STUDENTS celebrated the successes of the past to inspire them for the future at an awards ceremony to remember, the last for their headmaster whose impact was hailed ‘immense’.
Staff, students, parents and civic dignitaries heard a catalogue of successes stretching back decades as Ripon Grammar School staged its annual Speech Day.
For headmaster Martin Pearman the awards ceremony was a bitter-sweet occasion as it was his last before retiring next summer after 13 years in the post.
Ripon Grammar School chairman of governors Peter Mason told guests, including the celebrated journalist Bridget Kendall: “Outstanding schools don’t just happen; they require committed leadership and Mr Pearman’s impact has been immense.”
The ceremony heard how the school had seen one of its best ever years with academic and sporting achievements cementing Ripon Grammar School as one of the best in the North and top in Yorkshire.
Mr Pearman said he would miss being part of the school community but the time was right to retire and the school was in excellent shape.
He added: “It has been so rewarding for me to have a career creating opportunities for young people to fulfil their potential.”
Mr Pearman listed the many successes he had witnessed, including one student achieving seven grade As in their A Levels before going on to become the top student at Cambridge University through his work as chairman of the Chemistry Olympiad Committee.
He also highlighted the many students playing sport at the highest level and spoke with pride about former pupil and the country’s top diver Jack Laugher, who won gold and silver at the Rio Olympics.
Ms Kendall, well known as the BBC’s former diplomatic correspondent, presented a host of prizes for academic achievement, sporting prowess and service to the community and school to students who completed their GCSEs in the summer and to those who have since left following A Levels.