Friday Hero

In a crisis a hero sometimes emerges who lifts everyone's spirits with his or her energy and professionalism. That's just what happened at the start of this academic year at Morelands primary school in Purbrook, Hampshire, when the headteacher became ill and no deputy was in post. Our hero is Wendy Gilbert, a Year 56 class teacher who picked up the reins.

Wendy, a senior teacher at Morelands, rose to the challenge last September when the school, which sits on the crest of a hill overlooking Portsmouth harbour, found itself without a leader. There are 300 four to 11-year-old pupils on roll, plus two units for language and nurturing with pupils from across the county.

"Wendy held the fort," says the current acting headteacher Nigel Ash, "and she did extremely well. She has boundless enthusiasm and she always throws herself in 110 per cent."

As well as teaching her own class, Wendy managed the day-to-day running of the school and kept staff morale high with her dedication and enthusiasm. Two days a week she was supported by another local headteacher - Marilyn Mullen, the person who wrote to Friday magazine, nominating Wendy for our flowers, champagne and chocolates. "I was humbled by her strength and enthusiasm - my respect for her is enormous," says Ms Mullen.

A deputy headteacher is now in post alongside Mr Ash, but everyone is still grateful for what Wendy did. The Year 6 national tests are over and done with and it's half term, so we hope she's taking a well-earned break.

Well done, Wendy.

Send the name of your Friday Hero to Sarah Bayliss, Friday, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX, or email sarah.bayliss@tes.co.uk. Flowers kindly supplied by Marks amp; Spencer

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