Staff members who racked up 100 say farewell to Teddington school

Farewell: Betty Wood, Deirdre Odling, Chrissie Cemm, Maggie Dowell and Helen Quigley

Farewell: Betty Wood, Deirdre Odling, Chrissie Cemm, Maggie Dowell and Helen Quigley

First published in This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter - Richmond and Twickenham

Five members of staff at a Teddington school have bid farewell to pupils and colleagues after a combined service of more than 100 years.

Teachers Helen Quigley, Maggie Dowell and Deirdre Odling all walked out of the Sacred Heart gates for the final time last Friday.

They were joined by teaching assistants Chrissie Cemm and Betty Wood, who also retired at the end of the school year.

Mrs Dowell taught years 5 and 6 for 28 years, while Mrs Odling taught year 4 and French in her 16-year spell, including six as a regular supply teacher.

Teaching assistant Mrs Cemm spent 13 years at the St Mark's Road school and Mrs Wood, who also once served as welfare officer, has retired after 22 years there.

Helen Quigley, from Hounslow, was the longest-serving employee to retire after 31 years at Sacred Heart.

Despite feeling sad to leave the school, she admitted it would be good to spend more time with her husband, Joe, and her friends.

She said: "It will be strange not to go back, I was given some beautiful cards from the children and they all say 'won't you miss it?'

"I will but it is time to leave now - sometimes I think how have I done it all these years and brought up three children of my own.

"Me and my friends all trained together at St Mary's in the 1970s and they are retiring around now to so it will be nice to spend time with them."

She said her daughter, Emma, was taking the baton by starting in her first teaching job at Hampton Wick Junior School in September.

Headmaster Michael Thompson described the primary school as being a "very special community".

He added: "It is fair to say Sacred Heart is a very friendly school, it is small although not in terms of class sizes.

"In terms of the length of time spent at the school and the quality of all five, it is something special."

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