1987 – The year that Mrs Thatcher secured her third term in office; The Queen opened the Docklands light railway; The Channel tunnel got the go-ahead; Gollies were banned from Enid Blyton books. The great storm hits the South East and Everton won the football league.
In September of that year a young English teacher from Addington High School got a job in the English Department under the Headship of Mr Bill Rainforth and a dynasty began. A 27 year dynasty that was Aleks Budimir.
Mr Budimir has done several jobs in his long time at Woodcote High School – Second in English Department, Head of Year 7, Head of Year and Head of SWAPS.
Since Mr Budimir has announced his retirement I have been blown away by some of the messages of support, tweets, and facebook postings which have paid tribute to Mr Budimir and his time at Woodcote. These have come from past students, some of whom are parents and even grandparents of present students and all of them have a common theme. They all tell about how, in some way, either as an English teacher or Head of Year, they were inspired by Mr Budimir. For each one of them he has stuck in their memory as the teacher that most represents the positive aspects of Woodcote High School.
To say that Mr Budimir is a latter day Mr Chips is no exaggeration. If the motivation to enter the teaching profession is to change young people’s lives then Mr Budimir has been ultimately successful. From students with dyslexia, to students who lacked motivation and students from challenging backgrounds, all of whom have been made better people by working with Mr Budimir.
So can I thank Mr Budimir for his 27 years sterling service and wish him a long, happy and active retirement.