Friday Hero

9th May 2003 at 01:00
Eve Morris is a teaching assistant at St Nicholas and St Laurence CE primary, Weymouth, Dorset.

If you've got a question about St Nicholas and St Laurence, ask Eve Morris.

It's a lesson deputy head Julie Sanderson learned soon after arriving at the school five years ago. "If you want to know about a child's background or family connections, Eve will tell you. She has always has been an important part of the whole community," she says.

This Dorset primary has been a second home to Eve since she was a child.

She went there herself when it was a small village school with a few dozen pupils (it now has 300), and her children and grandchildren have followed in her footsteps. She started helping in reception 30 years ago and has since worked with every year group, and under three headteachers, making her the longest serving and, says Julie, "the most respected" member of staff.

Eve turned 60 in March but decided "for the sake of the children" to postpone her retirement until the end of the school year. "This dedication is indicative of her whole attitude to the people, the school, and the job," says Ms Sanderson, who nominated her for our flowers, champagne and chocolates. "Eve is patient and kind with the children and a tremendous support to all the adults in the school. We'll miss her terribly when she goes."

Eve's creative contribution to school life will also be missed. "If you want a display for the hall or classroom, give Eve a basic idea and she'll produce something wonderful", says Ms Sanderson. Her costume making skills - she has helped create an impressive wardrobe of show-stopping outfits - will be appreciated in school productions for years to come.

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