FRAN Thompson will be the guest of honour at a very special afternoon tea at Boambee Public School next Thursday.
Teachers, parents, children, past students and friends of the school will gather to farewell the school's librarian, who is retiring after 59 years of teaching.
Mrs Thompson, who will turn 79 on December 20, said she had never considered leaving at the 'normal' retiring age of 60 or 65, but had decided this term that it was time.
"I never thought of retiring until people talked about it, then I thought 'oh, am I supposed to?'
"I've never really been tired before, but after a long day with a lot of little kids and a 10-minute lunch break, I want a nanna nap."
But this energetic educator, mother and grandmother will not be spending her retirement with her feet up.
A volunteer with the Coffs Harbour Regional Museum and the Bunker Cartoon Gallery for many years, she is already considering other projects, with a new university course already in her sights.
Fran Thompson began her teacher training in Armidale in 1954 and taught in Sydney, Armidale, Brentford and Ealing in England, Forbes, Raymond Terrace and Murrurundi, before moving to Boambee in 1986 with her family when her husband was appointed as the school's principal.