Paul Johnson was popular with students and teachers.
Paul Johnson was popular with students and teachers.

Ex-deputy's death saddens school

STAFF and students at Grafton Public School have been saddened to hear of the death on Monday of former deputy principal Paul Johnson.

Mr Johnson was deputy at the school from 2000 until he left teaching last year because of ill health.

He died from complications arising from a lengthy illness. He was just 43.

Staff at the school remember a teacher with a real affinity for both his pupils and colleagues.

Colleague Tim Keogh remembers Mr Johnson’s door was always open and his office walls were plastered with cards, letters and special drawings from thankful and admiring students.

Children at the school remembered a teacher never short of commitment to their activities.

He regularly dressed up as the character from Where’s Wally for book character parades and his colourful ties, big, red motorbike and love of utes always attracted the children’s attention.

“Paul was a pleasure to work with. He was an extremely caring leader. He made staff feel valued and went out of his way to support them, always with a smile on his face,” said Mr Keogh.

Another colleague, Paul Farrell, remembered a man who mixed easily with people.

“Paul related very well to people in the wider community. His country background allowed him to speak to people easily,” he said.

Staff also remember him as a capable horseman, a lover of the land who liked restoring old wares.

“He will be sadly missed. Paul Johnson will be remembered by those who had the pleasure of his company,” Mr Keogh said.

Mr Johnson trained at Armidale College of Advanced Education and commenced teaching at Burcher Public School in 1990. He became the principal of Pilliga Public School in 1994.

Other positions Mr Johnson held included principal at Tucabia Public School and student welfare consultant.



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