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King's Cliffe Endowed School's Wonder Woman business manager retires after 26 years




After a staggering 26 years of service, King’s Cliffe Endowed Primary School have said goodbye to ‘the heart of their school’ Joan Cunningham.

Mrs Cunningham has been the school’s business manager for 26 years but retired on Friday last week.

As part of the many celebrations organised at school to mark her retirement, the Year 6 class were tasked with becoming journalists themselves to write articles about Mrs Cunningham as part of a competition. They interviewed her about her career and collected quotes from other staff members before drafting their articles and finalising the reports.

King's Cliffe Endowed School business manager Joan Cunningham has retired
King's Cliffe Endowed School business manager Joan Cunningham has retired

All of the reports were collated into a book to give to Mrs Cunningham as a gift which Year 6 teacher Jocelyn Knight said she was “over the moon with”.

The three finalists were decided by the current headteacher Lynda Bowyer and deputy headteacher Barbara Yeo.

The final winner out of these three was anonymously voted for by Year 6. The overall winner was Maisie Viney and her report is featured here, below.

King's Cliffe Endowed School pupil Maisie Viney, who wrote a newspaper article about the retirement of school business manager Joan Cunningham
King's Cliffe Endowed School pupil Maisie Viney, who wrote a newspaper article about the retirement of school business manager Joan Cunningham

School's Wonder Woman retires

by Maisie Viney

On Friday, May 28, Mrs Joan Cunningham (school business manager for King’s Cliffe Endowed Primary School) retired after 26 years of service in order to spend time with her family and friends.

In 1995, on March 5, Mrs Cunningham was employed by the headteacher at the time – Mr Phillip Buckle. She has reported that she first started work at the old school, which is located on Park Street, and is a Grade II listed building.

During this time, the school was much smaller: 78 pupils and nine employees.

However, it has drastically changed during Mrs Cunningham’s employment; there are now 188 pupils and 33 employees as well as having moved into a brand new building in 2017.

When Year 6 conducted an interview on May 25, Mrs Cunningham reported, when asked what her favourite memory was: “Well… being amongst all you boys and girls, the lovely staff…being able to come in to school and be with very nice people.”

Within her career, Mrs Cunningham said she has been fortunate to witness many family generations come through the school. Additionally, she declared that she has even seen previous pupils become parents, with their children now attending the school.

In order to celebrate and thank Mrs Cunningham for all her hard work and dedication, throughout the last week of term, the community of King’s Cliffe, the pupils, staff and governors (at KCEPS) planned many surprises.

Mrs Bowyer, the current headteacher, has confirmed the alleged whispers and rumours: “Mrs Cunningham is my Wonder Woman!”

She also said: “Thank you Mrs Cunningham for your dedication, your loyalty and your trust… and hard work throughout the last 26 years.

“I will be incredibly sad to see you go, but I know that you are off to new adventures. I wish you well… everyone does!”



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