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Anna's retirement marks the end of an era

Popular Wee Waa teacher to step away from full time role after 40 years

Wee Waa Public School teacher Anna Baird will retire from full time teaching at the end of this year, bringing to a close a 40-year career.

Anna Baird has had a possibly unique career in NSW teaching during the past 40 years, but that is about to come to an end, on a full-time basis anyway.

Mrs Baird, the Year 6 teacher at Wee Waa Public School, has decided to retire from full time teaching at the end of this year.

During her career she has taught everyone from preschoolers to Year 12 students, and in the independent and public school systems, as well as becoming a valued member of the wider Wee Waa community along with her agricultural consultant husband Brian.

Giving birth to four children still didn't see her miss a beat in continuing to teach, yet it was a career that could have been over before it even started.

Mrs Baird grew up in Hay, the daughter of traditional Italian parents.

"I had a strict upbringing," she said.

"My father didn't even want me to be a teacher. He wanted me to go to Melbourne and work in a travel agency."

But she won a teaching scholarship and "I said 'no I want to be a teacher'."

However, after three weeks at teachers' college in Sydney, she wondered if she had made the right decision.

"I started crying and was homesick but my mum said 'don't tell your father, he'll make you come home'. She made me stick it out and I'm glad she did."