Sunderland infant school teacher says goodbye as she retires after an incredible 42 years at the same school

A much-loved teacher has said an emotional goodbye to the school where she has worked for 42 years.

By Sophie Brownson
Wednesday, 17 July, 2019, 16:35

Gillian Earl, 63, has retired from Hill View Infant Academy on Helvellyn Road, Sunderland, after spending her entire career teaching its young pupils.

The grandmother-of-two attended the school as a child and went on to join its teaching ranks in September 1977.

During her time there Mrs Earl has seen her own two children attend as pupils and her grandson Robbie Newby, seven, is currently at the school.

Hill View Infant Academy pupils hold a special assembly to say thank you to teacher Gillian Earl as she retires after 42 years.

She has even taught three members of staff as well as a number of her pupil’s parents.

After more than four decades, Mrs Earl said her love of teaching is still as strong as ever.

She said: “I love teaching and it has been a pleasure and privilege to teach children at such a young age.

“Forty-two years is a long time and there has been such a lot of change in school.

Young Gillian Earl as a pupil at Hill View Infant Academy.

“I decided to stay at the school as it always felt like coming home.

“The children are lovely and the staff are brilliant – they always want to do the best for every child.

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“In my 42 years I must have taught thousands of children and its incredible to think of all the lives that I might have changed. “

Mrs Earl was thanked with a special assembly in school on Wednesday, July 17, attended by pupils, staff, and members of Mrs Earl’s family.

Hill View Infant Academy teacher Gillian Earl retires after 42 years.

Pupils sang a number of songs before Mrs Earl was presented with a cushion made by pupils.

Headteacher Claire Smith said: “Gillian has spent her whole career with us which is an exceptional commitment to our families and the school community.

"She also attended Hill View as a child and has seen many changes in education over several decades.

“She has been dedicated to Hill View during her career, with many achievements including working in a team to introduce BBC computers into school, and supporting the local authority as an Advanced Skills Teacher in maths.

An old photo of Gillian Earl teaching at the school.

“Hill View Infants has been a huge part of her life, as a pupil and as a teacher, and we want to say a great big thank you!”

Hill View Infant Academy teacher Gillian Earl.
Hill View Infant Academy teacher Gillian Earl has retired after 42 years.