By Romy Stephens
Montrose Primary School principal Neil Pollard may only have two weeks left of his 46-year career, but he’s not counting down the days.
“I’m terribly proud of the fact that I haven’t been counting down this year,” he said.
“I’m feeling happy sad really. It’s the best job in the world and I’ve loved hopping in the car every day and looking forward to getting here.”
After 13 years at Montrose Primary and almost 50 years in the industry, Neil said it’s time for the next crop of generations to take over.
Neil first decided to begin teaching after thoroughly enjoying his time at primary school and high school.
He worked around schools in the northern suburbs before settling at “the perfect match” in Montrose.
In his time at the school, Neil has helped it grow from 400 students to about 620 this year.
He’s overseen the development of numerous new buildings as well as the changing of school colours from yellow and brown to orange and blue.
“It (orange) is just bright, it’s happy and I figure the world needs more of it,” he said.
“If you really know me, you know that we call it tangerine, that gives it a bit of a classic edge.”
He also witnessed Montrose become the first school in the district to incorporate Chinese into its LOTE program and technological developments that have influenced the industry dramatically.
“There have been huge changes and that makes me sound old but I’ve seen the introduction, since I started teaching, of calculators, photocopiers into schools, computers, iPods, the whole lot,” he said.
But overall, it’s what hasn’t changed that Neil said he loves the most about Montrose.
“Lots of things have changed but lots of things have stayed the same,” he said.
“I’m terribly proud of what we’ve been able to sustain here, the community feel at Montrose,” he said.
“What is probably better about our community is what hasn’t changed and that’s the support and the joy of sending their kids here.
“This has been the culmination and the crown and I couldn’t imagine going off and working at another school.”