Loughborough Grammar School says goodbye to long-serving duo

John Weitzel and Peter Sergeant

Loughborough Grammar School will say goodbye this summer to two members of staff who have a combined 79 years’ service at the school.

John Weitzel and Peter Sergeant both retire after 38 and 41 years of service respectively at the independent day and boarding school for boys, which is part of the Loughborough Endowed Schools Foundation.

During his tenure, John Weitzel has held a variety of roles at the school, including deputy headmaster and acting headmaster on two occasions, as well as being involved in a huge range of activities – producing plays, musicals and staff pantomimes, singing in the choir, managing musical tours to the USA, and its gala concerts at various major venues. He also assisted with the activities of the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme, and the Combined Cadet Force.

His sporting interests led to his coaching junior rugby, and his experience in the role of director of cricket extended beyond school to an enviable career in the cricketing world. He has been a member of the English Schools’ Cricket Association’s National Executive since 1990 and the ESCA (Midlands) regional secretary since 1989. He also served as the England U15 and U16 manager, coached the England U15 team for five years and chaired the Leicestershire Schools’ Cricket Association on three occasions.

On the eve of his retirement, he said: “A highlight for me was definitely meeting the Queen when chairing the Quincentenary Committee when the school celebrated its 500thAnniversary in 1995.

“I may be retiring from teaching, but fortunately I won’t be retiring from the school completely. I will be returning with the task of developing links to former pupils and staff through our alumni association and developing the School Archive.

“I am very proud of my 38 years’ service to the school, and look forward to serving it in new ways.”

Peter Sergeant joined the school in 1975 teaching primarily English and Drama, and was naturally heavily involved in school productions from the outset, during his first decade being responsible for the production or direction of some 30 major plays and musicals.

He served as the school’s press officer, head of general studies and was head of year 7, when he was also in charge of Entrance Examinations. One of Peter’s most distinguished achievements came as a result of his experience as examination officer. Between 2003 and 2010, he was seconded to the Qualifications and Curriculum Agency as the principal presenter of the government’s training programme, during the modernisation of the public examination system. In this role he travelled the country entertaining and educating others in the complex aspects of timetables and results administration. Latterly, having served as assistant headmaster for seven years, Peter has been director of admissions at all levels of entry.

In 1981 Peter joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Training) to serve in the school’s Combined Cadet Force, and has just retired as the Contingent Commander with the rank of Wing Commander after 34 years’ service.  In retirement he is hoping to spend some time restoring his favourite form of transport – the bicycle, of which he has a variety of vintage types in various states of disrepair.

Peter said: “I am pleased to have been able to serve the school in so many ways and for such a long time: I am also very grateful to the three headmasters I served for the opportunities they gave me to diversify and develop my career without having to leave the beautiful campus at Loughborough.”

Duncan Byrne, headmaster at Loughborough Grammar School, added: “The school is indebted to John and Peter for their contribution to the academic and co-curricular education of hundreds of pupils during their time with us. All the staff and pupils wish them well in their retirement.”

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