FOR just under 40 years, Chris George has been shaping the minds of the future generations.
Mr George will give that away on Friday when he officially retires.
He has been the principal at Wamoon Public School for more than 30 years, but he started his career at Coleambally before spending three years each at both Balranald and Whitton.
However, Mr George has decided the time is now right to finish up and retire.
“It wasn’t a decision I made lightly, but I felt the timing was right,” he said.
When he first arrived at Wamoon Public in 1986, Mr George was employed as what was known as a “teacher in charge”.
He was the sole staff member, with 14 students at the school at that time.
“I’ve been very happy here, that’s why I stayed so long,” Mr George said.
“The plan is to spend more time on my hobby farm. I’ve got a fair bit of work to do there. We’ll be doing a little bit of travelling. Basically things I’ve never really had time to do.”
As a teaching principal, Mr George said he would miss the interaction with the students, as well as the staff and parents.
He said he always prided himself on the “front gate diplomacy” model when it came to sorting out any issues parents may have.
“We’ve never really had any big problems here … parents are happy to come to us and discuss and problems and I believe you can solve anything just by speaking to them of a morning or afternoon when they are dropping their kids off,” Mr George said.
In his nearly four decades in the education system, Mr George has noticed many changes.
“Obviously technology has been a big one, but in terms of what the students are learning they still need to do the basics of reading, writing and that kind of thing,” he said.
“It’s also changing all of the time on how we need to prepare them for jobs in their later life because everything is changing in that respect.
“There’s also been a lot of change just at the school. It looks very different now compared to when I started.”
A small celebration will be held at the school on Friday to mark Mr George’s retirement.
“I didn’t want a big fuss to be made out of it,” he said.
Current Parkview Public School assistant principal Matt Collins will take over as relieving principal from next term.
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