HE has helped shape the lives of literally thousands of young men who have walked the halls of Saint Stanislaus' College, but after 32 years with the school, Geoff Melville is calling it a day.
Currently the deputy head of college, Mr Melville has been appointed to the position of assistant principal at Saint Paul's College Kempsey, a secondary school catering for young men and women from Years 7-12.
Mr Melville, or 'Sir', as he is acknowledged with a nod from students in the quadrangle, began his teaching career at the college straight from university. He loved the school so much he never left.
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"I'd just finished at UNE when we came here, so I've only had the one employer," he laughed as he reflected on his tenure.
He, along with his wife Therese, a chartered account in Bathurst, have always planned the move north. Therese's family are based in Kempsey and own property there.
"Her Dad is in his early 90s running a farm," Mr Melville said.
So when a position opened up at St Paul's, they saw it as a great opportunity to move there to be closer to her family.
He said the timing has worked out very well, with Therese also continuing her career as an accountant on the mid-north coast.
Reflecting on his time at Stannies, he said he has seen many changes.
His first position saw him teaching agriculture and when he arrived at the school, its farm had no fences.
"I was the first ag teacher here," he said.
"But I had really great support from the parents and the department was developed.
"Fences were installed and a cattle and sheep stud was established, with the school going on to show at both metropolitan and local shows."
His career progressed and in 1998 he was promoted to the head of science within the school. In 2000 he was senior admin co-ordinator, and in 2002 head of curriculum. In 2017 he was appointed to deputy head of college.
Mr Melville said he has genuinely loved every day, and every role at the school.
"I do love it it here, I love the boys, I think they are genuine and compassionate and think of others," he said.
"There is a great spirit within the school, as a Vincentian school it really embraces the support of others."
He said that spirit is across all things the students are involved in, and he sees the boys growing into really good, young men with incredible respect for others.
He also said the staff he has worked with over the last 30 plus years have been beautiful.
"The staff are incredible," he said.
"My two boys were here, so I've seen the college as both a staff member and as a parent, so I've lived the experience."
"I'm also really proud of the results that come from the school."
While Mr Melville is sad to leave, he said he is leaving on a high.
He also said he will miss many things about the school, including its leadership team and priests he has worked with.
"Being here has been a wonderful vocation for me," he said.
"I've met Vincentian priests who have changed my life.
"And Lindsay Luck is an outstanding appointment for the school, he really understands boys' education, and the school has thrived under his leadership."
Mr Melville said he was also thankful to the school which had given him such amazing opportunities, including coaching union at an Australian Schoolboys level.
But he said it was time to move on.
"I've been supported incredibly well by my wife, the Vincentians, the Stannies community, staff, students, parents and Old Boys. My time here really has been an incredible joy," he said.
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