St George’s CE says goodbye to dedicated teacher Judith Wreford after 43 years

Teacher Hadleigh Matthews also leaves after 20 years at the school

Dedicated teacher Judith Wreford with husband Nigel

St George’s CE teacher Judith Wreford says goodbye to children and staff today (July 21) as she retires after 43 years at the school.

The nan-of-four started as a PE teacher in 1980 – when she was then Miss Dawson – and progressed over the years to become head of the primary school.

Originally from Hertfordshire, Judith studied at Nonington College and then moved to Broadstairs where she met and then married husband Nigel.

Headteacher Adam Mirams says the 64-year-old, from Palm Bay, is an “exceptional human being.”

Marking her incredible career, Mr Mirams wrote: “In 1980 a fresh faced and enthusiastic young PE teacher arrived in the school to begin a career that would span five decades and would set a record that surpassed all that had gone before and since.

“To put this in context, it is likely that if you are an ex St. Georgian and you are under the age of 58 then you would have come across this exceptional human being at some point in your time at the school. There are few that can boast such longevity or endurance and the length of such a career is rare in any profession.

“What makes the achievement so remarkable is that the whole 43 years have been spent in one school with some brief interludes for the birth of children.

Judith and family

“This is a celebration of loyalty, commitment and trust that has resulted in Judy Wreford becoming the most devoted member of staff ever to walk the corridors of our school. For Judy Wreford is “old school” and has been moulded by the experiences of the last century. She is a remarkable individual who would move mountains to support any member of our community who is in need, her approach is direct, to the point, but highly effective in ensuring that expectations are upheld.

“If you were to ask any member of staff who they would turn to in time of need then Judy`s name would be the first that would be spoken in the knowledge that she would front the issue head on. For over a quarter of a century Judy has been an active part of my life at the school and she has supported wholeheartedly as we both took on more and more responsibility. She has been integral to the growth of the school and for well over 15 years has shown great strength and direction as a member of our Senior Leadership Team.

“In a life time you will only come across a handful of people that can be described as influential, lifechanging, dynamic, loyal and utterly irreplaceable. Judy Wreford is one such individual who on Friday will step away from the school and will probably be totally unaware of the impact that she has had on so many of us.

“I ask all in our community to raise a glass this week to the legend that is Judy Wreford because this lady is one of the foundation stones that has made the school what it is today.”

Also leaving St George’s today is ‘superhero’ teacher Hadleigh Matthews after 20 years at the school.

Mr Mirams said: “Twenty years ago a young and enthusiastic newly qualified teacher arrived having already spent five years as a pupil of the school. He already knew the drill and was immediately attentive to the necessity to gain the trust of those staff who had only recently been in charge of him as a pupil.

“Hadleigh Matthews has become a highly respected staff member who has learned much in the 20 years that he has shared with us. It didn`t take long for him to become someone who was willing to participate in all things sporting, musical or dramatic and in these early years he became a fully-fledged member of the school extracurricular team.

“This has continued throughout and his ability to produce and support many a school event has resulted in much celebration from all who attend these wonderful occasions. They have in fact become family affairs as Hadleigh`s father joined the team to add weight to the musical celebrations.

There is no doubt that for the last thirteen years he has had a huge impact on those year groups that he has led and has developed outstanding relationships with pupils, parents and staff alike.

He has in unison with Liz Kirkland created a pastoral support team of high regard and they can be likened to the superhero duos of the past. Between them they have amassed fifty years worth of experience at our school and this week will see the final period of this partnership.

“They will be completing their time together in the knowledge that their Headteacher believes them to be one of the most influential and impressive Year teams that he has ever worked with. A team that always goes that extra mile, that puts pupils and staff before themselves and one that the school has been privileged to have.”