(7th March 1931 – 2nd April 2022)
Heath Park came into existence in September 1974 through the amalgamation of four former secondary modern schools in Wolverhampton: Prestwood Road Girls, Springfield Road Boys, Bushbury Hill Boys and Old Fallings Girls. Joan Pilsbury, had previously served as Head Old Fallings Girls School and joined the staff of the new school, as one of its Deputy Headteachers.
Heath Park began life on the site of the former Prestwood Road Girls School with an annexe on the Old Fallings site. Joan had responsibility for the pastoral support of students and very quickly established a reputation as a very caring member of staff, who would always put the well-being of students to the fore. There will be hundreds of young and not so young people who will have benefitted from her willingness to listen, a commodity that was far too often in short supply in many schools. A visit to a Deputy Head’s office was not one that most students made voluntarily in those days when corporal punishment was still a feature of secondary schools. However, the trail to see Miss Pilsbury was one that students made of their own volition.
Heath Park always held a very special place in Joan’s heart, she cared deeply about the pupils in her charge and was immensely proud of the role the school played in their lives. She was a true ambassador for Heath Park, both in this country and also in the United States, where she regularly visited inner-city schools in some of the most challenging environments. The many successes of our ex-students were something she would always reference on these visits.
On her retirement, she chose to become a member of the governing body of the school and continued to visit regularly in that role. Not only did she give her time to support our students, but she also provided invaluable advice to the school leaders with whom she kept in touch.