Tracey Cunningham, 56, has retired today (23 July 2021) from New Bewerley Community School after 28 years working in Beeston, first at Greenwood Primary, then at New Bewerley Community School. She says she has enjoyed every minute of it and met some amazing pupils, families and colleagues.
Tracey had always wanted to be a teacher from being 5 years old and went back to study at the age of 24. She spent her first year in Leeds 16, then got a job at Greenwood. She then worked at New Bewerley with the new headteacher, Patrick Wilkins, then the current headteacher, Gary German.
We asked Tracey about her career in Beeston:
“I have so many great memories – having my own class when I first started teaching in reception, I was so happy; getting a permanent job at Greenwood in year 1; then the joining of two schools (Greenwood and Hillside) to create New Bewerley; arranging school trips – to Filey, the Great Yorkshire Show and going with year 6 to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at West Yorkshire Playhouse.
“I have seen a lot of changes, the biggest being the diversity and different cultures we have now – which is amazing. It makes our school a great place to be, and encourages community harmony and understanding of each other.
“I would say my biggest achievements have been becoming Assistant Headteacher; surviving Ofsted inspections; and watching children develop and reach their academic potential. The challenges – apart from Ofsted – have been ensuring all children have equal opportunities; and this year dealing with Covid, lockdowns and shielding.
“Whilst I’m retiring as a teacher I’m not leaving education just yet. I have a new job in Bradford working in a school but as a support assistant. I can still help children learn but without all the paperwork a teacher must do. But before term starts again I will be catching up with family and friends after the lockdown, and a holiday to Ayr in August.”
We wish Tracey all the best for the future.