Passion for education not diminished by time
The school principal’s office is generally the last place most students want to end up.
But those who find themselves in Bas Barriball’s office are more likely to be getting help with their schoolwork than being sternly pulled back into line.
It is this genuine love of working with children that will be greatly missed when the Mt Roskill Primary School principal retires next Friday.
Mr Barriball says after 18 years in the role he still loves what he does.
‘‘It changes all the time – no one year is the same as the next.’’
When asked about his favourite part of the job a contented smile crosses the 66-year-old’s face.
‘‘Working with the he says sincerely.
Deputy principal Janet Moyle says Mr Barriball is one of a kind because he has such a high profile with his students.
‘‘Bas is one of the principals who knows children really well and spends most lunchtimes out in the playground interacting with chil-
kids,’’ dren – either organising things for them to do or just playing games.’’
Mr Barriball has led the school since 1995 but his legacy at Mt Roskill Primary stretches back over three decades.
He first joined the school as deputy principal in 1980 before leaving to take a position at Manukau Intermediate five years later.
But the teaching staff eventually wanted him back and when the school’s former head left they encouraged him to apply for the job.
Mr Barriball says he has seen a lot of changes in his time including a growing multi-ethnic school roll.
‘‘I think that’s one of the beauties of the place – I don’t think there’s anywhere more multicultural than here.’’
He also recalls a tough time in the early-2000s where government funding cuts placed pressure on the school’s special needs centre.
But the centre survived and today runs three classes for children with disabilities with the help of about 40 staff.
He has enjoyed his time at the school but Mr Barriball is ready to move on.
‘‘Things have been good, I’d like to go while things are good.
‘‘It’s getting harder – more regulations, more central management of schools and so on,’’ he says.
‘‘Schools’ autonomy being etched away.’’
The veteran educator says he is looking forward to swapping his tie for a tool belt and starting some household renovations.
But the school is not letting him go without a proper send-off.
Everyone from past pupils and parents to staff from nearby schools are invited to farewell Mr Barriball at a large community event on Wednesday night.
Students will then say goodbye to their principal in a special assembly on Friday.
After more than quarter of a century at Mt Roskill Primary, there will be many sad to see him go.
Farewell: Bas Barriball is retiring after 18 years as Mt Roskill Primary School principal.