AFTER devoting almost 40 years to education, well respected principal Judy Hall has decided to call it a day.
The Great Lakes College Forster campus principal will officially retire on February 8 – the day before her 60th birthday.
Ms Hall has spent the last 38 years teaching all over NSW with 12 of those in Forster.
While it will be hard to walk away, Ms Hall said she feels now is the right time.
“I want to spend more time with my family and friends, especially my grandkids,” she said.
“I’ve spent the last 38 years working. All that time I have not had more than nine weeks off at a time.
“Even my kids were six to seven weeks old when I went back to work. It will be unusual for my family. They won’t be used to all the mum time.”
Ms Hall said she became a teacher because of the challenges of education.
“I had some wonderful teachers when I was at school and they inspired me,” she said.
“I really enjoy teaching and learning. I’m very passionate about it. I love kids. I’m an English teacher so I love the written and spoken word. I’ve always liked the joy and challenge of kids – it’s always different.
“I’ve learnt you have to make teaching relevant to the learner. These days if a student doesn’t understand why they are doing something then they will just tune out.
“Teaching to me is one of the hardest jobs but one of the most rewarding too. I wouldn’t make any changes - I’d do it all over again.”
Ms Hall said she is grateful to have spent the last 12 years of her career at such a good school.
“Obviously I’ll miss the students and very much my staff. They are hard working, dynamic, loyal and wise and some of the most fun loving people I’ve ever come across,” she said.
Her proudest achievements have been training teachers and students who have gone on to great things.
“I’ve hired some wonderful teachers. I’ve trained up four teachers who are now principals. That’s something I’m very proud of,” she said.
“I also loving seeing some of the students come back as teachers. A student who was the school captain when I first started here is now teaching at the Tuncurry campus.”
The veteran teacher says she doesn’t anticipate leaving the school entirely.
“I will definitely be coming back as a volunteer in peer tutoring and in the canteen,” she said.
“And I will work as a casual when they need me. But I will also be off buying a Winnebago and becoming a grey nomad and I hope to become more involved with volunteering in the community. I guess you could say it’s goodbye but not for good.”
Ms Hall will be replaced next year by Jennifer Miggins who is currently the principal at Gundagai High School.