Retiring head of Helston College looks back at time in charge: INTERVIEW

Retiring head of Helston College looks back at time in charge: INTERVIEW

Retiring head of Helston College looks back at time in charge: INTERVIEW

First published in Cornwall

The headteacher of Helston Community College has looked back on his time in charge as he prepares to leave the school after 11 years.

Dr Pat McGovern is standing down as head to take up a new role in September, coaching and mentoring headteachers and developing aspiring heads.

He said: “It's been an enormous privilege to have had the opportunity to lead this college for 11 years. It's been an awesome responsibility, but also a great opportunity. I have just thoroughly enjoyed it.

“I'm so grateful to the governors back in 2003 for choosing me for this post and putting their trust in me to lead the college.

“I can't think of any career I'd rather have done.”

He said the hardest part of the past few weeks had been “letting go.”

“You put so much of your heart and soul into a school, it becomes so much a part you, so it's almost like a bereavement,” he explained.

“I shall leave a big part of my heart in Helston. This has been a great college to be head of. It's got a long, long history and tradition of education in Helston.”

Dr McGovern said he would “miss enormously” working with the students and leading a team of staff, adding: “I'll miss the daily challenge of not knowing what comes through that door.

“Being a headteacher is a really complex roll - it's the best job in education, I can say that without a shadow of a doubt.

“What I'll miss most are the people I've had the privilege to work with.

In particular he praised his “outstanding” PA Michele Swan, joking: “Everyone knows she runs the school really, I just help out!”

He said he would also miss the governors, adding: “But I think it is time to move on. I think any organisation needs to change its leadership periodically to bring fresh ideas and new perspectives.”

He will be replaced by Donna Bryant, current head of Liskeard School and Community College.

Dr McGovern said: “She will pick up the baton and take it on to even greater heights.

“We each exercise stewardship for a short period of time and that's a great privilege; then we have to hand it over.”

His one disappointment is that he has been unable to the rebuilding on the college's C-Block during his time in charge, saying: “Of all the projects that I've had an opportunity to work on, it would be true to say the building has been the most frustrating.

“I truly believe that I did all I could have done - we followed up every possible lead, we knocked on every door, we pursued every opportunity.”

Twice the school was a matter of weeks or days from signing contracts, which then fell through, but he hopes that a possible future hope, the government's Priority Schools Building Programme, will be third time lucky.

“Let's just hope and pray that this time it all works out, because Helston deserves a building fit for purpose and a building that will serve the needs of children and young people and families in this lovely town.”

Comments (21)

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7:33am Wed 16 Jul 14

Gill Z Martin says...

Levener, I have no idea who you are. Your comments however, are completely untrue, unkind, and disrespectful to Councillor Andrew Wallis.

I hope Dr McGovern enjoys a well earned retirement.
Levener, I have no idea who you are. Your comments however, are completely untrue, unkind, and disrespectful to Councillor Andrew Wallis. I hope Dr McGovern enjoys a well earned retirement. Gill Z Martin
  • Score: 5

8:56am Wed 16 Jul 14

ronedgcumbe says...

Gill Z Martin wrote:
Levener, I have no idea who you are. Your comments however, are completely untrue, unkind, and disrespectful to Councillor Andrew Wallis.

I hope Dr McGovern enjoys a well earned retirement.
Dr McGovern is not retiring just moving on.
[quote][p][bold]Gill Z Martin[/bold] wrote: Levener, I have no idea who you are. Your comments however, are completely untrue, unkind, and disrespectful to Councillor Andrew Wallis. I hope Dr McGovern enjoys a well earned retirement.[/p][/quote]Dr McGovern is not retiring just moving on. ronedgcumbe
  • Score: -4

9:03am Wed 16 Jul 14

Gill Z Martin says...

ronedgcumbe wrote:
Gill Z Martin wrote:
Levener, I have no idea who you are. Your comments however, are completely untrue, unkind, and disrespectful to Councillor Andrew Wallis.

I hope Dr McGovern enjoys a well earned retirement.
Dr McGovern is not retiring just moving on.
Oh right, the article says he is retiring, hence my mistake. I am Sorry I should have read the article properly, I was distracted by the adverse comment placed by Levener.

