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Two ‘‘major contributors’’ to Fairfield School’s culture of high expectation and achievement retired this week.
Principal Greg Lees, speaking at a function at the school on Monday, said the retirement of teachers Jan Lee and Lyn Donaldson presented a challenge.
‘‘The challenge for the school moving forward is to maintain its culture of high expectation and high achievement, and a staff culture built on togetherness and collegiality,’’ Mr Lees said.
‘‘We are all very aware of how real this challenge is, considering two major contributors to this culture are leaving us.
‘‘The experience and knowledge leaving our school can never be replaced.’’
Ms Lee’s ‘‘sense of humour, kind nature and ability to always remain so positive’’ would be missed by staff and pupils, he said.
Mrs Donaldson’s ‘‘passion and attitude toward teaching and learning has been an example to all’’.
‘‘No-one could be described as a harder worker,’’ Mr Lees said.
‘‘There are countless children over the years who have Lyn to thank for raising achievement both in and out of the classroom and especially on the sports field.’’
Ms Lee said she had been a teacher for 44 years, 35 of them at the school.
When she started at the school it had eight classrooms; now it had 21.
‘‘I found teaching here really enjoyable - the kids are nice and the staff are lovely,’’ she said.
Her retirement plans included travelling, continuing to volunteer at Presbyterian Support Otago and looking after her 2-year-old grandson.
‘‘All I have learnt I’m going to teach him,’’ Ms Lee said.
Mrs Donaldson said she began teaching in Balclutha in 1974 and had worked at Fairfield School for the past 11 years.
She was ‘‘stepping back’’ rather than retiring as she planned to do relief work at the school.
‘‘I love coming to work every day,’’ Mrs Donaldson said.
With her spare time, she planned to spend more time in her caravan, house in Lake Hawea and go mountainbiking, walking, boating and gardening.