SCHOOL’S OUT: Bill Campbell, centre, has received many well wishes from students and staff, pictured. Photo:Gareth Gardner 151216GGE01AFTER 36-years in education,Peel High School principal Bill Campbell has bidfarewell to staff and students.
The decision wasn’t easy, but the dedicated educatorsaid hefelt he had given it his all and likened it to“playing first grade” football for the last three decades.
His legacy includes the school becoming aselective stream education provider, purchasing 35 extra hectares of agricultural land and bolstering enrolmentto about 700 students today.
Mr Campbell admits it hasn’t been an easy road buthas enjoyed his time at the school and as principal since 2007.
“You’ve got to be given the opportunity. When I was given the opportunityto be principal at Peel, it was the school that backed me and supported me as the sort of leader to take the school forward,” he said.
“In recent years we have gone from teachers not wanting to come to Peel and now we have a large number of teachers requesting jobs here because they want to come here to work. It’s a very complex school, there are few schools aroundthat areanywhere near as complex as this.
“Often the studentsget in touch years later and say you’ve had an impact, even students who may struggle sometimes at school, as long as you’ve set an example for them, they know that school was a place that offered them a lot of opportunities.”
Mr Campbell said one of greatest successes was changing Peel’simage.He is also proud ofa strong indigenous school community and staff aswell.
“There has been a shift in pride with the Aboriginal students, the Aboriginal communities see this as their home,” he said.
“On our celebration day they’reproud to get their awards. Beforethey used to often be embarrassed or reluctant. There is a strong and proud aboriginal contingent amongour staff.
“Many (Peel) students had a prejudiceagainst them obtaining part time or permanent jobs, and now the students don’t say that.
“I concentrate on things like that.Making sure the students present themselves with higher expectations with their behaviour. Selective Schools alsohelped to shift the status of the school in the eyes of the community,” Mr Campbell said.
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