14 Nov Jennie’s funeral
With sadness and fond memories, 25 members of Hanover’s staff made the journey last Friday to Wolverhampton, where Jennie Ebanks’ funeral was held. It was an amazing occasion. Hundreds of people turned out, and we all learned a lot about her life and her family. Whilst there were lots of tears all round, it was also a time for celebrating Jennie’s life, and there was lots of laughter and happiness too. Below is the speech that Jack made at the funeral:
Schools are built from bricks and mortar, from parquet flooring and asphalt. They are filled with children and adults and the sounds of learning and playing. But the culture of a schools is more difficult to describe, each person’s contribution unique and hard to explain.
The shocking news of Jennie’s death was felt deeply at Hanover Primary School. She had been a friend, a colleague, a parent, and a constant breath of fresh air during her 10 years with us. Totally committed to the children she worked with, she also took us all under her wing at times.
Children described her helping with their reading, their maths and their science work, but the overwhelming memory of Jennie was of someone who noticed. She noticed the quiet ones, the sad ones, the children who needed comforting, the staff member who was tired or the parent having a bad morning.
And she made a big difference in her own quiet and thoughtful way. Always with humour, with humility and with genuine interest. She gave advice, and she built confidence.
Jennie worked with thousands of children over the years, and with hundreds of adults. All will remember her fondly, and it is difficult to imagine the impact she had on them all.
Jennie could really move. Someone only had to whistle a tune and she would start dancing down the corridor, taking everyone around her with. Her jollity and boundless enthusiasm were infectious, and had a hugely positive impact at Hanover.
She brought energy and fun, even when things seemed serious and hard, and she reminded us of the important things in life. Friendship, kindness, fun and thoughtfulness emanated from Jennie, and all felt her gentle but powerful influence.
The culture of a school is a mysterious thing, but it is people like our Jennie who make schools special.
She is gone, and we miss her terribly. But her legacy will be long-lasting and wide-reaching. We are a lucky school to have had her dancing our halls. Good bye Jennie.