The headteacher of William Ransom Primary School in Hitchin has retired, after 41 years of unbroken service at the school.

Mary Driver began her career at William Ransom in September 1982, as a supply teacher when she was just 23 years old.

"As a class teacher, Mary always went above and beyond in her role," said deputy headteacher Julie Hall. "This was recognised in 2001, when she achieved the prestigious, national Teacher of the Year Award for the Eastern region."

The Comet: Mary when she started at the school in 1982.Mary when she started at the school in 1982. (Image: Courtesy of Julie Hall)


In April 2007, Mary took over from Paul Mulot and became headteacher at William Ransom.

"Mary has encouraged many members of staff to become teachers," Julie explained. "Five of our current teachers started their careers at William Ransom as teaching assistants, and two of our current teachers started as pupils here."

In 2015, Mary oversaw the expansion of the school from 1.5-form entry to two-form entry, to accommodate increasing numbers of children in the local area.

Julie said: "Throughout this expansion process, Mary always ensured the children’s needs were at the forefront of the plans and build - pushing for larger halls and break-out spaces to ensure the school could still provide the same high-quality teaching it had always done.

"These extras now make all the difference and, without Mary’s persistent requests, they would not have happened."

The Comet: Mary has retired after 41 years at the school.Mary has retired after 41 years at the school. (Image: Courtesy of Julie Hall)


Mary used her enthusiasm for performing arts to inspire her pupils. "It is no secret that Mary loves to perform on stage and works with Letchworth Arcadians and Young Arcadians," Julie said. 

"That passion for drama has not only enriched the lives of our students, but has also brought joy and inspiration to our entire school community."

Over the years, Mary has supported many charities and, with the help of the school community, raised more than £7,500 for a defibrillator for the school and the local community.

Julie said: "Mary has also worked tirelessly with the school and parents' association (SPA) over the years. She has attended all the SPA meetings and given advice and ideas for how we can raise money for the school. Her involvement has been crucial to our successful fundraising events. Has anyone heard of another school that can make £9,100 at a summer fete?

"Mary was always first in school and the last one out, locking up."