Commiseration turns to celebration for former Hodgson student

IT was a day of mixed feelings for a university tutor who returned to his former school – Hodgson Academy – for a special prize-giving ceremony. Sam Rushworth was the guest speaker at today’s (Friday 8th May) Year 11 Graduation Ceremony, only a few hours after losing his bid to win a parliamentary seat for Labour in the key battlefield of Blackpool North and Cleveleys.

Mr Rushworth said putting aside his obvious “disappointment” following the General Election result, he was delighted to be part of Hodgson’s celebrations. The Year 11 students were awarded with their Progress Files and various awards during the ceremony to officially mark their five years at Hodgson prior to the GCSE examinations beginning next week.

Mr Rushworth told the audience of students, staff and parents: “Success is about being true to yourself. Live your lives being happy and kind to all of the people around you. These were the type of values that I learnt when I was at Hodgson.”

Mr Rushworth, 31, was a student at Hodgson from 1995 to 2000 and left with 12 GCSEs. After Blackpool Sixth Form College, he travelled to Canada and worked as a missionary on service projects in France. He has also worked for the British Red Cross.

Father-of-four Mr Rushworth undertook a post in 2010 at the University of East Anglia to research post-conflict reconciliation in Rwanda, Africa, since the 1994 genocide. Mr Rushworth and his family lived in Rwanda for two years, where he taught at a local secondary school.

Mr Rushworth was selected as the Labour candidate for Blackpool North and Cleveleys in July 2013 and has spent the past two years on the campaign trail.

Hodgson’s Prom will take place tonight at the Village Urban Resort Blackpool.