A celebrated senior education leader who has supported the education of legions of children across Barnsley has announced she is to retire.
Di Greaves, Executive Principal for Greenacre School and Springwell Barnsley, has been teaching in Barnsley since she qualified as a teacher in 2002. After a stint as a mainstream primary school teacher at Shafton Primary School, Di went on to focus on working with children with special needs when she joined Greenacre School in 2003.
Di rapidly progressed from advanced teacher to Assistant Head to Head of Greenacre in 2015. Di’s most recent role saw her overseeing both Greenacre and Springwell Barnsley as Executive Principal. Her impact as an education leader was recognised last year when Greenacre School was named School of the Year at the Proud of Barnsley awards.
Di came to teaching later than many but it was clear from the onset that the move into teaching had firmly put her where she belonged. Sarah Parker, Head of Greenacre School, explains: “Di has always had a real passion and aptitude for working with young people, and particularly those with additional needs. Being an ambassador for the challenges that these young people face and ensuring their inclusion in school and society has always been at the heart of what Di does, and she has continually fought to break down the barriers faced by these complex young people. In her roles as Advanced Skills Teacher and Specialist Leader in Education she has empowered other colleagues to do the same.
Loved by many pupils and their families, Di’s unrelenting care and compassion has had a lasting impact on many young people’s lives. She has been an exceptional role model throughout her career, and her commitment, dedication and support has shaped the careers of many teachers and support staff within the school.
She leaves behind a legacy, one of Trust, Respect and Nurture, all of which are deeply ingrained within the values of Greenacre School and every staff member and pupil who walks through its doors.
Originally from Mexborough, Di has two children, Livi and Josh. Josh followed his mother’s footsteps into education and is now Deputy Chief Executive of Wellspring, the multi academy trust to which both Greenacre and Springwell Barnsley belong.
An avid traveller, Di combined her passion for adventure with her commitment to improving education when she cycled 380 miles across Uganda for the charity Link to raise money for the various projects in schools funded by Link. Di is looking forward to spending her retirement continuing her trips around the world.
Mark Wilson, Chief Executive of Wellspring Academy Trust, added: “Di has been a hugely influential figure in special needs education in Barnsley, improving the life chances of the young people in her care and advocating for them brilliantly. Her experience, talent and enthusiasm will be missed by us all, but she has set firm foundations for continued success at Greenacre and Springwell. Her impact will continue to be felt by staff and pupils for many years to come. We wish her all the very best for this next phase of life.”
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