A SCHOOL has waved goodbye to its dedicated arts leader after 16 years.

Creative Director Katy Milne is leaving Greenfield Arts, in Newton Aycliffe, to take on a new arts and cultural role in South Tyneside.

During her time at the school, Ms Milne has been responsible for bringing initiatives to Greenfield and the wider community working alongside a range of partners.

The school has celebrated her work and wished her luck in her new role.

A spokesperson from the school said: “Greenfield Arts are incredibly sad to be losing creative director Katy Milne as she moves on to new adventures in a new arts and cultural role across South Tyneside.

“Katy has been an exceptional leader at Greenfield Arts and an integral part of Greenfield Community College for over sixteen years, elevating the arts and creative learning through a range of valuable and innovative partnership projects and creative programmes.

“She is a tireless advocate of self-led learning and worked with TED prize winner Professor Sugata to initiate and host one of seven labs worldwide at Greenfield Arts, enabling students and young people to develop skills, be curious and grow to be self-led learners.

“Katy has also led both the men’s cree and youth cree for ten years at Greenfield Arts with funding from Public Health, supporting creativity and well-being in the community that cascades to support others.

"She has been responsible for wider projects such as ‘Cutting Loose’ festival programme.”

Just this month, Ms Milne is celebrating the culmination of community projects including ‘Shout About Shildon’ celebrating the people and the place; a pop-up musical performance with input from the cree; the ‘Shildon in Motion’ artistic gateway at Shildon Station, student recognition for their poetry through the Terry Kelly awards and the creation of a film promoting a culture for creative learning led by student leaders.

A school spokesperson said: “Katy leaves a lasting legacy of creative learning and enquiry through the many partnerships and initiatives she has nurtured including her work with professional artists and organisations such as the Anne Frank Trust, creating a strong voice led by the young leaders and securing funding to ‘make things happen’. Her personal touch and attention to detail is inspiring.

“Katy has told us how proud she is of the creativity we continue to see across the community and the spirit of enquiry, curiosity and connection that we value so deeply at Greenfield Arts. Katy expressed how honoured she feels to have worked with so many amazing people across the community for the last 16 years, people who have been open to creatively explore ideas, collaborate, enquire, reflect and create.

“Katy told us how much she will miss working at Greenfield Arts, and across such fantastic communities here, as she moves on to new opportunities this June.”