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Windhill21 Primary School pays tribute with Jacky's Jubilee party as 'queen of the nursery' bows out after 32 years



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After 32 years working in school nurseries and guiding her charges on to bigger things, there is not much that can wrong-foot Jacky McCormick.

But the "queen of the nursery" at Windhill21 Primary described a surprise celebration on the school field last Tuesday (July 12) to mark her retirement, dubbed by colleagues as Jacky's Jubilee, as a real shock.

"Oh my goodness, what a surprise!" Jacky told the Indie. "There were lots of children past and present – including parents who I looked after."

Jacky McCormick was surprised after Windhill21 held a special party for her. Picture: Gerred Gilronan. (58015550)
Jacky McCormick was surprised after Windhill21 held a special party for her. Picture: Gerred Gilronan. (58015550)

Jacky, who has lived all her life in Bishop's Stortford, began her school career as a nursery nurse, fresh out of college, at the former Havers Infants in 1977.

She worked there for 16 years before having a 12-year break to bring up her two sons. She returned to work in the nursery at the newly-formed Windhill21 Primary, which was an amalgamation of Havers and the old Firs JM.

Having taught around 1,000 children, Jacky is seen as the person to go to for nursery staff, and nursery teacher colleague Naomi Rooney was grateful for her expertise and help.

Jacky's Jubilee: Windhill21 nursery nurse Jacky McCormick retires after 32 years. Picture: Gerred Gilronan (58036807)
Jacky's Jubilee: Windhill21 nursery nurse Jacky McCormick retires after 32 years. Picture: Gerred Gilronan (58036807)

"Her knowledge of local families and her skills and understanding of child development mean she has been an asset to the school and supported hundreds of children in their early years," said Naomi.

"Jacky is now teaching new generations of families as she has had children of children she once taught.

"When I started at Windhill21 and we went on home visits it showed me how well regarded and loved she is in the local community as we couldn't walk anywhere without someone stopping her for a friendly hello or a chat, with Jacky asking how the children she once taught were getting on.

"Jacky's calm and caring manner means she is a hit with the children, parents and staff, who will really miss her."

Jacky McCormick with her colleagues from Windhill21 Primary. Picture: Gerred Gilronan (58015542)
Jacky McCormick with her colleagues from Windhill21 Primary. Picture: Gerred Gilronan (58015542)

And that's an emotion Jacky shared as she described her job as no two days the same.

"You have to be ready for anything," she said, although on her first day as a nursery nurse she wasn't quite ready for one toddler's entrance.

"The very first day I started at Havers a child walked through the door, tripped and knocked two teeth out," said Jacky, who admitted it threw her as she had turned down a career as a nurse as she hated the sight of blood!

Windhill21 retirement (58015575)
Windhill21 retirement (58015575)

But although she is sad to leave – and was loving the end-of-term festival atmosphere – she admitted she felt it was time to go. "I'm going to reconnect with friends I haven't seen for a while," she said.

Jacky will also look forward to a cruise of the Norwegian fjords with her husband later in the year – and sharing a cuppa and a cake with friends.

Windhill21 retirement (58015554)
Windhill21 retirement (58015554)
Jacky's Jubilee: Windhill21 nursery nurse Jacky McCormick retires after 32 years. Picture: Gerred Gilronan (58036822)
Jacky's Jubilee: Windhill21 nursery nurse Jacky McCormick retires after 32 years. Picture: Gerred Gilronan (58036822)
Windhill21 retirement (58015566)
Windhill21 retirement (58015566)
Jacky's Jubilee: Windhill21 nursery nurse Jacky McCormick retires after 32 years. Picture: Gerred Gilronan (58036777)
Jacky's Jubilee: Windhill21 nursery nurse Jacky McCormick retires after 32 years. Picture: Gerred Gilronan (58036777)
Windhill21 retirement (58015540)
Windhill21 retirement (58015540)
Jacky's Jubilee: Windhill21 nursery nurse Jacky McCormick retires after 32 years. Picture: Gerred Gilronan (58036820)
Jacky's Jubilee: Windhill21 nursery nurse Jacky McCormick retires after 32 years. Picture: Gerred Gilronan (58036820)
Some of Jacky McCormick's young charges enjoyed the celebration. Picture: Gerred Gilronan. (58015536)
Some of Jacky McCormick's young charges enjoyed the celebration. Picture: Gerred Gilronan. (58015536)
Windhill21 laid on a lavish spread to celebrate Jacky McCormick's retirement. Picture: Gerred Gilronan. (58015532)
Windhill21 laid on a lavish spread to celebrate Jacky McCormick's retirement. Picture: Gerred Gilronan. (58015532)
Jacky's Jubilee: Windhill21 nursery nurse Jacky McCormick retires after 32 years. Picture: Gerred Gilronan (58036775)
Jacky's Jubilee: Windhill21 nursery nurse Jacky McCormick retires after 32 years. Picture: Gerred Gilronan (58036775)


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