Rhubarb 2019

40 ST EDWARD’S r h u b a r b

Keith Shindler On 9th December 2018, Keith Shindler (CR, 1997-2015). The following was sent to us by Rosie Wink (née Hamilton) (K, 2000-2005). Keith came to Teddies in January 1997 as a graduate assistant for two terms. He finally left the common room 18 years later, having served the school in numerous roles. He taught Geography and had an immediate impact on the department where he became the young ‘gadget man’, leading the way in the revolutionary move to IT- assisted teaching. Although I, as a Shell, and many others undoubtedly benefited from Keith’s geography instruction, I must confess my recollection of tectonic plates and river formations is now somewhat vague while my memories of the other aspects of teaching in which Keith was involved remain vivid to this day. He supported numerous extra-curricular activities including swimming, scuba-diving, rugby, fencing, and was a Tutor, and then Assistant HM in Kendall. On leaving the academic staff in 2001, his main focus became the outdoor classroom; DofE and CCF being two aspects of school life that he transformed. He certainly changed the lives of all those in the CCF when he took over as OC Army Section and later Contingent Commander; the familiar routine of drill, obstacle courses and kit checking on a Monday afternoon was augmented with a much broader curriculum of practical fieldcraft and personal development opportunities. I now know that much of what he did went somewhat beyond the limits of the official curriculum; had anything gone wrong (I won’t go into the incident of the misfiring smoke grenade here!) there would doubtless have been some repercussions. He was never afraid to push the boundaries in order to provide the best possible opportunities for his pupils. I have no doubt that it is for this reason that he had such a significant impact on so many of us. He will perhaps be best remembered by pupils and staff for the famous Shell Snowdonia trips, which he pioneered in 2004 with his fellow common room member and future wife, Jo (née Dowman). By my calculations, over the course of eight or nine years he probably led, cajoled and convinced about 1,000 pupils (including me) up and over Tryfan, a genuinely challenging and occasionally hair-raising 913m peak. It proved

a defining experience for many, including one teacher who took a nasty tumble and had to be airlifted to safety. I was with Keith on that memorable occasion; the calm and assured way he dealt with the incident has stayed with me ever since – just another lesson from a man who was a teacher in everything he did, in or out of the classroom. In the summer of 2006 Keith finally married Jo and had two daughters, Sophie and Kirsty. In their early years both girls probably spent as much time on Teddies ground as they did off it and also joined the DofE and Snowdonia trips. Keith returned to the common room full-time as Director of Sports and Activities in 2007. The following years saw him invest energy in all aspects of Teddies’ extra-curricular programme, with a particular focus on providing more opportunities for individual and leadership development. One of his projects was to provide better links between the CCF and OSE now serving in the military. Keith continued to work at St Edward’s until 2015, when he followed Jo to Pangbourne College, although he maintained a role assisting with DofE and CCF until illness prevented him. When he first left the full-time staff, his peers described him as ‘talented, hard-working, loyal, popular and funny’; I have no doubt everyone who had the pleasure of working with him at any time during his tenure would agree. Teddies is privileged to have had many great teachers but there are occasionally those who, through some undefined magic, shape the character of their pupils beyond the classroom, influencing the adults they become. Keith was that for me, and a mentor and friend besides. He will be sorely missed.

for meticulous administration, so the ‘Grey Book’ soon left his care again. But he loved outdoor life. Running the Second VIII, the Fourth XV, the Naval Section (into which he was plunged, perhaps somewhat reluctantly at first, practically on his arrival here): he threw himself into it all with zest and enjoyed it tremendously. So one can understand why he always seemed in such a hurry. Particularly with, in addition to this, his almost fanatical passion for reading contemporary European literature. As he once confessed, he felt unhappy if a week passed by, even in term- time, without his having read one new play or novel—lucky man! Now he will also be able to devote himself more fully to another great love of his—Russian. He first took it up during his National Service with the Navy before going up to Oxford, and although he did not then read Russian at the University, it retained a very special attraction for him. Recently he took it up again, studying for an external London degree in Russian. And he will now have much greater scope for teaching it. For all of which we wish him the very best of luck. Written by FJA Alexander Kim Quick We are very sad to have to report that Kim Quick, wife of James (CR, 1984-2003), lost her brave fight with breast cancer early last summer. The School was represented by the Warden and many other dear friends from St Edward’s at a massively well-attended memorial service in Norfolk in August. James and his four daughters all spoke movingly of their lives with Kim. Friends and ex-colleagues talked equally poignantly of her time at the Dragon and at Gresham’s, as well as at James’ side here at Teddies. 



Kim Quick

Keith Shindler

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