LIZ Saunders walked into her first day of high school to see her new PE teacher jumping on a trampoline.
That night she told her parents that's exactly what she wanted to do with her life.
On Friday, Ms Saunders was farewelled from Quirindi High School after working as a PE teacher at the school for 33 years.
After studying a teaching degree at the University of Newcastle, the veteran educator completed her final exams at the Quirindi High School hall and never looked back.
"This was my first posting straight out of university, I did just under 12 months of casual teaching and was given a permanent PE position in 1990," she said.
Throughout her years at the school, Ms Saunders was also girls supervisor, internal and external sports organiser and head teacher for wellbeing.
While she's tried her hand at different roles during her time, Ms Saunders said the biggest change she witnessed throughout her career, was the move to technology and teaching being considered a "profession".
"There's a lot of paperwork and responsibility and a lot more expectations put on teachers nowadays," she said.
"It's not just a nine till three job, those six hours you spend with classes, you spend the another six hours preparing and organising."
More pathways for students to reach their dream career and taking away the focus on purely academic success, are changes Ms Saunders said she welcomed.
"A lot of people look at our teenagers and say what's wrong with them," she said.
"I look at our teenagers and I see potential. Our future is safe."
At a special assembly on Friday, Ms Saunders was given an exit fit for a queen with students and staff creating a guard of honour to wish her well.
She was also invited to ring 'Hughey's Bell' a right of passage that had previously been reserved for Year 12 students on their last day of school.
Apart from having her family beside her, what was most important to her was looking out and seeing parents, now with kids at the school, that she had previously taught.
Ms Saunders said teaching generations of families helped her connect with students.
"To be able to know a child's background, especially as head teacher of wellbeing, you are able to support their wellbeing, know their family culture, specific needs and any sort of generational needs," she said.
"It's a huge benefit."
At the assembly Ms Saunders launched the 'WillAndy Cup' named after her two sons, Will and Andy who attended the school until Year 10.
The cup will be awarded each year to a boy in Year 10, who has shown great sportsmanship.
"It's a piece of me I'll be leaving behind at the school," Ms Saunders said.
In 2023 Ms Saunders will start a new role as a PE teacher at Peel High School, to be closer to her family in Tamworth.
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