Emma Owner

Principal, Iceni Academy Hockwold

I always wanted to be a teacher! I started working in a school at 18 as an HLTA and an unqualified teacher. I had my children in my twenties at the same time as doing my degree & teaching qualification. Interestingly I have been told that I embrace challenge!  

A source of resolve for me was during my training when my mentor said that I could either be a Mum or have a career, but not both. I was determined to prove her wrong, and I’d like to think that I have.  

My family are my biggest support and can often be seen helping at school, either on trips, school fetes or gardening! I have always wanted to show my children that it’s possible to achieve whatever you set your sights on.  

I became a Principal and I felt content with my life, until 2020. 2020, will always be the covid year. It was also the year that I was told that I had cancer. This resulted in me having two operations, chemotherapy, blood clots, infections, sepsis and radiotherapy. I am having ongoing treatment, but I have much to celebrate. I have amazing colleagues who allowed me to do as much as I could during my treatment but also took over whenever I couldn’t carry on. These kind ladies sat in my garden to keep me up to date, sent work into hospital because they knew how bored I was and sent me messages of motivation and support. Inspirational women during already difficult times.  

And here I am now; I am a woman, a mother, a wife, a friend, a Principal and a survivor. I want to share my story to inspire others. Life isn’t always easy, my advice is to enjoy yourself, be ambitious, ask for help when you need it and try not to work all weekend!