Headteacher who helped set up primary school retiring after 19 years
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A much-loved headteacher who helped build a Kesgrave primary school from the ground up is retiring this summer after 19 years in the job.
Doug Stroud was appointed as the first headteacher of Cedarwood Primary School when it opened in 2001, as thousands of families moved into the newly-built homes in the area.
He was immediately tasked with helping appoint the teachers who would work at the school, as well as sourcing all the equipment required for the 100 children who would start there in the September.
But the school, in Wilkinson Drive, has gone from strength to strength over the last 19 years - and now has more than 400 children.
Mr Stroud, 67, also helped choose the name of the school, believing it should be named after Kesgrave’s treasured cedar trees.
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He has now decided to retire to spend more time with his family.
Fittingly, his replacement as headteacher will be Tina Shute - who has been with the school ever since it opened.
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Mr Stroud said: “Because Kesgrave was growing so fast, they needed to build a school for all of the children. I was on cloud nine when I got the job.
“We have had such a loyal and supportive community who have helped the school over the years.
“We all helped to set up everything, such as pantomimes and school visits. We started almost from scratch and had to buy the books and equipment.
“I never thought I would be the headteacher of such a large school.
“It has been a real success and lovely to see the school grow and develop.
“The school has become a place full of fun and laughter and we’ve built a great place of learning.
“Everyone is delighted for Tina, as she’s a fantastic person.
“It has been a journey and I will miss it.”
Mrs Shute said she has “massive shoes to fill” but is relishing the challenge of taking over as headteacher.
She said: “Mr Stroud has nurtured all of the staff and helped develop us all. He really strengthened our school and moved it forward.
“We are so proud of our school. It’s amazing how far it has come.
“I’m so excited to take over - I’m thrilled and it’s a privilege. I feel as passionate as Mr Stroud.”