THERE were celebrations in Muckhart recently as one dedicated teaching assistant marked her 25th year with village primary school.

Christina Sutherland was treated to cake, balloons and flowers from pupils and staff on Thursday, February 21 in recognition of her years of service to the community.

Speaking to the Advertiser after the event, Lesley McGlinchie, the school's headteacher, said: "She [Christina] has been here for 25 years, with Clackmannanshire Council, and she has been with this school for all of that time.

"We got balloons and one of the children's mums made a cake with the council badge.

"It was really nice and all the different jobs she has done were represented on the cake too.

"She was totally surprised, and just was not expecting it at all."

Lesley then went on to talk about the many roles Christina has worked in throughout her time at Muckhart Primary School.

"She started when her own children were small and just never left.

"At first, she worked in the kitchen, then as caretaker and cleaner and now as a learning assistant.

"She knows everyone in the community, knows what is going on and knows all the children from years ago – and they all know her too.

"Some people even come back just to see her."

Indeed, Christina has become so synonymous with Muckhart PS that she is sometimes referred to as the "backbone of the school".

But, despite being so dedicated to her job, the head teacher claimed Christina was not one to make a big deal out of her achievement, and jokingly added: "She will be mortified to see this in the newspaper."

However, the school did pass on a comment from Christina to the Advertiser, which stated: "I have loved my time at Muckhart Primary School. The years have flown by and I enjoyed every minute."