THE outgoing head teacher at one of York’s largest secondary schools has paid tribute to staff and students ahead of her departure next year.

Maggi Wright, the head at Joseph Rowntree School in New Earswick, is set to retire after 29 years at the school at the end of the academic year.

As The Press previously reported, Mrs Wright made her decision to stand down in August after five years as head.

Mrs Wright began her teaching career 37 years ago, joining Joseph Rowntree School in 1984 as a head of department. She then became head of house and then fulfilled the role of deputy head for 11 years.

She said: “I have absolutely loved my time at the school – especially as head teacher – and have relished the challenges and opportunities it has given me. However, in May 2013 I will be 59 plus years of age and I still have other business ideas which I would love to pursue. Therefore, it is time for me to move on.

“I wish the school the best of everything and thank the staff, students, local authority, governors and parents for the support they have given me during the 29 years I have had at the school. I will always be loyal to the school and look forward to being supportive to the next head teacher.”

Pete Dwyer, director of adults, children and education, said: “I would like to thank Maggi for her tremendously valued service both at Joseph Rowntree School and across the city. She was brilliant in establishing the new building at Joseph Rowntree and in creating a fabulous environment for young people to learn in.

“She will be missed by myself and her head teacher colleagues across the city.’’ The school’s deputy head, Andrew Janes, is also stepping down at the end of the academic year for personal family reasons, in order to become a full-time teacher again. He will continue to teach at the school.

Dr Janes has worked in the school for 15 years, the last eight of them as either assistant head teacher, or deputy head teacher. Assistant head Dot Hornby will also be retiring in summer 2013. She has been at the school for 27 years and is currently head of Year 11.