Author Archives: Daniel Hopa

Stanborough Short Story Competition

Short Story

From all over the world-to Stanborough…

What is life like at Stanborough School?

Our international students have shared what their experiences at Stanborough School have been like so far as a part of a collaborative writing project in class. Have a peek!



Group 1

Group 2


ADRA Giftbox Appeal 2015!

Stanborough School has supported the ADRA gift box appeal for many years.  However, as a whole-school initiative, this is the 3rd year in a row that Stanborough Secondary School has been blessed to participate in the ADRA Giftbox Appeal. Each year the boxes are sent to underprivileged children in a selected country – this year the boxes will be traveling to Swaziland.

Our students and staff (who collectively donated over £280!) this year have done a marvelous job in filling 101 boxes! On top of that, we also raised over £200 towards shipping costs! Beside their generosity, we were also impressed with our students’ artistic abilities. Each box was personalized and brightly decorated by our students! We were so blown away by the talent that we will be giving out prizes for the best decorated boxes!

We were delighted with the tremendous effort that each and every one of our students and staff has put in. In particular though, we want to thank Ms Vanesa Pizzuto and Mrs Eileen Hussey for co-ordinating the project within the school.

Obituary, Doreen Guest

Margaret Helen Doreen Guest (1921-2015) d. 4 September. Doreen was born in Edinburgh on the 26th of March 1921 to Pastor Samuel George Hyde and his wife Marjorie (née Keough). Doreen, the eldest of three daughters, took on early responsibility for her sisters June and Jacqueline.

By nature of her father’s ministry, the family moved frequently to different parts of the country. Always willing to help out, Doreen, aged just three, was known to fetch bread from the local baker’s in Brighton. Growing up, Doreen was also keen to lend a hand at her father’s evangelistic meetings, where she utilised her extensive skills as a keyboard player by playing the piano.

As well as being musically gifted, Doreen was highly academic and went to Cardiff University aged just 17, emerging with a double first in French and Latin.  She continued to develop her piano playing before receiving the accolade Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music (LRAM).

She loved to sing and was an accomplished soloist and pianist. Doreen’s talents in music were also used in evangelism. As a child she sang and played the piano for her father Pastor George Hyde’s campaigns at Cardiff, Ipswich and Oxford. She was a frequent soloist at Stanborough Park Church. She sang at the New Gallery, when Leslie Riskowitz and Malcolm Taylor were in charge of the music there.

One day in 1936, Doreen went to visit her grandparents in Watford and, at a meeting with her old friend Maybel Throssel, met Jim. A romance began with this tall handsome man and, in 1942, Jim and Doreen were engaged. Jim was drafted into the army and was on overseas service for a while. When he returned in 1945 they got married.

In 1942 Doreen began a long and distinguished career in teaching. Although she began her career in a secondary school, she spent the majority of her time teaching in junior schools, specialising in music. She also taught at Hyland House Church School, becoming headmistress for a short time.

Doreen was Head Deaconess at Stanborough Park and was also a dedicated Sabbath School teacher. In retirement, she volunteered in the Stanborough School Library.

As well as a mother, Doreen was a loving grandmother of seven, and great grandmother of two, who all knew her affectionately as Gran. Doreen spent much of her later life dedicated to each of her rescue dogs, the last dog being her close companion right until the end.

Later, when her health prevented her from attending Stanborough Park Church, she enjoyed watching the Church service on Livestream. She also became fully involved as a Prayer Warrior, a duty she carried out to the very end of her life.


Memories Of Doreen

“I have known Doreen for over 25 years… as a colleague at Stanborough School where she served as a librarian during my time. I have fond memories of the visits to the last night at the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall which Doreen used to organise for the staff and students of Stanborough School and singing hymns around the piano which was a love of hers… I feel bless to have known her.”

 – Kish Poddar, Stanborough School Teacher


“An amazing friend of God, loving, caring, thoughtful.”

– Lydia Dean, Former Student


“My personal recollection of Doreen Guest is her consistent sweet smile, gentle but firm, which I presume was formed during her teaching career.”

– Johnson Wong, Friend

“I remember Doreen Guest as the quiet, unassuming and obliging school librarian who found space to house the science department’s collection of back copies of the New Scientist magazine.”

– Phillip Richards, Colleague


“After Mrs Guest retired from teaching, she and her husband travelled regularly from Ruislip to help the students at Stanborough School. They transformed the library: all the books they catalogued professionally. The same standard of excellence was evident in other areas. Mrs Guest taught music, conducted the chorale and accompanied the choir. It was a privilege to work with such a talented and gracious lady.”

