A Product Design graduate has returned to her old school to start her first full-time job as a Product Design Technician. After graduating with a BA first-class honours degree in Product Design, from Sheffield Hallam University, alumna Emily Tavanyar was delighted to hear of the vacancy at Richmond School and Sixth Form College, following Geoff Davies’ retirement, after 42 years as a teacher and technician at the school.

Emily joins 31 other former students who have chosen to re-join Richmond School as members of staff, such is the high regard they have for the school and sixth form college. Emily was searching for an opportunity to build on her skills, work practically with design and to allow her to pass on her knowledge to young people who are interested in the world of design.

Emily said: “As a former student, I have extremely fond memories of the school and the brilliant staff who helped me to achieve my goals. I am excited to return and I know I’m really going to enjoy applying myself practically in the workshop and the problem-solving it will entail. With everything that’s going on at the moment, I’m looking forward to helping out with the students’ learning, however that may be!”

Emily joined Richmond School in 2009, leaving in 2016 after completing her A-levels in Product Design, German and Art. Whilst at university, Emily worked as a Product Design Intern in the research and development department at Touratech GmbH in Germany. Touratech is the leading specialist in modification and equipment for adventure and touring motorbikes, and gave Emily the opportunity to design and manufacture a variety of products, as well as developing her German language skills.

Tom Braham, Lead Teacher for Technology, said: “Emily’s knowledge as a Product Design graduate and experience from working in the Product Design sector bring a new and fresh perspective to the Design and Technology department. Her understanding of the world of Design, new and emerging technologies and her commitment to ensuring that students have the best opportunities to demonstrate their skills means that Emily is an excellent addition to our team. As an alumna, Emily knows the demands of working at Richmond School and the expectations of the projects and courses delivered in the department. She also has a great sense of humour – a must for working in the DT department!”

Emily also brings with her hands-on experience from working on projects independently at home, as she regularly performs maintenance tasks on her 20-year old motorbike to keep it running well.  Emily has always loved travelling and has ridden her motorbike across Europe on self-supported expeditions combining wild camping in 10 countries with riding several of the high Alp passes and kayaking white-water rivers in the Ardennes Forest.

Jenna Potter, Headteacher, concluded: “I am delighted to welcome Emily to our staff. Emily’s credential are second to none and she was the obvious choice to inspire our students with her knowledge and passion for Product Design. I am very proud that she is joining over 30 members of our team who are former students. It is always wonderful to hear them say how much they valued, enjoyed and benefitted from their education with us and have chosen to return to be part of our community in their working life, contributing to the ongoing success of the school and giving something back to the next generation of students.”