‘It feels fitting that part of him is now permanently here’ - High School honours much-loved head
PUBLISHED: 09:09 06 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:24 06 December 2018
A West Norfolk high school has honoured a much loved headteacher with a special ceremony a year after his death.
Friends, former colleagues and students joined the family of Peter Hopkins at Springwood High School, King’s Lynn, on Thursday, November 29, to celebrate his life and contribution to the School.
Mr Hopkins joined Springwood as only its second ever head after Michael Griffiths, in September 1995, and remained in that role until August 2010. He passed away aged 67 on New Years Eve, 2017.
The evening celebrated the school’s specialist arts status which was granted in 2001, which Mr Hopkins was instrumental in securing. The school’s main hall has also been re-named the Peter Hopkins Hall.
An award, carved personally by chair of trustees Roger Livesey, from a tree from Mr Hopkins’s own garden, will be presented annually to the student demonstrating the most outstanding determination and commitment.
Mr Hopkins’s daughter Isabel said: “The life of the school and the chance to help young people achieve their goals or even go beyond them gave Dad’s life such meaning and it feels absolutely fitting that part of him is now permanently here in the way Springwood and his friends, colleagues and pupils were always a part of him.”
After a welcome from current Springwood headteacher Andy Johnson, Mr Hopkins’s legacy was showcased by music and drama performances by current students.
The significant extra funding secured during his tenure at the school helped to finance additional teaching and support staff as well as new and improved facilities including a recording studio, music practice rooms, retractable audience seating and theatre standard lighting rigs, all of which remain in use today.
Jean Meldrum, deputy to Mr Hopkins for many years, said: “Working with Pete on this bid revealed to me two of his many outstanding qualities as a school leader, his vision for Springwood which was realised in many ways, not just arts status, and his absolute determination to achieve his aims and in this case surmounting the very stiff challenge of securing matched funding from local sponsors and the community.”