School’s head aims to reach new heights
Last updated at 12:44, Friday, 07 September 2012
The new headteacher of Maryport’s Netherhall School could have been a mountain leader if he had not spotted an advertisement for a job in West Cumbria.
Jonathan Johnson, 43, has come from Gloucester Academy, where he was employed by Prospect Improve, providing improvement support as associate headteacher.
He said he was looking at his options when he spotted the Netherhall advertisement.
“I am from North Wales originally and have always been keen on climbing and walking in the mountains; so much so that I began my training as a mountain leader with a couple of local experts in the Lake District earlier this year,” he said.
“I plan to put that training to good use during weekends and the school holidays as I work towards my assessment for the qualification.
“It’s important for me to give something more than my job to the school and I hope that I can use my training in this way.
“When I saw the advert for the Maryport job it seemed like a dream come true for myself and my wife, Wendie, as we’ve been looking for the right opportunity to relocate to Cumbria for several years.”
Mr Johnson said his visits to the school last term had confirmed that he had made the right decision.
He said: “When you look around a school for the first time on interview, you can't be sure that you are seeing the right picture.
“I thought Netherhall School was lovely – the pupils and the staff and subsequent visits have done nothing to change that impression. I’ve been made to feel so welcome by everyone; a real community.”
He said the day after he found he had secured the job he and his wife drove to Maryport to look around.
He said: “We bought fish and chips beside the quay and ate them looking out across the harbour and we fell in love with Maryport.”
Although he comes from an academy, Mr Johnson said he was open-minded about the academy system and would not be looking to implement major changes.
He said: “The school has to be what is best for any particular community and the needs of the students must come first.
“My role is to build on the fantastic legacy that David Sibbit is leaving me.
“He has led the school phenomenally well and I am looking forward to building on his many successes.”
Mr Sibbit was head at Netherhall School for 15 years and officially left at the end of last term.
First published at 11:49, Friday, 07 September 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk