Ray Scott's days walking the halls of Aquinas College as principal are drawing to a close.

Yesterday Mr Scott announced to the school he would be leaving his post of "seven and three quarter" years at the end of the year, something that had been in the works for awhile.

Mr Scott has "no special plans" after leaving the school, other than to take some time off and get that knee replacement he was due for.

"I have been thinking about it for a little while and it's the right time," he said.

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People and relationships were at the heart of Mr Scott's time as principal.

When asked what he would miss most Mr Scott said with no hesitation he would "miss the kids the most".

Relationships and friendships with teachers and students that were built up over time would not soon be forgotten.

The relatively small school roll of just over 750 meant Mr Scott could recognise almost every student, if not name them, and tried his best to get to know every student.

Aquinas College Principal Ray Scott is resigning as principal at the end of the year.

It was important to him to encourage students to set goals, helping when they fell back or congratulating when they succeeded.

He said he tried to get every student in on their birthday to have a chat how things were going.

Mr Scott said he would also miss the daily challenge of being a school principal.

"You are never quite sure what's going to happen from one day to the next. After 18 years as a principal, you think you have seen most things but something different pops up from time to time."

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Mr Scott hoped the students would remember him as a principal who was "approachable" and interested in their progress and education.

Looking back on high points of his career and it always came back to the achievements of his students.

"The talent of the kids and their ability to achieve academically and culturally."

He was proud of current and former students.

"A measure of a successful school to me can be judged by those kids 5, 10, 15 years out [of school], what are they doing, how are they contributing?"

He hoped students who went to Aquinas College were instilled with the idea of service for no reward, "seeing a need and stepping in to help".

18 years as a principal
- Mr Scott previously taught Hamilton Boys' High School and was principal at St John's College in Hamilton for 11 years.
- Mr Scott has spent more than 37 years in education, teaching in Christchurch and Te Puke.