I hope Dr McGovern enjoys his new venture.
[quote][p][bold]ronedgcumbe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Gill Z Martin[/bold] wrote: Levener, I have no idea who you are. Your comments however, are completely untrue, unkind, and disrespectful to Councillor Andrew Wallis. I hope Dr McGovern enjoys a well earned retirement.[/p][/quote]Dr McGovern is not retiring just moving on.[/p][/quote]Oh right, the article says he is retiring, hence my mistake. I am Sorry I should have read the article properly, I was distracted by the adverse comment placed by Levener. I hope Dr McGovern enjoys his new venture. Gill Z Martin
  • Score: 6

10:11am Wed 16 Jul 14

ronedgcumbe says...

Gill Z Martin wrote:
ronedgcumbe wrote:
Gill Z Martin wrote:
Levener, I have no idea who you are. Your comments however, are completely untrue, unkind, and disrespectful to Councillor Andrew Wallis.

I hope Dr McGovern enjoys a well earned retirement.
Dr McGovern is not retiring just moving on.
Oh right, the article says he is retiring, hence my mistake. I am Sorry I should have read the article properly, I was distracted by the adverse comment placed by Levener.

I hope Dr McGovern enjoys his new venture.
That's ok Gill. Just noticed that the comments have been deleted along with my own on the condom story. Don't think I said anything wrong.
To invite comments and then delete them without explanation is a bit off I think.
[quote][p][bold]Gill Z Martin[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ronedgcumbe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Gill Z Martin[/bold] wrote: Levener, I have no idea who you are. Your comments however, are completely untrue, unkind, and disrespectful to Councillor Andrew Wallis. I hope Dr McGovern enjoys a well earned retirement.[/p][/quote]Dr McGovern is not retiring just moving on.[/p][/quote]Oh right, the article says he is retiring, hence my mistake. I am Sorry I should have read the article properly, I was distracted by the adverse comment placed by Levener. I hope Dr McGovern enjoys his new venture.[/p][/quote]That's ok Gill. Just noticed that the comments have been deleted along with my own on the condom story. Don't think I said anything wrong. To invite comments and then delete them without explanation is a bit off I think. ronedgcumbe
  • Score: -4

12:02pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Gill Z Martin says...

ronedgcumbe wrote:
Gill Z Martin wrote:
ronedgcumbe wrote:
Gill Z Martin wrote:
Levener, I have no idea who you are. Your comments however, are completely untrue, unkind, and disrespectful to Councillor Andrew Wallis.

I hope Dr McGovern enjoys a well earned retirement.
Dr McGovern is not retiring just moving on.
Oh right, the article says he is retiring, hence my mistake. I am Sorry I should have read the article properly, I was distracted by the adverse comment placed by Levener.

I hope Dr McGovern enjoys his new venture.
That's ok Gill. Just noticed that the comments have been deleted along with my own on the condom story. Don't think I said anything wrong.
To invite comments and then delete them without explanation is a bit off I think.
The comments placed by the poster 'Levener' on this article were removed because they were both categorically untrue.
The comments were just switched off completely on the other article to which you refer.
[quote][p][bold]ronedgcumbe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Gill Z Martin[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ronedgcumbe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Gill Z Martin[/bold] wrote: Levener, I have no idea who you are. Your comments however, are completely untrue, unkind, and disrespectful to Councillor Andrew Wallis. I hope Dr McGovern enjoys a well earned retirement.[/p][/quote]Dr McGovern is not retiring just moving on.[/p][/quote]Oh right, the article says he is retiring, hence my mistake. I am Sorry I should have read the article properly, I was distracted by the adverse comment placed by Levener. I hope Dr McGovern enjoys his new venture.[/p][/quote]That's ok Gill. Just noticed that the comments have been deleted along with my own on the condom story. Don't think I said anything wrong. To invite comments and then delete them without explanation is a bit off I think.[/p][/quote]The comments placed by the poster 'Levener' on this article were removed because they were both categorically untrue. The comments were just switched off completely on the other article to which you refer. Gill Z Martin
  • Score: 5

1:40pm Wed 16 Jul 14

ronedgcumbe says...

