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Mary has canteen hall named after her

By Cheadle Post and Times  |  Posted: July 25, 2014

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A HIGH school has renamed its canteen in honour of a retired acting principal.

The cafeteria at Cheadle Academy in Station Road, Cheadle, has now been renamed The Mary Hall in honour of the much-loved acting principal.

Staff and students sprang the surprise on Friday, July 18, unveiling a special plaque.

Colleagues also threw a party for the 59-year-old and she has been inundated with cards and presents from current and former pupils.

Miss Hall said: "I'm incredibly touched to think that they have named the hall after me; it's very fitting.

"I'm not a very emotional person but it has been very moving to read all the lovely things the children have said.

"I'm very grateful to them and to my colleagues for making my last days here so lovely.

"I think the thing I'm looking forward to most about retirement is relaxing.

"I haven't had much 'plan-free' time in 32 years."

Mary started work at the school – formerly Cheadle High School – as a history teacher in 1982 on a one-year temporary contract.

But she was kept on and went on to teach geography, RE and citizenship.

Over her three decades she has served as head of sixth form, head of year, and she has been heavily involved in pastoral care and the school's Parent Teacher and Friends Association (PTFA).

She has been the acting principal since January, having previously been deputy principal.

She added: "There's something about this school that sucks you in.

"We have a family atmosphere and I'm not the only person retiring who's been here for decades.

"Teaching can be difficult. We've had some hard times but a day hasn't gone by without some laughter in it.

"I'm proud of what we've achieved and that I'm leaving the school in good shape.

"I don't have any children and sometimes people ask me if I feel I've missed out, but I always say no; I feel as though I've had thousands."

Director of arts, Sarah Booth, was mentored by Mary as a new teacher.

She said: "I expect for Mary September 1 1982 might not seem too long ago, yet 32 years of sterling service, touching the lives of so many students and staff, is a service to be respected and recognised.

"With an eye for detail and a keen interest in all her charges, Mary has given so much of herself to in-school and extra curricular activities.

"Mary will be missed, yet I know she is looking forward to a wonderful retirement with time to pursue her many hobbies and interests, such as travel, history and drama.

"Mary is a wonderful teacher, incredibly inspiring.

"It was never just a job for her; she lived and breathed the school.

"Her pastoral role has been particularly important because she has been a support for lots of students who were going through difficult times.

"We wanted to do something to show how much she means to the students and staff and I'm really pleased with how it has turned out."

Head girl Phoebe Hill, aged 15, added: "We were in her last ever lesson here and we had a little party for her. She is an amazing teacher."

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