Former Tahatai Coast School deputy principal Jenny Griggs died this week just seven months after retiring.
Mrs Griggs, 66, passed away while visiting family in Australia on Monday after a short battle with cancer.
She was a teacher for 47 years and had worked at Tahatai Coast School since it opened 17 years ago.
Tahatai Coast School principal Ian Leckie said staff, students and parents at the school were devastated to learn of her death.
A balloon release was to be held at the school in her honour today.
"We've had contacts from all over the country," he said. "We're expecting a crowd."
She is survived by her husband Lyle and children Rebecca, Jenny and Dale.