A HEADTEACHER is looking forward to starting the next chapter of her life after closing the book on her teaching career in South Tyneside.
For the last 12 years Julie Finlay has been in charge of Monkton Infants School, in St Simons Street, South Shields.
As the doors closed in Friday on yet another academic year for pupils, for Mrs Finlay it also signalled the end of 33 years of teaching.
The headteacher, who was posted to the school from Newcastle, said: “I’ve had a really wonderful career and it has been a privilege to work with the children.
“It is a lovely infant school with a really good reputation.
“Yes, it is sad to to leave, but I think it’s now time for me to move on.
“I am leaving with lots of wonderful memories of the children and of the support from staff and parents over the years.” Mrs Finlay, who lives in Fatfield, Washington, added: “We have had three really good Ofsteds which have really helped to maintain the school’s standing within the community.
“This year we have also created, with the help of the children, a lovely garden for them to use.”
A special assembly was held for Mrs Finlay on Thursday with youngsters hosting a concert and reading poems of their own memories of the headteacher.
Mrs Finlay said: “It was a lovely afternoon and the children really put a lot of thought into it. It was lovely.”
Mrs Finlay is now looking forward to her retirement and a holiday with her husband in the Lake District, as well as skiing.