Meet Miss Forte, an Old Millhillian (Atkinson 2012-17) and Mill Hill School’s Archivist. We spoke with her to learn more about her life during, after and now at Mill Hill School.
How long have you worked at the school?
I have worked at the school for three months, but I have been part of The Foundation since 2008. I joined Belmont as a pupil, came up through to Mill Hill and left in 2017 (just over five years ago).
What does your role involve?
My role as an Archivist is to look after artefacts relating to the History of the School, things like photographs and trophies. My job is also to make sure that these items survive and essentially outlive me!
What is your favourite thing about Mill Hill?
It has to be the buildings and the site itself. I have yet to encounter any institution or school with as many historical and beautiful buildings as we do here.
Do you have any advice for our pupils that could help them get the most out of their time at the school?
Ironically, this is advice I was given, but I took no heed of: ‘Take every opportunity you have here. There aren’t really drama clubs or music production in the adult world.’ I thought I would get to them later, but later came, they were not there.
What is your favourite book and film for our pupils and why?
My favourite book is Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, for no other reason than my mother read it to my brother and I when we were kids, she did an excellent Gandalf voice! Amélie is a French film; it’s such a heartwarming film. It’s about a Parisian woman; she’s very quirky and different; it’s about how she positively impacts people’s lives and how things ripple out from her.
Could you share an inspirational quote with us? How does it inspire you?
It would have to be from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein ‘Beware for I am fearless and therefore powerful’ it’s such a nice sentiment (when taken out of the context) because I do think everyone is held back a bit by fear in their lives. I think once you let go of that you regain power over yourself!
Can you tell us something that we might not know about you?
I have a Nonverbal Learning Disorder, a learning disability, and a hidden disability; this means I process things differently! This could be sensations, emotions or information. I used to view it as a burden and something to be ashamed of, but I have made peace with myself and realised it is a gift to see the world differently and think outside the box. I would encourage people starting their journey down this path to try and see the positive sides.
When did you attend Mill Hill School and what House were you in?
I was at Mill Hill between 2012 to 2017, and I was in Atkinson with my younger brother. I was also a monitor of Atkinson in my last year.
Since being a pupil at Mill Hill School, what have you been up to?
I went to the University of York to do a Bachelor’s Degree in History, and then COVID hit, and my world was flipped upside down. At the time, I had been working in museums in various positions. My last job before here was working at the Museum of London.
What’s your favourite memory from your time at Mill Hill School?
My favourite memory was house drama in my first year. I was in the play and played a silent character. In the play, she is completing a silent fundraiser, and in the end, she loses it! She reveals all these secrets, and it’s a big reveal moment; we got to the finale, and I was screaming at one of the other characters and Dr Luckett, Head at the time, took me to the side and said, ‘that was very good! I never want to get you angry, though!’ It was quite funny!
Do you have any career advice for our pupils?
Don’t put yourself into a box and say you can or can’t do something; I’ve had so many career changes. I know people who have had career changes, including my parents. You shouldn’t try to put yourself on a singular path because you want to, or someone has told you to. Just go with your gut; if you like something, try it; if you don’t like it, don’t stick with it for some sense of duty or money. Just do what you like and try; that’s all you can do!