Farewell Miss McGrail

Headteacher Chris McGrail will be retiring at the end of this academic year after 41 years in teaching and 35 Years at Redhill School. Chris came to Redhill as Head of Home Economics and went on to become Assistant Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher and finally Headteacher.

Great leaders don’t set out to be a leader… they set out to make a difference, and for us at Redhill that is exactly what Chris has done. Her actions inspire others to dream more, to learn more and to do more; she is, and always will be, a true inspiration. Chris is an extraordinary character, who is able to command great respect, whilst offering warmth, courage and commitment to all that need her. She has touched so many lives far and wide, and her work with us, as well as Sri Lanka demonstrates the great depths of her reach; Chris by touching so many lives you have changed the world… and we thank you.

During the final Year 11 assembly the Year 11 senior Team read out a wonderful tribute to Miss Mcgrail:

It’s been 35 years since Miss McGrail began teaching at Redhill: that’s 1,820 weeks, 12,775 days and 306,600 hours. Over the last three and half decades, we think what is overwhelmingly apparent is how Miss McGrail has built up the Redhill school community. There’s no denying that at Redhill there is great cooperation between parents, teachers and students that make it the wonderful school that it is. As headteacher, Miss McGrail is the glue that holds all these entities together. I’m sure you’ll agree that throughout her whole teaching career she has done a fantastic job at doing this. The Redhill community is a truly special one, and I think we all know we have Miss McGrail to thank for orchestrating a large chunk of it. Not only has Miss McGrail been one of the integral foundations in the community here, she has also provided Redhill with links to a community internationally.

The work for Sri Lanka that Miss McGrail instigated is undeniable incredible. Over the last 7 years, over (£50,000) has been raised to build an entire school 6,000 miles away. There’s not many schools that can make that claim to fame. Providing (1,000) students with the foundations to have an education is a completely selfless action that would never have been possible without Miss McGrail. The joy those in Sri Lanka must feel is reciprocated by all the students at Redhill. The Sri Lanka fundraisers have enabled us to fully immerse ourselves in sponsored walks, bake sales and of course we cannot forget the sheer delight that Redhill’s Got Talent has brought us all. Along with all the fun we’ve experienced here in Stourbridge, the Sri Lanka project has also provided many of us with incredible opportunities internationally.

Miss McGrail it is hard to sum up in a short speech the masses of respect, gratitude and admiration we have for you. There will be a huge hole in Redhill without you here. From the senior team and the whole of year 11, we wish you a long and happy retirement, and send you our best wishes. Thank you for everything you have done for the school in the last 35 years.

Jamie Clayton, who is the current Deputy Headteacher at Redhill, will take over as Headteacher in September. Chris said “Congratulations to Jamie Clayton who will be taking over the headship from September. I know he will continue to work positively with pupils, parents and staff to ensure the school will move forward”.

We all wish Miss McGrail the very best in her retirement and thank her for the fantastic contribution she has made to Redhill School over the past 35 years.

Matthew Roach