A beloved technology teacher – set to teach at Taieri College – has been farewelled from the school she called “home” for the past seven years.
Kathleen Hepburn said her decision to leave South Otago High School was “very emotional and very difficult”.
“My time here was over in a flash. I thought I would stay forever so it definitely was not something I took lightly.”
Growing up in Scotland, Mrs Hepburn studied technological education at Glasgow University.
She and her young family moved to New Zealand for something new 12 years ago.
“We initially moved to Auckland but wanted a taste of a more rural New Zealand and something simpler. Balclutha’s provided that for us.”
Mrs Hepburn said the community was a huge part of her work at the school.
“I’ve loved my time here. I love the spirit of this community.
“While I’ve been here, students have made tables for Romahapa Primary School and worked on many other projects. It’s very fulfilling to see students’ work being put to good use in the community.
“I think that science, maths and English all come together practically in technology, as well as skills like communication and teamwork.”
Describing her time with the school as some of her most rewarding work, Mrs Hepburn said she would miss the pupils and teachers hugely.
“I think students love my accent and the banter I have with them. I’ve formed strong relationships which is a big part of effective teaching. My time here has been absolutely brilliant, I’ve done everything I wanted to do.”
Teacher Christine Elder said Mrs Hepburn’s expertise was instrumental in building up the technology department at South Otago High School.
“She was very knowledgeable, students held her in high esteem and she was very well-liked which was reflected in her farewell.
“Taieri College will be lucky to have her.”
Mrs Hepburn will be the college’s Trades Academy director and technology curriculum director.