School’s out for two headteachers

Lesley Gee, who has retired as head of both Arkholme and Yealand Primary Schools this week.
Lesley Gee, who has retired as head of both Arkholme and Yealand Primary Schools this week.
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TWO popular local headteachers were given a send off by their schools as they retired this week.

Carole O’Hare stood down after eleven-and-a-half years as head at Caton St Paul’s Primary School, while Lesley Gee has retired from her role of head at both Yealand and Arkholme Primary Schools.

Mrs O’Hare had previously worked in Warrington and then Dallas Road and Christ Church Primary Schools in Lancaster.

“I shall miss it greatly,” she said: “It has been absolutely fantastic. It’s an amazing school and it’s never felt like a job, more like a way of life.

“The staff are an amazing team and the school has gone from strength to strength.

“We have had a highly successful Ofsted so it’s nice to leave on a high note.

“The children are a delight and numbers are growing, which is another positive.”

Mrs O’Hare, 59, will be replaced by Karen Price, who was head at Kirkland and Catterall Primary School.

She is now looking forward to spending more time with her family - husband Michael, children, Chris and Megan and 11-month-old grandson Zachary.

Lesley Gee took over as joint head at Yealand and Arkholme seven years ago; at the time the joint venture was the first of its kind in Lancashire.

She had worked at Arkholme since 1990, and as head since 1992.

“I have had a wonderful time,” the 58-year-old said. “I will miss the children dreadfully and all the different things we do.

“They are very busy schools and there is always something going on.

“Children are so unpredictable and that’s why I love teaching so much.

“Both schools have had outstanding Ofsted inspections recently. We have been very keen to give the children as wide an experience as they can possibly get and also keep ther standards high and keep that enjoyment element.”

Originally from Leeds, Mrs Gee trained as a teacher in Derbyshire and then moved to the Lancaster district to take up her first teaching job at Carnforth North Road School in 1975.

She had spells in adult education and with children with special needs before taking up a position at Arkholme as a class teacher, progressing to acting head and then taking the headship full-time. Mrs Gee, whose husband Paul is a retired maths lecturer, will be replaced by Joy Ingram, who is currently head at Lowther Endowed Primary School in Penrith.

She said: “I am also looking forward to spending more time with my two young grandchildren - Ben, who is 12 months, and Eliza, who is 18 months.”