Stewards celebrate 50 years.
Stewards Academy celebrated 50 Golden Years at a glittering concert where a talented array of ex-students came along to perform in a Celebratory Concert organised by Head of Performing Arts Di Johnson – herself an ex-pupil. Guests of honour were ex-Headteacher Roger Street – who was Headteacher from 1978 to 1989 and ex-Deputy Headteacher Garry Carrol – who was Deputy Headteacher from 1990-2011. Visitors who packed the hall were treated to a display of news cuttings and photographs from the schools opening in 1963 as well as the school log books which chronicle the history of Stewards from Day One. The newspaper of the day stated: “Harlow’s 7th secondary school has opened in an atmosphere of popular disbelief. It is Stewards Grammar / Modern School and it sits among green fields, south of Southern Way in Great Parndon. So remote is it from completed areas of the town that many people refuse to believe it is there at all.”
Stewards School opened in 1963 with 143 children and 14 teachers under the leadership of the 1st Headmaster Trevor Benyon. In 1973 Gordon Godsman became Headteacher for 5 years. It was clear from the speech by current Headteacher Rhonda Murthar – who took over as Headteacher in 1990 – that the educational principles upon which Stewards was founded have remained true today. It was to be a school where every individual child mattered and where Mr Benyon wanted Stewards to become “a magical workshop where boys and girls grow into young men and women.” Certainly the success of Stewards in recent years, achieving a multitude of prestigious national awards and culminating this year in the best ever exam results, have reflected this exceptional nurturing of the young individual. Rhonda Murthar acknowledged the work done by both guest speakers in establishing an ethos of honesty, integrity and community at Stewards. And they in turn acknowledged the exceptional dedication and leadership she has given to Stewards, initially as a Deputy Headteacher and for the past 23 years as Headteacher. A fabulous evening was had by all – and many of the audience thought that the quality of the performances was such that you would see in the West End of London. A memorable celebration for a very successful 50 years of Stewards! Here’s to the next 50 years!