The Rotorua Intermediate and Kaitao Intermediate communities are in mourning at the death of "beloved teacher" Linda Grey, known to her students as Miss Grey.
On a post on its Facebook page, Rotorua Intermediate School yesterdaywrote: "Today Rotorua Intermediate mourns the passing of a beloved teacher, mentor and friend, Linda Grey.
"Miss Grey was full of life and fun. If you were having a bad day you could count on her to make you laugh, always ready with a quick quip or a funny joke.
"Although she left recently to teach at Kaitao, she served at Rotorua Intermediate for more than ten years as a team leader, associate and beloved colleague."
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The school's page was flooded with comments from Miss Grey's former students, colleagues and friends.
"Never short of a laugh nor a kind word. She had an incredible work ethic and I am deeply saddened to read of her passing," a former colleague wrote.
"Such an inspiration to your fellow teachers and your students. You believed in your students and gave hope to those who couldn't find it anywhere else. Your wisdom will be carried on through those who were lucky enough to have known you," said another teacher.
"One of my favourite teachers always happy and making everyone happy," a former student said.
"She was so passionate and kind to her students, even if we weren't in her class," said another former pupil.
Rotorua Intermediate School principal Garry de Thierry, when contacted by the Rotorua Daily Post on Saturday, paid tribute to Grey's "passion for teaching, empathy for her students and wicked sense of humour that all her students will fondly remember".