Friday Hero

17th June 2005 at 01:00
Thanks for doing a brilliant job

All 114 pupils at Thornsett primary school in Derbyshire walked to school for the five days of walk-to-school week just before half-term. And at the head of one of the "walking buses" was school clerk Margaret Williamson.

It's just one of the things she does that goes beyond the call of duty in the interests of Thornsett, says headteacher Alice Littlehailes, who nominated Margaret for our flowers, chocolates and champagne.

As well as the walking bus (run by parents for one day a week during the rest of the year), Margaret ferries children to various sporting and artistic events, makes toast as a treat for Year 6 children - "We're too small for a breakfast club," says Alice - and attends staff Inset days.

She's even helped paint the outside of the portable classroom from a dingy brown to a green that fits in with the environment (the school's in an idyllic setting near High Peak). It wasn't an easy job, says Alice, as strong winds "whipped the paint off the brushes".

Alice says that Margaret is always one step ahead in anticipating possible problems and suggesting solutions, especially important in a small school where the head teaches for 50 per cent of her time. "She does an awful lot," says Alice, "even filling in for me. Many a playground duty disaster has been avoided by her intervention. She makes everyone's life easier, from parents through staff and governors. She nags those of us who try to do too much, she gently reminds those of us who forget to do things, and she does those jobs the rest of us never quite get around to." Margaret does all of this on top of her own job, plus first aid and trip co-ordinating. Oh yes, and she's health and safety too. "She thinks she is just ordinary. We think she is extraordinary. She is our hero every day."

We know there are heroes out there. Tell Sarah Bayliss, TESFriday editor, about yours at the address on the left. Flowers kindly supplied by Marks Spencer

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