Pytchley Primary School's headteacher retires after 30 years
Pytchley Primary School's much-loved headteacher Julia Havlickova is retiring after 30 years at the village school.
Current and former pupils, parents, and staff gathered in the school hall on Wednesday, December 18, to celebrate Mrs Havlickova's time at the school and wish her well in her well-earned retirement.
Mrs Havlickova's popularity with parents and pupils was clear, with many parents describing her kindness and saying how much they would miss her.
Kristy Hobbs has a daughter in year five and said: "Mrs H is such a lovely woman. She's transformed the lives of so many children.
"My son came here in year two and my daughter has been here since reception. She's so wonderful."
Another parent, Helen Burnett, who has three children aged 10, eight and six at the school, said: "She's just been amazing.
"She is very down to earth and she's a teacher who cares about children's happiness.
"She's very nurturing and she looks after parents as well, nothing is ever too much. She's a friend to the parents and the children."
Mark Ferguson, a school governor who is standing down after 15 years, spoke at the event and said: "One of the special things I’ve noticed about Julia over the years is how kind she is.
"Seeing it as a parent of four who’ve been through the school, and then being behind the scenes as a governor, I really appreciate how hard she’s fought to ensure that every child has received the best education and care possible.
"Julia is the kind of headteacher who, if someone’s off ill or needs to take a break, she'll dive in to fill that gap, puts her jacket on and goes into the playground to do whatever needs to be done.
"She’s given her whole career to Pytchley Primary and can begin her retirement knowing she’s set the standard for the academy trust we’re in.”
Kate Allen, a parent and vice chair governor, said: "I have never known a headteacher stay for so long."
Mrs Havlickova said: "It's lovely, there are people here that I worked with years ago, I dread to think how many years ago!"
On her decision to retire, Mrs Havlickova said: "I think it's one of those things where you realise now it's the time to change.
"Change and really I didn't want to be here until I was 66. You need quite a lot of energy."
Mrs Havlickova said she would miss it but she was looking forward to doing other things, like crafts and taking her camper van around the UK.