He's spent most of his life at school - but now Mount Maunganui College principal Terry Collett is leaving the job he loves.
Mr Collett has announced he is resigning from his job at the end of the year.
After leaving Teachers' College in Auckland as a young adult, Mr Collett began a lifetime of learning.
He was awarded a studentship, where he was paid to finish university, and decided to become a teacher.
"I kind of fell into the job and I love it. I've never ever thought about doing anything else," he said.
After Teachers' College, Mr Collett began teaching English at Whangarei's Kamo High School, a position he had for six years before becoming a guidance counsellor.
After a few years of listening to children's problems he decided to go back to teaching English.
A job at Hamilton's St Johns High School followed, then he pursued a career at Whakatane's Trident High School as an English teacher and guidance counsellor.
In 1989 he made the move to Tauranga and began working as the deputy principal at Tauranga Girls' College, where he stayed for 13 years before taking the helm of Mount Maunganui College.
That was nine years ago.
Mr Collett said the time was right to step down.
"It's never a good time to leave but it's a lot better going on your own rather than when people are saying 'what's that principal doing?'," Mr Collett said.
"The main reason I'm leaving is because it's the right time for the school but also at the back of my mind I am looking ahead with my health and it's certainly a stressful job, especially when I had time off last year for a quadruple bypass."
"This is a school that's easy to be passionate about. There's something special about this place and it comes from within the staff, the students, the parents and the wider school community. I really love this place."
He has virtually rebuilt the school, due to leaky building issues and the addition of new buildings, and increased the school's academic, sporting and performing arts focus to create a leading state school. However he says he is just one part of the school's success.
Mr Collett is looking forward to spending more time with his eight grandchildren but hopes to stay in education.
"It's a pleasure being a teacher and I've thoroughly enjoyed myself here, this is a wonderful school," Mr Collett said.