End of an era: Elizabeth Bamford has taught at St Thomas Aquinas since 1986.
St Thomas Aquinas Primary School in Springwood is saying goodbye to three much-loved teachers at the end of 2021.
Between them, Elizabeth Bamford, Elaine Collier and Jennifer Robson have accumulated 120 years of teaching experience. The three are now taking retirement at the same time, leaving a huge legacy within the both the school and the wider community.
"We're so thankful for these amazing teachers for their decades of service," said St Thomas Aquinas Primary principal Marina Hardy. "With over 100 years of shared teaching experience, they leave a lasting legacy on the lives of thousands of students. They should be so proud of everything they've done for our community as they enjoy their well-deserved retirement."
Hit with the kids: Elaine Collier retires after 40 years as a teacher. Picture: Supplied.
Mrs Bamford began teaching in 1981 and has been at St Thomas Aquinas since 1986. Mrs Collier started her career in 1981 and has been with St Thomas Aquinas since 1991. Mrs Robson has also been a teacher for 40 years, and started at the school in 1995.
Mrs Bamford said she has "mixed emotions" about retiring.
"I'm looking forward to retirement and spending more time with my family," she said, "but at the same time I've been at St Thomas's for 36 years, and part of this community for a very long time. So I'm looking forward, but also thinking back over a very long career.
Nurturing young minds: Jennifer Robson has taught at St Thomas Aquinas since 1995. Picture: Supplied.
"Teaching is all about the relationships you develop with children and their families, and the community. All of those relationships are what help children learn, so that's what very special to me about teaching. I've taught children of children now, so that's really special."
She added that it was "wonderful" to be sharing the moment of retirement with her three colleagues.
"I've worked with Elaine for many years and we actually went to school together, and Jenny and I have become close friends. It's very special to be retiring with them. It's sort of the end of an era, the three of us leaving this community that we've loved being a part of. It's a privilege to be a teacher."