Farewell . . . Head teacher Anne Sparrow is retiring from Halfway Bush Kindergarten after more than 36 years at the kindy. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

After spending most of her days surrounded by toddlers and children, Anne Sparrow is retiring to a quieter life with her husband, John.

Mrs Sparrow (66) has worked at Halfway Bush Kindergarten for more than 36 years and will finish at the end of the term.

She started as a relieving teacher at the kindergarten in 1980 before taking on a permanent role a short time later.

She worked in Alexandra for a term and a-half before moving to Dunedin.

During her time at Halfway Bush she has taught two of her grandchildren, a nephew and the children of many people who attended the kindy themselves.

“There’s quite a few who were children here themselves,” Mrs Sparrow said.

“It’s quite rewarding to work with the same families.”

Mrs Sparrow said she enjoyed her time at the kindy, in particular getting to know the children and their families.

“It’s quite a nice community. I have loved it.”

Mrs Sparrow said while she will enjoy not having to get up early, she will miss her colleagues and the everyday contact she had with children and their families.

“It was hard once I saw the job advertised in the paper. I did joke and say that I would reapply for it. I will have to find something to do.”

She liked working for Dunedin Kindergartens, the umbrella organisation for kindergartens in Dunedin, who were very supportive, she said.

Mrs Sparrow said even though she would not be at the kindergarten every day, she would still make time to visit.

She plans to spend more time with her grandchildren and travel with her husband in their caravan.

A party for Mrs Sparrow will be held at Halfway Bush Kindergarten on Wednesday, April 12 at 5pm. Anyone who knows her is welcome to attend. Please email Nadine Coombes at to confirm your attendance.