College’s ‘mother’ Pat retires after 28 years

A long-serving personal assistant known as the “mother” of Walsall College has retired after almost three decades in FE.

Pat Cyster started working at the college in 1987 as departmental secretary for Kevin Moran, who was head of catering and food technology at the time.

She was personal assistant for James Norris, assistant principal for commercial development, ahead of her retirement. Dozens of staff took her by surprise a day before she left with a leaving party, where she was presented with gifts, cards, and flowers.

Pat said: “I’ve loved every single part of my job, even the occasional disputes, and I will really miss the people here because that is what makes it such a great place to work.”

Her sixth and final principal, Jatinder Sharma, said: “There is absolutely no denying that Pat is the mother of Walsall College and she will be simply impossible to replace.”

Picture caption: Pat Cyster surrounded by cards, banners and a ballon at her retirement party