Penwortham teaching ‘legend’ reaches retirement

Posted on - 11th July, 2023 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Education, Penwortham, People, Preston News, Schools, South Ribble News
Penwortham Priory Academy send off for Andy Watters as he received a geography themed cake

A Penwortham geography teacher has called time on his career to head off into retirement.

Andy Watters has been described as a ‘legend’ by staff and pupils at Penwortham Priory Academy.

After nearly 30 years Andy is one of the longest serving members of staff at the school with spells at schools in Accrington, Heysham and Lancaster before settling at Priory.

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He is currently the lead geography teacher at the school and has previously been a head of year and head of humanities.

After reaching 60 then Andy has decided to end his teaching career at the end of term.

He said: “The pupils have always been the centre of it all – that hasn’t change.

“Teaching is always about being fair, having knowledge and being kind and you have got to be straight with the children.

“If you are straight with them, they will always do well and that’s the same if it was the 80s or the current day.

“New technology has obviously helped to change the way we teach but the demands remain the same – you want your child to make progress, be happy in the classroom and like your subject and that has essentially remained the same.”

“It makes me very proud to know I have made a difference. To survive being a teacher, you have to evolve your role and I have done that.”

Andy Watters earlier in his career

Andy is known for his love of Everton Football Club and he plans to spend even more time watching them during his retirement.

He said: “My name is on my classroom door with the Everton badge! I got 100 Everton mouse mats and they were given out as prizes whether pupils wanted them or not!

“It was a massive decision to retire and I still can’t believe I am actually doing it. I need a few physical things doing – operations on both knees, my ankle, my nose so I can breath easier – and it would have required me to take a lot of time off which I have never done in my teaching career, so the time is now right.

“I will miss Priory terribly, it’s been an amazing place to work and it’s always changed for the better which is one of the many good things about Priory.”

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A leaving event for Andy was organised with many former staff members joining current staff and pupils to say farewell to him.

Andy Watters with headteacher Matt Eastham

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Head teacher Matt Eastham said: “Andy’s work day in and day out has been life enhancing and life changing for all his pupils.

“He has provided so many different opportunities for so many young people whose life he has shaped for the better.

“He has been a wonderful teacher and colleague and a role model to pupils and colleagues over the years. He has earned his retirement.”

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