Mrs Riley says a fond farewell after 26 years at school

Mrs Riley with pupils. 'Picture ref: AB258a0716
Mrs Riley with pupils. 'Picture ref: AB258a0716

After 26 years of service at Sharlston Community School, headteacher Karen Riley will say goodbye to staff and pupils next week.

She is to receive a special assembly on Monday before taking early retirement at the end of term.

And celebrations have already been held in her honour this week, when staff and ex-colleagues met at the Hammer Lane school for drinks and speeches.

Mrs Riley, 54, said: “I love this school. It’s a real community school. I’ve been here so long that the children who are here now have parents who I taught.

“I have mixed feelings. I’ve been at this school 26 years so obviously I feel it’s a big part of my life.

“But I’m looking forward to some relaxation and time to do things I want to do.”

Mrs Riley will spend her retirement enjoying long weekends walking, gardening, cooking and going on holiday – she jets off to Madeira with her husband Phil later this year.

After starting her career at Walton Infants School 32 years ago, she later made the move to Sharslton, teaching pupils of all ages in various subjects.

Mrs Riley became headteacher in 2009 after a stint as deputy.

She said that she is proud of “building the really strong staff team, building good relationships with the families that we work with, improving the school and leading the school to a good Ofsted judgement.”

As of July 1, Sharlston Community School became part of the Waterton Academy Trust.

Mrs Riley said: “I feel I am leaving the school in a really strong position to go from strength to strength.

“I would love to thank all the staff, governors and all the amazing children.

“It’s been a privilege to work with the fantastic children.”