LONDON, England – Following a rigorous selection process, Bryanston School near the south coast in the heart of the English countryside has confirmed the appointment of two pupils from Cayman Island families as the heads of School for this academic year. Seventeen-year-old Teagan Galloway and Sam Tonge who were born and raised in Grand Cayman were selected as head Girl and Head Boy at the acclaimed 700 pupil boarding school after a series of interviews and special presentations with review panels comprising senior staff and fellow pupils.
“It is a remarkable coincidence that both Teagan and Sam spent their early childhood in precisely the same area nearly 5,000 miles away – especially given the relatively small population of the Cayman Islands,” says Mark Mortimer, headmaster of Bryanston.
“Our selection process is very thorough, as it is important the head Boy and head Girl of the School demonstrate empathy, leadership and set an example in everything they do. Given the restrictions arising from the current pandemic, such qualities are of even greater importance this year. Both Teagan and Sam excelled throughout the selection process and are now embracing their new responsibilities with the same level of enthusiasm. Their appointments have proved to be very popular with all year groups, and they are both outstanding and inspirational role models and ambassadors for the ethos and spirit of the School. They are a credit to their families and to the entire Cayman Islands community.”
Sam and Teagan joined Bryanston in 2016 and have played a very active role in all aspects of life around the Dorset-based School. Although their paths may have crossed as youngsters during their time growing up in Grand Cayman, it was only when they moved to Bryanston that they discovered their shared Caymanian roots.
All pupils at Bryanston are now operating in year-group ‘bubbles’ to minimise the risks posed by COVID-19, but every effort is being made to deliver an extensive programme of academic, sport and pastoral activities as well as an active extra-curricular programme. As head Boy and head Girl, Sam and Teagan will be playing an important role in supporting the team of Prefects and working closely with senior school staff to help all pupils fulfil their academic and personal aspirations, despite the challenges presented by the global health crisis.
“I’m thoroughly enjoying my time at Bryanston and it’s a great honour to now be given the responsibility as head Boy in my final year at the School,” says Sam Tonge. “I’m really looking forward to encouraging new pupils to take full advantage of the wonderful facilities, personal mentoring and inspirational teaching at the School. And, despite the limitations this year, I’m also looking to galvanise the support and participation around the various sports teams and charity fund-raising activities, and to represent the views of pupils on the School Council.”
Teagan Galloway says that Sam and herself will have an important part to play in helping to maintain pupil well-being, so it will be vital to adapt and respond effectively to the ever-changing circumstances arising from COVID-19. “We’ll certainly need to have our fingers on the pulse of the School, but I really hope we can also reach out to the wider community,” she says. “For example, it was great to be involved in the performance of Les Misérables last year that was delivered in close collaboration with a neighbouring school in Blandford. Despite the restrictions and current need for social distancing, I’m really keen that we build on the success of such engagement with other schools in the area and the wider local community.”
Headmaster Mark Mortimer added: “Despite the miles between the School and home, the pair haven’t forgotten about Cayman. In a recent school assembly, Teagan talked about her love of freediving and brightened up a dismal November day in Dorset with some lovely shots of the sea around the islands, thereby doing her bit to boost tourism.”