KURMOND Public School librarian Susanne Fava closed the doors to the school library for her final time on Tuesday, June 30, retiring after 31 years teaching at the school.
The school celebrated Mrs Fava's tenure at a special ceremony on Monday, with Year 6 students presenting the beloved librarian with a special gift on behalf of the Kurmond P&C.
Library monitors, kindergarten pupils and students whose parents had also been taught by Mrs Fava while they were students at Kurmond were the subjects of a special photo shoot by which to remember Mrs Fava.
Mrs Fava, who lives in North Richmond, began working at Kurmond Public School in 1989. She held many roles before her stint as librarian which began in 1998, including craft teacher, maths teacher, computer teacher, support teaching, and kindergarten teaching.
Now she is retiring, she plans to spend more time with her seven grandkids, and also register to work at the Book Bunker at Westmead Children's Hospital, sharing her love of books with sick kids.
"I can still work with kids and still work with books. A lot of my friends who are ex-teachers have worked at the Book Bunker and they said it's very rewarding," Mrs Fava told the Gazette.
Back in 1989, Kurmond Public School had only four classes, with 60 children total, as well as "a goat named Victor". Today, there are 160 students making up seven classes.
"Victor [the goat] used to walk in and out of the classroom as he pleased," Mrs Fava recalled.
She hoped she would be remembered by the Kurmond community for her love of books.
"A lot of people don't realise that the teacher librarian is a trained teacher," Mrs Fava said.
Some of her personal favourites to recommend to her pupils are books by Australian children's authors Mem Fox, Margaret Wild, Jackie French and Nick Bland.
What will Mrs Fava miss the most about working at Kurmond?
"The staff and the students, just that interaction with the staff who are absolutely wonderful, and the children here who are amazing, beautiful kids. That's why I've lasted 31 years, it's a delightful school," she said.
Kurmond Public School Principal Patricia Beggs said Mrs Fava was the longest-serving staff member that she knew of.
"Mrs Fava has seen generations of students come through and has tirelessly dedicated her time and efforts to foster a love of learning in our students and to maintain a beautifully organised school library," Ms Beggs said.
"Her knowledge, skills and friendship will be missed by the students and staff at Kurmond."