An Unforgettable Legacy
Headmaster Bill Low’s heart has always been in education. Starting his career in outback South Australia, he held positions as a teacher, curriculum consultant, deputy principal and principal in Adelaide before moving to a senior leadership position with the NSW Department of Education in 1990. Following leadership positions in the Hunter, Central Coast and head office of the Department, Mr Low moved to CCGS in 2008.
We sat down with him ahead of his retirement to find out more about his illustrious career.
What inspired your career in education?
I was taught the value of education from a very young age. I’m grateful that my family - who didn’t all have the privilege of finishing school – encouraged my schooling and instilled in me the importance of learning. This, combined with a desire to make a difference, led me down the path of education.
You’ve had a remarkable 15-year tenure as Headmaster at CCGS. Can you share your most memorable moments?
The sense of community and atmosphere on our large competitive sports days are hard to beat. Often there are hundreds of people gathered together, enjoying our outdoor environment while cheering on their favourite CCGS team. The sense of community and camaraderie is palpable. Junior and senior productions in the Performing Arts Centre are also particularly memorable. I never cease to be amazed by the quality of the performances from our talented and passionate performing arts students as they take to the stage in our state-of-the-art facility.
What initiatives or programs have you implemented that you feel particularly proud of?
Extending growth opportunities for our students, especially in cocurricular offerings, is something that I’m particularly proud of. Performing arts has grown exponentially and is now home to a broad range of music, dance and drama programs. Sport has also evolved with boys and girls represented across a huge variety of sports. From a cultural perspective, we’ve done a lot of work to embed our values so that they permeate everything we do. The climate of mutual trust and respect that we’ve collectively built between students, staff and parents has been a key to our success.
The continued focus on ensuring that every student reaches their potential has led to sustained academic performance. At the same time, we have focused on the other important aspects of wellbeing and character development.
I am also proud of the work we’ve done to ingrain the school in the broader Central Coast community; from our community service work, to our involvement in events and partnerships with local business and other not-for-profit organisations.
How have you seen education evolve during your career, and what changes do you anticipate in the future?
There are continued changes in education, but the essential element is that schools are human organisations. They have and always will be about the students. Technology will evolve and teaching methodology will change, but what remains constant is the importance of developing a student’s character. We want our students to reach their potential, lead rich and meaningful lives and to contribute to their wider community. The key to quality education will always be the relationship between the teacher and the learner.
What will you miss most about being a Headmaster?
The people – from the students, to the staff, parents and the wider CCGS community. We have wonderful students and committed, caring staff along with very supportive parents. It has been a joy and privilege to come to work every day.
I am so proud of all we’ve all achieved together during my time as Headmaster. The school is in a great position and the timing is now right for me to hand over the reins for a new Headmaster to continue the journey.
As an avid gardener with qualifications in horticulture, you’ve played a pivotal role in shaping CCGS’s beautiful grounds. What has driven your approach to the development of the grounds and what is your favourite space?
I have an eclectic approach to colour and texture and love experimenting on the campus grounds. There is a strong connection between student and staff wellbeing and the natural surrounds, which is why the gardens are so important to me.
I’d have to say among my favourite spaces are the gardens in the new Senior College precinct and in the Junior School, both of which will only get better as the trees mature.