The new school year has commenced without two of New Zealand’s longest-serving Adventist educators, who retired at the end of 2017 with 79 years of service between them.
Ross Bishop retired as principal of Tauranga Adventist School, a role he held for 29 years. Under his leadership, the school relocated and grew from 31 students to 112.
Students paid tribute to Mr Bishop’s spiritual leadership and for providing opportunities to connect with Jesus and lead worship. He was also acknowledged for the memorable trips he had organised and led, the integrated curriculum he developed and the varied learning experiences he led. He was honoured with a special “this is your life” tribute, along with a helicopter experience where he was flown over the school’s playing field, where students had formed the word “Thanks”.
During his 43 years in Adventist education, Mr Bishop also served in Kaitaia, Timaru, Invercargill and Christchurch.
Cas Goodchild also recently retired after 36 years of service to Adventist education, including 21 years at the two-teacher Adventist school in Whakatane. Originally teaching in Adventist education in South Africa, Mrs Goodchild moved to New Zealand and took up residence in Whakatane and taught the junior school.
“She had an ability to grow confidence in children to sing and praise God and to pray,” said New Zealand Pacific Union Conference education director Dr Rosalie McFarlane. “Her own passion for Jesus had an impact on her students.”
The school staff remembered her as a quiet, gracious, principled person who was both a very professional teacher and a good friend.
“These two educators have been deeply loved and appreciated by the communities they have served for a long time,” said Dr McFarlane. “Both educators have earned deep respect from New Zealand’s Adventist teachers and principals and will be missed as they retire.”