Robin Lanius, Gary Argent, Trevor Foord, Graham Allen

22nd October 2004 at 01:00
At Friday magazine we have featured teachers and school support staff with all manner of unusual hobbies. But never, until now, a quartet of poetry writing building staff.

The quartet (below, from left) Robin Lanius, Gary Argent, Trevor Foord and site manager Graham Allen at Ringmer community college in East Sussex like nothing better than commemorating the comings and goings of staff and celebrating their office alterations with a little alliteration. They are all dab hands with a paintbrush, hammer and broom, but their talents don't stop there.

"Not only do they keep the school brilliantly polished, painted and maintained, they have a penchant for poetry, revealing how much they contribute to the great atmosphere here and their commitment to the college," says assistant principal Rosemary Colebourn, who nominated them for our flowers, champagne and chocolates.

Although they undertake their duties at the 920-pupil school with the minimum of fuss, they also enjoy making a song and dance of things, appearing in school musicals and the annual pantomime where, last year, they had no trouble landing the part of the ugly sisters.

"They are no strangers to the spotlight - there is rarely a school pantomime or dance performance without various combinations of the crew appearing on stage," says Ms Colebourn. "The students love it when they take part, and staff appreciate their support and willingness to join in.

"They are a daily source of cheery jokes and comments and a steady stream of poems has appeared as they have completed an extraordinary number of office transformations since we became a specialist technology college."

As local lads whose children all went to the school, they take a lot of pride in the place, Ms Colebourn says, keeping its capacious grounds in trim and ensuring that the many groups that use the premises out of hours are made welcome. So, to paraphrase the trademark way they sign off their own ditties: Kind regards we send to you, the Ringmer college building crew.

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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