AN educator in the arts is ready to retire for the second time after 40 years at a North East college.
Margaret Mineham will be drawing an end to her time as head of further education at Cleveland College of Art & Design’s Middlesbrough campus as she celebrates her 70th birthday.
And Margaret, who retired for the first time from the specialist arts college in 1994, insists that this time she won’t be coming back.
“I was only retired for a month last time before I was back,” said Margaret. “I’d been asked by the principal to go on secondment to help get the college ready for its first inspection which we passed with flying colours.
“When it came time for me to go back to my role in the fashion department I didn’t want to go. I’d learned so many new skills that I needed a new challenge, so I took early retirement, but with the understanding that I could come back as the college’s business development manager the following month.”
Margaret began teaching at CCAD in 1974 after successfully forging a career in the fashion industry, including working for design house Dannimac and running her own bespoke bridal studio.
Starting as a part-time lecturer, teaching young girls with behavioural issues, Margaret quickly became a full-time tutor in women’s and children’s wear then course leader for fashion, before being promoted to business development manager, curriculum manager and finally head of further education.
“I never thought my career would pan out as it has but I wouldn’t change a thing,” said Margaret.
“I’ve loved every minute of it and the best thing of all has been the students. I like everything about them and I’ve built up a lot of respect for them over the years.
“Seeing them grow and achieve is my reward. Many of them I taught, such as Vicky Wake and Stephen White, have even come back to CCAD after highly successful careers in the fashion industry, to teach as tutors themselves.”
Margaret, who was awarded an MBE in 2010 for her services to education, is now looking forward to spending her retirement with her husband Ged.
“My plan is not to make any plans,” said Margaret. “I’m just going to take everyday as it comes and enjoy life.
“I think working with young people gives you a young outlook on life and I’m now ready to go out and enjoy mine to the full.”
College principal Marin Raby, who has worked with Margaret for six years, added: “CCAD just won’t be the same without Margaret.
“She brought a distinctive focus to the quality of student work, an unparalleled attention to detail, a deep concern for welfare, a passion to succeed and a desire for great outcomes. She will be very much missed by staff and students alike.”