Farewell to interim head of Harpenden Free School

John Gibson, Headteacher pictured with Kate Watson, Director of learning

John Gibson, Headteacher pictured with Kate Watson, Director of learning - Credit: Archant

The dedication of an interim head teacher in Harpenden has been acknowledged at a farewell party held recently for him.

Harpenden Free School pupils have said their goodbyes to John Gibson, who joined the then fledgling school in November 2012 as part of its set-up process.

Construction of the new school for 420 pupils is currently underway on the corner of Vaughan and Victoria Roads, and it opens in September next year.

Until then pupils are studying at temporary premises at St Luke’s School in Redbourn.

Since opening two years ago the free school’s roll has risen dramatically from an intake of just 20 children to 175 currently.

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Incoming principal Marissa Davis, who has over 20 years’ experience as a teacher and head teacher, comes fresh from her role as deputy education director at the Girls’ Day School Trust, a network of independent girls’ schools in the UK.

Marissa said she “relished” the opportunity to be part of the free school’s history, and lead it into its next chapter.

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Thanking John she added: “I have very big boots to fill. From the first moment I walked through the door, I knew this was an incredibly special place to be.”

John said that while he was very sad to leave, he had “thoroughly enjoyed taking the school to where it is now.”

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