KENT Ward is such a popular teacher at Rangeville State School, there is actually a waiting list to get into his class.
The veteran primary school educator of 43 years, 39 of them at Rangeville, will depart the profession tomorrow.
Described by his colleagues as inspiring and passionate, Mr Ward said he only cared about the success of his students.
"I came to this school in 1980 and found absolutely fantastic kids, great staff and supportive parents, and I was just lucky enough to stay here for the rest of my career," he said.
"They are fantastic kids to work with, they really want to learn, they're really well behaved, and the staff help you out.
"I enjoy getting a rapport with the kids and they work well and behave well."
Mr Ward said his three keys to educating children were to be firm, fair and friendly.
He said the greatest joy of his work was watching a struggling student grow and develop.
"Seeing that kid who's struggling and then they really improve over the year, I love that. It makes you feel as if you've really achieved something," Mr Ward said.
Principal Ben Kidd praised the talents and dedication of both Mr Ward and fellow retiring teacher Anne Mysliwy, who also taught for 40 years.
"Kent has the most amazing ability - he's passionate about education and teaching, which has helped him with his longevity," he said.
"He gets a reward from working with the children and getting that lightbulb moment.
"He is one of the kindest, gentlest gentlemen that I've met.
"I think his contribution to our school is marked by the fact that every year I get a huge amount of requests from parents to have their kid in Mr Ward's class."