Lancaster & Morecambe College principal David Wood bid farewell to friends and colleagues on Friday after 14 years’ service.
During his time at the college, Mr Wood has overseen the financial recovery from 2003 through to the £14million redevelopment of the campus and has successfully led the college through the more recent area-based review, ensuring that the college remains a standalone institution able to meet the skills needs of its local and wider community.
His final two years also saw the construction and opening of the Bay Gateway adjacent to the College campus.
Mr Wood also successfully chaired The Lancashire Colleges group for nearly 11 years and represented the north west on the Association of Colleges national board.
Prior to taking over as Principal in August 2003, Mr Wood led the marketing and business development at Milton Keynes, Swindon and West Oxfordshire Colleges.
Mr Wood entered teaching in 1974 as a remedial teacher at Ludlow School, Shropshire, and spent the first 11 years of his career in the comprehensive system.
Speaking about his retirement, Mr Wood said: “It has been an absolute privilege to work with such talented, genuine and hardworking staff, who have helped transform the college into this special place where everyone is important.”
Wes Johnson, previously campus principal at Newton Rigg College in Penrith, took over the principalship from Monday.
Mr Wood added: “I am delighted with Wes’ appointment, he has a wealth of experience in the further education sector and I feel he understands the college’s culture and values. I would like to wish everyone at the college a hugely successful future under Wes’ leadership.”
Speaking about his appointment, Mr Johnson said: “I am thrilled to be taking up the role of principal; it will be a privilege to help shape the future of what has been my ‘local college’ for the last 12 years.
“I have had the pleasure of meeting David Wood on numerous occasions during this time and it really is an honour to be able to build upon his superb legacy.”