THEY’VE been learning about the Roman Empire all term.
So what better way for pupils to reward a teacher who is retiring from 22 years of service – than to make her a half-a-dozen mini Roman fortresses out of spaghetti and marshmellows.
Jane Hoon, 60, has spent the last two decades working as a teacher at The Waterloo School, for primary aged children with social, emotional and mental health needs.
But today she spent the day as Empress Hoonigustus, and in a surprise thank-you assembly arranged by her colleagues, friends, and pupils, judged which of the children’s structures were the best.
Jane, who teaches many subjects at the Waterlooville school but specialises in French, said: ‘I’ve seen many children come and go through the system and it’s so rewarding to hear about them doing well after they’ve left us.
‘I never thought I’d be at The Waterloo School for as long as I have – it’s been an amazing experience.
‘The staff are great and it’s a lovely place to work. Things have changed over the years, in a good way, but the great camaraderie has remained the same.’
During her 22 years of service, Jane has worked as a teacher, learning support assistant, acting deputy head and governor at the school.
She added: ‘I’m retiring now because I feel as though I’ve done my time. It’ll be very hard and sad for me to leave next week, but I’ll definitely pop back in.
‘The surprise was a fitting way for me to end my time.
Jane was praised by the Mayor of Havant, councillor Elaine Shimbart and her consort, Gerry Shimbart, who attended the assembly.
The school’s headteacher Kirsty Roman has worked alongside Jane for four years.
She said: ‘Working at the school is rewarding but also offers challenges on a daily basis, so for Jane to continue her work for so long shows not only great resilience, but dedication and passion in ensuring pupils really do have the opportunity to achieve their full potentials.
‘She’ll be dearly missed by all.’
Pupil Dexter Cadwell, Year 3, said: ‘Mrs Hoon is nice, helpful, smart and clever.
‘I’ll miss her, she’s my favourite teacher.’