OP Updates

Michelle Ovens Awarded CBE

Many congratulations to Old Princethorpian Michelle Ovens who was awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours list.

Michelle attended the College Sixth Form from 1993 to 1995 and has gone on to build a successful career supporting and promoting small businesses.

She is Founder of Small Business Britain and its campaigns – f-Entrepreneur, i-Entrepreneur and The Small Awards, and is also Director of Small Business Saturday in the UK, a campaign to support, inspire and promote small businesses.

Michelle works closely in advising both government and the private sector on small business policy and engagement, and is a regular presence in the national media. She recently completed three years as the Chair of Small Business Charter, an award that celebrates business schools that play an effective role in supporting small businesses, entrepreneurship and engagement with the local economy.

Prior to running national small business campaigns, Michelle ran a small business strategy consultancy for ten years, after completing her MBA at London Business School.

Her passion, commitment and dedication to supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses is inspirational.

We were delighted to hear of Michelle’s recognition.

OP Felicity Hannah Recognised In Journalism Awards

It was fantastic to hear that OP Felicity Hannah (nee King Evans) received the 2020 Broadcast Journalist of the Year award for outstanding investment journalism in the Aegon AM Journalism Awards in early December.

Hannah attended the College from 1997 to 2001 and is a freelance journalist specialising in finance and consumer affairs. Her articles and stories regularly feature in the national broadcast and printed press.

Many congratulations to Felicity.

As We Were: The First World War By Margaret-Louise O'Keeffe

Margaret-Louise O'Keeffe, former Deputy Head – Pastoral at Princethorpe College, has just published a new book. As We Were: The First World War details the course of the First World War week-by-week with intimate accounts and experiences of soldiers and civilians alike, co-authored with David Hargreaves, it offers insight like no other into a war that impacted generations the world over.

Margaret-Louise will be well known to many in the Old Princethorpians community for her Arts Society informative talks on literature and art history, subjects that have clearly fascinated her all her life. After reading English at Girton College, Cambridge, she completed a two-year MA in Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London before moving into teaching.

As We Were: The First World War is a four-volume work, that Margaret-Louise describes as “looks daunting but I promise you it is a page turner!” The book is available to pre-order from:


OP Bethan Ellis Signs Professional Cricket Contract

Congratulations to Old Princethorpian, Bethan Ellis (Class of 2017), who, just before Christmas, became one of the first female players to sign a full-time professional domestic cricket contract.

Bethan, who is currently studying at Loughborough University, started playing with Leamington Cricket Club aged just ten-years-old and has been with Warwickshire County Cricket Club since she was 13. Last year, the all-rounder and opening batswoman, made her maiden century for Warwickshire, scoring 132 against Worcestershire County Cricket Club.

In 2019 she helped the Birmingham Bears, Warwickshire’s T20 women’s team, win the T20 Vitality Cup and last summer Bethan was selected to play for Loughborough Lightnings in their 15-man squad for the Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

Bethan is also a qualified coach working as an assistant coach for Warwickshire U13 girls and with the Complete Cricket company.

Whilst at Princethorpe, Bethan was a regular player for the College teams and captained the Boys 1st XI cricket team, the first girl to do so in the school's history, her dedication to school sport was exemplary and she was a role model to all within the Foundation.

Bethan has signed with Lightning Cricket the East Midlands-based team in the new Women's Elite Domestic Cricket Structure. Her signing will provide Bethan with the opportunity to train and work on her skills full-time and give her access to some of the best coaching and training facilities in the UK.

A huge well done to Bethan from us all here at Princethorpe, we were delighted to hear of your success.

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Callum Travels Down Under

OP Callum Panton (Class of 2015) is currently working and living in Australia. He has been posting some great pictures on Facebook and we asked him for an update.

Callum told us, "I have just set off on a six month journey around Australia living in a van. Just arrived in Melbourne and loving life."

Enjoy the sunshine Callum - we could do with a little back here!

Aaron Pressley Debut For Brentford FC

Huge congratulations to Old Princethorpian Aaron Pressley who made his Brentford Football Club first team professional debut against Rotherham United on 1 December. Aaron is a professional footballer who plays for Brentford as a forward. He is a product of the Aston Villa and Heart of Midlothian academies and was capped by Scotland at U16 and U17 level. Striker Aaron signed for Brentford back in January 2020 and has been playing for their B team ever since. He came on as a substitute for the first team in the final minutes of their 2-0 win against Rotherhm. He then played against Leicester City on 24 January. We look forward to following Aaron as he progresses his professional footballing career.

Will Davis Working In Cabinet Office

We were delighted to recently receive an update about former Deputy Head Boy, Will Davis, who attended the College from 2009 to 2016. After leaving Princethorpe, Will studied Law at Liverpool University where he was awarded a First. He then went on to get a Masters in Civic Design and when his course ended last September he was fortunate to secure a position working in the Cabinet Office.

Despite the call of the bright lights and big city, thanks to COVID, Will found himself back in his boyhood bedroom working on Zoom. Here is hoping that this is just a temporary arrangement and that Will will be able to make the move down to London and to Whitehall very soon! 

Stay in touch Will, it was great to hear of your progress.

Grace Graduates With A First In Midwifery

Many congratulations to OP Grace O'Gorman, leaver of 2016, who has recently graduated with a First Class Honours BSc in Midwifery from the University of Brighton.

Since qualifying in August Grace has been working as a midwife at King's College Hospital in London under challenging circumstances due to Covid. Her studies are not over yet though as she is soon to start studying to become a Lactation Consultant and hopefully at some stage will do High Dependency Unit training.

Well done Grace what a difference you will be making to so many lives!