Teacher of many qualities
EVANS RIVER K-12 school farewelled a much-loved family member yesterday at a packed funeral for valued deputy principal, Charles Vella.
As deputy principal supervising classes from Kindergarten to Year 7, Mr Vella will be remembered as an extremely hard-working, caring man who valued his students and colleagues ‘like family’.
Together with his wife Lynne, also a teacher, the Vellas developed a quality approach to education.
“Charles had strong views on what worked well with kids in education,” K-12 principal Rob Walker said. “He spent long hours in the job, he was very thorough and his organisational skills were very strong.
“Charles raised his students’ strength as human beings. His contribution made a significant difference to the learning outcomes of many young lives. Student results for the last two years’ running have been at the highest-ever levels.” Mr Walker said.
Just 58 years old, Mr Vella came to education in his late 20s, chalking up nearly 30 years’ experience in the field.
Staff recall his last moments before he was taken away in an ambulance: He continued to talk over school arrangements, making sure things were right for next day’s learning.
Mr Vella passed away from cardiac arrest shortly after arrival at Lismore Base Hospital, unable to be revived despite the best medical help on hand.
“You can’t imagine how dedicated this man was,” assistant principal Yvonne Sharpe said.
Charles and Lynne raised two boys, Jonathan – who now teaches English as a second language, and Tim – who now studies criminology at Griffith University.
After the family moved to the Northern Rivers they settled at Alstonville, with Tim attending high school there.
They made many friends in the Northern Rivers region.