Either way my comments that abided completely by the rules of the website on the councillor and the condom article have been removed. To invite comments and then remove without explanation is rude.
In my opinion my comments were acceptably but who is interested in my opinion certainly not the packet.
It is the article that should be removed as it is neither newsworthy or funny.
Either way my comments that abided completely by the rules of the website on the councillor and the condom article have been removed. To invite comments and then remove without explanation is rude. In my opinion my comments were acceptably but who is interested in my opinion certainly not the packet. It is the article that should be removed as it is neither newsworthy or funny. ronedgcumbe
  • Score: -5

2:38pm Wed 16 Jul 14

meerkats says...

ronedgcumbe wrote:
Either way my comments that abided completely by the rules of the website on the councillor and the condom article have been removed. To invite comments and then remove without explanation is rude.
In my opinion my comments were acceptably but who is interested in my opinion certainly not the packet.
It is the article that should be removed as it is neither newsworthy or funny.
i suppose what some find funny others dont .
[quote][p][bold]ronedgcumbe[/bold] wrote: Either way my comments that abided completely by the rules of the website on the councillor and the condom article have been removed. To invite comments and then remove without explanation is rude. In my opinion my comments were acceptably but who is interested in my opinion certainly not the packet. It is the article that should be removed as it is neither newsworthy or funny.[/p][/quote]i suppose what some find funny others dont . meerkats
  • Score: 6

2:38pm Wed 16 Jul 14

meerkats says...

ronedgcumbe wrote:
Either way my comments that abided completely by the rules of the website on the councillor and the condom article have been removed. To invite comments and then remove without explanation is rude.
In my opinion my comments were acceptably but who is interested in my opinion certainly not the packet.
It is the article that should be removed as it is neither newsworthy or funny.
i suppose what some find funny others dont .
[quote][p][bold]ronedgcumbe[/bold] wrote: Either way my comments that abided completely by the rules of the website on the councillor and the condom article have been removed. To invite comments and then remove without explanation is rude. In my opinion my comments were acceptably but who is interested in my opinion certainly not the packet. It is the article that should be removed as it is neither newsworthy or funny.[/p][/quote]i suppose what some find funny others dont . meerkats
  • Score: 6

2:48pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Gill Z Martin says...

ronedgcumbe wrote:
Either way my comments that abided completely by the rules of the website on the councillor and the condom article have been removed. To invite comments and then remove without explanation is rude.
In my opinion my comments were acceptably but who is interested in my opinion certainly not the packet.
It is the article that should be removed as it is neither newsworthy or funny.
Ron, why should the Packet remove the article, it was perfectly newsworthy, about an information video aimed at young people. If there are several unacceptable comments on one article, it is probably much easier to just switch the comments off completely than to spend valuable working time sifting through all the comments to decide which should be left, in addition to which, perhaps the Packet decided they did not want any new comments left. I personally would just respect their decision.
[quote][p][bold]ronedgcumbe[/bold] wrote: Either way my comments that abided completely by the rules of the website on the councillor and the condom article have been removed. To invite comments and then remove without explanation is rude. In my opinion my comments were acceptably but who is interested in my opinion certainly not the packet. It is the article that should be removed as it is neither newsworthy or funny.[/p][/quote]Ron, why should the Packet remove the article, it was perfectly newsworthy, about an information video aimed at young people. If there are several unacceptable comments on one article, it is probably much easier to just switch the comments off completely than to spend valuable working time sifting through all the comments to decide which should be left, in addition to which, perhaps the Packet decided they did not want any new comments left. I personally would just respect their decision. Gill Z Martin
  • Score: 6

3:03pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Helston John says...

ronedgcumbe wrote:
Either way my comments that abided completely by the rules of the website on the councillor and the condom article have been removed. To invite comments and then remove without explanation is rude.
In my opinion my comments were acceptably but who is interested in my opinion certainly not the packet.
It is the article that should be removed as it is neither newsworthy or funny.
There was nothing wrong with Gills or meerkats comments on that article either but I don't see them complaining, the packet has every right to switch the comments off when they see fit. Would you read through 60 comments if you were busy working? It's not the first time they've switched comments off on an article.

Good luck to Helston Community Colleges ex head teacher and new head teacher, it's a great school.
[quote][p][bold]ronedgcumbe[/bold] wrote: Either way my comments that abided completely by the rules of the website on the councillor and the condom article have been removed. To invite comments and then remove without explanation is rude. In my opinion my comments were acceptably but who is interested in my opinion certainly not the packet. It is the article that should be removed as it is neither newsworthy or funny.[/p][/quote]There was nothing wrong with Gills or meerkats comments on that article either but I don't see them complaining, the packet has every right to switch the comments off when they see fit. Would you read through 60 comments if you were busy working? It's not the first time they've switched comments off on an article. Good luck to Helston Community Colleges ex head teacher and new head teacher, it's a great school. Helston John
  • Score: 5

5:15pm Wed 16 Jul 14

ronedgcumbe says...

