AFTER working for the Education Department for more than four decades and teaching about 1300 students, Ronald Addison will pack away his stationery and farewell his beloved Phoenix Primary School next week.
The 66-year-old, who has taught at the school since it opened 42 years ago, started his 45-year career with short stints at Winterfold Primary School and Merredin Primary School before settling at the school he would call home for the rest of his profession.
The jovial teacher, affectionately known as “Sir”, said he felt now was the right time to retire.
“In your life I think there comes a time when you realise that it’s time to go,” he said.
“People told me I would know when but when I thought about it about the beginning of the year, I thought ‘oh no what have I done’ but as the year has gone on I’ve become more comfortable with it.
“I’ll be very sad leaving this wonderful institution after 42 years and not having contact with the students – that’ll be the biggest thing.”
Mr Addison said during his four decades as a teacher he had many memories, had seen changes in the education system and even heard about worldwide events in the playground and in the classroom.
“I have so many memories and a lot of it would be around sport, including winning the Glory Girls Cup twice,” he said.
“There’s been lots of new and different programs in place for the betterment of the school.
“The internet and social media is a big thing now, mobile phones are a thing now – so much has changed.
“But one thing I can distinctly remember is when John Lennon got shot – I heard about world history on the oval.”
Principal Margaret Pretty said Mr Addison’s departure would be a sad day for the school.
“He brings a stability to the school and a history of the school and his focus has always been on the students,” she said.
“He gives them a love of learning and tells them to not let their postcode determine their future.
“He teaches them they can be whatever they want.”
A special assembly will be held to farewell Mr Addison and according to the “school favourite” that’s when a new phase of life will begin.
“There’ll be travelling, community activities, supporting my Dockers and I might even take up bridge. But I still want to be involved in the school as a relief but I won’t teach all the time,” he said.
“ Phoenix has been great for me and I love it when I hear how great some of our ex-students are doing – it makes me so proud.”