SPOTLIGHT – JENNI CROFT
The Spotlight shines on Jenni Croft, our dedicated, ultra-efficient and highly regarded PA to the Headmaster.
Jenni grew up in a seaside town in South Wales. She began her secretarial career working in a porta cabin on a building site with over 1,500 men who were building a factory that would have the largest flat roof in Europe (at the time). She has worked in many different business sectors; the police, the Kuwaiti Government on a landscape project, a secret facility for Lloyds Bank, and of late, found herself in the world of education in Wiltshire. In-between all that, Jenni found time to raise her two daughters.
How long have you worked at Warminster?
Just over 15 years and the time has just flown by. I have looked after 3 Heads during that time.
What did you think of the Headmaster's Speech Day challenge?
I thought that the Speech Day challenge was simply awesome! The Headmaster has been saying 'Why Not You?' for the past 5 years, and it was brilliant that he accepted the challenge when the tables were turned on him on Curriculum Enrichment Day. He gave it all a really good go. To not trip up on the lighting cables when dancing around the Sports Hall was no mean feat either.
What’s the best thing about your role?
I thrive on every day being different. So I would say the unpredictability and the current Headmaster’s unusual ‘challenges’ that he occasionally sets me.
Describe a typical day?
As many have said before me – there is no ‘typical day’ here, which is great. I can start at 7.30am setting up for a meeting at 8am, then deal with hundreds of emails throughout the day. I can be a confidential ‘listening ear’ and someone staff come to for advice. I make endless cups of coffee for parents, guests and the Headmaster, I book travel arrangements and, most importantly, I keep the Headmaster’s diary up to date (the diary can change umpteen times a day and then some more again). Oh, and anything else in-between! I usually finish at around 6pm, but it can be later if the Headmaster is working late or has late meetings.
What do you think makes Warminster a special place to live and learn?
The fact that every member of staff is willing to help in whatever way they can. Also all the opportunities on offer for the pupils – the variety of which never ceases to amaze me.
What would surprise us about you?
I have a huge international family. Not so much British, but American, Canadian and Spanish. I also worked in the Middle East for 4 years, which was a real eye-opener.
What other Warminster role would you like to try for a day and why?
I think I would like to be the Catering Manager/Head Chef. The logistics of always needing to have enough food ordered and being prepared seven days a week must be quite a challenge.
As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
A secretary – there was no question about being anything else!
What did your school reports say about you?
Works hard. Quiet in class.
Your note/advice to teenage self?
Ask more questions.
Your mantra/motto or favourite quote?
I have two – both are for my office. One says ‘Would you like to speak to the man in charge, or the woman who knows what’s happening’. The other ‘Organised people are just too lazy to look for things’. As any member of staff will tell you, my desk always looks incredibly messy – however, I can always put my hand on things.
Hidden ambitions still to achieve?
I would love to learn sign language.
A favourite possession you would save from a fire?
My children would say my iPad, but I think it would be to save family photos as I grew up without digital cameras. I even have one old family photograph that is on glass.
People who swear in everyday conversations – what do they say when something really goes drastically wrong?
Anything from Garth Brooks to Shania Twain to Ultravox to Mika.
Tea and toast in bed on a weekend. You can’t beat the simple things in life.
MasterChef signature dish?
Paella (it must be the Spanish blood in me) or Mozzarratti which is a pasta dish I learned to cook in the Middle East.
Favourite TV programme?
I like a variety of things such as Game of Thrones, historical and medical dramas, science fiction and even Harry Potter. What I don’t like is to watch one episode, then wait a week for the next episode, so I save them up and watch several at a time.
Last book you read?
I have just re-read Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress. Before that it was Morgan Rice’s ‘The Sorcerers Ring’ series.
Last movie watched?
It was ‘A Quiet Place’. I had to frequently apologise to the man sitting next to me in the cinema as I kept jumping out of my skin which, in turn, made him jump! I am waiting to watch the new John Wick film – John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and Avengers: Endgame.
Which actor would play you in a movie about your life?
Probably Melissa McCarthy.
I rarely drink, but when I do it has to be a cocktail called ‘Dark and Stormy’ with dark rum or just a Cointreau and lemonade.
Favorite place/city in the world and why?
I thought long and hard about this and will have to say that apart from anywhere along a coastline, it will have to be home in Warminster.
Twitter or Facebook?
Neither – I prefer to meet up over a cup of coffee or pick up the phone and chat.