Principal closes book on Midhirst School

By HANNAH WALKER

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He might be closing the book on his time at Midhirst School, but retiring principal Stuart Beissel says it isn't the end of the story, but simply "time for a new chapter of my life".

It has been a tough decision to leave, says Stuart, after being with the school for 27 years.

Stuart says he has always had two big passions in life - teaching and refereeing rugby.

"My job at Midhirst School has provided the perfect balance that I could follow both my passions."

Stuart has been a primary school teacher for a total of 42 years.

"To me education is so important. I think everyone should have it by right."

His teaching career began in the Hawkes Bay and Stuart taught at a number of schools before finding his home at Midhirst School. Stuart says it was hard to give up time in the classroom to take on the role as principal only a few years into his time at Midhirst, but says he has continued working with children throughout his time as principal, through reading recovery programmes at both Midhirst and Pembroke Schools.

Stuart says Midhirst School has a long history of high values and standards for both the teaching staff and the students.

"I am confident that with my departure these standards will continue. The staff and children here at Midhirst School are all fantastic and I know the school will continue to grow pupils who excel." Stuart says his time at the school has been successful due to the support he has received from school secretaries, PTA, staff and the Board of Trustees.

"I couldn't have done it all without the support of everyone. We all shared the same vision for the school so it was great to be able to work together to achieve this."

The school community has always supported his other big passion, rugby refereeing.

"The Board of Trustees in particular have always supported my refereeing career, which has seen me working with three different national squad referees."

While the refereeing has taken Stuart and his wife Caroline travelling all over the world, he says with his retirement from the school they hope to travel even more.

He and his wife will eventually be leaving the region to move closer to family.

"This will be tough as Stratford has been our home for so long and we love it here".

Stuart's final day at Midhirst School will include a farewell lunch following the final school assembly for the year.

- Stratford Press

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