It would seem having now checked with the councillors rambling blog it does look like they story has originated there.
To me poor journalism.
It would seem having now checked with the councillors rambling blog it does look like they story has originated there. To me poor journalism. ronedgcumbe
  • Score: -11

5:38pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Gill Z Martin says...

ronedgcumbe wrote:
It would seem having now checked with the councillors rambling blog it does look like they story has originated there.
To me poor journalism.
I would not class the blog in the derogatory form as rambling, it is informative. There was nothing poor about the Packet journalism, it matters not where the information stems from but how accurate and interesting the information is, and the information was interesting, one of the ways to promote any resource video is surely to have it mentioned in the local paper.
[quote][p][bold]ronedgcumbe[/bold] wrote: It would seem having now checked with the councillors rambling blog it does look like they story has originated there. To me poor journalism.[/p][/quote]I would not class the blog in the derogatory form as rambling, it is informative. There was nothing poor about the Packet journalism, it matters not where the information stems from but how accurate and interesting the information is, and the information was interesting, one of the ways to promote any resource video is surely to have it mentioned in the local paper. Gill Z Martin
  • Score: 7

5:42pm Wed 16 Jul 14

meerkats says...

Gill Z Martin wrote:
ronedgcumbe wrote:
It would seem having now checked with the councillors rambling blog it does look like they story has originated there.
To me poor journalism.
I would not class the blog in the derogatory form as rambling, it is informative. There was nothing poor about the Packet journalism, it matters not where the information stems from but how accurate and interesting the information is, and the information was interesting, one of the ways to promote any resource video is surely to have it mentioned in the local paper.
Well said Gill ,
[quote][p][bold]Gill Z Martin[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ronedgcumbe[/bold] wrote: It would seem having now checked with the councillors rambling blog it does look like they story has originated there. To me poor journalism.[/p][/quote]I would not class the blog in the derogatory form as rambling, it is informative. There was nothing poor about the Packet journalism, it matters not where the information stems from but how accurate and interesting the information is, and the information was interesting, one of the ways to promote any resource video is surely to have it mentioned in the local paper.[/p][/quote]Well said Gill , meerkats
  • Score: 5

5:55pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Helston John says...

ronedgcumbe wrote:
It would seem having now checked with the councillors rambling blog it does look like they story has originated there.
To me poor journalism.
It probably only seems rambling if you don't understand it all. There are other more simple websites to read.
[quote][p][bold]ronedgcumbe[/bold] wrote: It would seem having now checked with the councillors rambling blog it does look like they story has originated there. To me poor journalism.[/p][/quote]It probably only seems rambling if you don't understand it all. There are other more simple websites to read. Helston John
  • Score: 11

6:04pm Wed 16 Jul 14

ronedgcumbe says...

Helston John wrote:
ronedgcumbe wrote:
It would seem having now checked with the councillors rambling blog it does look like they story has originated there.
To me poor journalism.
It probably only seems rambling if you don't understand it all. There are other more simple websites to read.
Complete nonsense.I would never dream of posting such patronising rubbish.
[quote][p][bold]Helston John[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ronedgcumbe[/bold] wrote: It would seem having now checked with the councillors rambling blog it does look like they story has originated there. To me poor journalism.[/p][/quote]It probably only seems rambling if you don't understand it all. There are other more simple websites to read.[/p][/quote]Complete nonsense.I would never dream of posting such patronising rubbish. ronedgcumbe
  • Score: -9

6:45pm Wed 16 Jul 14

meerkats says...

ronedgcumbe wrote:
It would seem having now checked with the councillors rambling blog it does look like they story has originated there.
To me poor journalism.
why do you see it as poor journalism Ron ?
[quote][p][bold]ronedgcumbe[/bold] wrote: It would seem having now checked with the councillors rambling blog it does look like they story has originated there. To me poor journalism.[/p][/quote]why do you see it as poor journalism Ron ? meerkats
  • Score: 7

6:51pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Helston John says...

