ULTIMATE EDUCATOR: Former Lismore school principal Bob Corkill.
ULTIMATE EDUCATOR: Former Lismore school principal Bob Corkill. Contributed

Teaching skills were top class for Lismore principal

BOB CORKILL is being remembered for his enormous contribution to primary school education in Lismore following his death on Friday after a long illness.

Mr Corkill was the principal at Lismore Demonstration School (now Lismore Public School) from 1970 to 1992.

He was, at various times, acting inspector of schools in the region and was a Fellow at UNE-NR (later SCU) in 1992.

For many years chairman of the NSW Primary Principals' conference, Mr Corkill was an educational leader who helped shape teacher education policy and practice.

He was awarded the Australian Public Service Medal in 1991 and later that year the Director General's Award for Excellence.

Don Whitelaw, Mr Corkill's deputy for 10 years at the Lismore Demonstration School, said: "The thousands of kids who have been in his hands all got something special from Bob.

"He was simply the most capable teacher I've ever met," Mr Whitelaw said.

"He was an educator to the very core.

"As a director of operations in his school, he was the ultimate. They were run efficiently and effectively, with consideration for every pupil, who were all given the chance to do their very best."

Rob Stephens met Mr Corkill in 1971 when appointed to the Lismore Demonstration School.

"I worked with Bob for 10 years and we've been solid friends ever since," he said.

"He was a great mentor of mine, always there for a chat. A wise and extremely compassionate man and teacher.

"He had a wicked sense of humour, was a great raconteur and had an inbuilt love of poetry, which he memorised and used at appropriate times.

"Bob had a breadth of experience and understanding of an enormous range of people and the way things work."

Mr Corkill is survived by his wife Margaret and children Mary, John, Anne, Peter, Matthew, Christopher, David and Phillip. He had 16 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

His funeral will be held in Lismore on Thursday.

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