Retiring dinner lady rings final bell at Smethwick school

A Sandwell school has paid tribute to a long-serving member of staff as she prepares for retirement.

Retiring dinner lady rings final bell at Smethwick school

Shirley Woodward has been the principal meal supervisor at Annie Lennard School in Smethwick since 1974, but made the decision to retire from the role after over 40 years of service on Friday, October 4.

The school marked Shirley's retirement with a presentation of a number of gifts.

These included a bouquet of flowers, a Pandora charm and a framed photo of all the children at the school with an engraving wishing Shirley well in her retirement.

There was also a cream tea party at the school, with dinner staff who had worked with Shirley over the years in attendance.

Shirley was wished well on her retirement by pupils and staff

Many of the pupils were keen to praise Shirley, with "She was really kind to me. I remember when I was in reception, she used to make me eat my veg and I really like veg now" and "She loved us like we were her own children. I'm really going to miss her" just some of the tributes made.

Denise Goldby-Timmis had previously been a pupil and now works at the school, so has known Shirley over a long period of time.

She said: "I can't imagine the school without Mrs Woodward. She has always been here and will be missed greatly."

Head Teacher Natalie Crozier lead the tributes to Shirley, praising her as a "highly valued member of the Annie Lennard family".

She said: "She has dedicated 45 years of service to our local community, served generations of families and will be missed greatly.

Thank you Mrs Woodward and enjoy your retirement. You have most certainly earned it."

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