A SPECIAL award has been given to the Queen of a Felpham school.
Doreen Brigden will begin her 61st year at Bishop Tufnell C of E Junior School next week.
She has been presented with a unique certificate to mark her six decades there to proclaim her as a star of the school. She was also presented with a bouquet.
Her lengthy time at the school has encompassed three generations of pupils.
She was congratulated for her loyalty by the Pennyfield school’s headteacher, Shane Morton, as her diamond jubilee year ended.
He said Miss Brigden’s involvement even dated back before the current school was opened in 1957.
“Doreen has shown terrific loyalty. That’s the only way of describing it,” he said. “The past year has not only been the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee but also Doreen’s diamond jubilee at the school.
“That’s fitting because you are the queen of this school,” he told her.
“Doreen runs the school’s library today. I hope she will be able to continue that for many, many years.”
Miss Brigden arrived at the previous Bishop Tufnell school which was sited along Felpham Way in the village.
She arrived there in 1952, two years after she had qualified as a teacher in Watford.
She briefly taught at other schools as a newly-qualified teacher before she settled at Bishop Tufnell.
“I came here and I stayed here,” she said. “I like everything about the school.
“I have always found the people to be friendly and helpful. The children are well-behaved and cheerful.
“There have been changes in my time here but, then, there should be. A school which stands still for a lot of years would be failing.”
Miss Brigden, who describes herself as retired, stopped teaching in 1988.
But her desire to stay involved with the school was so strong she did not want to let her involvement end.
“I could have stayed at home but that didn’t seem right,” she said.
She decided to help out in the school’s library – and has continued in the role.
She goes in every school afternoon and some mornings. “My work in library just happened over the years,” she said.