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Goodbye Mr Ellis

The man described as “Mr Corby” is stepping down from teaching after 35 years in the classroom.

Vice Principal Steve Ellis is retiring from CBA after a career helping hundreds of young people in Corby reach their potential.

It all started in 1975 when Mr Ellis was taken on as a PE teacher at Beanfield Comprehensive.

He remembers his first day as a slightly nervous 21-year-old faced with a room of Year 11 girls.

The teacher in charge of the class even refused to grant Mr Ellis the small responsibility of unlocking the type-writer cases.

He said: "They scared me to death - it was quite an introduction to teaching."

Mr Ellis became head of the middle school and was then appointed head of the upper school, a role he took on for 10 years.

He was then made assistant head teacher and remained at Beanfield Comprehensive until it closed in 2000.

He moved into the newly-formed Corby Community College before being made Vice Principal for

Student Care and Guidance at CBA.

Mr Ellis said the highlight of his career has been helping young people through difficult times.

He said: "When the steelworks in Corby closed, lots of young people couldn't see a future but the message has always been, the more qualifications you get, the more choices you have. That hasn't changed between 1975 and now.

"There have been lots of students I have been proud of and some of those I have taught have ended up working in the same school as me.

"I have mixed emotions about leaving but I would like to think I will still be around to see the fulfilment of potential at the Academy."

Mr Ellis will still continue to work for the Brooke Weston Partnership in a consultancy role but he will be spending more time with his wife Mary, their family and their two puppies.

His involvement with sport will continue, with Mr Ellis planning to spend more time at Gretton Cricket Club.

 

Some parting messages for Mr Ellis:

 

Principal Andrew Campbell: "Steve has been a superb champion of education in Corby for many years. There are literally hundreds of teachers in the profession today who owe him much and have benefitted from his support, not to mention the thousands of children and families he has helped through his teaching and pastoral work.
"I owe Steve a very particular debt for the key part he played in managing the transition from Corby Community College to Corby Business Academy.
"Steve once told me it was his ambition to be able to walk through Corby one day and know the town had four good secondary schools. This is now a reality, but it would not have happened without him."

 

Vice Principal TonySegalini:

"I have worked with Steve for ten years now. Our nickname for him was Chuck Norris!!

He is a great guy to work with; he was my line manager when I was a year head at Corby Community College and now a friend and colleague as a Vice Principal at CBA. I have learnt a lot from him particularly on how to keep parents calm and blind teachers with data. Steve is great at calming situations down and is a fantastic pastoral leader. The students think a lot of him and he is always a calm influence in the school.Steve has always put a lot in to education and the establishments that he has worked in.

I am looking forward to following in his footsteps in CBA next term but also continuing to work with him on a part time basis and as a friend. Remember - 'Steve does not wear a watch because he decides what time it is.'"

 

Vice Principal Lorraine Smith:

"Mr Ellis was always a great champion of young people and I've never known him as anything else.

He was always involved in extra-curricular activities and not just sport. He was great at making students feel comfortable - when we went on a ski trip, he deliberately fell over so they wouldn't feel self-conscious if they did.

He was the voice of reason and also a wind-up merchant."

 

Vice Principal Janet Duggan:

"Although he was from Kettering, he was almost 'Mr Corby'. He used data to highlight students who were under-achieving, so interventions could be put in place. He had belief in young people that sometimes you had to take an unconventional route for them to succeed. He has also driven up attendance at CBA to 93%."