ONE of Cheshire’s longest-serving headteachers bid an emotional farewell to pupils and staff at Moulton School this Easter.
David Coulbeck joined the village school in 1981, and has transformed it into one of the best-performing in the county during his 28-year tenure.
And although looking forward to a well-earned rest, he admits he’s sad to be leaving.
"It’s been very strange first few days," said Mr Coulbeck, 59. "I had a marvellous last week, but it was quite tough emotionally.
"I’ve had a massive number of cards full of the most wonderful sentiments, and I’ve got a pile of thank you letters to write!"
The dad-of-two, who lives at Moss Lane in Cuddington, said he is proud of the legacy he has left at the school. In 2008, it was described by Ofsted inspectors as ‘outstanding’.
"When I started there were a lot of people writing the school off," he said. "I was told Moulton children couldn’t achieve anything, and that I was a fool for taking the job on.
"Over the years we’ve proved a lot of people very wrong indeed. Former pupils are now at Oxford and Cambridge and doing major jobs around the world."
After more than 3,000 assemblies and over 500 meetings with governors, the popular head is now looking forward to exercising his love of walking - and to add the Irish bouzouki to the impressive list of instruments he has already mastered.
His deputy Jane Birch will take over the reigns after the Easter break.
"Moulton children are wonderful, just like all other children," said Mr Coulbeck. "They are proof that if you put a bit of effort it in you can achieve your dreams, and I’ve certainly done that."