A TEACHER is celebrating her retirement after a career spanning four decades.
Christine McGrew first arrived at St Jude’s Catholic Primary School in Fareham in 1974.
After leaving in 1979 to teach in Yorkshire and then Milton Keynes, Christine returned to the Bishopsfield Road school to become headteacher in 1999.
Now, aged 60, she has moved on and said goodbye to all the staff and children.
‘I have really enjoyed it,’ she said.
‘They are a lovely staff team, very supportive and they really work hard together.
‘The parents are very supportive at the school and the governors work hard.
‘But there are a lot of changes coming into education – I think it’s the right time to go.
‘It’s a good time for a new head to come in.’
Christine said she has got great memories of her time, not just at the school, but in education.
‘Going on academic visits with the children has been a real joy,’ she said.
‘I’ve got mixed emotions about leaving really.
‘I will be sorry to leave the people.
‘They are a lovely group of children.
‘I have enjoyed teaching.
‘It’s a great job.
‘The job of a headteacher is quite challenging.
‘I have been a headteacher since 1988.
‘Things have changed a lot during that time with Ofsted inspections – it’s all very different but it’s still an interesting job.’
As well as Christine’s role as headteacher, she also was responsible for setting up and organising the Family Mass which is held monthly at St Philip Howard Church, fostering good relations between the school and the parish.
She also undertook the role of Child Protection Officer for the Fareham and Portchester areas and assisted with many parish social events and functions, which were often hosted at the school.
A leaving mass service was held for Christine at the church, where she was sent on her way and wished luck in the future.
Now, Christine is looking forward to having a bit of free time and really enjoying her retirement.
‘I’m excited about it,’ she said.
‘I’m looking forward to doing new things and different things.
‘I’m looking forward to having the choice to wake up in the morning and decide what to do for the day.
‘I’m going to look after my grandchildren. I’ve got other things I am excited about doing.’