A HEADTEACHER who has worked at a Neath school for almost four decades will finally step down at the end of the month.
Roger Skilton has been head of Llangatwg Community School in Cadoxton since 1991 and will be retiring when school finishes for the Christmas holidays on Friday, December 21.
His history with the school goes right back to 1973 when he took the role of geography teacher when he was fresh out of college.
"I started here when I was 22, it was my first job out of college. I am from Waunarlwydd and went to university in London and then to Swansea University for teacher training.
"Apart from an 18-month secondment with West Glamorgan County Council in about 1986 this has been it.
"My retirement has been planned for a while. It is very emotional really."
After seeing so many children come and go during his time there, Mr Skilton, 61, said he found it difficult to name any individual highlights of his time at the school.
"There are so many things that stand out, the main thing is the students," he said.
"The qualifications they get, the things they get involved with, it is so nice to see. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time."
Mr Skilton, who has been married to his wife Hazel for 40 years and has three children, added: "I will be having a good rest, that will be the first thing.
"But I would like to travel a bit, my son Mark lives in Australia so I would like to see him."
Chairman of the school of governors, Resolven councillor Des Davies, said: "I have been chairman for approximately 20 years and was vice-chairman when Mr Skilton was appointed.
"At the time he was quite a young man who had been appointed to a large school on two separate sites.
"I believe parents, pupils and staff have tremendous respect for him and for his commitment and dedication to the school.
"He has certainly made contribution and everybody will miss his enthusiasm and commitment to the school."
Current head of Cwrt Sart Comprehensive, Alan Rowlands, will be taking over at Llangatwg in January.