Friday Hero

Goodbyes are part of school life at this time of year, and at the Minster school, Southwell, Nottinghamshire, French teacher Sue Faulkner is leaving to teach in Madrid.

An outstanding teacher who joined this successful comprehensive as an NQT only three years ago, Sue has made many friends and gained the respect of all her colleagues, according to headteacher Phil Blinston - who still wishes he could have persuaded her to stay.

"We had begun to talk about her becoming an advanced skills teacher, because that is how good she is. She has done an absolutely fantastic job here and she must rank among the very best NQTs we've ever had."

Sue, who studied for her PGCE at Nottingham University, was a volunteer member of the school's improvement group - led in several schools across the county by Professor David Hopkins, who has since moved to the Department for Education and Skills - and she has become a natural leader for Inset days. The school has more than 90 staff and 1,500 pupils, including all the choristers from Southwell Minster.

As well as teaching French and being a Year 7 form tutor, Sue has also run two dance clubs and co-run the gymnastics club. For drama productions, she's helped with costumes, choreography and rehearsals.

Friend and colleague Luce Brailsford from the PE department nominated Sue for our flowers, champagne and chocolates, saying she wishes her luck but can hardly bear to see her go. "She is such a valued part of school life and yet she believes she has done nothing out of the ordinary. But we know different," says Luce.

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