Margaret Barton is Kangaroo Valley Public School’s longest employed staff member, holding her position as admin manager for the past 45 years, and this year she witnessed something very special.
“I got to see all three generations of a family come through the school,” she said.
Ms Barton has seen second generations come through the school many times, and was hanging out for this special moment for some time.
“It’s just fantastic,” she said.
“It gave me a real buzz, I think it’s probably the highlight of my whole working life.”
Ms Barton saw Leah Parrish, Wendy Smart and Vin Winch come through the school, followed by Abby Smart and Toni Parrish and now their children, Milton and Caleb who began Kindergarten just last week.
“I’ve been waiting to see this for a long time,” Ms Barton said
“I thought I’d retire when I saw three generations come through the school but I’m not ready for that yet.”
Ms Barton has seen many changes during her time, noting the transition from typewriter to computer as the most memorable.
“I had a typewriter and a phone on the desk and that was it,” she said.
“Then there was a computer and all these cords going everywhere- it looked like the desk was on life support.”
After 45 years in the same job you’d think things could get a little boring, but Ms Barton said it was quite the opposite.
“You’re always learning new things, it keeps the mind busy,” she said.
“I like gardening and I’ve done the whole craft thing, but you know what? I’m just as happy at work.”
A familiar face at the school, Ms Barton said people are often shocked when they find out she’s still at the school.
“People who used to go the school come by or phone up for something and they are shocked it’s me answering the phone,” she said.
“I’ve got the health, so why not keeping going.”
Ms Barton said she’s also kept up to date with the lives of former students.
“I don’t do it actively but you see someone’s name pop up and you have a little look at what they are doing,” she said.
“You’re always proud when someone from the school or the valley itself does something wonderful.”
While she’s been there for more than four decades, Ms Barton said she had no plans of leaving Kangaroo Valley Public School.
“I love it,” she said. “It’s a wonderful place to work.”