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Ashville College’s tenth headmaster, Richard Marshall, loses his fight against cancer

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Ashville College is today in mourning following the death of its tenth Headmaster, Richard Marshall, who has lost his battle with cancer at the age of just 48.

Leading the tributes Jamie Search, Chair of Governors, described Mr Marshall as an “outstanding leader who has been tragically taken from us far too early”, whilst Elspeth Fisher, Ashville College Acting Head, said it was “an incredibly sad day for Ashville College and the wider Ashville family”, and_ _Ian Brown, President of the Ashvillian Society, added “we will remember the many ways Richard positively impacted on so many Ashville lives”.

On joining three years ago from Bury Grammar School for Boys where he had been its Head for four years, Mr Marshall described Ashville as “truly unique”, and a “successful day and boarding school with a global identity and perspective”.

He looked forward “to building on the successes of previous Headmasters and leading the school in its exciting next stage of development”.

His three young children, Ethan, Emily and Harry, became Ashville pupils the same day he became its Headmaster, with his wife, Kym, joining the teaching staff. Today she holds the role as Deputy Head of Prep School (Academic).

Highlights of Mr Marshall’s Ashville headship saw record numbers of pupils on the school register, the launch of Ashville International Kindergarten and Nursery in Lantau Island, Hong Kong, and Ashville winning accreditation to the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), an international association that works to establish and maintain high standards within education.

Last year, Ashville was rated as a “great school” in the highly influential Good Schools Guide (GSG), with the author of the entry describing it as “_a great school. The common sense of purpose that runs from the Head and Governors down to the youngest child in Acorns is very strong_”.

His love of basketball led him to introducing it to Ashville’s sports curriculum and appointing Voise Winters, a former National Basketball Association (NBA) player, as the College’s first basketball coach.

Mr Search said: “Richard joined Ashville following a rigorous interview process and was the unanimous choice of the Governing Body.

That decision proved to be the right one as from the outset he fully immersed himself in Ashville life and focused on the education of our pupils.

“He brought a drive and determination to improve all aspects of Ashville. As a scientist he loved technology and data and the level of detail he delved into was immense, for the betterment of every pupil. He had a good deal of business acumen that is vital for any modern school head and worked tirelessly to maximise the use of every pound.

Improving the facilities at Ashville was always on his mind and he oversaw the refurbishment of our Sixth Form Centre, two boys boarding houses and the first phase of the Dining Room expansion and upgrade project.

“All here at Ashville are absolutely devastated and we will continue to support Kym and the children in any way we can.”

Mr Marshall was a graduate of University of Birmingham (First in Biochemistry) and had an MSc in Science Communication from Imperial College London.

He described himself as “loving technology” and was an advocate of using technology in the classroom to improve pupil outcomes.

A basketball fanatic, he represented England in the sport as a schoolboy at Under 15, 19 and 23 age levels, whilst also playing for the British University England team and was captain of his university first team.

A service celebrating Mr Marshall’s life will be held at a later date.

Donations can be made in his memory to Saint Michael’s Hospice here.

For more information about Ashville visit www.ashville.co.uk or call 01423 566358.

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