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Home   Thanet   News   Article

Top teacher Isabel Hack retires from Hartsdown Academy in Margate after a career that included meeting The Queen.

06 January 2014
by Peter Barnett


Senior vice principal Isabel Hack retires from Hartsdown Academy, Margate

Senior vice principal Isabel Hack retires from Hartsdown Academy, Margate

Staff and students at Hartsdown Academy have wished a fond farewell to popular Senior Vice Principal Isabel Hack who retired at the end of term after 22 years at the college.

She said: “It is heart-wrenching to leave Hartsdown. I have a huge affection for what it stands for and how it brings the very best out of the majority of its students and staff.

“I have made many strong and enduring friendships and enjoyed happy relationships with colleagues over the decades.

“ I have been delighted to see some of our students become professional colleagues as teachers, while it is a testament to Hartsdown that our staff development is highly rated by so many organisations. We have been awarded outstanding status by Investors in People twice as a result.

“Hartsdown students and staff have a real community and family ethos – there is a never say die attitude and they always rise to the occasion.

“My career has been very rewarding. No day is ever the same and each week there is always a little sparkle of something that makes you feel good because a magic moment has been attained for either a student or member of staff.

“I am very proud to have been part of the Hartsdown story - it is a great place to learn and to work and I wish it every success in everything it does.”

Mrs Hack went into teacher training after graduating with a BA Hons in Geography at university in Liverpool in 1979 followed by getting her PGCE in 1980..

The education system in the area was being reorganised with job opportunities rare, so she headed for east London where there were jobs.

She worked in Hackney where she was Head of Geography and also at Norlington Boys in Waltham Forest whose former students included actor Derek Jacobi, broadcaster Jonathan Ross and boxing champ Frank Bruno. At this school she took boys for PE and recalls taking them for soccer and cricket at the Leyton Orient soccer club and Essex County Cricket ground because the school’s facilities were so limited.

She worked in the area for almost 11 years completing her time as Head of Year 11 and second in charge in the Humanities faculty.

In 1991 Mrs Hack moved with her family to Thanet, taking up the role of Head of Humanities at Hartsdown at the same time as the new incoming head teacher Christine Chapman and fellow senior teacher Jackie Dunn. After five years she switched to become Head of Year, and then Assistant Principal using her pastoral and curriculum skills and experience in the roles, before becoming Vice Principal and finally Senior Vice Principal in charge of staffing plus teaching and learning (taking on the role of Acting Head of School for a term this year).

In her retirement she will continue to work through the Team Teach project training teachers in ‘behaviour de-escalation’ techniques and other training events.



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