Eleni Conidaris - Head of the Lower School

Eleni joined Dauntsey’s in 1990 and has overall responsibility for pupil welfare and House life in the First to Third Forms (Years 7-9).

She is a member of the Senior Management Team, along with the Head Master, Bursar, Second Master, Deputy Head and the Deputy Head Academic. In addition, Eleni is the Deputy Child Protection Officer and the School’s link with the Dauntsey’s School Parents’ Association. 

Eleni started her teaching life in Johannesburg and then moved to the UK, joining Dauntsey’s as Head of Girls’ Games and PE and as a Tutor in The Manor. In 1995, she was appointed Director of Sport and fulfilled this role until 2009 when, seeking a new challenge, she was appointed Housemistress of Hemens House.

More about Eleni…

What do you enjoy most about your role?    

Sharing experiences; the ability to help pupils achieve their best; inspiring students not only academically but personally; being able to interact with pupils who are mostly good and do try to do what’s expected of them; sharing enthusiasm for my subject matter.

What do you enjoy most about life at Dauntsey’s?

I wake every morning looking forward to another day spent in the company of a wonderfully wide range of lively, interesting and talented young people.

I love their energy, their curiosity and their capacity for asking very difficult questions. In my job, every day is different and I relish the challenge of that. I’m incredibly lucky to spend my working day immersed in the lives of young people as they learn to engage with the world around them, and to be continually invited to reconsider my own ideas and perspectives. I also work with fantastic colleagues.

How do you spend your holidays/time out of school?

I am an avid sports enthusiast and spend much time out of school playing tennis and watching sport. I also enjoy attending the theatre and travelling.

I have attended four Olympic Games: Barcelona, Atlanta, Athens, London – and I plan to go to the Games in Rio in 2016!

Your favourite place on earth and why?

The Kruger National Park in South Africa is one of my favourite places in the world. It’s one of the oldest, largest, and most diverse parks in Africa and offers great wildlife viewing. All the major safari animals are present including the Big Five (lion, leopard, black rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo). The sheer size of it and its diversity make it a treasure and visiting it should definitely be on one's bucket list.

Who do you most admire in public life and why?

Nelson Mandela is my hero because he embodies the hopes and dreams of a true, lasting justice and equality, not just for South Africans but for all people. It’s Mandela - through his unselfish and constant presence on the international stage, raising awareness about AIDS, peace, debt relief, the environment - who most inspires us to think responsibly of our fellow man and of our planet.  

If you could have a “superpower”, what would it be and why?

Flight – the ability to rise up and move through the air. It taps into the fearless adventurer inside us, letting us take off and explore in any direction we choose.

Which book is top of your pile right now?

Federer and Me: A Story of Obsession by William Skidelsky

In the press: Welcome aboard

Starting a new school can be an anxious time for all the family. With 176 pupils from 90 different schools arriving in September, Dauntsey’s is well practised in helping pupils to settle in quickly. Here, three pupils talk about their experience of their first few weeks at Dauntsey’s – go to article