Fitting tribute to a much-loved ‘children’s champion’

Kaileb Walker

Kaileb Walker was the recipient of the Jeannie Tynan Award for Potential, a new award created in memory of a long-serving staff member who passed away last year. This award is given to a student who has overcome adversity and has made an impressive start to their school career at Theale Green. Kaileb received the award at the Year 7 Celebration Evening at Theale Green School on Thursday 7 March.

Jeannie Tynan was ‘a pillar of the Theale community’ and transformed the lives of many students whilst working at the school. Jeannie helped many students to overcome difficulties and help them to achieve their true potential. Following the sad news of Jeannie’s death, a large group of her former students and colleagues including ex-Theale Green Headteacher, Chris Gittins, contacted the school to discuss a tribute. The Jeannie Tynan Potential Award is the result of collaboration between the school and the community, to recognise Jeannie’s impact and commitment to transforming the lives of young people.

Jeannie was born in 1948, daughter of the village chimney sweep, and spent her life in the Theale village community. Jeannie joined Theale Green School as a Kitchen Assistant in 1980 and in 40 years of service to the school she became the Lead Lunchtime Controller, Youth Leader for the Junior Youth Club, then a team member in the pioneering Learning Support Unit and later became one of the School’s Learning Mentors.

Charlotte Badarello, Head of School said: “Throughout her career as a highly valued and admired member of staff at Theale Green School. Jeannie realised her own potential as a dedicated carer and championed many children who needed her help to learn how to manage the challenges of growing up, to benefit from all that Theale Green has to offer and to become responsible and valued members of the school and its wider community.”

The Jeannie Tynan Award was presented to Kaileb by an ex-student, Mason Bourne, who spoke fondly of Jeannie and the impact she had on his life, as well as offering some encouraging advice to Year 7.

Mrs Badarello said: “It was fascinating for parents, some of whom are ex-students themselves and knew Jeannie, to reflect on the significance that she and the whole school community have had on their lives.”

Other Year 7’s were awarded on the night for their dedication to the school’s values of ‘Hard Work’ and ‘Respect’, and also for their engagement and commitment.

Year 13 Head Girl Beatriz Bruscato shared some inspiring words and reminded students to: “grab every opportunity, work hard and have fun!”

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