EASTER will be an extra special holiday time for Marilyn Harrop when she officially becomes president of the National Union of Teachers (NUT).
To start her presidential year, the Roker teacher will be giving her maiden speech at a conference in Torquay on Saturday.
The 61-year-old said: “I have some trepidation about it, it is a tremendous responsibility to be taking on, but it is also exciting.”
Marilyn began her teacher training in 1973 and started her career at Farringdon Infant School before moving on to Silksworth Junior School, where she remained for 19 years, before moving to Ryhope Junior School to take on the role of deputy headteacher.
In 2009, Marilyn took voluntary redundancy and spent the next couple of years working as a supply teacher across the North East.
Marilyn joined the NUT as soon as she started her teacher training and says she will probably remain a member until the day she dies.
She said: “I started going to the meetings and just got sucked into going to more and more meetings and moving up a level.”
For many years Marilyn worked as a representative helping people at a local level and it wasn’t until her children were in their teens she began travelling to more conferences and being elected on to more committees, such as the union’s heads and deputies committee.
Marilyn has already served a year as junior vice-president and one as senior vice-president and following her presidential year, she will spend a year as ex-president, which will be her full four years on the executive committee.
Marilyn said, of her coming year in office, she would like to be able to say her aim is to improve things, but in reality it could be more about fighting not to let things get worse.
She said: “It will be about defending jobs, pay and pensions and promoting quality education for all.”
The mum-of-two said she also wants to help protect the teaching profession and represent all members.
She said: “We want workplaces to be free from discrimination and bullying and from unwarranted lesson observations. And safe, healthy school environments with pupils being taught by qualified teachers.”