– Ms Nan Tucker, Colleague


“Doreen Guest was the receptionist when I was the Bursar Stanborough Park Primary and Secondary Schools during 1999/2000. ‘Sister Guest’ was kind, helpful, friendly and strict all at the same time, not just with the students but me too. Being new to Stanborough Doreen took me under her wing… She was jolly and full of laughter, we laughed together many times.”

– Naomi Watson, Colleague



Congratulations, Terry and Jean

Terry and Jean Menkens Golden Wedding Anniversary!!!!


Former Stanborough Secondary School teacher Terry Menkens and his wife, Jean, celebrated their Golden Wedding  Anniversary on June 6th.

Originally from Australia, Terry came to Watford in January 1964 to teach at Stanborough Secondary School. This proved to be a life-changing experience as this is where he met his wife Jean who had left her native Lowestoft to work in the Treasury Department at the British Union Conference Office on Stanborough Park. They married the following year at the Stanborough Park Church in Garston where Terry now supervises the ongoing maintenance of the church buildings, conference centre and grounds.

Having spent two years at Stanborough School Terry says, ” We spent two great years teaching in USA before returning to Australia to head the  Townsville Adventist School until 1977. Returning to England, he taught Design and Technology, Maths and Geography at Stanborough Secondary School and Jean worked as Registrar at the Voice of Prophecy Bible School on Stanborough Park until they both retired in December 2006.”

They enjoy having an expanding family with two children, Troy and Fiona, two grandsons, one granddaughter and one great-grandson.

With Jean coming from East Anglia it wasn’t surprising that they returned to the area to celebrate their special occasion. Terry says, “We spent the weekend of our Golden Wedding anniversary celebrating with family with a river cruise near Lowestoft, Jean’s hometown, enjoying three brilliant, sunny days.”

He continues, “We give thanks to God for so many wonderful memories and for His protection through these many years. We considered retiring in Australia but with so many family, friends and past-students here in UK, have decided to remain here where we are settled and happy.”

Originally published in the “Journal of the Seventh-day Adventist church in the United Kingdom and Ireland, Messenger: 11 September 2015” and is reprinted with permission.

2015 GCSE Results

Stanborough Secondary School continues to demonstrate significant progress on its journey to delivering educational excellence for its students. This years’ GCSE results shows that it is being established as the school for parents seeking to maximise the potential of their children.

In the last academic year, 94% of Stanborough students taking the GCSE exams achieved 5A* – C, with a return of 88% including Maths and English.

This compares favourably with the much vaunted selective schools in the area matching and surpassing their results. Our results are significantly better than the national average of 69%.

We are immensely proud of our all our students, and commend them for their effort and dedication during their time at the school. Their results reflect this fact. Mention in despatches must go to two of our students who returned phenomenal results. Eve Papaioannou and Paul Cooper excelled, with Eve receiving 11 A*’s and 1 A, and Paul receiving 5 A*’s and 6 A’s.

The Stanborough staff have seen their efforts reap dividends as 100% of our students achieved A*- C in Biology, French and History. We also received 100% in Greek, Portuguese, and Latin, which are extra-curricular subjects undertaken by students. 92% achieved A*- C in Business & Communication Systems and 90% achieved A*- C in Geography.

We recognise and appreciate the hard work undertaken by staff, the Board of Governors, our parents and the church in supporting the school. However, special mention must be made of the Head Teacher Lorraine Dion and the BUC Education Director Anne Pilmoor.

We are immensely proud of our school and our achievements this year, and trust that you too are proud of your school.

We look forward to your continued support as we strive to fulfil our motto “Ever Higher” in this coming year.

Written and edited by Berton Samuel & Wanda Rebolledo

BUC Executives Visit Stanborough

Last Thursday, 4 June, members of the British Union Conference Executive Committee came to visit the school.  As trustees at Adventist Church headquarters they take a deep interest in the school and so were invited for a ‘hands-on’ visit by our Headteacher, Lorraine Dixon.

They were shown around the classes by five of our students – Timothy, Aaron, Grace, Draupadi & Cherie, all of whom, it appears, did an amazing job, if the praise from the BUC Executive members is anything to go by. John Surridge, President of the Adventist Church in Wales is a former Stanborough student and felt compelled to write an article about his visit. We highly encourage you to go read it on the Adventist Church’s Website.

International Night

Stanborough recently showcased its international diversity, at our annual International Night. Our International Nights are designed to allow students, teachers, parents and friends to come together and share our cultural diversity in a fun-filled night.The night began with a warm welcome by Mrs Dixon (The Headteacher) and then the festivities began. We were first shown a presentation introducing the European countries such as Spain, Portugal, Romania and Russia. Then they amused us with some challenging tongue twisters that were very tricky. However, I am confident that Mr Hopa’s tongue twister from Poland was the most complex.

