Bert Berghuis with students from Teven Tintenbar Public School at his farewell.
Bert Berghuis with students from Teven Tintenbar Public School at his farewell.

Bert leaves school after 37 years

It’s been a big week for Mr Bert Berghuis. Not only did Teven Tintenbar Public School’s longest serving teacher retire after a 37-year career, but he also celebrated his 60th birthday on Wednesday, his last day at school.

Bert, who spent 22 years at Teven Tintenbar Public School and taught over 1000 local students, was presented with a retirement medallion by the Department of Education on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday the school had a special picnic in his honour.

Bert said that more than anything he’ll miss the kids.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my teaching career, particularly at Teven Tintenbar, where I have been part of a great team and have had the opportunity to teach in a way that complements my own interests,” Bert said. “I have also really enjoyed teaching families, where sometimes three or even four siblings from the one family will pass through my class. When this happens, you really get to know people and you have a real sense of being an active part of your local community.

“It’s been great to witness the school’s growth and to be involved in its planning and development, perhaps most notably the development of our grounds, which are now an envious eight acres of beautiful trees and open spaces.”

School principal Virginia Latta said Bert’s contribution to the school was incomparable, and he would be very hard to replace. “Bert is one of the original foundation teachers of the combined Teven and Tintenbar Schools, which joined forces in 1988,” she said. “We applaud Bert for his wholehearted advocacy of experiential learning, where students learn by doing.

“His work in establishing school environmental areas such as a bush tucker garden, school environmental group, our own rice paddy, class vegetable gardens and Operation Bird Watch have really stamped our school as a hands-on learning centre of excellence.”

Former student Tegan Van Nispen, who is currently studying Law and Commerce at Armidale University, said that one of the most memorable things about Mr Berghuis was his sense of humour.

“Mr Berghuis was one of the best teachers that I ever had. He was able to teach outside the box, using methods such as his rice paddies project, and this really kept you interested in studying and learning,” Tegan said.

Bert now looks forward to spending more time with his wife Marie and their four children. He plans to remain in the area, but will be doing a lot of travelling as well as revisiting his passion for landscape painting.


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