WINGHAM High farewelled passionate PE teacher, John Morgan who wrapped up more than 30 years of teaching last week.
John was congratulated by principal Mark Thompson on his successful career and the genuine dedication and care he has shown to thousands of students he has taught over three decades.
“The level of enthusiasm over 30 plus years is just amazing,” Mr Thompson said.
The majority of John’s career was spent at Kanahooka High. He came straight from teachers college in Sydney to the high school near Lake Illawarra in 1974 where he dedicated 30 years as a PE teacher.
He moved to Wingham to be closer to his mother and father about eight years ago.
John says he “fell on his feet” when he was posted to Wingham High.
In his eight years at the school he has contributed greatly to a wide range of sports including athletics, basketball, water polo and rugby league and touch football.
“I became a teacher for the kids, and that will never change,” he said.
“I love sport and I love coaching kids,” he said.
Some of his highlights at Wingham High were when the year seven and eight boys touch team made the top 16 in the state. The open boys team also performed well when they were one game off making the Hunter final.
Many of the students in the school’s touch teams have been selected in the Hunter squad and he trained Maitlan Brown in javelin who went on to represent at state level.
Not only has he coached students to high levels of success, he has many sporting accomplishments himself.
He played first grade Rugby Union with Parramatta.
He has been to nationals three times for the 400 metre hurdles and held a four by four Australian sprinting record for 12 months.
What John will most miss about work is the interaction with the other PE teachers in his staffroom, Murray Doust and Jane Ferguson.
“The three of us get on so well together,” he said.
Murray said John has spent an unbelievable amount of time training students.
“He doesn’t have a spare lunch time, ever,” Jane said.
Jane said John’s vibrant sense of humour and willingness to always lend a hand are what she’ll miss most when he retires.
“If you have something to do he was always the first to put his hand up and say he’ll cover playground duty and classes,” she said.
Murray said John could come across as a cranky old bloke to the kids but was also known to them as one of the kindest teachers.
“He sets the boundaries and expectation from the start which gets them where he wants them,” he said.
“It’s a rarity these days.”
Jane and Murray agreed young teachers coming in to the profession should use teachers like ‘Morgo’ as a role model.
“I’ve learnt a lot from his behaviour management,” Jane said.
“He’s an old school teacher and that’s what works.”
Mr Morgan said the important thing about teaching is making it interesting for the kids.
He plans to stay in Wingham with his family and would like to keep a hand in the school’s coaching of representative teams.