A POPULAR headteacher, who has been in his current post for 22 years, will be retiring later this year.
Richard Rice opened Sebert Wood Primary School, on Moreton Hall, in 1990, welcoming its very first pupils.
“I have had a wonderful time looking after the staff and the children and finding the right way forward for everybody,” said the 60-year-old, who has taught two generations of some families.
“Seeing the children really inspired and loving learning, seeing that going on every day is just a wonderful job,” he added.
When he retires after the autumn term, he will be closing the chapter on a career as a headteacher which has spanned almost three decades, having worked at Stoke Ash and Redgrave and Botesdale primary schools before Sebert Wood.
He plans to spend more time with his family and on his hobbies, which include playing the guitar and mandolin, but will continue to work part-time in education as an associate adviser for Suffolk Education.
Amanda Bradburn, the school’s deputy headteacher, said: ““He’s shaped it to be the school it is today. We’re very sorry to see him go – it’s the right time for him but we will all miss him.”
Having worked alongside Mr Rice for 13 years, she says he will be remembered for his creativity and relaxed approach with the pupils, with whom he has been known to enjoy snowball fights.
“He’s got the most amazing relationship with the children – they will be heartbroken to see him go,” said Miss Bradburn, adding, “they will be very big shoes to fill.”
The headteacher post is currently being advertised and it is hoped an appointment will made in early July, to start in January.