MUCH-LOVED head teacher Janet Lowe is to retire at the end of the year after 39 years' service at two leading schools.
Under Janet's leadership Greenbank Preparatory School in Cheadle Hulme has won national awards for ecology, parental engagement and value for money.
The last years 12, since Janet took the reins, have also seen the school roll increase at all age levels with a continuing expansion and rebuilding programme to create a modern multi-media learning environment with superb indoor and outdoor facilities.
Greenbank's local, national and international charity work, notably with the Port Reitz Special School in Kenya, saw Janet win the Stockport Rotary Club's Paul Harris special achievement award in 2015.
Before she joined Greenbank, Janet had worked for 27 years in Stockport Grammar School's Junior Department, developing her own child centred philosophy.
She explained: "Developing self-esteem is so important in the early years so you encourage, nurture, love, praise and teach the way children learn."
She added: "The awards have been wonderful, but it has been so much more important to see confident, articulate, creative, expressive and happy children move on the next stage of their education and it's the children I am going to miss most."
"I'll miss all my friends on the staff too, of course, every day is a team effort, but what an absolute privilege and sheer joy it has been to work with these wonderful young minds. They bring a smile to your face each and every day."
Married to Derek, who climbed Kilimanjaro last September for Port Reitz, with two children and two grandchildren, one aged just eight months, Janet will continue to work part-time as an inspector for the Independent School's Inspectorate and for Manchester Metropolitan University.
However, she is happy to be handing over to former British Olympic squad canoeist, Malcolm Johnson who is moving from his role as deputy at the neighbouring Cheadle Hulme School to become Greenbank's new head in September.
Janet said: "We had applications from the length and breadth of the country but know we have found the ideal person right on our doorstep."
Greenbank's chair of trustees Phil Enstone said: "The role of headteacher is fundamental to a school's and its pupils' success and Greenbank has been very lucky to have had such a marvellous professional and role model.
"Pupils, parents, staff and trustees will miss her very much but know her legacy will continue to flourish."