It is ‘Roger, over and out’ for Caistor headmaster

Caistor headmaster Roger Hale is retiring at the end if this terrm EMN-160412-072131001
Caistor headmaster Roger Hale is retiring at the end if this terrm EMN-160412-072131001

After 21 years as headmaster at Caistor Grammar School, Roger Hale is hanging up his hat and heading for a new challenge - retirement.

Mr Hale joined the school as deputy head in 1992 and became head on January 1, 1996.

The role has taken him to Australia, Senegal, Buckingham Palace and Number 10, but there is no place he would rather be than back in Caistor with the school he loves.

The headmaster’s study is full of pictorial memories, documenting achievements and recording significant events in the life of the school, which Mr Hale said has been a privilege to serve.

“I feel very fortunate to have been part of this small community,” said Mr Hale, who leaves the school at the end of term.

“But it’s not sunny all the time, we have our fair share of rainy days.

“I have seen each student through sad moments, disappointing moments, as well as the happy moments.

“One of the great privileges of the job is that you play many parts - teacher, priest, policeman, counsellor - it has been hugely rewarding.

Academically,Caistor Grammar has been leading school tables for the past 13 years, but Mr Hale is keen to show the school has a lot more to offer.

He said: “Some people think we are an exam factory and only care about league tables - such a load of tosh.

“I am hugely passionate about growing the person .

“If it is a good day, we will cancel lessons and go for a run.

“Drama, music and sport are tremendously important to us - lessons are incidental things which happen between the fun.

“My favourite event in the school calendar is the annual play and this year I had the honour of choosing the production - it had to be West Side Story.”

However, when pushed to reveal his proudest moment of over the past 21 years, Mr Hale took a lot longer to decide.

“It is difficult to chose one single event, but I think it would have to be the opening of our Olympic Torch building,” he said.

“No fewer than five of our then students carried the torch for London 2012 and Jordan Duckitt lit the cauldron at the opening ceremony - a great achievement.

“They all brought their torches to the opening, where Baroness Sue Campbell also attended.”

And it is this pride in his students Mr Hale says he will miss the most.

“You develop friendships and affections with colleagues; I have some wonderful colleagues who I love dearly, some I have worked with for 20 years,” he said.

“But I will really miss lots of individual students, I will miss the way the students are so up for it.

“I wanted to be a teacher to work with young people and I have found it extremely rewarding, fulfilling and funny.”

So, as the term comes to a close, Mr Hale admits his final days will be very emotional.

“It will be an emotional time,” he said.

“Almost my last job will be to read the final lesson at the Carol Service - that will be difficult, as it is an emotional piece anyway.

“But I flatter myself I won’t be the only one crying - it is very good for the soul.”