ronedgcumbe wrote:
Helston John wrote:
ronedgcumbe wrote:
It would seem having now checked with the councillors rambling blog it does look like they story has originated there.
To me poor journalism.
It probably only seems rambling if you don't understand it all. There are other more simple websites to read.
Complete nonsense.I would never dream of posting such patronising rubbish.
My comments no more patronising than yours is rude about the blog being rambling. Simple, if you find it rambling then I think you don't understand it properly because thats the idea of a blog, not just to write two or three words. So far on here you've moaned about poor journalism, stories that should be removed, too many pictures of the ex mayor and now the blog, you've never hidden the fact you don't like Jonathan or Cllr Wallis, but unlike others that are open in their comments I think you make patronising digs, then you accuse me of being patronising!!!!
[quote][p][bold]ronedgcumbe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Helston John[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ronedgcumbe[/bold] wrote: It would seem having now checked with the councillors rambling blog it does look like they story has originated there. To me poor journalism.[/p][/quote]It probably only seems rambling if you don't understand it all. There are other more simple websites to read.[/p][/quote]Complete nonsense.I would never dream of posting such patronising rubbish.[/p][/quote]My comments no more patronising than yours is rude about the blog being rambling. Simple, if you find it rambling then I think you don't understand it properly because thats the idea of a blog, not just to write two or three words. So far on here you've moaned about poor journalism, stories that should be removed, too many pictures of the ex mayor and now the blog, you've never hidden the fact you don't like Jonathan or Cllr Wallis, but unlike others that are open in their comments I think you make patronising digs, then you accuse me of being patronising!!!! Helston John
  • Score: 16

9:37am Thu 17 Jul 14

Helston John says...

meerkats wrote:
ronedgcumbe wrote:
It would seem having now checked with the councillors rambling blog it does look like they story has originated there.
To me poor journalism.
why do you see it as poor journalism Ron ?
Alas, it would appear Ron can't think of an answer just yet.
[quote][p][bold]meerkats[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ronedgcumbe[/bold] wrote: It would seem having now checked with the councillors rambling blog it does look like they story has originated there. To me poor journalism.[/p][/quote]why do you see it as poor journalism Ron ?[/p][/quote]Alas, it would appear Ron can't think of an answer just yet. Helston John
  • Score: 3

1:23pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Helston fly on the wall says...

See Rons complaining his comments were removed, makes me think the.ones removed on here were his too. Seems a big fuss. I remember fred from helston.
Good luck to the headteacher, perhaps he wanted to leave before the government does away with all schools and only has acadamies that the parents have to cough up for.
See Rons complaining his comments were removed, makes me think the.ones removed on here were his too. Seems a big fuss. I remember fred from helston. Good luck to the headteacher, perhaps he wanted to leave before the government does away with all schools and only has acadamies that the parents have to cough up for. Helston fly on the wall
  • Score: 3

6:17pm Thu 17 Jul 14

meerkats says...

Helston John wrote:
meerkats wrote:
ronedgcumbe wrote:
It would seem having now checked with the councillors rambling blog it does look like they story has originated there.
To me poor journalism.
why do you see it as poor journalism Ron ?
Alas, it would appear Ron can't think of an answer just yet.
He still hasnt replied !!
[quote][p][bold]Helston John[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]meerkats[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ronedgcumbe[/bold] wrote: It would seem having now checked with the councillors rambling blog it does look like they story has originated there. To me poor journalism.[/p][/quote]why do you see it as poor journalism Ron ?[/p][/quote]Alas, it would appear Ron can't think of an answer just yet.[/p][/quote]He still hasnt replied !! meerkats
  • Score: 3

7:18pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Helston John says...

meerkats wrote:
Helston John wrote:
meerkats wrote:
ronedgcumbe wrote:
It would seem having now checked with the councillors rambling blog it does look like they story has originated there.
To me poor journalism.
why do you see it as poor journalism Ron ?
Alas, it would appear Ron can't think of an answer just yet.
He still hasnt replied !!
Probably because he knows nothing about journalism, easy for Ron to accuse the packet of poor journalism when all he does is sit back and criticise the articles instead of providing them with some journalistic news items himself.
[quote][p][bold]meerkats[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Helston John[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]meerkats[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ronedgcumbe[/bold] wrote: It would seem having now checked with the councillors rambling blog it does look like they story has originated there. To me poor journalism.[/p][/quote]why do you see it as poor journalism Ron ?[/p][/quote]Alas, it would appear Ron can't think of an answer just yet.[/p][/quote]He still hasnt replied !![/p][/quote]Probably because he knows nothing about journalism, easy for Ron to accuse the packet of poor journalism when all he does is sit back and criticise the articles instead of providing them with some journalistic news items himself. Helston John
  • Score: 3

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