School clerk surprised on Saint Dwynwen’s Day

SURPRISE! Cogan Nursery School clerk Jean Shafto with teacher Peter Thomas

SURPRISE! Cogan Nursery School clerk Jean Shafto with teacher Peter Thomas

First published in Penarth news

A SCHOOL clerk from Cogan Nursery School received a lovely surprise to celebrate ‘Saint Dwynwen’s Day’, also known as the Welsh Valentines Day, on Friday, January 25.

The staff and children at the school nominated Jean Shafto to receive a special ‘Dwynwen-o-gram’ which was being presented to worthy winners who are loved and appreciated across Wales.

The school entered Jean to win by contacting Menter Bro Morgannwg who actively promote the social use of the Welsh language in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Mrs Shafto was unaware of the surprise and a ‘top secret’ mission began to keep the award a surprise.

Mrs Shafto appeared emotional as all of the children sang her songs and thanked her for all of her hard work at the school. Capturing the event were a camera crew from S4C who filmed the surprise for the TV show Pryhawn Da which was broadcast on the same day.

Mrs Shafto, after receiving the ‘Dwynwen o Gram’ award, said she “struggled to hold back the tears” and added: ‘I am delighted but can’t believe it! I am just gobsmacked, thank you all so much’

After nominating Jean for the special surprise Peter Thomas, a teacher at the school, said: "Choosing Jean to be nominated for this surprise was easy.

“Jean is a very special person who is loved by all of the staff and children at Cogan Nursery School.

“Very often in schools it is the teachers and support staff who get the most attention and all of the praise, however we wanted to show Jean how much she is loved and appreciated. She is wonderful with the children and does a sterling job at looking after the schools accounts and administration.”

Pauline Rowland, who co-ordinated the ‘top secret’ mission on hearing of the win and the visit from S4C, added: “Jean doesn’t work on a Friday so we had to contact her husband to arrange for Jean to come to school but he had to keep the surprise a secret.

“We eventually came up with a plan that involved her needing to collect keys from the office. It was wonderful to watch her reaction as a giant heart holding flowers and champagne entered the school and presented her with lots of gifts with a film crew recording it all.

“Jean is our special St Dwynwen's Day lady and deserved to receive the Dwynwen-o-gram! We all enjoyed sending her heartfelt hugs and creating lots of cards and crafts to celebrate on 'The Welsh Valentines' Day."

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