Pen Portrait: Marian Stokle
As many of you will know, I have had a long and very happy connection with Hadrian. I joined the school when we first opened in 1999 as a Senior Teacher, having spent the previous 16 years teaching in three specialist schools in Newcastle. I was appointed Deputy Head Teacher in 2008, where I remained until my retirement in December 2021. By my reckoning I have spent more than a third of my life at Hadrian, just over 22 years, and I loved every minute of it! I think it’s safe to say I know the school well and am delighted and grateful to be able to continue my involvement with the school in my new role as Governor, as well as a Trustee of the Friends of Hadrian.
Over the last two decades I was privileged to work with Chris and the staff and am so very proud of what has been achieved since those early days. Under Chris and the Governing Body’s Leadership, the school has been recognised as an outstanding specialist provision, with a national reputation for excellence, and facilities we can be proud of. We were incredibly fortunate to be able to appoint Alex Rayner in November 2021 as my successor, and it has been reassuring to see how he and Chris are working closely together with the Leadership Team and staff to continue to provide an outstanding offer to children with additional needs across the city and beyond. Hadrian’s success has always been our commitment and drive to provide a bespoke service not only to our children and families but also to our wider community, and to share our best practice with others. Chris, Alex and the Governors’ plans for the future to extend our offer to our pupils as they move into adulthood, including the building of a new hydrotherapy pool and community hub are visionary, and I am so pleased that I will still be able to contribute to this in my role as Governor.
A little bit about me! Like Chris, I was born and raised in Teesside and came up to Newcastle to complete my degree at the ‘Poly’. I loved it so much I never moved back. I currently live in Heaton with my husband Geoff. My two children are grown up and have flown the nest, apart from visiting regularly to raid the fridge and dump their rubbish in my loft! I have two gorgeous grandsons, Julius, who has just started school and Matthias, who was born five days after I retired! We like to keep things in the family and I am delighted that my daughter Grace was appointed as a class teacher at Hadrian in September 2021, having spent her formative years here as a Support Assistant and TLA before deciding to train as a teacher.
I have a twin brother; unusually, we have separate birthdays, as we were born over midnight. Always competitive, I managed to get to the finishing line first and was born at 5 to midnight, 10 minutes before him.
Some of my many talents include playing the spoons and pouring out a gin and tonic with my [double jointed] feet. I haven’t quite perfected slicing the lime but I am working on it.
My spare time is spent doing all the things I love: eating and travelling, preferably all at the same time. I also enjoy Pilates, cooking, gardening and spending time with my grandchildren. A favourite day for me would be to sit in the sun chilling with a g&t and /or a glass of red wine with my kindle, preferably on a Greek Island!
I feel honoured to be part of the Governing Body at Hadrian and welcome this opportunity to use my experience and interest in SEND to support the school to provide the best possible educational and therapeutic experience our children and their families need and deserve.