Science teacher, Chris Burns (40 years), Head of English, John Bird (39 years), Roger Wakefield, specialist class room teacher and SENCO, and drama and media studies teacher, Tim Walton have seen out the 2017 school year for the last time.

(Left) END OF AN ERA: Havelock North High School staff; Roger Wakefield (left), Lesley Wait, John Bird and Chris Burns are retiring after spending up to 42 years at the school. PHOTO/Supplied.

Although for foundation staff member, Lesley Wait, it is a momentous occasion having been at the school since it first opened in 1975 – making her the last to retire with 42 years under her belt.

During her time, the school secretary has had many roles, starting off as a staff typist before incorporating technology into her job and managing the website.

“It doesn’t seem like that long. The years have ticked by.”

“I have mixed feelings about leaving. Of course I am sad about leaving somewhere I have so many good memories of, but I am also excited about starting a new chapter in my life.”

“I have been there for all these years and I feel like it is time to leave and spend more time with my family, catch up with friends, do a bit of travel and that sort of thing while we still have our health.”

Over the years, she has seen a “tremendous amount of change,” particularly with how technology has changed the way she does her job.

“I do think it is a very good school and that’s why a lot of staff members have their children at the school. Students have just so much opportunity and the technology is all there for them if they want to embrace it.”

She was on the steering committee for two reunions, a full school 25th anniversary reunion and the 40th anniversary staff reunion.

Her two sons went to the school, and now her two grandsons are enrolled.


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