RETIRING after more than 11 years service with the Jack and Jill Preschool in Grafton, former teacher and director Robyn Nixon said it was time to move on.
"I have loved the happy times I have had with the children, families and staff, and I am proud of what I have achieved at the pre-school," she said.
Mrs Nixon was inspired to pursue in career in teaching by her mother, Margaret Wheeler, who also worked at Jack and Jill for 13 years and enjoyed playing piano for the children.
When Mrs Nixon started in 2001, enrolments had dropped and the management committee was considering cutting back on days.
But under her leadership, the preschool has grown to enjoy full enrolment and a long waiting list.
Part of this success is the result of Mrs Nixon's push to introduce Crane's Early Intervention Program, leading to the construction of a new building to cater for children with disabilities and delayed learning.
Mrs Nixon said she will miss the children and their ability to find wonder and delight in life's simple pleasures, "like finding lady beetles in the garden and making fairy gardens," she said.
And answering questions, like "how come you get zapped on the slipper dip?"
Hermien Mostert recently immigrated to Australia from South Africa and was keen to find a welcoming place for her young daughter.
"As soon as we met Robyn, we immediately felt it was the right place for her," Mrs Mostert said.
"Our daughter loved her right from the start."