End of an era as Ashington headteacher retires

Samantha Leslie is retiring as headteacher at St Aidan’s Primary School, Ashington.Samantha Leslie is retiring as headteacher at St Aidan’s Primary School, Ashington.
Samantha Leslie is retiring as headteacher at St Aidan’s Primary School, Ashington.
A headteacher has bid a fond farewell to her colleagues and pupils – and is looking forward to reuniting with her husband after a year apart.

Samantha Leslie has seen many changes over the course of her career and during her 20 years at St Aidan’s Primary School, Ashington successfully navigating a move to become a primary school.

She said: “It has been a privilege and an absolute pleasure to have been the headteacher at St Aidan’s.

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"The thing I have enjoyed the most is being able to live out my vocation on a daily basis and be a part of the faith journey of the children and their families.”

Mrs Leslie will be heading to Spain to join her husband David who she has not seen during the past year because of the pandemic.

“I will be moving to Almeria to join David who has lived and worked out there for the past four years. I am very much looking forward to seeing him again!” she said.

Mrs Leslie also has family living more locally in the North East, as well as in her home town of Leicester and in Northern Ireland.

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“I am looking forward to having the opportunity to spend precious quality family time with all of them. I have absolute confidence in handing over the leadership of this incredible school family to Michael Moran as the school begins a new and exciting chapter,” she said.

Michael Moran, currently the deputy head, takes on the role of acting headteacher when the school, a member of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust, returns in September.

“I have really enjoyed being able to help shape the school into the primary school we are now. I feel really at home in the school and I love coming into work with all of our children each day,” he said.

A huge fan of Newcastle United, he is manager of the Newcastle School District’s Under 11 Girls’ team which has been county champions for the last three years and reached the national finals twice.

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“I love coaching boys and girls teams at the school to allow them to compete against other schools. I am also a really keen runner; the children and families often see me in Ashington running after work,” he added.