Two primary school Head Teachers with 50 years' local experience between them will be retiring at the end of the school year.
Cate Mason from St Martin's School and Castel Primary’s Linda Paley will be stepping back from their roles after many years at the forefront Guernsey's primary education system.
Mrs Mason was appointed Head Teacher at St Martin's Primary in 2004, but has been employed by Education since 1988, when she started teaching at Forest School.
Ms Paley started her Guernsey education career in 2001 as the Deputy Head Teacher at St Andrew's Primary – she became the Head Teacher there in 2009, and is now the Head of Castel.
Mrs Mason said that after 28 years at St Martin’s, she would leave the school with many happy memories.
"It has been an incredible privilege to work with such fantastic staff and with so many children over the years," she said.
Pictured: Mrs Mason has headed up St Martin's Primary for the last 17 years.
"There have been a great many highlights during my time at the school including introducing Kagan Co-operative learning, iPads in the classroom and UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools. I am so proud of the high standards our children achieve and our school’s inclusive ethos."
Ms Paley paid credit to the "amazing and dedicated staff teams" she has worked with, first at St Andrew's and then at Castel.
"Both schools, though very different, have had a strong sense of community and I have been so proud of the way the whole school communities have come together; St Andrews throughout the challenges of closures and Castel through the recent challenges of lockdown.
Pictured: ESC President Andrea Dudley-Owen, President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, praised the two headteachers for their "enormous contributions" to education in Guernsey. "The quality of their leadership at both of their schools is reflected in their popularity with their school communities and their staff."
Ms Paley continued: "For me personally the best part of the job has been the opportunity to help shape the lives of so many children over the years and to see them grow and develop into confident individuals who contribute to our community.
"It will certainly be the children I miss the most when I retire, though I will enjoy the summer term and enjoy that the school is in the best place possible for the new incumbent.”
When Mrs Mason retires, she plans to send more time with her extended family, enjoy some "adventurous" travel when the pandemic allows and undertake training to become a counsellor.
"I will very much miss the daily buzz of school, the children, parents and the staff - it going to be hard to say goodbye to this wonderful school family. I would like to thank the school community for their amazing support – I am sure St Martin’s Primary will continue to be a happy and successful place for our children.”
Pictured top: Linda Paley and Cate Mason.
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