The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District celebrated one of its own on Friday.
Rosie Gauna started out at Righetti High School at age 21 as a bilingual instructional aide in 1971.
She worked with monolingual students for nearly four decades before moving into administration.
A graduate of the class of 1968, Gauna most recently worked as an attendance technician.
High school officials celebrated her retirement Friday at the Righetti cafeteria with a barbecue, marimba band, ballet Folklorico, jazz band, and snacks from the food class.
"I'm emotional, you know, I grew up here, it's been my home for all these years, it's not easy for me to leave. In fact, I was tempted to stay longer," Gauna said.
Her last day was in December but the district waited until now to celebrate.
She says she will miss the students and her co-workers.