Dedicated and Supportive Staff Members Join Our Boarding Community


David Griffiths is pleased to announce the appointment of four dedicated and supportive staff members to the boarding community at The Mount School York as of September 2022. Due to an increased interest in boarding opportunities amongst Senior School pupils, The Mount School York has expanded its boarding team to ensure the highest quality of care and nurturing is, both maintained, and developed further. 

Grace Tong 

Grace Tong is currently Assistant Housemistress at Wycombe Abbey School, China and is herself a musician and choral leader. She will join The Mount School as Resident Graduate Boarding Assistant. Grace attended Hong Kong Baptist University, achieving an Associate Degree in Creative Communication, before going on to study at Edinburgh Napier University where she received a Bachelor Degree in Communication, Advertising and Public Relations. At Wycombe Abbey School, Grace has enjoyed immersing herself into school life and supporting pupils with their musical engagement. Grace has achieved her Grade 5 in piano, Grade 5 in Theory of Music and Grade 8 in Singing with The Royal Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Grace commented, saying “I have a strong understanding in safeguarding to promote the welfare of children, and to develop a safe and encouraging environment for the children to grow as a whole person. I encourage our young ladies to have a voice and to readily discuss their thoughts and opinions and to seek to foster a creative impact upon their living environment.”  


Nia Passmore  

Mrs Nia Passmore has also been appointed as Resident Boarding Assistant with a choral and musical involvement. Nia is an experienced boarding housemistress with excellent choral and music experience. She Graduated from Princeton University in America with a 1st Class Honours Bachelor of Music Degree, in Sacred Music, in 2010. Nia became intertwined in music and the boarding life of schools in 2013 when she became a resident musician at Terrington Hall Prep School. Her role was to incorporate music and wellbeing into the students’ lives within the boarding environment. Nia has developed into Wellbeing Leadership and Pastoral Care and Housemistress work through various subsequent school appointments. Nia also spent some time in Italy as a singing teacher and building on her burgeoning educational experience. On her return to the UK Nia became a teaching housemistress at Stonar School in WiltshireNia is excited to be joining the team here at The Mount, York. Nia says “My employment and educational backgrounds have provided a wealth of opportunities to establish myself as a nurturing, empathetic, innovative, and creative leader. Working almost exclusively in boarding, religious, musical, and educational settings, I have dedicated much of my career thus far, to enhancing and improving students’ journeys, from admission through to their graduation, with my primary focuses being wellbeing, pastoral, musical, and spiritual enrichment, and support. Being a houseparent has given me the opportunity to put all these skillsets to use daily and has been an absolute delight and privilege.”  


Elizabeth Pickard

Lizzie is due to soon complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Sport and Exercise Science at Leeds Beckett University in the hope of becoming a teacher in the future. Lizzie has prior experience being a full-time boarder at Stonar School in Wiltshire, with this being the first time she had been away from both of her parents who were expats living overseas in Hong Kong. Lizzie experienced great support from the staff and Resident Graduate Boarding Assistants whilst she was at school and is now very motivated to provide a similar level of pastoral care and support to students who are now in the same position compared to the one that she experienced as a schoolgirlShe has a great interest and passion for sport and has represented her school in many sports including swimming, football, netball, volleyball, and horse riding. At university Lizzie was quick to join the Women’s Rugby team to represent Leeds Beckett.  



Xinide is about to complete her PhD in Social Policy and Social Work at the University of York where she has also been part of the social and welfare support team for other students. Xinide attaches great importance to Mental Health First Aid and is very knowledgeable when it comes to supporting her peers, college staff and other students. Xinide focuses on enriching students’ lives during their time in University, organising events and activities and offering regular welfare checks in various different formats. Prior to her PhD at York University Xinide studied at Zhengzhou University in China majoring in Administration. When Xinide came over to York she completed her Master’sDegree in Comparative and International Social Policy prior to embarking on her doctorateXinide has a great interest in baking, cake designing and decoration, she enjoys various crafting activities such as sketching, embroidery, crocheting and knitting and also enjoys getting outdoors to travel, hike and pursue her interest in photography. 

We look forward immensely to welcoming this new wave of Resident Boarding Assistants to the boarding family and are excited to see the positive effects their wealth of experience and knowledge will undoubtedly have on our pupils. 

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