Anne Mackenzie is a teaching assistant at Caistor Yarborough secondary school, Lincolnshire.
"Mrs Mac", as she's popularly known, was appointed just three years ago as a library assistant but now has the words "pastoral, behavioural and administration" in brackets after her job title. "It soon became clear what an asset she was," says Sue Kruczenyk, English teacher and current head of Year 10, who appointed her and describes her as "a real brick".
Sue explains that this was Anne's first job after raising four children; her sense of humour and cheerful enthusiasm make her popular and respected with pupils. "She's a breath of fresh air... quite forthright, calls a spade a spade." On a Friday afternoon she might be urging students to be quiet in the library, while on Sunday morning she's cheering them on from the touchline at rugby.
Caistor is a Georgian market town on the Lincolnshire Wolds with a history dating back to Roman times. The school is oversubscribed and all-ability, with a caring reputation for 560 11-16s. "When parents send their children here, they know they will be well looked after," says Sue Kruczenyk.
Anne's willing attitude means her job has changed with the times. As well as assisting in the library, she's "first class" at helping in lessons with learning support, chasing detentions and absences for the pastoral team and helping with Year 10's work experience, including workplace visits when staffing is short. She's also a registered first-aider. Here at Friday magazine we're sorry to have missed her birthday a fortnight ago - her middle name is Valentine, and for a much-loved person it seems very appropriate. We hope she enjoys the flowers, champagne and chocolates that go to every Friday Hero.
Is there an unsung hero in your school? Tell Sarah Bayliss, TESFriday editor, about him or her at the address below. Flowers kindly supplied by Marks amp; Spencer