Calne teacher says goodbye after 37 years
Teacher Andy Maiden has retired after 37 years at The John Bentley School, Calne, a post in which he has seen two generations of pupils pass through his classroom.
Mr Maiden has built his life around the school, meeting his wife Alice there and choosing the school to educate their children Emily and Will.
He arrived in 1977 from Burnley, Lancashire, after studying at college in Cheltenham and initially planned to stay for only a few years as an assistant history teacher.
At the time The John Bentley School was very different, with two different north and south wings.
Mr Maiden has lived through much of the school’s recent history.
He said: “I came down from the north of England never having heard of Calne and not knowing the area I arrived half an hour late so I didn’t expect to get the job at all.
“When I first came here the Harris factory was slap bang in the middle of the town so there was a different feel to it.
“In my time the school has changed a great deal.”
Mr Maiden met his wife, Alice, who is still a teaching assistant at the school, and after bonding over a shared love of cycling they married in 1983.
In the 1980s he ran a cycling club at the school, taking students on cycling trips in the local area, as well further afield to the New Forest and Normandy.
He has already started tracing his family history and in his retirement he plans to continue this by locating ancestors as far back as the 18th century.
Mr Maiden said: “I’m feeling a mixture of feelings because it’s a long time to be in one place so it will be very different.
“I will be quite sad on the day but I’m looking forward to trying something different.
“It’s been a pleasure to work at the place. It is such an amazing community at The John Bentley School and it’s been a privilege to work with such a good bunch of people.
“I’m fascinated by history. It’s been my passion throughout my life and it’s just great to pass that on to youngsters. I would just like to say thank you for my time. It’s been good and I will miss it.”
Laurence Rogers, curriculum leader for humanities, said: “Andy’s career reminds us of a Calne which no longer exists, fitting for a teacher of history, but also of a commitment to the future, through his work with thousands of young people.
“He will be much missed by current students, their parents and his colleagues. He takes with him the best wishes of everyone.”
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