As we approach the final week of this academic year, I know that our families will appreciate an update regarding our staff. Sadly, there are staff leaving us for a variety of reasons and, in the paragraph below, I draw your attention to those highly valued colleagues to whom we will be saying farewell during the coming week.
Many of you already know that we are saying farewell to Mr Steve Jones, our Vice Principal, who leaves us to take up the Headship of Perins School, Alresford, Hampshire. Mr Jones has been a charismatic, fiercely loyal and committed member of the College who very much deserves this promotion to headship. He will be very much missed and I know you will want to join me in wishing him well. I suspect that Perins and Christ the King College will meet on the rugby field in the future; now there’s a match to watch!
Also taking up a promoted post as Head of School at Newchurch Primary School is Mrs Jo Payne. Mrs Payne has enjoyed an extremely lengthy relationship with Christ the King College and, formerly Archbishop King Middle School both as a teacher and a pupil, so it is extremely difficult to imagine life in College without her. Mrs Payne’s energy, compassion and tireless work with so many of our students and their families are all highly valued aspects of her work and I know how many students are extremely sad that she is leaving us. Both Mr Jones and Mrs Payne join a long line of staff who, during the past few years, have achieved significant promotions following their time at Christ the King College and, whilst they will be very much missed, I am delighted that their experiences here have prepared them so well for the next steps in their careers.
I want also to pay tribute to the work of some teachers for whom au revoir is possibly more appropriate than good-bye. Mrs Rosie Harrison and Mr Geoffrey Hughes will not be with us as full-time, permanent members of staff in September. Mrs Harrison will certainly not be leaving behind her long association with us completely, but her involvement with us will be more limited. That said, we thank Mrs Harrison for her long and dedicated time at the College and her total commitment to ensuring the best for our young people, whether as Form Tutor or Languages teacher.
Similarly, we very reluctantly say farewell and thank you to Mr Hughes who has to return to Canada this summer but whose return later in the year we hope and pray will be possible. Mr Hughes, in the relatively short time that he has been with us, has established himself as an extremely popular and well-regarded teacher who gives of his time tirelessly both within and outside the classroom. The students that Mr Hughes has taught over the past two years have been unstinting in their praise for the quality of his teaching and the support he has offered.
Retirement beckons for Mr Michael Green, again someone whose cheerful dedication to students who require additional support and guidance does not go unnoticed. We wish him a long, healthy and happy retirement and thank him for all that he has done for our students.
Christ the King College has an excellent reputation for training new teachers as part of the government’s School Direct Programme. Unfortunately, it is impossible to retain all the teachers whom we train and, therefore, we say good-bye to some of them at the end of this year. In particular, we wish Mr David Smith well as he takes up a music post elsewhere and Ms Kingswell-Cleaves well as she moves to another school. Ms Ignarski and Ms Kerley are also moving on. We hope that they have both enjoyed and benefitted from their time with us and we thank them for all they have done. Ms Elizabeth Berrimann also leaves us at the end of this academic year.
Finally, there are staff whose commitment to us has been temporary but nevertheless hugely valued and appreciated. Mr Les Elsemore and Mr Chris Vann come into this category and we thank them very much for the significant contribution they have made to the Art and Technology department over the years. I know that there are many students and staff (including at least one of my Senior Colleagues) who will miss the opportunity to talk Dr Who with Mr Elsemore! Again, we wish both Mr Elsemore and Mr Vann well for their futures.
It will come as no surprise to parents that, with the number of staff leaving, there will be many new teachers joining our community this September. Please be totally assured that we have made excellent appointments across a range of subjects; we are fully staffed and excited about September. I would ask that, in your prayers, you remember those who are moving on from Christ the King College, that they take all they have learned and gained with them to their new environments. Similarly, please pray for those new staff preparing to join us, that they are happily and successfully assimilated into the strong community that is Christ the King College.
Sixth Form Student Leadership Team
In addition to appointing new staff to our College, I am delighted to be able to announce that we have been busy interviewing and appointing the next Student Leadership Team from the Sixth Form. The standard of applications was outstanding, the quality of the interviews was exceptional and the plans that these wonderful young people shared for the development of the College next year were quite amazing; it is going to be quite a year next year! I am delighted to report that the Student Leadership Team for 2015-2016 will be:
Head Girl: Hanna Dean
Head Boy: Charlie Goodstien-Oliver
Deputy Head Girl: Alice Tongue
Deputy Head Boy: Tom Measey
Assistant Head Girls: Louise Ryan and Katie Mackenzie
Assistant Head Boys: Dabeoc Stanley and Conrad Lewandowski
It simply remains for me to say that, as is the custom at Christ the King College, we will continue to strive and challenge our students next week (until the bell sounds for the start of the summer holidays). With the exception of our Celebration Worship taking place on Thursday, our whole College Mass and Communion which takes place on Friday morning and an opportunity on Friday afternoon to spend time with Form Tutors (and ensuring that lockers are cleared and cleaned before the six week break) we will run a normal College week. College will close at 3:40pm next Friday.