The end of summer term this year also marked the end of a long and illustrious career teaching Portslade’s students for Portslade Aldridge Community Academy’s Head of our Creative Faculty, Ms Sharon Durham.
Sharon has been greatly loved by and inspired generations of budding artists at PACA and our predecessor schools. Her leadership of the faculty and dedication has been recognised well beyond the school gates. In our last report Ofsted Inspectors described the faculty as “A beacon of excellence for almost three decades” noting “GCSE results in these subjects have been consistently high.”
One visitor to our Artists Open House as part of the Brighton Festival was moved to write; “Work of the highest standard. What a feast to my eyes and a joy to my heart!”
PACA Principal Mark Poston said: “There hasn’t been a parent who has visited the school and there hasn’t been a candidate for interview who hasn’t commented on the art work around the building giving the school an upbeat feel. The feel of school has benefited hugely from your input over the years. You have set a standard for the school. ”
Sir Rod Aldridge said: “I would like to add my thanks and congratulations to Sharon for all that she has done for the PACA students that she has taught over the years. She now has wealth of stories to remember in her retirement in the full knowledge that she has had a positive influence on the lives of so many who have benefited from her teaching. I wish her a well-earned and relaxing retirement.”
We would like to leave the final word to Sharon herself, who gave this farewell message to the academy:
Dear Students, Staff and Parents
I just wanted to say farewell to everyone. I have been here for 29 years and taught elsewhere for 10 years, with my PGCE year that means I have been in the teaching game for 40 years…so retirement beckons.
Obviously PACA is very dear to my heart and before that PCC. I have taught a great many of you including students and parents, and I believe some grandparents now and even some teachers.
The Art Department is such a special place and I have worked with some amazing staff and students.
I am going to miss PACA no doubt about it, and I expect I will be still involved at some way in the future. It will be sad in many ways, but I am looking forward to a good rest and new challenges in the future.
I wanted to share with you the amazing gift I was given by Sir Rod Aldridge. He gave me and my partner World cup final Tickets for Lords last Sunday (I am a big cricket Fan), and we were invited to join his family and friends in his members’ box.
With all my best wishes to PACA for its future success