MANY tears were shed on Tuesday when Ruth Serhan bid the Muswellbrook Pre-School farewell.
A special ceremony was hosted to acknowledge the popular teacher’s contribution to the facility, which saw her watch over thousands of children during an illustrious career.
Mrs Serhan admitted she was “sad to retire”.
“I remember my first day – going in as a relief teacher 26 years ago,” she said.
“But, it’s been a fabulous place to work.
“The small children and staff are wonderful.
“Even when you’re down, the ‘littlies’ can cheer you up.
“They make everything real and put things into perspective.
“I’ve suffered ill-health at various stages, however working there perks you up.”
Mrs Serhan is now eager to start the next chapter of her life.
“At the moment, my husband and I [Eli] are renovating a home,” she explained.
“But, we’re planning to move down the coast to be closer to our boys, who live at Sydney, Newcastle and Brisbane.
“Muswellbrook’s been a fantastic place to raise a family, especially when the kids were young.
“I will miss the town as much as seeing those happy faces [at pre-school] and hearing their stories on a daily basis.
“Children are great at telling yarns, whether they’re the truth or not,” she added with a laugh.
“You have to love what you do – and I certainly did.
“The Muswellbrook Pre-School staff has always been so supportive, while Kelly’s [Constable] just blossomed as the director.
“She understands the needs of the community.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the place.”
Mrs Constable also praised the departing Mrs Serhan.
“Some old staff members have been in contact with me to wish Ruth the best,” she said.
“That speaks volumes about her.
“We’ll miss her traditions, especially around Christmas time.
“She has such a beautiful way with the children.
“Ruth’s very popular among the staff, too – and they all turned to her for advice and wisdom.
“She’s so kind and caring."