Sulby Headteacher Bows Out After 20 Years

Sulby Primary School said goodbye to their headteacher Martin Jackson this week with a ‘This is Your Life’ style assembly as he retires after 20 years in the job.

In front of an audience that included Ministers Tim Baker and Alf Cannan and Education Chief Exec Graham Kinrade, teachers Alex Allen-Snell and Jade Nuttall showcased a life that included teaching in Portugal, driving a car into his classroom and cycling around Europe.

Deputy Head and Year 6 teacher Penny Doran, who brought the presentation together, said: ‘We just wanted to put something together to recognise the special achievements that Martin has made during his time at Sulby.’

The emotional evening included surprise video messages from the headteacher’s former pupils in Portugal.

Alongside testimony from students who attended the school during Martin’s tenure, the staff also tracked down students from his time at an international school in Portugal who provided moving video messages, many of which included their own children and were a lovely surprise for him.

Martin said: ‘I don’t think it has quite sunk yet that I will be leaving Sulby School at the end of this year. I have loved being a headteacher on the Isle of Man and I can’t think of a better place for children to grow and learn. It was quite emotional hearing video messages from children I taught 25 years ago in Portugal and then listening to some of our more recent leavers sharing their memories.’ 

The headteacher has become known in the school for directing their musicals and plays, often adding unique elements with one student recalling when an ABBA song was added into their performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, ‘because, why not?’

Although Martin is stepping down to have more time for his wife Jo and their two children, he will still be staying with DESC. He said: ‘We talk in school about life and learning being a great adventure and I love hearing about the journeys and achievements of our students. We have a great team of teachers, wonderfully supportive parents and the most enthusiastic and inspirational children any headteacher could wish for. I will miss everything about Sulby School but I do hope to be a regular visitor and to keep in touch with everyone.’

Speaking at the event, Graham Kinrade said: ‘On behalf of everyone here, and the department I represent, thank you for everything, for all of the years, for all that passion, for all that belief and for all that challenge, I look forward to even more in the future.’

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