Orara High School PDHPE teacher Judy Paynter has batted an impressive innings and said her final farewell to students on Tuesday.
Orara High School PDHPE teacher Judy Paynter has batted an impressive innings and said her final farewell to students on Tuesday. Rob Wright

Longest-serving teacher retires

UNLIKE the job-jumping Generation Y, Baby Boomers are known professionally for their loyalty and commitment to the long haul and Judy Paynter is the perfect example.

Mrs Paynter was there when Orara High School first opened its gates in 1972, making her the longest-serving staff member when she retired this week.

Working as a Personal Development Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) for nearly four decades, Mrs Paynter was wrapped in hugs from former students before she addressed the school assembly.

“When the school started we only had Year 7 and 8 and this has grown continuously over the years, with between 650 and 700 students currently,” Mrs Paynter said.

“I love Orara High School because of the great students and staff but it’s time for me to retire.”

Mrs Paynter joked that she realised it was time to leave when she taught the first grandchild of a former student.

She is looking forward to spending time with her family and going travelling but knows she will miss the routine that was her life for 39 years.

“I’ll miss the kids the most and the structure, involvement and interaction,” she said.

“Being around kids teaches you a lot and keeps you thinking young.”

She said a highlight in her career was seeing the under 15 female basketball team win the state titles.

Along with her enthusiasm for exercise and health she dedicated herself to the welfare committee.

Mrs Paynter said teaching students how to accept themselves and develop self-esteem was extremely rewarding.

To all her students she said, “Thanks for the memories”.

Year 10 student Scott Drumgold had Mrs Paynter for PDHPE in Year 8 and 9 and said her shoes would be hard to fill.

“Mrs Paynter is a wonderful lady who has shown a huge commitment to teaching and it’s upsetting to see her go,” he said.

“A part of the school will leave with her and there will never be another PE teacher like Mrs Paynter.”



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