WHEN Monica Wain started working at Woady Yaloak Kindergarten in Scarsdale 35 years ago, she did not plan on staying too long.
“I planned on staying for four years,” Ms Wain said.
But after teaching thousands of children, spanning two generations, the much-loved teacher will retire from her position this week.
“There will be tears,” Ms Wain said.
Yesterday Ms Wain was thrown a celebratory afternoon tea to commemorate her time as a teacher.
Her next chapter will involve travelling across the United States on the back of a BSA motorcycle for seven weeks.
Over the past three decades, Ms Wain has become a permanent fixture in the Scarsdale community.
Her father grew up in Snake Valley and Ms Wain has vivid memories of Sunday drives out to Smythesdale.
In her early years she toyed with the idea of becoming a hairdresser, before taking up an assistant kindergarten teacher job in Ballarat and later working in Scarsdale.
“When I started I had 50 children to teach, two groups of 25, and that went on for years and years,” Ms Wain said.
She still gets the occasional visit from her former students; whether they are in primary school or have landed their first job.
“The kinder door is always open. It is a part of the community,” she said.
As for returning to teaching after her trip?
“No I don’t think I could come back,” Ms Wain said. “I just want to thank the community for giving me the opportunity to have such a wonderful experience and meeting some warm, loving families.”