Secondary schools wave goodbye to popular teachers

Mike Kirby with former Heysham High colleague, Stuart Lancaster.
Mike Kirby with former Heysham High colleague, Stuart Lancaster.

Two well-respected teachers have announced their retirements.

Morecambe Community High School head John McNaughton has announced he plans to retire next summer.

Mr McNaughton, who turned 60 in November, said: “It’s something that I was thinking about towards the end of the last academic year.

“It was a difficult decision. From the students’ point of view there would never be a right time to go. I’m thoroughly enjoying being a head, and my contact with students, staff and parents, but I don’t want any decline in what I do. I want to go when I’m doing the job to the best of my ability.”

Mr McNaughton took over as head at Morecambe in April 2007 after spending 23 years at Palatine Sports College in Blackpool, now South Shore Academy, nine of them as head.

His first teaching job was in 1978 in Buckinghamshire.

Mr McNaughton is known for his touchline support of the school sports teams and his love of the performing arts which has developed considerably at the school during in his time at Morecambe.

Meanwhile, longstanding Heysham High School PE teacher Mike Kirby retired last week after 38 years of loyal service, having worked at the school since 1976, when he joined after qualifying as a PE teacher from Chester College. He was promoted to head of PE in 1989 and then to head of faculty in 1999.

His thoughtful style of leadership has been instrumental in the development and growth of PE and sport at Heysham High and over the years his love and passion for the subject has been conveyed to the thousands of pupils he has taught.

He has seen seven headteachers, countless staff and three generations of students through the school.

Mr Kirby played more than 100 games for the Vale of Lune RFC before joining Preston Grasshoppers, where he finished his rugby career.

He also played at Heysham cricket club for a number of years.

Mr Kirby, whose wife Noops is head of school at Heysham High, said: “It has been a pleasure to work at such a great school with such wonderful staff and students over all these years.”