Posted on 23 May 2018
As voted for by staff, Merrist Wood College has recently named a meeting room 'The Collingridge Room', after one of the College’s longest serving members of staff.
Paul Collingridge is a Lecturer of Horticultural Sciences, who specialises in botany and ecology, and has worked at the College for over 33 years. In 1985 Paul joined the College as a Lab Technician, and later joined the College’s teaching staff as a Horticulture Lecturer. Since then Paul has taught many students studying Horticulture, Landscaping, Arboriculture, Wildlife and Conservation, and Animal Management programmes.
One of the nominations for ‘The Collingridge Room’ said: “Paul has served Merrist Wood College for many years, and in those years has used his incredible teaching skills at all levels, with the same enthusiasm and commitment. He has always been there for his colleagues to help them with their paperwork, computer skills and teaching. The students have always shown great admiration for Paul, have learnt so much from him and have benefitted from his passion about science and nature."
Another nomination said: “My experience of seeing Paul interacting with students shows him to be compassionate and caring, as well as an inspirational teacher. He cares deeply for the College and it’s staff and on top of all that, he is just a really, really nice person. I also think ‘The Collingridge Room’ has a nice ring to it!”
When asked what he enjoys the most about teaching at Merrist Wood College, Paul said: “We take youngsters who may have little to no idea about what they want to do in the future and hope to use our passion for the subject to infuse excitement and guide them in a purposeful direction. We strive to make our students feel valued, draw them in through the wonder of the subject and help them discover the joy in what they are learning to hold them there.”
“I was surprised but honoured to hear the room was to be named after me; like every teacher here I grow daily by standing shoulder to shoulder with many education giants, past and present, who I admire tremendously. It is a real tribute to be recognised among the many.”