School chief retires

SP91008 Retiring Chris Townsend with Netherthorpe pupils Victoria Waddoups, Oliver Poole, Adam Whybrow, Jack Gould, Rebecca Bonnar.
SP91008 Retiring Chris Townsend with Netherthorpe pupils Victoria Waddoups, Oliver Poole, Adam Whybrow, Jack Gould, Rebecca Bonnar.

A GREATLY respected deputy headteacher is packing up his books for the last time as he retires after nearly 40 years at the same school.

Chris Townsend (61), of Netherthorpe School, in Staveley, has seen his workplace develop with new technology and change from a grammar to a comprehensive and then to a foundation school during his four decades.

Pictured is retiring Netherthorpe School deputy headteacher Chris Townsend, top row, third from the right.

Pictured is retiring Netherthorpe School deputy headteacher Chris Townsend, top row, third from the right.

Mr Townsend, who retires this week, said: “I’ve seen a lot of changes but what has always been the same is the ethos of working together to take students to extraordinary heights.”

He joined the school in 1972 as an English teacher, became head of English in 1977, senior teacher in 1991 and deputy headteacher in 1996.

And over the years he has seen blackboards and wooden desks packed with books change to slick work surfaces and interactive computer screens as the age of chalk marked teachers came to an end.

But as studies changed with more course work and school dinners developed an international flavour some things have remained the same.

He added: “Families and their children have always supported the school and my happiest memories have been the pleasantness of pupils past and present.

“Uniforms haven’t changed too much but we’ve enjoyed little rebellious trends with youngsters wearing white socks or thinner ties and rolled up blazer sleeves.”

He added: “I’m looking forward to spending more time with my wife Vicky and continuing as Brampton’s Gospel Mission Congregation Church secretary.”

The school treated cricket fan Mr Townsend to a replica cricket Ashes trophy, a reception at an old boys’ cricket match, a party and a farewell dinner.

l Do you know any teachers who have worked at the same school for more than 40 year? Email comment@derbyshiretimes.co.uk

jon.cooper@derbyshiretimes.co.uk