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37 Years Service to HCJS

by Haddenham Webteam – 22nd July 2022
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Mrs Denise Tibbatts has retired from Haddenham Community Junior School after 37 years as a key part of the school's Midday Supervisor team. That's an amazing contribution, especially when one considers that during the same period the school has seen five or six different head teachers!

On Wednesday 20th July, the last day of term, Denise received a warm send-off from staff and pupils alike.

In presenting gifts, Head teacher Andy Leach offered the following thoughts:

"One day, in the early years of my teaching career, a senior colleague said to me words that I've never forgotten. They were: It's not about what you say to them, but how you make them feel.

I've tried to remember those words in my own career. Occasionally, often when I'm with my own family, a fully grown adult (sometimes with a little one of their own in tow) will approach me out of the blue, with the immortal words " Mr Leach, you probably won't remember me, but ...." (I usually do remember them once they've said their name).

Unsurprisingly, the resultant conversation is never about Maths or Literacy lessons. In fact, it's never about the academic side of school at all; it's almost always about their feelings for school, the emotions stirred up when they think back to their school experience and sometimes even (very gratifyingly) about my small part in their journey.

I'm sharing this anecdote, because schools don't operate successfully without people like Denise Tibbatts.

Whether it be serving food at lunchtime, opening a reluctant piece of food packaging, wiping a grazed knee on the playground or simply offering kind and wise words to help resolve a playground dispute, Mrs Tibbatts has always made our children feel better.

Several generations of HCJS pupils will have nothing but lovely, warm thoughts about her if they see her around the village in the months and years ahead – because that is how she made them feel!

Denise, on behalf of myself and the current staff at HCJS , my 6 predecessor headteachers, the many thousands of pupils you've looked after, and the hundreds of staff that have had the delight of calling you a colleague and friend, I can only say simply and with immense gratitude – Thank You!

We all wish you a long and very happy retirement."

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