Baryulgil PS joins the hundred club
NEARLY a decade ago, Gary Barton drove past Baryulgil Public School and said "I'd love to work there one day."
Eighteen months ago, he applied for the position of relieving principal and he hasn't looked back since.
On Saturday, Mr Barton, the community, many ex-students and current students celebrated the small schools centenary.
"Baryulgil Public school, at present, if the pinnacle of my career," he said.
"Everything I have ever done in teaching has brought me here, it wasn't a job that I chose, my previous boss said 'there is a position coming up and you are the one that will fill it.
"I spent a long time in small Aboriginal communities early in my career, I've taught all of the stages of kids, at Grafton Public School I was the first male kindergarten teacher."
Mr Barton is now waiting to do his formal interview for the role of principal at the school.
"I love it here, I've made a lot of changes like anyone does when they come into a new school," he said.
"You change things up, mix things up, I've done a lot of extra study for what I need to know.
"I can't say it hasn't been stressful, it's been overwhelming, but enjoyable."
This weekend, the small school celebrated their 100th anniversary with a huge celebration with ex-students and community members coming from all over to join in the celebration.
"It was already being planned 18 months ago when I stepped into the position," he said.
"We had regular committee meeting, a few things got sorted out there, but most of it has come together by the community in the last week.
"If I was to organise another one, I'd probably organise it two weeks in advance.
"It wouldn't have happened without Kayleen Stevenson, our SAM, she runs the office. She has been central to the whole thing."
Mr Barton said his favourite part of working at Baryulgil is the kids.
"It's unique at present as we have seven children," he said.
"You know everything, you know what they had for breakfast, you know what they did last night, you know the names of their pets which is excellent.
"Where as normally, when you work in a school of 7-800 kids.
"Same with the staff, we've got five members of staff and we all get along really well."