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So it should come as no surprise that when the 61-year-old John McGlashan College principal retires at the end of this year, he hopes his work in education will continue in some form.
After nearly 18 years as principal of the college, Mr Corkery said it was time to ''call it a day''.
''I've been here long enough. It's time to move aside and let someone else have a go.
''I've been here nearly 18 years. It's been a wonderful experience.
''There's been challenges but it's also been immensely rewarding. Who could ask for more? It's everything you want in a job.
''I would like to think I've still got some more work in education in me yet, but at this stage, it's still too early to give definitive plans.''
Mr Corkery started teaching in Auckland in 1972 and his first principalship was at Maniototo Area School.
He later became principal of Tolaga Bay School and Te Kao Area School, before spending a year working for the Education Review Office as a reviewer.
He then went back to the University of Otago and completed an MBA before beginning a job in contract work for an Auckland business.
But the pull of education was too strong, and he returned to the sector to deliver Ministry of Education contracts in management and leadership training to schools in Otago and Southland.
''Then I was asked to consider applying for the principal's job at John McGlashan in 1995.''
He has never looked back.
''I'm going to miss the vibrancy of a boys' school that's going places.
''I'm going to miss the collegiality of staff who are excited about boys' education and seeing young men going on to do something special and significant with their lives.
''I get great satisfaction from that.
''I'll definitely make the most of the next 12 months.''
Mr Corkery will travel to the United States on sabbatical during term 2, to research issues around inspirational leadership and coaching in respect of professional development.
On his return, the board of trustees would begin the process of finding his replacement, he said.