School says farewell to ‘treasured’ leader

BOMBALA High School will say farewell to its principal Philip Steel on Friday. 

Mr Steel, who has served the Bombala school for five years, has become a treasured member to staff and the Bombala community. 

Unfortunately, as a result of an ongoing illness, he has made the decision to leave the school and retire. 

In 2011 Mr Steel was diagnosed with a brain tumour and despite having a successful operation in the same year has decided that he can no longer fulfill his duties as principal. 

Mr Steel said the decision to leave the school and the community that he is proud to be a part of had not been easy to make.

“It was a hard decision to make,” Mr Steel said. 

“Everything is going very well at the school with great facilities, a great bunch kids and wonderful teachers;  everything has been great.

“However, I felt it was not fair on everyone for me to be in the position when I’m not up to the job, the school needs someone to take it forward into the future.”

Mr Steel has done his part in helping the humble Bombala High School into the future during his reign.

In October 2011 the school received funding for the Bombala Facility for Industry Training (BFIT) Trade Training Centre.  The $1.4 million centre was an important milestone not only for the young people at Bombala High School in providing access to developing skills and qualifications but the entire district. 

The building provides industry relevant training in various industries including Certificate III qualifications in agriculture, rural operations and horticulture, preparing students for the highly skilled workforce of tomorrow. 

The Training Centre was fitted out with everything from welding bays to video conferencing rooms and even a forest harvester simulator. 

Mr Steel, originally from Queanbeyan, was happy to move to the Bombala community with his wife Jane. 

“Bombala has a great sense of community and generally everyone is very caring and look after one another,” Mr Steel said. “I think that is reflected in the kids.” 

“It has been such a privilege to teach people’s children, it’s a big responsibility but has been very satisfying.

“I have had the privilege of seeing students start as children and turn into young adults and go into all sorts of wonderful careers.” 

President of the Bombala High School P and F, Sheree Jones, said it had been a pleasure working with Mr Steel. 

“We have been very lucky to have Mr Steel, he has always been very supportive of the P and F and made some wonderful contributions to the school community,”  Ms Jones said. 

“He is quietly spoken but he is always the first one to put his hand up and say that he will help, even if it means cooking sausages all day.

“His presence will be missed at the school.” 

Vice-principal Glen Wade will temporarily take the role of principal until the position is filled.

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