Tokomairiro High School is mourning former principal Wayne Edgar who died after falling from a ladder last week in Hamilton.
The 61-year-old only moved to the North Island recently following his retirement at the end of the last year.
He had just become a new granddad to Paige, who was born shortly before Christmas.Deputy principal Karen Vollweiler said he did get the chance to meet and spend time with his granddaughter.
He was really excited about retirement and having no plans for a change, she said.
Mr Edgar joined Tokomairiro High as principal in 2008, and according to Ms Vollweiler was a man of ''immense integrity and honour''.
He cared about ''our students, our staff and the school community'', she said.
''We used to say he could almost see around corners ... it was like he could see where a decision might lead.''
He could be a cautious man, but he did not let that ''tie him down'' or stop him doing things, she said.
''He was quiet on the surface but you didn't have to scratch to deep to find the vision, intelligence and humour ...when he told me he was resigning, I was a mess.''
The school's new principal Glenis Sim said the thoughts of the school were with Mr Edgar's wife Jan and his family.
''He was amazingly well organised, I can see the vision he had for the school and he left it sitting there for me to move the school forward,'' she said.
Tokomairiro High School planned to hold a memorial service for Mr Edgar and members of the public would be invited to contribute to it.
It was likely to be held in the first few weeks of the new term, and the school would also be setting up opportunities for students and staff to talk about what happened, Mrs Sim said.
Ms Vollweiler said she was in contact with Jan Edgar, who was also a relief teacher at the school, and who had been ''amazingly strong''.
In his final principal's message before retirement, Mr Edgar wrote of the anticipation he felt towards the challenges ahead and being closer to his family, but said he would also miss the South Island, especially fishing in the Clutha and riding his mountainbike in the countryside.
His message said: "I take with me a sense of pride in having had the opportunity to be the principal of a school that is meeting the challenges of educating young adolescents in today's world head on. But, mostly I am happy in the knowledge that there are plenty of young people demonstrating the qualities of citizenship that augers well for the future of our country.''
Mr Edgar was also a member and secretary of of the Milton Rotary Club.
President Brendon Bearman said he was ''very dedicated'' and his death was tragic.
''He was there when you needed him and definitely got involved with the community .th.th. especially around youth activities.''
Mr Edgar's funeral was held in Hamilton at the weekend.
- Clutha Leader
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