Teachers celebrate arrivals, leavers

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 12:00 23/11/2012

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Palmerston North teachers are farewelling familiar faces and welcoming some fresh ones at a celebration for retiring teachers and new graduates this evening.

The New Zealand Educational Institute is holding its annual celebration this evening to anoint newly registered primary school teachers in Palmerston North.

NZEI Manawatu committee member and organiser Elaine Savage said the event was held to initiate new teachers into the profession, including fresh additions to Monrad and Ross intermediates, Roslyn and Whakarongo schools.

It would also be a farewell to one of Palmerston North's veteran teachers, as Hokowhitu School's deputy principal, Wendy McTaggart, has announced her retirement from the school she attended as a child.

With 34 years' teaching under her belt, she will be joining other educators who have wrapped up long careers in Palmerston North this year.

Palmerston North Boys' High's former rector, Tim O'Connor, last term shifted to Auckland Grammar after more than a decade at the helm, and was replaced by David Bovey. And Milson School's former principal, Barry Eccles, has retired in recent weeks after 40 years in education, passing the leadership to Vanessa Pitt.

Mrs McTaggart grew up in Palmerston North and lived in Plimmerton for about 16 years before moving back to Palmerston North in 1986.

After some long-term relieving jobs she took up a permanent position at her old school.

"I have had a long history with this school. As we lived in Elmira Avenue, my brother, sister and myself all went to Hokowhitu School as children. It has been a wonderful school to work in and I have always valued the very friendly and caring culture of this school. Although I have not had my own class for the last four years, I always loved my classroom teaching and have delighted in seeing children blossom through their learning."

She had found her role as deputy principal immensely rewarding.

"I will miss all my very special colleagues at Hokowhitu School and, of course, the wonderful Hokowhitu School children. At the same time I am looking forward to having time for further travel, lots of gardening, community work and more time to spend with family."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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