight year career break, raising four children, I ventured into the education world and joined Benenden Primary as their Family Liaison Officer, supporting families, who were going through tough times, and signposting them to the relevant professional agencies. This was a rewarding but sometimes challenging role and luckily on the whole produced positive outcomes for families. I then spent a year with Benenden School, working in the Co-Curricular department which involved liaising with 630+ pupils for their Club, Outreach and Weekend activities programme which is a massive part of the everyday life of a Benenden girl.  I joined Marlborough House in October 2018 as Registrar and absolutely love working with current and new families – supporting them through the admission process, which for some can be quite a scary and stressful time particularly if they are moving house at the same time!

What do you love most about your job?

As all four of my children thrived at MHS, I love being back, but this time as a member of staff.  I love meeting and getting to know new families and being able to showcase the school to prospective new families. I am very proud of all the amazing and fun opportunities that MHS gives to our pupils. Education has changed so much from when I went to school – it is much more fun and interactive!

What were you like at school?

I was a bit of a goodie goodie in my earlier years! Having said that whilst moving house recently, I looked through my senior school reports and quite a few teachers commented that I involved myself in far too much chatter and could have worked a lot harder!

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A chef or a social worker! Which in a way is actually what I achieved! My latest thought, if I ever plan to change career, is to be film location manager as I love exploring new parts of the UK.

What’s the funniest moment you’ve had at MHS?

I have had several moments which have been amusing. One of the most recent was during lockdown number three whilst looking after the Reception ‘key worker’ pupils one afternoon and trying to get the children to use various parts of their body as musical instruments!

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

I would say that my FLO role at Benenden Primary School was hugely rewarding in turning around the lives of some of the young people who otherwise could have got lost in the ’system’.

What are you most excited about at Marlborough House this term/year?

This term – I always look forward to the Nativities and seeing the outfits that the pupils/staff are wearing for the various Christmas lunches! Christmas is such a special time both in school and at home – my family are so looking forward to spending Christmas in our new home.

What makes Marlborough House such a special place to be?

The children, parents and staff of course! It is such a friendly, warm and happy place to work and makes my role as Registrar an absolute delight!

Quick-fire questions:

Years at MHS: Three

Unusual fact: I was in a film at the age of four called Sunday Bloody Sunday with Glenda Jackson, Peter Finch and Murray Head

Highlight of my day: Lunchtime (I’m always starving by then!) and returning home to my spaniel. My children have pretty much all left home, so all love and attention is showered on my cocker spaniel these days (and occasionally my husband!). Mungo, my spaniel, is SO excited when I return home so there is never a lonely moment!

The book I am reading: I have several on the go, I have to admit I am not a keen reader, but currently on my bedside table there are several half-finished books! Two of which are titled: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig and Here is the beehive by Sarah Crossan.

Most memorable moment at MHS: One of our sons was in the MHS production of Oliver, playing the role of Bill Sykes. He got himself so much into character that, as he walked up the aisle, acting in a threatening manner to the parents he knew in the audience, he completely forgot his cue to be back on stage and the rest of the cast had to wait for him to return to the stage before they could continue with the musical!

Tagged  Prep  Pre-Prep