School technician who brightened up the science department for 47 years bids a fond farewell

Aggie Frederick worked as a science technician at Westminster Academy and its predecessors for 47 years

Friday, 21st July 2017 — By Alina Polianskaya

Aggie Frederick and colleagues

Aggie Frederick, centre, with colleagues and friends at the Warrington Hotel in Maida Vale

COLLEAGUES and friends gathered in Maida Vale on Wednesday to celebrate a school technician whose smile brightened up the science department for more than four decades.

Aggie Frederick, who worked at Westminster Academy, was retiring after 47 years in the job. She said that the thing she would miss the most is the children. “I love to inspire them to get somewhere in life,” she said. “They make me feel young. It’s really inspirational to see them do so well.”

Aggie came to the UK from St Lucia in 1958 when she was five years old, and grew up in Westminster. At 17 she began her career as a trainee technician at Paddington and Maida Vale High School for Girls – the school went through various guises and later amalgamated with other schools to become North Westminster Community School which later became Westminster Academy and Paddington Academy.

She has seen generations of children and teachers pass by, and done her best to inspire a love of science in all those she met. Nowadays pupils she once worked with often approach her in the street and introduce her to their own children and even grandchildren, she said.

Aggie Frederick now plans to spend more time with her grandchildren

Surrounded by cards and poems from the children, she said: “I want to say thank you and I’ll miss them all so much. I will come and see them and how they all progress. When they come out of school there is a big wide world out there, so they have got to make sure they’ve got their education, it is so important. They are wonderful kids. My fondest memories are when they have done well in their exams, gone to university and then begun working in places like hospitals and as dentists.”

Her passion for education has been passed down to her own sons, who are both teachers. Aggie’s plans now include spending more time with her grandchildren and travelling to places she has never been before. There was a lot of love in the room at a farewell party for Aggie, 64, at the Warrington Hotel in Warrington Crescent this week.

Head of science at Westminster Academy Cassie Davis said: “Seeing her every day made it great to be at work. She is so supportive and helpful and a great agony aunt – an Aggie aunt.”

She added: “The department isn’t going to be the same without her but her incredible legacy will live on. She has seen over 100 science teachers come through the doors and has raised many generations of scientists, and I sincerely hope there is a way for her exceptional service to the children of Westminster to be recognised.”

Ex-colleague Effat Rahimi said: “Aggie’s smile is a bright light which gave us warmth and love. Aggie has a great sense of humour with a heart as big as the universe itself.”

Former languages teacher Vern Smith said: “This woman has had such an impact on the life of the children, the families, her colleagues. Forty-seven years in one of the hardest parts of London, she is amazing. You walk into the science area and that big smile just lifts you. Everyone knows it is the place to go if you are in trouble or you are upset, you go over there, get a big hug and you feel like the world is completely right. She is truly one of the most special people I have ever met. She is a superstar.”

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