It's a Hard Place to Leave!
Monday, 04 July 2011
Gill Richards, Headmistress of the Girls' Division for the past six years and a teacher for the past thirty eight, retired at the end of the Summer Term. She took with her the very best of wishes and lots of gifts and cards from fellow teachers at the end of year staff tea party.
In her speech recapping her career, Mrs Richards told of her initial intention to go into primary school teaching but gave this idea up after only a matter of days as she struggled with "exploding noses" and the infants' unpredictability. Her first job was at Telford Town, a tough boys' secondary modern and this was followed by a seventeen year period at a large comprehensive, Queen's Park School in Chester. She moved on to become a Senior Teacher at Rhyl High for four years, where she performed her most creative teaching as the school was in special measures with only 18% of pupils getting A*-C grades. Her next move was to the Belvedere School in Liverpool, where she quickly progressed from Deputy-Head to Head. During a 360 degree review she was advised, for her career, to take a second headship. For Gill, who wanted to stay in the North, there was only one place she wanted to move to and when Miss Panton retired in 2005, she applied for the Headship at Bolton School. Her only hesitation had been around having to share the running of the Foundation with the Head of the Boys' Division. However, having taken the position, and having immensely enjoyed working with the former Head Mr Mervyn Brooker and the current one Mr Philip Britton, she realises these worries were unfounded. In her presentation, she praised her Senior Management Team and teaching staff at Bolton School, saying they were the most able she had ever worked with. What she found particularly cheering was that there were no cynics amongst them, which is unusual in a teaching staff room!
Summing up her experience of Bolton School, Mrs Richards said: "It is the people I will miss. I do find people endlessly fascinating. I will miss the friendliness of the Bolton people too. People speak to you here. This is a hard place to leave."
Mrs Richards will spend some time in France over the summer and will then go fishing in Scotland during August. Early next year she plans to undertake a trip to Antarctica.
The new Headmistress of the Girls' Division from September 2011 will be Miss Sue Hincks who leaves her post as Senior Deputy Head of The King's School, Worcester to join Bolton School. Miss Hincks obtained a First Class Honours Degree in Modern History and Modern Languages, from Magdalen College, Oxford.