After nine years at the helm of Bowral Public, school is officially out for Wendy Buckley.
The Bowral Public School community paid homage to its retiring principal at a special assembly on Friday morning.
Students, staff, families and friends said bid Mrs Buckley farewell and celebrated her significant contribution to the school.
While Mrs Buckley’s final day at the school was an emotional one, the retiring principal said it was the right time to move on to the next phase of her life.
“It’s a hugely emotional day,” she said.
“When you’ve invested so much time into a place that you love for so long, emotions are definitely at the forefront.”
Through her role as principal, Mrs Buckley has left a strong legacy within the school community.
She has overseen the building of the school hall, canteen, new COLAs, a new building with eight new classrooms for 21st century learning and a renovation for the residence.
She has also been been responsible for putting new furniture in classrooms, a renovation for the administration area, installations of flued gas heaters throughout the school, the installations of new roofs on nearly every building, new playgrounds and improved technology.
Mrs Buckley said the opportunity to be an educator as a privilege.
“To watch children grow, from the day they walk into school until they become fine people, and to know you’ve played a role in that is wonderful,” she said.
“Why wouldn’t you be a teacher when you have the opportunity to change lives?”
Mrs Buckley said she was particularly interested in supporting the growth of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“There are children who do it tough every day and if we can help them and support them then isn’t that a great thing,” she said.
“I gave a little girl a hug this morning and I said ‘you’ll be in the first person in your family to finish high school, go to university and make something of your life and let me know how you go’.”
In her retirement, Mrs Buckley said she looked forward to having more time to travel, spend time with family, read books, garden and finish projects.