A School Farewell

This week I was very humbled to attend my farewell assembly at school. There were students, teachers, parents and some returning parents of former students, former and current colleagues, representatives from the Department of Education and my family.

Farewell’s are a mixed bag of emotions and I imagine people will feel different things but for me it was an opportunity to say goodbye to the students and community and wish them peace, happiness and a life full of opportunities.

There were a number of speeches (including one made by myself) and some nice acknowledgements made about my tenure at the school as principal. Some of those sentiments are best expressed by the children themselves in the short clip below.

school farewell from Mark Walker on Vimeo.

Lots was made of the difficult and complex role of the school principal and yes that’s true in many ways however as I leave my position and move into my consultancy company many of the memories I cherish are the funny ones or ones that seem funny now.

In my farewell speech I thanked a number of groups and people who have both supported and forgiven me through those 42 years of service. These groups included the Department for their faith in my capacity, encouraging my professional learning both here in Australia and overseas and an understanding when I needed some time to recoup. My assistant principals for their service and loyalty, my staff and my family for their love and tolerance over the many years.

Lastly its the kids I will remember the most – their names fade over the years but their smiles, their enthusiasm and their trust stays with me. I enjoyed the many high fives the children wanted as I exited the gym that morning.

My passion continues, hence the willingness to offer what support I can to schools through my consultancy company. I still intend posting to this blog.