Two staff retire following a combined 41-years of service

Staff, pupils and friends have waved goodbye to two valued members of staff from Westfield School who have recently retired.

The pair have clocked up a remarkable 41 years of loyal service between them.

Ann Ruxton who has worked as the cook at the Aberdeenshire school which provides for those children who have additional support needs for the last 26 years, took early retirement last month.

Pupil Support Assistant Norma Bisset has also retired after a sterling 15 years of helping children, learn, develop and become more independent.

Retiring after 43 years of combined service: L-R: Ann Ruxton, Kerry Dalton head teacher, Norma Bisset

Ann commented: “The job was only supposed to be part-time while my own kids were at school, but I loved it so much I stayed on.

"It wasn’t until a parent came in one day with his own child, and when he saw me he smiled and said he was amazed to see I was still there. It was at that point that I realised it was never just a job, and that the years had simply flown by without realising it.

"There’s nothing better than going in to work each day to a job you love – it was so much more than just cooking.”

During her time at the school Ann flew to Clarence House where she met HRH Prince Charles, Camilla and Jamie Oliver following her participation in a healthy eating plan for schools.

Ann said: “We had our own garden at the school and grew vegetables. As a result of this we had taster days and promoted healthy food, a sort of ‘field to fork’ system before it all became trendy!

"It’s surprising how many children have no real idea of what different types of vegetable are, so it was a huge achievement of all involved to get the pupils trying out different foods.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s Education & Children’s Services Committee chair Cllr Gillian Owen said: “I’d like to thank Ann and Norma for their dedicated support for the Westfield School community over the years and wish them all the best for their retirements.

"They have a fantastic amount of service between them and I am sure staff, pupils and families alike will miss them both.”

Westfield School supports pupils from Primary one through to post 16 years who have a range of complex additional support needs.