Looking back, looking forward: Ms Hunter’s final assembly15 December 2016
All this week, Ms Hunter has been looking back over 21 years of headship with her students, reflecting on how much the school has changed in that time. For some students this meant finding out about times when their parents were at school here!
But today Thursday 15th December we held a very special whole school assembly to say goodbye to her and to welcome Mr Walker as headteacher in post from January. It was a moving and significant occasion for the entire school – and everyone – all students, teachers, support staff were present to hear her final and characteristic words of praise, thanks and encouragement.
At the end of her speech, Ms Hunter gifted three items to the school on her departure. The first was chocolates for tutor groups to be enjoyed on the last day of her headship. The second was the gift of fresh flowers for staff in reception for a year – a symbol of unspoken thanks for all their hard work every day at the colllege. Finally, Ms Hunter announced a Progress Prize to be be awarded annually to the KS3 student who has made most progress in the first three years at the college. This £50 prize will run for the next 20 years!
Her speech earned a standing ovation and there were tears in the eyes of staff, many of whom have worked with her for many years.
Mr Henry Preston, Chair of Governors, spoke of his admiration and gave his thanks to Ms Hunter for the great changes she has brought about in 21 years as headteacher of Penrynn Colllege. He spoke warmly of her inspirational leadership.
Finally Mr Paul Walker spoke to the staff and students he will lead next term. He expressed his great pride in the students – their academic success, sporting prowess and creativity and talents. He spoke of the values that are Ms Hunter’s legacy and his commitment to those shared values.
Before Ms Hunter left the stage she herself was surprised by a gift from her students – a Memory Tree – its branches bearing messages of thanks, affection and best wishes for the future from every child in every tutor group. She was almost speechless (!) and absolutely delighted with the thoughtfulness and unique quality of the present.