TEARS are being shed as a popular headteacher says goodbye to the school she has worked at for more than 25 years.
Susan Stothard, who has worked in education for four decades, retires from Biddick Primary and Nursery School, in Washington, tomorrow after initially joining as deputy head.
She was given a surprise assembly as a fond farewell by pupils and fellow staff ahead of the end of the current term.
Each year group carried out a music performance in honour of Mrs Stothard.
An emotional Mrs Stothard said she had been “overwhelmed” by the surprise, which had been weeks in the planning by staff and pupils.
“I think I’ve only stopped crying now,” she said.
“Apparently the pupils have been hiding in the corridors when I nearly saw them rehearsing a couple of times.
“I just can’t believe all of the school have come together along with the staff and governors. Even some of my ex-pupils who have grown up and gone to Biddick Academy have come back to see me.”
Mrs Stothard has devoted her working life to educating Wearside’s children.
She began her teaching career at Dame Dorothy School in Dock Street in 1975, before moving on to Hetton Lyons Primary three years later.
After spending 10 years in Hetton, she joined Biddick Primary in 1988 as deputy headteacher, eventually taking on the headteacher role about 17 years ago.
“It’s been a privilege all of these years to work with these staff in a very, very welcoming environment where everyone is so supportive of the children,” she added.
“What they’ve all done is just a fantastic tribute and I want to say a big thank you to everyone.”