HUDDERSFIELD New College Principal Philip Forrest spent his final day there with students and staff yesterday.
Mr Forrest, who is 55 in August, officially retires next month after heading the college for the last 14 years.
And he is delighted to be leaving the college in such a strong position with rising student numbers and a totally rebuilt campus.
When he arrived at New College in 1993 from Ridge College in Stockport it had 790 students. That number has risen to 1,700.
“I am leaving the college in an extremely strong position which is a good point to finish here.
“The campus has been totally rebuilt during my time, which has enabled it to provide a broad education post-16 for the young people of Huddersfield and a range of opportunities.
“One of the greatest areas of job satisfaction within teaching is the impact which you have on young peoples lives, the advice you give them can help shape their futures. This is one of the real buzzes of the job.”
Mr Forrest said he had always planned to retire at 55 and had put systems in place to achieve this, but he had reached this point “much quicker than he anticipated”.
One of his main tasks following his retirement will be moving house with his wife Elizabeth to the Peak District, where he hopes to spend much time walking.
Born in Birmingham, he also hopes to indulge his passion for watching Birmingham City, who have just regained their position in the Premiership.
He also looks forward to taking holidays outside the school holiday period and to visit his sister in Australia during the southern summer.
He also plans to do some additional part-time work, although has no real plans as yet which course to follow.
Angela Williams, former head of Oldham Sixth Form College, will take over the post.