Departing head leaves a strong legacy in Maryport school and community
Last updated at 20:37, Thursday, 19 July 2012
The retiring headteacher of a Maryport school said he was leaving at the right time,
David Sibbit, who has led Netherhall School for 15 years, will officially step down from the role at the end of next month.
He said: “There are so many changes ahead that I believe the school needs a head who will be here for the duration of these changes, for at least the next four or five years.
“It is a good time to hand over the running of the school, even though I am obviously leaving with mixed emotions, but I always said I would not outstay my welcome.
“It is better to leave when you feel you are still doing the job to the best of your ability.”
Mr Sibbit is credited with turning the school around and raising both standards and its profile in the local community.
He added: “That is not entirely true. The school was facing in the right direction when I took over and we have continued in that direction.”
He also paid tribute to his staff and said: “They do the business in the classroom while I concentrate on getting the conditions right for everyone to be important and everyone to succeed to the best of their ability.”
Although he is retiring from school teaching, Mr Sibbit said he was not planning to stop working.
He already does some leadership training for deputy and assistant heads and some training for the national professional qualification for headteachers.
He said: “I am hoping that I will be able to work perhaps two or three days a week. The rest of the time I would like to get out onto the fells, improve my photography and play more golf.
“I would also like to travel to south east Asia. I spent a year at a school in Singapore as a young teacher.
“In those days you could not get into Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. I would like to visit those countries. I am told by other retired heads, though, that I will probably be busier than I am now and won't have time to do anything!”
Mr Sibbit was headteacher when Netherhall School achieved sports college status.
While this Government has scrapped specialist colleges, he said it had still been a great achievement that the school and the sports centre continued to be a hub for the promotion of fitness and health.
Every decision at the school has been made for the benefit of the students, he said.
Exam results have improved every year but he said it was more important to watch the students grow in confidence, behaviour and aspirations.
He said he had striven to give Netherhall a reputation for being a school that cared for its student community – and that was the legacy he was most proud of.
First published at 19:20, Thursday, 19 July 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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