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News > Alumni News > Staff Leavers > Staff Leavers 2016: John Vick (97– 16S)

Staff Leavers 2016: John Vick (97– 16S)

Farewell to John Vick 97 – 16 S

John Vick (97 – 16 S)
John Vick (97 – 16 S)
Farewell to John Vick 97 – 16 S
1997: Tony Blair swept into Downing Street, the first book in the award winning Harry Potter series was published, Scotland voted to create its own Parliament after 290 years of union with England, and John Vick arrived at West Buckland School, taking over as Headmaster from Michael Downward.

The world is quite a different place to that of 19 years ago, and the same can be said for West Buckland School.  Of course the history, heritage, values and community remain, but John has led the school into the 21st century with distinction: raising the academic profile, ensuring pastoral care is at the heart of everything we do, and of course, leaving a physical legacy of some truly exceptional buildings providing incredible facilities to both students and staff.

John has led the school to an increasing level of achievement, whilst West Buckland has also broadened its horizons; sport has continued to be central to our lives, but the growth of drama, music and outdoor education makes the school a much more stimulating place to learn.
The regulatory demands of inspection bodies and the government have grown to make schools much more complicated places to work. Challenges abound for both staff and pupils.  John has navigated West Buckland through this minefield, making the difficult decisions where necessary, but showing compassion, forgiveness and human kindness as he does so.

A few words here cannot do justice to John’s tenure and his level of commitment and that of his wife, Lynne, to West Buckland.  But we would like to say thank you and we wish you the very best as you start a new chapter in your lives.

The retirement of a Headmaster at West Buckland is a momentous occasion.  John Vick is only the 13th full time Head since 1858. 
 
A lot has changed at West Buckland in the intervening years, most notably the buildings.  John has however been at pains to remind the governors that buildings do not of themselves make a school.  They can help, but it is the ethos, determination, commitment and rigor that mark out a great school.  In this regard John has cherished, maintained and developed that which he inherited from his predecessors.
 
At the same time the world around us has changed.  On a UK level, education has become a political football and independent education has had to both retrench and adapt.  John has steered West Buckland through these changes and challenges to emerge a stronger, better resourced school preparing its pupils for life in a demanding but exciting global community.
 
The governors would like to thank John for all he has done for the school.   He has led a talented and dedicated team of academic and support staff and is handing over a school that is well placed to meet the challenges ahead.  We wish John and Lynne a long and fulfilling retirement in their new home in South Devon.
 
John Light
Chair of Governors  


 

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