Two long-serving headteachers of primary schools in Northampton, with a combined leadership experience of almost 30 years, have retired.
Philip Buckle, who is been in charge at Boothville Primary for the past 17 years and Sue Edmonds-Phelan, who has run St Luke’s CEVA Primary in Duston for the past 12 years, were both given special send-offs by pupils and staff last Friday.
Mr Buckle said: “It has been an honour to be headteacher of Boothville Primary School for almost 17 years. Being leader here for so long has given me the opportunity to build really strong and meaningful professional relationships. This has been such an important factor in my enjoyment of the role.
“Finally, the children have been a delight. There is no one else in the school that has seven years to really get to know each one as an individual and watch them develop, progress and blossom as those years go by. That has been my reward and my privilege”.
Pupils and staff waved farewell to Mr Buckle in James Bond-style as he departed in a vintage Aston Martin.
Becca Payne, assistant headteacher, said: “Mr Buckle has been a well loved and respected headteacher by staff, pupils, parents and the wider community. He leaves behind a special legacy and a real family ethos among everybody associated with the school.”
The headteacher of St Luke’s CEVA Primary School arrived for her last day at work in school in a Daimler car. The surprise car ride was arranged by Classic Carriages of Northampton.
Mrs Edmonds-Phelan said: “I am a bit overwhelmed as there has been so much going on.
“I have mixed feelings about leaving as I want to spend more time with my friends and family, but it is hard to leave the schools as it has been part and parcel of my life for so long.
“You get to be such a close unit as you watch the children grow. Over the last 12 years we have seen the pupil numbers increase from 68 to 400 and we have managed this through teamwork with staff and governors.”
Mrs Edmonds-Phelan said she was particularly proud the primary school had this year managed to achieve the Gold Standard Investors in People award.