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Retiring head teacher says Isle of Man is great place to run a school

Retiring headmaster Nigel Bennett with pupils from St Johns School as they celebrate their end of term party at the Department of Environment Food and Agriculture headquarters at St Johns

Retiring headmaster Nigel Bennett with pupils from St Johns School as they celebrate their end of term party at the Department of Environment Food and Agriculture headquarters at St Johns

  • by John Turner
 

If you are going to be a head teacher, then the Isle of Man is the place to do it, according to retiring St John’s School headmaster Nigel Bennett.

Friday was Mr Bennett’s last day in charge at St John’s, where he has been for the past 24 years after a 37-year teaching career which started in Keighley in West Yorkshire in 1977.

Speaking on his very last day at school, he told the Examiner: ‘It’s definitely going to be a day of mixed emotions, but sometimes you just feel that the time is right.

‘We’ve got 150 parents coming in and it’s also the school prize-giving today and assembly this afternoon.

‘I suppose there are times when it feels like 24 years but most of the time no, it doesn’t.’

He came to the island in 1978 working at Peel Clothworkers, Fairfield and Jurby before taking over at St John’s.

His wife Jill, also a teacher, retired on the same day from Sulby School.

‘We are going to have our gap year now. We plan to do some travelling,’ he said.

One plan is to learn to play the mandolin and another is to learn to speak Portuguese.

‘Our son lives in Rio so if we have any grandchildren it would be nice to be able to talk to them,’ he said.

They plan to do a tour around South America early next year starting and probably finishing in Rio de Janeiro.

Other plans include a recuperative trip to Minorca, a visit to their daughter in Buckinghamshire and a First World War commemorative visit to France in September.

‘I couldn’t have done this job with all the bureaucracy in the UK but here, if you do a good job, you can follow your beliefs and ideology,’ he said.

 

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