By Mick Jensen
Long-serving Ashburton Borough School secretary Virginia Gould has farewelled the school she has served for the last 26 years.
A familiar face at the school reception desk for countless students and parents over those years, Mrs Gould finished up on Friday.
Approaching her 62nd birthday, she will remain a regular visitor and will pick up her five-year-old grandson Max from the school every Thursday.
“I’ll be keeping up with what’s going on still and I do intend coming in for sports days and other important school days, so they’re not getting rid of me.”
Mrs Gould said she would miss the interaction with students, staff and parents.
She was seeing the second generation coming through the school these days, the children of former students she remembered as young children.
Mrs Gould’s first 20 years at Borough were spent mainly behind the reception desk and dealing with a variety of queries and issues.
For the last six years she has also been busy with other administration duties, including payroll and accounts, but has remained on afternoon reception duty.
During her time at the school she has worked under principals Harry Friedel, Sam Winterbourn and current principal Hilary Boyce.
“When I was at school I dreamed of becoming a nurse, or even an archaeologist one day.
“I didn’t end up in either role, but over the years I’ve probably applied more plasters than most nurses and now I’m getting out before I become an old fossil myself.”
The biggest change over the years at the school, said Mrs Gould, was the advancement of technology in the learning environment.
“There were bookshelves filled with encyclopedias and dictionaries in the early days.
“Then we had the early DOS computers and now it’s all about ‘google’ and devices,” she said.
In retirement Virginia intends spending more time on the road in her motorhome and also more time on the ski slopes.