The Seville Primary School community said goodbye to its principal of 13 years.
Students, parents and staff paid tribute to Pat Hillas at an assembly on Friday 21 September as his long service leave ended and he started retirement.
They held a ‘footsteps’ banner, thanking Mr Hillas for leading them on the right path, presented a personalised book from staff, and students formed a special guard of honour.
“Every child mattered, every child was given an opportunity to learn and grow at Seville Primary School and no child was ever turned away,” a tribute to Mr Hillas said.
Taking his place is James Burnside.
He has two daughters, Grace and Maya, with wife Michelle and is a volunteer within the hills community.
“A beautiful setting, enthusiastic staff and a tight-knit community are just a few of the things that drew me to this wonderful school,” he said.
“I know the positive impact a small school can have on its students and town, and I plan to ensure our school is exemplary in teaching and learning, while having an emphasis on creating strong community links.”
Mr Burnside said the school’s small size would give him the chance to know “every child, staff member, parent and friend of the school so I can take on board all points of view for decision making, while empowering everyone in assisting students’ learning”.
He filled in as principal at Wandin Yallock Primary School for the previous six months.
“Creating life-long learners is my goal for our kids,” he said.
“We can empower students to take control of their learning, understand its importance and build a curiosity to explore further.”