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Christine Bids Farewell

One of the best known faces at Hethersett Middle School has retired after 18 years. 

Teacher Christine Coultman said goodbye to staff and children on Thursday, expressing the wish that: “In some small way people will remember me.” 

Christine came to the school in 1988 after teaching in Africa for two years and over the years built up a strong reputation in the areas of physical education and special needs. 

Christine was born, raised and educated in Blackburn, Lancashire, and trained to be a teacher at Chorley. Whilst there she met her future husband Brian. After working in Lancashire for a while, the couple moved to Dover before both obtaining teaching posts in Togo. 

Having trained as a secondary school teacher, Christine found herself teaching nursery age children. By that time the Coultman’s also had two young sons of their own – Jonathan and Daniel. 

Two weeks after they arrived in Africa, there was an attempted coup: 

“The rebels were put down and we just carried on,” Christine said. 

Christine and Brian returned to England in 1988 and shortly afterwards she joined the teaching staff at Hethersett Middle, initially on a temporary contract. 

Over the years Christine has taught hundreds of children and her dearest wish is to be remembered: 

“I will miss all the talented and special children. If I have touched a few lives and made a little difference to some people, then I will be very happy. I have enjoyed my time at Hethersett. It has been like being part of a family and I have made many friends,” she said. 

Brian Coultman, who is also a special needs teacher, will be retiring at Christmas and the couple hope to travel. Christine is also looking to indulge her passion for reading and hopes to spend more time with family and friends. 

Staff at Hethersett Middle held a special buffet lunch for her and, on the final morning of term, she was presented with a croquet set at the leavers’ assembly.   

“Over the past 18 years Christine has set up so many areas of school life that we are proud of, including school sports and athletics, special needs and work in the area of Religious Education. Many of the things she has put in place will continue as we move to a junior school,” said Head Teacher Andy Whittle. 

In thanking the children for their good wishes, Christine said she had been “overwhelmed by everybody’s kindness. I have had so many good wishes from parents. It is so nice to be appreciated,” she said.