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Friday Hero

Cynthia Maddock is the bursar at Lostock Hall community primary school near Preston in Lancashire.

The school is a split-site primary with 500 pupils, making it one of the largest in the county. A five-minute drive separates the infant and junior sites; each has an office and two secretaries, overseen by Cynthia Maddock.

Good communication is the key to making this school work, and Cynthia is at the heart of that. According to deputy head Helen Gregson, who nominated her for our flowers, champagne and chocolates, Cynthia's many talents were spotted by a previous head who encouraged her to train and develop financial skills.

Cynthia joined the school 13 years ago as a classroom helper.

Administration tasks led her to work in the office as the school was growing, and where the job of bursar evolved. Cynthia still acts as a personal assistant to the head, Ian Kirkland, and is the clerk to the governors.

Helen Gregson says Cynthia has "unstinting commitment" to the job and never gives half-hearted support to the staff. "She's incredibly thorough - a perfectionist, really - but she also seems to know how to handle a whole range of situations with her unflappable manner."

On the finance front, although she knows more than anyone else, Cynthia is "quietly supportive" of others' efforts. Helen Gregson says that in the past 12 months Cynthia has been particularly busy with new systems and has worked harder than ever.

In thanking Cynthia, she says: "She is an absolute gem and she needs to know we don't take her for granted - we appreciate her for being our rock."

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