Emotional goodbye as school stalwarts bow out

Gillian Powers (left) and Sheila Watson, who have each taught at Fulwell Infant School for over twenty years with some of their pupils with retiremnent gifts at the school in Ebdon Lane, Fulwell, Sunderland on Friday
Gillian Powers (left) and Sheila Watson, who have each taught at Fulwell Infant School for over twenty years with some of their pupils with retiremnent gifts at the school in Ebdon Lane, Fulwell, Sunderland on Friday
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Pupils and staff have bid an emotional farewell to two school stalwarts who are retiring after almost half a century’s service between them.

Long-serving Sheila Watson and Gillian Powers both enjoyed their final day at Fulwell Infants School Academy yesterday after working there for 23 years and 24 years respectively.

They are two very, very valuable members of staff and we are really sad to see them go.

Wendy Angus, headteacher

The pair are retiring from work and were guests at a special assembly to say goodbye.

Sheila, 60, has taught across all age groups at the Ebdon Lane school during her time there.

“I’ve worked with some of the best people and some of the best children in my time here,” said Sheila.

“I’ve really enjoyed it because it’s such a brilliant school.

“I still love what I do, but I feel that the time is right to retire.”

Sheila, who lives in Roker, is now looking forward to a holiday in Crete.

Gillian is the school’s nursery nurse but has taught across all age groups during her 24 years.

“I’ve been thinking about retiring for a little while and now I’ve made the decision,” said Gillian, 57, who also lives in Roker.

“My husband Mark has just retired and with our daughter Sarah living over in New Zealand we’re going to go over and see her soon.”

Gillian added: “The school is such a lovely place to work in.

“We’ve had a great time this morning with a little school assembly where there has been lots of singing, as well as quite a few tears.

“It’s really, really nice of everyone to do this for us.”

Fulwell Infants headteacher, Wendy Angus, paid tribute to both Sheila and Gillian.

“I just want to say on behalf of the school, the staff and the children how much we have appreciated their dedicated service over years and years.

“They are two very, very valuable members of staff and we are really sad to see them go today.

“They aren’t just loved here but by all of the community.”