Henlow CE Academy bade a fond farewell to its Headteacher of 17 years, Mr Ray Payne at a celebratory assembly last week.
With over 35 years of experience, Mr Payne will be sorely missed.
He said: “It means such an awful lot to me, for people to have taken the time to write such lovely words.
“I have been touched and reduced to tears at times by the power of their messages.
All I have ever wanted to do is to make a difference to people’s lives”
He wrote and directed three pantomimes for pupils and became heavily involved in the sporting life of the school – having been a promising footballer until the age of 21, when a broken leg stopped his career.
In 1983, Mr Payne moved to Streetfield Middle School in Dunstable as Head of Humanities.
Four years later, he was appointed as Deputy Head at Streetfield, a position he held until 1997, when he became the fourth Headteacher of Henlow VC Middle School, which became Henlow CE Academy in 2012.
Mr Payne’s time at Henlow has been busy, eventful and very successful.
He intends to spend his retirement playing sport, walking and gardening.