A retiring headteacher has bid an emotional farewell to a school where he has worked for almost 25 years.
Retirement parties have been held for Colin Phelps who has served as the headteacher of St Mary’s Academy in Stotfold since 1989.
Mr Phelps, 61, said the education system has changed enormously since he first took up the post but he has embraced the changes.
He will miss the close relationship he has had with staff, the students and the community as a whole.
He said: “Some of the students I taught when they were children have now grown up and have children of their own who study at the school.
“It is always nice when the parents come in and you slowly recognise them from all those years ago!
“When I first started the National Curriculum had just been introduced so it was an interesting time.”
The recruitment and development of staff has also given Mr Phelps satisfaction.
He added: “Most of the teachers are staff that I have appointed and it has been greatly rewarding to see them succeed and move forward in their roles. The school has also always been closely involved with the community, for example with the Stotfold Festival which we always play a major role in.”
Although he is looking forward to his retirement he will not be leaving teaching completely.
He added: “I will still have a hand in education as I am involved with the teaching schools programme through Robert Bloomfield Academy.
Mr Phelps will be replaced by current assistant head Sam Bishop, who will become headteacher on January 1.