Tributes to much-loved head teacher retiring after 20 years of teaching in South Tyneside

Staff and pupils at Hebburn Lakes Primary have honoured their ‘much-loved’ and ‘dedicated’ head teacher, Tony Watson, who is set to retire after almost 20 years of teaching in South Tyneside.

Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 16:10 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 17:15 pm
Hebburn Lakes Primary School head Tony Watson retirement assembly

A surprise celebration assembly was held at the school on Tuesday, July 16 in honour of Mr Watson, as heads into retirement at the end of the term.

The school also dedicated the last half-term of teaching to him with a ‘This is your life’ curriculum topic.

Mr Watson, who turned 60 in October 2018, has worked within the borough for 19 years and was head teacher of the former Lukes Lane Primary in Hebburn, before moving to Hebburn Lakes in 2012.

Hebburn Lakes Primary School head Tony Watson retirement assembly

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He was part of the architect’s team that planned the school from scratch, to replace outdated and now demolished Lukes Lane and Bedewell primaries.

Over the years he has also taken an active role in many local authority initiatives, and was chairman of South Tyneside’s Schools Forum.

Teachers at Hebburn Lakes have praised Mr Watson’s commitment to ensuring that the children of Hebburn are well represented, and his passion for sharing his belief that all children have the potential to achieve, across the authority.

Deputy head, Mrs Amanda Moody commented: “Mr Watson is a kind, caring and inspiring leader who will be greatly missed, he always has the children’s best interests at heart in order for them to achieve their goals.

Hebburn Lakes Primary School head Tony Watson retires

She added: “His mission was to create a school where ‘every one cares, everyone matters’ and as a result Hebburn Lakes is a place where the children always come first and the staff are happy and well-supported.”

The children have said they will remember him most for his terrible jokes, Friday morning assemblies, and for making their learning fun.

“It has been an honour and a pleasure to work on the construction of the school and populate it with some of the finest people I’ve had the pleasure to work with,” said Mr Watson.

“I know that with the present quality of staff, the school will go from strength to strength and this can only be great news for the children and the community of Hebburn.”

Hebburn Lakes Primary School head Tony Watson retirement assembly