After 29 years at Eaglehawk North Primary School, Assistant Principal John Morton retired on Friday.
Eaglehawk North Primary School principal Craig Barnett has known Mr Morton for 23 years. He has worked with him for the past 12.
“John has been a fantastic advocate for kids and families at this school over those 29 years,” Mr Barnett said.
“He’s promoted the school within the community, he’s worked hard for families, whatever their circumstances.
“He's done a lot of work in partnership with the Smith Family, for a number of our families within this this community, and just been a great advocate for kids.”
Mr Morton has loved his years working in education.
As a child he never imagined he would become a teacher. His entire family worked on the railways, and he assumed he would do the same.
It was his grandma who suggested he become a teacher.
It wound up being a wise move.
“Every child in the school is interesting and good,” he said.
“Every minute is filled with social interaction with someone. Whether it’s kids, teachers or parents, every minute.
“There isn’t a minute in the day where you’re not helping someone or talking to someone, or dealing with an issue.”
Mr Morton has particularly enjoyed working in leadership position at the school, where he has been assistant principal since 2000.
“I’ve enjoyed that, having a bit of a finger in different pies around the place at all different levels of the school,” he said.
It’s also given him the freedom to engage with kids on a light-hearted level.
“You have to inject a bit of fun into the school day, and I've tried to contribute some of that, because I’ve got the time to wander around and do that occasionally.”
The last grade Mr Morton taught was a year 5/6 class around about 2000. Now, he’s seeing some of those students’ bringing their own kids to the school now.
It’s not a curriculum achievement that Mr Morton is most proud of in all his years in education, however.
It’s the bike track down in the bush at the back of the school.
“It’s a real adventure activity at recess times, and it’s actually something that’s attracted enrollments in some families,” he said.
“It’s something kids are passionate about and come to school for, so it’s a strong point of engagement with the school.
“Even if they don’t love maths or love English, they’ll come because there’s bike track and it’s a highlight during their week, so it’s a positive thing.”