School farewells stalwart

by Kent Caddick

West Melton School has farewelled its longest serving staff member with a special assembly recently.

Mary Hyde switched off her computer for the final time last Friday after spending the last 25 years as the school’s office manager.

Mrs Hyde said she took on the role in 1992 while she was a parent helper at the school where her three children were going.

“I had been working as a PA and the skills were similar, although a school is a completely different environment to working in a commercial office,” she said.

“The thing I have enjoyed the most about the job is the people, and there have been thousands of them over the years.

“When I started there were just seven teachers and the principal, and now there is over 40 on the staff.”

Over the last couple of years she has also been the PA to current principal Sue Jackson, who paid tribute to Mrs Hyde’s contribution to the school over a quarter of a century. “When she first started the school roll was just 200, it is now 440,” Ms Jackson said.

“In many ways she has been the identity of the school as she has been the first face many of the pupils and parents see when they arrive at the school.

“Mary is an incredible person, trustworthy and honest, and has developed some lifelong friendships with staff and board members as well as current and past pupils.”

Mrs Hyde and her husband Rene intend to spend some time travelling with the couple owning campervans in New Zealand and Australia where their two daughters live.

“We are looking forward to exploring every nook and cranny in both countries,” Mrs Hyde said.