Teacher ends board stint after 24 years

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 05:00 07/06/2013
Board of Trustees
ROBYN EDIE/ Fairfax NZ

WITH THANKS: Thornbury School Room one pupils, including Khalen O’Donnell, 7, celebrate with teacher Rayleen Davis, right, who has stepped down after 24 years as staff representative on the board of trustees

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When Thornbury teacher Rayleen Davis joined her school's board of trustees, the Soviet Union still existed, Greta Garbo was alive and Justin Beiber was yet to be born.

The teacher has just stepped down from her role as staff representative on the Thornbury School board of trustees after 24 years of service.

As a foundation trustee, Mrs Davis has been on the board since the trustee system was introduced into New Zealand schools in 1989.

Despite her long service, she said she had little choice in her appointment as staff representative of the rural two-teacher school.

"I really was the only one. The principal was automatically on and the cleaner didn't want to join."

The satisfaction of being involved in the direction of the small school had kept her volunteering for more than 20 years, she said.

Thornbury School principal Anne Batt said Mrs Davis' long stay on the board had provided continuity and a helping hand for new trustees.

Her service was just another part of her extra work around the school, which included chopping kindling for classroom fires and cleaning out the gutters, Ms Batt said.

"She's never ever said ‘no' to a job. She just does it and people just don't realise it's been done by her."

Mrs Davis said her retirement from the board was not for lack of enthusiasm, but as she was getting near retirement age, she could not guarantee she would remain a staff member for the entire three-year term.

While she was looking forward to having more free time now she was no longer a trustee, she expected she would still be involved in some way, she said.

Board of trustees elections were held across New Zealand last Thursday and votes were officially counted on Wednesday.

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