Here’s cheers to 45 years

Mrs Dynice Ellendon has retired from teaching at Redeemer Lutheran School, Nuriootpa.

After 45 years of teaching and 26 in Lutheran education, Redeemer Lutheran School, Nuriootpa teacher, Mrs Dynice Ellendon had her final year at the front of the classroom last year.

Retiring with a Lutheran Education Australia Award for service, the 65 year old reflected on a fulfilling career as a teacher and musical specialist peppered with memorable moments.

“The thing I’m going to miss most is interacting with children. That’s why I’ve stayed in classroom teaching because that’s the part I really love,” said Dynice, who’s husband, Mr Rory Ellendon, is also a retired  educator and principal.

“Also working with colleagues, sharing ideas and experiences and just generally socialising, I find that quite inspirational and I’m going to miss that.”

Dynice, who now lives in Nuriootpa, began teaching in 1977 at Modbury South, with her first appointment in Lutheran education being at St John’s Lutheran Primary School, Gilgandra, New South Wales in 1996.

Two years later she and Rory moved back to South Australia to take up positions at Loxton Lutheran School, a time Dynice looks back on with fond memories.

“While I was in Loxton I got involved in a musical production which the town put on, called ‘Little Town’, and that was probably instrumental in really cementing my musical talents, because I was the musical director and had to do a little bit of arranging,” she said.

Dynice also ran her own music tutoring school whilst in Loxton in addition to teaching.

“I had up to 90 students at one stage, so it was pretty busy!” she remarked.

In 2006 Dynice returned to her Barossa roots, firstly teaching at St. Jakobi Lutheran School, Lyndoch, followed by Redeemer in 2007, where she has served as a junior and middle primary teacher for the last 15 years.

She has been described by Associate Professor Lisa Schmidt, Executive Director of Lutheran Education Australia as epitomising true servant leadership.

“She has built an outstanding reputation over her career for being an incredibly kind and caring teacher, who has a heart for that student in the school who  needs that little bit of extra love and support,” Asoc. Prof. Schmidt said.

Dynice’s Redeemer colleagues farewelled her on December 9 with a high tea during which she was “interviewed” on the couch Oprah-style in front of the captive audience, with plenty of theatrics and humour thrown in.

“I have been known over the years to write poems whenever people have left, so I thought, if I’m leaving I really have to write a poem again,” said Dynice. 

“I did, and I had a standing ovation at the end of it, which was really nice.”

With her teaching years now behind her, Dynice hopes to bring her love of music back to the forefront of her life.

“We’ve just recently moved to St. Petri Lutheran Church and I haven’t been involved in the band yet, but I do have plans to get a few musical things happening,” she said.

“That part of my life’s been put on hold, because teaching’s a bit consuming at times.”

Dynice will also be able to be found fostering her green thumb out in the garden, refining her craft skills, or volunteering somewhere to keep contact with people.

She said she’s been touched by the response she’s had from those around her on the emotional occasion of her retirement. 

“I know I will enjoy the next step, it’s just getting over the threshold, I guess,” she said.

“I didn’t realise how hard it would be, but when it’s the end of something that’s been most of your life, it really is quite significant.”

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