Retiring Chessington teachers took two days off in 73 years
Two teachers are retiring after notching up only two days off school between them over their combined service of 73 years.
Teachers David Redington and Bill Smith, both 59, will bid fellow staff members and pupils at Chessington Community College a final farewell at the end of the summer term.
Mr Redington joined the school in Garrison Lane, formerly known as Fleetwood, in September 1974 to teach maths and was joined by ceramicist and art teacher, Mr Smith, in January 1977.
The pair attribute their enviable absence record to a love of being in the classroom and a desire to see students enjoy school life and develop to their full potential.
Mr Smith is hoping to travel and get some DIY done during his retirement and said he would miss the staffroom banter.
He said: “It’s an incredible track record on Dave’s part. He just beat me as I have only taken a day-and-a-half off.
“When I took up the job I thought I would stay, because it has a nice family atmosphere and there is good staff morale.
“There was a time when people stayed for long stints, but that doesn’t happen much now. I guess it’s for career moves.”
The college is the first and only place both teachers have taught at and they have made lifelong friends with colleagues, who they played tennis with every Friday evening.
Mr Redington said during his time at the college he has seen many changes including a complete rebuild three years ago.
He said: “The school has battled on through thick and thin and the school has been completely rebuilt. “I will miss the challenge and excitement. You never know what is going to come through the door.”
The college’s principal Rob Niedermaier-Reed paid tribute to their long service and said they will both be missed for their enthusiasm, energy and professionalism.
He said: “Each has given so much to the college, both in the classroom and in many other activities over the years. They will be much missed.”