A tearful ceremony took place at Warnham CE Primary School last Thursday as the pupils bade a fond farewell to their beloved headteacher.
After personalised poems and songs performed by pupils and teachers, Chris Crunden was choking back tears as she explained how it felt to say goodbye to a school she has overseen for 11 years.
“The hardest thing to leave behind is the relationships,” she wept. “We have been through rocky times, hard times and good time and the thing that’s always helped is the really strong relationships.”
The pupils and staff created a surprise farewell ceremony to remember for their head, who is leaving to devote more time to her family life.
During the assembly, gifts were lavished on Mrs Crunden, including a flower which she dubbed ‘shine on’, explaining that for as long as the rose grows at her home, the students must continue to shine at school.
Later she explained: “I hope I have left a real sense of working together to achieve things, and a real sense of pride in themselves, and in the school, and knowing that if they put their minds to it, they can achieve anything. I’m just so so proud of them. I really am.”
Mrs Crunden is leaving Jill Costello in her place as acting head while an appropriate replacement is found for a headteacher who knows all 135 of the pupils’ names.
Mrs Crunden said: “It’s been a brilliant 11 years and it’s a hard way to go but I know they’re strong. I would love to have been there on the next stage of the journey but I have much faith in the school.”