College welcomes its new principal
The new principal at Frome Community College is 48-year-old Gavin Ball.
Born in Midsomer Norton, the father of two was a pupil at Somervale School and remembers spending Saturday mornings swimming at the pool at Frome Leisure Centre, and was a frequent visitor to the Merlin Theatre.
After leaving school with A levels, Mr Ball joined NatWest Bank in Frome as a clerk where he spent his apprenticeship printing cheque books.
He then went to Aberystwyth University to study geography and economics, graduating in 1986.
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Mr Ball worked in retail management for Clarks in charge of shops in South Wales and Southampton but at 25 decided he wanted a career in teaching and returned to what was then Bristol Polytechnic, gaining a postgraduate certificate in education.
His first teaching job was in Ferndown, Dorset, teaching business and economics before becoming head of department and then joining Chew Valley School in charge of vocational studies.
Mr Ball then went to Kingdown School, Warminster, as head of post-16 education and was a senior member of staff.
In 2002, he became deputy head of Gordano School, in Portishead, in charge of curriculum, learning and IT. Through this role he was invited to become an associate head for North Somerset working with heads from ten secondary schools which he described as a "fantastic experience".
Mr Ball is married to Julia, who is a children's librarian managing the youth section of libraries across Bristol. They have two children, 15-year-old Ellie and Alex, 11, both pupils at Norton Hill School, Midsomer Norton.
At weekends, Mr Ball is a season ticket holder at Bath Rugby and a Liverpool Football Club supporter. He was a member of the Roundtable in Midsomer Norton, chairing the group three times and is now chairman of the 41 Club.
His wife chairs the Ladies Circle.
The family enjoy cycling and camping and Mr Ball fulfilled a dream last year when he travelled to Memphis with a friend, visiting Elvis Presley's home in Graceland and haunts of some of the famous Blues legends.
He said: "There is a spirit and a soul at Frome Community College and we are now on a mission to make this school outstanding, focusing on the learning and development of our children."