A much-loved teacher is today spending an emotional last day at Langlee Primary School as she retires after 33 years’ service.
Marion Romeril, 60, was the only new teacher there in the year that the two schools in the housing estate merged in 1984.
She was only there a year when she suffered a horrific fall from a horse, which confined her to a wheelchair. But she returned two years later to teach the Primary 4 class.
One of her pupils that year was Anne Bain – who now works as an additional needs assistant at the new Langlee school which opened earlier this year, said: “Having Marion as a teacher taught you that whatever life threw at you, you can keep going, and work wonders. She also coached netball, and she was quite simply a superb role model.”
The respect went both ways, her pupils quick to form a bond.
Marion said: “Langlee being the community it is, the children actually gave me the strength, enabled me to be able to carry on teaching.
“I remember one time there was a bit of bother with one of the visiting netball teams, as their pupils were being disrespectful towards me saying ‘Haha your coach is in a wheelchair’. My girls wouldn’t let me in. I think they were ready to lamp them!”
Marion has been in charge of learning and behaviour support for the past six months, and although she is retiring, she is not about give up her busy schedule.
She is a member of the Galashiels Community Council, still coaches the Galashiels Academy and the Tempest Ladies’ netball teams, and plans to carry on her keen interest in sailing. She is a watch leader for the Jubilee Sailing Trust, which promotes the integration of people of all physical abilities by sailing tall ships on the open sea. It’s also where she met her husband Richard.
She is heading to the Azores in March to sail on the Lord Nelson.
At an assembly this morning, head teacher Eileen Jessamine said: “Over the years Mrs Romeril’s dedication to the children has been complete and at every point she always put the children first.
“She has also been a huge support to me in my first year at the school. We are very sad to see her leave us, but hope she can come back and visit us.”
Marion was showered with gifts from staff and children – many of whom wouldn’t let her leave without giving her one last hug.
A tearful Marion said: “Thank you Langlee, you have given me so much, that I could never repay.”