Sudden passing of a much-loved ex-pupil of our school

Sudden passing of a much-loved ex-pupil of our school Entire School

It is with immense sadness that we inform our school community of the sudden passing of our ex-pupil Despina Karvouni, aged 24.

Despina, who graduated from St. Lawrence College in 2014, contributed enormously to our school community while also sustaining an extraordinary standard of dedication and consistency towards her own learning. Her record of achievement is unsurpassed. In addition to being a leading debater for our school, Despina was the captain of our debate team, an active member for our school’s Model United Nations delegation and a fine performer in our Forensics group. Despina approached all such activities with wholehearted commitment and an infectious enthusiasm, and was always keen to support other, younger pupils she was participating alongside.

Her achievements in debate, for school and country, were outstanding. While in Year 9 Despina was a finalist at the 2010 International Competition for Young Debaters and her team finished among the top 15 teams in the world. In the 2014 Panhellenic debate tournament, with over thirty schools represented and hundreds of young men and women taking part, she was ranked the number one best speaker at the entire event. Despina represented Greece as a member of the Greek national debate team in the World Schools Debating Championship in 2013, and then again in 2014, this time as captain of the Greek team.

Academically, Despina was brilliant and a role model for all pupils. Her stunning results of ten IGCSEs (9A*1A), five AS-Levels (AAAAA) and four A-Levels (A*AAA) were the consequence of her unwavering dedication to study, as much as her raw intelligence. It was richly deserved that she should be the winner of the History Prize, the Mathematics Prize, and the Headmaster’s Prize for Academic Excellence at her graduating Annual Award Ceremony in June 2014. Above all, Despina was a modest, polite, caring young woman with a wonderful smile, a love for her school community and a desire to support others. She was a natural choice for school prefect and she was an excellent Head Girl in her final school year.

After leaving our school Despina studied Law at Durham University in the UK, where she was awarded a first class degree. After further training and a specialism in Corporate Law, Despina had recently qualified as a solicitor, ready to practise in the UK legal system.

Despina’s sudden passing has brought terrible and profound shock and grief to all who knew her. At this time we remember her wonderful contribution to so many aspects of our school life and the example she set. We think of her many friends from her class of 2014, still a very connected and close-knit group. And, most of all, we give our thoughts, support and deep condolences to Despina’s family and closest friends who are suffering overwhelming grief and bewildering loss at this very difficult time.