Our Lady and St Teresa’s Primary School in Cubbington has said goodbye and thank you to only its second ever caretaker since it opened in 1961.
A special mass was held last Thursday to mark the retirement of Christine Pearson who first started working at the school in 1985 when she took over from its first caretaker whom she remembers as ‘Mrs Walsh’.
Having previously worked at the former Woolworths store in Leamington and then at the Rugby Tavern near her home, Mrs Pearson successfully applied for the job but then turned it down only to change her mind when she was told by the then headteacher that she was their one and only choice for the role.
Mrs Pearson, 62, whose two granddaughters Layla and Tillie (pictured) are now pupils at the school, said: “It seems strange at the moment because the school was like my second home.
“The job involved all kinds of things including cleaning and opening and closing the school even at weekends.
“I would work from 7am to 10am and then 3pm to 6pm but I was also a lunchtime supervisor for 20 years.
“My best memories are of the children I’ve got to know over the years. Some of them are now parents of pupils here and they remember me more than I do them because they have changed so much.
“I’m hoping to come back as a volunteer and help with things like reading.”
An article in the school’s latest newsletter says: “For the past 30 years, Christine could be seen walking to the school before the sun had risen, opening the frosty gates and filling the whole place with warmth.
“Our wonderful school caretaker, one of only two caretakers who have worked at the school since it opened, has finally decided to retire after years of dedication and hard work,
“Caretaking is a relentless job and Christine has thought nothing of answering alarm calls at 2am, opening the school at weekends and giving up most of her evenings for school events.
“She has been at the heart of our school and though we will miss her, we wish her all the best.”