St Peter's 13-18
This week we said a virtual goodbye to a number of teaching staff at St Peter's School with a special 'Leavers on the E-Lawn' celebration via Zoom.
Over 60 teaching and support staff joined the celebration on Wednesday 1 July to say goodbye to Miss Matts, Mr Cooper, Mr Meier, Mrs Pywell and Miss Schmidt. We also bid a fond farewell to two long-standing members of staff - Mrs Tooby-Smith, who joined St Peter's in 1996, and Mr Shread, who joined St Peter's since 1985.
Mr Grant hosted the celebration, and began by remarking that of his 102 terms of teaching this last term has certainly been the most unusual. A speech was then given by a sponsor for each leaver, followed by a speech from the leaver's themselves.
Miss Schmidt, a German Teaching Assistant at the School, was described as someone who will make a "wonderful teacher" thanks to her "delightful manner with the pupils" and creative ideas. Miss Schmidt said: “I’ve had a wonderful time because everyone at St Peter’s made me feel like part of the community.”
Mr Whitehouse praised Mr Cooper for making the Design & Technology Department "a welcoming place to be" and praised Mr Cooper for his "fresh ideas", hard work and dedication to all pupils. Mr Cooper said: “This is my first experience of an independent school and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Any trepidation was soon put to rest as the staff were extremely welcoming and the pupils down to earth. I will always think of my time in York fondly.”
Mrs Todd spoke of Mrs Pywell's "encyclopaedic knowledge and infectious enthusiasm" and thanked her for being a "fun, flamboyant and fabulous friend who always bring a sprinkle of sparkle dust to the dullest of teaching days". Mrs Pywell said: “It has been amazing to be part of such a fun and supportive English department. There are some brilliant pupils at St Peter’s and I hope they continue the clubs we have set up this year.”
Mr Trevett admired Mr Meier for his "hard work, enthusiasm and organisation", and Mr Meier said: "Thank you to Richard for being a wonderful Head of Department and thank you to the rest of the department who have been great to work with."
Miss Matts was praised for her "excellent rapport" with her pupils , her "undaunted optimism" and her contributions to the cocurricular life of the school. Miss Matts said: "Looking back over the past 6 years, I think how each one of you has made my life so wonderful during my time in York. I have made lifelong friends at St Peter’s and I will miss you all”
Mr Stephen spoke of Mr Shread's extraordinary service to the school over the last 35 years. He said: "Mr Shread has lived his life as a team player, with great sportsmanship and a sense of humour. He has taught chemistry with distinction since 1985 and has run the tennis club for the entire time. He is organised, loyal, incredibly conscientious and competitive. He is fair, a real gentleman, very loving and proud of the achievements of his pupils and his family.”
Mr Shread said: "The last 35 years have flown by and have been very eventful. Teaching my favourite subject has been wonderful, with excellent facilities, fantastic colleagues and highly motivated pupils. In recent months I have acquired new skills and been challenged in new ways. Change is good and I am finally ready for the next stage of my life – retirement. It’s hard to leave St Peter’s and it will always have a special place in my heart.”
Finally, Mrs Tooby-Smith was described as "one of the most unassuming colleagues and a true friend in the common room who we are privileged to know". Angela successfully managed to combine her teaching career with a highly successful sporting career and joined St Peter’s in September 1996. She has continuously pushed her pupils in the Geography department to succeed their own expectations and is a much-loved teacher.
Mrs Tooby-Smith said: “Retirement is the beginning of a new chapter and not the end. I would like to thank the school and my colleagues for educating my two boys and for supporting me through difficult times. I am going to see retirement as an adventure, and I will relax if I can find any time! I will really miss my wonderful colleagues, the sense of belonging to the school community and being an integral part of the pupils’ development."
Mr Walker, Head Master of St Peter's School, said: "My heartfelt thanks goes to all teaching colleagues who are leaving St Peter's this year. They will all be greatly missed and we wish them all well with grateful hearts."