BENDIGO teachers Chris Alderton and Carmel Dunham will retire this week after four decades in the job.
The two women have taught together at St Kilian's Primary School in Bendigo for the past 20 years.
Prior to St Kilian's, Ms Alderton worked at Kangaroo Flat Primary School, Holy Rosary Primary School in White Hills, and St Joseph's Primary School in Quarry Hill.
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Ms Dunham started her career at St Patrick's School in Pyramid Hill before having stints at Holy Rosary, St Therese's Primary School in Kennington, and then St Kilian's.
Ms Dunham said she knew 2020 was the right time for her to retire.
"There are some mixed feelings there," she said. "I'm happy to be moving on to the next thing but I will miss a lot of things about school."
Ms Alderton said she would also miss those connections with fellow staff, students, and families.
"Everyone has been so lovely and kind," she said. "I will miss working with Carmel. We have been working together for quite some time. We had an open prep classroom together that we created."
St Kilian's principal Dan Gooch said the two teachers would be missed.
"While it is sad that both Chris and Carmel will be leaving, we wish them the very best as they enter retirement and enjoy the next phase of their lives," Mr Gooch said.
"They are both to be sincerely thanked and congratulated for their outstanding commitment, dedication, and for the contributions made during their years of service to our school and to Catholic Education Sandhurst."
Ms Alderton said she was looking forward to spending her retirement with her grandchildren, both in Melbourne and Noosa.
"I also really enjoy gardening and baking and catching up with friends, so I'll be happy," she said.
Ms Dunham said she would also find ways to keep busy.
"Catching up and having lots of cuppas with friends, perhaps some holidays in the caravan, riding my e-bike, and I'm going try and learn to play golf," she said. "We'll see how that goes."
The two women said teachers entering the profession should know it was hard work but also rewarding.
"Just value the connections with the kids, families, and colleagues," Ms Alderton said. "They are very precious."
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