After 39 years in his dream career, much-loved North School principal Chris ‘Hoges’ Hogan has called it a day.
Mr Hogan made the call to officially retire last month, celebrating his long career with staff and colleagues at his good friend Peter Rae’s property Booroola last Friday evening.
On the night he was awarded life membership of the Deniliquin PSSA, an honour he said he was humbled by.
‘‘I’ve been very fortunate over the years to have worked alongside so many remarkable colleagues, parents and wonderful students,’’ Mr Hogan said.
‘‘I have often been astounded by the generosity and selflessness of others and I have nothing but admiration for all that try hard to better themselves.
‘‘The journey, from beginning to end, has always been interesting and often spectacular, and in retirement I take with me a host of beautiful memories.’’
Mr Hogan started his teaching journey at the age of 17, where he studied at Newcastle College while living in Mayfield.
He trained to be a secondary math teacher but jumped at the chance to re-train in Sydney as a primary teacher for four months before being appointed to his first teaching job at Deniliquin South Public School from 1978 to 1981.
Mr Hogan then taught at Forster Public School for five years before starting at Deniliquin North Public School in 1986.
‘‘North School is very dear to my heart and I have kept in touch with my many friends at North during 2017,’’ said Mr Hogan, who had taken long service leave in the first two terms this year before deciding to retire.
‘‘I’m currently the longest standing teacher (31 years) and principal (13).
‘‘I’ve often popped in to say g’day this year and I’ve helped at a few barbecues and sporting events.
‘‘Forty years at the factory hasn’t dimmed my interest in the comings and goings of students.
‘‘It still gives me a buzz when past and current students are kind enough to say hello.
‘‘I became a teacher simply because from an early age I enjoyed the company of kids.
‘‘Their energy and spontaneity are very endearing features.
‘‘It could also be said, with some accuracy, that I’m just a big kid myself.’’
Mr Hogan has seen a lot in his time at the ‘school on the hill’ but his greatest achievement was seeing the construction of a new North School hall.
He said it was a dream come true for the school and its P&C.
‘‘The recognition as the second ranked school in NSW for NAPLAN improvement from 2008 to 2013 was also another standout achievement,’’ he said.
‘‘As a primary school teacher I have taught all subjects, with a preference of writing, spelling and maths, so the NAPLAN improvement was huge for me.
‘‘I especially enjoyed teaching PE, as well as performing various roles at the school.
‘‘I’ve been sports master, Deni PSSA administrator, computer co-ordinater, reading-recovery teacher, executive teacher, assistant principal, STL teacher, film-maker and even the official snake catcher.’’
When asked about his plans for retirement, Mr Hogan couldn’t resist having a laugh with his response.
‘‘I plan on becoming a garden gnome and preparing for the world tour by the ‘Hoges Dance Academy’.’’