Farewell to the pupils

PUBLISHED: 13:45 19 July 2007 | UPDATED: 15:10 12 May 2010

Joan Evans with pupils at Edwinstree School, Buntingford – Pic: 2486DW22

Joan Evans with pupils at Edwinstree School, Buntingford - Pic: 2486DW22

AFTER many years cataloguing the books in Meridian School library, Brenda Meliniotis is looking forward to doing some reading herself when she retires from her position as librarian at the school. Mrs Meliniotis is leaving at the end of this term after mo

Leader of music Hannah Topman and leader of art Mary Blay are leaving Greneway School, Royston – Pic: 2490DW11

AFTER many years cataloguing the books in Meridian School library, Brenda Meliniotis is looking forward to doing some reading herself when she retires from her position as librarian at the school.

Mrs Meliniotis is leaving at the end of this term after more than 20 years' working at Meridian.

She has seen many changes to the library during that time.

She said: "When I arrived here the library was about a third of the size it is now, so it's quite different.

Brenda Meliniotis is looking forward to booking some holidays after leaving work at Meridian School, Royston, library – Pic: 2491DW2

"I'm going to miss the hubbub of working in a school - there are always unexpected situations cropping up."

With holidays to South Africa and Cyprus planned in the near future, Mrs Meliniotis, who lives in Melbourn, has yet to make any concrete plans for her retirement.

She said: "First and foremost I'm just going to relax and see where life takes me.

"I'm looking forward to taking up some new hobbies, and I certainly want to catch up on all the books I've wanted to read over the years, but never had chance to."

At Greneway School, the arts department is losing two of its leading lights.

Leader of music Hannah Topman is leaving the school after five years to take up the position of assistant head of expressive arts at the Charles Burrell School in Thetford.

Meanwhile, leader of art Mary Blay is retiring after 18 years at Greneway.

Mrs Topman said: "The best thing about Greneway is the children.

"They are so creative and helpful, and this is a major reason why we've had so much success in the arts."

Mrs Topman's students showed their creative side by composing a song in her honour, which they per formed in assembly on Tuesday.

She said: "This term we've been doing a lot of work on song writing and composition, and the children have written and practised this song in secret.

"It was a lovely surprise."

Mrs Blay is looking forward to having more time to spend on other projects.

She said: "I'm hoping to stay in education through working with local galleries and museums. I'll certainly be trying to keep busy."

In Buntingford, Edwinstree School will be losing the much-loved Joan Evans, who has taught English and RE at the school for the past 18 years.

Mrs Evans, who has been teaching since 1973, said that it just felt like the right time to retire, but added that there was so much she would miss.

She said: "Most of all I will miss the pupils. I've worked with so many wonderful children over the years, in what have been some of the happiest days of my life.

"Although I have to add that I will definitely not miss all the marking and paperwork - it's going to be nice to have some time to myself!

"Maybe I'll do a spot of bungee jumping!"

Humour was an important part of teaching for Mrs Evans, who will be remembered for her wit and humorous nature.

She said: "I think it's important to get on well with the children, and I've always been known as a bit of a joker.

"Although I could be quite tough when I needed to be!

"It's been an enjoyable but exhausting 34 years, but they are years I will never forget.

"Teachers have to put a lot in, but boy do they get a lot back."

Michael Hardy of Year 8 said: "Mrs Evans is really funny and has a really good sense of humour.

"She always makes the class laugh. She even made my aunty laugh when she used to teach her.

"I think everyone will really miss her.

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