It has always been in his game plan to leave teaching before the end of his working days and now that time has come for Menzies College principal Gerry Ward.
The 59-year-old will finish at the college at the end of the year.
Mr Ward said he wanted to leave while he still enjoyed teaching.
“I want to get out without being cynical.
“I was always planning to have a change of direction regarding my involvement with education at the age of 60,” Mr Ward said.
“[I’m] pretty satisfied with where I’ve got the school to, the level of learning, the quality of the staff, the type of student we’re producing, our involvement with the community is really good, we’ve just got a really good ERO (Education Review Office) report.”
Rather than finish partway through 2020 after his birthday he decided it was better for the school if he finished at the end of the year.
He has been teaching for 35 years.
He was appointed assistant principal to the college in 2007 and later deputy principal before becoming the principal in 2011.
“In its 49 years it’s only had five principals.”
There were many highlights of his time at Menzies.
“I get emotional when kids do well.
“There’s been a lot of individual students who have performed well above expectations.
“I get excited when I see that switch flick for students and they start following a course of learning with passion.”
The netball team staying in the top tournament grade this year had been pleasing.
“For a small school that’s a huge accomplishment and they comfortably stayed up in A grade this year.”
He also appreciated the strong tie between the school and the community, especially the way parents came in to talk about their concerns.
“It didn’t get splattered all round social media – they felt comfortable enough to come in and talk.”
The education system had changed over the years.
“Students who are staying at school are getting better equipped to go to work with the connections with SIT ( and through Gateway.”
He was not sure what to do after he finished at the school.
“I’m just leaving myself open to broader experiences.
“I just want to do some exciting things.”