Debbie Faull started two days a week at Barrington Public School (BPS) in 1987 and now, after 31 years she’s calling it a day.
“I was very, very lucky they took a chance on me,” she said. “The two days gradually developed into more.”
It became a full time position, which she has retired from at the end of the 2018 school year.
For Debbie, teaching was her dream job.
“Since I was five, when I went to school, I always wanted to be a teacher,” she said.
Debbie became a teacher in 1976, teaching at several schools in Sydney before moving to the region in 1978.
She taught at Gloucester and Stroud before getting the position at Barrington.
“I’ve had five principals since I’ve been here,” she smiled.
The most recent is Amy Hughes, who was appointed earlier in the year. “Amy was a prac student here,” Debbie said.
Over the years, Debbie has seen a few changes, not only in the students and staff but also in the rules.
“It used to be a lot freer,” she explained. “The kids could climb trees and walk around in bare feet.
“We used to go camping for excursions and the students would cook their own food.”
She remembers holding the school Christmas concerts in the Barrington Hall.
“It would be packed to the rafters with parents and grandparents and you couldn’t hear at the back but it didn’t matter.”
Debbie has been a big part of the school and its long list of achievements, some of which have been in sports ventures.
“We’ve been to State three times for soccer,” she said.
So at the end of the day, it’s not only the staff, who are like part of her family, that she’s miss, it’s the students.
“All the children are individuals and they all bring something to the table,” she smiled. “They make me laugh everyday.”
In retirement, Debbie plans to keep busy spending time with her husband John, travelling and making wine at their home vineyard.
“And spending time with my beautiful grandchildren.”
But it may not be the end of the road for her teaching.
“I’m hoping they will have me back every so often,” Debbie smiled.