AN awards ceremony at a Rhodesia primary school took an unexpected turn last week when the retiring headteacher was given a special surprise of her own.
Val Poulton, who is retiring from Haggonfields Primary after 22 years’ service, was presented with our Guardian Rose by pupils and parents.
Parents Katie Hancock and Traci Ogley said everybody felt Mrs Poulton deserved to be recognised for her dedication to the school.
Mrs Poulton was given the award by Year Six pupils during the school’s annual end of year awards ceremony.
“She does absolutely everything for the school,” said Traci, whose son Thomas is in Year Four.
“Mrs Poulton has been around for over 20 years. She was a teacher before she took on the deputy headteacher role and then took over as acting headteacher last year.”
“She even helps out with the football team.”
“Her door is always open. It’s a real family school and such a close community. I think we’ve shown that over the last few weeks saving the free school bus to Portland School.”
Katie, whose son Lewis is in Year Six, added: “Mrs Poulton was a teacher when I was at the school and it’s been lovely bringing my own child to the school.”
“I’m still helping out at the school after Lewis leaves.”
Mrs Poulton has been acting headteacher for the last year after Barrie Saunders retired.
She said she was taking early retirement herself because the time felt right.
“In terms of the school I know would be leaving it in safe hands and I’m also leaving for family commitments,” she said.
Current assistant headteacher Brian Huxley will take over the reins in September, but will be sure to see Mrs Poulton again.
“I shall be coming in to see the team in school from time to time,” she said.
“I’d like to thank all the parents and fantastic staff in the school for everything.”
Mrs Poulton added that she was looking forward to spending time with her family – and not having to keep a diary!