Deputy Principal June Durrant will be bidding farewell to Kirklees College when she retires this week.
June has worked in further education sector for the last 31 years, with 18 years at Bradford College and 13 years at Kirklees College.
She joined Huddersfield Technical College as Head of School for Caring, which included Animal Care, Childcare, Health and Social Care and Hair and Beauty.
June became a Director in 2008 when Kirklees College was formed after the merger with Dewsbury College and later became Deputy Principal.
Last year following the retirement of Peter McCann she stepped up to the role of Acting Principal, until the appointment of Principal Marie Gilluley in January.
June was an alumna of the college, having studied A-level Biology in 1986 before gaining a BA Honours from Bradford University and a PGCE at Huddersfield University.
“The best thing about my work has always been the people – all the staff and students who I have worked with along the way at both Bradford and Kirklees,” said June.
“I feel very privileged to have been able to work in a sector that I know has the power it has to change lives. Certainly, studying at Huddersfield Technical College started me off on a path that changed my life.
“I always tell people that Kirklees College is a very special place, and whilst there are always frustrations and challenges in any working environment I truly believe that there is something that makes this place very special and I know what it is, it’s the people here who put their students and colleagues first. We really have students and staff that we can be proud of.”
June said her proudest achievement at Bradford College, as Area Manager for Adults and Communities, was being part of the team which developed the Bradford Foyer homeless accommodation and then being vice chair of the organisation.
At Kirklees College, June was instrumental in discussions with local and national employers to bring about the college’s Process Manufacturing Centre and then see the plans through to fruition.
Companies had highlighted a gap in the training offered regionally for employees within process manufacturing, so the college worked with them to develop a specialist training centre and courses that met their needs.
The centre, which opened last year, now is working with a large number of firms, including major brands including Nestle, Coca-Cola and Hovis.
“We’ve been able to develop our relationship with employers and adapt our offer to fit in with exactly what they want. It’s just gone from strength to strength,” said June.
“I am incredibly proud that we are winning national contracts with big blue chip companies, which should play a strong part in the college’s stability and reputation going forward.
“The Apprenticeships we are offering such an amazing opportunity for young people too – they are getting those specialist skills to meet the needs of an ageing workforce within the industry and going into really well-paid jobs at the end of it.”
June is looking forward to spending more time with her family and her hobbies of crafting, knitting and watercolour painting.
“I’m really going to miss everyone at Kirklees College but would like to thank everyone for the support they have given me,” she added.