SHE’S been a smiling face to hundreds of children for the past 16 years but now Tina Sisk is putting her feet up and heading for retirement.
The admin assistant from Crofton Hammond Infant School in Stubbington is known as the ‘leopard print queen’, as she is often seen wearing the design.
So it was a nice surprise when the 62-year-old arrived at the school to see staff and pupils wearing leopard print clothing on her last day in work.
‘I feel very sad but not unhappy. I am sad to leave everyone behind but I know that I will see all of the staff again,’ she said.
‘It’s been amazing. It’s like having 180 grandchildren and it’s just the most phenomenal place to work. It’s like a family.’
Tina was showered with cards and gifts including flowers and a retirement themed cake – with her leopard print themed figure on top.
I am sad to leave everyone behind but I know that I will see all of the staff againTina Sisk
Ellie Ussher, seven, is in Year 2 at the school.
‘She said: ‘She is very caring and very kind. I am going to miss her smiles.’
Lily-Grace Heath, seven is also in Year 2. She added: ‘She makes me laugh.
‘I am sad she is leaving. I will miss her jokes.’
Headteacher Jacky Halton said: ‘I’ve never known the school without Tina here because she was already here when I joined the school as a deputy and then headteacher.
‘So for me, it’s really hard to imagine it without her.
‘She really is the heartbeat of the school.
‘She’s the first face that people see when they come into the school and they always get her lovely smile and her wit.
‘She always has a way of making people laugh. It’s going to be a slightly quieter place and probably not quite as much fun,
‘The children love her, she knows all their names. I think they are in shock like all of us.’
Now, Tina is looking forward to a relaxing retirement enjoying long walks, pub lunches and holidays – including a trip to Vienna and an adventure to visit her son Tom and his wife who live in Singapore.
She added: ‘It’s going to be an interesting time. But it will be wonderful. It’s going to be lovely to spend some more time with my husband and my dear mum.’