School's out forever, for Chris
Published: 7 Apr 2012 08:000 comments
STAFF and pupils said a tearful goodbye to an "inspirational" teacher who is retiring after more than 30 years.
A moving end of term assembly on Friday marked the last day of 58-year-old Chris Jupp's time at Westwood Farm Junior School in Tilehurst.
His students acted and sang songs, and his colleagues presented him with gifts and cards to thank him for his dedication.
Mr Jupp, who has been a year five teacher at the school since 1993 - and has been teaching for almost 36 years - said: "What I'm experiencing is mixed feelings really.
"I'm exhausted after nearly 36 years of teaching but I will miss it terribly and I will miss all the children terribly. It's like having a family of 28 people to interact with all day. It's a constant adrenaline rush."
He added: "I think the thing I'll miss is the most is the plays. Each year we put together a play, and I think of a story and the children help us adapt it.
"Last year we did 'Hero', which was based on the story of George and the Dragon. But we made it really different with X Factor, ceroc, country and western music, the Grease song 'Summer Loving' - all sorts!
"They have been the real highlight for me."
Mr Jupp, who has a 29-year-old son, David, with his wife Sue - who also has two daughters - plans to spend his retirement making the most of gifts from his family and the staff at the Fullbrook Crescent school.
He said: "I've been a Swindon Town Football Club supporter all my life and the school brought me a season ticket. But my family got me one too, which means I will always be able to take someone to the games with me.
"So I am looking forward going to watch a lot of football. Although I will be having a rest too, because I'm pretty whacked by now!"
Patricia Hawkins, a year five teacher at the school, added: "I am going to miss working with Chris. He works incredibly hard, is enthusiastic and inspirational.
"He wants the best for every student and that's what his focus has always been. He's fantastic."