A fond farewell to Chris Klimaszewska
Some of the St Mary's team reflect on how they will miss Chris Klimaszewska, who leaves us after many years of dedicated service.
From Anita Chatterjee: Head of Biology
We would like to say a fond farewell and a happy retirement to a great colleague and dedicated teacher of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.
Chris has taught at St Mary's for 32 years. She introduced the Dual Science GCSE Edexcel Award and whilst being at St Mary's, Chris has overseen Year 7 science lessons for 18 years. She has also been a Sixth Form tutor and Head of Year 10 for over 20 years.
Chris has organised and supported a variety of different activities over the years including assisting with D of E, running science clubs, organising Christmas shopping trips to Bluewater, and helping with trips abroad for example the Spanish trip. We in the Biology Department will miss her fun-loving personality, creative ideas and problem-solving capabilities.
We would like to thank Chris for all her hard work and dedication to the students and the school and wish her all the very best for the future.
From Aodain Clover, Deputy Head: Pastoral and Boarding
Joining a school and getting to know the other staff names so that you can tackle queries from students and colleagues alike is one of the many tasks new teachers face when they join a school community. I first met Chris Klimaszewska when I joined the school in 1998 and her name was certainly one of the first that I got to grips with saying and spelling so that I wouldn't offend someone within my first week. Having a somewhat unusual name myself it, was always something I tried to ensure I was accurate with.
Chris and I became Heads of Year at a time when this role was a new innovation. She took over the reins of Year 10 from Sian, a Welsh Ballroom dancing English teacher, and continued the pastoral care of St Mary's girls in its finest tradition.
Chris was a firm but fair Head of Year. Students were always given a just hearing and she went into bat on their behalf considerately and with passion.
Having had daughters at the school herself, she understood the many challenges that teenage years can bring and undertook to support students at the start of their GCSE journey.
Always practical, always kind but never accepting less than their best, she ensured her year group tackled the challenges of school life with enthusiasm and commitment and undertook to participate in the lighter side of school life herself to show that just like them, she had something to give to the school.
My first abiding memory of Chris is her playing the part of a naughty Year 10 with dishevelled and jewelled additions to her uniform in the Sixth Form Revue to gales of laughter from the students.
A second fond memory is of finding myself behind her in a pilates class (my first and last!) where I spent all of my time admiring and cursing the supple, proficient class member in front - who of course turned out to be none other than my Head of Year colleague!
Throughout her time, as part of our community, Chris learned valuable life lessons in our school community as a student, entrusted her family to us, celebrated all that is wonderful about our students with us and ensured that another generation of St Mary's girls will continue on their life journey supported by her academic inspiration and pastoral care.
St Mary's salutes you Chris and remembers that you did all that you had to do, well.