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33 educators join Obama in Who's Who

A head knighted in the summer after turning around a struggling west London school has joined US President-elect Barack Obama as a new addition to this year's edition of Who's Who.

Sir William Atkinson, who lists his recreations as rugby, theatre and family, made his name when he took over at Phoenix High in Hammersmith in 1995.

He is one of 33 new entrants from the teaching profession to make it into the bible of the great and the good. Nearly 750 people from the school world, including retired and former teachers, are included in the 2009 edition.

Other new entrants from the state sector include Roy Pike, the head of Torquay Boys' Grammar School, and Alan Rosen, head of Aylesbury High School in Buckinghamshire.

Mr Rosen said only his PA knew of his Who's Who entry and added: "I think it's an honour on behalf of the school. I hope it's recognising more than exam results - we are also known for our international outlook."

Also making an appearance for the first time is another London head who was knighted for improving an underperforming school.

Sir Alasdair Macdonald received the title last year after seeing three- quarters of pupils at Morpeth School in Tower Hamlets gain five good GCSEs - a significant improvement on the school's low point of below 50 per cent in 2003. Sir Alasdair includes Dundee United FC among his recreations.

Football also features among the hobbies of another new entrant, the Reverend Tim Hastie-Smith, who hit the headlines in October after hiring Michael Clarkson, a classics teacher who had left his previous job under a cloud after secretly filming a schoolboy having sex.

At the time, Mr Hastie-Smith said Mr Clarkson deserved a second chance, but he subsequently stood down as chairman of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference and resigned from Dean Close School in Cheltenham, where Who's Who nevertheless continues to list him as being head. His recreations include Tottenham Hotspur, chicken husbandry and psephology.

Patricia Langham, the head of Wakefield Girls' High School in West Yorkshire, lists "collecting flying ducks" among her hobbies.

In all, 1,000 new entries make up the 33,000 names in the 161st edition, which is out on Monday.

WHO'S MADE IT

Sir William Atkinson, head, Phoenix High School, west London

Mary Breen, head, St Mary's School, Ascot, Berkshire

Jonathan Brough, head, City of London School for Girls

Brian Coulshed, head, Parmiter's School, Garston, Hertfordshire

Anne Coutts, head, Headington School, Oxford

Gareth Edwards, principal, George Watson's College, Edinburgh

John Granger, head, Bournemouth School, Dorset

Andrew Grant, head, St Albans School, Hertfordshire

Rev Tim Hastie-Smith, head, Dean Close School, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire*

James Hawkins, head, Norwich School

Andrew Hunter, head, Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh

Anthony Jarvis, head, St Olave's and St Saviour's Grammar School, Orpington, Kent

Andrew Johnson, head, Stonyhurst College, Clitheroe, Lancashire

Patricia Langham, head, Wakefield Girls' High School, West Yorkshire

Sir Alasdair Macdonald, head, Morpeth School, east London

Angus Macdonald, head, Lomond School, Helensburgh

Dom Leo Maidlow Davis, head, Downside School, Bath

Ruth Mercer, head, Godolphin and Latymer School, west London

Stephen Nokes, head, John Hampden Grammar School, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

Patrick O'Doherty, principal, Lumen Christi College, Derry

Hugh Ouston, head, Robert Gordon's College, Aberdeen

Dr Andrew Parmley, head of senior school, Harrodian School, west London

Alice Phillips, head, St Catherine's School, Bramley, Guildford

Roy Pike, head, Torquay Boys' Grammar School, Devon

Rabbi Abraham Pinter, principal Yesodey Hatorah School, north London

Jennifer Rimer, head, St Mary's Music School, Edinburgh

John Robertson, rector, Dollar Academy, Dollar, Clackmannanshire

Alan Rosen, head, Aylesbury High School, Buckinghamshire

Gabrielle Solti-Dupas, head, junior department, Notting Hill and Ealing High School, west London

Geoffrey Thompson, head, Mill Hill County High School, north London

Jayne Triffitt, head, Woldingham School, Surrey

Mark Turner, head, Abingdon School, Oxfordshire

Dr Helen Wright, head, St Mary's School, Calne, Wiltshire

* Has since stepped down.

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