HER professional life has taken her around the world, but Dr Rachel Horton said it was the combination of broad opportunities within a regional setting, that attracted her to take up the role as principal at The Armidale School.
Dr Horton holds a PhD in Immunology, did a tour of duty in Iraq as a Captain in the British Army and is an international rugby referee.
"One of the things that first drew me to TAS was the huge breadth and depth of experiences on offer to students," she said.
"The ability to try new things, to be challenged and learn both in and outside of the classroom, to experience success and grow from failure gives them fundamental skills and an education that helps prepare them for life."
While she officially started in the top job on July 1, Dr Horton has already seen much of the New England north-west since moving to Armidale with her husband Mr Curtis Coulson in May.
"I have especially enjoyed meeting so many of our families and alumni in our heartland and I have been so generously welcomed by them all," Dr Horton said.
"I grew up on a farm and Curtis in a small town on the Canadian prairies, so we both have an affection for and an understanding of regional communities."
Prior to commencing at TAS, Dr Horton was deputy headmaster at Brighton Grammar School in Victoria and before that, taught chemistry and physics at Churchie in Brisbane.
Before coming to Australia, Dr Horton was a post-doctoral research fellow and lecturer in microbiology and immunology at universities around the world.
"What attracted me to working in schools after my university career, was the incredible privilege of working with young people as they develop their talents, passions and character," Dr Horton said.
"I am committed to ensuring that TAS continues to grow and to be progressive while still absolutely respecting the school's deep history and traditions."
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