Pupils and staff surprised their headteacher to mark 20 years since he took over the reins.
Children stood up and praised Andy Brown as their role model to mark his milestone in charge at West View Primary School.
Everyone should have a role model and you Mr Brown are minePupil Darci Robinson
School governors, parents and academy trust members also attended the assembly when Mr Brown was presented with gifts in gratitude at his achievements including cuff links and a pen.
Mr Brown, who was previously deputy head at Jesmond Primary School, said: “It was emotional. I had a suspicion something might happen but it was a surprise.
“The children got up and said how I represented the school values, sang a few songs and gave me presents.
“The fact the children went to those lengths, and some of the things they wrote, were fantastic.”
Pupil Darci Robinson, aged nine, said Mr Brown treated everyone with respect, adding: “Everyone should have a role model and you Mr Brown are mine.”
Under his headship West View primary has grown to almost twice its size and seen its results and reputation improve.
“The school has come a long way,” said Mr Brown. “Parents want their children to come here.”
Chris Simmons, chair of governors, paid tribute saying his inspiring leadership had transformed the school from virtually failing 20 years ago to “a beacon of excellent practise today”.
He said: “The families of the West View community are indeed fortunate to have had such a compassionate and charismatic headteacher to lead their children’s start in life.”