Les­ley says goodbye to Toko­roa school

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

Af­ter 30 years at Toko­roa North School it’s time to say goodbye to teacher aid Lelsey Edgeler.

Edgeler, who be­gan her lengthy time at the school as a mother helper, will re­tire on Thurs­day, Septem­ber 22 af­ter her of­fi­cial farewell on Wed­nes­day.

It may be a year be­fore she in­tended to go but with the bless­ing of her hus­band Kevin she said she was happy to.

‘‘It was orig­i­nally go­ing to be next year but I work four days a week and on Thurs­days we have a game of Scrab­ble af­ter school and a cup of tea and I nor­mally have a sleep be­cause I’ve had it by then. I was start­ing to go to bed af­ter Scrab­ble on Mon­days and Tues­days though so my hus­band said I think it is time to fin­ish and I was quite happy to ac­cept his bless­ing and do it a year early,’’ she said.

‘‘Kevin has been re­tired for about five years now and we are mem­bers of the Ro­torua Scrab­ble Club and also the New Zealand Scrab­ble As­so­ci­a­tion so I will be able to get back into that with him.’’

She said her time at the school, which has in­cluded work­ing un­der three dif­fer­ent prin­ci­pals, had been an en­joy­able jour­ney.

‘‘I started off as a mother helper in the li­brary which was a tiny room and the li­brar­ian at the time was go­ing back nurs­ing and said the job was be­ing ad­ver­tised so I went for it as I had trained as a teacher and li­brar­ian in Aus­tralia where I grew up,’’ she said.

‘‘I love chil­dren be­cause no mat­ter how you are feel­ing your­self chil­dren help you for­get.’’ Les­ley Edgeler

‘‘When com­put­ers came they eased me out and gave me two for­eign stu­dents from Korea to teach English to and I was also given a lit­tle boy in the ju­nior class who had dys­pla­sia and I worked with him for about three years. From there they also of­fered me the re­me­dial maths job.’’

At the time of her re­tire­ment she was still look­ing af­ter re­me­dial maths and 21 English for Speak­ers of Other Lan­guages (ESOL) stu­dents.

Edgeler said the big­gest thing she will miss is chil­dren.

‘‘I love chil­dren, I al­ways have and I think it’s be­cause no mat­ter how you are feel­ing your­self, chil­dren help you for­get and they teach you an aw­ful lot,’’ she said.

Deputy prin­ci­pal Ju­dith Mclean said the school was sad to see Edgeler go.

‘‘She is go­ing to be a real loss,’’ she said.

LUKE KIRKEBY/ FAIRFAX NZ

Toko­roa North School’s Les­ley Edgeler, pic­tured here with two of her stu­dents, is re­tir­ing af­ter 30 years at the school.

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