Gai Sargeant was always there to lend an extra pair of hands when needed at every school she worked at.
She worked in Catholic education around Wagga for 30 years, starting out at the front office but ultimately finding her passion for teaching students with special needs as her career wore on.
The Kildare Catholic College special needs educator sadly died last Thursday, aged 62.
Her husband of 43 years, Ken, said he would always remember the “love and caring she gave to me, our family and others around her”.
One of Mrs Sargeant’s sons, Corrie, said she “was very family oriented and took a lot of pride in her home”.
Mrs Sargeant began her career working as the student services officer at St Michael’s High School, where Mr Sargeant said she was “always one step ahead of the boys”. Having three sons of her own, she knew what adventurous boys could get up to.
She then moved to Trinity Senior High School as an office administrator, but frequently extended a helping hand to the canteen to help feed the scores of hungry teenagers at the school on a regular basis.
In 2004 she spent a brief spell at the newly built Mater Dei Catholic College as a lab assistant before moving to Kildare Catholic College, where she became a special needs teacher.
Mrs Sargeant studied a university degree by correspondence with the Australian National University in the field that remained a secret to her own family until after she died last week.
Right to the very end, she remained focused on helping her students in any way she could.
She was a passionate campaigner for Higher School Certificate exam papers to be made available on coloured paper for students suffering from Irlen Syndrome, a form of dyslexia which can make reading off white sheets at times impossible.
This year, Mrs Sargeant had a win with the Board of Studies finally approving the use of coloured paper for students affected by Irlen Syndrome.
Mrs Sargeant's funeral will be held on Thursday at 10am at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Lake Albert Road.
Her family have requested in lieu of flowers at the funeral that instead donations be made on behalf of palliative care.
She is survived by Ken, her children Kelli, Corrie, Kieren and Casey and grandchildren Damon, Courtney, Georgia, Paige and Ella.
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