8:00pm Saturday 28th July 2012
By Chris Melvin
Four teachers with more than 100 years at George Ward and Melksham Oak schools retired at the end of the school year last Friday.
One was PE and special educational needs teacher Sue Pierce, the longest-serving teacher at George Ward, having joined the school in 1974.
She was given a standing ovation by colleagues and said: “I’m feeling totally overwhelmed. I don’t really believe it’s true. I’ll turn up for the staff meeting in September. Melksham is a most amazing place. I’ve already cried my eyes out.”
Mrs Pierce said she planned to relax, travel and see what retirement would bring.
Graham Shingleton, a geography teacher who started at George Ward in 1982, said: “I’ve been here 30 years; some people only get nine for murder. It’s been challenging but it’s been a real pleasure.
“I’ll miss my colleagues and I’ll miss the students a lot, as well.
Mr Shingleton said he wanted to finish work on his house, then do nothing until the end of the year.
George Ward art teacher Hilary Hutchings, who started at the school in 1987, said: “I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed; it’s surreal. It’s been so much a part of my life for 25 years.
“It’s a fantastic team here. This school’s got an incredible future. I’ve loved to have been a little part of that.”
Mrs Hutchings plans to travel, spend time with her grandchildren and do some pottery in her retirement.
Trevor Wright, a maths teacher at George Ward since 1990, said: “I’m coming back to do some maths one-to-one mentoring and I’ll be spending time with my children.”
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