There was never going to be the “right time” to write this letter.
By the time you read this, though, the children will have come back in and will be starting to settle down into the routine of being back in school again.
We are so excited to have them back; it is what we have all been waiting for. We will let you know more about the start of the week in the newsletter on Thursday.
Our reason for writing to you today, though, is not to do with the return to school but rather our departure from it. Both Mike and I have chosen to hand in our resignation to the Governors and will be leaving Elmhurst at the end of this academic year.
As we said at the start, there was never going to be a good time to share this with you.
We will be talking to the children about this via a virtual assembly this afternoon. In an ideal world, we would want to talk to the children and tell them face to face but, due to the circumstances, this is not possible. They may have questions when they come home tonight so, hopefully, our letter to you will help you to explain things to them.
A personal message from Tracy:
For my part, I am still incredibly passionate about Elmhurst and will miss everyone; the children, the parents and families, colleagues and Governors.
I started here in September of 1997 as what was Head of Lower school at the time. Jim Swain was the Head; a truly lovely gentleman – the second Head teacher I had worked for at that point. He was the sort of Head I aspired to be – I hope that I will have made him proud.
It’s been an interesting journey over the last twenty-four years. I have worked with many amazing colleagues, who have become friends, and parents and families who have also been part of my Elmhurst family. I will miss you all.
I had always thought that I would leave the education profession at 50 years old. That date has now passed. It isn’t because of Covid and the strange times that we find ourselves in that has made me reach my decision. It isn’t that I don’t love Elmhurst any more, I do. It is just time to leave the only profession I have ever known and try something new. At this point, I have yet to discover what that will be. I do know that it will not be connected to education. I’m not leaving to go to another school – no school could replace Elmhurst in my heart.
My husband and I are in the process of selling our home in Bristol and plan to move to Dorset in the summer, this is something that we had always wanted to do. That’s the bit I’m excited about. New challenges and new experiences which both excite and terrify me all at the same time.
I hope that we will have the opportunity to say farewell in person before the end of the summer term!
A personal message from Mike:
As Tracy has said, Elmhurst is a fantastic place and I will also miss everyone involved with the school; the children, parents, colleagues, governors and families who have all been incredibly supportive during my time here.
I haven’t been here quite as long as Tracy, just over twenty years, and deciding to make this the time to retire has been incredibly difficult. It’s like leaving a family, twenty years is a huge part of one’s life. However, if I was not to go this year I would be retiring next year, so making a clean break and allowing someone else to take the helm makes sense.
Retiring will allow me to spend more time with my family, my wife, daughters and grandchildren which is important as you can never get back lost time. It will also allow me more time to follow my interests, and being male I’ve obviously got a number of these.
Anyway, there will be plenty of time (lockdowns notwithstanding) to catch up with as many of you as possible. Elmhurst will always be Elmhurst, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s the children, supported by all of you, that make it the fantastic place that it is.
The Governors and leadership team have already started the recruitment process. It will not be as easy as in normal circumstances, due to the restrictions associated with the pandemic, but they will all do everything in their power to make sure they find the right person to lead Elmhurst through the next phase of its journey.
Whoever it is will be an incredibly lucky person; Elmhurst is a great school!
Tracy and Mike