School recog­nises ded­i­cated gar­dener

Midwest Times - - NEWS - Tamra Carr

For long­stand­ing Lee­man Pri­mary School gar­dener Teresa Deer­ing, the best thing about her job is watch­ing stu­dents be­gin school, graduate and re­turn many years later to see her again.

How­ever, the 66-year-old said it was still quite a shock when cur­rent and pre­vi­ous school stu­dents and staff re­cently sur­prised her with an assem­bly cel­e­brat­ing her 40 years of ser­vice.

“I couldn’t be­lieve it — it was a big shock,” Mrs Deer­ing said. “They tricked me. “I was in the can­teen mak­ing scones and some stu­dents said they needed me at the assem­bly to come and fix the mi­cro­phone. They def­i­nitely sur­prised me.”

Mrs Deer­ing, who started work­ing at Lee­man Pri­mary School in 1977, said through the years the school had be­come a sec­ond fam­ily to her.

“My daugh­ter went to school here,” she said. “My nieces and neph­ews went to school here too, and now so do their chil­dren.”

“It’s also great to get hugs and kisses from peo­ple who were stu­dents here 20 or 30 years ago.

“When the school of­fi­cially opened, all the trees had plaques with the names of all the stu­dents. One is even my son-in-law.

“Peo­ple al­ways come back to find their tree and to see me.”

Mrs Deer­ing has per­formed sev­eral roles dur­ing her time at Lee­man Pri­mary, in­clud­ing land­scap­ing, cook­ing, vol­un­teer­ing at school busy bees and set­ting up car­ni­vals, but she said her favourite job by far was gar­den­ing.

“I just love gar­den­ing and the out­doors — I’m not one to work at a com­puter,” she said.

“It’s very calm­ing, and of course some­times it can be dif­fi­cult, as the days get windy or it’s too hot. But I’d still rather be out­side.

“I love to see the re­sults at the end of the day and be at the end of a hose.” Mrs Deer­ing, who also main­tains a gar­den at her home, said she was not likely to quit her job any time soon.

Lee­man Pri­mary School gar­dener Teresa Deer­ing has been at the school for 40 years.

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