A local woman is returning home to head a school she attended as a pupil.
Suzanne Owens has been appointed headteacher of Rushen Primary School with effect from September 2017.
Ms Owens will take over from Tom Thomson, the school’s head since 1997, who retires this summer.
After attending Rushen Primary and Castle Rushen High schools, Ms Owens graduated from what is now Liverpool Hope University College with an honours degree in education in 1994. She has also completed the National Professional Qualification for Headship.
Ms Owens has been an acting headteacher in an ‘outstanding’ school in the North West of England. She has also headed an international English school for three to 18-year-olds and been founding principal of an international primary school, both in the Middle East.
She has worked as a consultant, supporting school improvement, in countries around the world.
She said: ‘I am delighted to be returning to the Island to head Rushen Primary School. As a past pupil of the school, this is a particularly proud time.
‘I am looking forward to working with pupils, parents/carers, staff and the local community to take the school on the next phase of its journey.
‘The school has fantastic facilities and resources and staff who are committed to meeting the needs of pupils. We will be working together to ensure pupils fulfil their potential and are happy in our school.’
Geoff Moorcroft, Director of Education for the Department of Education and Children, paid tribute to the outgoing head, saying: ‘Tom has consistently demonstrated commitment, energy and a determination to put children and young people at the heart of his work.
‘He has forged strong relationships with pupils, colleagues and the wider community alike and, in particular, has worked on an ‘Eco Schools’ agenda and with a focus on pupils’ physical well-being. He is a principled and decent colleague.
‘On behalf of the Department, I wish him a happy and fulfilling retirement.’
Rushen Primary has 232 pupils.
Photo - Suzanne Owens.