Farewell to Alice Richardson
The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before.
Alice Richardson joined the school in 2007, the same year, I did. I remember meeting her in our induction sessions with Simeon Brooks as he explained what to expect as we started getting to know the school and each other. Alice was kind and friendly then and eager to join the Art department.
Over the past 13 years, Alice has come to represent Art at Sutton Grammar. Her approachable, calm demeanour and never ending patience invites the students to try and try again with a constant stream of encouragement mixed with high expectations. All manner of students find a love of art by being in her classes. I have lost count of the number of students who have said that they willingly chose to spend their free time working in her room because of how positive they felt being around her. Her ability to combine creativity with the right amount of challenge keeps our students inspired. The work created in Alice’s courses adorn the school and tell the story to visitors that an education involves more than just the core subjects and being able to pass tests. Alice has continually exposed our students to different art techniques, visiting artists, and trips to museums to enhance their growth as artists. Her yearly exhibits showcasing student work became one of the highlights of the year for the school community, and I was fortunate enough to be able to tour with Alice on numerous occasions as she described the seemingly endless time that went into creating a magical world to shine a spotlight on the talents of each student in the show.
Alice was at the school when the art department was a small room on the top floor of the humanities building. She weathered a move to the main building, and finally settled in a more deserving spot when the new sixth form building created a space for her. She has seen multiple teachers and technicians in her time, but she has remained a consistent, creative force within the school. I’ve also had the pleasure of spending time with Alice outside of school, and she is as creative and inspiring in her own life, and I am thankful to call her my friend. Her passion shines through when she explains her travels – ask her about Venice if you get a chance – and her hopes for the future. I struggle to accept that is has been 13 years as she has not aged a day; she is as beautiful, inside and out, as that first day we met. Alice is, thankfully, not leaving teaching but moving to relocate closer to family ties. She is going to give teaching at a girls’ school a try, and I hope they realise how lucky they are to have her.