Thank you for visiting our Where Are They Now page - we are keen to include as many stories about our former students as possible. It's a great chance for us to celebrate your success and we know it's a source of enormous inspiration for our current students.

If you'd like to contribute to this page please contact us at WhereAreYouNow@sdcc.net


Read about former student Dan Harris, who left in 2009, in the Plymouth Herald. He is Kier Construction's  Assistant Site Manager for the build of Scott Medical and Healthcare College which is being built next to Stoke Damerel Community College


SEREINE BARA - HR manager in the Ministry of Defence

Year you left Stoke Damerel: 2011

What are you doing now? I’m a HR manager in the Ministry of Defence, managing two admin teams and coordinating the adverts for our departments Public Appointments

What route did you take up to your current position? I completed a BA in Politics with International Relations and applied for an admin role in the MoD. I worked my way up to my current grade over the past two years and have been in four different HR jobs.

What have you learnt most about yourself? I’ve learned that the skills I have developed in my home life are very useful at work and vice versa!

What advice would you give a Stoke Damerel student starting in Year 7? When you look back on this part of your life in 10-15 years' time, you won’t even remember the names and faces of half the people you were at school with. What they say or think about you won’t even matter, so try not to worry about it now!

What advice would you give a Stoke Damerel student leaving Sixth Form? Life is a journey, not a destination. It’s the people you meet, places you go and challenges that you overcome that will define you, not the reputation, money or status you earn.


PAUL COMMANDER - Mechanical and Energy Services manager at Derriford Hospital Plymouth

Year you left Stoke Damerel:  1998 although I went on to Sixth Form to complete my Math

What route did you take up to your current position? Plymouth College of Further Education (or City College as it is known now

What have you learnt most about yourself? I should have paid more attention at school as I have had to work harder now to gain the education needed to fulfil my job role. Maturity comes with Responsibility

What advice would you give a Stoke Damerel student starting in Year 7? Make sure they take the opportunity for free education and listen to the guidance the teachers are giving them

What advice would you give a Stoke Damerel student leaving Sixth Form? To have a plan of what they want to do and be 100% sure the work environment they’ll be going in to will give them job satisfaction. Enjoying your job is key to a successful career


CRAIG POTTER - Senior Web Developer at Clockwork Marketing

Year you left Stoke Damerel: 2007

What route did you take up to your current position? I attended Sixth Form at Stoke Damerel to obtain A-Levels before going on to do a BSc (Hons) in Computer Systems & Networks at the University of Plymouth

What advice would you give a Stoke Damerel student starting in Year 7? Enjoy School. It is one of the best times of your life. Learn as much as you can. Listen to your teachers. It may sound silly but they are trying to get the best for you

What advice would you give a Stoke Damerel student leaving Sixth Form? Find something you love and do it. For some it will mean going to university. For others, it will be getting a job. Don’t expect to walk in to your dream position right away but with hard work, you will get there. Just make sure you enjoy the journey to that endpoint!


DOMINIC BARA - Second Year PhD Student

Year you left Stoke Damerel: 2012

What are you doing now? I'm in my second year of completing a PhD in chemistry at the University of Glasgow, working on the development of Nano-materials for drug delivery. I also work as a demonstrator in the undergraduate labs, which has given me valuable teaching experience

What route did you take up to your current position? I've always been naturally inclined towards science, so during Sixth Form at SDCC I studied chemistry, maths, and physics at A-Level. I developed a strong interest in chemistry, so when I finished my A-Levels I began a 4-year MChem course at the University of Bath, graduating with upper second-class honours. During my final year I decided that I wanted to continue with academia and pursue my research interests as a postgraduate. After responding to an advert on FindAPhD, I began a PhD project with Dr. Ross Forgan at the University of Glasgow entitled "Surface Modified Metal-Organic Frameworks for Drug Delivery". I have found my experiences so far to be challenging and very rewarding, as I am always learning something new and interesting.

What have you learnt most about yourself? That I'm willing to work very hard and dedicate myself fully to achieving my goals

What advice would you give a Stoke Damerel student starting in Year 7? Be willing to ask questions when you need help, even though it can be embarrassing. Also, make sure you engage with the subjects you have a passion for and don't just do the bare minimum required.

What advice would you give a Stoke Damerel student leaving Sixth Form? If you're intending to go to university, make sure you're willing to take it seriously and not waste your time