By her own admission Delwyn Bain has had an unusual career in teaching.
The 44-year veteran of Maeroa Intermediate, and principal since 2001, is to retire at the end of August.
Originally from Otorohanga, she trained at the Hamilton Teachers College and spent two years teaching at Melville Intermediate before starting at Maeroa in 1970.
She is only the sixth principal of the school which opened in 1954 and has worked under two past principals, Max Strawbridge and Geoff Mooar.
"I've taken an unusual path within one school, having started as a standard teacher and gone on to be a lead teacher, second deputy principal, deputy principal and then principal."
The mid-city intermediate has varied in roll up to 900 but is generally about 600. Its usual catchment includes children from Frankton, Aberdeen and Nawton areas but also has students from as far as Raglan and Te Kuiti.
Now aged 67, Bain has seen huge changes in teaching philosophies and, especially, technologies. Education has moved from an emphasis on instruction to an emphasis on comprehension.
"We've rebuilt large parts of the school to create more flexible space for the use of technology. Every classroom has a large TV and there's the explosion in the use of iPads and other digital technologies. Classrooms are a lot brighter and the teaching environment is a lot more inviting.
"I have stayed because I love it. I am blessed with an amazing staff. But you get to the stage where the amount of work that needs to be done can't be done in 50 or 60 hours a week. But it's been a great experience and I wouldn't swap it for the world."
Bain is a little unsure about retirement and how she will cope with a less-structured life.
She is expecting her first grandchild and she hopes to travel. She has many hobbies and in particular enjoys scrapbooking.
"It's going to be interesting to see what sort of shock it is not working the hours. I have always been interested in education and I've been a JP for years which has been a bit restricted."
Bain's last day is August 29, and the Maeroa Intermediate board of trustees is in the throes of selecting a new principal.
- Waikato Times