Staff and pupils at Chenderit School in Middleton Cheney have said goodbye to veteran teacher John Childs, who has retired after 36 years.
Mr Childs joined the school in Archery Road as head of art back in 1979, the year the school and leaves as the last member of the original school staff from that year.
Since then his career has seen him in a variety of roles including classroom teacher, head of art, head of faculty, head of year, assistant headteacher, gallery director and even artist in residence.
Jane Cartwright, headteacher, paid tribute to Mr Childs in a special staff celebration event. She said: “John has always had students’ achievement and enjoyment at the very centre of his thinking and he will be leaving a very clear legacy at Chenderit School. “We thank him for a lifetime of commitment to the education of young people, not just here but more widely.”
Mr Childs was presented with one of the school’s original bricks, symbolising how he will always be a part of the fabric of the school and how his own beliefs are integral to the Chenderit community community.
His illustrious career has seen him become GCSE assistant chief examiner and president of The National Society for Education in Art and Design.
He has achieved Artsmark Gold for Chenderit as well as securing the school Specialist Status in the Visual Arts.
Mr Childs said: I consider that the fundamental philosophy of any comprehensive school is that which allows each and every individual to reach their maximum potential.
“I have loved my time at Chenderit, and have really enjoyed working with the young people here. I have always done my best to support the students and am very proud of all that they have gone on to achieve.”
Mr Childs leave the school to spend more time with his grandchildren, but has assured the students he will still be around occasionall to offer help and advice.
Tom Christy became head of art at Chenderit when Mr Childs stepped down from the role in 2013. He has also paid tribute to him and said: “John has helped shape our school in a way that few others have been able to.
“He has developed ideas, fought battles and has done all he possibly can to ensure a broad and balanced education for everyone of those children enrolled at the school.
“His hard work and energy have been an inspiration to all those students who he has worked with. It is difficult to imagine the school without him.”