Friday Hero

15th October 2004 at 01:00
Among her many talents, drama teacher Lynne Buckingham can do a very convincing impression of an aquatic bird.

"She glides along like the proverbial swan who is paddling away like mad under the water," says Lynn Ward, her colleague at Brooksbank school in Elland, West Yorkshire.

Lynne's grace under pressure disguises her energetic dedication to the school's staff and children. "She's fantastic," says Ms Ward, who nominated her namesake for our flowers, champagne and chocolate. "She has positive things to say about everybody, she works like a Trojan and she's always open to new ideas."

Lynne organises theatre trips, brings in musical directors, dancers, writers and poets, and co-produces school dramas and musicals. "She's keen to enrich children's lives in whatever way she can," says Ms Ward.

She's also in charge of the school's 12,000-book library, and her legendary lunchtime quizzes, competitions and activities have raised pound;15,000 for charity over the past few years. These have included junior versions of the television quiz shows Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? and Mastermind, poster designing and poetry writing competitions, and a literacy project to encourage boys' reading.

"There's something going on every lunchtime," says Ms Ward. "She does that much you could fill a whole page about her."

When Ms Ward joined the school as head of drama three years ago, Lynne had been there 15 years. "But she accepted me with open arms," says Ms Ward, who has since had a pastoral promotion to head of year, with Lynne taking over as head of drama. "She's now my boss, and she's a wonderful person to work with. She's not a colleague any more, she's a close friend.

"Her enthusiasm and support for pupils and other staff is admirable. She always has time for people no matter how busy she is. The bouquet would show her our appreciation, and she has just celebrated her 50th birthday."

Is there an unsung hero in your school? Tell Sarah Bayliss, TESFriday editor, about him or her at the address opposite. Flowers kindly supplied by Marks Spencer

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