GIRTON Grammar School headmaster Matthew Maruff has called an end to his time in Bendigo, sparking a search for a successor.
Mr Maruff yesterday announced his resignation after 10 years at the helm.
"Bendigo has been beautiful for our family," he said.
But he, wife Kirsten and their children were ready to move back to Melbourne to be closer to family.
Mr Maruff will lead the school until the end of Term 1 in 2020.
He was proud of what Girton had achieved in the past 10 years.
"The place is flying," he said.
"That's the time to pass the baton... you pass the baton when you're running at full speed."
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Girton Grammar School board chair David Jemmett listed a more than $20-million building program and the introduction of the explicit teaching of emotional intelligence among standout achievements under Mr Maruff's leadership.
"The school has enjoyed excellent academic results and exemplified the headmaster's passion for ensuring that students leave Girton well prepared for whatever comes next, as well as a lifelong love of learning and a desire to develop personally," Mr Jemmett said.
He said expert educational recruitment specialists would be engaged to ensure the best possible appointment for the school.
"I believe we are in an excellent position to attract the highest calibre of applicant that our school community both expects and deserves, and that the school's future is bright," Mr Jemmett said.
He said the board would be looking to secure an exceptional leader to continue to implement the strategic vision of the school.
In a letter to the school community, Mr Jemmett said Mr Maruff had led and represented the school with pride and passion and left with the board's best wishes.
"The board of Girton Grammar would like to thank Mr Maruff for his commitment to Girton," he wrote.
He said Mr Maruff's belief in the power of education to transform a life had shaped his vision of education, where students always came first and emotional intelligence was key to learning.
"Mr Maruff has built on Girton's strong educational and co-curricular foundations, helping to shape Girton into one of Australia's finest regional schools," Mr Jemmett wrote.
Opportunities for the school community to celebrate the headmaster's time at Girton would be provided in the new year.
"What a journey it's been," Mr Maruff said.
He said people often attributed a school's success to its leader.
"It's really about our kids, our staff... and what we've done," he said.
One of the things Mr Maruff said he was really proud of was the way schools in Bendigo worked together to improve outcomes for children and young people.
"It's such a special community," he said.
He said leaders of other schools in the community were doing great jobs.
"I doff my cap to them because they are outstanding educational leaders," Mr Maruff said.
He encouraged students to act with courage, to be kind, to look after each other, to search for truth and to be helpful.
Mr Maruff was named as the school's headmaster in 2009, replacing long-serving leader Clayton Jones.
He had held teaching and managerial roles at Geelong Grammar School, Ivanhoe Grammar School, and St Kevin's College in Toorak.
He and Mrs Maruff moved to Bendigo with three children under the age of 10.
"The children have grown and blossomed," Mr Maruff yesterday said.
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