THE search is on for a new headteacher for Ashley Hill Primary School.
Linda, who has headed the 300-pupil school in Onchan for seven years, will retire at Christmas after 39 years in teaching.
Mrs Smith began her career in central London. Her first headship, 26 years ago, was in rural Buckinghamshire and she led schools in Warrington and Macclesfield before moving to the Isle of Man to head Ashley Hill in 2005.
She describes teaching as ‘the best job in the world’ and said: ‘Every day has brought new challenges, new learning and surprises. No two days are exactly the same.’
Mrs Smith said: ‘Ashley Hill has been a delightful place to work. The children are always enthusiastic and eager to learn. Parents are caring and supportive. They have helped us to develop the library, the garden and, this year, a large new playground.
‘It has been rewarding leading a talented team of staff who have worked hard to make sure the children could have a wide range of activities. Everyone has played their part to make sure that the school is a good place for children to learn.’
Among many proud achievements, Mrs Smith was particularly pleased that Ashley Hill was the first school in the island to attain the ‘Step into Quality Manx Award’, which celebrates excellent education for the youngest children, for its reception and year 1 (aged five to six) classes.
‘There have been plenty of days to remember at Ashley Hill, including the day a shire horse galloped across the playground during lunchtime after escaping from a nearby field,’ she said.
Mrs Smith was delighted to receive a flying lesson as a birthday present from staff and parents, so has seen the school from on high as well as from her usual vantage point.
She will most miss the children’s singing, especially in assembly, their helpfulness and their enthusiasm.
‘I have enjoyed seeing children develop, from their first day in school to their last, when they leave ready to start at secondary school,’ she said.
The school boasts views of the sea and the hills and she will miss seeing those at the start and end of each day.
She hopes shopping in Douglas will continue to be slowed down by stopping to talk to parents, children and ex-pupils. Unconstrained by school holidays, she and her husband, Leslie, are planning a ‘gap year’ to visit places around the world.
Martin Barrow, director of education, said: ‘Mrs Smith has been a dedicated headteacher who has been committed to developing Ashley Hill School since taking over the leadership in 2005. She will be missed by everyone connected with the school and its community and I am sure they would join the Department in wishing her a happy and healthy retirement.’
The DEC is advertising for Mrs Smith’s successor.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 10 C
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Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 7 C to 14 C
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