Principal Neil Easter retires after 45 years in education
FOR the first time in his education career, Summerland Christian College principal, Neil Easter, didn't wear a tie to work in celebration of his retirement.
He began teaching 45 years ago at a school just north of Moree, and then moved on to teach at Casino High School. In 1997 he joined Summerland Christian College as the Head of Secondary.
"I came across to set up the high school here, starting with Year 7 and building one year at a time," he said.
"It's the most amazing experience just to see the school grow and to see some of the spectacular buildings taking place."
One of Mr Easter's fondest memories at Summerland was meeting the kindergarten students on his first day.
"My teaching background was in secondary school and to come into a school where you've got kindergarten through to Year 12, that opened up a different perspective for me," he said.
"One of my distinct memories was arriving at the school and walking out into the playground on my first day here and a little kindergarten kid running up and cuddling me around the knees.
"After many years in secondary school that was an amazing experience."
He said although he's retiring, he will keep in contact with the school and its students.
"It's time to hand over but I will maintain contact with the school, I'll remain on the school council," he said.
"It's been a brilliant 19 years despite the pressures of teaching, underlying all of that it's a great school."
Mr Easter looks forward to using the farewell present he received from Summerland staff this Friday - a big portable barbecue.
The new principal taking over in 2016 is David Roach, who is the current inspector of schools in central Queensland.
"We've done very well to get him," Mr Easter said.
"He's been the principal of six schools and the last one he built up to 800 students ... it's good to get a man of his calibre."