The head boy
PUBLISHED: 11:02 16 March 2009 | UPDATED: 15:51 20 February 2013
Felsted School's new headmaster, Dr Mike Walker, explains his passion for education, his talent for rifle shooting and why his goldfish is called Einstein
Q Where do you live?
A In the headmaster's house at Felsted School, called Stephensons, in the beautiful village of Felsted.
Q Tell us about your family
A My wife (and great support) is Corinne. It is a second marriage for both of us so we have five children between us. Four of them - David, Sarah, Greg and Steph - are in their early twenties and have either been through university or have gone directly into employment, and the youngest is Anna who is currently in Year 9 at Colchester Girls High School.
Q Do you have any pets?
A Yes - two cocker spaniels, Hugo and Lilli, a cat called Saffi, and a goldfish called Einstein because he can swim backwards and knows when you are in the room.
Q How long have you lived in Felsted?
A Since August 2008, when I was appointed as headmaster of The Felsted Schools. I was born and brought up in Essex, attending Colchester Grammar School, and returning later in my career to be headmaster of King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford. I lived in Colchester and Braintree before coming to Felsted.
Q What do you like about where you live?
A It is right at the centre of the school and at the heart of the action. I love being part of the exciting and dynamic life of a boarding school which is a genuine community.
Q What do you love about your job?
A I am passionate about young peoples' life chances and the opportunities education can provide to develop and support their inherent skills and qualities; education should be exciting and fun, providing confidence and self-belief.
Q What has been the proudest moment in your career so far?
A There are quite a few which might qualify. Leading my previous school to achieve an outstanding inspection report on two occasions, with 'no points for action' was a highlight. But most importantly, seeing young people respond magnificently and rise to challenges.
Q Where do you see yourself in five years time?
A Still as headmaster of The Felsted Schools, continuing to lead a wonderfully-committed and talented staff.
Q What are your hobbies?
A I love walking - my wife and I take the dogs to the South or North Downs regularly - and travelling.
Q How do you relax?
A I particularly enjoy the company of my children and family. I also relax through reading, enjoying good food and wine in friends' company, and playing tennis.
Q Do you have any hidden talents?
A I can hit the bullseye four out of five shots with a rifle.
Q What is your worst habit?
A Not finishing my sentences - my family claim that they are left in suspense too often as I am distracted.
Q What is your favourite piece of music and why?
A I love Meditation by Thais; we had it at our wedding.
Q Where are the best views to be had in Essex?
A Across the valley to Mount Bures church from my parents' house on the estuary at Wivenhoe.
Q Describe Essex in one sentence
A A thriving, diverse and forward-looking county of variety and great beauty; a great place to live.