KING’S Ely waved goodbye to several long-serving members of staff at the end of term, who clocked up over 100 years of loyal service to the school between them.

Jo Lyall, a Year 1 Teacher at King’s Ely Acremont, has left King’s to spend more time with her family, having been a part of the King’s family for 17 years. Mrs Lyall started at the school in 2003, and as well as teaching in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, she was the Deputy Head at Acremont for two years and Acting Head for a term. Mrs Lyall said: “I am leaving to allow myself more time with my 90-year-old father and my new grandson, who is due in November. I will miss so many things about King’s – the wonderful Cathedral services, the buzz of excitement at the start of the school year, my colleagues’ wisdom and expertise, and – most of all – the children’s energy for learning and their delight at making new discoveries. I feel very privileged to have seen the children in my first years at King’s progress through the school and advance into the world.”

Nicola Sivier, Head of Years 5 and 6 at King’s Ely Junior, has left as she and her husband, Will, are relocating to Oxfordshire to be closer to their growing family. Mrs Sivier started working at King’s in 1989 as a Visiting Piano Teacher. In January 2001, she took on a full-time position in the Junior Music Department, teaching Key Stage 2 pupils and assisting Mr Porter-Thaw. After a couple of years as a Form Tutor in Year 6, she became Head of Years 5 and 6 in 2006, whilst continuing in the Music Department. Mrs Sivier said: “My husband and I are relocating to Oxfordshire to be closer to our growing family, including our two children, both of whom came to King’s, and our granddaughter, who was born just as lockdown started. I will miss the King’s family. The staff and children make the place so vibrant and happy!”

Richard Emms has retired having been a part of the King’s family for 24 years. Mr Emms joined the school in September 1996 as Head of French. He was also Head of our outdoor education programme, Ely Scheme, for several years. In 2004, Mr Emms was invited to become Housemaster of Wilkinson House, where he enjoyed 13 “splendid” years. Mr Emms’ three daughters were educated at King’s from the age of 3 through to 18 and his youngest daughter was one of the founding members of Ely Cathedral Girls’ Choir. Since 2017, Mr Emms has continued to work part-time at King’s as a French and German Teacher in both the Junior and Senior sections.

Pam Wynne-Jones has also retired having been at King’s for the same amount of time as Mr Emms – 24 years. Mrs Wynne-Jones joined the school in September 1996 as a Year 4 Teacher, which was when Year 4 moved to Junior School from Acremont. Mrs Wynne-Jones has been Head of Years 3 and 4 at King’s Ely Junior for 17 years. Speaking about her retirement, she said: “I am retiring and relocating to North Yorkshire to be nearer to my family. I shall miss the children so much, as well as the many friends I have made during my 24 years at King’s.” Although she has retired, many of you will probably see Mrs Wynne-Jones around school for the early part of next term as she will be covering for Mrs Lonnen at King’s Ely Junior.

Claire Kyndt, Director of Learning Development at King’s Ely Senior, has decided to take an “adult gap year” having been with us since 2009. During her 11 years at King’s, Miss Kyndt has been Key Stage 3 Coordinator for Geography, Head of Geography and Tutor in Queen Philippa and Torfrida Houses. She said: “I’m taking an adult gap year. I’m going to be doing some volunteering work with the Samaritans and The Kite Trust, some biking, some travel to Iceland and Scandinavia (Covid allowing!) and taking some time to be curious.” When asked what she will miss most about King’s, Miss Kyndt said: “That no day was ever the same. The greeting the kids at the door and those first few minutes of a lesson. The student positivity and the amazing energy of all the staff.”

Alison Stewart, Year 12 Academic Coordinator and Teacher of Biology at King’s Ely Senior, has left King’s for pastures new. Miss Stewart joined us in 2013 as a Biology Teacher and Tutor in Etheldreda House. She became Year 12 Academic Coordinator in her third year and has been running (literally!) the King’s Ely Running Club for the last two years. Miss Stewart said: “I’m going to miss the many opportunities, the amazing students from all over the world, the wonderful dedicated staff, the beautiful old buildings (especially the big church!) and of course Running Club.”

Charlotte Fletcher, Head of Girls’ Games at King’s Ely Junior, has also left us for pastures new. Miss Fletcher joined King’s in 2016 and during those four years, she has been a PE and Games Teacher, Head of Athletics and Head of Girls’ Games. She said: “I am going to miss the wonderful staff and pupils who make King’s so special.”

Husband and wife, Jim and Lindsey Thompson, Director of Sport and Housemistress of Wendreda House, respectively, left King’s just before Covid-19 lockdown got underway to move back up north to their home country, Scotland. We are pleased to report that they and their two daughters, Janie and Orla, are settling in well. They said: “We are certainly missing the King’s Ely community, especially as we didn’t get to say a proper goodbye to everyone the way that we would have liked. We are very grateful of the opportunity we have been given at a lovely school in a beautiful part of Scotland, and we will hopefully make it down to say a proper goodbye to everyone when allowed. We hope everyone at King’s is safe and well!”

Other staff leavers include Graduate Musician in Residence; Mollie Betts, Teacher of Classics; Elizabeth Phillips, Graduate Library Trainee; Nicola Riley, Director of Outreach; Celia Etchegoyen, Teacher of Fine Art; Harriet Thistlethwaite, Teacher of Computer Science; Ann Whitehead, and Graduate Assistant at King’s Ely Junior; James Austin. Thank you for everything you have given to King’s Ely – we wish you all well for the future.

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