THE headteacher of a Gosport school, and a key part of the Rowner community, has stepped down after 12 years at the helm.
Rose Smith has been headteacher at Siskin Infant and Nursery school.
But now, as the school is federated with the juniors, she has decided that it’s a good time to move on and to retire.
The 55-year-old, said: ‘It just all seems weird, now that it’s really happening.
‘It’s the right decision and it’s the right time, but my heart will always be here.
‘It’s always been my intention to retire at 55 but it had to feel that it was the right time.
‘We have worked in partnership.
‘We have been able to do lots of good things linking the schools together.
‘I feel it’s in a strong position.’
A £2.5m building project is taking place between the Infant and the Junior schools to improve the learning environment.
‘It’s bringing the schools into the 21st century,’ Rose added.
‘I feel that 12 years is a long time. It’s time for me right now to step aside. I’m so confident of the leadership to follow.
‘The staff and the parents are just amazing.
‘There are tremendous staff here. There’s a wonderful team spirit.
‘It’s quite a challenging area at times but we all support each other.
As well as leading the school, Rose has also been an integral part of the popular Rowner Carnival which the school takes part in every year.
This year there was an extra special effort as children had the chance to say goodbye to Rose.
She was presented with a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of wine.
‘I was really touched on the day of the Rowner carnival,’ she said.
‘The carnival is about making the children proud to be in Rowner and proud of their school.
‘It’s showing the children there’s a whole world out there.
‘It’s just getting them to believe in themselves.’
And Rose said that leaving the school has been a sad time.
‘It’s an emotional thing. I have never led a retirement assembly,’ she added.
‘I was dreading it because I thought I was going to be a blubbery wreck.
‘I’m sure I will shed a tear but I live in Gosport and I’m not going to be far away.’
Rose is looking forward to really enjoying her retirement.
‘I will be spending more time with my husband,’ she said. ‘I’m going to do all the things that I never got the chance to do.
‘Like getting the gardening up together and going out walking and bird watching, and just having time to do what I want to do when I want to do it.
Sian Thornton, headteacher at Siskin Junior School, will become the executive head of both schools when the new term begins in September.