Bell rings for very last time
WHEN Jim Rowe stepped out of the teaching profession on Friday, he retired as the longest-serving principal of any school in the Coffs Harbour district.
Mr Rowe had been principal of Upper Orara Public School for 18 years and had chalked up 35 years of teaching, all in small schools in the Coffs Harbour area.
He taught at Crossmaglen and Karangi as well as Upper Orara.
Jim Rowe said children and families within a small school environment were 'special' and kids in such schools grew up with independent learning qualities.
He said teachers in small schools were also involved with the community 'and all its trappings - the good, the bad and the ugly' and he was taking away a lot of fond memories.
Among these he said was the collegiality and support from fellow principals of small schools, while he had also been lucky in always working with good staff.
As he gave his final address, Mr Rowe was watched by his wife Robyn, who taught at Upper Orara Public School in the 1970s.
Jim Rowe said in his retirement he planned to travel, play even more golf, read and fish.