It was a sad day at Ketton Primary School as a retirement ceremony was held to say goodbye to head teacher Mandy Rogers.
The whole school, plus parents, past and present, governors, villagers and friends, gathered in the school hall.
Mrs Rogers joined the school 23 years ago as a reception teacher and became deputy head, joint head and then substantive head teacher four years ago.
Many of the school’s 183 pupils lined up to pay their own tribute and she was presented with a framed montage of words the children had used to describe her, such as funny, kind and beautiful. The school choir performed the song Sing and a medley of Mary Poppins songs.
At the request of the children, Mrs Rogers sat in a chair converted to look a throne and a pink crown was placed on her head.
Chairman of governors Sarah Mann said it was a sad time for everyone but she knew Mrs Rogers was looking forward to an exciting retirement involving camper vans and travel.
“Mrs Rogers loves teaching and loves the children and her passion is for helping every single child to reach their potential,” she said. “We have all been very blessed to have had her teach our children. We owe her such a great deal.”
Senior teacher Julia Howard said Mrs Rogers had worked hard to make the school what it is today.
“The children love her and feel extremely valued by her and the staff feel the same,” she said. “We will all miss her very much.”
Mrs Rogers thanked the children, staff, parents, board of governors and PTFA for so many happy years and the afternoon ended with tea and cake. She said afterwards it had been a privilege to have enjoyed such a long and happy career at the school and she was sad to be leaving.
“I shall miss the children and all the staff and all the wonderful people I have worked with over the years,” she said. “This is a superb school with a fantastic team.”
Her husband Andrew retired two weeks ago and they are planning to travel around the UK and abroad. The couple live in Ryhall and have two daughters, Anna, 30 and Becca, 27.
Ketton’s new executive head is Rob Gooding who is also head of Whissendine Primary School and St Nicholas School, Cottesmore.
Earlier in the afternoon a number of children represented their classmates to mark the official opening of the newly-repaired trim trail of play equipment.
Ketton-based Hanson Cement provided £700 to replace worn-out rope around the climbing frame and trail perimeter with metal chains. The work was carried out by local contractor Rob Mills.
Hanson’s plant manager Stewart Jones said: “We have a long-standing relationship with the school and are only too pleased to be able to assist it.
“We would like to take this opportunity of wishing Mandy Rogers all the best for her retirement and look forward to continuing working with the school.”
Mrs Rogers thanked the company for its generosity.