WIMMERA teachers have been recognised for their long service to education in Victoria.
Michael Maloney of Warracknabeal Primary School was celebrated for 45 years of service to the teaching industry.
Phillip Collier of Nhill College, Betty Perry of Balmoral K-12 College, Anne Wynne of Lake Bolac College and Stephen Bruce of Apsley Primary School reached their 40-year milestones.
Mr Bruce taught physical education and science during his career.
He retired six years ago and has worked as a relief teacher since.
"That was always part of my retirement plan. That way, I can pick and choose and play a bit of golf," he said.
"I enjoyed the day-to-day contact with different things the kids present and you get a laugh out of some of the things kids are up to."
Mr Bruce started teaching in 1980 at Birchip P-12 School. He said he taught at Horsham College and Apsley Primary School before retiring.
"At the time I left teaching, teachers faced a lot of hard work with the extra things - other than teaching - that they had to do," he said.
Betty Perry said her 44 years teaching in Balmoral was a wonderful experience.
She was 20 when she first started teaching a group of 44 prep students.
"I started off in a phonetically based environment and experienced a lot of changes that I absolutely embraced all along," she said.
Mrs Perry said she taught multiple generations.
"I was teaching students of people I had in prep and they were excited that I was teaching their children. It is an amazing thing," she said.
Schools now employ Mrs Perry to do intervention work with students.
"I have never lost the passion and always embraced every new initiative that was ever put through the government - if I really believed in them. I took the path and I knew would really enhance the kids' learning," she said.
Mrs Perry retired from teaching earlier this year to spend more time with her family.
"I had an amazing farewell in February and since then I have been doing bits and pieces here and there - enjoying with kids and grandkids," she said.
Lake Bolac College teacher Anne Wynne said she first began teaching in the western suburbs of Melbourne in 1974.
"From there, I went to rural school that had eight or nine students - so that was once again completely different," she said.
Mrs Wynne said she spent about 30 years as a prep teacher at Lake Bolac College.
"When I first came to Lake Bolac, I was a shared specialist - which is something that they don't have now. I traveled around different rural schools and I was teaching art and science. Over a week, I would visit about four schools," she said.
Mrs Wynne said teaching gave her wonderful memories.
"There has been so many experiences - they just blend in from one year to another. It's hard to say that any year was lot different to another. There are always special children that you remember for various reasons and follow their progress," she said.
"Especially in a small rural school, you know the families - so you have the opportunity to hear about what your students are doing."
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