A HEAD teacher who has worked at a Uttoxeter middle school for 22 years is laying down the chalk to take his hard-earned retirement.
Nick Brown started out as the head teacher of Oldfields Hall Middle School in 1992 after a varied career teaching as far away as Suffolk, Kent and Lima in Peru.
Mr Brown told the Advertiser he was ‘still in denial’ about the fact he would be leaving Oldfields in a few weeks, but reflected fondly on his time at the school and the dedicated staff team.
He said: “I started out teaching at a middle school in Suffolk and worked my way up, moving to Lima in Peru for three years as a teacher for the British Council which was an amazing experience.
“Reflecting on 22 years, well I’ve been in denial for months but it has finally come round.
“Oldfields Hall is a wonderful place, it’s a wonderful backdrop for every child to grow up, with a building steeped in history.
“Over the years one of my interests at the school has been to find out about the history of the building and its former residents.”
When asked how the school had changed over the years, Mr Brown said education in 1992 was incomparable to 2014.
He said: “You just can’t compare education today to how it was then, it was so different. The school has improved unrecognisably but education was completely different back then, things have changed a lot.
“At Oldfields I’ve had such a great staff team – I can’t imagine people working any harder, they are an incredibly dedicated group of people.
“We’ve always had fantastic productions and shows with the staff and children.
“I’d also like to thank my wife for being there for me all these years and putting up with my extreme work ethic.
“To teach you have to be passionate about your job, and I think that is the most important thing.
“It’s a difficult job and the hopes of the community rest with you – loving what you do is so important.
“The school has a great future ahead of it with my successor Carl, he’s someone everyone looks up to and will be taking the school in an exciting direction.
“For my retirement, there’ll be more time for family and hobbies.
“I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing yet but I can assure you I won’t be doing nothing.”
Incoming head teacher Carl Gliddon said: “Experiencing the pyramid school system in Uttoxeter from all angles, from high school and middle school gave me the drive to apply for the role.
“My new role will involve building on the strengths of the school – Oldfields pupils have a good sense of independence when they leave the school and an enquiring mind.
“I want to build on what they already have and effectively equip the pupils for high school study.
“I have a strong team of quality staff behind me and I am looking forward to working with teachers and pupils.”