A woman from Chorleywood was completely overwhelmed when it was announced she would receive an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list.
Rosemary Hadfield received the honour for her services to education over many years as a school governor.
She trained as a teacher and qualified in 1968. She taught in the UK before living abroad in Belgium and Spain before returning with her two sons.
Her eldest, who was 11 at the time, went for an interview and was enrolled at St Clement Danes School. Rosemary didn’t know anybody, so she joined the Parents’ Association (PA) in order to meet other people.
She was soon invited to become the chair and was also approached by a member of the Holborn Estates Charity to become a governor.
Rosemary said: “It was partly a social thing. It’s also as a teacher you realise how much work the PA and the governors do to support the school.
“You got to know people and you were supporting the school. You were making a difference.”
One of Rosemary’s proudest moments was when St Clement Danes School received Outstanding in all areas during an Ofsted inspection.
She explained: “It was a fantastic validation of all the hard work and leadership of Dr Valentine and the staff.
“I’m terrifically proud of that. You know all the hard work that went into it. That was wonderful.”
Rosemary was completely surprised when she found out she had been awarded an MBE.
She said: “It’s overwhelming. You don’t expect it. People say such lovely things to you.
“You don’t do it for that. You do it because you want the best for the students. You see how hard teachers work.
“Dr Valentine is an inspirational head and it has always been exciting and challenging, thought provoking and fun working with her and all the other governors.”
Having stepped down as chair of governors at St Clement Danes school in spring 2016, Rosemary is now a member and trustee of the Danes Educational Trust.
She also works at the Peace Hospice shop in Chorleywood and is a trustee at 9 Lives in Rickmansworth where other members of staff were surprised she had kept the news so quiet.
Rosemary hopes to continue her work in the education sector for the foreseeable future.
She explained: “I will continue for a while. Age shouldn’t be a barrier as other people may see it.”
Rosemary doesn’t yet know when she will receive her MBE, but is very much looking forward to the occasion.
She said: “It’s marvellous and I’m bowled over. It’s something to look forward to.”