With the end of the summer term approaching, Ribston Hall High School will say farewell to two of its longest standing members of staff as they head into retirement. Having accumulated 49 years of teaching at the school between them, Mrs Carolyn Ford and Mrs Denise Stoner are set to enjoy retirement after completing one of the most difficult years in their teaching careers, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
Joining in 1990, the same year as the first boy joined Ribston Hall’s sixth form, Mrs Ford has seen a few changes in her 31 years at the school. As a music teacher, she’s nurtured some exceptionally talented students from fledgling musicians to achieving recognition on the international music stage. Masterminding many concerts and music tours across the globe, she provided abundant opportunities for students to participate in extra-curricular music activities. As Ribston’s Inclusion Co-ordinator, she created a support structure to enable all students’ potential to be maximised, regardless of any additional needs, resulting in a legacy of ongoing improved educational outcomes.
Mrs Ford says “Ribston has been a massive part of my life for many years and I am proud to be able to celebrate its centenary. I am going to miss our wonderful students and my amazing colleagues, but I am excited about what the future holds. I have so many special memories from my time here and Ribston will always have a special place in my heart.”
Having spent the last 18 years of her teaching career at Ribston Hall, Mrs Stoner has also seen thousands of students flourish at the school, with her Food and Nutrition lessons inspiring countless students to go on to pursue careers as dieticians, food technologists and teachers, with many more fostering a love of food preparation thanks to her clear passion and encouragement.
Mrs Stoner has bittersweet feelings about her retirement, “I feel proud to have taught at Ribston for the past 18 years and was so happy that my daughter was able to attend such a lovely school. I am also very proud that so many of our students have gone on to study Food and Nutrition. I will miss the students and the wonderful 'Ribston Spirit', but also so many of the Staff who have become great friends. I must make new plans now and am hoping to be able to travel abroad to visit friends and family who are scattered around the world. “
Headteacher, Mrs Sarah Colombini, shares the feeling across the school of saying farewell. “These two teachers will leave an incredible legacy at Ribston Hall, nourishing talent and inspiring students to discover their potential, while leaving them with some of their fondest memories of their grammar school years. They have chosen a landmark moment to retire in our centenary year, having played instrumental parts in making our school the thriving environment it is today. On behalf of the staff and students at Ribston Hall, I’d like to thank them both for their unfaltering hard work and dedication. We will miss them both very much and wish them a long, healthy and happy retirement.”