The new principal at The Ripley Academy is hoping her swift rise to the top will inspire her students to realise their ambitions.
Carey Ayres has fulfilled a lifetime dream by becoming headteacher at the academy before the age of 35.
Mrs Ayres, 34, said: “I didn’t think I would do it by the age of 35 but now I am principal, I’m totally ready for the challenge.
“I hope that my story will inspire our students and encourage them to raise their aspirations. I’m from a working class background and I went to a state school. I will always see myself as the girl who lived in the terraced house in the centre of Hucknall. If I can do it, anyone can do it,”
After studying a Chemistry degree at Imperial College, London, Mrs Ayres trained at the University of Nottingham to become a teacher.
She joined Meden School in Mansfield in 2002, and in 2005 she was appointed as head of science at West Park School in Derby.
Mrs Ayres joined The Ripley Academy in 2008 and moved up through the ranks, becoming the acting deputy headteacher in 2010, deputy headteacher in 2011, and principal this year.
Mrs Ayres wants to see standards raised across the board at the academy but she knows it’s not all about every student achieving A* grades.
She said: “I want to raise standards across the board.
“What I would also say to students is whatever it is you are good at, whatever it is you want to do, go and be the best version of it.
“I want to broaden their horizons and I want them to leave here as well rounded individuals who will be assets to the work force.”