Retiring principal reflects on 50 years in education
A love of children has powered
50 years of devotion to teaching.
Halcombe School principal Sue Simpson, 67, retired yesterday, calling time on a career in which she entered a classroom every day.
She said teaching kept things real for her and showed her staff that she was still willing to walk the walk. ‘‘It’s all about the kids – that’s why I do this job.’’
Simpson completed her teaching training in her hometown of Christchurch 50 years ago, and started teaching at age 19, before moving to Manawatu¯ where her husband worked.
She taught at Lytton Street School in Feilding for four years, before moving to Halcombe, where she has been the principal since 2002.
‘‘It’s always been a lovely school. It’s always been sporty and always been a kind and awesome community with wonderful families.’’
The roll was about 125 when she started; it was now 200 with an enrolment zone. Under her tenure a playground, extra classrooms, a fitness track and a hall have all been built.
She said it was a traditional school, with pet days and galas, and children would arrive in bare feet. ‘‘We’ve never been a bandwagon school.’’
In retirement, she plans to work on her big garden, catch up with friends and family, care for her grandchildren and do some relieving work.
Alastair Schaw, who was the principal of Kairanga School but left two years ago to work for the Ministry of Education, will replace Simpson at the start of termtwo.