HE’S become an icon of the school after almost 40 years of teaching there, but now Pete Jackson is moving on to pastures new.
The 63-year-old joined the City of Portsmouth Boys School in 1975 and over the years has taught English as well as geography, IT and religious studies.
He went on to become assistant headteacher, but yesterday was his last day in the teaching profession.
He said: ‘This job is a younger person’s job and I want to give other people a chance as well as take up whatever time I’ve got left with my family.
‘It’s been fantastic. It’s been demanding, hard work, satisfying, fantastic staff.
‘It’s been absolutely great, I’ve loved every moment of it.’
And Mr Jackson said it’s the pupils who kept him at the school for so long.
‘They are unique to our school,’ he said.
‘I got on well with them and as time went on I started to teach their dads.
‘I ended up staying there.
‘I’m quite proud that I have stayed so long. 40 years is a long time.
‘There are very few teachers that last that long.’
Headteacher Mike Smith said: ‘Mr Jackson comes from a generation of teachers where the care of the student and helping students develop into young people was the most important thing and sadly some of those times are behind us.
‘So much of the focus is on qualifications.
‘The care, guidance and support Mr Jackson has provided to a whole range of boys over the years to help them overcome barriers and to help them make a success of themselves and go on to have a life.
‘His ability to relate to boys and their parents is something that will be very difficult to replace but over the last few years he has trained others and given them the skills that he has and that will be the legacy that he leaves behind.’
Pupil Dan Knott, 15, in Year 10, said: ‘He’s really dedicated to the school and always wanted to improve it and make sure it’s a better place. It will be a big loss to the school.’
Rijurhan Noor, 15, also Year 10, added: ‘The contribution to the school has been huge.
‘He gets along with all the pupils so it makes it even more enjoyable to come to school.’
Qareeb Kayum, 15, in Year 10, said: ‘Mr Jackson is really approachable and really nice.
‘He’s made an amazing contribution to the school.’
Staff celebrated his retirement by buying him gifts and cards.