NELSON and Colne College is bidding farewell to its principal of four years, Lyn Surgeon.
Mrs Surgeon is to step down at the end of this month before embarking on a new role as principal of South Downs College, Hampshire.
During her time at Nelson and Colne College, she has built on and exceeded the college’s tradition of excellence year on year. She will be remembered by staff and students as an inspirational leader with a go-get attitude.
Mrs Surgeon started her career at the college in June, 2008 with an aim to build on the college’s success. She has overseen an improvement in not only students’ grades and achievements, but has notably secured the STEM assured status demonstrating excellence in science, technology, engineering and maths.
Ofsted inspectors have rated the college “outstanding” and Mrs Surgeon puts it down to students’ keenness to learn.
She said: “We have got fantastic success rates and have had an increase in the number of students wanting to invest their future with us from outside the Pendle area as far as Yorkshire, Burnley and beyond.
“I’ve had a fantastic time. It’s been busy but we’ve been able to do some really innovative stuff and have seen the benchmark raised. What we’ve achieved in the past few years has built on an already successful college with whole generations of families benefiting from the education they receive with us.”
Mrs Surgeon’s aspirational thinking and powerful talks have inspired youngsters to achieve their dreams and go on to realise their potential.
“The quality has got better and I tell students ‘you can be the best so why not aim for that’. In the past three consecutive years, we have had two students gain entry to Oxbridge with countless others to the top, most elite universities on the most competitive courses.
“I am really proud to say more students leave here with more opportunities, better life chances and more confidence and skills to achieve their dreams. They are leaving with high grades at A-level, AS-level and in the vocational subjects where apprenticeships are growing.”
And she credits her team for the college’s resounding success. “The quality of teaching at the college is very strong and there really is the willingness to go that extra mile. There is a tremendous spirit there and my time at Nelson and Colne College has been fantastic. It’s the best job you can have because it is so rewarding and I take with me some wonderful memories.”
During the four years she has seen the two campus’ merge together into a one-site centre in Reedyford Road and the Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove call Nelson and Colne College “a highly successful institution” - something which Mrs Surgeon is proud to take away with her.
She says she is “excited” about her new career path and is looking forward to returning back to where she grew up.
Her successor will be Amanda Melton, who leaves the beacon status Trafford College where she was senior manager for 18 years.
Mrs Surgeon added: “The college’s future is bright and I am confident leaving it in a very strong position with my excellent and highly successful successor, Amanda Melton. I would like to thank all the staff who I have received tremendous support from over the years.”