The European group also had a performance from our visiting Russian friends dressed in ethnic clothing. They performed a song using wooden spoons, which is one of their traditional instruments. Everyone, including myself, was fascinated by the beautiful sound that the spoons made. The European group also treated us to a Spanish song played on the guitar by Connor (Year 11), and a graceful flute solo by Garbrielle (Year 8).

The African Group was next and they amazed as with their extraordinary costumes. For example, Hilda in Year 9 wore a dazzling patterned outfit. As for the group performances, the highlight was definitely the native drum ensemble. Vitor, an international student, said: “I think my favourite performance was the African drums. It was very creative and it was extremely rhythmic!”

Next to seize the limelight was the Caribbean group, who were introduced by a PowerPoint portraying the many Caribbean countries represented in the school. One of the more memorable performances was Arianne’s (Year 8) flute rendition of a tropical song originating from Jamaica.

Though, what was by far the most entertaining, was the combined staff and students performance. They filled the stage with dancing, singing and playing a common Caribbean game. A few of the teachers showed us priceless traditional moves, but I have to say, Ms Jackson was outstanding and she snatched the limelight.

The Asian group also presented a PowerPoint of the different countries, along with their national flags. First to represent Asia were our visitors from Beijing, they introduced us to a very catchy song and treated us to a quiz related to Chinese culture. My sister and I then read a poem in Persian that we had written, alongside the English translation. We were delighted to hear Ms Sinclair say: “The Language was so intriguing and engaging that I nearly wished you hadn’t translated it into English. Though I’m glad you did otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to understand the beautiful message!”

After the final performance, parents and students were able to walk around and view the creative displays (mainly food) that each group had prepared The food, all in all, from each category was mouth watering and I imagine that everyone loved it, just as I did. The European table was full of globes, flowers and cakes. The Asian exhibition showcased their favourite Sports and Music. They also had a large range of different foods such as Chinese vegetables, Persian candy floss, Baklavas, and Turkish drinks. The Caribbean group treated us to a variety of drinks, from Ginger beer to Super Malt, there were just so many to choose from! Lastly the African group was by far the most creatively decorated, with exquisite masks and patterned clothing. In terms of food they served Jollof rice, which I found extremely appetizing, as well as some African puddings.

All in all, the International Night was a successful hit! Carlos in Year 7, who has just started at Stanborough, stated: “I loved it, I can’t wait for next year’s International Night!” What I enjoyed the most about the International Night was that it gave us the opportunity to ask each other questions and to share our cultures. I have a lot of appreciation for everyone who took part and who made it one of the most memorable of nights!

Written By Tabasom in Year 9

WBD Results

Last Thursday we held our annual World Book Day quiz, which I can safely say that we all enjoyed immensely! From the creative decorations to the perfectly organised quiz, staff and students felt as if the time flew by to fast.

Though after several rounds of questions and of story telling, there was only one thing on everyone’s mind, who was the winner?!

House groups ranked as follows:

  • 1st Place Green Boys
  • 2nd Place Blue Girls
  • 3rd Place Red Boys
  • 4th Place Red Girls
  • 5th Place Blue Boys
  • 6th Place Green Girls

Blue house was declared the overall winner, followed by Red and then Green. Though at the beginning of this week it was announced that the scores were wrongly calculated and that Green House had in fact won! Blue had come second and Red third. This announcement obviously made the student body both ecstatic and sorrowful at the same time. Despite this everyone still states that the day was enjoyable and that they are already counting down to next years quiz.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff, who put in the time and effort to make this event successful. A thank you goes to Ms Pavlovic, who assisted in the creation of the displays, Mr Hopa for light and sound, along with Mr Poddar, Mrs Dixon and Mr Menkens – our three judges. In particular we want to thank Terry Menkens, who took time to come to visit us after retiring in 2006. Terry was a former teacher here at Stanborough, who first taught Geography and P.E. from 1964 to 1965 and then returned in 1978 to teach D&T, Maths and Geography for 28 years before retiring.

Lastly we want to give a very special thank you to Mrs Milis-Hopa for being a wonderful hostess, for her time in creating the decorations and in preparing the questions.

Your efforts did not go unnoticed and Terry had these encouraging words to say:

“On entering the transformed Assembly Hall, I was carried off into “another world of books”. It was a great privilege to participate in the judging of various contributions and to be part of such a well-organized quiz which raised the interest in literature and other disciplines.

