Governor surprised by honour
SCHOOL governor Mary Rackham will take some time to get used to seeing the letters MBE after her name.But it is an accolade she will have to get used to after being recognised in the New Year's Honours List for services to education.
SCHOOL governor Mary Rackham will take some time to get used to seeing the letters MBE after her name.
But it is an accolade she will have to get used to after being recognised in the New Year's Honours List for services to education.
Mrs Rackham was nominated for the award after serving 25 years at Sidegate Lane Primary School in Ipswich – the largest primary school in Suffolk.
"Obviously it's a great honour to be recognised in this way. It was quite unexpected," she said.
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She became a governor while her two children, Richard, now 35, and Jane, 31, were both pupils at the school and has held the position ever since.
"It has been a very rewarding experience supporting Sidegate Lane School in all their endeavours, so each pupil achieves their full potential," said Mrs Rackham.
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"I have given a lot of time to being a governor and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Things are totally different to when I started but Sidegate Lane has been able to take all the changes on board.
"It has been great working with a team of professionals and the school has come on leaps and bounds in all directions."
Mrs Rackham, who lives in Sidegate Lane with her husband Barry, said local management of schools had been the biggest change since the mid-1970s.
"In those days there was no local management and schools did not have their own budgets. That has all changed now and it is where governors have really played their part," she said.
The long-serving governor is halfway through her current four-year term and said she was very proud of the school's achievements – even if modest about her own.
"I had no idea I had got the award and I don't know who nominated me for it. It feels very strange to be an MBE."