Tributes pour in for the ‘perfect primary teacher’

Wilma Hastings
Wilma Hastings

Tributes have been paid to one of Castlehill Primary School’s best-loved teachers, Wilma Hastings, who died unexpectedly last Monday aged just 60.

Although she retired in 2014, Wilma maintained her strong links with the school by returning as a classroom volunteer.

Wilma started teaching in 1975 and taught in Castlehill from 1990, specialising in early years education.

Former headteacher Carol Opdahl said: “Her positive outlook and cheery personality ensured that she enjoyed excellent relationships with pupils, staff and parents.

“Wilma was very generous with her time and colleagues, parents and students were appreciative of the support readily given by her. She was the voice of reason.

Her commitment, dedication, interest, enthusiasm and determination to give and develop respect and success were of the highest standard. Wilma created a warm, safe and interesting environment for her children to learn and they, in turn, thrived under her care and loved her welcoming, inspirational and nurturing ways.

“She found joy in everything the children did and their best interests were at the very heart of her teaching. Her stories were legendary and always had a happy ending. She would tell her class “you are never fully dressed without a smile”.

Joe King, chairman of the school’s parent council, commented: “She was very nice, always very friendly and very welcoming. She was the perfect example of what you would like to have in a primary one teacher.

“Everybody is in shock and very upset. She will be one teacher that will be sorely missed.”

There were also dozens of tributes on Facebook, with one eight-year-old saying: ‘She gave the best squishy cuddles.’

Wilma, who is survived by her husband Bob and daughter Katherine, will be laid to rest in Cupar Cemetery tomorrow (Saturday) following a service at Cupar Old Parish Church.