MORE than 200 terms and 67 years’ service came to an emotional end as a husband and wife team attended their final speech day before heading into retirement.
Deputy headmaster of Barnard Castle Preparatory School Nick Seddon and his wife Sue, a science and sports teacher, were presented with a craftsman-built love seat, a symbol of the esteem in which they are held by generations of pupils, staff and parents.
The Seddons, who chalked up 34 and 33 years at Barney Prep School respectively, plan to remain in Barnard Castle, an area they fell in love with decades ago.
Headmistress Laura Turner told a packed prize presentation ceremony: “They have both been outstanding teachers, working tirelessly to promote excellence in Prep School and helping young minds to dream big.
“Mr Seddon has been heard to say on many occasions ‘once a preppie, always a preppie’ and they most certainly always will be.”
Mrs Seddon said: “It has been an absolute privilege to work here. It is such a special place with wonderful children and fantastic colleagues.”
Pupils from reception to Year 6 were presented with a host of prizes for endeavour, progress, and achievement in academic, sporting and school life.
Guests were entertained by the Pre-Prep, Junior and Harmony Choirs and Prep Orchestra under the direction of Director of Music Dr Robin Harrison.
Mrs Turner had high praise for her staff and pupils, governors, including the retiring chairman Alan Fielder, The Friends of Barney Prep School, Fiona and Michael Killeen, who are stepping down as Prep boarding house parents after 10 years and teacher Lizzie Hairsine, who is leaving the school.
She said: “The most important thing is for the children to be happy. When children are happy they feel self-confident, try their best and reach their full potential. They learn fast when they have a can do attitude, which is a springboard to curiosity. We encourage all of our pupils to believe in themselves and never be afraid to try something new. This really is a special place.”
Mr Fielder told guests: “Success can be both great and small but every child really does matter. They are embraced in a supportive environment where staff strive constantly for excellence.”
Headmaster of Barnard Castle School Alan Stevens told Year 6 pupils, who have all secured places at senior school: “If you take with you the passion for learning you have developed at Prep School you cannot fail to thrive.”