He’s taught students in one teacher schools right through to overseeing the education of hundreds of pupils as a principal, and today John Willing is rewarded for his dedication to the teaching profession.
The now retired Bletchington Public School principal, who lives at Millthorpe has been awarded a Public Service Medal.
Mr Willing trained at Bathurst in the first year of the transition from Bathurst Teachers’ College to the Mitchell College of Advanced Education and his first appointment was a one-teacher school at Spicers Creek.
“That little school is closed now but it was a wonderful start to my teaching career with just 12 children from kindergarten to year 6,” he said.
The years that followed included appointments to Mandurama, Ivanhoe, Blayney, Millthorpe and Grenfell, followed by nine years at Forbes before Mr Willing and his family moved to Orange.
He said with the support of his wife Lois, the several moves weren’t a problem.
“My wife is also a teacher, and I think anyone who does go into teaching realises that is part of the job that you have to move from school to school,” he said.
Mr Willing said the children he left behind when he retired are far more astute when it comes to learning and their education.
“I would say that 95 per cent of children are far more tuned to their learning and much more responsive than when I first began my teaching career,” he said.
Mr Willing said he is pleased to accept his award.
“I really do feel very proud,” he said.
Mr Willing is also a contributor to his community through his voluntary work with Uralba Retirement Village at Carcoar and the Rotary Club of Orange Daybreak.