Head of PE, Mrs Julia Gunnill, has retired after working at Gad’s Hill School for more 26 years.

Mrs Gunnill, 65, from Upchurch, bids a fond farewell to the six-strong PE department after starting as the only PE teacher at the school in 1993.

During her time at Gad’s, keen runner Mrs Gunnill has led her team through many changes and an expansion of the now co-educational school, which was originally for girls only.

Traditions fostered by Mrs Gunnill include a winter cross-country run for students and staff and summer sports days as well as swimming lessons for not only the Seniors but the younger students too.

Headmaster Mr Paul Savage, said: “Julia’s contribution to Gad’s Hill has been invaluable and unwavering. The success and growth of physical education at the school is testament to her outstanding service.”

All Gad’s students, from 3 to 16-years-old take part in a wide range of sports, including fencing and climbing, be it in lessons, after-school clubs or regional and national tournaments and fixtures.

With more than 12 acres of outdoor space, the school boasts playing fields and an AstoTurf court as well as its very own indoor climbing wall.

Mrs Gunnill, who is retiring to spend more time with her family, including three young grandchildren, said: “Gad’s is a very important part of my life. Working here has been an honour and I am proud that I will continue to be part of the Gad’s family.”

Mr Savage added: “I am thrilled to report that Julia will continue to be an active member of our Combined Cadet Force.   Captain Gunnill will be joining the Gad’s contingent on our annual trip to Holland to take part in the commemorative Battle of Arnhem Airborne March.”

Gad’s PE teacher, Mr Ben McDowell, 28, will take over as Gad’s Head of PE in the new academic year. He looks forward to building-on Mrs Gunnill’s accomplishments and working with local sports establishments and specialists to deliver a diverse and exciting sporting programme to Gad’s students.

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