When Michele Murphy was finishing her seventh form year she intended to pursue a medical degree.

But with about two weeks to go until her Timaru Girl’s High School days were over she had an abrupt change of plan and decided she was going to be a biology teacher instead.

“It’s a decision I’ve never regretted.”

After 38 years in the teaching profession, including 22 years at Paraparaumu College, Michele has decided to retire.

“It has been a tough decision because teaching has been so much part of my life.

“I have been very fortunate in that I picked a career I loved.

“I just love what I do but I know it’s the right time to retire.

“I know I will miss the kids and my colleagues.

“The science department at the college is particularly strong and very supportive.”

After attending Canterbury University, Michele’s teaching career started in 1985 at Waiopehu College in Levin teaching senior biology and chemistry.

It was former Paraparaumu College principal Richard Campbell who approached her when he became aware she was in the Kāpiti community with a young family.

She started at the college in a relieving capacity, as her children were in preschool, before joining fulltime teaching senior biology.

Michele has enjoyed her time at the college, especially seeing students flourish.

“I’ve loved helping them to achieve their goals, seeing them develop and grow, seeing them have those lightbulb moments when they understand something they didn’t get before, and imparting what knowledge I have.

“I just think it’s a wonderful age group to be working with.

“They get such a bad rap out there, in the community, but the great majority of them are amazing.”

Michele has been one of the people who have been leading the college’s Health Science Academy.

The academy gives extra assistance to students who have an interest in academic careers in the medical field.

Michele said helping establish the academy had been “a real highlight”.

“It’s a very successful programme and it has helped a large number of young people to achieve the goals that they have aspired to.”

Michele was looking forward to travelling with her husband Kevin, starting with South America.

And “just doing some of those things that I haven’t had time to do because teaching is all-consuming”.

Her last day teaching at Paraparaumu College is on Tuesday.

2023-12-07T20:48:32Z dg43tfdfdgfd