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How Amherst Primary School pupil spent 15 years tracking down his favourite teacher before organising reunion

PUBLISHED: 18:33 18 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:08 01 June 2017

Children at Amherst Primary School, late 1970s/early 1980s. Picture: Jason Gallier

Children at Amherst Primary School, late 1970s/early 1980s. Picture: Jason Gallier

Archant

A man whose primary teacher inspired him to take up her profession embarked on an “epic and relentless” 15-year hunt to find and thank her – and now they’re organising a school reunion together.

Jason Gallier today. Picture: Jason GallierJason Gallier today. Picture: Jason Gallier

Jason Gallier, 45, went to Amherst Primary School in Sigdon Road and Dalston Lane, where Mossbourne Parkside Academy now stands. Mossbourne Parkside changed its name from Brook Primary School last year.

He wanted to tell his Year 5 and Year 6 teacher Jane Evans “how his life had panned out”, and had spent a decade and a half trying in vain to find her on social media.

“The reason I’m teaching now is Miss Evans,” Jason told the Gazette. “I wanted to really thank her for my journey – I’ve had an amazing journey. I studied at Cambridge Uni and I’ve had a happy and successful career.

“She just totally inspired me with her enthusiasm. I was just in awe that she was such a nice person, such a caring person, and I’ve always wanted to emulate that in my teaching.”

Amherst Primary School became Brook Primary School, pictured. It's now called Mossbourne Parkside Academy. Picture: Jason GallierAmherst Primary School became Brook Primary School, pictured. It's now called Mossbourne Parkside Academy. Picture: Jason Gallier

He thought he had struck lucky eight years ago when he discovered where she used to live. But when he phoned her house he was told by the new tenants she had moved out a month before.

Then finally last year he found her.

“She just popped up on Facebook. I made a search and all of a sudden she was there,” said Jason.

“She was as happy to speak to me as I was to speak to her.

Jane, who is now 67 and lives in Brighton, has helped Jason network on social media and they have enthused nine teachers to attend the reunion – at the Magic Roundabout in Old Street at 3pm on May 27. They have even persuaded ex-headmaster Mr Gable, who is in his 80s, to make the trip down from Durham.

Jason is expecting about 100 people to turn up to the reunion, but wants to let everyone know it’s open to all former pupils.

“I don’t want people to miss out,” he said. “It will be amazing when it actually happens.

“There is so much to say and so many memories, and there are things Miss Evans can remind me of and I can remind her of.

“We will be like a memory train. We have advised people to bring photos of what we used to look like.

“We didn’t have uniform, and there were a lot of poor children in the school with holey jeans and holes in their trainers but everyone seems to have come good and pulled through.”

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