School stal­wart says good­bye


When Carolynne Gaerty be­gan work­ing at Plim­mer­ton School, a large box-shaped com­puter was bolted to the floor be­cause it was so valu­able.

Now, 24 years on, ev­ery class has an iPad and at least four PCs, as well as ac­cess to a com­puter suite and li­brary com­put­ers.

Scot­tish-born Gaerty, who is re­tir­ing as ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer on May 23, said it had been amaz­ing how school re­sources and her role had de­vel­oped.

School deputy prin­ci­pal Rose­mary Ox­nam said Gaerty had been amaz­ingly in­no­va­tive in her po­si­tion.

But Gaerty said it was all just in­ter­est­ing to her.

‘‘It has been an ex­cit­ing time to be in my po­si­tion,’’ she said. ‘‘The sys­tems weren’t there, so they had to be built up.’’

Gaerty used the free­dom David Lange’s To­mor­row’s Schools re­form gave to de­velop ad­min­is­tra­tive and fi­nan­cial sys­tems with her re­cently re­tired hus­band Larry.

‘‘ I’ve al­ways been keen on ad­min sys­tems and I like de­vel­op­ing pro­grammes… plus I’m re­ally in­ter­ested in or­gan­i­sa­tion and man­age­ment, so it’s been a fas­ci­nat­ing job for me.’’

Gaerty started at Plim­mer­ton School af­ter she en­rolled her youngest daugh­ter there in 1990.

She had worked pre­vi­ously in sim­i­lar roles in Bri­tain.

In her time at Plim­mer­ton, Gaerty has seen the school roll grow from about 350 pupils in 1990 to about 500 pupils now.

In­creased pupil num­bers have been ac­com­pa­nied by a larger teach­ing staff, the build­ing of new class­rooms, the de­vel­op­ment of the school li­brary and up­grad­ing of the school pool.

Gaerty said she would al­ways re­mem­ber the paint­ing of the school’s mu­ral in 2003 and the cel­e­bra­tion of the school’s cen­ten­nial in 2004.

‘‘I will miss the chil­dren and teach­ers and the chal­lenges with the pro­grammes, but it will be good to spend more time with my chil­dren and grand­chil­dren.’’


Fond farewell: Carolynne Gaerty, who is leav­ing Plim­mer­ton School af­ter 24 years.

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