Stalwarts of education system recognised

Seabrook Primary School grade one teacher Gerald Veale received recognition for 45 years of service to the education system. (Beckon Media)

By Matthew Sims

A pair of Seabrook Primary School teachers have received recognition for a combined 90 years of service to Victoria’s education system.

Grade one teacher Gerald Veale and grade five and six and physical education teacher Paul Cochran received recognition for 45 years of service at a state government ceremony on Sunday, June 19.

After 24 years at Seabrook Primary School, Mr Cochran has also decided to retire from teaching.

After training in Geelong, he taught at a number of schools across the west, including in Hoppers Crossing and Altona North.

He arrived during Seabrook Primary School’s second year of operation when the school had about 200 students and has seen the number of students grow to about 1200.

Mr Cochran said he was proud of his achievements at the school, including helping to integrate the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme [PYP] into the curriculum.

“It’s always been a really progressive school,” he said.

Mr Cochran said saying farewell to students and staff recently was “quite emotional” but he would look back fondly on his time at Seabrook Primary School.

“It’s been an amazing experience,” he said.

Previously teaching at St Albans Meadows Primary School, Sunshine Heights Primary School, Kings Park Primary School, Mr Veale has been teaching at Seabrook Primary School since 2011.

He has since been a year level team leader, the Australian Education Union Victorian Branch president, a mentor for graduate teachers and a member of various school committees.

“It has been a privilege and an honour to work with young students and parents helping to make a difference to their lives,” Mr Veale said.

Mr Veale said he was also proud of his efforts to deliver the PYP program, which he believed puts an emphasis on developing future global citizens.

“I believe it is important that children enjoy and are engaged in their learning,” he said.

Other service recognition award recipients included:

* Cliff Jennings – Bayside P-12 College – 40 years;

* Ann Hyland – Williamstown High School – 40 years;

* Sheena Angus – Williamstown Primary School – 40 years;

* Warren Hales – Newport Lakes Primary School – 40 years;

* Jennifer Harding – Western English Language School – 45 years;

* Thomas Falzon – Footscray High School – 45 years; and

* Terrence Lawless – Wembley Primary School – 50 years.