Liskeard School says farewell to much-loved head

By Kerenza Moore   |   Head of Content   |
Saturday 6th August 2022 7:00 am
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ALEX Lingard head of Liskeard School and Community College with one of his leaving gifts
ALEX Lingard head of Liskeard School and Community College with one of his leaving gifts (Tindle )

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A HEADTEACHER who has led by example and whose “determination and integrity” has shaped a positive era in Liskeard is moving on to a new post.

Alex Lingard has been at Liskeard School and Community College (LSCC) for 11 years, the last eight of which as headteacher.

He’ll take up the position of head at Helston Community College in September, a job much closer to his home in St Ives.

As a result of his work at Liskeard, says chair of the board of governors Ian Williams, the school is in a “much stronger place”.

“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with Alex,” said Ian. “His personal integrity and determination has been key to the creation of the supportive school culture at Liskeard. The magnificent way that the school responded to COVID was largely due to his leadership. He will be greatly missed.”

Deputy headteacher Chris Knipe described Alex as “an inspiration to work with” and said that every single person in the school wished him the best in the next stage of his career.

“As a school leader he has shown exceptional professionalism and resilience, and has always gone that extra mile for students, staff and the wider community,” said Chris. “Alex exemplifies the school values of courage, resilience and kindness and demonstrates these on a day-to-day basis.

“Whether it be completing an ultra marathon in aid of charity, championing for improvements in local infrastructure, or coordinating the distribution of food parcels in the community, Alex leads by example.

“Over the past 12 years he has impacted the lives of so many.”

Dan Buckley, who is CEO of the SMART Schools Trust of which Liskeard is a part, said that Alex had built exceptionally strong foundations at the school upon which the staff, senior leadership team and students could now build, as the Trust looks to create ever closer links between its three secondary and three primary schools in South East Cornwall.

“Liskeard School under Alex’s leadership has grown in size and reputation, as has the family of schools in the Trust he has been involved in creating,” said Dan. “Alex’s passion for lifelong learning and his outstanding commitment to the community of Liskeard is recognised widely. Helston are indeed lucky that he is looking for a new challenge in a larger school much closer to his home.

“I have enormously enjoyed working with Alex over the past five years.”

In a letter to all parents, Alex wrote: “It has been an honour and privilege to serve as your Headteacher and I leave knowing that the ‘Team Liskeard’ foundations we have built will ensure the school will continue to grow and improve under the new leadership of Mr Wendon.

“I can confidently say that, whilst there are always improvements to be made, the school is as good as ever and has built a strong reputation in the community. 99% of staff say they are proud to work here; students’ views of the school are the highest we’ve ever known; and the number of you who say you would recommend the school to others is in the ‘outstanding’ category. Come September we will be over-subscribed in every year group.

“May I take this opportunity to thank you for your incredible support over the years — it has made the job much easier and the school more successful.”

As staff gathered in the sunshine for a barbecue, it was time to speak fondly and say farewell not only to the headteacher but to several members of staff who are also moving on to pastures new.

Speeches and presentations of gifts were made in recognition of retiring and departing members of staff. Those retiring are head of technology Anne Yoxall, assistant head of year Ruth Cozens; and teaching assistant Heather Cornish.

Meanwhile, assistant headteacher Dawn Penberthy will take up the position of assistant head at Mullion School, head of business and geography teacher Nathan Aird is moving to Callington Community College, maths teacher Nathan James will take up a teaching post in London, and also leaving are data manager Karen James, and English teacher Leah Prendergast, who is relocating upcountry.

A special presentation was made to Ken Gluyas, who has “tried to retire” more than once, but who has agreed to stay on as Business teacher for another term until a permanent replacement is appointed.

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