Time for new challenges

MOVING ON: Denison College Bathurst campus principal Geoff Hastings will retire at the end of the year. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK

MOVING ON: Denison College Bathurst campus principal Geoff Hastings will retire at the end of the year. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK

IN 2006, Geoff Hastings simultaneously became the last principal of Bathurst High School and the first of Denision College Bathurst campus.

More than a decade later, he is ready to see a fresh face take on the challenge of the role as he transitions into retirement.  

“I think part of it is I’ve been here eleven years and it is important schools have a change in leadership,” Mr Hastings said.

“It is time for me to move on to new challenges.”

Mr Hastings first came to the region in 1982 as a science teacher, being transferred from Evans High School in Blacktown to Kelso High School.

In 1998, he arrived at Bathurst High School as the head teacher of science, a position he held for four years.

When he was appointed as principal in 2006, it was at an interesting point of transition for Bathurst High School.

The year following his appointment saw the school closed and later reopened as Denision College Bathurst campus.

As the only principal of that school, Mr Hastings will be leaving behind a significant legacy.

One thing that sticks out in his mind is the physical environment of the school.

“The facilities of this school have changed dramatically over the last 10 years and now they are second to none,” he said.

He is also proud to be leaving a school where commitment to the education of its students is the top priority.

“The staff have a really strong drive to develop professionally and keep getting better,” he said. “The students really benefit from that culture.”

As a parent of two of the school’s alumni, Mr Hastings can attest to the quality of the educational experience.

His son, Mitchell, is an engineer in Melbourne, while his daughter, Madeline, is working for the government in Canberra.

“I can say that as a parent of Bathurst High, my children were given excellent opportunities,” Mr Hastings said. 

Although very proud of the accomplishments of his children, Mr Hastings said there are many students who have gone on to achieve great things after graduating from the school.

“The thing I am really proud of is that with the thousands of students that have come through during my time, we’ve got students that are in leadership positions and highly influential positions all over the world and some who have formed the bedrock of the community,” he said. 

Mr Hastings will wrap up his career in education at the end of the 2016 school year.

While he is retiring, Mr Hastings doesn’t see himself doing away with work.

His plan is to stay in Bathurst with his wife and “reinvent myself”.

“I feel that there are all sorts of opportunities. I don’t feel like I’m retiring from work altogether, but I won’t be doing something as intense as this,” he said.

“Bathurst is our home, so I’m really hoping with a little bit more flexibility in my time I’ll be able to contribute more to the community.”

I'm really hoping with a little bit more flexibility in my time I'll be able to contribute more to the community. - Principal Geoff Hastings

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