Three high school teachers who ‘dedicated their lives to teaching' are retiring after a combined 79 years at one high school.

Kathryn McIntyre, 60, has worked at Westhoughton High School for 39 years and retired yesterday along with deputy headteachers Joy Bach, 59, and Chris Edgar, 59, who have been at the school for 22 and 18 years.

Mrs McIntyre has been Head of Upper School, Lower School and Sixth Form and explained how she feels about leaving the school gates for the last time.

She said: “It’s weird because on the one hand I’m really sad and it’s been really emotional with all the good wishes, but I’m also excited because it’s a new phase for me.

“It seems like I’ve been here a lifetime. In fact, it is a lifetime, not that I’m planning on shuffling off yet though.”

The English teacher is a big fan of William Shakespeare and plans to spend some of her first free summer watching a couple of his plays.

Ms Bach began teaching in 1982 and has used her experience to develop her colleagues into the best teachers they can be.

A school letter to parents read: “Her wit, humour and wisdom have been greatly admired and her legacy will continue as core foundations in the journey ahead.”

Mrs Edgar also began teaching in 1982 and has developed pastoral care across the school.

Much of her work has been done behind the scenes while taking a lead in safeguarding, and the school say her work has touched the lives of thousands of students.

Westhoughton’s head teacher, Phil Hart, paid tribute to the staff, saying: “Chris, Joy and Kath have dedicated their lives to the teaching profession and our school.

“Their loyalty and commitment to improving life chances within the Westhoughton community over many years has been unstinting.

“We thank them for everything that they have achieved, they will be missed by many, but we all wish them an enjoyable, healthy and well-deserved retirement.”