School's out for teacher retiring after 42 years
A much-loved and respected teacher has retired after notching up a staggering 42 years working for the same school.
School's out for teacher Lynda Outhwaite, who started her career at Darlaston Comprehensive School in 1975, before it changed its name to Grace Academy Darlaston.
The-63-year-old, from Cannock, made her emotional goodbyes on her final day at the school on Friday.
Two generations of families who were ex-pupils of Mrs Outhwaite were in attendance to bid her farewell.
She said: “The students are phenomenal. Darlaston children have something about them that endears them to you and they are very grateful for everything you do for them.
"I’ve taught two generations of some families and I’ve always said that if I ended up teaching children from families where I had also taught their grandparents, then I would know it was time to go.
“I think there is no better school to be a part of and they have been very good to me. The job has kept me young and I don’t feel 63 at all.
"The children keep you up-to-date and the young staff are delightful to be around. I take my hat off to the younger members of staff because there wasn’t the same pressure when I started teaching that there is now."
Mrs Outhwaite was promoted to assistant head of year soon after starting her teaching career at the school, and further promotions followed including head of house, head of religious education, and head of the humanities faculty.
One of the highlights for her was getting to know the children in and outside the classroom.
“It was extra special getting involved in helping with school productions, playing acting roles, or doing make-up and getting students ready to go on stage she said.
"Early in my career I used to train the year seven choir and took them to Dudley Music Festival in the late 1970s where we came first in our class, and the students had their photos in the newspaper.
“The good wishes I have received have been overwhelming and this is indicative of the good nature of Darlaston people.”
Among the former students was Jennifer Noble-Taylor, who said she has always remembered Lynda.
“I knew her from when she was Miss Head from 1976 at Kings Hill, Darlaston, and then she married and became Mrs Outhwaite when it was Darlaston Comprehensive.
"She taught me RE and took part in all of the school plays. I especially remember her taking the part of Aunt Ella in Oklahoma! She was so lovely and I've never forgotten her all these years.”