LONG SERVICE: Retiring Byron Bay Public School principal Geoff Spargo with students Kane Whitelock, Lily Crouch, Lila McDonald and Louis Trisley.
LONG SERVICE: Retiring Byron Bay Public School principal Geoff Spargo with students Kane Whitelock, Lily Crouch, Lila McDonald and Louis Trisley. Contributed

Last bell tolls for Byron Bay principal

AFTER 44 years working in education and teaching at eight schools, including a stint working in Papua New Guinea, Geoff Spargo will pack up his desk for the last time in July.

Mr Spargo will retire on July 15 after having spent the past eight years as principal at Byron Bay Public School.

He has been with the Department of Education for 39 years and spent five years working in PNG with the International Education Agency where he was a teacher in Lae.

Mr Spargo attended Wagga Teachers College before receiving his first posting as teacher-in-charge at Mt Wilson School in the Blue Mountains.

He has worked throughout New South Wales and spent 20 years as principal at Coraki Public School.

“I’m actually past the retirement age of 60 but I have loved teaching so much that I decided to stay on for another four years,” Mr Spargo said. “I will be sad to go but the school is in really good shape and next year will celebrate its 125th anniversary.”

Mr Spargo has seen major changes in teaching and education during the past 44 years, especially with the introduction of computers and the internet.

“There are many exciting challenges now but, basically, schools are still schools and kids are still kids,” he said.

Since being principal at Byron Bay Public, enrolments have grown by 20% to 660 – a figure of which Mr Spargo is very proud.

He will not, however, be retiring completely from working life.

He will transition to retirement and hopes to find some community work and travel is also big on his plans with a trip to Sri Lanka in September.

And then there’s the three grandkids with whom Mr Spargo and his teacher wife Sue also hope to spend more time with.



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