Hilton principal resigns

2012-12-01 00:00

HILTON College headmaster Gavin Thomson has resigned with immediate effect.

This after rumours and speculation last week that the school board wanted to “kick him out”.

Thomson, who was the 15th headmaster at the prestigious school, tendered his resignation with effect from today.

He was appointed headmaster in April 2010, after serving as acting head for six months.

Thomson replaced David Lovatt, who resigned in 2009 after a difference of opinion with the board over the school’s strategic direction.

Board of Governors chairperson Yann LeClezio said Thomson took over at an unsettled time for the school and accepted the challenge of seeing the school through a period of transition.

“Gavin used his strengths to improve communication and relationships with parents, Old Boys, prospective parents and their sons.

“His relationship with the Hilton boys has always been marked by mutual respect,” LeClezio said.

Rumours began making the rounds last week that there was alleged collusion by ex-Hilton boys to get rid of Thomson, who was not educated at Hilton.

It was claimed pupils were to stage a protest to try to save him last week.

However, when Weekend Witness contacted the school, they denied the allegations.

“May I respectfully repeat that there is no truth in any of the alleged comments that the so-called ‘parent’ made to your office,” Thomson told Weekend Witness by e-mail last week.

Yesterday the school issued a statement saying it respected Thomson’s decision and thanked him and his family “for the generous and selfless service” they have given Hilton College over the past three years.

Hilton College director of marketing Paul Guthrie told Weekend Witness that Thomson felt he had done as much he could and had decided to move on.

Thomson could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The school has appointed the second master, Peter Ducasse, as headmaster.

Yesterday, a parent expressed shock at Thomson’s sudden resignation.

Thomson had been a geography teacher for years and was very popular and well liked.

The parent said that when the previous headmaster suddenly resigned, the school community was relieved that Thomson had been appointed and felt that he was the right person to take the school forward. “I can’t believe that he has left. He was very popular.”

Although Thomson may have been popular with parents, this may not necessarily have been the case with staff.

It would appear some had problems with his management style.

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