I was proud to see how good-humoured and involved our students and staff were during the unfolding of such a vibrant and gripping event. Clearly, much forethought, hard work, effort and initiative had gone into the preparation of this happy, inspiring but informative occasion.

During my nostalgic tour around the familiar rooms and corridors, I must say how very pleased and proud I was to see “my old school” so full of life and vision, with God still clearly as the MASTER OF OUR SCHOOL.”

As you can tell, as staff we really enjoyed the event, but if you want to hear the students’ perspective please read Tabasom’s article on the Event.

World Book Day 2015!

World Book Day is a celebration! It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. This is the 3rd year that Stanborough has held a World Book Day Quiz, and on 5th March all teachers and students came together to celebrate the written word, as well as participating in a perplexing and exhilarating Quiz that I’m sure tested everyone’s knowledge.

The day before the Quiz was a non-school uniform day, where student and staff were asked to bring in £1.50 as a fundraiser to buy new books for the library. Well, I must say that everyone joined in on the fun and altogether we raised over £190. I’m sure that the librarian is very grateful for all your help.

At the beginning of 3rd period, students entered the hall and were arranged into their house groups (Blue girls & boys, Red girls & boys and Green girls & boys). Many students had most likely studied hard the night before, preparing for the difficult questions that were yet to come. As we entered the hall there was a mix of laughter and chatter, friends wishing one another good luck and teachers encouraging students that it’s not about winning but about participating. Despite this, I think we all know that we were all determined to win.

In the process of taking our assigned seats they was gasps and gawks at how magnificently the hall had been transformed. The colour scheme, the decorations and the layout were all outstanding and a big hat goes off to those that created the magical atmosphere.

Hilda from year 9y commented: “Wow, this is amazing, the place looks terrific, it has set the scene for World Book Day, I especially loved the ‘I LOVE BOOKS’ sign!”

While Muskah from year 7 said: “The decoration, layout and numerous shades of colours made the event dazzling, the flowers made from book pages were my favourite!”

The facial expressions of many of the boys showed how impressed they were, even if they didn’t want to admit it. As the questions began, the groups became all the more determined to earn points. I can say from experience that the team effort was stunning and that everyone contributed in answering the questions.

As each category finished, both student and teachers were asked to present a story. Students elected a person from their group that had to persuade the audience to read a novel, which they chose at random. Well done to all the participants, you all did amazing!


However when we asked some of the students who did best, Molaysi in year 9x accounted: “Naysa in year 11 persuaded me because she used great words of persuasion that gripped you into wanting to read the book!” Although others said that Christopher from year 11 did really well in persuading them into wanting to read.

Similarly staff groups elected a representative to share a funny story that had occurred at Stanborough School. Teachers Ms Smith and Mr Amo chose to do a role play act for their story about a noisy year 9 group, while Mrs Anderson and Mrs Hussey had combined theirs with a mix of humour and expression. Jahmai in year 8 acknowledged: “Mrs Andersons story was so playful, it was priceless! The expression and tone in her voice intrigued us to find out what would happen in the end. And well the ending was very clever, only two boys eating in the corridors!”

As the questions carried on everyone was delivering their best to win for their House Group. As I went around asking what their opinion of the questions were, there was a blend of answers. Some said they were very interesting, while others claimed it was a very impressive selection, others suggested a music or sports category for next World Book Day.

When doing a survey of what category was the hardest, the majority believed it was “General Knowledge”, others insisted on the “History/Library/Art” category! I have to say for me both were quite challenging but I personally found the “All Around the World” section effortful.

After answering all the questions, everyone was eagerly waiting to find out the results, in the end Green House was the overall winner, closely followed by Blue House and then Red House. After all the cheers and laughter the event had come to an end. However, before heading to lunch everyone generously received a book voucher for a free book.

As everyone rushed to the lunch queue, I managed to grab the views of my fellow students. To the question “Did you enjoy the event?” Michael in 9y answered: “Yes, I loved the fact that we got to socialise with team members and work together.”

Luana in year 9 – an international student – exclaimed: “The Quiz was the best, there was a variety of different questions in a range of categories that were very enjoyable, I made good memories!”

When asked ‘Why do you read?’ Sinead replied: “Reading is something I can do when I’m bored and it takes me out of the situation I’m in, and into the book where I feel I am with the characters and adapting to the setting as I read each page.”

I could not agree more with her more, reading transports you and teaches you many new things from the storylines and passages. On that note, I would just like to encourage you all to read as much as you can and to look forward to the next World Book Day, which will be even better! Lastly many thanks to everyone that contributed to the day, especially Mrs Hopa who should be recognised for all her tremendous hard work. What an event to remember!

Written By Tabasom in Year 9