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Unsung Hero: Office administrator has been a cook and tutor for children
A “selfless, thoughtful and warm” office administrator has been part of pupils’ lives at Surbiton High School for 30 years.
Terry Burton, 56, began working at the school as a cook as it was just a few minutes’ walk from her house.
Over the years her contributions to the school included one-on-one tutoring with a boy recovering from a brain tumour, who eventually rejoined mainstream classes.
After completing a teaching assistant course she helps out whenever possible at the boys’ preparatory school, as well as working in the office.
Mrs Burton said: “I am in the classroom with children which I love, and I meet and greet with parents in the mornings.
“If I ever get the chance to do that I seize the opportunity. My passion is with the children.”
She added: “One of the biggest pluses of working here at the prep is pupils, staff and parents together.”
Mrs Burton celebrated 30 years at Surbiton High in July when she was presented with a bouquet of flowers at an annual awards evening.
And a week later she was paid a visit by former prep school students – now adults – who came back just to see her.
Principal Ann Haydon said: “It shows how important he has been in their lives. She is a great friend to many people. She is warm, and skilled at dealing with people.
“She is just a very special lady.”
Mrs Burton said: “I have a very varied role here at the prep which I enjoy every part of. It is my dream job. The whole school is just a fabulous place to work.
“The highlight for me coming back in September is seeing all our new reception children joining us and coming in.”
Prep school pupil William Wheeler, 10, said: “30 years is incredibly long and it is fantastic that a teacher has been here all that time.
“I have known Mrs Burton since I was a baby because of my brother – he went to Surbiton.”
Harry Fletcher, also 10, said: “Without Mrs Burton this school wouldn’t be the same.”
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