LONG-SERVING headteacher Maureen Tunney has been at John T Rice Infant School for so many years that some of the children she first saw pass through the school gates, are now bringing their own little ones to the school.
But at the end of this school year, Miss Tunney bid farewell to pupils and staff at the Forest Town school for the final time and retired from her role after 21 years.
She has been in teaching for 35 years and always worked at schools in the local area, but is leaving to look after her elderly mother.
She said of the Braemar Road school: “It’s wonderful.
“I have had a really supportive team, really supportive governing body and hard-working children, colleagues, parents and carers.
“I will really miss it.”
Miss Tunney leaves John T Rice with a ‘good’ Ofsted report and having helped many children on their way to a good education and many teachers on to successful careers.
Zoe Anderson, Miss Tunney’s deputy, who will take over as acting headteacher, said: “Everybody is sad but she’s going to care for her elderly mother so is going with good intentions.
“She’s made a real impact on hundreds of children’s lives through the years.
“She’s very big in the local community as a whole and has worked hard forging relationships with community groups across the area.
“She will be sadly missed not just by the staff but by parents and children too.”
Miss Tunney said she has seen many changes in the education system during her career but her staff have always pulled together to adapt.
One thing that pupils will remember her for is her love of music, with singing being one of her passions.
She was even known to start a singsong with the children during wet playtimes and hopes to find more time for music in retirement.
Mrs Anderson added: “The children think of her as a fair headteacher and very kind.
“They know about her love of music and put on a concert of her favourite songs.”
Miss Tunney requested that people did not give her presents to mark her retirement, instead donating money to Rainbows Children’s Hospice.
A rainbow day was also held at school on her last day, with pupils dressing up in colourful clothes and giving a small donation to do so.
A total of £350 was raised for the good cause.
However she was treated to a trip to see The Sound of Music at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal and a party.