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School's out for teacher

PUBLISHED: 18:25 18 January 2008 | UPDATED: 19:27 05 July 2010

MOVING ON: John Deegan with Kirkley High's headteacher John Clinton.

MOVING ON: John Deegan with Kirkley High's headteacher John Clinton.

A FAMILIAR face in the corridors and classrooms at Kirkley High School has headed for the exit for the last time.

There was a void in the staffroom when staff and pupils returned to the school in Kirkley Run this month - for after 25 years teaching at Kirkley, John Deegan has marked his final essays.

A FAMILIAR face in the corridors and classrooms at Kirkley High School has headed for the exit for the last time.

There was a void in the staffroom when staff and pupils returned to the school in Kirkley Run this month - for after 25 years teaching at Kirkley, John Deegan has marked his final essays.

Having taught hundreds of children in a distinguished career spanning a quarter of a century, Mr Deegan is now preparing to travel across Europe.

And reflecting on his time teaching, he told The Journal: “It really has been a great all-round experience.”

Having joined as a history teacher in September 1982, at the same time as the school's previous headteacher Jack Walmsley, Mr Deegan went on to help establish work experience within the school before becoming the head of the business studies department.

With a degree in history, and having had several years working in a bank as well as a range of other jobs, these experiences gave him a great background to teach across a number of areas.

Mr Deegan felt his best achievement during his time at the school was a bit unusual.

“Apart from saving a penalty from John Pawsey (former head of mathematics) in a charity football match, there really has been so many highlights - the whole experience has been very positive,” he said.

“When I walk up and down London Road North and go into town, it's great bumping into all these people that I've taught and who remember me - that is very humbling.”

Revealing it was “a great wrench” to leave the classroom and all his fantastic colleagues and pupils behind, Mr Deegan added: “I don't see it as retirement - it's the next phase of my life. I'm going to travel and it will be just as busy without the pupils.”

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