PASSION FOR EDUCATION: Teacher Dave Carr  said he's been privileged to teach students like Whyatt King and Emily Murphy at St Mary's for 19 years.
PASSION FOR EDUCATION: Teacher Dave Carr said he's been privileged to teach students like Whyatt King and Emily Murphy at St Mary's for 19 years. Sophie Lester

Warwick teacher leaves post of 19 years

FUN has been an essential part of Dave Carr's teaching career, which has spanned more than 30 years on the Southern Downs.

It's something he will take with him when he heads back to his hometown of Charleville next year, after 19 years at St Mary's.

"I think fun definitely should be a big part in teaching,” Mr Carr said.

"I think it's so important for kids to enjoy the occasion whether that be a maths or English lesson or playing sports or out on the playground.

"As a teacher it's been important for me to make that personal connection with as many kids as possible.”

Mr Carr started at the Catholic Primary School after the Slade School shut down in 1997.

"I had first come to the region in 1980 and been principal at Murray's Bridge State School,” he said.

"Murray's Bridge was a great little school but I took a break to do landscape gardening for a bit I suppose because I had become a bit disillusioned with the system.

"Then I moved to Slade because I wanted to keep teaching rather than just be in the administrative side of things.

"Before coming to the Southern Downs, I had moved around a fair bit. I met my wife Sally at Begonia State School between Mitchell and St George and we've been married now for 33 years.”

After a short stint at Julatten State School in North Queensland, Mr Carr returned to south-east Queensland where he and his wife started their family.

"When you're young you can just pack up and go anywhere but when you're married it's nice to be able to settle down for a bit,” he said.

"I love Warwick - the country attitude, the good health and education, the closeness to the bush and beach - and our four kids grew up through St Mary's and Assumption.”

Mr Carr said he was lucky to have such a long-standing career in Warwick.

"Apart from having Erin Hilton here as the specialist music teacher, the classroom teachers take all of the other subjects,” he said.

"It's a cliche but it's great to have that sense that you're imparting your wisdom and seeing your students grow, not just with their learning but within themselves.

"Living and teaching in a town like Warwick has meant I've taught some of the sons and daughters of the kids I taught at Murray's Bridge.

"These families will stop and say hi to you on the street and parents will share memories of what you were like with their kids.

"It's funny then that they have certain memories of you that you mightn't remember and vice-versa.”

Although Mr Carr said he would return to Warwick, he was looking forward to taking on a new challenge in his 20th year with the Toowoomba Diocese.

"It's looking at this stage that I'll have a Year 3-4 composite class when I go out to St Mary's Charleville,” he said.

"It's only a small school with about 140 kids but the idea was to go out there for a bit of a refreshment for at least a year and go to back grass roots.

"I was born and raised in Charleville and I still have family out there so it will be nice to do something new and not fade out into retirement, without it being a hugely dramatic distance from Warwick.

"I'm the only male teacher at St Mary's here and I think I'll be the only male teacher in Charleville.

"I think there is certainly a need for more young men in particular to be teaching in primary education.”



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