Diana Benton is ringing the bell for the final time at the end of the school term after a lifetime connection to Carlton School.
She is stepping away from her administration officer role at the school, a position she has been in for the past 31 years. "It's been such a lovely job to be in," she said.
"Working with children changes the whole dynamic of the occupation and is a really enjoyable lovely job. I've always loved coming to work and feel grateful to have had this opportunity."
Born and raised in Wellington, Benton's connection with Carlton School goes far beyond the 31 years she has worked at the school; she attended as a pupil after her family moved to Whanganui. Her daughters, Aimee and Brooke, also attended Carlton.
Benton studied administration at Whanganui Polytechnic and worked as a legal secretary before returning to her former primary school as a staff member.
The school roll has remained around the 270-300 student mark throughout her time, but a lot else has changed in 30 decades, including working under three principals.
"The technology change has been huge over the years. We are a digital school, while we still work in physical exercise books, we have chromebooks in the classroom so that's really changed." 2020 has been a year like never before, but she said the school did well to get through.
"It's been a bit of a crazy year hasn't it?
"I was working home during the lockdown. Hayley [administration assistant] and I were alternating shifts in the office. It was totally different for the kids learning from home.
"Our school worked really well together to provide a normal environment for the children."
Benton said it had been an absolute privilege to be involved with the school over her life.
"I've worked with some amazing teachers and still continue to work with very caring people," she said.
"Just the fun times you have with children and what comes out of their mouths is just so unpredictable."
Benton plans to spend next year crawling around New Zealand in a caravan with her husband Marty, who is a keen surfer.
Once they are finished their tour, she wants to remain involved in the community and help wherever she can.
"I really want to help friends and family and see what doors open. I don't want to just stay at home; just be able to help people and see how how I can help in the community as well.
"I've loved this job and it's been a joy to be a part of."