MidKent College principal Stephen Grix has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

MidKent College principal Stephen Grix

Mr Grix, who rejoined the College in 2005 having studied there more than 30 years earlier, is recognised for services to further education.

He said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have been awarded an OBE for doing a job I love and which I am extremely passionate about.

“I had a tough time at school and left at 15 with no formal qualifications, but thanks to further education I was able to build a career that eventually led me to where I am today.

“I hope my story demonstrates to young people that school is not the only option available to them. Many students are far more suited to the vocational style of learning that MidKent College can provide.”

Mr Grix first joined the College in 1971 when he enrolled as a day-release bricklaying student at the former City Way campus in Chatham.

He moved into teaching in his twenties and returned to MidKent College to study for an education degree before subsequently moving on to gain a master’s degree in education management.

Mr Grix went on to become principal of Sir George Monoux College in Walthamstow, north-east London, and then head of Ofsted’s post-compulsory education division.

Next was a role as director of education for the London borough of Tower Hamlets before the father-of-three returned to MidKent College as principal and chief executive in March 2005.

Mr Grix is due to step down as principal at the end of the current academic year but will continue as chief executive on a part-time basis until 2015.

Meanwhile, MidKent College lecturer Nick Sermon – teaching and learning manager for Media/Music Technology and Art & Design at the Medway Campus – has also been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Nick is director of music for the Air Cadets and has received a personal commendation of meritorious service from RAF Chief of Staff Sir Stephen Dalton.

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