Icknield Infants say an emotional goodbye to long-serving teacher
PUBLISHED: 17:17 19 December 2017 | UPDATED: 18:52 19 December 2017
Children at Letchworth's Icknield Infant and Nursery school said goodbye to popular and much-loved teacher Mrs Gilmour at their Christmas Carol concert on Monday.
Viv Gilmour – who has been a teacher at the school for almost 23-years – is retiring, leaving big shoes to fill for her successors.
The festive song and dance session included nursery children leading their classmates in a sing-a-long to jingle bells, and Year 2 students performing a song from their Christmas play in front of parents and teachers in the audience.
The big finale brought everyone to their feet to follow Mrs Gilmour’s lead in singing and dancing along to 12 days of Christmas, and a surprise goodbye from the school.
Headteacher Mrs Egan said: “I’m really sad that Viv is leaving, she has been absolutely wonderful.
“She’s like the backbone of our school. She must have taught well over a thousand children here at Icknield, and befriended many of the families and all of the staff.
“We have been absolutely thrilled with the 20-plus years that she has been here at Icknield. You will not get a more dedicated teacher anywhere, you will never come across another like her.
“She is rather special and the nursery and whole school will be quite a different place without her.”
The emotional goodbye included two nursery-aged children from her class, along with Mrs Egan, presenting Viv with flowers and hugs.
She was also given a round of applause from parents, with many of them stopping on their way out giving thanks and good wishes.
Viv said: “I don’t really know how I feel because this school has been my whole life for so long. I’ve loved every minute of it here.
“Everything I’ve done has been with the children at the centre of it, it’s always been about the children.
“It has been a privilege and a pleasure to meet and teach all of the children and their parents. I have really appreciated it, thank you all.”
Another heartfelt message came from Viv’s close friend and colleague, Nete Fleming, who has worked at Icknield for since before Viv started.
She said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure working with her, we get on so well. She’s very special to me and I’ve been very fortunate.”