AFTER a teaching career that has spanned 43 years, Mr Garry Begley is hanging up his hat.
The beloved science teacher of Jimboomba State School is going into retirement.
Mr Begley’s roots in Jimboomba and at the Jimboomba State School are deep. His great-grandparents were the second family to settle in the area, and his mother and all three his children attended the school.
His teaching career started in 1973 at the Runcorn State School, but seven years later he would be called back to his hometown, where he has taught for three decades.
“I always had a love of teaching but I went into it thinking I would do it for three years and then go into farming, which I also have a keen interest for,” he said.
While he could not have foresaw three years turning into 43, Mr Begley said becoming a teacher was the best thing he ever did.
“Not only did I meet the love of my life at teaching college, it has been a great journey and I feel privileged to have had such a fulfilling career.”
It isn’t just Mr Begley who feels privileged by the outcome of his chosen career path, scores of school students who have sat in his classrooms over the last 30 years, say the privilege was theirs.
Logan City councillor Laurie Koranski said Mr Begley had a profound impact on her life.
“I don’t think I would have been where I am today had it not been for Mr Begley,” she said.
“I was in his class in Year 5 and was a terribly shy girl. He helped me find my voice and find my confidence, which shaped who I am today.”
This emphasis on nurturing students’ confidence has always been the ethos of Mr Begley’s teaching style.
“I believe instilling self-confidence in children is the groundwork upon which a love of learning can be built,” he said.
He came close to retiring seven years ago, but school principal Jay Mills successfully prolonged his teaching career by offering him the opportunity to specialise as a science teacher.
“Science, and teaching science has always been my passion,” Mr Begley said.
Throughout his teaching career, Mr Begley has given numerous science demonstrations at various schools, and was even a presenter at Queensland science teaching conferences.
“Science teaches children to think logically and extend their thinking because it opens up the world to them,” he said.
“As a teacher I was always most happy if they would ask ‘what if’.
“Science has taken its place among literacy and numeracy as key educational areas, and rightly so. Our whole future depends on science, so as teachers it is vital to instill an interest and love of science in our youth, but in order to successfully do so, teachers need to be passionate about their subject matter and their profession.”
Principal Jay Mills said Mr Begley was a phenomenal teacher and would be deeply missed by the school community.
“The legacy he has left is immeasurable. He has engendered such a love of science among the students and has been a very important member of the school for decades.”
Mr Begley said it is with a measure of sadness that he is leaving the school and his profession but that he knew it was the right time for him to retire.
“During my teaching career I have been very fortunate to have been surrounded by supportive, friendly, professional teachers and administration who made my time at Jimboomba State School a joy.”
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