Burlington Infants headteacher celebrates retirement with reindeer rodeo

Surrey Comet: Mary Cowland celebrated retirement with reindeer rodeo Mary Cowland celebrated retirement with reindeer rodeo

A New Malden headteacher took to reindeer rodeo to celebrate her retirement at the school Christmas fair.

Headteacher Mary Cowland will be stepping down from her role at Burlington Infant and Nursery School after 21 years at the end of the term.

The long-serving head enjoyed her final Christmas fair as head on Saturday, and said: “The Christmas fair was fantastic. It was very Christmassy. We raised a lot of money.”

The school choir and orchestra performed at the event, which was attended by an estimated 1,000 people. Visitors enjoyed a tombola, Christmas games and refreshments.

Mrs Cowland said: “It has been hard – being a headteacher is not easy. But it’s been a joy.

"What’s kept me here so long is that things have always been changing. The building was in extremely poor shape when I took over and we have had a lot of work done with new facilities.

"Seeing how it has changed from how it was then and how it is now has been lovely.

“Former students have come in and seen how the building looks totally different now. We have a children’s centre attached to the school now.”

Of her future plans, she said she hoped to travel with her husband and put her feet up with something good to read.

She said: “I will definitely be popping in from time to time. I want to see how the children’s lives turn out, when they get married and have babies.”

Su Yay-Williams will replace Mrs Cowland from January.

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