SHE has spent 36 years teaching and now Ruth Carty has retired from education.
A goodbye assembly was held at Titchfield Primary for deputy headteacher Ms Carty who has been with the school since 2003.
During the assembly, songs were sung by pupils and ex-students as well as the staff who did their own version of My Favourite Things from musical The Sound of Music.
Ms Carty said the whole morning was a total surprise.
‘The assembly was amazing,’ she said.
‘I did not realise how much had been going on without me knowing anything about it at all.
‘But it was so good and there were lots of memorable parts from it.’
She added: ‘I loved hearing one of my former students Ciara sing.
‘Her whole family is incredibly talented so it’s lovely to see her come back as an adult and sing again.
‘But I also loved the children’s last song and the staff’s song – that was a high point. It was lovely.’
Ms Carty joined Titchfield Primary in Southampton Road as a class teacher.
She was made assistant head by headteacher Mike Bainbridge before being appointed deputy.
Mr Bainbridge said: ‘Ruth is passionate, dedicated and creative.
‘She is someone who gives a lot time to children and just really believes in them.
‘She finds every child’s talent and brings that out in them, giving them confidence.
‘Ruth is probably one of the most selfless professionals I have ever come across.
‘I think how much she means to the school was shown in the assembly which lasted an hour and a half.’
He added: ‘Sometimes leadership can be hard but she was always outward thinking and tried to turn every negative into a positive.
‘Everyone will miss here her. The whole community will miss her.’
Before moving to Titchfield Primary, Ms Carty taught at St Paul’s Catholic School in Paulsgrove, where she worked for 20 years.
She said: ‘My teaching career has been full of challenges, surprises and opportunity. The children made it magical.’
Last year Ms Carty won the Ted Wragg lifetime achievement teaching award for London and the south east.
She beat 24,000 other nominees to win the award.
One of the people who nominated her included Author Michael Morpurgo who wrote War Horse.
They got to know each other through the charity Farms for City Children which organises trips to the countryside for city children.