Somersfield Academy head to retire
A veteran teacher is to retire next year after his school celebrates its 30th anniversary.
Carlos Symonds told parents of Somersfield Academy pupils that he planned to step down as head of the Devonshire school in the summer of 2021.
He explained in a letter: “After completing ten years of service to Somersfield Academy and a full career in education, it is my wish to pass on the torch as I pursue my other passions.
“Please know and be assured that I have thoroughly enjoyed working in partnership with you towards providing the optimal learning environment for our bright young ‘stars’.
“Further to this, contributing to the school’s development, first as head of the secondary division and currently in my role as head of school, has been a highlight of my career.”
Mr Symonds, who has worked at Somersfield since 2011, said that the school had “grown and matured significantly” over the period.
He added: “I am honoured to have provided some direction and guidance to the many exceptional and talented professionals with whom I have walked beside over the course of this journey.
“We have an amazing team of teachers and staff who genuinely care about our students — who inspire the young minds, uncover and foster their latent talents, honour their daring dreams and, most especially, are committed to making a positive and enduring difference in the lives of our learners.”
Mr Symonds took up the head teacher’s role in 2016 and will have worked in education for 40 years by the end of his career.
He will join his wife, Venetta, in retirement. She is expected to step down from her post as the chief executive of the Bermuda Hospital Boards at the end of July this year.
Mr Symonds added in the letter that as well as “great” teachers, “engaged parents and an active school community” were crucial to a child’s development.
He told parents: “Together, we have accomplished much of which we can all be proud.”
He added: “Somersfield is a very special and inspirational place and I will hold close and cherish the moments spent here at 107 Middle Road.”
Colm Homan, the chairman of the school’s board of directors, said Mr Symonds was “an inspirational leader”.
He added: “He will continue to captain our ship through to our 30th anniversary celebrations next year.
“We have been very fortunate to have him in this role. Under his leadership, the school has gone from strength to strength, with notable achievements, including the launching of our International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme this year, a significant campus expansion and enrichment of our Steam and learning support programmes.
“He has always kept his team focused on their role of honouring the daring dreams of our students so that they can all achieve their potential.
“We are looking forward to celebrating Carlos’s tenure and achievements over the coming year.”
A letter to the “Somersfield Academy community”, cosigned by Mr Homan and Laurie Orchard, chairwoman of the head teacher search committee, said that the board had prepared for Mr Symonds’s retirement as part of its succession planning.
Mr Homan said: “While Carlos’s departure will leave big shoes to fill, the board is very confident that the quality and culture of Somersfield Academy will make it a very attractive opportunity for his successor.
“We have been in discussions with Carlos for some time and by providing us with this much notice he is providing the school the opportunity to conduct a thorough search for our next leader and to have a seamless transition of responsibilities.”
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