Friday Hero

Some schools have a reassuring history that creates a special kind of security for children. John Falkner infants' school in the village of Sawston near Cambridge, is one such school. Our hero this week is Sue Humphreys, the school secretary, who first took a job in the office 28 years ago.

Sue Humphreys started as a mother of three pupils and became the headteacher's secretary and finance officer 16 years ago. Chris Ingham, the school's present head, who nominated her for our flowers, champagne and chocolates, says the school will be bereft of an amazing amount of knowledge and experience when Sue retires at the end of this term.

"What she knows is an asset to us all. Her commitment and devotion to the school goes way beyond the call of duty," says Mrs Ingham.

This time last year, the school celebrated its 125th birthday with a Victorian day. Pupils and staff, including Sue (pictured), got into costume for the day. There was also an exhibition of photographs, and an open weekend, when many villagers from all generations came back for the historic event.

Mrs Ingham shared memories at a special party with the three previous heads - all women still living within 12 miles of the school and aged 76, 93 and 107 respectively. "We are justly proud of our lovely old building," she says. "And we had such a happy time last June remembering how things used to be."

She hopes the long life of previous heads augurs well, and wishes her loyal secretary a happy retirement. As an aside, Mrs Ingham says Ofsted inspectors are coming to the school next week, so this award "will give everyone a boost".

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