I just wanted to send out this message to current pupils, past pupils, parents past and present, staff, governors and anyone else who contributed to my Retirement Celebration.
The whole of the afternoon and evening events completely caught me off guard and I was amazed at the number of people who came to say goodbye. The comments made about me and what people felt this school had achieved for them was extremely kind and I was moved by the sentiments that people wanted to share.
I had an amazing amount of gifts and as you can see in the photograph I am holding a painting by David Morris that is a collage of images representing the school. I have always admired David’s work for its precision and accuracy. I love the detail and people who have seen the real size painting will have spotted the Hobnob’s packet, a lovely joke built into the idea.
The other gifts of wine and whiskey, along with gift vouchers and garden vouchers will set me up very well for the future development of my vegetable garden.
The pupils, parents and staff together with the Friends of School created something very special that to me I probably didn’t deserve as I have only been doing a job I enjoyed for the past 32 years being at the school.
Chatting with one of the first pupils I taught at this school made me realise that yes that amount of time is a long one to spend in a school, especially when his own son now attends the school, but it was not meant to be that way. Life passes by so quickly.
The Headteacher at the time of my appointment as Deputy Headteacher said to me that he was really looking for a music teacher, but they had decided to appoint me instead. If you have been disappointed with that initial selection then have a word with Mrs Janet Mellor as she was a governor on that panel.
Mrs Mellor has had much involvement over the years and even now comes to hear readers. She has been a star!
On this theme, I have been supported over the years by some excellent people that have made my life here a real enjoyment.
They say that behind every successful man there is a successful woman. I was greedy and instead
of one I was able to have the help of numerous women.
If I list some and forget others I apologise now but I could say I had a ‘senior’ moment.
Mrs Linda Jones, who was Bursar/Business Manager and for many years raised so much money through acquiring grants, to develop the outside area.
Mrs Barbara Watson , who was more than a Site Manager, we spent a long time discussing other topics related to the school.
Mrs Tracy Mason-Powers who made the ‘Music’ happen by producing special assemblies , musical events and the Summer productions as well as the music ensemble groups on a Wednesday afternoon.
Mrs Gill Murdoch, started as a Governor and is now Chair of Governors at school for many years. I would appoint her as an ‘honorary’ Yorkshire Lass as I have really enjoyed our chats around school strategy and we have been able to call a spade a spade through these discussions.
Last but not certainly least is Mrs Zoe Longstaff who was appointed before I took over as Headteacher and has worked in school for 26 years herself.
We have on occasion been described as a married couple as we think along similar lines and we can even complete each other’s sentences. I would say we are more Ying and Yang as Zoe is a completer-finisher to my initiatives and ideas thinking. Zoe is much more organised than I am – although I have organised Sports Day quite well for many years.
Then we have had a long line of support from The Friends of Swinderby School who have provided resources and refreshments over that years. A few people who have achieved so much for the school
So you see it has not been me running the show all of these years but these and the other hard working friends, parents and staff of Swinderby All Saints that have done it instead. It is they how should share the lovely sentiments and wishes bestowed on me yesterday as it is they who have achieved this reputation. I am sure that with people like Mrs Feast, Harrison, Sims, Jenkins, Cook, Rossington, Aplin, Owen and so on, who will enable Swinderby to continue to punch above its weight and go from strength to strength in the coming years
Thank you all for your amazing support. I do feel honoured to have been in charge all of these 25 years. Swinderby village school and church are jewels in Lincolnshire’s crown and will always be a very special memory for me.
Thank you for having me and Au Revoir, not goodbye.
Jeff Day, Retiring Headteacher.