As the new school term gets underway, it’s also a new beginning for an inspirational woman who has started her dream job at a Wrexham high school after gaining her degree at the age of 51.
Having had many occupations in her career from factory work, fast-food restaurants, to appearing on television, Karen Morris landed her first role as a science technician at Ysgol Clywedog after graduating from Glyndŵr University with a first-class honour’s degree in forensic science.
Although Karen had always wanted to be a scientist, due to various circumstances, she didn’t go to university at 18. Instead, she focused on work and family, planning to finish her education at some point.
At the age of 47, Karen finally decided the time was right to go to university but feared she had left it too late. She said: “My family disagreed and encouraged me to at least apply for a course I liked. I have loved all aspects of science from a very young age, especially after reading about Marie Curie and her amazing life and career.
“Although I loved chemistry, I wanted a course in forensics as I wasn’t sure exactly what career I wanted at the end of it. After searching online, Glyndŵr University seemed to offer the best course for me; a BSc in forensic science with an additional foundation year as it had been decades since I had entered a classroom.
“Being at university was the most amazing four years of my life! The course was really interesting and varied with the tutors supporting me throughout.
“As the final term approached, I had to decide on what type of job to apply for. I knew I wanted to work in a laboratory, and it was important to me to work in a friendly environment.
“So, I typed into Google ‘Wrexham Laboratory Technician’ just to see what the results would be. The first result was a job opportunity in Ysgol Clywedog. I couldn’t believe my luck! It was the school my daughter had attended, so I already knew it was a friendly place to be and the job description was perfect.
“These types of jobs don’t appear very often, and this one was only due to the current technician retiring. I applied, interviewed, and was offered my dream job. I still can’t believe how lucky I am to be here.
“Everyone is so welcoming and supportive. I am still getting lost going around the school, but I have the best job ever! I hope to bring some elements of my forensic knowledge to some of the lessons in the future, but at the moment I am enjoying the fact that I get to do chemistry every day.”
Matt Vickery, Headteacher at Ysgol Clywedog, said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome Karen to the school. Her enthusiasm for the new job shone through during the interview process and I know she will be a great asset to the science department. We all wish her a very happy and fulfilling career here at Ysgol Clywedog.”