St Columba’s Catholic College principal of eight-and-a-half years Delma Horan signed off this week.
The retiring principal will take up a new post at Nagle College in Blacktown, closer to her home and her final position after 34 years in teaching.
Surrounded by flowers and gifts from current and former students and staff, Mrs Horan said the local community had made a big impact on her, and her students had shown amazing resilience during the recent bushfires.
“It will be hard to let go of St Columba’s,” she said.
At her final school awards presentation on Monday she said to the students: “You will be in my prayers and I’ll watch the HSC results over the coming years very closely.”
When Mrs Horan arrived at the school there were 900 students, and that has grown to 1050 for 2014.
She had overseen five years of extensive capital works at the school, with 18 new classrooms in a new high tech building replacing many old demountables.
“It’s been a team effort,” Mrs Horan said.
She was especially proud to have overseen the development of “21st century learning” in the school, with the introduction of iPads over the past few years.
“There was such a big divide between the world of the students and when they walked in the door, it was like going back decades,” Mrs Horan said.
She said the school would “go from strength to strength” under the new principal, Paul Ryan.