Lindsay Pretorius has bowed out of teaching after 20 years of service at Milnerton Pre-Primary School.
Nineteen of those years have been spent as the principal – or “captain of the ship” as she calls the job – of the school in Koeberg Road.
She now looks forward to spending her retirement years with her husband.
“It has been a huge privilege, joy and blessing to have worked at such a wonderful school all these years and with so many special and amazing colleagues, parents and children,” she said.
Both of Ms Pretorius’s children attended the school before she was employed there.
Last month, the school had a surprise farewell for her. She was lavished with flowers, a gift voucher, and a custom-made card from staff and pupils. She also received a trophy. The inscription said: “Never forget the difference you made.”
Ms Pretorius started at the school as a teacher and became the principal later that year when the post fell vacant. It had been a case of “sink or swim”, she said.
In 2012, the school came second in the “excellence in pre-primary teaching” category of the Annual National Teaching Award Competition.
“I was and am still extremely proud of our team and this amazing achievement. We received wonderful press coverage and accolades, and, needless to say, our application waiting lists were off the charts that year and into the future.”
Ms Pretorius said that although she would miss the school a great deal, she wanted to spend quality time with her husband.
“He’s been retired for three years already. In the last while, he’s been saying it’s a different season in our lives. It’s time to enjoy it with him.”
But even though she plans to have a good rest and go caravanning “outside of school holidays” she admitted it was hard to walk away from the school that felt like her “baby”.
“My wish for this amazing and precious Milnerton Pre-Primary School and her family,” she said, “is that she will continue to succeed, flourish and grow, giving first-class education, nurture and love to many more generations of beloved little pre-schoolers for years and years to come.”