Ashburton Borough School’s Anne Porter is retiring after many years service at the school.
She has taught hundreds of children across all age levels since starting as a teacher aide.
Formerly in banking, Mrs Porter enrolled her daughter at Ashburton Borough School in 1989 and over the next few years became enticed by the profession.
She picked up work as a teacher aide, completed her teaching studies and was then offered a job.
She has not looked back and has been teaching full time at Ashburton Borough School for 23 years.
“Teaching has never been a job for me, it’s been something I’m passionate about and I’ve enjoyed coming to work every day,” she said, at the school leavers final assembly.
“Every day hasn’t always been the easiest of days, some days are harder than others, as it is for all of us, she said.
Mrs Porter, 65, has taught from new entrants to Year 8, and also at the Lagmhor School site.
She taught around 10 of the current Year 8 leavers when they were new entrants. They were part of the last five-year-old group she taught.
“It’s special today because the last five-year-old group that I taught for the years I was teaching at new entrants are actually here today as Year 8,” she said.
“It’s been a pleasure to have other children join the school and watch you all grow and to see you today, the Year 8’s that are going out, as wonderful young adults.
“It’s special for you today and it’s also special for me … I’m on a new journey, I leave teaching full-time, I’ll be retired and filling in my time with other things, and you’re going on to secondary school and beyond.
“I’ve loved playing a part in all your lives, she said.
“I’ve been very lucky here … I’ve worked with some wonderful people. New teachers coming in teach me as well, you never stop learning in life because so many things have changed. You are always learning.”
Mrs Porter, and the Year 8 leavers, were piped into their school leavers assembly by school caretaker Colin Banks, 67, who is also retiring.
Mr Banks who plays with the Ashburton Pipe Band was in full bagpiper regalia. He has been playing the pipes since he was nine.
Mrs Porter’s advice to senior pupils was to “be flexible, be prepared to give everything a go, always do your best and be kind to others.”
“It’s up to you as to where you want to be. Hard work and dedication, and if you’re passionate about something you will always be able to achieve it.”
Mrs Porter plans to “put her feet up” spend more time with her husband, also retired, and their grandchildren.