Haverstock School stalwarts bow out after decades of loyal service

PUBLISHED: 09:25 01 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:25 01 August 2017

Nikki Haydon is retiring after 43 years in a variety of roles at Haverstock School.

Nikki Haydon is retiring after 43 years in a variety of roles at Haverstock School.


A pair of Haverstock School stalwarts are retiring after decades of loyal service.

Haverstock School headteacher John Dowd is retiring after 19 years of service, with 17 years at the helm. Credit: Lars ChristiansenHaverstock School headteacher John Dowd is retiring after 19 years of service, with 17 years at the helm. Credit: Lars Christiansen

Nikki Haydon, who bid farewell to staff and students on Friday as the school broke up for the summer holidays, has taken up all manner of roles since starting as an English teacher back in 1974.

As well as editing the extensive weekly Haverstock News newsletter, Nikki has been serving as community parrtnerships and extended services co-ordinator, having previously held roles as head of English, Key Stage 3 co-ordinator and assistant headteacher – a position which she retired from in 2010.

“The school has been my home and my life,” said Nikki. “I love that it is so diverse and inclusive with so many caring and compassionate staff and students.

“I could never have taught in a school that wasn’t a genuinely comprehensive, community school and both my sons benefitted so much from being here.

“There is something very special about the values and attitudes that Haverstock embodies.”

Nikki will be still be co-ordinating the Haverstock summer schools programme for all Year 7 students transferring to the school in September. Between Monday, July 31 and Thursday, August 3, there will be literacy, music and reading programmes available.

Also signing off last week was headteacher John Dowd after serving the school for 19 years, with 17 of those at the helm.

Despite retiring, John does not intend to stop working and hopes to embark on “an alternative and family orientated career move”.

“It has been privilege to have been headteacher at Haverstock,” John said.

“I have great empathy, aspiration and respect for the Haverstock community and can honestly say that I have looked forward to coming to work every single day during my time here.

“I will leave with many vivid 
and long lasting memories. Haverstock School and its community has left an indelible watermark on my life.”

James Hadley, who has led St Mary Magdalene Academy in Islington as deputy and acting headteacher, will be taking up the position in September.

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