10:00am Sunday 29th July 2012
By Craig Jones
A devoted teaching assistant at Corsham Regis Primary School said an emotional farewell to pupils, parents and staff after 22 years of loyal service.
As the academic year at the school in King’s Avenue drew to a close, Joyce Jones, 62, decided the time was right to retire.
Mrs Jones, who started there in 1990, was a teaching assistant with the FS2 reception class, looking after children aged four and five.
The school held an assembly last Wednesday to say goodbye to Mrs Jones and pupils gave her chocolates and flowers.
The next day she had a tea party with staff who presented a cake.
Mrs Jones, who lives with husband Alan, 65, in Corsham, said: “This decision took me a couple of months to make, as I could have gone on a few more years. But my husband retired in April and it just seemed an appropriate time. It was really emotional during the assembly. I’ve really loved my time with the school. There’s been some great pupils. I’ve made some wonderful bonds with parents and the staff are all fantastic here.”
Mother-of-two Mrs Jones, who started as a volunteer at the school, also celebrated her 40th wedding anniversary on Sunday.
She plans to spend her retirement with her family, which includes sons Steven, 31, and Andrew, 28. She will also be going on holiday to Malta with her husband later in the summer.
Headteacher Louisa Sellars said: “Joyce has done great work with our young children for many years, getting them used to school life and setting the foundations for years to come.
“She has been a real rock here and I don’t think it will be until September when her absence will really hit us. Every day she gives 150 per cent, with a smile on her face. She will be hugely missed.”
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