A $900,000 bequest made to Richmond River High will be used to award five $10,000 scholarships to graduating students to help deal with university expenses.
The bequest comes from the estate of Peter and Margaret Carr, teachers at the school during the 1960s.
When the executors of the will came to the school last Wednesday to deliver the news it came as a complete surprise to principal Dave Harvey.
"The staff and myself were blown away, astounded," he said.
"It is incredible that in this day and age a bequest for a substantial sum of money has been made to a public school," he said.
The Carrs had a real appreciation of public education and what it tries to achieve, he said.
It was also an endorsement for the school.
"There is a lot of community support for this school, a lot of history. People come in and tell me their stories. There is pride in the school," he said.
The Carrs determined that five graduating students would receive money to help with getting established at university. It can help pay for anything like fees, books or accommodation.
The amount for each student will start at $10,000, but this could change over time, Mr Harvey said.
Only the interest earned from the $900,000 will be spent, which will extend the life of the bequest for at least 20 years, he said.
The will also determined that a committee made up of the principal, parents and community representatives should be set up to administer the legacy. It will determine the precise criteria used to select the scholarship winning students.
Mr Carr taught English while his wife was a Home Science teacher.
Ms Carr retired in 1972 while Mr Carr moved across to the Teachers College, which has since evolved into the College of Advanced Education, then the Southern Cross University.
Mr Carr retired in 1990, but continued his involvement with Richmond River High by adjudicating school debates.
Mr Carr died in 2012, and Mrs Carr died this year.