When Christine Baker's husband Brian died from a heart attack in 2004, the Glamorgan School community turned up on her doorstep with home-cooked meals.
It shows the high calibre of the community, she says, as she was overwhelmed by their support during a tough time.
Now the 65-year-old teacher is saying farewell to her caring friends after 26 years at Glamorgan as head of maths, the gifted and talented group and as a senior teacher.
Mrs Baker has taught for 36 years in total.
She returned to New Zealand after volunteering for the United Nations High Commission in Singapore and she "fell in love" with the North Shore.
The Torbay resident was a relief teacher and then worked part-time at Glamorgan for four years.
It was not until 1990 that she took a full-time position working with eight-year-olds.
Mrs Baker took on the chairwoman's role with Torbay WaterWise until 2003 despite having never sailed.
"I'd always been the one who sat around and fiddled at the back," she laughs about the experience.
She loved seeing children take on the challenge and enjoy being on the water.
But in 1995, one memorable student, professional makeup artist Grayson Coutts brought the spirit of the America's Cup to school.
Televisions were set up and red socks were donned, with Russell Coutts later paying the school a visit, she says.
Asked what she will miss the most, she responds: "The caring staff and absolutely the children."
She looks forward to visiting and teaching her grandchildren who live in France and Slovakia. Mrs Baker hopes the community will join her at a final farewell morning tea on November 29. It will held be in the Glamorgan School hall from 10.30am.
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- © Fairfax NZ News