The principal of a Peak District college is retiring after 35 years in education.
Bernie Hunter will leave his role at Hope Valley College this week after leading the college for 12 years.
He said: “I have had the privilege of working with a whole group of talented teachers and playing a part in the education of thousands of young peoples’ lives.
“Hope Valley College is in many ways unique in its ability to meet an ever-changing Government agenda whilst remaining a cornerstone of the community.
“The 12 years I have enjoyed as principal will always be the highlight of my career.
“The college will continue to remain in good hands with the current board of governors and management team and I am sure it will continue to provide a high standard of education to the community.
“After 35 years in education I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family, whose support has been instrumental in keeping me going.”
Mr Hunter, from Sheffield, trained as a geography and economics teacher and joined the college as deputy principal from Buxton Community School in 1992.
He became principal in 2003 and has overseen the college’s most successful period of GCSE results and the opening of the new Post-16 Pathways Centre.
The avid Rugby League fan, who formerly refereed at the top level, has played an important role in developing the sport at the college.
Chair of governors, Andrew Critchlow, said: “Bernie has been a fantastic servant to the Hope Valley community, bringing first class leadership, a tireless work ethic and instilling a standard of educational excellence at the college.
“His commitment to an inclusive education that stretches all abilities and delivered in a welcoming environment are synonymous with the values of the college.”
Deputy principal Paul Dearden will serve as acting principal for the summer term, before David Willis takes up the role in September.