It is the end of an era for schools across West Suffolk which have bid farewell to some of their longest serving members of staff.
Key Stage 2 teacher Viv Clements has retired after more than 30 years at Great Whelnetham Primary.
She was treated to a ‘wonderful’ leaving assembly featuring pupils and staff past and present and received gifts including a handbag and vouchers for art equipment.
Mrs Clements said: “I’ve loved being with the children - it’s just so rewarding.”
It was her childhood dream to become a teacher and started her career at Rougham Primary School. After a couple of years, she took a role at Great Whelnetham Primary teaching English as a second language for Moroccan children, whose parents worked at a nearby fruit farm.
Later Mrs Clements provided classroom relief for the headteacher when they had administration duties.
She eventually went full time at the school and has served under three headteachers - Penny Carter, Carol Ingham and Chris Lawson. Her time at the school has also been a real family affair as she taught all three of her children. She now plans to spend time with her grandchildren, take more holidays and explore her passion for art.
Finance officer Val Nunn has left Rattlesden Primary after 28 years working in the school office. She replaced her mother-in-law Phyllis, who also worked more than 25 years at the school.
Her first job involved paying back money for a trip which had to be cancelled due to the Great Storm of 1987.
When she started at the school, she had to use a ‘hideous’ manual typewriter which she eventually had changed to an electronic one.
She said: “There’s been lots of changes but the thing that hasn’t changed is the lovely atmosphere in the school - they’re like a family.”
She plays piano for the school in assemblies and concerts which she will continue as a volunteer.
In retirement she plans to play the piano, develop her classical guitar skills and spend time with her family.
Sue Reid, a data administrator at Mildenhall College Academy, will be retiring after 30 years.
Since taking up her post at Mildenhall Upper School in 1985, the 69-year-old has worked in ‘most departments’ in the school and has seen its name change three times.
“It’s been a really good experience. I shall miss all the people I have worked with.”
Sue will return to the academy in November, this time as an exam invigilator.
Also leaving the academy are Jacqui Townsend, a staff member since 2012, and Ian Dessent, a business studies teacher since 2006.