Leaves a changed man: Former principal John O’Connor, with seven-year-old Travis Sage, says goodbye to Warwick and St Mary’s Primary School.
Leaves a changed man: Former principal John O’Connor, with seven-year-old Travis Sage, says goodbye to Warwick and St Mary’s Primary School.

Principal says goodbye to school

HE'S been there for child safety, pastoral care and school growth – there's not much John O'Connor can't do.

The now former St Mary's Primary School principal has seen the school grow in infrastructure and enrolments, but the most important growth has been a little closer to home.

“I was principal at St Mary's for six years. When we came it was just my wife Pam and I, and now we leave as a family with three children,” Mr O'Connor said.

His striking red hair is hard to miss and you don't have to be part of the St Mary's community to have been touched by his presence in the district.

Mr O'Connor has been the president of the Warwick Swimming Club, served on the Catholic Parish Council and was instrumental in the design of a new multi-purpose centre at the school, thanks to the government-funded Building the Education Revolution.

He also played a central role in the campaign for the $7.8 million Billy Day Underpass to overcome safety issues around St Mary's split campuses.

Warwick will always retain a piece of John O'Connor.

“It is sad to go, as Warwick has a lot to offer especially to young families, and the decision to move was not an easy decision to make,” he said.

“It's hard to pick a fondest memory, but the underpass was an interesting experience and we've met so many wonderful people along the way.

“The school has grown with many new buildings and it's always great to see the kids grow and develop over the years.”

For the past six months Mr O'Connor has worked as a project officer at the Toowoomba centre of Catholic Education before his family makes the move as he takes up the deputy principal's post at St Mary's Primary School at Ipswich.

Expressions of interest for the St Mary's principal position close this week.


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