SUE Tompkin is swapping her headteacher’s office for a drumkit and stage after retiring from New Pasture Lane School.
Wakefield-born Sue has enjoyed 41-years in the teaching profession and took over as deputy headteacher of New Pasture Lane School in 1998, becoming headteacher in 2001 during a troubled time which saw the school placed in special measures.
Sue and her team worked hard to improve the school and in recent years it has topped the league tables in Bridlington.
She is a keen member of Bridlington Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society and said that now she is retired she plans to continue the drumming lessons she had to abandon when she was too busy with work.
She said: “I enjoy the drums, but I found that I couldn’t do it often enough because there always seemed to be paperwork to do for the school.
“Now I’m retired I’ll have more time and will definitely pick it up again - I’m actually going to play the drums in a Spotlight production in October.”
New Pasture Lane staff threw a surprise retirement party for 62-year-old Sue and at a special school assembly on Friday she was presented with flowers and gifts.
During the assembly each year group sang a song for her in recognition of the efforts she put into developing music and performing arts at the school and she said she was touched by the tribute.
“It was very moving,” she said.
“I think I managed to hold it together, but I did feel quite emotional.”
Sue, who lives in Rudston, said that although she has enjoyed her career, she admitted that not having to go to work anymore was a ‘wonderful’ feeling.
She said: “It has been gradual because I became part-time two-years-ago.
“I will miss the singing and the musicals we did with the children, we introduced three productions each year as a way of raising their self-esteem and I will miss that element.
“But it’s something that is going to be carried on at the school, we’ve employed someone to take charge of that area and it’s nice to leave a legacy like that.”
Sue said that she would be keeping in touch with her colleagues whom she described as ‘wonderful and talented’.
She said: “I’m very proud of what we have achieved at the school.
“It wasn’t a very nice time back when it went into special measures, but it made us realise what we had to do and we have wonderful and talented teachers who work very hard - the result of which is that we have had very good results over the last few years and we are particularly proud of the fact that children can come into school at a very low level academically, but by the time they leave us they have made fantastic progress.”
Sue, who swims every day, intends to spend her retirement keeping busy with BAODS shows and playing in the U3A orchestra as well as spending more time with her two sons and three grandsons.
Her co-head, Alison Tadman, is now the full-time headteacher at New Pasture Lane School.
• You can catch Sue on the drums at the BAODS production ‘Nun Sensation’ showing at the Spotlight Theatre on October 17 to 22.