Mogo Public School farewelled principal of 12 years, Jason Barby, last Friday.
In true Barby style, the event was more celebration than serious occasion, with staff, students and community breaking out face paint, dress ups and the school’s wood-fired pizza oven.
Mr Barby is heading to the larger Milton Public School to be deputy principal, but Mogo turned out in force to hear the popular principal’s final speech.
“It’s been awesome; an amazing journey,” Mr Barby said of his time as a teacher and leader.
“Since day one I’ve been accepted by the community and have had great relationships,” he said.
Mr Barby said he’d seen several changes while he was at Mogo Public.
“Teaching has become a lot more personalised, with more attention to differentiating each student’s strengths and weaknesses,” he said.
“We have a large staff of 15, for a relatively small number of enrolments – so I’d say that’s one of the biggest things that Mogo has to offer the wider community.
“And there’s nothing better than seeing someone you taught grow up, have children of their own and have the faith their parents had in you teaching their children.
“It shows a lot of trust,” he said.
Previous student Leonard Nye expressed how deeply felt that trust was.
“Deep down, I think you know that none of us want you to leave,” Leonard said.
“I was fortunate enough that you were principal when I started kindergarten, and you have always been my favourite teacher.
“You’ve been here 12 years and I wish we could have 12 more,” he said.
School staff and the P&C echoed those sentiments.
“You are just so appreciated – you’ve done remarkable things,” P&C president Lynne Papas said.
Mr Barby was confident that he was leaving Mogo public in good hands.
“We have great staff and great students who are going to do amazing things,” he said.
“We’re at a really good place and Mogo will thrive, at the end of this year and next year, no doubt,” he said.
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