Cotswold Beacon Academy Trust CEO Dr Stuart Wilson is due to retire tomorrow and yesterday he was whisked off in a helicopter arranged by his colleagues to mark the special milestone.
Dr Wilson has been the CEO of the multi-academy trust, which includes Marling School, Berkeley Primary, and Cam Woodfield Junior, since 2016.
The helicopter ride yesterday (Tuesday, April 25) was a complete surprise for Dr Wilson and was joined by his wife and son where they flew over all the schools across the academy trust.
As the helicopter flew over Cam Woodfield Junior, children spelt out ‘thank you’ in the school’s playing field.
For the past 27 years, Dr Wilson has worked as a teacher and headteacher in classrooms all over Gloucestershire.
He previously served as headteacher at Marling School in Stroud for ten years, ending in March 2021, and also briefly at Cheltenham’s Cleeve School. He also spent time teaching at Deer Park School in Cirencester.
Colleague and headteacher of Berkeley Primary Alex Robbins said: “Our CEO Dr Stuart Wilson retires tomorrow after 27 years teaching in secondary schools in Gloucestershire.
“To mark his retirement, I organised a bespoke helicopter tour over all the schools in the trust, and the children in Cam spelt out messages of thanks on the school grounds.
“It was a huge surprise, and he arrived at the airport blindfolded, where he was greeted by his family, who flew with him to share in such a special occasion.
“It was superb and he was thrilled.
“Due to the power station, there were flight restrictions over Berkeley sadly, but they flew around the flight bubble.
“He has been a brilliant CEO, and has continued to promote Cotswold Beacon Academy Trust as a multi-academy trust, where schools retain full autonomy for the communities they serve, whilst driving standards for improvement and excellence.
“He will be greatly missed, but we all wish him every happiness as he and his wife embark on their travels around the world together.”
Dr Wilson trained and worked as an engineering geologist, receiving a first degree and doctorate from the University of Bristol, before a career change into teaching in 1996.
Kim Wilson will take Dr Wilson’s place as the new CEO of CBAT starting next month.