MOUNTJOY School admin officer Rosemary Russell got quite a surprise when she left the school after an association lasting more than 25 years.

For the governors, staff and pupils threw her a surprise party and included a special guest – her own granddaughter Emily.

Other guests included more members of her family and former colleagues from the Bridport school.

The pupils entertained guests with a performance from the handbell ringers, songs, poetry and a Bollywood dance.

Mrs Russell was showered with gifts, cards and flowers before everyone tucked in to an afternoon tea. Parents at the school clubbed together and presented Mrs Russell with a vase, flowers and wine.

As one parent said: “If you needed to know anything about the school, it was always ‘let’s go and find Rosemary’. She has helped us through the hard times with support but always been there with a smile through the good times too.

“Thank you, Rosemary, for everything you have done for us as families and for all the children over the years, and, without you, it wouldn’t be Mountjoy. Your shoes will be very difficult to fill; we will miss you greatly.”

Mrs Russell first became involved with Mountjoy as a volunteer in 1988 when her son Robert started at the school.

Since then, she has been employed as a mid-day supervisory assistant, teaching assistant and an admin assistant before taking on the role of admin officer in 2005.

Mrs Russell also served as a parent governor for four years and has held the post of clerk to the governors since 2002. She has also been the secretary of the Friends of Mountjoy Association for many years.