Stella’s name lives on at Dukeries

A Mansfield school has marked its half century with the renaming of its sixth form centre in honour of a much respected councillor.

The Dukeries Academy, the first purpose built comprehensive school in Nottinghamshire celebrated a 50th birthday on 7th July.

Pupils took part in activities based on the history of the school, and in the afternoon the annual sports day was held.

Part of the celebrations included the opening of the Stella Smedley Post-16 Centre, by Anthony May, Chief Executive of Nottinghamshire County Council.

The building was named in honour of Coun Stella Smedley MBE, the long-time Chair of Governors at The Dukeries, who died last October.

She was made an MBE in 2010 for services to the community

Principal Ian Barton said: “The naming of the building was to celebrate an outstanding life’s work based on Stella’s philosophy that all children deserve the opportunity to succeed and have equal chances, a vision that is firmly embedded in the ethos of The Dukeries Academy.

“Stella’s vision led to the creation of The Dukeries Community College, a unique, innovative learning community.”

Coun Smedley was the driving force behind the creation of a major hub of facilities for young people, older people, people with disabilities and the unemployed.

She was awarded an MBE in 2010 in recognition of her immense contribution to Ollerton and Boughton, and to Nottinghamshire.

The Band played before the ceremony and guests included previous principals of the academy, ex-members of staff and representatives of local coucnils and the governing body.