How Ro­tary helped Blue Coat head

Lod­don Vale Ro­tary Club

The Wokingham Paper - - SOCIETY - TREVOR BAR­BER

THE head­mas­ter of Read­ing Blue Coat School (RBCS) in Son­ning rem­i­nisced at a re­cent club meet­ing with mem­bers of Lod­don Vale Ro­tary Club about the links with Ro­tary which have shaped his ca­reer.

Jesse Elzinga, head of RBCS since Septem­ber 2016, fol­lowed his time at Har­vard by study­ing at Ox­ford, his choice of univer­sity when he ap­plied for a Ro­tary Foun­da­tion Am­bas­sado­rial Schol­ar­ship, a scheme which sup­ports young grad­u­ates who con­tinue their aca­demic work out­side their own coun­try.

At Har­vard he cap­tained Var­sity Light­weight Row­ing, and this in­ter­est he con­tin­ued at Hen­ley, where he rowed in the Re­gatta.

He was hosted by a Ro­tary club in Ban­bury dur­ing his Ox­ford course.

Hav­ing al­ways wanted to teach, he de­cided to qual­ify to do so in the UK, and a ca­reer fol­lowed in some pres­ti­gious schools, Whit­gift School, St Ed­ward’s, Ox­ford, and Har­row, where he broad­ened the aca­demic ex­ten­sion and en­rich­ment pro­grammes.

At Blue Coat, his aim is to en­hance its ex­cel­lent aca­demic achieve­ments while in­tro­duc­ing a con­tem­po­rary and thought­pro­vok­ing style to ed­u­ca­tion there.

Jesse Elzinga’s aware­ness of what he gained from his Ro­tary Am­bas­sado­rial Schol­ar­ship has left him with an affin­ity with the work and ideals of Ro­tary, and he spoke of his feel­ing that he should sup­port the idea of ben­e­fi­cial bur­saries dur­ing his ten­ure at Read­ing Blue Coat School, which was, after all, founded by Richard Ald­worth in 1646 for the “ed­u­ca­tion and bringing upp of twenty poore male chil­dren”.

His own beginnings were downto–earth.

He was the only stu­dent in the his­tory of his big state school in Detroit, Michi­gan, to go to Har­vard.

His tal­ents and hard work have brought him suc­cess, and Ro­tary is happy to of­fer op­por­tu­ni­ties to sim­i­lar young peo­ple to widen their hori­zons as they make their way in life, to the ben­e­fit of ev­ery­one.

All club mem­bers were de­lighted and in­spired by Jesse Elzinga’s speech.

Lod­don Vale meets at Son­ning Golf Club on Mon­day lunchtime 12.30pm for 12.45pm, ex­cept for the last Mon­day in the month which is an evening meet­ing 7.30pm for


For more de­tails, call 0118 927 2055.

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