Say it with snakes: Sunderland pupils name python after retiring headteacher

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PUPILS picked a very ssssspecial gift to say goodbye to their headteacher – naming a python after her.

As retirement presents go, Sue Palmer, headteacher at George Washington Primary School, got a very unusual one.

The pupils decided to name a snake, Palmer the python, after their headteacher who left the school after 11 years at the helm.

Victoria Bates, Early Years Foundation Stage manager at the Well Bank Road school, said: “A few months ago, staff from Pets at Home Washington came to visit the children and brought some of the animals with them.

“They had just taken delivery of two reptiles, a python and a gecko, and because they were new, they said our children could name them. The students were over the moon and came up with the idea of calling the python Palmer after Mrs Palmer and they named the gecko George.”

The animals are for display only in the Washington store.

Staff from Pets at Home took the python along to the school’s leavers’ ceremony to introduce him to his namesake.

Ms Bates said: “I don’t know how we managed to keep it a secret from her for so long.

“Every year group in the school took part in an assembly and we managed to rehearse it without her knowing.” She said Mrs Palmer has been a wonderful headteacher and will be sadly missed.

Dr Ailsa Taylor will take over as headteacher in September.