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King's prep school head's farewell after 20 years

Young pupils with retiring head Anita Parkins
Young pupils with retiring head Anita Parkins

After 20 years' service, King’s Pre-Preparatory School in Rochester has said farewell to headmistress Anita Parkins.

Mrs Parkins joined the school as the first teacher of the newly launched King’s Pre-Preparatory School in September,1988, and accepted the post of headmistress in January, 1990.

During her 20 years as headmistress, the pre-preparatory school pupil numbers have steadily increased, leading to the building of the purpose-built King’s Pre-Preparatory School, Chadlington House.

To celebrate Mrs Parkins' last day, a surprise party was held at the school. Parents bought gift vouchers for Mrs Parkins to spend on her garden, pupils showered her with chocolates and flowers and staff treated her to a mini-break in Paris via Eurostar.

Mrs Parkins said: “I’ve had a wonderful career. I really enjoy my job and I’ve enjoyed every single day. “There’s a whole new world out there. I’m going to improve my computer skills and maybe even write. I’m still young enough to go on and do things, there’s life out there after retirement. I also plan to spend more time with my four lovely young grandchildren.

“I’ve had some lovely presents and each class made me a card and inside they wrote about their happiest moments with me. - that moved me to tears.”

Dr Ian Walker, head master of King’s School, Rochester, said: “Mrs Parkins is the doyenne of pre-preparatory heads whose unique position has meant that she has made a significant contribution to the lives of thousands of pupils throughout the whole of King’s School over the last twenty years. She will be greatly missed.”

Mrs Sarah Skillern will take over as headmistress on Monday, January 5.

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