SUPPORTING students in the north east Wales community was always the vision for Alex Thomas.
Now 35, the former Connah’s Quay High School pupil will realise that dream after being named Assistant Principal and Director of General Education at Coleg Cambria.
As Head of Deeside Sixth Form Centre – the £14.6m hub opened by ex-Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones in 2016 – Alex oversaw the site’s first ever A level results, a staggering 98% overall pass rate (A*-E).
Sixth form education at Deeside and Yale in Wrexham will be part of his remit, along with Computer Technology and the Creative Industries.
He hopes to build on Cambria’s high standards as the number one A level college in Wales, and said: “I am immensely proud to take on this new role and continue the good work we’ve started here at Deeside Sixth Form Centre.
“I’ll still be involved here and at Yale in Wrexham, and there are plans to take on a new Head and Deputy Head at Deeside to give students and staff even more support.
“With the £20m redevelopment of Yale now underway the college will have state-of-the-art facilities across all of its sites, so this is a great time to join us and exciting for me in this new position.”
Having been raised and educated in Connah’s Quay, Alex began his career at the same high school he used to attend.
He was a PE teacher before becoming Head of Sixth and later joining Cambria in 2015.
“At the time, Connah’s Quay High School was closing its sixth form so it was a good transition for me personally as I was able to provide some continuity and reassurance for the pupils and parents,” said Alex, who graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a BSc in Sport Science and a Master’s degree in Biomechanics.
“I was involved with the build and recruitment of Deeside Sixth so it’s important to me to still play a part going forward, but also to work alongside the brilliant staff at Yale who have been an invaluable source of advice and guidance over the last five years.
“As someone who is local and proud of this community I just can’t wait to get started.”
It’s been some start to the year for Alex; he got married, now has his “dream job” and plans to move home in the near future.
“I certainly like to keep busy!” he said.
“In all seriousness this is a dream job for me because all I ever wanted to do was make the most positive impact I could on as many students as possible, and as Assistant Principal I’ll be able to do that.
“I loved my teaching career but now I’ll be able to help even more people, especially youngsters in north east Wales.”
Alex added: “We are the number one college for A level provision in Wales and plan to stay there, as both Deeside and Yale continue to grow.
“We’ve laid the foundations and will keep building, working together with our partners and striving for better in outstanding, modern buildings with the most innovative teaching techniques.”
Cambria’s Chief Executive David Jones congratulated Alex and said the appointment will further strengthen their focus on academic excellence.
“Alex has done a tremendous job at Deeside Sixth Form Centre and I wish him every success in this new role,” said Mr Jones.
“He will continue to be a part of developments at Deeside and involved as we look to take on a new Head and Deputy Head.
“The college continues to evolve, we go from strength to strength and to see someone from the local area grow in tandem with Cambria makes us all very proud.”