Pas­sion for ed­u­ca­tion not di­min­ished by time

Central Leader - - NEWS - By STRUAN PUR­DIE

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.

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Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Farewell: Bas Bar­rib­all is re­tir­ing af­ter 18 years as Mt Roskill Pri­mary School prin­ci­pal.

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