After 32 years teaching students at Tauhara College, teaching couple Allan and Sue Goldsmith are retiring.
Arriving at the school in 1988, Allan taught biology and in recent years electronics and was head of the science department for many years.
A passion for the arts saw Sue teaching drama and media studies and taking an active role in community and school productions.
"I have directed, been the production manager, stage manager, done the choreography, the props, acted and been general dogsbody," said Sue.
Last year Sue directed Tauhara College production Spamalot, has entered Tauhara College many times in the SGCNZ Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival (national winners in 2000 with The Debate). With Sue at the helm, Tauhara College students also had opportunities to enter the Cities of Literature Short Play Festival and take part in theatre sports teams.
She is chair of Taupo Youth Arts Trust, a member of Creative Taupo, and a part of the Creative Community Scheme.
Outside of school she appeared in Centre Stage Taupō productions Stepping Out and Calendar Girls, to name a few.
"We were one week out from opening Roger Hall's Last Legs when the coronavirus hit. It's now showing in late August early October," said Sue.
As well as teaching, Allan ran a lighting gear company for many years and was known as the school's IT guru. He played an active role getting computers into schools in the 1980s with Central Districts' Computers in Education.
Setting up the Mid Island Athletics was one of many career highlights for Allan. The event is still running today and Allan remembers how some "old-school guys from Rotorua" initially organised the competition.
"The rules were set up to eliminate students over side issues, such as not wearing the correct shoes.
"When Tauhara College was the host school we also ran the committee. I called an AGM and passed a new constitution so we got all the changes we wanted," said Allan.
Sharing his love of the environment with students, Allan would run biology field trips to Pureora Forest and Mt Ruapehu to study plants.
Outside of school Allan is a keen member of Forest and Bird, a member of Lakes and Waterways Action Group. He remembers when first arriving in Taupō, how the sky was always hazy in summer due to controlled pasture and forest burn-offs.
The pair met in 1970 at Downstage Theatre in Wellington. Allan was doing the lighting, ticket sales and working the bar. Sue got called in because actor Sam Neill's trousers needed sewing up.
"I sewed them while he was wearing them, right before he went on stage. We both got to know him really well," said Sue.
The pair taught in Wellington for 12 years and then took up teaching posts in Rarotonga. With Allan's interest in the environment, the pair were frequently out scuba diving as part of a coral dieback monitoring project.
"But we missed skiing," said Sue.
A job came up at Tauhara College and the interview was by international phone call, a big deal in those days.
"The school was actually closed the day we did our phone interview. It was raining and for the sake of students in outlying areas they would close the school on rainy days," said Allan.
Keen travellers, the couple's retirement plans include travelling around New Zealand in their campervan.
A six-month trip around Europe has been put on hold due to Covid-19. In 1980 the pair spent eight months in a campervan travelling from Norway to Greece. Sue has always wanted to see the Oberammergau Passion Play, held once every 10 years in Bavaria.
Recently Allan fixed a colleague's electric bike and he says fixing e-bikes could possibly be a retirement project.
The highlight of their career has been seeing their students blossom. They both say there is nothing more rewarding than when a parent says; "Because of your course our child is really enjoying this subject. You have made a difference."
"Preparing for a production, I spent so much time with the kids, it was always so much hard work but so worth it when I saw what they achieved," said Sue.
"I'm really into commitment from my students. If they say they are going to do something then I want them to see it through."
Allan says he is always pleased when he sees his past students who have gone on to have a career in electronics.
"And I still see students who live in town that I taught biology to. Some of them went on to become doctors and vets."
Recently Sue taught a former student's grandchild.
"It's probably time to mosey on," said Sue.
Allan said if he had one message for today's students it would be to believe in yourself.
"Don't set limits - believe that you can do it."