Time with family is on the timetable for a school principal after nearly 50 years of teaching.
Stratford High School principal Philip Keenan is retiring at the start of July, bringing an end to a teaching career that began in 1973.
While most principals might have spent their last couple of terms clearing their desk and saying their goodbyes, Philip has been kept busy dealing with an international pandemic.
Covid-19 restrictions and regulations meant Philip needed to lead the school through the shift to online and at home learning, and then back to school again as restrictions began to ease.
"A pandemic is not something you can prepare for. A big help during the seven weeks was knowing staff were doing what was expected of them. The staff have done really well.
"Now that students are back, we are reinforcing what they learned over lockdown and making sure they're adjusting well to being back at school."
Philip says he has always enjoyed being in the classroom, right back to when he was a student at Shirley Boys' High School in Christchurch.
After leaving school and training as a teacher, his first job was at Aranui High School in Christchurch in 1973.
His career has spanned nearly five decades, taking him from Christchurch to Taranaki, via Picton, he says.
"Teaching is part of who I am. My journey started at Aranui High School in Christchurch then moved to Queen Charlotte College in Picton, then to Spotswood and then Stratford High School.
"Each of these places have allowed me to grow and develop and given me the passion for teaching. At no stage have I lost that passion."
He started at Stratford High in 1993 as senior master. In 2004 he became a deputy principal, moving to acting principal a year later. He became principal in 2010.
As well as leading the school, he has had a presence in the classroom, and will have taught three generations of Stratford students maths by the time he retires.
When Philip was a student in Christchurch, his principal taught him maths he says.
"He was a big influence for me."
As well as maths, Philip says he enjoyed geography and chemistry while at school.
Philip says he has seen plenty of change in schooling through the years.
A key change has been the way students and teachers now form stronger relationships.
"It's been a positive change, teachers and students are now getting to know each other."
Another change is the way social media is used to communicate with parents, he says.
"As a teacher you are constantly learning new tricks."
He says he enjoys watching students thrive inside and outside the classroom.
"I'm passionate about being in a class room and helping young people achieve their goals.
"I've coached basketball all the way through my teaching years and then I got involved with Stage Challenge at Stratford High School."
He says he will miss the strong relationships and connections he has built over the years with the school staff, community and students.
"Throughout my time I've met thousands of students. I'll miss the interaction. The students make the school. They give life and soul to the school. It's also been really nice meeting the parents.
"The staff here are fantastic. For me, staff includes everyone involved in the education of the young people."
He will also miss watching the relationship grow between early childhood centres, primary schools and high schools.
"That relationship between the stakeholders is unbelievable and it's just going to continue to grow."
He says he wants to give students life skills for when they begin working.
"When the kids walk out the gate for the last time, I want them to have as many choices and chances as they can and to give them the skills they need to work in an outside world."
He says it has been an honour to be a part of the Stratford High School community.
"It's been a privilege, a pleasure, and an honour to be principal at Stratford High School.
Stratford is a fantastic place to live and a fantastic place to teach, I couldn't ask for anything better."
Covid-19 restrictions meant the Board of Trustees had to delay the recruitment process for a new principal, with interviews for the role delayed until last weekend.
The new principal will start at the beginning of term three with an announcement on the appointment expected shortly.
Board chairwoman Ina Vincent says the board originally planned to have a new principal appointed by Easter but everything was put on hold.
"We decided to wait until we could meet applicants face to face, as it is an important decision."
Ina says the board will miss Philip.
"We thank him for everything he has done and we wish him the best for his future."
Philip says on retiring he plans to take some time refocus.
"I'll take a step back and 'smell the roses'. I haven't done that in a long time."