STUDENTS and teachers at Rogate Primary School are saying a very sad farewell to a much-loved teaching assistant after 17 years of employment.
Penny Croucher started as a parent helper at the school, reading with pupils in her spare time.
She turned out to be so invaluable that she was offered a full-time job, and has since worked in the breakfast and after school clubs, as a dinner lady, and a first-aider.
Head teacher Mandy Hall said Penny will be sorely missed.
Mandy said: “Penny is a big part of this school – she has become part of the furniture. She is an absolute all-round star.”
Penny took some time off a few years ago to undergo treatment for a brain tumour, but didn’t let it get in the way of anything.
“Nothing stops her,” added Mandy.
Penny will be taking early retirement, and is planning a renovation project on her house, alongside her usual invaluable duties within the community, including working as a bell-ringer. She also plans to spend more time with her family.
Mandy said: “We’re not quite sure what we’ll do without her. Hopefully Penny will still be able to come and visit us.”