Pupils and staff said farewell and good luck to the man who completely transformed a special school in his 19 years working there.
The Willoughby School in Bourne held a special goodbye assembly for headteacher Adam Booker, who will leave his post at the end of this term.
I have been privileged to work with so many inspirational children, young people, staff and parents during my time here – and what a place the school has become because of them.Headteacher Adam Booker
Staff and pupils also baked a special cake and held various events to say thank you.
Mr Booker became headteacher in 2003, having started working at the school in 1994.
In that time he has overseen the development of the special school, which caters for pupils aged from two to 19 with severe and profound learning difficulties from across the south of Lincolnshire, helping it become an excellent example to others.
Deputy headteacher Clare Stamp called Mr Booker “inspirational”, and added: “He has worked tirelessly for the pupils in the school, ensuring that they get a high quality education along with opportunities to take part in a wide range of enriching experiences.
“He has also built excellent relationships with the parents who are a crucial part of the Willoughby School community.
“The pupils, parents and staff wish him well for the future. He will certainly be missed.”
Mr Booker secured a building project that saw the size of the school double, and oversaw the development of a sensory integration suite and 4D sensory room – the first of their kind in a special school in Lincolnshire.
He set up the school’s Rainbow Group for pre-school children with special needs. He has also formed extensive links with the business community. Mr Booker is moving to York to be nearer to his family. He will become head teacher of Applefields school. He is being replaced by James Husbands who is currently deputy headteacher of Marshfields School in Peterborough.
Mr Booker said: “I have been privileged to work with so many inspirational children, young people, staff and parents during my time here – and what a place the school has become because of them.
“This area has been our home for nearly 20 years, and it is difficult to leave. Our community have been so supportive of our school and all that we have done. Indeed this is the community that we brought our son into – and he will always have a root here – as we will too.”
Readers helped raise £20,000 towards the school’s specialist status application in 2008.