‘Mr D’ departs Q’town Primary

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In the year Mark Douglas joined Queenstown Primary School’s teaching staff, Rob Muldoon was New Zealand Prime Minister, Jimmy Carter was US President and John Lennon was shot and killed. Thirty-eight years later, he discusses his pending retirement with Philip Chandler

Queenstown Primary School won’t be the same.

That’s because the school’s most-experienced and one of its most-loved teachers, Mark Douglas, aka ‘Mr D’, retires next week.

The 68-year-old, who joined QPS in May, 1980, is calling time on a 47-year teaching career.

“I just think it’s time,” he says.

“I still absolutely love the classroom side of teaching, but the demands outside of the classroom are getting greater and greater and it’s getting to the stage where it’s making the job untenable.”

He argues teachers, who’ve been striking for better pay and working conditions, are “grossly underpaid”.

“There’s no real appreciation of just how hard the job is – it’s a highly-stressful job.”

At Queenstown Primary, he’s best known for his outdoor education activities, particularly the programme he introduced 30 years ago.

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Past staff and students are invited to farewell ‘Mr D’ at the school hall next Wednesday, 6.30pm; email alicec@queenstown.school.nz

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