School’s out for CO prin­ci­pal

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JO MCKENZIE-MCLEAN

There are 155 golf cour­ses around the South Is­land, and Dun­stan High School prin­ci­pal Brent Rus­sell has played on all but 25 of them.

It is a bucket list of sorts that he started ‘‘many, many years ago’’, that now he might have time to crack on with com­plet­ing.

Rus­sell will say good­bye to his 36-year teach­ing ca­reer to­day.

‘‘I have re­ally en­joyed my time here. I have found the stu­dents friendly, hard work­ing and neat to be around. That will be some­thing I will miss. There is no ques­tion about that. You can’t be part of some­thing for so long and it not af­fect you. The ju­nior prize giv­ing will be my last day of my teach­ing ca­reer. I will strug­gle, I know I will, but that’s OK. Peo­ple move onto their next chal­lenges.’’

Rus­sell al­ready has his next chal­lenge planned. De­spite re­tir­ing, he in­tends to still be in­volved in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor as a con­sul­tant.

‘‘I plan in the next year and be­yond to do some ed­u­ca­tion con­sul­ta­tion work which in­volves as­sist­ing board of trustees with prin­ci­pal ap­point­ments, ap­praisals that sort of work. It’s an op­por­tu­nity fo me to still re­main in­volved with ed­u­ca­tion be­cause it’s what I know af­ter so many years and I am not ready to stop work but I am ready to try an­other chal­lenge re­ally.’’

His past 36 years of teach­ing, 25 served as a prin­ci­pal, had been a priv­i­lege and hugely re­ward­ing, he said.

Rus­sell started his teach­ing ca­reer as a pri­mary school teacher in 1980 and in 1991 his prin­ci­pal’s ca­reer started at Roxburgh Area School. He then moved to Ver­don Col­lege in In­ver­cargill, then be­came princi- pal of St Kevins in Oa­maru be­fore mov­ing to Dun­stan High School. He had also been a mem­ber of both the South­land and Otago Prin­ci­pal As­so­ci­a­tion for 25 years, and served on the ex­ec­u­tive of the Na­tional Catholic Sec­ondary School As­so­ci­a­tion.

‘‘I’m one of the long­est (serv­ing) sec­ondary school prin­ci­pal in the coun­try. It’s in­cred­i­bly re­ward­ing. There is a sense of sat- is­fac­tion, know­ing the school, teach­ers and ev­ery­one in­volved with that young per­son has helped mould them into who they are.’’

He was go­ing to en­joy spend­ing more time with his fam­ily - and play golf.

‘‘I have been tick­ing off all the South Is­land golf cour­ses. There are 155 and I have 25 to go to com­plete it.’’

JO MCKENZIE-MCLEAN

Dun­stan High School prin­ci­pal Brent Rus­sell who is re­tir­ing af­ter 36 years teach­ing.

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