THEY have helped to shape the lives of thousands of Leeds school children over many decades.
They’ve taught several generations of families and through their tireless dedication have seen education standards improved for today’s youngsters.
Now the commitment by the headteachers who have clocked up a massive 450 years’ service between them, was honoured at a special reception.
Twelve heads from schools across Leeds are retiring at the end of the summer term, which ends on July 22.
It brings to an end distinguished teaching careers and long-term associations with their past and present schools across the city.
Leeds City Council’s children’s services organised a reception to mark the occasion and say a huge ‘thank you’ for their service to the children and young people of the city.
The reception took place at Leeds Civic Hall, where gifts and certificates were presented.
Councillor Judith Blake, executive member for children’s services at Leeds City Council, made the presentations alongside Paul Brennan the deputy director of children’s services.
Coun Blake said: “Head teachers play a vital role in their schools and wider communities. They help to shape the lives and learning of their pupils and lead and inspire their colleagues. All of these head teachers have shown amazing dedication to teaching so it was an honour to present them with their gifts.
“Over the years, these head teachers will have made lasting impressions on thousands of children and young people and I would like to thank them for their commitment to the children of Leeds and wish them the very best for the future.”
Susan Mudie, headteacher at Richmond Hill Primary School, is retiring after 40 years teaching. She has been at inner city Richmond Hill for 20 years.
Mrs Mudie, who is wife of MP George Mudie, said: “Ive seen generations of youngters and I am going to miss the children as well as staff.
“My first job in 1974 was a Clapgates Primary in Belle Isle where I taught Nell McAndrew, who I knew as Tracey, I have continued to teach and still like to do when I get a chance. Two years ago we got a new school building and that was a great thing to see.”
She said she had enjoyed employing four newly qualified teachers last year who are already on the path to being brilliant teachers.
The retiring heads are pictured above: Alan Willey, of Horsforth St Mary’s, after 36 years; Caroline Robinson, of Austhorpe Primary, after 30 years; Fiona Woodall, of St Oswalds Primary, after 35 years.
Kath Atkins, of Grange Farm, after 34 years; Kay Priestley, of Pudsey Waterloo Primary, after 32 years; Ken Cornforth, of Pudsey Grangefield High, after
Linda Clay, of Talbot Primary, after 28 years; Margaret Broughton, of Harehills Primary, after 35 years; Pat Holmes, of St Frances of Assisi, after 32 years; Phil Taylor, of Pudsey Bolton Royd, after 38 years.
Steve Boothroyd, of Adel Primary, after 37 years and Susan Mudie, of Richmond Hill, after 40 years.