Fond memories for principal

Headshot of Jakeb Waddell
Jakeb WaddellBroome Advertiser
St Mary's College principal Michael Pepper will leave the school at the end of the year.
Camera IconSt Mary's College principal Michael Pepper will leave the school at the end of the year. Credit: Jakeb Waddell

Excitement is normally rife when the school year comes to a close, but a tinge of sadness will cloud one local college, as its principal prepares to leave Broome.

St Mary’s College principal Michael Pepper will depart the Kimberley town with very happy memories this year, bringing his seven years at the school — and possibly his career — to an end.

Mr Pepper first arrived in the region in 2012 and said he grew as a person over the years.

“In 2007, I was fortunate enough to come to the Kimberley to help set up a boarding program at a remote community school and when I returned home I told my wife that I wanted to finish my career up north,” he said.

“That opportunity came up five years later when I took on the principal job at St Mary’s.

“Over this time, my best memories have been the friendships my family and I have made in Broome, the rich cultural diversity of the town and the fact we were made to feel so welcome.

“People think that when someone moves up to a town like this they are coming up for a sea change, but it really is an environment where you have to work just as hard if not harder than you would in a city school.

“I dealt with complex issues here on a daily basis, but the students and teachers really punch above their weight.”

One of Mr Pepper’s biggest achievements during his stint was the introduction of a capital development plan to grow the student numbers and facilities at the school, which will continue to progress next year.

But it is the children and colleagues that Mr Pepper said he will miss the most.

“I will miss that day-to-day contact with the staff and students and the great variety of work that comes across my desk,” he said.

“I have learned more in my job here than I ever could have imagined.

“Thank you to the school community for making myself and my family so welcome for the past seven years.

“I hope I have made a difference at SMC that has made our school a better place for everyone for years to come.”

Mr Pepper said “never say never” to working again one day but will move into semi-retirement to spend time with his family in Perth. He will be replaced by new principal Carol Bell in 2019.

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