A POPULAR head teacher who has taught thousands of young people in Uttoxeter is set to head off to pastures new as she says a sad farewell to a school close to her heart.
Suzanne O’Farrell will be saying goodbye to Thomas Alleyne’s High School this week after 18 years shaping the minds of the future as she takes up a new post with the Association of School and College Leaders.
Mrs O’Farrell (pictured) joined the school in 1996 as head of modern languages, before taking on the post of deputy head and eventually working her way up to head teacher seven years ago.
She told The Advertiser she will be sad to leave but looking forward to the new adventure.
The head teacher said: “I am very sorry to be leaving such a special place but this will be a complete career change for me but it will working on what I have done here at Alleyne’s.”
“I have seen the school from both the staff aspect as well as the parental as my children both came here and I always really liked this school enormously.
“Living in Uttoxeter and the community I have really got to know people well and we really have got a good team here at Alleyne’s who offer something different.
“This job is something I am particularly interested in as it is related to inspections where I will be advising and training schools. It will allow me to see things from the other side.
“Thomas Alleyne’s will always be really special to me and I will miss it. It has been a privilege to work here as it really is a unique school.
“It was a difficult decision to take but this was an opportunity to take what I have learnt and help other schools.
“I wanted to do something different before I retire and I am looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
Mrs O’Farrell has seen many success during her time at Alleyne’s including good academic results and Ofsted report, stage productions and many prizes and awards in fields such as sport, technology, art and photography.
She led the school through the celebrations for its 450th anniversary in 2007-08 and has overseen many improvements in the quality of teaching and learning, and the quality of the facilities.
Mrs O’Farrell has written to parents thanking them, the pupils, staff and governors for their support and stating how fortunate she has been to work at the school.
The school’s governors have now set up a recruitment panel to find a new head teacher and the post is being advertised but it will be Easter or September before a new head is in place.
In the meantime Carl Gliddon has been appointed as acting head.