THE start of the school summer holidays saw Joseph Rowntree School bid a fond farewell to a number of its long serving teachers.

Barbara Reagan, Gillian Bond, Phil Armstrong, Alison Taylor and Chris Wyman are all moving on.

Barbara has taught French at the school in New Earswick for 36 years, ever since qualifying to teach and also held the position of special educational needs coordinator. She has also served as secretary for the City of York Division of the National Union of Teachers’ for the last nine years.

Speaking about her time at the school she said said that she has loved every moment of her time working there, and that she was "relieved to be retiring shortly before one of the students were able to tell her that she had taught their grandmother!"

Gillian Bond, née Marshall, has also called time on her JRS career after 29 years, as head of food and textiles, she has overseen many developments including the introduction of these subjects to boys, he has also been responsible for work experience at the school, and was appointed as assistant head teacher for the 14-19 curriculum.

An inspirational leader, Gill said that teaching had been "more than a job" to her, and that she had been "privileged to have a role in helping so many young people prepare for their futures". She is looking forward to moving onto a new chapter within education, through partnership work and consultancy.

Philip Armstrong has been Head of Business Studies and Economics at JRS since 1986. He had formerly taught at Garforth Comprehensive, Huntington School and the University of Bordeaux, as well as completing a year’s teaching in an exchange to Cedar Falls School, USA, in 1993.

He recalled with fondness the many transitions and cyclic patterns in education over time in his leaving speech. He said: "Nowadays, teachers get excited about how they can use new technologies like Smartboards and the Internet to develop their teaching.

"To me, my brush with new technology will always be the day I was given a box of coloured chalk."

Alison and Chris have also ended significant periods of time at the school. Alison has taught English at JRS since 1999, inspiring many students to develop a love of reading and writing for pleasure along the way. She said she had loved every minute of her work at the school and was now looking forward to a new challenge in a different area of education.

Chris Wyman has headed the school’s support centre since 2003, having had a long and varied career at many schools previously. He thanked the staff and students for making his time at the school so rewarding.