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Retiring teachers enjoy unique leaving present from pupils

TWO TEACHERS from Milford Haven Junior School had a unique start to their retirement on Wednesday (Jul 19) when they had a guided boat tour starting from Milford Haven Marina.

Head Teacher, Lyn Rees, and Deputy Head, Martin Warwick, had an excited audience to watch them on the Marina – pupils from the school.

Talking to The Herald prior to the boat trip, Fiona Thomas, the School Council Link Teacher who organised the event, said: “The children of the school decided they wanted to give Mr Rees and Mr Warwick something in return for all of their generosity and kindness they’ve shown the children over 12 and 16 years respectively.

“We decided very last minute to come up with this idea of a water experience at Milford Haven Marina, and thankfully Masters of the Deep helped us out at the last minute.”

Waving: To the pupils

Mr Rees said: “It’s been a really enjoyable 12 years as Head, the staff have been fantastic and we’ve had some really hard working and lovely children coming through the school. That’s what I’ll miss – the staff and the children who work hard and behave well and are helpful.

“I won’t miss the petty squabbles to be honest,” he added laughing.

“I’m looking forward to retirement but I’m sure I’ll miss it after all these years.”

Mr Warwick added: “I feel as though I’ve had two careers – I’ve had 17 years as a teacher in Oxfordshire, and now I’ve had 17 years in Milford Haven.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time – even the sweetest smelling rose has some thorns. As you [Mr Rees] said, the petty squabbles you can do without, and sometimes the kids are as bad as the staff, but I’ve had a great time there.

Children: Excited to see the boat

“I’ve made some super friends and I really appreciated the community feel that there is about the school. Although I am a Geordie ex-pat, I do feel a sense of belonging and I will miss a lot of things about the school.”

Lyn Rees, from St Davids, is a sport fanatic and began his training in PE and geography in 1975. He has been the Head Teacher at Milford Haven Junior School since 2005, after being Deputy Head at Neyland for nine years.

During his time as Head Teacher, he has been keen to provide opportunities for all children and bring out the best in every individual.

One parent said: “I am impressed by the way Mr Rees knows every pupil by name and could comment on sports day about every child as if he knew them well.”

Children: With a banner made for the teachers

A colleague added: “Mr Rees has been a compassionate boss who has never expected anything from his staff that he wouldn’t be willing to do himself. He will be sorely missed.”

Martin Warwick, from Whitley Bay in England, has been the Deputy Head at the school for 17 years.

He has also acted as Head Teacher when previous Head Teachers had retired.

A member of staff at the school said: “We will remember him for his approachable disposition and supportive role to all staff.”

He has been instrumental in the development of The Whale of The Time Transition Project, as well as implementing change within the curriculum, and has a passion for the annual school production.

He was considered a ‘mentor’ to many of the staff at the school and will be missed as he begins his retirement.