Francis today - go online to see more photos of Mr Pierozynski’s teaching days at www.leightonbuzzardonline.co.uk
Francis Pierozynski, known to students as “Mr P”, first came to the school in 1982, and says that the children, his colleagues, and the setting of Southcott, have meant he has never wanted to leave.
He told the LBO: “Every morning I come in and when I look out the window it’s like being in a park. Whatever the weather, whatever time of year, it’s beautiful out there.
“It’s just a beautiful environment to work in.”
Francis has actually worked under every headteacher in Southcott’s history, from Mr Davis (“He made me very welcome from my first day,”) to Mrs Middleton (“A real people person who just loved the children,”), Mrs Ellyard (“Very good, particularly with all the changes that were taking place in education,”) and then Mrs Varney (“A very nice lady,”).
And the current headteacher Mrs Laundy has been known to Francis for many years - as she first came to school as a work experience student in his lessons: “I knew within two days I knew that she would be awesome as a teacher.”
Although youngsters know Francis as “Mr P”, even the first name he goes by is not his real monicker.
He was actually born as Zbigniew Pierozynski, and was brought up as a boy in Lemington Spa with Polish as his first language.
He said: “The first word the teacher taught me at school was ‘Toilet’ so I could put my hand up if I need to be excused in class.
“I always thought I was one of the thick kids at school - I was ever any good at education as a student myself! But I think that’s helped me to empathise with all the children of all abilities.
“Now I’ve done my time though, and I’m going to look after my own family.”