Career a 'Victory' for principal
SHE might not know exactly what retirement holds for her but Victory College principal Margaret Engeman knows without doubt what she will not be doing.
“I am not going to sit at home and twiddle my fingers,” she said.
“I love people and I love working with people and I believe that God has got something planned.
“He’s given me the skills and ability over the last 25 years here and that’s not going to go to waste.
“There’s something in store for me - something fulfilling but a little less pressure.”
With a son in Sydney, another in Melbourne and relatives in Tasmania and the UK, travel “visiting” is also on the agenda.
After having “agonised” over the decision to retire and talking with the CEO Pastor George Miller, Margaret said she has “great peace” in knowing she made the right decision.
“Since making the decision, everything is falling into place.
“The deputy principal and a couple of other staff are also leaving and it is time for a new direction with a new principal, new buildings and new technology.”
Margaret has dedicated the last 25 years to Victory College and the past eight as its principal, having started in 1986 as a Year 1 and Prep teacher.
Looking back over a quarter of a century at Victory, Margaret said her greatest joy is in seeing students she taught, bring their children to be educated at the school.
“Sometimes adults will come up to me and say ‘thank you for persevering with me’ and that’s very rewarding.
“Or they might say ‘thank you for encouraging me’.
While Victory has all male or all female classes for the main academic subjects, classes are mixed for most subjects.
The rationale behind that set up is that “boys can show off and girls can be too timid to try” but results speak for themselves – “It’s proved itself quite well. The boys results are much better and their behaviour is much better.”
“As it happens we have a similar number of boys and girls.”
Is there anything she will not miss?
“All the paper work. I’m perfectly willing to be accountable but it’s so endless.”
She has seen many changes to the teaching curriculum but none more so than the advancement of technology – not always her friend and ally.
“I remember when I first started learning to use a computer, I was typing away and everything disappeared.
“It simply went to the next page. I know a lot more now but I remember being so distraught at the time.”
To the community of Gympie, Margaret would like to say that the college’s new principal is “a wonderful man who will carry on the traditions of Victory College.”
“He will be approachable as I have been approachable and he will listen.
“There will be some changes but the essence of the college will stay the same.
“It will still be a caring environment and meet the needs of parents and children.”
So, the time is right and her beloved college, staff and students are being left in very good hands but Margaret and her husband Graham will not be leaving Gympie.
They’ve lived here for about 27 years and raised their children here and have many happy memories.